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Mamik out to regain lost ground


Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander which means Ďthe winner takes it allí. Way back in 1992, Mamik played Ratan Lal Sharma in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander fame. In this film, a potential champion cyclist Ratan falls victim to a tragedy which puts him out of an inter-college race. Ratanís underdog brother Sanjay (Aamir Khan) fills in for him and stuns all by winning the race.

A perfect script for a Bollywood blockbuster which it eventually did, but this film in some way scripted the career of Mamik. Injured Ratan loses his opportunity at fame. Similarly, Mamik failed to grab numerous opportunities that came his way post Jo JeetaÖand soon disappeared from the scene.

Like many others in the same predicament Mamik headed to television but without much success. The 45-year-old is currently seen in Sunil Agnihotriís costume drama Chandramukhi where he plays Surya Pratap Singh. Mayur Lookhar caught up with the actor during the shoot in Mahableshwar which was freezing during the recent cold wave that hit the country..

Isnít it tough to shoot when the temperature is sub- zero?
Not really. I cover my self well. Iím better than our heroines who are required to wear skimpy clothes. After all this is our job. Itís nothing compared to the hard work that poor people do. Besides anything else, Sunil (director) is a dear friend and I canít say no to him.

Are you happy doing this show?
Whether Iím happy or not is immaterial. Sunil is qualified in doing costume drama. Itís his job to ensure that actors are utilised to their optimum. As far as we are concerned, whatever he has for us in his mind, we are fine with it. He has the right to play around with any character.

Donít such shows have a niche audience?
Not necessarily. See, thereís only so much in terms of written work that can happen. They are all the same stories, spun in different ways all the time. Looking at the current trend on television, the saas-bahu sagas are on the decline, while such costume dramas regaining their touch. Such shows cut across through people of all ages.

At a time, when voices are rising against the saas-bahu sagas what do you predict for your show?
In our shows, the presentation does change all the time. Having said that I think certain amount of territory should be left to the makers. After all, they look after you financially. TV actors today get the kind of money which we couldnít even dream of during our times. Some actors do get misled and they later repent for their actions.

Youíre still remembered for your role in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. But we hardly saw you in films thereafter. What went wrong?
This has to do purely because of my attitude. I got very complacent after the success of Jo JeetaÖThereís a method to be successful in this industry and it ought to be followed (something which I didnít). You need to move your butt. I was very much a laidback person. That time is gone and it canít be recovered.

Did you reject many offers?
Yes. Big names like Subhash Ghai, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Raj Kumar Santoshi approached me for roles but I rejected them as found them insignificant. Perhaps, in hindsight, I should have accepted those as they would have made me look visible. However, Iím better off with one Jo JeetaÖthan doing 40 crappy films.

But television too didnít offer you much creative satisfaction.
I did television for the sole reason that I needed a job. There was no way that I could have afforded sitting at home. After all, I needed money to survive.

Will the equation now change?
As they say, itís never too late so Iím looking at getting back into films. I recently approached my friend Sohail Khan and in all probability youíll see me in his next film.

Do you see yourself getting plum roles considering that age is catching up?
Thatís true. Iím not longer the ideal hero material but now Iím purely looking at playing character roles. There is a lot of scope for such characters today. It may not be a plum role, but your character should be strong enough to move forward the story. A lot of ground has been lost, but some of it can be retained.

Now that youíre open to films, will television take a backseat?
Iíve done enough work on television. Iím fed up with the same crap. TV is nothing but quick money. At the end of the month, if youíre getting a big fat cheque then thereís no room for complaints. Iím looking at films simply because I feel a lot can happen for actors like me.

The likes of Shah Rukh Khan are getting younger by ten years. So, would you too be tempted to hit the gym?
Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman are my contemporaries and we are of the same age. I may not have the six packs but Iím still fit at 45.

  
Posted on 11 Feb 2008 6:40 pm
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