He sang for us, he mouthed dialogues for us, he made impromptu jokes and he patiently posed for group photos, individual photos and replied to all questions thrown at him. Truly Sunil Pal’s visit to NAGPUR TODAY was full ‘Paisa Wasool’ just as we hope his film will be MONEY BACK GUARANTEE as it is called.
Nagpur Today: A cap over tousled, untidy hair, of medium height and wheatish dark complexion, Sunil looks like any man on the street till he begins talking and cracking jokes which flow naturally, not contrived or laboured at all.
The way all the 20 odd youngsters AND NT older colleagues gathered around him and wanted to listen to him and be photographed with him, one really felt one was in the presence of a STAR. Albeit one without airs or ego. When he is with you, Sunil is very much a Vidarbhite who has gone out of his way to give breaks to new comers from this area in his productions.
MONEY BACK GUARANTEE is releasing all over the country on 21st and Sunil Pal was in his beloved home town for pre release publicity. He has written the story for this film, scripted it, directed it and is also doing the lead male role. We shall see Debalina Chatterjee well known Bengali actor and model debuting in a Hindi film with the leading female role. (We have seen her in the famous Surf ad where she walks into a five star hotel with her mother and when some waiters make deprecating remarks about her, removes her old shawl to display a dazzling white kameez which shuts everyone’s mouth up.)
The songs of Money Back Guarantee, specially the ‘Facebook’ one – which he sang for us – is already a hit on U tube.
Another Chai wallah!
When he realized that it was not a Government job(As planned by his parents) but the Show Business he wanted to join a young Sunil left for Mumbai in 1995 where for TEN STRAIGHT YEARS he worked as a helper in a Tea Stall in Santa Cruz West.
“I used to sleep on the footpath in front and use the telephone of a nearby shop to call film Producers and my other contacts in the industry for work. Some time people like Jimmy Moses, Johny Lever’s brother came to the tea stall to have tea and I struck up a friendship with him. This family has been very helpful and have encouraged me to the hilt” said Sunil Pal.
In 2000, Sunil got a chance to do a world tour with Aamir Khan (for Lagaan) as a junior artist. He was also involved in other tours of famous actors like Priety Zinta, Aishwarya Rai.
In 2005 fortune finally smiled on him when he competed in and won the Great Indian Laughter Challenge held on Star TV. Soon after the show he got bit roles in as many as seven Hindi films, the first being Bombay to Goa. He played a small role in Phir Hera Pheri too and then accompanied Sonu Nigam on a concert abroad.
He first took the plunge into film production with ‘Bhavnao ko Samajho ‘ which was in the Guiness Book of World records for having 51 Stand up comedians. The movie was made with a shoe string budget of Rs. 3 crores and managed to break even.
Sunil Pal also found his better half after the show and it is his wife Sarita Pal who is producing his latest movie for him.
“What kind of comedy do your films contain?” Nagpur Today asked Sunil. “Slap stick or situational?”
“The story is the most important component of my film and I have written it myself. The comedy is situational and there is no vulgarity in it. The whole family can view it sitting together.”
There was this one question we HAD to ask – blame it on Raj Kapoor and his immortal ‘Mera Naam Joker’ which showed Raj Kapoor as a joker with a broken heart in his hand.
Are all comedians hiding some deep sorrow behind their smiling faces?
Sunil smiled at that and said “sadness is a part of everyone’s private life. Who doesn’t have some secret sorrow?”
“But yes, comedians are definitely more emotional” he agreed.
All the stories of his films are based on his real life experiences.
“I was born in Chandrapur. Then my father was transferred to Ballarpur. My nani was from Hinganghat. Later I went to school in Nagpur too. I carried a bit of all these places with me to Mumbai and they come out in my story.
‘Halaat’ was my biggest Guru and my best friend” Sunil Pal says philosophically.
Sunil was accomapanied to Nagpur Today office by Aashish Motwani, Group Head, Events at Gaekwad Patil Group of Industries. This group is releasing the film in Nagpur and will be participating with Sunil Pal in his future ventures too.