Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘relationships

By Taran Adarsh, January 1, 2010 – 12:32 IST

After almost five years, accomplished actor Saurabh Shukla returns to the director’s chair with RAAT GAYI, BAAT GAYI?, a film that’s making the right buzz. Making an adult comedy that talks of one night stand is tough. But giving the serious issue a humorous take is tougher.

RAAT GAYI, BAAT GAYI? is about relationships and also looks at the philanderers, who, despite being committed, don’t mind having a PYT in a closet, for no strings attached fun.

You may draw parallels with THE HANGOVER because the protagonist can’t recall anything that happened the previous night. But it must also be said that the film throws a few surprises, which makes it completely different from any film, past or present.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

But there’s one factor that throws a spanner. There’s not much meat in the story. Also, it unravels at an excruciatingly slow pace. In fact, the wheels start moving only towards the penultimate 20 odd minutes, when the answers start coming.

In a nutshell, RAAT GAYI, BAAT GAYI? offers a few laughs, not laughter unlimited!

Rahul [Rajat Kapoor] wakes up with a bad hangover after a party the night before. There, he had met a sexy young woman Sophia [Neha Dhupia]. They got drunk and there were sparks flying. But Rahul doesn’t remember what happened after that. Did they go all the way?

His wife Mitali [Irawati Harshe Mayadev] is in a particularly bad mood and Rahul suspects that she might know about his little escapade last night. Rahul starts chasing his night, trying to retrieve it, trying to find out what really happened.

His friends Saxena [Dalip Tahil] and Amit [Vinay Pathak] are going through their own marital crisis of sorts. Driven to his wits end, he realizes that he must meet Sophia again to get the answers.

Almost three decades ago, Basu Chatterjee made an adult comedy called SHAUKEEN, which told the story of three men who eye a pretty girl, who’s completely oblivious of their intentions. In this film too, director Saurabh Shukla looks at three men with a roving eye.

Sadly, the screenplay [writers: Saurabh Shukla and Rajat Kapoor] falls woefully short in terms of generating interest. In fact, till three-fourths of the movie, there’s not much movement in the story, except for a few humour-laden sequences. It also moves lethargically and is unnecessarily slack.

Ankur Tewari’s music is strictly functional. Fuwad Khan’s cinematography captures the varied moods well.

The film scores in the performance department. Every member of the cast – Neha Dhupia, Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Dalip Tahil, Irawati Harshe Mayadev, Anu Menon, Navniit Nisshan and Aamir Bashir – deliver fine performances. Especially Rajat and Vinay. Ranvir Shorey, Makrand Deshpande and Sudhir Mishra appear in cameos.

On the whole, RAAT GAYI, BAAT GAYI? doesn’t work.

Dibakar Banerjee gets voyeuristic in his next film

PRIYA SUGATHAN Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 17, 2009)

With the super success of Khosla Ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye, Dibakar Banerjee has come to be the new-age Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chaterjee rolled in one. While his third film Love Sex Aur Dhoka (LSD) continues to remain urban-centric and small-budget, it is going to be a radically different experience than its predecessors.

“The word ‘sex’ adds to the allure of the film. Why do we make so much out of this three-letter-word? When it’s accepted that it’s as basic a need as eating food, everyone indulges in it, and yet there’s a taboo to it. It also forms a major part of voyeurism, which is the premise of the film. We have turned voyeuristic in recent times. We want to know what’s happening behind closed doors, or catch a celeb with his pants down. It’s a streak that’s spilling over in our relationships, in our entertainment and the news. Even our ideas on love or sex are not our own, but borrowed from what’s seen on screen,” says Dibakar as he explains the subject of his film.

LSD will be India’s first digital film. “The Hindi filmgoer is going to be stunned. The film could only be shot on a digital format. In this age of online videos, Youtube, MMS, it’s time we explored these mediums to tell our stories. The format has its own grammar. I had to unlearn all my filmi gyan. It was my ground zero. I shot the film using cameras that were smaller than a lipstick, from inside a purse and also used infra red lights that are mostly used by soldiers in the night during war. It was necessary as the ‘camera’ plays the important character in my film,” explains the director.

