23 years after Mahesh Bhatt's Aashiqui became a blockbuster its leading man Rahul Roy is wondering why he hasn't been invited to see Aashiqui 2.
`I have not seen the film. Maybe because I am no longer that close to Mahesh Bhatt Saab. During the last 12-13 years we just drifted apart. If I had seen it I'd be better positioned to comment on it.
As things stand when I'm asked about it I can only conjecture. As far as I can see there is very little connection between my Aashiqui and this film except that shot of the lovers' faces hidden in the coat.
But the impact of that moment is so great that people immediately connected the two films. However in my opinion nostalgia is impossible to beat. And like it or not Aashiqui is in the region of nostalgia. `
Reminisces Rahul, `It's bizarre. Aashiqui is a brilliant monkey on my shoulder. And I don't think that magic can be recreated. The music of Aashiqui by Nadeem Shravan was unbeatable. However I like the songs in Aashiqui 2.
For once I can understand the songs and lyrics in a contemporary score. But if you're going to tell me that this music can be compared with the original Aashiqui, then I'm sorry that can't happen. Aashiqui was magic.
It somehow just happened. It's very rare to have all 8 tracks being superhits. 23 years later they are still hummed. I remember within three days of the music release people went berserk over the music. I haven't seen that kind of craze for any film soundtrack.
And mind you, we didn't have 200 television channels to promote it. I still say, Aashiqui should be able to stand on its own. But it won't match the craze of the original. `
Rahul admits he hasn't kept in touch with his Aashiqui co-stars. `I haven't been able to keep in touch with Anu Aggarwal. But Deepak Tijori was with me in Bigg Boss. Very honestly, we all are busy. But we care for one another. I have to confess I am wary of introducing myself to the newer lot of actors. `
Speaking of Mahesh Bhatt Rahul says, `I've always treated him like a father-figure. But I am no longer the 24-year old boy I was during Aashiqui. 15 years ago I was deeply attached to Mahesh Bhatt and his banner Vishesh Films. I did five films with them.
They were like my home turf. Every time I had a career low I could go back to them Finally though I had to face the world on my own. When I started my spiritual journey I realized I had to cut away from all attachment. I had to face facts.
If I did a bad film I bloody well had to face the music. My dependence on Vishesh Films is gone. But that doesn't mean my love and respect for them has also diminished. If they offer me a film I'd do it. But I can no longer knock on their doors asking for work. `
Rahul is filled with hope for the future. `I've a great family. My wife Rajlaxmi lives in Sydney. She works over there. And I keep shuffling between Mumbai and Sydney. I spend some months there every year. She is here for some months. We've a great life together and apart. It's important in a relationship to give the two individuals space to grow. We aren't parents as yet. But we're planning a baby. She's 11 years younger to me. ` Rahul is going to star in a thriller to be shot in overseas. `I've great things happening to me. I am ready to announce a new film. I want to work the way I want. For many years I was traveling up and down from Australia.
I've finally got my permanent residency there. I am ready to work again. But I I don't want to do worthless stuff. I can't play a college boy any more.
But I am playing a flamboyant rich person like the character I played in Mahesh Bhatt Saab's Junoon. The story idea is mine. The director is Rajiv Patil whose Marathi film Jogwa won 5 National awards. `
He looks back with gratitude at the film industry. `People call me a one-film wonder. I say, every actor should have that one hit like Aashiqui to their credit. People still remember me and the film. Kam-se-kam wohtoh kar ke dikhao (at least show me you can do that). They've given me enough.
I am still getting love and respect from my peers and the junta. I've managed to keep up relationships and equations within the industry. I've to be happy with that. As far as my career is concerned, every actor is on test every Friday. When one starts one's career with a hit like Aashiqui it's hard to keep up that momentum.
And you know what, even if I had a chance to re-live my life I wouldn't have it any other way. Even all the mistakes were welcome. They've helped me grow. `