The newly-rejuvenated power-packed version of Vivek Oberoi is done with his wild days. His parents are now on the look-out for a suitable match for their only son. Laughs Vivek, "My mom specially is very worried. Like any mother she wants me to settle down. I don't mind an arranged marriage. The girl my parents choose could be the girl of my dreams. I know there's someone out there for me. I just have to find her. I don't know how it would happen. But with all her imperfections and mine, she'd be perfect for me. At the moment I'm very much single. I've been single for 4 years. I'm a normal guy. I do go out on dates. I enjoy women's company. But nothing serious. I'm extremely conservative about women. I cannot have a time pass attitude towards them."
Getting into a confessional mode, Vivek says, "I've had two serious relationships where I gave one hundred percent of myself physically and spiritually and emotionally to my partner. The next one will hopefully be for keeps. I hope to this find a girl who appreciates my dedication and loyalty."
Was Vivek let down by the two women he loved in the past? "It's unfair to judge them now that they've moved on. But I loved them wholeheartedly. I continue to respect them although they've moved on. They're both married. I wish them happiness."
About the two ladies wishing him happiness Vivek says, "I'm really not holding breath for them to wish me happiness. I'm very happy in life. The other day I was flying out of Bangalore airport and I was accosted by a group of aunties who just smothered me in love and attention. Those are the moments that matter to me. Nothing can equal that." In the meanwhile, Vivek is busy penning down his romantic disenchantment in poem after poem. "Yes I do write poetry. It's very therapeutic. I'm influenced by Pablo Neruda and Gulzar Saab. It's all very personal. Good friends tell me I should get them published."
Katrina Kaif recently said she'd never work with Vivek Oberoi because of what happened with Salman Khan. Vivek replies calmly, "The lady really doesn't want to work with me? It's the lady's prerogative. Personally I don't look at my work in that microscopic way. I'd work with anyone that the script requires me to. I'd never let my personal biases rule my judgment... Anyway; I'd rather not focus on the negativity. By God's grace I'm flooded with so much positive energy right now. I've traded in my ego for my humility, my innocence for experience and my complacency for a raging fire in my belly to excel."
Vivek says he made an attempt to apologize to Salman. "It was just one attempt, mind you, not many. And I think I did what I had to. That was karmic. Now it's done with. It's baggage that I wish I had forgotten at the terminal."
The rumour is that no major leading lady wants to work with Vivek. That explains why his new film Prince It's Showtime has no marquee names opposite the actor. "I'm amused by this rumour. Once my films work, such talk will stop. That's the requirement of the script. We needed to not give away the plot to reveal which of the three girls I really love in the film. If we had a bigger name doing any role that would be a dead giveaway."
Vivek laughs off the rumours linking him with Neeru Bajwa, one of the actresses from Prince. "That's all rubbish. I've been linked up with 50 girls in the last four years I've been single. At least 10 of them I've never met. No wonder my mother is searching for a girl for me. She wants me to settle down."
Vivek Oberoi Vivek would rather not dwell on anything negative. He feels his behaviour in past has been somewhat obnoxious. "I was being constantly being criticized. I hadn't committed any crime. I felt I was being constantly attacked and yes, I felt persecuted. Instead of looking within myself for the reasons, I blamed others. Life never moves in a straight line."
With the sense persecution there was a feeling of deep betrayal. "In hindsight I realize a lot of people whom I loved and trusted changed. I also changed. After Company there was a passion to excel within me. That was lost. I wanted to be an actor from the age of 4. At 24 I got my break. I was too young to handle it. A lot of egoism and arrogance crept into my attitude. Looking back I'm embarrassed by my own behaviour. I regret certain episodes in my life that were played out on a very public platform. (Vivek speaking against Salman Khan in support of Aishwarya Bachchan). That issue continues to plague my life."
Vivek would rather look at the positive. "I'm surrounded by so much positivity now. First Shootout At Lokhandwala and then Kurbaan happened to me. Now I want people to speak about my work. And if I want personal happiness I just have to spend time with needy children. On Tuesday I went for khichdi party with the most adorable bunch of kids who even sang a parody of my song 'Ae Ganpat' for me. It gives me absolute joy to be with such kids. You know a kalaakar (artiste) is someone who is meant to give kal ko aakar (a shape to our tomorrows). "
Vivek is delighted with the response to his role in Kurbaan, though the critics have gone at it hammers and tongs. "The nature of our film industry is such that there's bound to be an instant opposition to anything done by a producer as big as Karan Johar. But I am happy. My phone hasn't stopped ringing. I haven't stopped smiling. I firsthand went out to check audiences' response. I haven't had this kind of a response since Shootout At Lokhandwala."
Ask him if Saif is the antagonist to Vivek's protagonist in Kurbaan, and Vivek quips, "The true hero of Kurbaan is Rensil D'Silva. The credit for craving out my character goes to him. I must tell you Saif Ali Khan who's such a huge star, was extremely generous and supportive. He suffers from no insecurity. He's a fabulous friend and co-star. He was always there for me to make sure I performed by best."
Vivek says his character came as a huge redemption in the plot. "Playing Riyaz I realized what a beautiful religion Islam is. I represented the modern educated Muslim youth. It's a film that I'll be proud of as long as I live."