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Belwa's star son Bajpayee relives old days.

HOME is where the heart is.

Acclaimed Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpayee is on a nostalgia trip to his ancestral village in Bihar these days, reconnecting with childhood friends, savouring local cuisine and reliving his formative years.

Bajpayee, who has taken a break of 10 days from his hectic shooting schedules to visit his native place Belwa in West Champaran district, visited his school unannounced without the trappings of a film star to leave its students thrilled.

" I may be addressing you from this stage now, but I can see myself in the last row," he said at the students' morning assembly of KR High School on Thursday.

Bajpayee, who shot to fame with Ram Gopal Verma's 1998 hit Satya in which he played gangster Bhiku Mhatre, dwelt at length on the importance of education in all fields of art.

" Education is necessary in all walks of life, even in the field of art," he said, adding: " Even if you want to perform on stage you need to properly educate yourself." Bajpayee, who was accorded a warm welcome by the principal and faculty members at the school, also shared tips for success in life with students.

" If you have the determination you are bound to succeed in life," he said.

But the students wanted something more from the most famous alumnus of their institution. They wanted to hear some of his trademark dialogues. Bajpayee obliged them by reciting a few popular dialogues from his film Rajneeti in which he had played a wily politician.

The National award-winning actor also talked about many of his old, childhood friends before visiting the school hostel, its study room and playground to rekindle the memories of the place from where he had passed class X more than three decades ago.

Giving him company was his close friend, Dr Gyandeo Mani Tripathy, a Bihar-based educationist, who was his classmate during his school days.

Bajpayee, who has earned fame for his performances in films such as Zubeida, Pinjar, Shool, Gangs of Wasseypur, Rajneeti and rakshan , said he had come to his village for the first time in seven years. " I have come here after a long time," he said.

" I would like to meet my old friends and acquaintances apart from my family members. I will spend some days here." Bajpayee's visit had created tremendous enthusiasm among the villagers who thronged his parents' house to inquire about his well-being.

" How are you, babua ?" an old man asked him. " Theek bni, Cha. (I am alright, uncle,)," replied the star in chaste Bhojpuri, his mother tongue.

After attaining stardom, Bajpayee had shot one of his earlier films, Shool co-starring Raveena Tandon, in Champaran in the late 1990s.

But he has always come minus the veneer of a Bollywood star whenever he visited his hometown to meet his parents.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jul 5, 2014
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