Runway star hits stardust
Five years back, when Rahul Bhat quit engineering to become an actor, most of his friends were sure he was making a mistake. Rahul is now two films old (his debut Yeh Kaisi Mohabbat wasn’t much of a commercial success but his recent flick, Nayee Padosan turned out to be an average grosser), is the man in Heena’s life (Heena is the protagonist of one of the longest running soaps on Sony TV) and has six new films in his kitty.
His smile is jubilant: "Sometimes the biggest gambles pay off. Except for my dad no one supported me when I decided to be an actor, everyone thought I was being stupid. But now I am more comfortably placed in Bollywood: I am doing Iqbal Durrani’s Kashish and forthcoming yet-to-be named projects with B.D. Mukherjee, Umesh Mehra and Nitin Manmohan.”
Rahul, a sometime runway star who was Mr India 1998 is going to turn his back on Heena, but that’s inevitable. “Heena was my diving board and I feel bad about deserting the show. I am no magician and I can’t do two things at one time and do a bad job of it. So I’d rather do the odd appearance in Heena and my energies doing films. I want to make an impact as an actor,” points out Rahul.
Rahul’s also passionate about Kashmir, his birthplace. “I am a Kashmiri refugee. Really, in 1990, when I left Srinagar with my family we had nothing with us except our clothes and a little money. I don’t want to relive those nightmarish days but if some day I am able to achieve something as an individual I’ll certainly do something about displaced Kashmiri Pandits. The irony of the situation is that we Pandits don’t belong to any protected category. So, no one cares about us.”
Once the grease paint is off, Rahul loves to catch a movie on his VCD, surf channels and read all the books he can, “lay my hands on.”