Actor, poet and traveller Milind Gunaji is back with two releases, Hello Zindagi, which is about saving the endangered Olive Ridley Turtle, and Idiot Box, where he plays Brij Bhushan Matondkar, a happy-go-lucky person who calls himself a world tourist-cum-travelogue writer and who has the habit of talking to people in rhymes. We caught up with Milind to find out how close these roles are to his real self. Seated at Sun-N-Sand Hotel in Bombay, Milind fields our questions even as he waits for the press conference of his film, Idiot Box, to begin. The film is just out of the censors and releases on March 19.
What’s your character in the film?
It’s a completely different role from the ones I have played previously. I have generally done villainous characters. This is a comic role where I speak only in sher-o-shayari (rhymes).
Are you a lover of poetry in real life?
Yes. In fact, I have an album of my Marathi poetry, Man Pakhrache Hoi (recites a poem). It deals with nostalgia.
Have you also published any poetry?
I have published eight books, including two in English, and travelogues on Maharashtra and Goa. My second English book, released by Uddhav Thackeray and Jackie Shroff, is Mystical Magical Maharashtra.
Since you write so much, you must be an avid reader too. What are you reading right now?
A coffee table travelogue on Antarctica by Urmi Popat.
Where do you go when you want to get out of Bombay?
I am really fascinated with my own state, Maharashtra. So much so that I have a travel show called, Discover Maharashtra, on television, where I showcase the various forts of Maharashtra.
So travel, poetry, films – what’s Milind actually?
This is what I love. If I were not an actor, I would definitely be doing this full-time.