Shiney Ahuja, who was convicted and jailed for raping his maid, is set to make a comeback in Bollywood with upcoming comedy ‘Welcome Back’. Though his maid had retracted her statement, a lower court had awarded him a seven-year sentence based on circumstantial evidence.
Gearing up for his first major release after being out of business for long, Shiney Ahuja in this exclusive interview, speaks about his future and family.
Ques: How did Welcome Back happen?
Shiney: I received a call from the casting director. They needed an actor and they thought I would fit the character well. I then met Anees Bazmee (director) and had a narration of about 15 minutes. I loved the role and said ‘yes’ immediately. My character has great shades of comedy and after the release of ‘Welcome Back’, people will visualise me in that genre as well.
Ques: It’s welcome back for you in Bollywood as well. How was the bonding with others on sets?
Shiney: The level of bonding was great with everyone. This is not my first film. I have known everyone for a long time. It felt good working with everyone again. I and John (Abraham) spoke a lot on films. I am grateful to God, my parents and fans. It’s because of all their blessings that everything is happening.
Ques: Has life returned back to normalcy now?
Shiney: Besides that period, life has been normal. I do spend a lot of time with my family and daughter. I am not a very social person even earlier when I was doing a lot of films. I am very lazy by nature and more of the homely kind.
Ques: The industry didn’t support you much when you were accused but stood behind Salman Khan when he was convicted in May this year. What do you have to say?
Shiney: Salman has been in the film industry for 25 years and I have been in the industry for just 1.5 years. I didn’t do too many movies or make many friends. It appeared that I had a lot of friends because my movies started doing well and I became popular. But I was there for a very small period and I ended up working with the same people again and again. That’s the reason I didn’t find support from many quarters.
Ques: What is the status of the case right now?
Shiney: I can’t comment because the matter is sub-judice.
Ques: Have you successfully put your past behind?
Shiney: I don’t want to put anything behind because it doesn’t solve any purpose. What is the point of everything happening if I have to put it behind me. There is so much to learn. So much of good things which come out of certain things in life which no one except I can see. Every person can learn and grow from every experience whether good or bad. If I fall ill and get treated in a hospital, then I wouldn’t want to forget the illness because I would like to remember the entire procedure and share it with someone who might go through a similar thing in future.
Ques: Is it difficult to make a fresh start in Bollywood again?
Shiney: I don’t know. You need to have a lot of faith and conviction in yourself during the waiting period. And if you have that in ample measure, then it is easy to sail. It’s all destiny finally.
Ques: So, would you say whatever has happened is all a game of destiny?
Shiney: It depends. May be it’s a mixture of destiny and karma.
Ques: Kangana, who made her debut with you in Gangster, is today seen as the Queen of Bollywood. How do you feel?
Shiney: I am very happy for Kangana and her progress. I have a sibling-like love for her. She has her own way of approaching a scene. It is easy to judge someone based on her success today. But she went through a lot of hardships when her films didn’t do well. The admirable part is that she broke through all that and achieved this success. So it is well deserved. Otherwise not being from this industry, you don’t get too many opportunities.
Ques: Are you still in touch with her?
Shiney: Not much.
Ques: In touch with the Bhatts?