Nawazuddin Siddiqui was back to his alma mater, the National School of Drama (NSD) for the Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the college's annual theatre festival, on Sunday.
Addressing the current batch, he refused to deliver a lecture saying that he would be unable to speak about himself, and instead preferred to respond to the questions put to him.
While audience asked the actor for serious professional advice, there were also some candid questions resulting in guffaws from the stage and the lawn alike.
In response to a question whether his sense of romance is like to how it was shown in the movie "...Wasseypur", Siddqui shared a similar incident from his college days.
"When I was in second year I asked a junior to go to a garden with me. We were sitting and then I put my hand on her hand to which she sternly asked me 'what was I doing'. I simply said 'touching your hand' and she said 'this is illegal'. I forgot everything after that and started imagining myself in jail."
He said that National School of Drama (NSD) gave him everything that people in Bollywood don't have.
"The confidence that helped me to keep fighting came from the fact that NSD gives you what Bollywood people don't have,” he said.
"When I left NSD I was full of confidence that I will show the world, but then I realised it was not that easy. However, after failing for a couple of times instead of taking the blame on myself I would ask myself 'who are these people that are taking my audition, are they even capable of understanding my acting?'," he added.
After leaving the drama school in 1996, the 42-year-old actor first appeared on the screen with a one scene role in movie "Sarfarosh" in 1999.
For the next ten years he got similar roles till Anurag Kashyap's "Gangs of Wasseypur" paved a stronger path for him.
The actor said that Kashyap's films keep his connection with theatre alive.
"Anurag Kashyap's style of work is similar to how we do it here at NSD. It is majorly based on improvisation. He gives you a situation and at times we don't even have dialogues. As an actor I get to try what I learned here by working in Anurag Kashyap's films," Siddiqui said.
Talking about his days of struggle the actor said that "despite the struggle they should always stay positive". He also advised the students to "read books and watch world cinema".
"I could have never left the field, because it was the only thing that I was good at. Not getting a job frustrated me since I was a trained actor and was proud of my NSD past.
"But you should always stay positive, I gave myself 25 years that I will keep myself fit for 25 years, physically and mentally," he said.