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‘I don’t mind playing Salman’s item girl’

Rakhi Sawant talks about her ‘troubled childhood’, says she doesn’t like controversy.

entertainment Updated: Aug 12, 2011 01:56 IST
Serena Menon
Serena Menon
Hindustan Times

How different is your new show, Gajab Desh ki Ajab Kahaaniyaan on Imagine TV, from Rakhi Ka Insaaf?
It’s very different. I have put together the weirdest stories from India. It’s funny. For instance, a guy who featured on the show has not had a bath in 35 years. I also met the world’s smallest and fattest person. Aur ek toh aap believe nahi karoge (and this one you will not believe), there’s this one man who keeps trying to hang himself and eats snakes. His wife and kids are very upset. So I asked him why he does it and he said he likes to do it. So everyday, he tries to hang himself. He feels that since he keeps death close, no one can kill him.

Were you not enjoying your role as a judge on Rakhi Ka Insaaf?
It was too controversial. I don’t like that. I don’t want to do something like that again. No one should judge anyone. And that show went against my principle of being non-judgemental. I am a funny, easygoing girl and enjoy jokes. The show dealt with serious issues. I want to save everyone but in my style. I can solve issues faster than the court, but I don’t want to.

But what we see of you on TV is highly entertaining?
See… I don’t know anything except acting and dancing. But just because I have not been educated much doesn’t mean I don’t have the knowledge to understand a show, a feeling or how to run a house. Education is experience. And I have a lot of that. I was 10 years old when I began living by myself. I was never given toys. I didn’t go on picnics and didn’t have good clothes or food. I’m telling you… I have a very troubled past. People have taken advantage of my innocence, my poverty, lack of education.

Yet, if God comes down and offers me anything that I want and asks me return to my past, I will not. I am happy today. I think I lived through all the troubles life had in store for me as a child and now I don’t have any. I got my first job when I was 10. Woh shaadiyon mein khana serve karte hain na (you know those people who serve food in weddings)… I used to do that. I was 10, but I looked older that’s why they employed me. I used to wear lipstick, nail polish and kajal. I started wearing make-up at that age. After two shifts, I would earn Rs 100. My mother’s salary used to be Rs 3,000 and what she got in hand was around Rs 1,500. My father would earn Rs 4,000, but what came home would be around Rs 2,000. So every wedding season, I would work and earn more than what my parents made. My father was a police constable and my mother was an aaya (peon) in a hospital. The government’s salary was so little that I couldn’t even get a proper education. I’ve lived in a lot of poverty. That’s why I demand good clothes and make-up now. You see… I know I am not that beautiful, but I have to sell myself.

Okaaaaay then. What about films? What’s happening?
I am doing some films here and there. I would like to do roles in big films also. I don’t mind playing Salman Khan’s bhabhi, or his item girl…. In a film. Don’t get me wrong.

First Published: Aug 07, 2011 13:30 IST