Aman Yatan Verma – a name that evokes mixed reactions.
Some remember him for his successful tenure as the charming host of Sony's Indian Idol, while others prefer the infamous Ruchi episode. Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him.
Verma has bounced back after maintaining a low profile after the India TV scandal.
"The last few months have been a testing time for me, but I think I have evolved as a stronger person," he says, when we catch up with him on the set of his new feature film. "I am back where I belong. Television has always been my first love but I am also keen on doing films with strong characters."
Question him about his pet project, Indian Idol, and he lights up. "Idol has been the experience of a lifetime. The show not only became a rage, but also changed the face of Indian television. Travelling across the country with the unit was the best part of my job."
Did his eyes well up with tears as the first season ended? "Yes I did become emotional. But my part was to be a host, which I did religiously. I too had my favourites, but I always put my profession before my personal feelings."
However, Verma says he still has to work out the legalities for Idol 2. "I haven't got official confirmation from the channel. But if I am called even one day in advance of the shoot, I am ready to join the show happily."
The inside story is that Aman has already been finalised by the channel. They never even considered dropping Verma, despite the sting operation controversy, "We will continue working with him in all ways," is the channel's stand
Meanwhile, Aman's Bollywood career seems to be going great guns too. He has signed Dharmesh Darshan's Dosti, where he is playing an important role opposite Kareena Kapoor. The film also stars Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta.
Besides this, he also has an interesting film titled Kacchi Sadak, which throws light on the illicit liquor trade in rural Rajasthan. "I am very excited about this particular project. The role has a lot to offer in terms of performance."
Apart from taking up new film projects, the actor is also seen on Sahara One's Dial One Aur Jeeto. "That's a completely different experience. The show is totally live so you cannot prepare anything in advance. There are people yelling and screaming from the other end, but you need to be calm and composed."
His character of Abhay Chauhan has been missing in action from the afternoon daily Kumkum (Star Plus) in recent days. Reacting to it, he says, "I've heard that they will be getting Abhay back on the show very soon."
Talk about the last few months being difficult for him and he says, "I have definitely become a tougher person. I have wisened up and opened my eyes to recognising who's a friend and who isn't."