Several theories and reports about popular comedian and TV show host Kapil Sharma’s “illness” have been doing the rounds for months now. What started soon after the infamous Kapil Sharma-Sunil Grover on-flight spat back in March 2017 evolved into mud-slinging and blame-shifting, with reports suggesting that Kapil misbehaved with his fellow colleagues, how he would not turn up on the sets of his TV show, The Kapil Sharma Show (which has now temporarily gone off-air), and that he made Bollywood stars such as Vidya Balan, Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur, among others, wait for hours, as his show’s shooting was delayed, or sometimes even cancelled, like in the case of Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma (during Jab Harry Met Sejal promotions). Even as several of these accusations on Kapil were denied by the celebs, his co-stars and fellow film and TV industry friends and well-wishers, fans have been wondering what has gone wrong with the 36-year-old.
In a candid interview, Kapil explains at length, his health problems, and explains his stance about the events that have been unfolding.
Kapil, what has happened to you? Where are you?
Nothing serious. Main thoda phisal gaya tha. Abb sambhal gaya hoon (I had slipped, now I’ve regained composure).Health issues hain. I’ve checked into an ayurveda clinic for complete detoxification. They’re saying I have to stay here for 40 days. But I won’t be able to stay that long. I have a film coming up in November.
Kapil, the film can wait. Health hai toh sab kuch hai. What happened to you?
Nothing that some physical rest and natural healing can’t cure. This was bound to happen.I was not taking care of myself.I had begun to neglect my health because of overworking. I was travelling back and forth, shooting two back-to-back episodes of my show, then shooting for my film, Firangi. I was not eating or sleeping on time. My health was bound to suffer, and it did.
But shouldn’t the people close to you have warned you that you were overdoing it?
Perhaps I was not listening to people. Perhaps I was too busy looking into my professional commitments to stop and take a deep breath. Now that I am here I already feel rejuvenated.
Awful things were written about your health and your tantrums. It was said that stars were turned away because you refused to shoot with them?
Do you think I am so stupid as to turn away big stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn? They all knew what my problem was. They all saw how I was suffering. They were all very caring. None of them minded. Only a section of the media made me sound like this arrogant monster who was using his health as an excuse to turn away stars just to satisfy my ego.
All the stars have been very supportive.Arjun Rampal had to go without recording . But he came back because he knew what I was going through.When Anil Kapoorji came, and I couldn’t shoot, I decided that I will stay on the set and just sit there quietly. But when he saw my condition, he refused to shoot and told me to take it easy. The stars have been wonderful.
Why didn’t you clarify your position?
Main aapko sach bataaon? Main bahot emotional kissim ka insaan hoon (To tell you the truth, I’m a very emotional kind of a guy). When I see that things are not going the way they should be, I just clam up. I’ve never bothered to market myself. I never had a PR. Maybe that’s why some sections of the media took it on themselves to write whatever they wanted. I was shocked to hear about the things being written about me. Most of them were untrue.
What about the incident on the flight back from Australia where you allegedly abused Sunil Grover and other members of the team?
(Falls silent) I admit there was a problem. And I’ve paid a heavy price for it. But what was reported was grossly exaggerated and almost entirely fabricated. It was said that I asked that food be served to me first on the flight and that I got angry and I threw a shoe at Sunil. You’ve known me for some years. Do you think I am capable of such behaviour?
If it wasn’t true why didn’t you come forward to clarify?
Like I told you, when I am misunderstood, I clam up. But now, I realize it was a mistake to not put forward the truth. A section of the media took advantage of my silence and painted me as an arrogant brat.All these stories of shoe-throwing and tantrums were started in a section of the digital media.
But people from your own team were leaking out details?
Main kya bolun?Maybe I should be more careful about the people I trust.
Would you say the airborne incident broke you emotionally?
It affected me deeply. I started drinking heavily. It was so unnecessary. And so painful to me. Sunil Grover, Chandan (Prabhakar), Ali Asgar are all my friends. How could this happen?
Have you tried getting Sunil back on the show?
Yes, I have. But I think he has other commitments now, like live performances , etc. But he knows the show is as much his as mine and open to him any time he wants.
Has The Kapil Sharma Show been shut down for good?
No, we’ve taken a temporary break. Because my body and mind needed to repair and heal.
What is your message to your fans?
I am not done yet. My show is far from over. We will be coming back stronger than ever as soon I’ve recovered. Please bear with me. Please pray for me.