But star pair?
I liked the song that Amitabh Bachchan and I did with Madhuri Dixit in Bade Miya, Chhote Miya I was so happy when I saw that song that I whistled. There are Allahabadi, Punjabi and Marathi colours spreading all over in that song. After this song, my uncle called from Banaras to say - yes, now you have became a fairly good artist. The atmosphere that was created after that song was historical for me.
You and I are both fans of Amitabh Bachchan. But I feel that you were better than Amitabh in Bade Miya Chhote Miya?
I don't feel so. It is my misfortune that this was inculcated in the public's mind. I saw politics in this. You are made a competitor to someone who is an icon and whom you consider an elder brother, guru and part of your family. Some people wanted that these two should not get along. And I felt 'Art Power' was also at fault to some extent, and that came across in the film. Had I known this, I would never have let it happen. This issue wasn't just thrown up, it was discussed a lot.
When two people work together, it is commonly discussed.
But an issue was created and the attempt was to ensure that these people should not work together in future. The chance I got to work with him, the satisfaction I got from it, I am very grateful to him for that. What I learnt from him while working with him, I put into practice in my daily life.
What did you learn?
I learnt a lot - had a lot of experiences.
Any of your favourite actors who you worked with?
From the point of view of learning, Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. And from the fun angle, my peer Sanjay Dutt, and more recently Salman Khan. Our films were made all in fun, and are now ready to be released.
Which are the films that are close to your heart?
I work with all my heart, but I take my work to heart. The way you offer flowers to God, I offer my work before Him. It is in God's hands to appreciate my work. Your heart should be pure, but also hard as a diamond. You should work lovingly but not work so much that you get entangled in that.
I used to sing this song when I used to do comedy films. It one of my favourites - 'Aaj purani raahon par koi mujhe aawaz na de, dard bhare who geet na de, ghum ka sisakta saaz na de... '
Who sang it?
Mohammed Rafi sahib sang it and Dilip sahib is in the song. It's from the film Aadmi aur Insaan.
How do you like being criticized?
If the critic is honest then he's the best friend. If he's dishonest, then he's just a part of society. Critics are very energetic, and dishonest critics are business-like. They do what they feel is profitable to them. My focus is on my goal.
What is your goal?
Good work - because of which I became a Parliament Member, which my family is attached to. The power of that work I take inspiration from and am always ready to serve.
If a critic is dishonest it's not acceptable, but is a dishonest admirer ok?
From an artist, when you become a star, you will be discussed at various levels.
How did you enter politics? Are you happy in politics?
Happiness and unhappiness is a non-issue in politics. The issue here is are you together or not - one keeps happiness and unhappiness aside and thinks of unity and this means a lot to me. One thing is for sure - I am a man of my words. Whether politics drenches you or not, it keeps your feet wet. It's to be seen how much it troubles you or satisfies you. Being an artist we look at ourselves as pupils in politics - and we see how much effort it takes. It was my elders' wish that I join this, see this and know this. So I joined politics and I am trying to understand.
People say that here also Govinda arrives late like a star.
I tell them that you wanted a star and worker. A worker has his limitations, and every one has their fields. I feel that I have never shown any stardom. I went to every hut and every drain. When I started campaigning I used to look like a Punjabi hero, when I finished, I had started looking like a South-Indian hero. I say this respectfully. I contributed to the party as per my capacity and my thinking. I think and move; I don't move and then think. My thinking isn't mine alone; it includes the advice and blessings from elders.
What should Govinda's fans expect from him in times to come?
I am an artist and will remain an artist. I will always remain a pupil and I believe in practice. I have a lot of curiosity. I just need blessings, and that's what I hope for from elders. I ask forgiveness for my mistakes.
You really have become a politician.
The amazing thing is when a man says the right thing people say he's become a politician. Someone once said to me at a function that you have the capability to become a politician. I said when did I ask you for a vote or take advantage? He said it's not about votes Govinda, you think a lot before you speak. I said I got this from my mother and my family that one should always think before speaking. My way of speaking is because of my mother. It's not politics but yes, it's the right way.
In your heart, is there a wish or desire that you would first like to fulfil if given a chance?
This isn't the age to express emotion. Even your thoughts are stolen. I keep my thoughts to myself. I only express them when I have to.