A lot of us get awed by celebrities, but we often forget that not everyone is born with a silver spoon. Most of them started small. Failures, rejections and disappointments are what made them what they are. Today, they stand tall as celebrities, but here’s how they fared in their younger years:
1. Amitabh Bachchan was working as a freight broker.
2. Dhirubhai Ambani was working as a clerk in Yemen when he was 16.
3. Akshay Kumar started learning martial arts in Class 7.
It was not always a bed of roses for Delhi lad Akshay Kumar who struggled his way to Bollywood. When he was young, he would spend more time playing than studying. Martial arts always interested him and he first joined karate when he was in Class 7. After joining Khalsa College, Delhi, he soon quit studies to learn martial arts in Bangkok. There, he trained in Thai boxing and Tai Chi, along with being a cook and waiter, before coming back to India and giving modelling a try.
4. Sachin Tendulkar was a ball boy for the 1987 World Cup.
5. Sushmita Sen was giving modelling a try when she became Miss India at the age of 18.
6. Ruskin Bond was writing his first short story when he was 16.
7. Sania Mirza was learning the nuances of the game when she was just 6.
This powerhouse of talent started playing tennis very early when she was all of 6. She entered the national arena when she was 17. She had won several titles as a junior player (10 singles and 13 doubles) and was ready to take on international tennis. Her first international title was the 2003 Girls’ Doubles Wimbledon Championship. Today, she stands tall as the World No. 1 in women’s doubles.
8. Mary Kom was helping her father in their field.
9. Narendra Modi was frequenting RSS lessons when he was 8!
Most of us now know that as a kid, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was helping his father serve tea at the Vadnagar railway station in Gujarat. When he was just 8 years old, he got involved with the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
10. Dhyan Chand was serving in the Indian Army at 16.
The wizard of hockey joined the army when he was 16. He got the surname from his colleagues in the army as he used to spend most of his nights practicing the game after duty. Waiting for the moon or chand as there were no floodlights back then, he got synonymous with the coming out of the moon! After playing army hockey tournaments, he was eventually selected for the national team because of his stellar performance.
11. Lata Mangeshkar was taking care of her family after her father passed away when she was 13.
Lata Mangeshkar lost her father when she had just entered teenage. Being the eldest daughter, she had to start working at the age of 13 to fend for the family. Her singing career also began early for the same reason. Her father’s friend gave her a singing and acting break in 1942 and she soon began taking Hindustani classical music classes after moving to Mumbai. Her voice cast a magical spell in the industry which continues till date.
12. Baba Ramdev was learning yoga and Sanskrit at a monastery after he ran away from home.
Baba Ramdev was born as Ramkrishna Yadav and studied till Class 8 before joining a yogic monastery in Khanpur village, UP. Here, he learned the nuisances of yoga and learnt the Sanskrit language. He went on to get a postgraduate degree with a specialisation in Sanskrit grammar, Hindu philosophy, Yoga, Vedas and Upanishads. It was after this that he took sanyas and became ‘Baba Ramdev.’
13. Bipasha Basu had started modelling at 15.
14. Saina Nehwal was traveling 50 kms everyday for her badminton training sessions.
Little Saina traveled almost 50 kms every day for her badminton training when she was 8. She would follow a a very tough training schedule as a kid. She became the National Junior Champion in 2004, and won the title again in 2005. A young Saina also skipped her exams twice because of international tournaments.