Joined: 03 October 2007
Happy Birthday Ria..May God bless u..
Joined: 18 July 2006
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As Rajeev Khandelwal prepares for the second season of "Sach Ka Saamna", Anuj Kumar speaks to the non-conformist star
For Rajeev Khandelwal unpredictability is the only constant. Once christened as the chocolate boy of television, he left the medium at the height of popularity to do Aamir, a film with a first time director, which had no heroine or songs. The film worked. Offers began to flow but the boy returned to television to host Sach Ka Saamna, a reality show which was considered a voyeur's delight. His detractors thought the boy had lost it but he again proved them wrong with the calm appeal that he brought to the show. Still there was a section which believed he was made for soft things on screen. In came Shaitan and Rajeev showed that he could be a hard nut to crack. Recently, Soundtrack failed to make a mark at the box office but his bonhomie with the critics continued. Rajeev Khandelwal is the star of the alternate world that the multiplex cinema has spawned.
"My choices have always been questioned. Some found my leaving television as arrogance when the fact is I left it for my growth as an actor. I never thought TV is inferior to cinema. After Kahin To Hoga I returned for Time Bomb and Left Right Left. Then people asked why I was doing a series for SAB, which was not considered a top notch channel at that time. I felt your credibility as an actor is real only if you can make a good series work on any channel."
It worked, but Rajeev says after a point, most successful serials fall into a rut. "That's why I took a break. I don't like to be told that you are one of those who managed to break free from the rigmarole of TV. I feel people don't try hard enough. My priorities were very clear. I was not insecure what will happen if I will go out of the limelight. I am very honest towards myself. Some say I plan things very well, when I feel it is just destiny. I read Raj Kumar Gupta's script (of Aamir) on a flight to Delhi and couldn't say no. I don't go by factors like safe project, some formula or set up. To me a ticket sold by word of mouth publicity is much more worthwhile than the one sold by the hype generated by a battery of PR. When a five crore film generates public interest, it gives you a different kind of high. Tomorrow I might do an out and out comedy or a commercial venture but there has to be solid reason behind it. Simple."
Even though these are times of PR, Rajeev says, it is not something that excites him. "I can any day hire and push up my positioning, as they call it but I want a position that I have earned. I want to earn every ounce of my standing in the industry."
Many don't know that the Jaipur boy found his feet in Delhi. "I came to Delhi in 1998 to achieve my dreams, to be an actor. The confidence to face the world came during my stay in Delhi because I came here without the support of my family, without any money or contacts. I came to Delhi just because it was nearer to Jaipur. Generally you feel Bombay is the place. I used to think that I will get lost in Mumbai. Let me first make my base in Delhi and then I will move to Mumbai. It was not insecurity, it was lack of courage. I didn't come here to go back to Jaipur but somewhere in my subconscious mind it was there that if things won't work out in Delhi I can always go home. In Bombay, I was told, 2.5 lakh people land up every day to make a career in the city but what nobody talks about is many people leave the city as well every day. So in 1998 I came to Delhi."
Rajeev says the catalyst was when his application for Combined Defence Services got rejected. I still remember it was 15th of some month and I reached with the form on the 16th. I was standing on Prithviraj Road outside UPSC and there I said to myself: this may be life's way to tell me to pursue my dreams. I didn't do any theatre in college. For some days I stayed with my cousin. Then I shifted to a small rented accommodation in Ashok Vihar, next to Deep Cinema. I used to share it…these are matters of autobiography! I used to do a lot of things to earn my living I used to sell gemstone paintings, I used to bring them from Jaipur and sell them door-to-door while looking for avenues in the field of acting. During the struggle I started writing for documentaries then I started making documentaries. Slowly I became an independent producer of documentaries. I used to ideate and write. I remember I wrote lines like shiksha kisi ki jagir nahin, yeh insan ka hai nischay…for a documentary on education. Bhaskar Chatterjee who was heading National Literacy Mission at that time loved the film so much that he bought it. Then I made a pilot episode of a serial on Indian Army but before I could pitch it to any channel, Kargil war broke out and my sources in Indian army told me that they could no longer support me because now they had to fight an actual war."
