You hail from an academic background. How come you decided to be an actor?
My dad is a scientist and my mother a teacher but, I was always conscious even as a kid how I dressed. I started working out in 9th grade. By the time college happened, I was nurturing this dream of becoming a model. I went to a local photographer one day asked him to click some pictures of time that I could submit to gladrags. You know the technology in small towns – My pictures had Snowclad Mountains and a lake as a superimposed backdrop. My pictures got selected and I made it to final 5. So, post modeling, acting was the natural flow.
You had a comfortable life with playing roles in Indian Soaps. So, what prompted you to take up Survivor India?
All I can say is Survivor India is a dream for many. For me it was a tailormade opportunity. I like pushing my limits and Survivor India was my yardstick to test my endurance. I can safely say that it is that best thing that has happened to me so far.
In Survivor India, you came across as a very straightforward person with no penchant for backbiting? Did your People's skills let you down?
Absolutely. There was a total miscalculation from my end. My strategy was to be a team player who pulls his weight and let someone else take the reins. I did not want to be in the line of fire. I thought of being pro active when the game shifted to more individual level. But, I guess by then it was too late – our group had disintegrated.
Who do you think other than Raj Rani was a deserving winner?
Stith Pragya Mohan, hands down ! He again pulled his weight and was an upright individual.
How are you in real life? Has the experience of Survivor India altered you in any way?
I'm a chilled out guy in real life - A true Punjabi by heart. I can get very aggressive at times, especially while driving (laughing). Survivor India was once in a life time opportunity. I just learnt to be more patient and made some fantastic friends.
How are you on the sets?
Abhinav: I'm very patient on the sets. I can wait for hours for my shot for I believe we have to follow a protocol as an actor. I know when my phone needs to be switched off and how I'm expected to behave. However , I cannot tolerate unruly and unjust behavior. Once, a production guy shifted my stuff from one room to another without informing me. I asked him and very rudely he pointed out – 'Hum kar sakte hain' . Anger kicked in and the team had to intervene to settle the matter.
Are you spiritual?
I'm spiritual in my own way. I'm not even sure if you categorize this as spirituality but I really care for environment. I like going to pristine places and I pick up plastic whenever I can. This for me is spirituality.
Are you dating anyone?
(Laughs) Let's just keep everyone guessing.
You are an outdoor person. Any crazy incidents while hiking or trekking you would like to share?
A lot of them to be honest. I was with my brother and a friend when we decided to go trekking along the Konkan region. There was this steep 8 kms stretch that was narrow, pretty much as good as walking on a ledge. I was carrying both mine and my brother's bag on that steep climb. I literally had to dig into the loose soil with the dagger to make climb up. We slept when we found some clear ground and only when I got up in the morning did I realize that I had flirted with danger.
What would your dream role be?
I love playing serious roles. I'd like to play special characters, may be like Dustin Hoffman in Rain man. I'd also jump at the opportunity of playing an athlete.
Any message for your fans on India-Forums.com?
I read what you guys write about me. It is so overwhelming to see the love and support that fans show me. I love you all and please keeps your feedback coming, be it criticism, for it all helps in shaping me as a better actor.