In 1987, Bollywood was churning up movies like Mr India, Jalwa and Hukumat. For a nation obsessed with the razzle dazzle of the movie screens, those were enough to ruminate and talked about.
But a young Punjabi man had other things to do. Like his peers he was not mesmerized by the glamour and the fame of Bollywood. The 20 year old man, called Hari Om Bhaita or Rajiv was trying his luck in another profession in another country.
Rajiv had a forte in martial arts, but he wanted to become a chef as well. In a weird turn of events, he landed in the kitchen of Purbani hotel, located in Motijheel. He chopped vegetables and ran errands for the catering department.
As a young man he did not have many friends among the hotel staff, but Nironjon Chakroborty was one of the few he communicated with.
When The Business Standard reached out to Nironjon, he shared snippets about his encounter with Rajiv.
"Rajiv joined our hotel through the connection of his relatives. He was a novice at that time who did not have prior knowledge about his work and so he was given easy tasks in the kitchen."
Later, that timid and humble youngster would become one of the most successful actors of his generation. Akshay Kumar. Yes, the Bollywood megastar had a brief stint in Dhaka.
The 'Padma Sri' winning actor worked in the kitchens of the Purbani Hotel. However, the hotel authority does not have any official document regarding his spell in the hotel.
Mohammad Mahmud Hossain, Hotel and Sales Marketing manager of the Purbani Hotel said, 'When he came to the hotel his name was Rajiv Hari. Little did we know he would become a famous actor. We treated him just like we would treat our regular employees."
'It would have been great if we could find more information about him. It would certainly boost our branding," Hossain added.
Akhsay himself several times have talked about his career as a chef. In various interviews he mentioned about his career in Dhaka. But he never disclosed where he worked.
His career in Purbani lasted for six months. Upon leaving Dhaka, he touched down in Delhi before settling in Mumbai.
After appearing in some unsuccessful films, Akshay finally got his big break in 1992 with "Khiladi", an action-thriller film. Ever since Akshay's success metric shows no sign of slowing down.