On the occasion of Friendship Day, the actor takes time to thank his childhood friend, music composer Rochak Kohli. Ayushmann says, “I have known Rochak since eighth grade. We went to the same school, St John’s Boys School in Chandigarh. We became friends as soon as we discovered that both of us are crazily passionate about music. We shared the common talent of composing and writing songs, which was rare for students in the eighth grade.”
Talking about the bond they share, Rochak told Bombay Times, “I feel our friendship is like water. It’s essential, and it takes any mould. We have been friends for a long period of time, and like water, our friendship is pure. I guess paani is our favourite word, too, because Paani Da Rang was our first song together (laughs!).”
Rochak has fond memories of the time when they were new to Mumbai, where they came to pursue their dreams. He recollects, “It was a big deal for boys who have been born and brought up in a comfort zone in Chandigarh. It was a whole new window to the world, which we explored together.”
Rochak says, “In Mumbai, we used to travel in local trains, and at times, we had no money. In fact, we went to Goa without money and did odd jobs there to buy food. Looking back, I now cherish these memories, and I think that’s what brought us so close. We have been together through thick and thin. We married the girls we were dating since college, so the four of us are like a family now.”
Ayushmann shares some memories, and talks about an old picture clicked during their college days. The duo, along with a bunch of boys, flaunted their shaved heads for a college play. “I think we were getting ready for one of our performances in college (DAV College, Chandigarh). In this picture, we also have other friends — Kumar Saurav, Jaiveer Singh and Mayank Choudhary. We started this theatre group in college called Aaghaaz, and this play was called Kumaraswami, in which I was the lead character. All the boys went bald for it. Rochak and I have done a lot of plays together. In the first year, we were together in the Greek play Spartacus. In the second year, it was Kumaraswami, which is when the picture was clicked, and in the third year, we were part of Andha Yug, and my character’s name in it was Ashwathama.”
Ayushmann says that even today, he is in touch with his school friends. “In fact, Rochak and I have been in touch with our school and college friends, too. We are in touch with 40 other boys, who were part of our section in school. I think that’s what makes it easy for us to deal with the adversities,” he says.
Currently, Ayushmann and Rochak are in Chandigarh with their respective families. The actor is taking this opportunity to connect with his buddies. He signs off, saying, “We are keeping our meetings very minimal because of social distancing. At times, I just meet my buddies like Rochak or Nishchay or my theatre group friends like Gautam Sharma, Gurpreet Saini, Aviral Gupta and Charandeep Kalra.”