'Yeh Saali Aashiqui' actor Kamal Rexwal talks about his struggle as a cabbie on Delhi roads in COVID-19 times

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

By Murtaza Ali Khan

'Yeh Saali Aashiqui' actor Kamal Rexwal driving a cab in New Delhi

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world forever. While the situation is having a toll on each and every individual, those who are financially weak are naturally finding it the hardest to survive. Young and upcoming actors as well as strugglers are amongst the worst hit individuals. In the absence of any work opportunities in the film and television industry they are forced to look for odd jobs to support themselves. Many of them are compelled to give up on their dreams and return to their hometowns. One such name is Kamal Rexwal who is forced to drive a cab in the capital in order to make a living in times of Covid-19.

An alumnus of the Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts, New Delhi, Rexwal dreamt of becoming the actor at a very young age. “Acting is all I know and this is what I want to do in my life. Right from a very young age I started doing acting workshops and so I got associated with NSD as a child student itself as part of Theatre In Education Company of National School of Drama. Then till 2009, I extensively did theatre but then owing to a financial crisis I had to take a break. But I was determined and so my acting journey got restarted in 2012. That’s when I got associated with major theatre groups in the capital. Then finally I decided to go to Mumbai to try my luck,” reveals Rexwal.

Kamal Rexwal performing in a play
While struggling in Mumbai, Rexwal did a few ads and short films. He finally got a chance to act in Himanshu Yadav’s 2019 action thriller Falsafa wherein he plays a small time goon. He subsequently starred in Cherag Ruparel’s Yeh Saali Aashiqui wherein he shared a few memorable scenes with the film’s lead Vardhan Puri—the legendary Indian actor Amrish Puri’s grandson. Rexwal was scheduled to act in a couple of upcoming films including Sharmaji Namkeen—the late Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor’s last film. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

Rexwal is fighting hard with the growing uncertainty but he is still hopeful. “I have no idea how the things would be back in Mumbai once the things get return to normal. Perhaps, I will have to start the struggle from scratch. But right now it is all about surviving,” tells Rexwal.

Kamal Rexwal performing in a play alongside actor Jatin Sarna aka Bunty of ‘Sacred Games’ fame
While the young actor is trying his best to keep himself motivated he isn’t able to make much money driving the cab. “There is hardly any work available. Sometimes, I have to wait for a customer for hours. So, it can be a little frustrating. But every day I hope to make a bare minimum amount so that I can at least pay for the fuel and my day-to-day expenses. But on some days even that is not possible,” laments Rexwal. There isn’t any help available for struggling actors like Rexwal. In the absence of any assistance, it is really a matter of surviving one day at a time.  

A version of this article was first published in Transcontinental Times.

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