Every performance is a struggle: Bibin George

Actor-screen writer Bibin George is not new to Malayali film or television audience. He has made us laugh through his comic scripts in several TV shows and a couple of blockbuster movies. No movie-lover can forget the naxalite in the movie 'Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan'. Bibin is reportedly the first differently abled lead actor in Malayalam films after setting this odd record with director Shafi's 'Oru Pazhaya Bomb Kadha'. As the movie runs successfully in the theaters, Bibin opens up to Onmanorama on his life, the harassments he faced all through life and his joy of accomplishing his childhood ambition.

How did you feel doing the lead character in a mainstream Malayalam movie?

'Oru Pazhaya Bomb Kadha' is directed by filmmaker Shafi. He has done several evergreen comedy movies with superstars. This was the first time he cast a fresher as his lead character. I am fortunate to get this opportunity. The movie has got an interesting script and an entertaining screen play. I request everyone to watch my first movie as a hero in the theatres. Playing a lead character in a Malayalam movie has been a childhood dream. This movie is the realisation of my childhood ambition.

What was your main concern when you started performing the character of Sreekkuttan?

My greatest fear was the director himself. The only big-budget movie director I have worked with is Nadirsha. Shafi is a giant in the industry. Kalabhavan Shajohn advised me to perform less before camera because mimicry artists usually tend to emote extra. But Shafi sir provided a comfortable space for each actor on his sets. You can notice that every actor has delivered their best comic character in Shafi sir's movies – be it Salim Kumar in 'Kalyanaraman', Suraj Venjarammood in 'Chattampinadu' or Harisree Ashokan in 'Pulivalkalyanam'. He makes an actor perform his best and then extracts what he wants from them.

About your struggles as a disabled artist

Every setback you face as a child leaves deep scars on your heart. Even if a shopkeeper refuses to lend you a toffee, you will think it is because of your adversities. I have faced several instances of harassment and mockery as I struggled to stand on my feet. Solitude and harassment are part of a disabled layman's life. But all through my journey, I was determined that I will spread positive vibes among those who laugh behind me. I was sure that I would one day prove my talent in front of everyone.

As a child, I used to maintain a movie-bulletin board on a tamarind tree in front of my house. I pasted the posters of new movies, stills of actors from their new releases and newspaper cuttings on it. I borrowed old newspapers for the same from a neighbour. He called me a couple of days ago to inform that my photo has appeared in the local edition of a newspaper. "I used to save the movie-posters with the pictures of lead actors for you. Now that you yourself have appeared in such a poster as a lead actor, what else makes me proud than being able to save it for your next visit?," He told me. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I was overwhelmed. I don't remember the face of a single person who hurt me, but I keep close to my heart every individual who gave me a reason to smile.

A word for youngsters...

Often many disabled feel inferior to others as they suffer a lot of pain, rejection and mockery. Not everyone will be able to take it positively as I did. When I feel depressed about our society's attitude, I think of more successful people who overcame their disabilities with sheer perseverance and talent. I think of actor Guinness Pakru who made the best out of his adversities. The harassment I had faced wouldn't be as much he would have faced in his life. There is another side of myself who pulls me back from venturing out to newer realms. That other self keeps reminding me of my physical limitations and holds me firm to the ground. I have to fight myself before I face the society. Everyday is a struggle for a differently abled person.

Which was the most challenging scene in this movie ?

Obviously the dance sequences. Though they were designed to suit my physical condition, I felt disheartened when I became unable to perform some moves. I sobbed on the sets and took a break between shoot schedules. But Shafi gave me enough time to contemplate, get mentally prepared and perform the sequences in my own manner. I told you, every public performance is a struggle for me.

About your association with Prayaga Martin...

This dance feat by Bibin in 'Oru Pazhaya Bomb Kadha' is a stunner
The video song features Bibin George and Prayaga Martin in the lead.

Oh, I sincerely wish I had any chemistry with her! (laughs) We share a brother-sister relationship. I found it very hard to emote romance and love sequences with her. Many a time, I laughed aloud and went for a retake. I was comfortable acting opposite to her. I didn't feel nervous or tensed because Prayaga knows me and wouldn't take anything negatively.

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