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Aarakshan cast reveals college secrets

From girls' posters on hostel walls to bunking classes, the Aarakshan cast - Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpai, Prateik Babbar, and filmmaker Prakash Jha - got candid about what made their college life rock. Read on.

bollywood Updated: Aug 07, 2011 02:01 IST
Sonal Kalra and Neha Sharma
Amitabh-Bachchan-poses-for-shutterbugs-at-the-promotional-event-of-Aarakshan
Amitabh-Bachchan-poses-for-shutterbugs-at-the-promotional-event-of-Aarakshan

In Delhi on Friday to promote their upcoming film, Aarakshan, five young boys — Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Bajpai, Prateik Babbar, and filmmaker Prakash Jha — shared nuggets from their student life, which happened to be in different decades. Their film may be on caste-based reservations for students, but there was no reservation, or hesitation, when it came to telling us what made their college life rock.

Q: Whose poster was on the wall of every guy’s hostel room when you were in college?
Amitabh Bachchan: Marilyn Monroe, of course. She was very popular when I passed college in 1962. But hey, I didn’t have any girl’s poster on MY wall. Others did.
Saif Ali Khan: Yasmin Le Bon, the British model. I did school in London and boy, she was hot.
Prakash Jha: Madhubala, without a doubt. I later replaced her poster with Meena Kumari’s.
Manoj Bajpai: (Shyly) Madhuri Dixit. (Everyone else goes awww).
Prateik Babbar: Too embarassed to say ... Pamela Anderson.

Q: Describe your college life in one word.
Amitabh: Independent. It meant so much to be on our own, when I entered college in 1959.
Saif: Amorous, I would say. It was that kind of age.
Prakash: Opening up. College life was like a window to the world for us at that time.
Manoj: Drama. I was heavily into theatre when I was a college student in Delhi. All that I could think was acting in plays.
Prateik: (long pause), Confusion, I guess. We just didn’t know what we were doing at that time. It’s still the same, actually.

Q: What was the hottest cause among students in college?
Amitabh: There was no cause, really. We were too busy leading the fun life when I was in Delhi’s Kirori Mal College.
Saif: Girls? No, seriously, the very high income tax in UK.
Prakash: The Naxal movement had just taken off and all the politically inclined students could only talk about that in my college (Ramjas College, North Campus).
Manoj: The rise of Ajay Maken, who is now the sports minister, was the hottest talking point among students in my time.
Prateik: Hmmmmm...

Q: Where would one find you when you were bunking a class?
Amitabh: The Sheila cinema. It had just opened and was the biggest craze. I was always found there when not in class.
Saif: At the movies. No, wait, hanging out with the girls!
Prakash: We would sit in the college canteen with friends or watch a movie whenever we bunked a class.
Manoj: Catching a film with friends was the usual thing, apart from, of course, my theatre practice in Hindu College, although I was a student in Ramjas College.
Prateik: Hmm...not sure!

Q: What was the one fashion statement all guys sported?
Amitabh: JEANS. Just owning a pair of jeans was such a luxury. When I got my first pair of Wrangler jeans, which was among the first few available brands, I wore them every single day for five years.
Saif: The latest denims.
Prakash: Bell bottoms and long hair. That was the coolest thing in the ‘70s. I, too, had long hair and wore bell bottom pants.
Manoj: Imported denims that we would get from Nepal.
Prateik: Tattoos... and yeah, piercing.