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Why Akshay Kumar is no stranger to Bengali language

In his upcoming film, Gold, the actor plays Tapan Das, a character who speaks Hindi with a Bengali accent.

Mayur Lookhar

Being a Punjabi born and brought up in Delhi, actor Akshay Kumar has impressed with the way he speaks Marathi. In Neeraj Pandey's Special 26 (2013), Akshay played a conman who is fluent in many languages. In one of the scenes, he speaks Bengali too.

The actor is now playing the Bengali character Tapan Das in Reema Kagti's upcoming film Gold.

The film tells the story of Independent India's first gold medal in men's field-hockey at the 1948 Olympics in London. The character of Tapan Das is inspired by AC Chatterjee, who was the manager of the hockey team then. The Hindi film will have Akshay's Tapan speak with a Bengali accent.  

Director Kagti had brought in a dialect expert to help Akshay, but the actor revealed that he is no stranger to the language.

"A long time ago, I had stayed for a couple of years in Kolkata, West Bengal," Akshay said at Gold's music launch. The actor, therefore, was already familiar with the Bengali language and the state's culture.

“I was slowly able to get hold of the Bengali accent. However, I wanted ensure that it doesn’t becom a caricature [in the film]. Thankfully, no one came back and said that,” the actor added.

Though inspired by Chatterjee, Tapan Das is a fictional character. Without naming the man, Akshay hailed the former manager as one of the unsung heroes of India.

“There are some people whose name doesn’t come to the fore. Gold is a story of one of our unsung heroes then. I too wasn’t aware of this, until Reema tod me about him. It is important for our youngsters to know the past,” Akshay noted.

When asked if his film will take away the focus from cricket, the actor replied, “I hope that’s the case. I hope hockey is given its due. I thank my producers who thought of making a sports film, on hockey, and not cricket."

Gold is set to be released on 15 August.