Rajeev Khandelwal likes to describe himself as “an explorer, a husband and an actor”, but thanks to his on-screen roles, he has been labelled as a lover boy, a charmer and more. He says owing to the different genres and mediums that he has tried, it won’t be easy to “slot” him now.
It doesn’t take long for actors to earn labels. Asked if there is any specific label that he would like to shake off, Rajeev told IANS here: “When I started off (in showbiz), I was labelled as lover boy, then I did films that were very intense and then I did a show which was very different. Now I know that when people think of me, there are sections in society who like ‘Kahiin To Hoga’ or ‘Left Right Left’ or ‘Aamir’.
“So now, I think it is very difficult to slot me. I have done a lot of mediums. I am doing projects which are interesting.”
But he is yearning to do plays.
“Theatre is something which has not happened for me. I think really highly of theatre. That would be one more thing that I would like to try other than various characters,” said the actor, best known for playing Sujal Garewal in the show “Kahiin To Hoga” from 2003-2005.
His to-do list might be long but joining a reality show as a contestant is not a part of it.
“I am not meant for reality shows. I am not against them, but as an individual, I don’t think I can compete for something to show my talent.
“I love ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ because I want to do the stunts. I am a very outdoor person. I love adventure sports, but I can’t take that show. I don’t want to do the stunts because I have to beat somebody else. I want to do the stunts for my own sake.”
That doesn’t mean that he likes to stay away from non-fiction shows. After hosting shows like “Deal Ya No Deal” and “Sacch Ka Saamna”, he is back as a host of another TV project.
Zee TV’s “JuzzBaatt.Sangeen Se Namkeen Tak” shows Rajeev firing questions at his celebrity guests and also having a gala time with them.
“It’s too early to say, but so far, the response has been good. I am also learning. I am getting more comfortable with the role as a host. This is not a scripted show. I will take my own time to improve myself as a host. I know that I will be one of the best hosts,” Rajeev said with a smile.
The weekend show has had guests like brothers and actors Rohit and Ronit Roy, star couple Divyanka Tripathi and Vivek Dahiya. Is it easier to get personal with guests as he is a celebrity himself’
“I am Rajeev first, then a celebrity. If you meet me outside, I wouldn’t have bothered for a second whether you know me or not. I would have connected with you as a person. I connect with so many people.”
Sharing an example, he said: “Recently, I was on a flight. There was this lady sitting next to me. I found her so cute. She was about 80 years old. I said this is going to be a fun flight because she was a very fun-loving woman.
“We had a blast. I figured out that she didn’t know me. So I could be myself. It was only towards the end that she said that she loved almost all my characters. So, I connect with people on a human level.”
But he is not a fan of sharing about his daily routine on social media.
“Why should I share a picture of myself doing something at home’ It takes a lot of effort (to put photographs or videos of himself on social media).
“I am not making a difference to society by putting it up, but I guess that’s the norm….I don’t think too highly of myself. I am a very normal and ordinary guy. People call me reserved but I am not. It’s just that I don’t think it’s worthy of being shared on a social media platform.”
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at email@example.com)
By Natalia Ningthoujam