The only film of the actor which currently appears to be ready for release, on December 10, is a horror film called Ghost, produced by Bharat Shah and Puja Jatinder Bedi, and directed by Puja Jatinder Bedi. And Ms Bedi doesn't mince her words when she calls the actor a geera hua (cheap) person.
"I was daring enough to choose him, because I thought he was the most suitable actor for the part. But I didn't realise at first what lay ahead," she says in an interview.
What lay ahead were conflicts on the sets and countless differences between the two. "He is not at all a professional and his late reporting on the sets resulted in a lot of wastage of resources," Bedi says.
She further elaborates, "When you engage somebody for a film, it becomes a very big deal and here I was giving him a platform to resurrect his image. It is extremely sad because seeing what has happened to him, he shouldn't disappoint people this time around. Not everybody gets second chances. In this opportunity he got, all he gave me was lots of trouble."
What kind of "trouble" exactly?
She says he was the reason the film went drastically over-budget. "I lost out on a lot of time. The film was negatively affected and most of all, the budget went overboard to the tune of Rs 1 crore. What is worse that any actor can put his producer-director through than this?" she demands.
"He never really understood what kind of difficulty I faced because of him. He should have known that I was doing my best with the prevailing constraint and that I cannot paint beyond the canvass."
So why didn't she just throw him out
of the film? She says she had made a professional commitment and wanted to work for the betterment of the film rather than abandoning the project mid-way. But Ahuja was given a stern warning, she says "because fortunately or unfortunately, I am the boss."
She says Ahuja is highly temperamental, but "I gave it back to him".
Did he misbehave on the sets?
"Yes. He would come extremely late, and when he did reach, he'd order the people in the room to leave. I felt uncomfortable as he would keep staring. That, he said, was his way of fitting into his romantic character. He is a very cheap kind of a person."
So isn't she glad that finally the film is done with? "In a way yes, but I am worried because although my film is finished, I still have to bring it to the theatres."
Then she seems to switch tracks a little. Asked what kind of relationship she presently has with Ahuja, she says: "I share a love-hate relationship with him. I can say that I know him inside out. He looks good, and he looks the part, and that is what I wanted. He's given me a fantastic performance. Much of what has happened on the sets is behind us now and here, as a friend and partner, I believe he should make the most of the second lease of life that he has got."
She returns to the matter of the inflated budget which seems to be her chief grouse. "For a film like this, Rs 1 crore is a humungous amount. But it is all karma. I believe what you do to people will come back to you. My film with Shiney is a big hope for him. He has a wife and a young daughter. And I feel sad for them."
Shiney Ahuja, on the other hand, had nothing but good words for Bedi: "Puja is very hard-working and she's made the entire film single-handed. The best part about her is that she is very open to listening."
His publicist, Dale Bhagwagar, could not be reached for any comment that could give a better insight into the controversy.