Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on December 17th, 2013

Kumar Pallana: Who at age 77 achieved his lifetime dream.

Kumar's dream was to become a movie actor. How he achieved that dream is a very interesting story.

Born in India to a prosperous family in 1918, Kumar lived very comfortably, until in 1931 the British government jailed his brother for supporting the overthrow of British colonial rule of India, a cause Gandhi led, through his non-violence campaign.

"My father lost his business," Kumar told the Los Angeles Times. "Our house was locked up and we had to leave."

At 13, Kumar dropped out of school and tried to become one of India's Bollywood actors. But like most other would be actors, he never got past the movie studio gates.

To support himself, Kumar trained as an acrobat, and eventually learned to perform magic, tell jokes, juggle and simultaneously spin as many as 16 plates on sticks, all as part of his one man show.

Kumar Pallana
Kumar Pallana

Often by foot or bicycle, Kumar performed his show across India and Africa, and then moved to the U.S. in 1946 where he continued to perform.

Eventually Kumar was on such popular U.S. TV shows as "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Mickey Mouse Club" and "Captain Kangaroo," and performed in Las Vegas and at other venues across the U.S.

But life on the road is hard. After 20 years, his wife, with whom Kumar would have a son and a daughter said she had had enough, and in 1966 they settled in Dallas.

To support his family, Kumar opened a yoga studio and for the next 30 years set aside his show business dreams. But then their son Dipak started a cafe, and to attract customers, encouraged entertainers including his dad to perform.

As destiny would have it, some of Kumar's performances were attended by Wes Anderson, who would become a Hollywood director and Anderson's friend Owen Wilson, who would become a very successful Hollywood actor.

In 1995, Anderson and Wilson were working on their first film, "Bottle Rockets", and they offered Kumar a role in the film.

This film launched the movie careers of Anderson and Wilson, and at 77, Kumar's as well.

Afterward, Kumar became a busy actor, doing films for Anderson and for other major directors including Steven Spielberg. In those films, his fellow actors included Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman and other well-known performers.

Kumar remained a busy actor until in 2013, at the age of 94, he passed away. He had lived the life he had always dreamed of, his heart fulfilled.

Success Tip of the Week: If your dream is unrealized don't give up hope, keep working on your skills. As happened for Kumar, you never know when opportunity will present itself.

Editor's Note: : To see Kumar juggling discs in "The Terminal," directed by Steven Spielberg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGOaj_IetHY To see a list of Kumar's movies, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0657785/ To see Kumar's New York Times and Los Angeles Times obits http://www.nytimes.com/kumar... and http://articles.latimes.com/kumar-pallana

In the next KazanToday: A difficult decision parents made in trying to save their son's life.

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!
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