Actor Dulquer Salmaan revisited some of his most amazing memories from his childhood in a special online chat organized by Malayala Manorama and Manorama Online in association with Hero Xtreme 160R. Dulquer spoke to his young fans about his school days and also about his hobbies and dreams.
Dulquer who loves tasty burgers practiced cooking the perfect burgers at home as he missed them during the lockdown period. He watched Youtube videos and learned how to make delicious burgers. “Everyone tasted my burgers and loved them. Now, they call me burger chef. In fact, Prithviraj and Supriya even brought me a cake in the shape of burger, for my birthday this year. My daughter Mariyam loves blowing the candles and cutting cakes, no matter whose birthday it is. So, Mariyam was waiting for my birthday. She wore a beauty and the beast themed dress and gifted me a card in the morning itself. She had made the card herself with her crafts and glitter,” says Dulquer.
The actor confessed he was a very naughty kid. He was often sent to the principal’s office by his teachers. “I was very noisy and loud. I was made the monitor and I ended being louder than the rest of the class. Instead of asking everyone to be silent, I would be talking loudly. Hearing me talk, the teachers from the neighboring classrooms would come and sent me to the principal’s office,” notes Dulquer.
Dulquer recalls that his school had three strict rules that the students were supposed to follow. The shoes should be always clean, the students should be on time to attend the assembly and they should carry a hymn book to the assembly. The students who broke these rules were made to run two rounds in the ground as punishment. Dulquer says he had run on almost all the days as he would break any one of these rules.
Eyes on him
Dulquer was one of the naughtiest kids in his class. His teachers from the previous class would specially introduce him as a naughty child whenever he passed to a new grade. “On the first day, I would go and sit in the last bench. But, later the teacher would make me and my fellow bench mates to sit in the front bench. I and my principal were really close as I was often sent to his office,” laughs Dulquer.
“He would ask me what I have done this time as soon as he sees me. We would talk for 20 minutes and then he would ask me to return to my class. He told me to tell my teachers that I was punished at the principal’s office. Though I was naughty I didn’t do anything that could hurt anyone. My teachers were actually fond of me. The only thing was that I couldn’t concentrate on something for longer durations. I would get restless soon,” recalls Dulquer.
Dulquer loved reading books and had befriended the librarian in his school. The actor recalls the librarian as a very sweet person. He enjoyed having conversations with her before checking out a book from the library. It was she who handed him a book from the Harry Potter series to read for the first time. Dulquer says he still misses his school, the library and the noisy classrooms.
As a kid, Dulquer had spent quite a few days at his mother’s ancestral home in Mattancherry. He has very fond memories about the place. His maternal grandfather used to take him everywhere on his scooter and bought him sweets and ice cream. “As my father was busy with filming, it was my mother who used to teach us at home. He never asked us to get good grades or come first in class. However, he would always remind us how he is the best in his job. He would tell us about the various awards that he had won. He gave us the freedom to do whatever we want in life. Then I would feel bad that I am not even first in my class. In my school, the students were trained for the board exam from class eight onwards. The syllabus was tough and the exams were difficult. I too had failed in many subjects. I would come home and tell my mother that not just I but lots of students in my class had failed. She would then make me study hard. I loved to play with toy cars until I was in class eight or nine. She said she would not buy me toy cars if I fail in exams. That would actually make me feel guilty of not scoring good marks. I had failed for four subjects when I was in class eight. I would always remember my mother’s words whenever I failed. I didn’t like to disappoint my mother anymore. So, I never failed in any subject after that,” says Dulquer.
Dulquer admits he is greatly inspired by his father. “Be it fashion, photography, travel, politics, technology or cinema, my father has knowledge in everything. I have been seeing this since childhood and he became my hero. I adored him off screen as well, as I had a privilege that anyone else didn’t have. As a kid, I liked dressing like adults. When my mother bought me dresses with cartoon characters on them, I told her I wanted jeans and shirt. I always wanted to dress like my father and I would notice even the minutest details in his style,” says the actor.
“I began accompanying my father for shopping when I was in college. That is how I got experienced in selecting outfits. As I was already experienced in things like these, it was easier for me to manage in the beginning of my career. I felt more comfortable as well. I often buy clothes and accessories for my father whenever I travel,” reveals Dulquer.
Dulquer says he had been too busy with films for the last 9 – 10 years. He admits he isn’t working now as much as he used to work. “Now, I am lazy even to hear a script. I would immediately think about when would the filming begin and end. So, I am fighting such negativities and am stressed too. But the positive thing is that I spend more time with my family, especially with Amal and Mariyam. I haven’t been at home for such longer durations after my marriage. My daughter is getting to know me closely. Now, she would ask for me whenever she wants to listen to stories, play or even take a bath. It actually is a blessing. Had I stuck on to my old schedule, it would have taken me years to develop a real bond with her. Now, I feel I have more roles as a father in her life,” smiles Dulquer.