Talk is that your stock in the TV market is rocking?
What should I say? Yes, I’m satisfied with the way things are going. I’m not madly materialistic. If I’ve just bought a car it’s only because after my work, I go to the gym, I carry this huge sports bag and other stuff. So I needed a bigger car. It’s the smaller pleasures in life which matter.
For instance, when the light men say “Good morning sir” to me every day, I feel on top of the world. Or when the girl who plays with her hair, standing in the window right outside my house. When my car passes her by, I wink at her and she smiles back. I love that.
How old is she?
(Smiles) She must be 16-17. Her adulation for me touches me.
You like to be in control of yourself, don’t you?
Yes, I don’t ever take a step which I’m not convinced about. Why should I? This may rile some people but I’m entitled to my decisions.. and mistakes.
Haven’t some of your decisions backfired?
Even if they have, it’s alright. I’m not God. If I left my engineering college to do a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry at St Xavier’s.. or if I left Delhi for a career in Bombay..they were my calls.If I quit Kahiin To Hoga, my first popular show with Ektaa Kapoor, or if I chose to do Ketan Mehta’s Time Bomb which may not have been a commercial success but took me ahead as an actor – I’m glad I took those decisions.
Having said that, there are many small decisions, especially about my relationships, which I feel were wrong, complete ly wrong. No one’s perfect.
Like recently a cousin of mine was very ill. Her only wish was to see ‘Rajeev bhaiyaa.’ I kept postpon ing my visit to her only because there is no airport close to the town where she lives. Going by train would have meant a 14-15 hour journey. Then she passed away suddenly. I’ll never forgive myself for this.
Would you work with Ektaa Kapoor again?
(Promptly) Yes, I would. I’ve never had a problem with her as a person. The problem was mine. I couldn’t relate to Sujal of Kahiin To Hoga anymore. Unfortunately I have a very transparent, vulnerable face.
If I am not convinced about something, it shows. I couldn’t have carried on cheating the viewers. I would work with her for sure..if she has something worthwhile for me but to be frank I can’t relate to the shows she is making now.
What’s the plus of being a star?
When my fans scream my name, when they turn up in droves to the events I attend.And when cops let me go even after I’ve jumped the signal, saying, “Sahab , meri biwi aapki fan hai!”
Aren’t you afraid of underexposure?
If I was I wouldn’t have left a popular show at its peak. Who’s your closest friend at work? Aamna (Shariff) is a dear friend. Then I have friends at the club where I play tennis.. friendships have to be taken seriously, they have to be built and nurtured.
I can’t ever let them down, I have to live up to their expectations so I am happier in my own world.
What were your growing-up years like?
Fun. My father was in the army, so we wouldn’t be in any city for more than two years.. Making new friends, changing schools, winning popularity contests, falling from horses, hurting my nose while impressing the girls, jumping over walls, getting an award from Rajiv Gandhi..there was never a dull moment.
Those days make me smile, it was all about being at the right place at the right time.
Were your parents happy about your choice of an acting career?
Not initially. They thought I was above average in studies, if I applied my mind to anything else I would be successful. Now of course they’re proud of me. They really feel good when the royal family of Jaipur invites them for a cup of tea.. I want my parents to see the world while they’re physically fit. I love it when my mom travels the business class.
Any plans to join films?
Yes, definitely this year. I’ve got offers but I’ve never taken them seriously. Now I will.
But quite often TV actors don’t click in the movies.
That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t think of the movies at all. I would rather try and fail than not try at all. It’s all about one’s destiny.
Do you believe in God?
No, I believe in karma. But you will find over 50 idols of different Gods at my house, these are from my fans.
Definitely. I believe marriages are made in heaven. Maybe I will marry next week or two years from now. Who knows?
Marriage to Aamna?
(Smiles) I don’t know. I love women, I know what I am looking for in a woman. She must be strong and yet gentle and sensitive. Will she be my equal? She could be better than me. She should be able to read my mind, to let me be even without me asking her to leave me alone. to let me be even without me asking her to leave me alone.
When a woman stands up in the middle of a crowd and says, “Rajeev, I want to kiss you” and then actually kisses me, I don’t think she’s being vulgar or brazen. Only a woman can do that without being cheap. en a woman stands up in the middle of a crowd and says, “Rajeev, I want to kiss you” and then actually kisses me, I don’t think she’s being vulgar or brazen. Only a woman can do that without being cheap.