Joined: 25 May 2004
Jassi may be Jassi on screen and off it, but Nandu, her male equivalent, bespectacled, well-oiled and clumsy, is definitely something else once he sheds the pancake.
Gaurav Gera is as trendy and hip as they come, a far cry from the bumbling endearing simpleton he portrays in Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin. Nor is he worried about playing second fiddle to the buck toothed Jassi.
"Jassi is a very attractive babe if you see her (read, without make up). Yes, I was attracted to her. But everybody can't be a bedmate. She is my soulmate," he beams his trademark grin, before adding, "Work pressures and career ambitions combine not to let you romance. That way, I have a very good equation with the entire Jassi... team, though I am not on back-slapping terms with my seniors. With Rakshanda Khan who is the epitome of grace and dignity, I took a long time to open up."
I am itching to ask the inevitable : Will Nandu also get a makeover when Jassi unfurls into the attractive babe that she is? "First let Jassi undergo a makeover. I have been hearing about it since January!" Aha!
Fine, but that doesn't answer my question. "You are persistent, aren't you?" he winks. "Well, initially I was told that I too would be undergoing a makeover. Slowly down the line, I was informed that it may not happen. Abhi mujhe nahin lagta ki hoga."
A sacrifice of identity? Perhaps.
But what about his own creative vision for the character? "I really don't know, but I think I have gotten too much into Nandu's skin. It could be better if it stays this way. Let's see. Like life, a serial is a journey."
For the Delhi bred Gaurav, life is currently Mumbai. "I was smitten by Mumbai. Mumbai is like wine. The older it gets for you, the better it turns out to be," he tells us, taking a large sip of his capuccino. "I started out in the garment industry but soon realised that I was wasting my time. I couldn't think original. Frankly, there was no scope to tax my grey. Clients used to come with catalogues and magazines in hand. I chucked up my job just when my probation period was about to get over. Did raise a few eyebrows among relatives and friends, but came away here to avoid their glare."
Swanky cars, parties, discotheques, glamour, media... eh? "Who wouldn't be attracted?" he says rather unabashedly. "Actually, I had been here for a while during my probation. That's where the fatal attraction began."
The guy who arrived in India's commercial capital with just his basic amenities shared a one-room flat with two friends after being shunted out from a relative's apartment. His parents sent out SOSes to him, begging his return... but he hung on. Danced his way into the chorus in Ram Gopal Varma's Mast telling his choreographer friend not to photograph him! And he danced for musicals like The Man of La Mancha and many of Suneeta Rao's live shows. He gradually got offers for commercials and became a known face in ads like Nestle Munch, Fair & Lovely among many others. "I wish money grew on trees," he says, toying with his cell phone as the messages pour in.
I crane my neck to get a glimpse into the guy's social life. "I know what you want to know. I am single," he laughs. "I had a steady girlfriend in Haryana, but she came to Mumbai and thought I had changed. To be honest, I have. It just isn't possible to be the same after four years in the city of dreams." That's pretty honest, compared to the clichs employed by artistes on how they haven't changed despite their star status. "Besides, when we were dating, I was a boy. Today, I am a man," he adds.
I need to know more about Jassi.
"Could we have another coffee?" he asks, clearly evading the question.
For the man whose serial has changed nearly 11 directors since its first telecast and has been slowly but surely declining in popularity, the future is nevertheless bright. Gaurav has bagged a part in a show on the lines of Saturday Night Live being made by Contiloe Films for Star. He will also be seen in an ad campaign by Yash Raj Films. Not over yet! You could catch him on Smile TV's Yo Yo too.
But, wait, wasn't he considered for the Singhs' forthcoming Baal Baal Bache for Sahara and that the remuneration offered put him off? We expect him to ask for another coffee to evade this one, but his phone comes to his rescue. Dogs aren't man's only best friends, after all!
Joined: 21 July 2004
Well,it seems he is quite a diplomate isn't he?
Anyways thx Kanchi
Joined: 11 May 2004
Joined: 25 May 2004
Joined: 16 June 2004
Gaurav Gera scares his cast
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