Bigg Boss- India’s equivalent of Big Brother – is always one of the most talked about shows in India when it airs. The latest season – Bigg Boss 6 – was no different. Although many thought the show was boring in its early weeks, that all changed quickly when more masala (drama) began to be showcased. One of the most talked about contestants, and perhaps even most polarizing, was TV Actor and Poet, Rajev Paul. Rajev gained popularity in the mid- to late- ’90s on TV soaps. However, last year, he solidified his place in the hearts of all Indians with a poetry book entitled, “Mumbai, Mohabbat, Aur Tanhai” (Mumbai, Love, and Loneliness).
One of the biggest twists in Bigg Boss 6 was that it featured Rajev Paul along with his ex-wife, Delnaaz Irani. The relationship between the two kept viewers intrigued. At the start of the show, Delnaaz was expected to make top 3, but after her brother, Bhakthyar, entered the house, things changed. Most viewers sided with Rajev after this event and he ended up outstaying Delnaaz in the house. Read on below as Rajev speaks very openly and candidly about his stay in the Bigg Boss 6 house. I did not want to edit anything out as every person should get a platform to voice their full thoughts. So, the end result is that it is a really long interview, but any questions you had while watching the show will most definitely be answered below!
Roopa: Bigg Boss is a very popular series on Indian television, but it can be difficult staying in a house for so many days without contact with the outside world. What made you want to join Bigg Boss 6 and did it meet all your expectations?
Rajev: Bigg Boss is the biggest show in the world, and one is aware of the way it plays. As far as not being in touch with the outside world is concerned… that did not seem so difficult in the begining or from the outside. I have been a huge fan of the show and Season 1 was offered to me, but because I was busy with Kavyanjali, Twinkle Beauty Parlour, and Karam Apna Apna I could not take it up.
Whether it did meet all my expectations – All I can say is it’s a game show for viewers, but when you are inside, you are leading a life there. Now, what part of your 24 hours is shown is completely up to the producers, isn’t it?
Roopa: How would you describe your journey in Bigg Boss 6? Did you enjoy the experience?
Rajev: It was an emotional topsy tervy ride – some days were great and some terrible!
Roopa: Do you think you maintained “grace and dignity” throughout, as you had hoped to do?
Rajev: Well, what is dignity and grace? Each one of us has a different opinion of things, in the bigger picture. When outsiders came in the house and spoke nasty stuff about me, did I retaliate? Did I spoil my terms with her? Did I ever say anything nasty to my ex-wife? Did I ever nominate her? Did I ever not save her in the save your two fav contestants? Did I ever not stand up for her (Urvashi, Imam, or anyone else)? Did I ever not stand for all my friends? Was I not ready to quit Finale was on 12th? Do I need to say more about me showing dignity and grace…?
Rajev: Am a very straight forward person and I say things as they are. I was the only person in the house who kept screaming from rooftops about who my fav people in the house were – Delnaaz, Sana, and Niketan. Nobody else specified who were their favorites, did they? Even people that I did not like was very obvious. I don’t think I would change much, but ya, when I came out and I saw the faces of people – rather the real faces of people – who spoke behind my back, I think I would probably sort them out then and there. But then it’s a hypothetical question, so I’d rather let it be.
Roopa: You seem to love to cook! What are your favorite dishes to cook? Which foods did you miss the most when you were in the house? Do you typically cook for yourself in the real world, or eat out? Which foods and types of food (ie. Italian, Chinese, etc.), are your favorite?
Rajev: Yes, I love cooking – especially non-veg stuff! I love making Tandoori Chicken, Mutton with loads of onions! I missed every damn thing, while in the house – whether it was chocolates, butter, ghee, curd, eggs, biscuits, dry fuits, normal fruits, and, of course, non-veg! We were truly food deprived. Most of our meals were typical daal, chawal, and rotis, as even vegetables were in short supply.
I am fortunate to have house help who cooks for me! When I have guests over, I love to cook for special people, and ya, I love eating out too. I love everything and anything, though I don’t experiment much with non-veg. I stick to regular mutton and chicken only. But ya, pizzas, pastas, salads, Chinese, all are good on certain days! Am a non fussy eater! When I am out with friends I always let them choose what and where they wanna eat, as I can relish all kinds of food. *smiles*
Roopa: Which contestants are you still in touch with?
