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Thursday, September 20, 2007

I want Abhishek to become a star: Rakhi Sawant

'Sweat' dreams are made of these ! The huffing and panting rise of Rakhi Sawant from a routine item girl in long-forgotten films like Chura Liya Hai Tumne and Mumbai Express to a bourgeois icon is indeed one of the most favourite rags-to-riches stories in Bollywood today.

Post her much-eyeballed presence in the reality show Big Boss, Rakhi suddenly catapulted to the status of a middleclass icon.The archetypal girl who dared to grab her dreams with both her hands, and with a little help from silicone implants.

How does it feel to be Rakhi Sawant?
Shall I tell you something? I'm doing a dance competition with my boyfriend Abhishek. Today he's not as well-known as I am. Just like John and Bipasha earlier. It's said John got a lot of roles because of Bipasha. I want Abhishek to become a star. I'm working on it.

Which dance competition?
I'm not supposed to tell you. But chalo I can't keep anything inside me. It's Nach Baliye Part 3. Every time I enter the sets, the other contestants say they want their money back and drop out. Jahan pe Rakhi sawant aur usska boyfriend hai, wahan unka koi chance nahin hai….that's how they feel.

Everyone feels I'm going to win for sure. I feel goood about winning. But do I want to win at the cost of offending the others? Am I over-confident or are the other girls around me insecure?

Maybe they grudge you your success?
Do they know how hard I work? I get up at 8 in the morning and work like mad till 10 in the night. I'm rehearsing day and night for the next five days for Nach Baliye…and look at my good fortune.

Do you know I've been signed by Rakesh Roshanji to do an item song in Krazy 4. I had tears my eyes when Rakesh Roshanji called. I wept in front of God wondering what kind of a miracle this is.

But Rakesh Roshan has only given you an item song?
So what?! It's a big banner.

Did you ever dream of being mobbed like a 22-carat star?
Jee maine bilkul socha tha. I always knew there was something very special about me. Imagine a girl who fought with her parents, fought with everyone in her life, struggled for eight years to get where she wanted and finally forced God to smile on her destiny…you have to agree there has to be something special about me. Mujhe pehle se pataa tha kuch na kuch hoga meri zindagi mein.

Your stardom is a freak case.
You can say that again. Lots of strugglers and aspirants get tired and give up the struggle. But I kept at it. I started by doing item songs and bit roles. Even if I earned Rs 25,00 per day I could sustain myself.

I chose to do small roles instead of sitting at home. I wasn't a star-daughter with a producer-father willing to gamble crores away on me. Nobody big came to sign me at the start. Nobody knew me.

Today for the promotional campaign of your new film you get mobbed the most, above stalwarts like Om Puri and Anupam Kher.Do you feel vindicated?
If that's true, then I'm thankful to God. I'm the darling of the media. I'm media-made. They felt I spoke my heart, that I was bindaas. The media shows both my good deeds and bad deeds. Somewhere they feel I've got my act right.

Today your popularity equals any of the big stars.
True. Earlier I didn't get any respect from within the film industry. Now even if I do get respect it is done in a very grudging way. I'm considered a bechari. Please don't feel sorry for me because I'm from a poor home.

So what if I come from a modest background? So what if I didn't have a father or a godfather to support me?

I'm a self-made girl. I wanted to be successful on my own terms, no matter how bindaas and bold I had to be to achieve this. In this industry no one gives you roti for nothing. One has to earn it.

Are the heroines nice to you?
The heroines are specially reluctant to acknowledge my stardom. Yeah, some like Rani, Bipasha and Ayesha Takia have been kind. Shilpa Shetty loves me like anything.

When she came to do a show for television she came to my set and sat there and watched me dance. She told me she was encouraged to go on Bigg Brother after watching me on Big Boss. But on the whole I'm not given the respect I deserve.

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