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Three grueling years after winning the Zee Cinestars ki khoj contest, Sarwar Ahuja can heave a sigh of relief. His film Khanna&Iyer is all set to release this Friday. Beaming with energy Sarwar in an exclusive interview:
Do you think getting into a 'talent hunt show' helped you in getting an entry into Hindi cinema more than other strugglers?
Winning the competition did give us recognition. And it did make a lot of difference. The show was the first one of its kind in the history of Indian television. The response for the show was huge. Being a participant we had huge responsibility, to be selected amongst ten thousand participants from all over the world. The contest definitely gave us an edge over the others who were trying their luck.
Khanna and Iyer sounds interesting
Khanna and Iyer is a very light hearted, sweet, romantic comedy. It's about an inter-cast love relationship between two youngsters which they want to convert into marriage. But because of their parent's interference and their narrow mindedness the elders don't accept the marriage. But these two kids who are young feel that running away from home is the best alternative. And this would teach their parents what they get out of taking paangas with their kids. Basically the treatment is very light hearted. Anybody who has been in a love affair with a person from another caste will be able to identify with the film.
Who are you in the film - Khanna or Iyer?
I am playing the Punjabi boy Aryan Khanna. This guy is just out of college. He loves this girl who is a South Indian. This guy's character is someone who is typically Punjabi and would think from his heart rather than the mind. He tends to make decisions which might not be fruitful in the future. Thus he later repents and goes through a lot of trouble.
You and Aditi have come a long way
Yes, we have and she is a wonderful co-star. We share a great comfort level on the sets as we know each other since a long time. We won the Zee Cinestars contest in December 2004. And for the next two years i.e. 2005-2006 we were just waiting for the film to get started. We have been together through this period and our friendship has grown stronger. We never had any problems on the sets and it was a nice working experience.
You both are doing another film as well.
The film is called Kuch Khatta Kuch Meetha and is directed by Basu Chatterjee. It is a situational comedy. It's got Anupam Kher, Satish Kaushik, Moushmi Chatterjee, Archana Puransingh and Tiku Talsania. It's a nice Basu Chatterjee film, the kind of films he used to make. Basu Chatterjee always shows people as they are and not as stars.
Director Hemant Hedge also debuts with this film
He is very nice. Hemant Hegde is debuting in the Hindi film industry. It was more of a learning experience for him as well as for us. So it was more like a friendly atmosphere on the sets than somebody bossing around. He is someone who I think will go a long way. He has done justice to the subject he was given.
How did the Zee and Mukta Tele Media association happen?
Zee TV has been supportive since day one after we won the contest. Though there were some delays from their side in getting the film made. I don't know the issues behind the delay. But they have been very supportive even when the film hadn't begun. And once the film started they left it to Mukta as to how they want to go about it. Mukta Arts as the producer was very good. Subhash Ghai is a very talented man. He has proven himself for the last 25 years. I think he has been successful in making very good films and I think he will be a great mentor to us.
Were you under any clause that you can't sign any other film before Khanna&Iyer releases?
We didn't have any release papers as such. We can sign any number of films. But the whole idea was that Subhash Ghai has brought us here so he wants to give us the first break and we are liable to it. It's good for our career that he is giving us the first break. And also we are getting our first break under a good banner of Mukta Arts.
Do you think the film is being released in a hurry?
No, in fact the film is being released with a delay. By delay I mean lesser promotions. It's a small budget film and Mukta Arts has always been doing big budget films. This is an experimental film. Though it has a lot of commercial element in it, it depends how the film does.
What other films are you doing?
After Khanna and Iyer I have got Kuch Khatta Kuch Meetha. In May you will see another release of mine titled Hum Phir Mile Na Mile directed by Manish Goel.