Rajev: Am very much in touch with Sana and Siddhuji, and, of course, Salman.
Roopa: How would you describe your friendship with Sana? Were you surprised when the reporters came in and asked about a rumored late-night “kiss” (which was really barely just a peck on the check) that had aired between you and Sana?
Please yaar (friend), too much has been made of a hug and a peck on a friend’s cheek. Tell me one person who doesn’t hug or give a peck to a friend? Or, was I the only one in the house who gave a hug to a girl who was and is my buddy? Me and Sana have never denied our affection towards each other and have always maintained that we are great friends and we will always be! Of course it was surprising and shocking when people read too much into a simple friendship! Would we not talk to people that we are fond of? Or, will we talk to people that we do not like? As weeks passed, groups were formed, and all the contestants would be spending time with those that they shared better rapport with. I don’t wanna name others, but didn’t you as audience see other people who were spending time together? Sana is a very special “friend” and will always be. There never was anything between me and her, and its not there even now! We are both very very very good friends! Just coz we are both known, can’t we be friends?
Roopa: Who do you think was most fake in the house, and who do you think was truly being genuine?
Rajev: Haha! Every one knows who was fake… I will not talk about others! People are smart and can judge for themselves. People who did not know whether they wanted to stay in the house or not – who woul scream cry and laugh for no reason – Uff! Sometimes I think I should have asked for a 10 times raise for bearing some of those inmates! But, I’d say God Bless Them all!
Truly genuine were of course Sana, Siddhuji, and Salman!
Rajev: No yaar (friend), it’s watching 100 hours of TV, where do I have the time to watch it all? It’s not possible. Yes, I have seen few bits and pieces on the net. Uff, it’s so sad to see that people never had the balls to speak in front of me! Sadly, everyone spoke behind me and others, but rarely had the courage to speak their mind! Glad I was not talking behind people’s back! I told people to lay off then and there! Thank God!
You know the life of the show is just 3 months, but life is much longer than that, so eventually people will know the truth! Though I wish there was more of my fun element and poetry shown, but overall people have showered me with loads of love so I guess, in the end, all was ok for me!
Roopa: Do you wish you had taken the money when Bigg Boss 6 offered it? Why did you decide not to take it?
Rajev: No, yaar (“friend”) not at all… I knew that a googly (“twist”) like this could be thrown sometime, but I always knew that I would not take that money. Being an Army Officer’s son, I would not quit what I had started. The show is always remembered not for who all were there in the beginning, but who was there till the end. The show is all about last weeks, last days, last few hours. Iam so glad I was there till the very last day! Aur rahi paise ki baat to vo to kama hi lenge, haina? (Translation: As for the matter of money, that I’ll earn myself, anyway!)
Rajev: Well, that was a googly (“twist”)! I can’t say that I didn’t expect her at all, but I wasn’t sure that she will be there, and jab do log milte hai tab kisko pata ki kya hoga, haina (translation: and then when two individuals meet, who knows what will happen, right?)?
Roopa: You always defended the girls in the house, but the way your ex-wife spoke of you, since the early days in the house onwards, created an image in the outside world that you were quite the touchy-feely guy only when it came to girls. What do you say to those who believed this perspective? Do you still feel you were the only true “mard” (man) in the house?
Rajev: I was genuinely surprised when Rakesh told me about it, and even now, when I came out and saw the episodes… To date, I have not used this platform to bitch about people, and to vent out my anger against anyone. That’s just not me. Did anyone actually believe that Rajev Paul is actually getting touchy? Do you actually think that I am some creepy person? Just coz am warm and friendly like a typical Punjabi male, why should only my behavior be spoken about? In that case, the entire Punjab is touchy feely yaar! It’s so lame to even talk about it or to even explain myself over it!
In the end, also, I was the same person. It’s only people’s point of view that changed. They realized who is talking rubbish and what’s the truth. The difference between Trust and Trash was clear, na?
And ya, in my presence, nobody can dare to misbehave with anyone irrespective of whether they are men or women. Some men did behave like women inside the house – they were worried and scared of people!