He loved the process of film making but acting was still his goal. "Even though I had no experience in acting still I wanted to act. It wasn't about glamour. It wasn't about that I wanted to be known. Though I used to say in college that one day I will come back and you will be waving at me. And it did happen eventually when I visited my college St. Xavier's, Ahmedabad after I became a known face," he smiles.
Coming back to the story, he took the pilot to Mumbai with the hope that somebody may buy the idea but nobody did. "I thought like Delhi this time destiny had brought me to Mumbai. I started giving auditions. But I could not break free from Delhi. By that time my standard of living had improved. I had rented a barsati in Greater Kailash-II and I used to pay full month's rent even though I used to spend 15 days in Mumbai, which still used to scare me." On one of the visits he came to know that Balaji Telefilms is doing auditions for its new series in Atma Ram Sanatan Dharam College. "I thought it must be a fake audition as who will do audition in ARSD. Still I went and saw a huge crowd. It seemed as if the whole Delhi had turned up. I was auditioned as the in-charge wanted to take a variety of faces with him to Ekta Kapoor. That's how I got Kahin To Hoga."
With the second season of Sach Ka Saamna about to start, Rajeev says this time the focus is on corruption. "You will see participants talking about how they bribed people or had taken bribe. It is not just financial corruption, it is also about moral and societal corruption." Rajeev says that one thing that comes out of the show is that education can go a long way in fighting corruption. "A little understanding of laws and rights can make a difference." But the participants are paid to tell the truth? "They are but you need guts to tell the truth. The show brings out the hypocrisy of the society. In the last season none of the revelations was such that we didn't know still it made audience uncomfortable because somewhere the participants were revealing truths that you and I don't want to talk about. It led to debates and discussions in the family."
As for the films, his experiments with the craft continue. He has given up on UTV's Peter Gaya Kaam Se. "It is complete for the last two years. I don't know what UTV will do with it. For me it has become a dated project. I don't feel too much about it any more." For now he is excited about turning into an obsessive character for Tanuja Chandra's Raakh, an unusual love story set in Bhopal. "You can't expect anything usual from Tanuja and me." Spot on!
Rajeev Khandelwal had been sent the original show, "Moment of Truth", and he liked it enough to audition for it. Out of more than a dozen people we tried out, Rajeev shone through for his intelligence, sincerity, and sensitivity in handling a complex and demanding show like "Sach ka Saamna". He's been a keen and astute learner, and has shaped out as one of the best show hosts I've ever worked with. I think he was terrific in the first season, but he's actually taken it to another level this time around. In the second season of "Sach…", due to commence shortly, I believe viewers will find Rajeev's superbly controlled handling of a difficult show riveting and dramatic.
Siddharth Basu of BIG Synergy, which produces "Sach Ka Saamna" for Star Network
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Joined: 13 July 2007
Naina is woken up by Heer and Sunny who are fighting over chocolates!!!!!
Poor Naina is not getting a job aur ab woh yeh dono ish baat pe bet bhi lagane lage hai!!!!!!
Raj hated it when someone or something is late!!!!!!
He hates waiting and is angry that the servants have not prepared breakfast yet!!!!!!
His dadi calms him down and says that the servants have laid breakfast!!!!!
She is irritated at his obssession with time and wants him to settle down!!!!!!
Raj loves his dadi and he fears no one as he has everything under his control!!!!!
Naina's mom hates her as she feels that because of Naina she lost everything!!!!!
Naina longs for her mother's love and wants to help her!!!!!
Mia is always rude to Naina but Naina's mom lets her do whatever she wants!!!!!
I loved it when Naina answered Mia back!!!!!
Naina has missed the bus aur pata nahi ab kya karegi!!!!!
I just hope she gets the job as I am sure uski interview Raj ke company mein hi hogi!!!!!!
Joined: 18 July 2006
Joined: 17 April 2010
Joined: 13 July 2007
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