The audience felt cheated last season because Rakhi Sawant didn’t marry Elesh Parujanwala. What do you feel?
I agree they must have been agitated but there was nothing wrong with that. She hadn’t promised anyone that she would marry him. It was a swayamvar where you choose a partner. The marriage does not have to take place immediately. If Rakhi didn’t find Elesh as promising as he was on the show, she had every right to call it off.
This time the groom is a divorcee who’s been accused of wife beating. But the irony is he gets an opportunity to choose his bride because he’s a man. Right?
That’s a feminist way of looking at it. I agree Indian society is sexist in many ways. The old school of thought has a different set of rules for men and women. A divorcee or widow, according to them, doesn’t get an opportunity to start her life all over again. But a man does. But times are changing, at least in big cities, where a woman is given a chance to start life afresh after a bad marriage.
Give me an example of a woman who was given a chance to restart her life after a bitter divorce?
Why look far? My wife Gautami was a divorcee. I’m her second husband. That has never proved a hindrance for us. We’re happily married and have two lovely children. She has been accepted well in my family. Even her folks have accepted me. She loves me immensely. I respect her. She’s a strong person. As for the girls on the show, they know a lot about Rahul. They have come on the show because they believe that he’s a nice guy.
Don’t you think the girls are here just to boost their sagging careers?
I don’t think so. No girl would put her family name at stake just to participate in a show like this and also perk up her sagging career.
You were the bride’s brother in the last season. Are you going to be the groom’s best man on this show?
My role hasn’t changed much from that of the last season. Last time, I was the sounding board for the guys. This time, I’m one for the groom and the potential bride. I didn’t know where we were heading the last time round. This season, I know what to expect and what not to.
Rahul Mahajan had decided to consult a panditji for the girl’s birth chart. What if he likes a manglik girl?
Rahul himself selected the 15 finalists and ensured that there are no manglik girls. His mother has also approved of them. He’ll only ensure that his prospective bride loves him as much as he loves her.
One of the 15 contestants is a BJP Youth Wing Leader. Do you think Rahul could be partial to her?
(Laughs) Ah, I didn’t think so much about her. But you never know. Rahul might want to settle down with someone from his profession.
What kind of relationship do you share with the groom?
I know him through my TV friends. People had various opinions on him, courtesy the reported scandals. Through this show, I discovered that he was a misled, immature and wild guy. He’s mature man beneath the surface.
The TRPs of Rakhi Ka Swayamvar were not very promising, except the first and last few episodes.
I disagree with that. The ratings were very good throughout. Even if we get the same ratings this time, if not more, we’ll still be fine.
You’ve lost weight. Do you plan to lose some more?
Yes. That’s only for health reasons and to make my children feel proud of me. I couldn’t reduce weight before because I was doing Kasamh Se. I had no time.
Then I took on Karthik Calling Karthik, in which I play Farhan Akhtar’s boss. I had to maintain my look throughout the film, so I couldn’t exercise or diet. I got on to a fitness regime after I finished shooting for the film. I didn’t stop eating. Only the quantity of food and the intervals between my meals is different now.