Meet the pianist who taught Ayushmann to play the piano for ‘AndhaDhun’

Mumbai: Ayushmann Khurrana aces playing the guitar, and now in his upcoming film AndhaDhun the actor will be seen playing a new instrument — the piano. Ayushmann who made people swoon to the tunes of Paani Da Rang has taken to exploring music through piano.

In the Sriram Raghavan directorial, Ayushmann plays a blind pianist. It is the instrument that he was never fond of, and had to learn only to perfect his character. What adds up to his challenge is the fact that he has to play the keyboard sightless as his role is of that of a blind.

Akshay Varma with Ayushmann Khurana

Pianist Akshay Varma guided him throughout his journey. Talking about his experience working with Ayushmann, Akshay says, “The good thing about working with Ayushmann was that he is a musician himself and has passion for music. He took a lot of interest not only to perfect his role but he was also keen to learn the instrument overall. I trained him for one and a half years.”

Akshay Varma with Ayushmann Khurana and Radhika Apte

He further adds, “I had never trained an actor before so I thought he would be fussy. However, during our first meeting he asked me if I had a piano and that he would come to my place to play the instrument. During the course, he just fell in love with the sound of piano. He is a quick learner and we did jamming sessions together.”

While Akshay taught Ayushmann the piano, in order to learn the blind aspects of his character, the Vicky Donor actor met Rahul, a blind pianist. “Ayushmann was very observant when he met Rahul. When Rahul came, he observed how he opened the cover of the keyboard, how he figured how to sit and how far the piano is from his seat, what’s the center of the piano and its length on either sides, etc as a sightless person,” says the pianist.

Akshay Varma with Sriram Raghavan

Akshay is a music composer himself, who studied music in Chicago and worked in Los Angeles in the US. While he started off as a tutor for AndhaDhun, Akshay says that Ayushmann is now more of a friend and together they are also discussing work. “We have thought of collaborating with each other, something should happen very soon,” he signs off.

AndhaDhun which also stars Radhika Apte, Tabu and Anil Dhawan is set to release on October 5.

(Story by Onkar Kulkarni)