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Sajid Khan: the joker in the pack

Sajid Khan makes his directorial debut, typically with the comedy Heyy Babyy, which hecalls a "dream debut". Princy Jain speaks to the director.

entertainment Updated: Aug 25, 2007 19:29 IST

Sajid Khan gets nostalgic recalling his first brush with showbiz. It was New Years' eve 1986, and he got his first ‘salary' for his first job - Rs 100 for hosting a show. Not knowing what to do with the princely amount, the struggling comedian promptly put it in the bank. Today, Sajid has Rs 40 crore riding on his directorial debut, Heyy Babyy, which opened this week. And he is confident enough to tell you that he plans an even bigger summer blockbuster next.

Sajid strikes a contrasting persona on and off the screen. In public life and on screen, he wears the weirdest of wigs and spoofs everyone from Amitabh Bachchan to Mallika Sherawat. In his personal space, he comes across as a very serious man. "I am a recluse. I fail to understand why anybody would want to know about my life," he says. "I came in this business to entertain people and make money, not to hog publicity." Indeed, it was the need to earn a living that made him turn his hobby into his profession. "I would joke and mimic, and friends would applaud. By the time I was 15, I needed to earn a living. So I made a career out of it," says Sajid.

‘Career', of course, started about 12 years ago on the tube. Satellite television was just making its way into India, and, armed with an abrasive sense of humour, Sajid would go on to make hay by destroying reputations with a wry smile, tongue firmly in cheek. His first show, Main Bhi Detective, however, was a flop.

"Disaster would be an understatement," he recalls. "Critics said that I should be banned," he grins. His luck would change with Ikke Pe Ikka, the music countdown show that first aired on Zee Cinema in 1995, and has made it to the Guinness Book Of Records as the longest running countdown show ever. Inspired by Eddie Murphy Sajid , defines his style of humour as "sharp tongue and below the belt, at times". He also draws from Murphy's manner of interaction and spontaneity .

Produced by his namesake, Sajid Nadiadwala, Sajid has followed his passion for ‘firsts' with his directorial debut.

"It's the first ‘baby comedy' of India. My entire cast comprises people who have never worked with each other. Even Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy have never composed music for any of these actors," he says, of the Akshay Kumar-Fardeen Khan-Riteish Deshmukh-Vidya Balan starrer.

Sajid calls Heyy Babyy a "dream debut". It's his homage to his lifelong passion - movies. "I broke off with many girlfriends because of disagreements over films." And he shares this passion with elder sister Farah Khan, the successful choreographer-turned- filmmaker. "We have the same DNA after all," he says, adding that Farah is the reason behind the man he is today .

Ask him about marriage, and he is intricate in his reply: "I am 36 and single. I've lacked a lot as a boyfriend. I am a self-indulgent human being. I wish to settle down, but if I only get someone who understands me, or else I won't."