Wasn't it just two weeks ago that he was a virtual unknown with no interviews, no autograph hunters and no recognition, wonders Omi Vaidya, the man with the laughs from 3 Idiots who has been catapulted to instant stardom with the success of the film.
Says the film's Chatur Ramalingam: "I am extremely excited after getting the kind of response I got. Two weeks ago, no one knew me. There were no interviews, not many calls, but now I don't have the time to even answer all the calls that I get."
"When I walk on the road now, people stop and tell me, 'Hey, you are the balatkaar guy'. It is a wonderful experience," Omi told IANS, referring to one of the high comic moments in the film where Chatur Ramalingam makes a Teacher's Day speech.
The import from the US said he was not star struck when he met his co-actor and Bollywood star Aamir Khan.
"I wasn't star struck when I met Aamir. I knew that he is an actor and I'm an actor too and that I'm here just to do my job right. I never came in the way of the other actors in the film... something that they appreciated," said Omi, who was virtually the 'fourth idiot' with the kind of screen space he got along with Aamir, R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi.
"There were few people who used to go and try speak to Aamir and others, but I never did that. I think he liked my attitude because there were times when he used to ask me to sit with him for a cup of tea."
The 27-year-old Maharashtrian's life has changed after the super success of his debut film. As the compulsive and sadistic geek Chatur, Omi had some of the best one-liners and the funniest comic scenes.
Omi, who was kept under wraps until the movie's release, has even been nominated for the best actor in a comic role for the Nokia 16th Annual Star Screen Awards in January.
He is hoping for a long innings in Bollywood.
"People have approached me for roles and ad films. I have been looking for a manager too. I would love to do more films here but only if good work is offered because I was working back in Los Angeles too... but I want to do quality work," said the actor, who graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and thereafter acted in various TV shows, including "The Office".
So, is he working on his Hindi diction, since he would need to polish the language to be a part of world's most flourishing film industry?
"I am already taking classes for Hindi, two-three hours a day. But it's not only to get roles in the industry; it is mainly to connect with the people of my country. I love the language and I want to perfect it to feel at home when I am in India," he said.
When asked whether he has any favourite Indian actor and whether he had watched Hindi movies before 3 Idiots, he said: "I have seen films like Roja, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and older films like Padosan and many Raj Kapoor films.
"As far as actors are concerned, my favourites are not the superstars but actors like Shabana Azmi, Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah and Nana Patekar who believe in doing challenging roles and experimenting with their characters."