'It was true love...'
Monica Bedi on her 'true love' Abu Salem, life after eviction and more in an interview with Roshmila Bhattacharya.Updated: Sep 13, 2008, 15:17 IST
So why let her have her say? Simply because she’s back in circulation, doesn’t recoil when it comes to talking about certain man in her life, and after eviction goes on record about the ‘the petty politics’ in the Bigg Boss House. Monica Bedi in a quote-martial with Roshmila Bhattacharya.
Have you been watching Bigg Boss since your eviction?
I haven’t had the time. I did catch an episode to find out who had been nominated.
Surprised to find that Rahul Mahajan didn’t figure among the endangered four?
Well, yes. After the first week, Rahul, Rakhi (Vijan) and I knew that we had been targeted. The others admitted this. Their reasoning was that if the magarmachhees continued to swim in the ocean, the smaller fish would drown completely. Their duplicity and insecurity surprised me. For me the eventual winner had to be someone who could live with the family, pyaar se, without having to scheme to stay on. I don’t know what the strategy is now. I’m happy to be out, it was getting dirty. The ganging up, petty politics and conspiracies are there for all to see.<b1>
Would you go back on a wild card entry?
(Laughs) I’m told there’s a popular demand to get me back. I don’t know. All this game playing has left a bad taste. Especially now when I can see for myself what’s going on.
The monetary rewards are big..
I didn’t go on Bigg Boss to make money. There was a lot of negativity about me because of Abu Salem. I wanted people to get to know that I’m not a bad girl. In just three weeks popular opinion has changed.
Abu Salem wanted to see the show..
We haven’t been in touch since 2002. We spoke for two minutes during the trial in Portugal. He apologised for putting me through so much and wished me luck. He has no objections to me working or getting married. He wants me to settle down to a normal life. I’m free.. from his side.
It’s said Abu Salem really loved you.
It was true love, for both of us. But once I learnt his real identity I wanted to split. He wouldn’t let me come back, he was afraid of getting caught. I stayed on the condition that he would give up everything. If he had not given up his powers he would never have been arrested. <b2>
Was life with a gangster really the way it is depicted in our movies?
Partly, when he was an underworld don we were floating in money. Then it was a simple, ordinary life. I could still have every luxury imaginable today but I wanted to struggle my way up with my own hard-earned money. It’s not my
but my choice.
Would Abu Salem mind if he knew how close you’ve got to Rahul Mahajan?
Rahul’s been a good friend and I appreciate his support. But right now, I’m not ready for a relationship. Now that I’m out of the House I don’t even know if we’ll ever meet again. Our careers are going to keep us pretty busy.
Rahul had a past too?
Yeah, but since you’re cut off from everything in jail I only knew him as Pramod Mahajan’s son. I took him at face value and he turned out to be a nice guy. We all make mistakes and I’m the last person to point fingers.
Rakhi Vijan played matchmaker for you and him on camera. Was that a gimmick then?
Rahul was very caring towards me. So Rakhi started saying that I needed someone like him in my life. That’s why I removed the mike at times.. to tell her I wanted to get back to my career and wasn’t looking for romance. During the Janmashtami week, Rahul was a naughty Nandlal and we were his gopis. But the
was not to be taken seriously.
So why is Payal Rohatgi, Rahul Mahajan’s real life Radha, miffed with you?
Rakhi and I learnt from Sambhavna (Seth) in the second week that Rahul and Payal were supposed to be going around. But when we asked them, they denied it. As Radha and Krishna they had to be together but that was just a task. As far as I know, there’s nothing on between them. Payal’s changed. She wears shorter clothes, she’s become very glam. Maybe she thinks this way she’ll get more votes. <b3>
Well, the ploy hasn’t endeared her to Ehsaan Qureshi who was also upset with Rahul for sneaking into the ladies’ room late at night and getting under the blanket with you girls.
If Rahul, Rakhi, Alina and I would sit close, talking in whispers, that didn’t mean anything hankypanky was going on. People were sleeping around us, we didn’t want to disturb them.
You were in jail for five years. Wasn’t the House like another prison?
No, it was luxury. In prison you’re so
. I’ve lived with poor people who are so helpless because they can’t pay for a good lawyer and the state-appointed one doesn’t care. A woman whose 15-year-old daughter had committed suicide came to me sobbing, saying she wanted to see her child for one last time. I guess, because of Salem many thought I had power but I was just as vulnerable. Still, I never lost hope.After five years I was acquitted. But can they give me back those lost years?
How did you pass time in the House?
We had TV but the hours were rationed. I exercised, did yoga, prayed and meditated. And I was everyone’s Agony Aunt. I listened to their problems, boosted them up when they broke down. I was the strong one. <b4>
Is Sanjay Nirupam getting you a house in Juhu-Lokhandwala?
I didn’t intend to hold him to his promise but then he said people were calling him to offer him their flats.
What about movie offers?
I’ll be listening to a few scripts soon. I guess filmmakers were hesitant, thinking I was still with Salem but after
they know I want to work. There’s a Telugu film offer too. I’ve made 20 films, some in Telugu, Tamil and Bengali.
It’s said that you got some of these films because of Salem.
When I met him in 1999, I was already established. If he had recommended me, I would have done more films. I wouldn’t have gone away with him when my career was peaking with
Jodi No. 1
Your life could make an interesting film.
There have been offers for the rights. But I want my biography to come out first. Then we can turn it into a film.