He was Preity Zintas hot-headed fiance in Dil Chahta Hai,Ajay Devgns best pal in Apaharan,and Madhuri Dixits abusive husband in Mrityudand. But actor Ayub Khan is best known for his role as Jogi Thakur in the television show Uttaran on Colors. The son of veteran actors Begum Para and Dilip Kumars brother Nasir Khan,Ayub is now a favourite among TV buffs.
How did you make a foray into TV?
Naved Antuley had approached me with a very interesting role for a TV serial,Muskaan ,nearly 10 years ago. TV was a new medium then. I had no idea about the industrys workings,but Naved told me this was the future. I trusted him,and its been a great experience.TVs format is different from that of films,which I had prior experience of; it is more extensive and demanding.
Do you miss working in films?
My journey so far has been enjoyable. While many of my contemporaries have left the industry,Im still here. The years of acting have given me the power to move ahead and take life as it comes.
How has Uttaran changed your life?
Uttaran gave me a new identity Jogi Thakur. Before Uttaran,I was playing Bhai Raja in Rakhi – Ek Atoot Rishte Ki Dor. When people come up to me and address me by my characters names,my wife Niharika finds it very amusing.
People refer to her as Jogi Thakurs wife. These characters have become my identity.
Are you shying away from playing lead roles?
Age is a factor,and male leads need to look young. Id look funny trying to play a 20-year-old. However,now,TV has started to look at mature protagonists as heroes. The possibility seems stronger. Im waiting for the right opportunity. If it comes,Ill be seen as a hero on TV.
What about your contemporaries Ram Kapoor and Mohnish Behl,also TVs leading men?
They are very talented actors. But then,we all have our strengths and are accordingly offered projects. Comparisons would be unfair. However,their success stories also demonstrate the fact that people no more look at age as the determining factor while casting a shows protagonist. Talent is taking centrestage.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
I shoot for nearly 20 days in a month for Uttaran. Talks are on with other producers,and now that the storyline of Uttaran has changed with the entry of new characters,I may sign a new project soon.