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How these Bollywood, TV celebs became overnight stars

Family members of Kapil Sharma, Bharti Singh and Nawazuddin Siddiqui recollect their journey to fame

They came from nowhere and became overnight celebrities. Though they were always on the horizon, the spotlight always eluded them and it took them all only one defining moment to make everyone sit up and take notice.

It is not only the general public, but Bollywood stars too, who are their ‘fans’ now. Every B-Town star now wants to be on comedian Kapil Sharma’s show Comedy Nights With Kapil. After being part of Comedy Nights, Bharti Singh is now the nation’s laughter bomb.

Kapil Sharma, his sister Pooja Pawan Devgan, her son Parikshit and mother Janak Rani with Shah Rukh Khan on the sets of Comedy Nights With Kapil
From left: Kapil Sharma, his sister Pooja Pawan Devgan, her son Parikshit and mother Janak Rani with Shah Rukh Khan on the sets of Comedy Nights With Kapil

Post Gangs of Wasseypur (2011) and Kahaani (2011), Nawazuddin Siddiqui became a sought-after actor even though he had been around for over a decade doing small roles in films such as Sarfarosh (1999). hitlist speaks to their family members who have seen their struggle to success...

'We thought he would be a singer'

Pooja Pawan Devgan on her brother Kapil Sharma
I feel happy when people ask me whether I am Kapil bhai’s twin sister. I am two years younger to him, but we look similar. My father suffered from cancer for 10 years and things were not good for us.

There was no one to guide Kapil bhai but he has always been a go-getter. Even during summer vacations after exams, Kapil bhai used to work, He walways wanted to earn his bread. He used to do theatre and also taught in a college in Jalandhar for sometime. He was fond of singing and we always thought he would become a singer. He still loves singing.

Kapil Sharma with his nephew Parikshit
Kapil Sharma with his nephew Parikshit

My elder brother couldn’t study much because of my father’s illness, but he always encouraged Kapil bhai to go to school. When he won The Laughter Challenge, we were happy and today he has become a star and that has made us famous too.

I am proud and happy, God has been kind. I am married with two kids but he still calls and talks like we did earlier and takes care of me. He is kind-hearted and helps everyone. I’m glad stardom has not got to him. For us, it’s a big thing when we see the audience showering him with so much love and affection.

'He is quiet in real life'
Kapil Sharma’s close friend Preeti Simoes (She is the creative director of his show Comedy Nights with Kapil) I met him five years back and one thing I have noticed is that Kapil has not changed a bit. He is still the same person he was he still stays where he did five years ago. Only recently he got himself a new car.

Preeti Simoes with Amitabh Bachchan on the sets of Comedy Nights With Kapil
Preeti Simoes with Amitabh Bachchan on the sets of Comedy Nights With Kapil

He works hard, and is an introvert. He hangs out with the same friends he did when he first came to Mumbai. Kapil loves singing. He sings the lesser known, old songs, which people may not have even heard.

His dad’s illness was something that pushed him to come here and struggle. Kapil is the exact opposite of what he appears to be on stage. He is quiet and is like a child at heart, humble and grounded.

'She would always make us laugh'

Pinky Singh on her sister Bharti Singh
I shifted to Mumbai because of Bharti. She was a good shooter and we always thought she would do well in sports. Never did we think that she would become a comedian. She always used to make us laugh and without her, the house would be so quiet.

My daughter is six years old and she says she wants to become like Bhai that’s what she calls Bharti. We are from Amritsar. My brother still stays with his family in Amritsar.

Bharti used to be a part of the Natshala and always stood first in academics and sports. I tell her that now she should get married, but she tells me that she will find a bhaari bharkam guy like her but not now.

'I am blessed to have her as a daughter'

Kamla Singh on her daughter Bharti Singh
I came to Mumbai with Bharti after she got selected for The Laughter Challenge. Bharti is my life and I am proud to have a daughter like her. She has made me so proud. Everywhere we go, people ask, “Are you are Bharti’s mother?” and I feel very happy.

Bharti Singh and (left) her sister Pinky
Bharti Singh and (left) her sister Pinky

I wish God blesses everyone with daughters like her. She was not ready to come to Mumbai alone so I came with her. I used to scold her at times because even as a kid she used to laugh a lot. This quality has become her forte and made her famous today.

'I used to spend sleepless nights thinking about Nawaz'

Mehroonisa Siddiqui on her son Nawazuddin Siddiqui

I am proud of my son’s journey from our native place Budhana in Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai. After his Intermediate studies, Nawaz went to study in Haridwar, as we did not have higher educational facilities in our village. No one from our family expected him to become an actor.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui with his mother Mehroonisa
Nawazuddin Siddiqui with his mother Mehroonisa

When he was young, I thought we will make him a doctor, but then my husband and I noticed he was more inclined towards cinema and acting. My husband is a film buff and we never stopped him from pursuing his dreams. As a mother, I used to get worried thinking about the struggle he was going through, but I was confident that he would make it big.

He passed from the National School of Drama and it is his passion and hard work that has got him here. Having lived in a village all my life, I don’t understand much of his work. But I know he has the talent and ability to rise and shine.

Initially when I used to go to Dehradun where my other kids were studying every time I would come across a film poster or cross a theatre I would think that one day my son’s poster will also be up here. I used to spend sleepless nights thinking about Nawaz.

For me, he is still a baby and I am very proud that he is still humble and grounded. I am thankful to Allah for giving me a son like him. Not only me, our entire family is very proud of him. His behaviour and attitude towards us has not changed.

I have seen some old films and now I only watch his films. Once, I remember when I went to watch his film where he was beaten, I actually shouted in the cinema hall because he was being beaten up. I knew it was acting but that reaction was very instant. Nawaz is the eldest of seven siblings and he has been a mentor and friend to all of them.

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