#WhereAreThey Series: I left showbiz due to my back injury, reveals Prem Qaidi actor Harish Kumar

There was a time when actor Harish Kumar was a popular name in Bollywood, having featured in films such as Prem Qaidi (1991), Coolie No. 1 (1995), Hero No. 1 (1997) and Aunty No. 1 (1998). But, the actor has been away from the limelight for quite a while now, and the reason for this, he says, is a back injury that rendered him bedridden.

“I am very much in India, sometimes in Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai. But why I left showbiz is a very personal reason, which I don’t like to talk about much,” Kumar continues, “I suffered a major back injury which left me bedridden which also became my reason to leave showbiz.”

The 46-year-old goes on to say, “It was a major slip disc, with issues in my L3 and L5. The situation was so bad that I couldn’t even go to the washroom. I was very careless when I was young, and didn’t even realise when I got this injury, pata hi nahi laga mujhe. But I didn’t want to go for any operation. Kabhi Kabhi ho jata hai life mein, aisa samaya aa jata hai.”

And Kumar doesn’t blame anyone for the downfall of his career. “Pehle pehle doctor ne do saal ke liye kaam karne ko mana kar diya, uske baad pata hi nahin chala ke kahan kho gaya main,” he confesses, but is quick to say he doesn’t think about his past with any sour feeling, for he has accepted his fate.

“I am very happy and content with the journey I have had. I started when I was a kid, and became male lead in my teens, jaisa hota ho woh thik hi hota hai… Shayad mein bahut jaldi bhaag raha tha, isiliye life slow ho gayi,” he opines.

Kumar entered the industry as a child actor, and went on to work in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam films, sharing screen space with big names including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Chiranjeevi, Govinda, Mithun Chakraborty, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Dharmendra and Jeetendra. He is also known to be Karisma Kapoor’s first hero, in Prem Qaidi.

“I have done over 300 films in my career, but I don’t know why people remember me for Prem Qaidi. However, I am really humbled that I still get so much love and people still remember me, even when I have not acted for a long time,” mentions Kumar, who was last seen in Aa Gaya Hero in 2017.

During his time away from films, he kept himself busy by working on scripts, screenplay and dialogues of his projects, which he would like to turn into reality soon.

“I also did yoga, and I am glad my family was with me during the tough time,” admits the actor.

Kumar still gets several television offers, and was even approached once to enter the Bigg Boss house. He explains, “Coming back is important, but I want to direct, and have worked on a very big script and want to make my own film soon.”

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