Actor Darasing Khurana recently joined NewsX for an exclusive chat as a part of its special series, NewsX India A-List. Khurana, who comes from a non-acting background, reflected upon his journey so far and said, “I come from a small town called Parbhani, which is situated in Maharashtra. It has no exposure in films or the film industry per se. However, I would always participate in the fashion shows, dramas that would happen since a young age. I knew at the back of my mind that I wanted to be an actor and a model but I never said it out loud because I thought people would make fun of me. I kept taking up opportunities, took many internships and worked in various sectors to understand where my calling was. I think the title of ‘Mr. Parbhani’ in 2006 sowed the seeds for my acting career. It was through that, I dreamt of becoming Mr. India someday.

When asked about his experience in participating in the pageant in 2017 and representing India thereafter in internationally, he said, “My dream of becoming an actor and a model completely took a backseat while I was studying. I studied B. Com with advertising and then went to King’s College, London, to study Entrepreneurship and Pace’s University, New York, to study Entrepreneurship thereafter. After getting back, I did my MBA from Narsee Monjee. While doing this, I kept working in nine different sectors to identify what I wanted to do. My eighth career option was to become a stylist.

“I styled Hrithik Roshan for 2016 Mr. India. Once he got back, I took back the clothes. He was going through a very rough patch at that time and talked very little. However he did looked at me and encouraged me to go for Mr. India. A couple of months later, while I was crossing Juhu circle in Mumbai, I saw a huge board that said, ‘Calling young boys for Mr. India audition.’ That took me back to what Hritik said and to what my childhood dream was. That’s when I started working on my physique and communication skills. I eventually became shortlisted among the Top 25″, he added.

Speaking about his debut in a Punjabi films, the actor-model said, “I grew up watching Gurpreet Ghuggi and Upasana Singh and I absolutely loved them. After I auditioned, I got to know that Smeep Kang is the director of the film. Usually, people start off with Bollywood but I thought that there are couple of things that need to be worked upon because I knew that if I go wrong then Bollywood won’t give me a second chance. I thought that my father, who was a big fan of Punjabi films and who never took me seriously, will be very happy working there. Plus if I go wrong, I will get a second chance and that won’t be the end of my career. Moreover, working with Smeep Kang was a very different experience altogether because unlike usual directors, he seems relaxed in the set and appreciates whatever you bring to the table, instead of treating them like mistakes.”