Well, kya kisi me himmat thi sabke saamne dil ki baat bolne ki (translation: Well did anyone have the guts to talk what they were truly thinking in front of the person themself)? I rest my case!
Roopa: One of the major turning points in the series, at least when it came to yours and Delnaaz’s popularity, was when Bhaktyar entered the house bringing with him complete fury. If you could have spoken to him then, what do you wish you could have told him?
Rajev: Haha fury! I think he turned out to be a big joker! I’d rather not speak about him. He needs to get his facts right, eat some badam (“almonds”), and please see what Farah Khan [she guest starred in an episode] had to say about him. He made a fool of himself! Is he somebody that I would speak to- not my type anymore! I would wish him sense and sensibility and would advice him to see his season of Bigg Boss to see how he behaved with women and his own wife in the show! Just for the records – the relationship between me and Delnaaz prior to his entry was very very cordial, and I was her protective shield! He came in and spoilt her chances of winning the show by his behaviour! Is there anyone in the world who liked him and his attitude? I rest my case!
Roopa: Another major point was the fact that your brother, Rakesh, chose not to hit below the belt like Delnaaz’s brother did. The complete polarity between the two brothers (& families) worked to boost your popularity, and diminished Delnaaz’. When Rakesh tried to enlighten you on the fact that the one you trusted most in the house – Delnaaz – was the one who was fueling the rumors and negativity about you, what did you feel? Did you believe him or was it too hard to digest? Even after he told you all this, you (at least from your end) still maintained a cordial relationship with her. Why?
Rajev: Rakesh has won amazing number of admirers after his entry in Bigg Boss! Everyone that I have met post-Bigg Boss has only, and only, good things to say about him! I was emotionally wrecked when Rakesh mentioned these facts! Of course I believed him… completely… and I did not want to be mean to Delnaaz, so I chose to keep quiet about it and still went and saved her in the same week from eviction! This, after the fact she had nominated me after her brother’s entry! Ab mai kya karu… Mai aisa hi hu, yaar! (What to do, I am this way only, my friend!) If I love someone or have ever loved anyone, I can NEVER be mean to that person, and Delnaaz was my wife at one point! That too for 14 years! How could I be mean to her, yaar, mujhse nahi hota (“I just can’t do it!”)!
Roopa: According to Delnaaz, you were using her and your marriage to help your longevity in the game. (See her statements here ). However, if you watch the series, she was the one to have brought up the details of your marriage and circumstances (specifically her claim soon after entry that she paid off the loans for the house you’re living in vs. the fact that she was still paying loans on the house where she is living) in her chats with Ashka, Urvashi, etc. She also had mentioned that you were just sitting around for years while she was working. Were you surprised that these matters were discussed on the show? Do you want to clarify anything and dispel any rumors regarding what was said by Bhaktyar, Delnaaz, and their Mom?
Rajev: Your question itself has all the answers! Did I EVER say anything bad about Delnaaz in 100 days to anyone?
Now, let me tell you some basic fundas about the game called Bigg Boss. How do you play it? Well, it’s a game where you nominate people that you think are your enemies, and who are badmouthing you, and you try to use your persuasive powers to get them out of the show and tell others to nominate them too eventually. So, make sure that YOUR FRIENDS are IN and ENEMIES OUT, right?
I am an intelligent man and knew that Delnaaz did not want me in the show. Still did I ever nominate her, not save her, not vote for her to be tha Captain, and stand by her? So, was that my game plan? And then, I was willing to quit the show in her favor, was that my game plan?
Knowing how badly her family behaved, I still chose to keep a dignified silence about it, was that my game plan? Come on, when the audience saw me in Bigg Boss, did they feel that they are seeing me after 14 years? Illusions and delusions are something that the family lived in, and who are they to question me? The so called brother what does he do? What did he do in life?
My blood boils when I think about things they said on the show. I would rather not talk about the rest of the family as at some point of time they were my family too. It is too below my dignity to say things about Aunty or Uncle (Delnaaz’s Dad was someone I loved dearly and respected a lot. He’s no more and I would never say anything that would hurt the departed soul. I still have the highest regards for him,.and will always hold him as my loving father-in-law) I wish them all good health wealth and happiness. May they live happily ever after. My good wishes with them…God Bless Them!
