July 29, 2002 
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Fardeen Khan
'My life is an open book'
Fardeen Khan flips through a few pages of his career

Subhash K Jha

Anupam Kher's directorial debut Om Jai Jagadish may not have fared too well at the box-office, but Fardeen Khan is not too worried about that.

Now suffering from a sore throat, the actor says, "I have not been in Mumbai much, but people seem to have appreciated my work. It feels nice. I am happy with my career, my work, my life."

Efficient performances in his last two films, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya and Kuch Tum Kaho Kuch Hum Kahein, and now Om Jai Jagadish have ensured that this Khan is satisfied with his lot in the Hindi film industry hierarchy.

"I'm very happy with both my films," he says. "In KTKKHK, I played a character I have never essayed before. Initially, I was apprehensive about the story's artlessness. But as we went along with the shooting, I started enjoying myself. That came across onscreen."

In Om Jai Jagadish, Fardeen plays an NRI caught between his family duties and his ambition. The media-shy actor says he loved working with everyone, especially costar Abhishek Bachchan. "We got along really well. In fact, I told him I want to adopt him!" he laughs.

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Khan states he is very careful about choosing assignments. In filmmaker-father Feroz Khan's Janasheen, Khan Sr plays villain to Khan Jr. "We do not fight for the same girl," smiles Fardeen. "That would be going too far. Dad's character is larger than life. I like to play my characters under-the-top. So there is always a chance of being overshadowed. Dad has given himself a new look and new image in Janasheen. I am sure the audience will focus only on him. But that's okay. I would rather work for the betterment of a film than look out only for my own role."

Fardeen is also excited about debutant director Surya's Khushi. The film costars Kareena Kapoor. "She is astonishingly beautiful and fun on the sets. We are similar in many ways --- both of us enjoy our quiet moments and we have the same quirks. The rapport was essential because the film revolves around us."

Fardeen Khan, 
Waheeda Rahman in Om Jai Jagadish Last year, Fardeen was charged with possession of cocaine. His smile vanishes when he talks about it. "Something like that will definitely change your life. It makes you realise the value of life and family. The fact that I emerged unscathed puts a certain responsibility on me to take my role as son, a social animal and a celebrity seriously. The support I received from my family was invaluable. If it wasn't for them, I would not have come through so easily.

"I have always been a responsible person, he continues. "My life is an open book. That was the only bad incident in my life. But I have curbed my impulsive nature to a large extent."

Dismissing immediate plans to marry girlfriend Ruheen Jaiswal, Khan says, "I am too involved with my career right now. I have nothing against marriage. It is wonderful to have a family of your own. But I would like my married life to get the attention and respect it deserves."


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