Joined: 03 August 2005
One gets replaced on soaps at the snap of a finger
Ejiaz Khan speaks about his insecurity over sharing screen space with Iqbal Khan in Kavyanjali and being the second choice in Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka
Subhash K Jha
Even if Ejiaz Khan danced with Amrita Arora in the 'Dilli ki sardi' in Zameen, it was only after he essayed the role of Kavya in Ekta Kapoor's Kavyanjali did he start getting fan mail by truck-loads. Today, Ejiaz is so busy that he does not get time to go through his mail. And with his serial Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka to be aired tomorrow, Ejiaz is only expected to get busier.
"And to think that before working with Ekta Kapoor in Kavyanjali to me I used to look down on television. Now, I look on soaps as serious commercial entertainment," says Ejiaz. "I just want to act, no matter what the medium. In my new serial for Ekta, Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka, I play a different character from Kavya. What more can an actor ask for?"
Acting is an unusual choice for Ejiaz since he comes from a family of engineers. "Television was the last thing on my mind. I grew up in a church in Chembur. I was mother-less and not on good terms with my father. So my brother and I were close to the Anglo-Indian community there. I couldn't even speak Hindi properly," he says.
So, he first modelled, and did music videos and a couple of dances for films. "I've a background in dancing. I danced with Abhishek, Aishwarya and Gautami Gadgil for 'Tumhein aaj maine jo dekha' number in Rohan Sippy's Kuch Na Kaho after some actor backed out at the last minute. Then in 'Dilli ki sardi' in Zameen some guy couldn't get his steps right. I stepped in."
All was going well till tragedy struck. "During the shoot for Sohail Khan's Maine Dil Tujhko Diya, I broke my shoulder. After surgery I fell on the same shoulder. I was bed-ridden for eight months. I thought it was the end of my career."
During the period of recuperation, Ejiaz. had to cope with long spells of isolation. "I think those months made me stronger, though the movement in my shoulder is frozen forever. For a model, dancer and actor, it was quite a setback, something I have grown accustomed to since childhood."
After touching rock bottom, things started to look up. "I was looking at a film career and met up with Ken Ghosh for Ishq Vishq. I was offered Kul Vadhu which finally became Koi Dil Mein Hai. When I was leaving the Balaji office Ekta saw me and offered me an exclusive contract. I started with Kahiin To Hoga and then did Kesar. I was soon shooting non-stop for thirty hours. But it's Kavyanjali which was a learning ground."
But was he a last-minute replacement on Kavyanjali? "Rakshak Sahni who was doing it was raw while I had already done five Balaji soaps."
Now, he will be seen sharing screen space with the Iqbal Khan on Kavyanjali. "Iqbal and I have lots of dramatic scenes together, but there is no rivalry. There is some insecurity, because one gets replaced on soaps at the snap of a finger. In fact, I stepped into Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka after Hiten Tejwani said no."
While work takes precedence in Ejiaz's life, love is on hold. "I had someone very close to me whom I never spoke about because she wasn't from the industry. There was just no time for a relationship. After a hard day's work all you think about is some sleep, not a relationship. We tried to make it work. I miss her sometimes. But all isn't lost."
* "Before working with Ekta Kapoor in Kavyanjali I used to look down on television. Now, I look on soaps as serious commercial entertainment"
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