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A news report about trouble in his marriage has Emraan Hashmi far from fazed. At least, he's outwardly calm. Taking a deep breath he says, "My wife didn't react to the story at all. My marriage isn't so brittle that it'd crumble because of one article. I admit there would've been problems if she didn't trust me. And if she felt there was any truth to it (about Emraan's extra-marital affair), my wife would walk out of the front door"
Emraan's mentor Mahesh Bhatt was also brought into the story as the mediator. "I saw it. Then I shut it and went off to work. My wife saw the story with me. She didn't react at all. I'm honest in my marriage."
Emraan is unable to pinpoint where the story emanated from. "I just saw what they had written. I moved on. My wife is with me. And that's what counts. No trouble in my jannat. We completed a year of marriage in December. There have been ups and downs. We were friends from long before marriage. So, we understand each other. We share everything. It's a relation of trust. And that trust remains unbroken. From the day I came into the industry I was ready for this kind of thing. This line isn't for the faint-hearted. As for my wife, I've trained her. This isn't the first whiff of a scandal in our life together. As I said, we trust each other."
Emraan has been lying really low. "After Awaarapan I was busy with my next film Jannat. Now that the film is almost done I've been shuttling around, traveling editing. It isn't as though I keep away from the media. But I feel my work gives me a greater satisfaction. I'd rather talk about my work."
Jannat goes in the forbidden territory of cricket -fixing. "It's directed by debutant Kunal Deshmukh. It's very topical. At its center is the relationship between my character and the woman in his life and the compromises that I make to become successful. My character adopts both fair and unfair means to be affluent. The film's wallpaper is the cricketing world. I play a small- time gambler who flourishes as a better and match-fixing."
The Bhatts have been inspired by the book Fallen Heroes from Tehelka. "I was never a diehard cricket fan. But I was completely fascinated by this account of the way cricketers are blackened," says Emraan.
Last year, Emraan was making a concerted effort to move away from the Bhatt camp. "But this year, I'm doing two movies with them. I'm starting from scratch with Jannat. It's a very important film to me. That devious naughty streak which audiences like was missing my last major film Awaarapan. I was portraying very middle-aged emotions.
Now in Jannat I've consciously decided to not be that serious." The serial-kisser is back in Jannat. "There's a new girl Sonal in Jannat with me. I don't enjoy the image of the serial kisser, not after being kissed by a man in a mob once. The image hounds me."
Even Emraan's wife doesn't enjoy the kisser's reputation. "But right now after trying to change my image in Awaarapan I crave only for a hit. I want the box-office at any cost."
After Jannat, Emraan has another film Bhatt film lined up. "It's Raaz 2. We aren't sure if it will be a sequel to the first Raaz. We're still scripting. But the eerie hysteria of the first part will persist. As for my private jannat (marriage) so far so good." Parenthood? “I'm too immature for it right now."