Fenil and Bollywood

Chamatkaar for Chatur

Posted on: January 13, 2010

BOLLYWOOD CALLING: Omi Vaidya

Omi Vaidya aka Chatur Ramalingam has kickstarted his Bollywood innings on a successful note

HARSHADA REGE Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 11, 2010)

Making it big in Bollywood has been nothing short of a… ahem ‘chamatkaar’ for Omi Vaidya, better known as Chatur Ramalingam who did his best to get Rajkumar Hirnani’s 3 Idiots into trouble. And his effort has paid off big time! On the big premiere night he says, in his heavily-accented Hindi, “I learnt a few lines like ‘Aamir Khanji ke saath kaam kar ke mazaa aaya’ and stuff like that. But to my utter dismay, no one bothered to take any photographs or seemed interested in doing any interviews!” But three hours later, it was a different scene altogether. “It was hard for me to leave the theatre. The best compliment came from Shabana Azmi, who told my mom that ‘He’s the best in the movie’,” he smiles. Now, his ‘chamatkaarchanged-to-balatkaar’ speech has become a big hit, online and over cell phones. Omi, an actor from Los Angeles has been part of shows like The Office, Arrested Development, CSI Las Vegas and Kath and Kim. “Raju offered me the role of an NRI, which was Chatur. And I got it only because of my bad Hindi. His only condition was that I should stop watching Hindi movies and learning the language. And most importantly he asked me to stop exercising because in the first bit that we were going to shoot for the part where I am supposed to be fat, bald and older. I had to pile on weight… that was fun,” he remembers. But the extra weight and bald look posed a bit of a problem later. “I ended up looking fat and bald on my wedding day. My wife wasn’t too pleased,” he laughs.

The 27-year-old actor doesn’t know what his fate will be like in Bollywood, but he loves it here. “I’ll be here as long as Bollywood wants me to stick around. People have to know where to fit me. They are still figuring out who I am. I’ll have to adapt a bit too. But it’s an exciting time for me.” And the actor is definitely all geared up for his stay in tinsel town. So is he brushing up on his Hindi? “Oh yes, I have already started that,” he reveals.

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