Another first for Dibakar is his collaboration with Ekta Kapoor. “No one understands entertainment the way Ekta does. The one thing that I look for in my producers is how excited they get with the idea. Ekta understood that she was looking at a new way of filmmaking that would rewrite the rules in the Indian film industry. She not only liked the unique treatment of the film, but also its universal story of love, sex and betrayal,” reveals Dibakar, whose ‘peep show’ is set to release in early 2010 with complete newcomers in the cast. A 10-minute screener was shown to international delegates and film festival conveners at the Goa Film Bazaar and the response was exhilarating.


After making up with her brother Ashmit, Amisha Patel patches up with her parents. She finally puts the bitterness behind her

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 15, 2009)

It’s always hard to patch-up after an acrimonious split. Amisha Patel had a very public and very nasty fall-out with her parents five years ago when she accused them of misusing her money.

Recently though, Amisha has been trying to mend her relationships. After making peace with her brother Ashmit Patel, she has now reconciled with her parents. On December 1, Amisha and Kanav Puri attended a cousin’s mehendi where she met her parents.

It was also her mother Asha’s birthday. She later went over to her mother’s Churchgate residence and spent time with her family and close relatives.

It finally seems that the public bickering is a closed chapter. Washing dirty laundry in public is never pleasant, and hopefully the Patels have put the bitterness behind them.

Asha Patel

Five years ago, she had accused them that they misused her finances. Back then, her parents also didn’t approve of her relationship with then-boyfriend Vikram Bhatt. Maybe the new man in her life has had a calming effect or maybe brought out of the more forgiving side of Amisha.

A close source confirms, “Yes, Amisha was present at her mother’s birthday.”

Amisha declined to comment.

At a product launch yesterday, Deepika lost her composure and got testy when bombarded with questions about the Rk tattoo on her nape

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 09, 2009)


Love may or may not be blind, but sometimes it can be valid proof for stupidity. Why else would you get a tattoo on your nape with your lover’s initials, especially when tattoos, like diamonds, last forever? It’s only relationships in Bollywood that don’t have a long shelf life.

Since Deepika Padukone broke up with Ranbir Kapoor two months ago after having dated for nearly two years, she hasn’t really spoken about the relationship publicly. So at a skin care product launch yesterday for which she is a brand ambassador, reporters seized the chance to question her about her ex.


The first question thrown at her was: What are you going to do about the RK tattoo on your back?

The question was met with stony silence and was followed up by a cheeky zinger: is the brand coming out with a cream that will erase your tattoo?

Deepika started fidgeting but said nothing. The journalists were relentless and went on to ask, “Are you happy after your break-up with Ranbir?”

By now the poor actress, who was probably regretting ever getting the blessed tattoo, snapped, “Of course, I am happy. Don’t I look happy?”

It’s no surprise that the interactive session didn’t last very long after that. A visibly uncomfortable Deepika fled soon after from the backstage exit and left without any further hobnobbing with the media.

Perhaps she left to mull over what to do with the indelible stamp of her ex-lover – get another boyfriend with the same initials perhaps?

THIS IS ME: Sonal Sehgal

Sonal Sehgal would rather go with what her heart says

DEEPALI DHINGRA (BOMBAY TIMES; December 1, 2009)



When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And that’s exactly what Sonal Sehgal had to do, after waiting eons for her film Aashayein to release. The Nagesh Kukunoor film where she stars opposite John Abraham got delayed so much, that Sonal decided she could not wait any longer and signed her next film Radio. “It was six months after the music launch of Aashayein and I thought to myself that if I keep sitting at home, I’ll probably forget how to act!” she laughs. Of course, that doesn’t mean she isn’t disappointed about her first film being delayed so much. “It’s my first film, so it’s naturally very close to my heart. Plus it’s a beautiful story. When I asked Nagesh last when it would release, he said ‘soon’, so I’m waiting for that to happen soon,” she smiles. On the other hand, she’s a firm believer in destiny and believes that whatever has happened, has happened for the best. Says Sonal, “Since Aashayein got delayed, people don’t have any pre-conceived notions about me yet, and that’s why I was able to sign such diverse films as Radio and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai.” Talk about Radio where she’s paired opposite Himesh Reshammiya and we can’t help but ask if she was advised against taking up the role by anyone. “If the director has such faith in Himesh, then who am I to judge?” she dodges the question diplomatically, and then laughs, “Anyway, I rarely listen to people’s advice. I want my success as well as failure to be credited to me alone,” she adds. But the actress is kicked about her role in the film. “It’s a contemporary look at relationships,” she says, adding that anyone who’s been in a relationship would identify with the film. “I play a girl who gets divorced from her husband but the habit of the relationship is hard to let go for her,” she explains her role. With so much work in her kitty, Sonal is glad that all the hard work and patience is finally paying off. “We make plans for our lives but God always has bigger, better plans for us,” she says with a smile.

Touchwood, we say!

Love Aaj Kal2

Very rarely do you come across a film which fulfills all your expectations and in fact, provides more than expected. This year, however, we were mostly bombarded with some pathetic flicks. But behold as Love Aaj Kal has arrived! The film sees love and relationships in a new light but what works big time is its terrific execution and smart storytelling. Love Aaj Kal is surely one of the most refreshing romantic flicks to come out of Bollywood!

The story of the movie: Jai (Saif Ali Khan) and Meera (Deepika Padukone) is a modern-day couple based in London. They are always together but are clueless whether they can be categorized as ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’! Meera gets an opportunity to move to Delhi which she doesn’t want to miss while Jai is soon going to be at San Francisco. Jai and Meera conclude that their long-distance relationship won’t work and thus, decide to break-up (happily). At this point, Jai comes across veteran Veer Singh (Rishi Kapoor) who is shocked to see how Jai treats relationships and break them so easily. He is of the view that the present generation can’t understand love. Love is that trap in which he got entangled 4 decades back when he was the dashing and cool Delhiite Veer (played by Saif again) and when he came across Harleen Kaur (Giselle Monteiro). Jai laughs at Veer as to how he had travelled thousand kilometers from Delhi to Calcutta just to catch a glimpse of Harleen.

Jai-MeeraVeer-Harleen-both these ‘love stories’ were poles apart and of different generations. But love is the same as it was 4 decades back. Jai soon realizes that he’s having the same feeling and experience that Veer must have gone through when he fell in love with Harleen!

Love Aaj Kal3

The opening scenes give a strong indication that Love Aaj Kal is a different and unique film. During the opening credits, the glimpse of the scenes to follow is shown but yet, you won’t be able to guess what’s going to happen in the film! The execution and editing really works wonders in this film!

The first half of this film is very interesting and surprising. The way the couple break-up was indeed hilarious! Jai and Meera keeping in touch with all modern-day means of communication (sms, call, internet, Mobile Internet) makes you smile. And the eternal Jai-Harleen cute love story also flashes a smile on one’s face, albeit for a different reason!

Telling two stories that run parallel in a film is not easy but Imtiaz executes them with élan and even intersects them wonderfully, a la Rang De Basanti style! Also, the film, especially in the 2nd half reminds one of Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na.

The film gets slow and drags at few places in the 2nd half. But the final 30 minutes compensates for the cons. The film manages to show a true picture of today’s confused individuals who fail to think rationally before taking big decisions and denounce and detest love.

When it comes to performances, each one is brilliant in their place. Saif Ali Khan shines wonderfully and manages to come up with one of the outstanding performances of his career. He had two diverse roles in the film and he performed both of them perfectly. It was a treat to see Saif as Jai getting confused, irritated, sad, shocked-all at once in a couple of sequences. At the same time, he looked like a convincing Sikh and was extremely likeable as Veer Singh too. It’s great to see Saif in another modern and fresh love story (after Salaam|Namaste) and this time, he scores as the producer too. He’s definitely on a roll!

Deepika Padukone was simply outstanding and gives a charming performance. Her brilliant job will surely put an end to all speculation regarding why Kareena was not casted in her place. Deepika was perfect for her role and she and Saif look excellent together. Love Aaj Kal would surely be another feather in her cap. Great going, Deepika!

Rishi Kapoor also manages to impress as much as Saif and Deepika. Everyone will surely love him in the still-young-at-heart role. After Luck By Chance, this is surely another brilliant performance from this actor. The one who enacted the role of Harleen is actually a Brazlian, Giselle Monteiro. Yet, she is likeable as the Punjabi kudi of the 60s. Only someone like Imtiaz Ali can extract such fine desi performance from a firangi! Rahul Khanna is as usual charming. It’ll be great if he gets the role of protagonist too! Neetu Kapoor comes in unexpectedly! Raj Zutshi and others were okay.

Love Aaj Kal5

One can argue that songs weren’t necessary in the film. Quite true, since many songs crop up unexpectedly and the film could have been a romantic songless flick! However, although songs at several places weren’t necessary, it doesn’t bore or put a brake on the narrative. And the songs itself are so good that one doesn’t mind! Pritam scores a sixer with this album and is surely one of his best compositions. Also, songs are also very well picturised, esp ‘Mein Kya Hoon’. It was just outstanding and also impactful. ‘Ajj Din Chadeya’, the best song of the film in my view, also brings a smile on one’s face, even though only the initial part of the song is played in the film. Rest of the songs, ‘Twist’, ‘Dooriyaan’, ‘Chor Bazaari’ and ‘Thoda Thoda Pyaar’ are brilliant too!

Irshad Kamil’s lyrics also deserve a special mention. The way he has used some unusual words in songs is extraordinary. For instance, in Chor Bazaari, the word ‘ghatna’, which is never before heard in any song before, is used here!

N Natarajan Subramaniam’s cinematography was flawless. It’s great to see the lensman didn’t show the popular landmarks of the city in which film is shot. For instance, in scenes of London, not even a single scene or frame show Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square or any other popular London landmark. Similarly, Red Fort and India Gate are missing in the Delhi sequences! It is little things like these that make Love Aaj Kal special!

Salim-Sulaiman’s background score, as expected, was top-notch. Aarti Bajaj’s editing was sharp, slick and brilliant. Watch the film and you’ll get my point! Production design was marvelous and eye-catching, especially in the sepia coloured 60’s scenes!

Finally, Imtiaz Ali, the writer and director, comes out with flying colours! His debut film, Socha Na Tha flopped but it was noticed and appreciated by moviegoers. His second offering, Jab We Met, succeeded across the country. And now with his third flick, he has surely been hailed as the one of the finest directors of our country. The way he treated both the diverse stories and found out striking similarities is worth appreciating and extra ordinary! Also, it’s fabulous to see Imtiaz comparing Calcutta and San Francisco. Both the cities have a tram network and if SF has the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Calcutta have the rustic Howrah Bridge! Hats off Imtiaz for your wonderful effort!

Some of the best scenes of the film:

  1. All songs (well shot and picturised)
  2. Jai and Meera’s break-up
  3. Jai and Veer Singh’s conversations (damn interesting!)
  4. Jai and Meera at the airport
  5. All scenes of Veer-Harleen’s love story
  6. Drunk Jai escorting drunk Meera to her home
  7. The New Year’s eve at Delhi
  8. The marriage
  9. The last 30 mins, including the SF scenes!

On the whole, Love Aaj Kal is a very interesting take on the modern relationships and surely emerges as one of the best films of the year. Performances, songs, cinematography rocks but it is Imtiaz Ali’s touch which works wonders! Highly recommended!

My rating-**** ½ out of 5!

Love Aaj Kal6

Sarita Tanwar (MID-DAY; July 31, 2009)

Saif Ali Khan walks in 10 minutes late. He’s looking fresh and surprisingly fit. He gives me a typical filmy hug and announces, “I haven’t had a bath yet.” I tell him that information would’ve been appreciated a few seconds earlier. Even though he is in his gym clothes, he’s not carrying his workout on him.

Must be the blue blood. He settles down on the other end of the couch and dons his serious glasses, “This is the Bengali in me finally coming out. Very Basu Bhattacharya.” Point noted and it’s time for some serious business. He orders coffee and me conversation. And then, we talk about his love, aaj and kal. Excerpts….

The last time you did a light romantic film (Hum Tum), you won a National Award. What are you expecting with Love Aaj Kal (LAK)?
I am not in the least interested in awards. It is a kind of celebration that comes much later. I am hoping for a decent opening and a successful run. That’s it.

That’s it?
I am hoping and expecting that people will like the movie and enough of them will watch it so that the people who have invested in us are not disappointed. I think it is a good movie and it has a good story. I think stories are really important parts of our lives, whether it is reading or watching them or listening to them from an old tailor in Bhopal, sitting at the foot of my bed, when I was a baby. My parents would be on the balcony, talking with adults and this old man would tell me tales of shikar and tigers and how it attacked somebody….

A man with stories! Can I steal him?
Yeah, no! He was about 90 then yaar…

Drat! Okay, hoping LAK does well for you as a producer, or as an actor?
Both. I think it’s more important that it does well. I am playing a Sikh character, and also a contemporary character called Jai, which people may or may not connect to, because of his thinking. There was a little bit of that in Salaam Namaste, where he didn’t want to get married just because she was pregnant, which people did not like as it isn’t the most heroic thing to do. Similarly, Jai doesn’t know that he loves this girl, and he certainly doesn’t believe in marriage and wants to be practical. But the story is how he changes from that into something else.

Sounds like you.
Err, maybe. Maybe, I suppose. But actually, not really. Jai seems quite clear that he doesn’t want to commit to anyone. Maybe I am just making him sound like me. But he’s not really so.

Most actors and filmmakers take trips to Shirdi, Vaishnodevi or Tirupati before their release. Have you done any of that?
(Sounds amused) No. but I believe Dino (co-producer Dinesh Vijan) went to Siddhi Vinayak with the print. I definitely believe in God. And I believe in luck. And I understand why people would want to cover all the bases. There is a big question mark as to what would work, so people try anything. I mean ultimately, when there is turbulence on the plane, and my gut clenches, I do start saying the Ayatul Kursi. Let’s not laugh at people who do these things but I would like to have the strength to say that mandir and prayer aside, there’s a whole lot of other stuff that is in the gray area.

Like numerology? Did you check if you title was ‘balanced’ for success?
No. I don’t believe that much in astrology and numerology even though I think it could be fun sometimes. I find some of these numerologically sound titles attractive. Like Himesh Reshammiya’s film, what was the name..?

Karzzzz?
(Grins) No, that was a bad marketing idea. Especially if the film is even slightly boring. Arre, it was his only film that ran. It was called Aap Kaa Surror The Real Love Story and it was spelled with two A’s and Kambakkht Ishq had two K’s and Singh Is Kinng had two N’s. So it is kind of hip. It has an edge to it.  But when people do it to their names that is not cool.

For a brief while, Kareena was Kariena…
Oh no! Really? I am happy she has changed it back.

So you will never be Saaif, with an extra A?
No chance. But for my films, maybe I would try it. Maybe Love Aaj Kal would have looked better as Love Aaj Kall. Maybe it would be funky.

Deepika is the youngest actress you’ve worked with and Kareena is the youngest girl you’ve been involved with. That’s new!
Yes, it is new. Definitely.

And?
(Smirks) And it makes you health conscious. Like on hand, I will say, “I think I should be much fitter and healthier.” And on the other, I am really happy being 38.

When you are with these 20-plus women, do you feel older, wiser and smarter or there is some connect?
Oh, I connect with them completely. Why it works is because I am quite juvenile and they are quite mature. (Laughs) So it balances out just fine. But seriously, I do feel very happy for the people I have met, the things I have seen, and experienced. I really think I have matured. I have had a really interesting history, even though I say it myself. So if you ask me, being with Kareena or working with someone younger than me, it is a non-issue for me. I really like being me. And I am very confident in that. I am so lucky that I am doing okay in movies also. Because it is another world.

You’ve never promoted a film like this before. Do you find it cumbersome?
(Sighs) Incredibly exhausting. If I see another camera…. (rolls his eyes).

…or a journalist?
No, I think there is a charm to the written word. We learnt early in our careers to speak carefully because the printed word reads differently because it doesn’t like a tone. It can be cold. So you must word yourself intelligently.

Like a text message.
But a personality can be sensed through an sms. I personally don’t like those short forms. I can’t say ‘pls’; I will type ‘please’ (dramatically). And I can’t bear ‘da’ for ‘the’.

Ok, coming back to promotions….
We sat here as a production house and said, ‘Let us make people aware of this film.’ Promotion is such an important part of the film for the producer. Otherwise as an actor, you do the film and then you call the producer and interfere, ‘Where is the hoarding?’, ‘Where is the poster?’.  Now I know that there are 450 million mobile users and 50 million internet users in India and I want to reach everyone. So you get involved in the whole process. It’s better than worrying about what another actor is doing. I see the poster of Kites and think it is phenomenal. I feel, “Wow, Hrithik Roshan is fit, and a good-looking guy. Like an angel sometimes.” It’s not competitive. I am like – let me work harder; let me learn from other people. I put all my energies into producing this movie rather than worrying about what other people are doing.

But you’ve never really worried about competition.
True. Earlier I wasn’t even worried about myself that much as well.

That’s the lazy Leo in you.
Possibly. And it’s also a bit like my father. At some level I don’t want to lose that. When you are successful, then suddenly people start waking up to you. That’s the scary part. I like to put my feet up on ottomans, in Jaipur razais and watch TV and just cut off from everything in the afternoon. But when you are super-successful, then suddenly everyone wants a piece of you. And then they get offended when some top notches of Mumbai society or politician wants to meet you… The challenge is to be successful and yet maintain a balance without offending anybody but keeping your equilibrium.

You’ve not shown the film to your colleagues as well as the media. Why?
I have known you for so long; I can easily call you and say I am having a trial, watch it and tell me what you think. But you are going to sense that my intention is to seduce you somehow into liking it. At the same time, when I have a press show, as a producer, I will invite people and come say a few words and then bugger off. I am not going to hang around till the end and ask people, “Kaise laga, kaise laga.” Because I will be too tense anyway. Even if my friend goes to see the film, forget the press or the industry, somewhere his opinion will start mattering. And I don’t want it to matter.

Won’t your colleagues be upset that you didn’t show them the film?
If you don’t show the film to anyone, then there is no stress. And it is important to be consistent in life. I have never had a trial. I have never called another actor or filmmaker and said, “I want to see your movie, organise a trial, yaar.” Because I think it is more fun to buy my popcorn and go to the theatre and watch the film. The bottom line of the psychology of the whole thing is: If you pay money to buy a ticket, and make a plan to go see it with your family, friends or girlfriend, it is a different psychology than to be invited by me. I am not interested in THAT audiences’ opinion. Someone will be too tense to laugh and the actors would be like, “I would’ve done this scene better.” The producers will say, “Arre, how much money have these guys spent?” The heroines will be, “This girl is rubbish; I am better than her.” So you know there is no barometer.

How do you react when people feel that you are still not established as a solo hero?
I don’t think that’s true. Who can say that now? You are digging out a question from 1992.

No, that is the perception.
What crap! That perception went out with Hum Tum, which was a solo hero film. Then Parineeta was a solo hero.

But you still did Race, with Anil and Akshaye.
Yeah, but if Race had been a flop, it would’ve been only my flop. Let’s get that clear. There are certainly performances that have contributed to the film but I had the most to lose.

Yeah, and even though Race did good business, it was never counted among the big hits. Why?
Dude, I don’t know about that, but as far as the distributors go, they were very happy. It was a 1200 print opening. They opened that film much wider than any other movie of mine.

Also, you didn’t get due credit for its success.
I got the due credit from Ramesh Taurani, who will be happy to pay me for Race 2 and that is the kind of due I am interested in. And the fact is that the audiences have seen the film, and loved it. About the internal politics, I am not really concerned as long as it doesn’t affect my job.

Looking back, do you feel it was a wrong decision to do so many two-hero projects?
No. I have also chosen what I thought were the best roles.