Roopa: Were you genuinely hoping that you could reconcile with Delnaaz on the show? Initially, people thought that you were doing it for the game. After your rollercoaster journey in the house, are you ready to move on relationship-wise?
Rajev: This was something that Siddhuji suggested and why would I not want to make things work with someone I loved. I was married to her for 14 long years yaar. It’s very difficult to give up na.. Which man in the world has run after his wife like the way I did? Is there any example like mine in the whole world? Still if people thought that it was a ploy… am sure they thought like that for a while, but eventually, after 100 days, and even now, the way I talk, I don’t think anyone believes that I did not really want her back. It’s unfortunate that a good man has to prove himself… Guilty until proven right! Unfortunate truth is if a woman was trying to get her husband back, would it still be seen as fake, nahi na (“no”)? But yes, now I have realized, that it’s over between me and Delnaaz… and yes, I am ready to move on! So, please girls and ladies the world over… am single again! If you find me interesting, please get in touch with me! (*grins*)
Roopa: Do you think Bigg Boss was biased at all towards some contestants? It sometimes felt like the game (i.e. evictions) was a bit rigged, especially since some members (like Imam) got to view episodes. Even at the end when BB pretended that Imam was evicted in 5th place, he was given a separate room to listen in to the conversations in the house. What was your perspective regarding BB’s favoritism, having lived in the house?
Rajev: Hmm, well at times it looked that some people were favored, but then it’s a game na.. ab ho gaya ab mai kya kahu (The show’s a thing of the past, so what can I say now?). Let it be… I don’t wanna say anything about it.
Rajev: Well, what to do… The man in me could not see someone misbehaving, and let me tell you, he reallllly did misbehave and he got on everyone’s nerves… sooner or later! There is no one who could bear him, and for me he was somebody I never liked and never could tolerate his nonsense. In real life too, I am like this. Vo kehte hai na, anyay karne vale se zyada bada nyaay sehne wala hota hai..haina? When the so called other “mards” (men) of the house busy keeping quiet I stood up for them and all.
Roopa: Now that Bigg Boss 6 is over, will we see you return to any daily soaps? How about Bollywood movies?
Rajev: I am who I am thanks to TV, and yes, I want to do TV shows. Host one show and get back to the grind of daily soaps! I LOVE IT… am dying to put on the grease paint and be back to the studios! Soon I hope! Inshah Allah (“By the grace of god”)! Need good wishes of all that I can continue to do what I love to do. And Yes, Bollywood too, soon!
Roopa: Your debut in the world of poetry – Mumbai, Mohabbat, Aur Tanhai – was incredibly successful. Have you begun work on a sequel?
Rajev: Thank you so much! It indeed gives me immense pleasure to tell you that my Book of Poetry is now the best selling book poetry in Hindi in the country, and there is no other book anywhere close to it! I am truly overwhelmed and honored by the love and admiration the book has received! Every time I receive an E-Mail, Tweet or a FB message about my book from readers, I get goose bumps all over, my heart skips a beat, and I tell myself – it’s for real, people are actually loving it! (*smiles*) Am blessed! Ya, I am working on Book 2. It’s amazing, trust me, but that’s still some time away. As of now, the music of my book is all set to release, and my music video too! Will keep you posted about further developments!
Rajev: Oh, that’s my dream! Juhi is someone I have admired for long! I am privileged to have her as one of my close friends. She’s an amazing woman! Graceful, loving, and incredibly nice and down to earth! I would love to work with her… some day, I hope! (*smiles*)
Roopa: Any other message for your fans?
Rajev: Well, all I can say is a Big Thank You to all of you watched the show, read my poetry, liked me, loved me, and blessed me! I am lucky to have the love and affection of people from all over the world! I wish all of you an amazing life that’s filled with smiles and good news every day! And ya… agar kisi se pyaar karo to dil se karo, dimag se nahi, that’s Life.. haina (translation: and, remember, if you love someone, love from your heart and not your mind, that’s life, right?)?
Hope you all enjoyed our interview and keep it locked to UrbanAsian for all the latest news!