'Pratigya' made Anupam popular

Pratapgarh: What internationally acclaimed `Slumdog Millionaire` failed to do for Anupam Shyam, his role of a patriarchal `thakur` in TV show `Pratigya` has helped him achieve in a very short time.

The actor played Guru in the Danny Boyle film, who kidnaps children from slums and turns them into beggars. But Shyam credits `Pratigya` for making him a household name.

Despite playing mostly negative characters both on the small and big screen, the veteran actor has garnered immense public recognition and fame playing the overbearing Thakur Sajjan Singh on the Star Plus show.

"Thakur Sajjan Singh is the new name, more popular than my own name Anupam Shyam and every where I go, people relate to it and address me as him," Anupam, a native of
Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, told reporters.

Currently in his home town for the shooting of a Bhojpuri-Avadhi film `Vijayi Bhav` where again he is playing a villain, Anupam says that though his character is a despicable
and domineering one, he has been getting great reviews and affection from the public.

For those who wonder about his "Allahabadi" dialect and nuances besides his interesting gait as well as knowledge of the area, the city is his "sasural" and he is well aware of
its geography. "Besides it is just a neighbouring town of Pratapgarh".

"It has been a long journey from Pratapgarh to Mumbai during which I acted in several films like `Lajja`, `Nayak`, `Dubai Return`, `Parzaniya`, `Hazaron Khwaishyen Aisi`, `Shakti- The Power` and `Bandit Queen`," he said adding that the latest is Ram Gopal Verma`s `Rakta Charitra` which released last week.

Anupam, who will be seen as the evil Baban Shukla in `Vijayi Bhav`, is popularly known as "Baba" in the film world for his carefree and relaxed lifefstyle.

Interestingly, Anupam`s ancestral home in Raniganj area is very close to the native village of famous poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan.