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Anjum Batra: ‘Tikki’s daughter said, you look just like dad’

Updated on: 15 April,2024 07:09 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

Anjum Batra, who plays Tikki in Amar Singh Chamkila, says musician’s family praised his act and invited him to their Ludhiana home

Anjum Batra: ‘Tikki’s daughter said, you look just like dad’

Kesar Singh Tikki (centre) with Amar Singh Chamkila and Amarjot Kaur

If you’re a cinephile, it’s almost impossible to have gone through the weekend without watching or at least hearing of Amar Singh Chamkila. Led by Diljit Dosanjh, Imtiaz Ali’s film acquaints the masses with Chamkila, who, in his short but sparkling career, took Punjab by storm with his songs. The biopic is winning great reviews, but for Anjum Batra—who has stepped into the shoes of Kesar Singh Tikki, Chamkila’s musician and closest friend—the best review has come from Tikki’s daughter. “Tikki passed away in January 2024. I regret that I never got to meet him through the film’s making. But his daughter texted me three days ago after watching the film, saying, ‘You look just like my dad.’ The family has invited me to their home in Ludhiana; I’ll meet them soon. They also sent me old pictures of Tikki sir and Chamkila ji,” says Batra.


Chamkila and his singer-wife Amarjot were gunned down in March 1988. The film ends with how Tikki believed his curse killed the musician. That line hit home with Batra. “Before the film started, I worked on superficial things like weight gain and matching the look. Imtiaz sir had interacted with Tikki ji. So, he knew exactly how the part had to be played. He is the kind of director who fills you with so much material that you know the man [you have to play], and the performance just comes out when the camera rolls.” Working with Dosanjh, whom he calls “mazedaar”, was another highlight.

This is Batra’s second success in 2024 after Maamla Legal Hai. For the actor, who featured in 83 (2021) and Crime Patrol, the success tastes sweeter after his long journey. “Actors are hungry for love and validation. It has taken me nearly 15 years to come to this point where I am getting recognition.”

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