Taariq Hisham Jurangpathy – Best Actor (All Island Inter-School Shakespeare Drama Competition 2016)

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Pic Credit - Wesley College Media Unit
Pic Credit – Wesley College Media Unit


Full Name – Baba Taariq Hisham Jurangpathy

Birthday – 14th, September 1998

Father – Azad Jurangpathy

Mother – Thahiya Jurangpathy, better known as Dalrein

Siblings – Three elder brothers, Aqeel, Shaaheen and Shakeel, of whom I’ve been following the footsteps throughout my life.

School – Wesley College, Colombo

So, you’ve been in the limelight in the recent past for your achievement at the Inter-school Shakespeare Drama competition. Tell us what it’s been like.
  • How were you chosen to play Brutus?

Initially I was to play the role of Casca but the director kept the stage open for us to pop up with a main character. I thought to myself, “Six years in this competition, why not give it a shot?” and so I did. The director was pleased with the performance and I was motivated. It couldn’t get any better. And from that moment on, I put my heart and soul into the role.

  • How hard or entertaining were the rehearsal sessions?

The rehearsals were definitely tough. Especially when you’re after rugby or hockey practices which finish at about 6 pm and then you come back to the hall, half dead hoping to carry yourself on till 1-2 in the morning. But that was most days.

Some days even after practices I would come to the hall and see my buddies chatting and I go sit and chat with them. That’s where the entertainment came in… but let’s not go deep into the content of the conversation!

All in all it was both tough and entertaining but in the end worth it 🙂

  • Who were the people behind your success?

There are quite a few behind my success. I can’t figure out who to mention first because I’ve had so much support from everyone around me who knew about this production.

My parents have always been in the scene since I was little and supported me and my brothers throughout our acting career. My brothers were always there to advise me and boost my energy, my friends gave me the push that I needed.

But none of that would have been worth it if I didn’t have my director Kevin Cruze and his team, Wasaam Ismail and Mayanthi De Silva. They’ve always corrected me and put me on the right track. Even though I thought I was doing so well, they taught me that I could always get better and that push helped me to achieve what I have.

  • Did you see the win in the cards when you were selected for the finals?

Honestly, at the end of the second day at the semi-finals I lost all hope of winning the award. The actors who played the main roles from the other schools were fantastic! I didn’t really expect to win the award after I watched the rest of the plays. But the second I heard my name being announced, I had my best friend clinging onto me with proud tears and happiness which made the whole feeling of winning much, much better. I knew immediately that I had something to prove later on in the finals and I had the support of my entire cast and directors for that. And for that I am very grateful.

  • How has the response been with your family and friends after the win?

They’ve been nothing but supportive and happy. My family has been so proud of me and it makes me happy to see their faces lit up. My friends on the other hand though very proud of me, bug me about it as any friend would do. All of a sudden they’re all like “ooooh I feel privileged to be with the best actor” and that never stops but it is still fun 🙂 

Let’s talk about your relationship with Shakespeare and your character.
  • Were you interested in drama from a young age?

Well, I was never a stranger to the stage. From my younger days I was always involved in items that put me on stage and with that came my passion for theater. Aside from that I really got into theater because of my three elder brothers who were talented both in music and theatre.

  • At what age were you initiated to Shakespeare?

When I was little I used to sit at the back of the hall, where we had drama practices, watching my eldest brother play the main character in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and thereafter was inspired further watching my 2nd brother playing Lorenzo in the Merchant of Venice and my 3rd brother playing the Fool in King Lear. I would say that was my introduction to Shakespeare. 

  • Moving on to your character, Brutus is THE prominent character in the play Julius Ceaser. What was the most intriguing thing about the character?

The most interesting thing about Brutus is that all his actions are based on honour. His intentions are clear. But throughout the play the internal conflict in him was something that I got to experiment with because it was a display of different feelings and emotions. It adds a lot of spice to the character. 

  • Drama is not your only passion, what are the other activities you are involved in?

My dad always says that I’m busier than Barack Obama, and though I know that isn’t true sometimes I wonder if it is. Leading the hockey team and the college choir is busy enough. Adding rugby and drama, and being a sub prefect in school it just makes life a lot more interesting. 

  • How do you balance all these activities?

So far I’ve managed to balance my work. The good thing about all of this is that I learn about it the hard way, and that prepares me for the future. 

To be more relevant to our website, tell us more about your ethnicity.
  • How has it been to grow up in a Malay family?

How has it been? Well, I’ll tell you this… the food is great! I’ve always loved the culture. Being a Malay just makes you feel special among others 🙂 

  • What are your views about Malays of your generation?

Honestly it’s a little sad because a majority of the Malays aren’t fluent in our language and that’s really bad for our culture. 

  • Do you speak Malay?

I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t speak it fluently but I do know my ‘naasi makang’s and ‘baaye na maakang’s. (Obviously, most of what I know relates to food!) 

  • How important do you think it is to preserve the Malay language and culture?

I think it is very important to preserve our language and culture, especially because it’s so unique and special in this country. I hope all Malays would learn the language and make our grandparents proud, and non- Malays would learn more about our culture.

  • Final standard question, what are your plans for the future?

I have quite a few paths that I want to go try out. But I would say, my main dream and objective is to be able to pilot an airplane. And around that dream are a few minors that I will definitely be committing towards. Apart from that, I have plans of returning to school one day and watching my juniors take the spotlight all the way and make Wesley prouder than it already is in its 140 years rich history.

Tinaz Amit
Surviving in the field of Public Relations, mainly because it keeps me closer to things I enjoy; reading, writing and research, with a smatter of socializing. Daughter, wife, mother and career woman, trying to keep a level head while juggling all these roles, just like all others. Cynical to the extreme but has the required amount of social skills to restrict expressing them to the world.

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