But you’ve even played second fiddle to Madhavan in Rehna Hain Terre Dil Mein.
Yeah but that was not a particularly great time for me. Like any actor, I’ve always chosen the best from what I was offered that year. Some years have not been very interesting, while some have been great. Your aspirations change according to your success ratio. In the beginning, you are just happy to be working. That you have a job, and you have been accepted. Your standards are pretty low. And pretty soon, after a while, you want to be the best there is. The best there has ever been (laughs); you know there is no end to that kind of ego shit.

You recently said you and Kareena didn’t plan to stay engaged forever. Does that mean you’re already engaged?
No. I mean I feel like I am engaged. But I don’t believe in engagements as such; they are a bit old-fashioned.

Your mom said in a recent interview that you both have the family’s blessings.
I am sure mom wants me to settle down. Parents like to tie up everything and they think it’s done. But it is not done even if you are married. Today, marriage is another form of engagement. It is a legal commitment that it is quite easy to get out of. It’s not like: It’s all over and now we can all go to sleep. And anyway it is very important in a girl’s career for her to focus on that. And marriage — let’s be honest — alters your image, your marketability and people lose interest in you. I’d much rather people kept asking, “When are you getting married?” The minute you are married, you are yesterday’s news. And I am not in any rush to get married. Because I am loving this.

Is it tough to manage being together with your tough schedules?
We are balancing our lives beautifully. We are working hard and Kareena is more than a wife, because she loves me. There are so many wives who don’t love their husbands because they are pakaoed after 10 years of being together. Bebo gives me all the time in the world. And when I get done with these two days and the film releases, I will give time. We manage. People laugh at us saying, “Oh you are turning up on the set; she is coming here” but that’s how we manage.

Oh, you are aware of people laughing?
Yeah, of course, but what to do? Initially when the relationship is starting, you want to make each other secure, and you want to tell the world that we are serious about each other. We are not a fly-by-night kind of a thing. So we make commitments on paper, and we say things but before you know it, it gets blown out of proportion.

What if Bebo says she wants marriage?
For an actor and for a working person, it must come at the right time. You must do it when you want to do it, or when you want to have children. We’ve waited for a reason. It is not the 1920s when it was like now we can live together or now we can spend time legally. We can do all that now, without that. People must understand her priorities. She is a film child. She has grown up watching films. She has always wanted this and she has finally achieved it. And I absolutely forbid her to even want to. Tomorrow if she says, “Let’s get married”, I will tell her, “I think you should work for a few years.”

She has been flaunting her ring for a long time.
She can flaunt many rings. I will give her lots of them. Even I wear rings.

What’s going on between you and Shahid? He was quoted saying that you and Bebo were using his name to get publicity.
I am really glad you asked me this because enough has been said now. Shahid seems like a really well brought-up guy and I mean no offence to him. And let’s stop it now. We are both gentlemen and whenever we have met, we’ve shook hands, and that’s it. So I will not listen to anything anybody says. And it sounds so fake to say I sincerely wish him all the best but I want him to know that I have only heard good things about him. And that too from his ex-girlfriend, which leaves me with a sense of respect for the past and God bless him. He seems like a strong man, and a good kid. That’s it.

There were reports that you were offered Kaminey?
I would like to clear once and for all that Vishal Bhardwaj did not offer me Kaminey. We talked about a film about twins. That film might not even have been Kaminey. I hope it is a good film. But right now, I am more interested in my film running. And I am not interested in other people’s downfall because it doesn’t help me in anyway. When Sanjay Dutt went to jail, it didn’t benefit anybody. It just hurt him. So tomorrow, if something happens to an actor, it does not increase your saleability.

All actors say they don’t watch other actors’ films. What about you?
I genuinely don’t watch many Hindi films. But when I do, l like to see what other people are doing and how they perform. Maybe not at a competitive level. Maybe I will learn from them.

Ever considered direction?
Not really. Not at the moment. It is a completely different kind of a ball-game. It is a huge commitment. I like to cut off and stop for a while. But a director is always thinking, writing, then making and then editing – it’s never ending. I think it is a single man’s job. I don’t know how they manage to be in relationships. Is that wrong to say? I think it’s like being a cop; then the girl really needs to understand.

Many would say that about an actor’s job too.
No, an actor can make time and say, “Ab pack up ho gaya and I can go home.”

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