The last time I met him was at a lunch place where we didn’t eat lunch. We talked Schopenhauer, Deepak Chopra (ewww) and Paulo Coelho. In effect, we were talking books.. and also cinema ranging wildly from Coppola to Kanwar.. in other words we talked about everything but Vivek Oberoi.
To rectify that boo boo, I resorted to what every journo worth his comp does nowadays. I sms’d him, he called back to say that he was in a meeting with choreographers Papoo-Malloo, could we talk an hour later? Certainly not, I barked into the N246 or whatever I’m carrying nowadays and got incisively investigative (hopefully).
Okay Vivek, are all these masala stories I’ve been reading about you true or false?
If it’s good masala, it must be true. If it’s nasty, then it’s absolutely false (laughs, laughs, laughs).
Let me ask you about those banner headlines about kissing Kim Sharma on board a New Delhi-Mumbai airflight. Did the altitude do that to you?
Oh no, et tu Khalid. Kim.. why is she being dragged into this? You guys seem to know more about my love life than I do. We were on the same flight.. I was actually returning home from Vaishnodevi. I said hello, she said hello, end of story.
Believe me, I’m no skirt chaser.. yet I’m linked with anything that walks. I’m an old school romantic really, I believe in wining, dining and poetry when I’m with a woman.. don’t you?
Ulp, can’t tell you. So what’s this about clubbing with Nandita Mahtani?
(Pause.. silence.. suddenly an attendant is told to serve Papoo-Malloo thanda-garam.. aur snacks bhi poochh lena) Nandita Mahtani.. true or false? This is so funny. I know her.. I walked the ramp for her fashion show. Otherwise, I’m happy and single. I was at Prive, she was there too.. I like clubbing on weekends. I’m a thank-God-it’s-Friday sort of a guy. If I was at Prive with Nandy, I was there with X, Y and Z too. I go out with my male friends and even my sister.. still stories crop up.
Guess I can’t do much about that. I get female attention, I enjoy it.. (laughs).. after all I’m on the right side of 30.
How many women have there been in your life?
Girls.. quite a few. Women.. not many.
How many times have you been in love.. twice?
Thrice actually.. Mamta was 12, I was 13.. we were in school.. then she passed away, she had leukaemia.
<b1>Then there was this lady nicknamed Blue. (Pause.. attendant told to insist that Papoo-Malloo should have thanda) You know Papoo-Malloo, they’re sweethearts.. they’re going to choreograph me for some concerts abroad.. you should come.
Thanks.. but no chhuti. So what about Blue?
Yes, she was there..(laughs) that was a time when my life was full of colours.
Guess who I want to know about next?
I have no idea.
Today it would be inappropriate of me to speak about the lady in question.
She was the third woman you loved.
Khaaalid.. you’re going to get me into trouble.
There was no other third woman?
Tell me, how did you react when Jaya Bachchan mentioned your name in Koffee with Karan?
(On being asked to name one celebrity on a mission, she had replied, Vivek Oberoi) I’m still confused about what she meant.. something about me that was quite personal. Either way, I must thank Jaya aunty for thinking of me. I’m sure she means well for all of us who are like her sons.
I believe your mother was very upset by her remark.
You’ve known mum for years.. why don’t you ask her?
No, this is a man-to-man talk. Okay, tell me about the TV actress you were dating…Shruti Seth.
Spare me! See if I go clubbing, I also take off jet skiing on weekends, hang out at Khau gully or Elco and go on bike rides with my friends Bonnie, Rishad the ‘Legend’ and Tushar, not the actor.
I’m not seeing anyone now. It’s a woman’s mind that fascinates me.. why don’t you ask your paper’s Madhoo the Mottu maid to set me up?
Do you feel that this interview is going strangely?
Absolutely, you’re such a serious person.. you’re asking me nightmarish questions.. have you got the new Paulo Coelho?
Desist, I’m in a May mood. Do you love Salman Khan or not?
(Papooji.. Mallooji..just give me five more minutes..) I’ve grown up, when I look back on some of the things I did publicly, I dignify them to myself.. I’ve learnt by my mistakes. Whatever my equation may be with Salman today, I’d like to keep it on a one-to-one basis.
Hmm. Okay what if you were offered a film with Abhishek Bahchan?
I’d do it. Why not? We did Yuva.. and I think he was fantastic in Guru.. I couldn’t have done as much justice to the role.
Weren’t you offered Madhavan’s role?
Yes but that’s history.
Do you feel you were kind of sidelined in Omkara.. no one talked about your performance.
I was extremely fortunate to be a part of Omkara. Whether his role was author-backed or not, Saif Ali Khan was phenomenal.
I liked that scene in which you played a song.. on the guitar.
Yeah..that was I just called to say I love you from the bottom…of my heart.
Would you do that in real life to a girl?
That would be a bit cheesy, no? I’d sing her Can’t buy me love.. that would be so apt.
<b3>Now, I’m getting extremely serious.. you’re playing Maya Dolas in Shootout in Lokhandwala.. but wasn’t he much taller and didn’t look like you in any which way?
He was 5’ 9”, I’m a little over six. His character is nowhere near the Chandu of Company. Maya Dolas was a heady cocktail.
Besides the material given to me by the producer and director. I met up with police officers to understand Maya’s rise and fall from 1986 to ’91.
Isn’t there the danger of glorifying him?
That’s not my intention. My performance has to catch the essence of the man.. and it’s up to the audience to hate him.. or to understand why he turned out the way he did.
In the posters, you’re smoking a cigarette.. after all the campaigning you did against the weed.
See, at the very outset, I’d told the Cancer Patient’s Aid Association that as an actor I would have to smoke if a role called for that. And if I’m smoking it’s just for the role.. to play the part of an assassin, I don’t have to assassinate someone.. do I?
How are Papoo Malloo doing?
Fine.. any other questions? (Papooji Mallooji, Khalid saab is inquiring about you…hello, hello)
What do you think of the image created of you by the media?
There are two contradictory images — one, a guy who’s chasing girls madly and two, the puppy-eyed lost lover.
Come on, there must be some consistency in my inconsistencies. Have you been eating any mithai lately?
Baap re, what are you asking? Got to go…SWEET dreams.