TV anchors, show hosts, arch competitors and co-actors, Sajid Khan and Shekhar Suman hadn't spoken to each other in years. They finally broke the ice last week on the sets of Sony's TV show Ustaadon Ke Ustaad. Shot over a period of six days, Sajid was the show"s anchor while Shekhar was one of the three judges along with Javed Akhtar and Saroj Khan.
Says Sajid Khan, "Earlier, Shekhar Suman and I would be known as the Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna of the TV industry. We never went on any show together. He considered himself the No 1 host because of Movers and Shakers while I did the same because of my show on Zee.
There was an unspoken cold war between us. We would never speak at events. And if we bumped into each other, we would look through each other. There was a hidden rivalry and deep animosity between us."
Sajid says the ice was broken last week. "I went up to him and said it was amazing the way he kept himself fresh and fit even at 6.30 am. That broke the ice. Shekhar said he loved Heyy Babyy and we became friends. Shekhar and I have spent four days cracking jokes and discussing body building. I am amazed how he maintains himself so well being in his mid-40s."
Shekhar Suman adds, "People also created a lot of mischief between Sajid and me. We had pre-conceived notions of each other each thought the other was an arrogant, pretentious creep!"
According to Shekhar, the cold war intensified because they were never at the right place at the right time. "We never interacted with each other.
Sajid and I connected in a big way while doing the show together. When we broke the ice, it was like 'hey buddy, you're not like that at all as a matter of fact, you're worse!' Just kidding! It's so important to have a wicked sense of humour that both Sajid and I have. He has promised me that he will ensure that I get my due share in films and the right breaks as an actor. He wants me to do negative roles. This was destiny. A show became an occasion to get on with the larger things in life."