Rajeev Khandelwal doesn’t need any introduction. Nobody has seen the kind of popularity and fan following on television like him. His popular character of Sujal Garewal in hit show Kahiin To Hoga gave him the tag of a TV superstar in no time. Rajeev, however, quit the show at its peak to venture into films and try reality TV. For the millennials, specially girls, he will always be remembered for his romantic avatar as Sujal, followed by his tough portrayal in Left Right Left, and even as a host of Sacch Ka Saamna. His Bollywood debut was Aamir, a crime thriller based on terrorism. For many, he hasn’t shied away from taking risks. But during a candid chat with indianexpress.com, Rajeev refused to even call them risks.
“These were never risks I would say. But I was farsighted to know that if I wanted to play a long innings I would need to take these steps. I didn’t want to be a flash in the pan – someone who is shining today but vanishes tomorrow. I am still around. You still gave me a charming smile when I saw you. So that is what I wanted. I never wanted my work to be dated. I always wanted to be in reckoning and so whatever decisions I took were my instincts,” Rajeev said.
So, what are his pleasant fan memories and all the fan frenzy he still witnesses, wherever he goes? “It’s every guy’s dream that when women look at you, they give a smile. So it brings a smile on my face. I never took it too seriously though. I always felt that it was for the character and not for me. When girls look at me they project their own dreams and fantasies on me. But in reality I am completely normal and I don’t have any of those qualities. It is beautiful when somebody gives a smile to you, but you have to be honest and practical to know that is not for you, that is for the image they have in their head,” the actor said.
Despite his fan following, Rajeev prefers to keep himself away from social media and making public appearances. He explains, “That’s my nature. I am not comfortable being on social media or partying. I believe that I am not that big a person to let people know what I am doing, where I am vacationing. So why would I tell everyone about it. I have very few followers on Twitter and I have kept my handle as such so that people don’t know it’s me. I didn’t get my account verified too. I have a life which is equally important as my work.”
Talk about any intimidating fan memory, and he says, “Of course there are a lot of intimidating memories, lot of scary ones too. I’ve had moments where I have been totally blown over and have thought that is this for me because I am a very ordinary guy and they don’t even realise who they are making these sacrifices for. I do not like to recall moments, but there are plenty of them, plenty of them.”
Rajeev has done non-fiction shows like Deal ya No Deal and Sacch Ka Saamna. Will we ever see him doing Bigg Boss? “No. When the show started in 2005, I was approached even then. But I am not cut out to participate in any reality show. I can’t put my emotions on display for money. I am not comfortable with it. As far as hosting is concerned, I will keep doing it,” he answers.
Rajeev has several things lined up. He says he will soon be doing a web-series and a film, and will be back on TV next year. We asked about his message for fans and he signs off saying, “You all have blessed my life. I have had beautiful memories and I am still making memories. They have given me enough love to last my lifetime. And thank you so much and I hope I continue to live up to your expectations.”