Road to victory is always under construction. The connotation of success is relative. For some, success equals money and fame, for others it means achieving respect. While there are others who try corroborate success with small happiness. There are yet those who fail to gain success despite achieving a lot. Despite all odds, the road to success is challenging and adventurous. Sharing their adventurous journey to the abode of success with Sakhi are a few Bollwyood stars.
Journey from Rajeev Bhatia to Akshay Kumar was not a cakewalk: Akshay Kumar, actor
After 20 years of hard work and experience I do realise that reaching to the zenith of success is a herculean task and requires a lot of patience. I suppose, at this juncture of my life, I can proudly say that I am a successful man. From the past two-three years I have been pondering over my life’s journey and thinking to jot down the experiences into a biography titled ‘Aise bana Rajeev Bhatia se main Akhsay Kunar’. In this memorable journey, the immense help which I received from many quarters made me the person I am today. I am nothing without those helpful hands and my success story remains incomplete without crediting them.
My father Hari Om Bhatia: Without my father’s support and blessings I could not have reached where I am today. I got bitten by the bug of acting while I was in Bangkok working as a chef. I left my job and came to Delhi. My father used to work with UNICEF here. But he was burdened with many responsibilities. So, I tried not to bother him with my monetary requirements. He encouraged me in every step of my life.
Chakki Da: When I came to Mumbai to pursue my dream I had no acquaintances here except one or two friends on whom I could bank upon. I thought, what is the harm in trying my luck in Bollywood? If destiny favours me, I may become a hero and if I fail then I can always turn back to my previous profession as a chef. It is then that I met Chakki Da, famous film producer Pramod Chakraborty who later cast me in his film ‘Deedar’ opposite Karishma Kapoor, one of the hit and hot actresses of that time. When I went to meet her for the first time, I was out of my nerves.
Jayesh Seth: I have toiled a lot to make a strong foothold in film industry. I met photographer Jayesh in Mumbai and worked with him as an assistant. He was my friend, philosopher and guide. One day he said to me, “Rajeev, why do not you shave your moustache and trim your hair. Long hair and moustache do not suit you. You have no style of your own; you should develop your own style.” At that time I could not understand why such an acclaimed photographer was unhappy with my style. Me being a Punjabi, I always used to take pride in my moustache. I did not pay any heed to his advice. Then one fine day he again said, “Rajiv why do not you go to producer Shasilal Nayar’s office, his place is located in the building where you reside.”
I replied that I have met him several times but each time he sent me away saying ‘come with a portfoilio’.
At that time, I neither had the money nor the information how to get my portfolio clicked. I only hoped that Jayesh would someday himself offer to shoot my portfolio and déjà vu. It happened that day itself. I just mentioned it to him and he agreed with a smile.
Donned many hats: While treading on the road to success I had to don many hats. I worked as an agent and sold flats, as a salesman, as a poster-model for a local gym in Lokhandwala. The last assignment fetched me Rs 5000 by which I joined dance-acting classes. I used to try new stunts every day. One day while I was practicing a stunt, Jayesh clicked my photograph and thanks to his good contacts the picture got published in a magazine. That was my first taste of success which got me so excited that I showed the magazine to all my friends. Little did I know then that the particular photo would fetch me a lead role in Bollywood.
Jacky encouraged me a lot: Jayesh started taking me to photo sessions and media houses. Once he took me to the sets of a film starring Jackie Shroff and Dimple Kapadia. At that time, I had never ever imagined that one day I would become beautiful Dimple’s son-in-law. It is all about destiny. During the shooting, I met Jackie Shroff. He told me, “You should be in front of the camera.” When I replied that I am just Jayesh sir’s assistant, he said with a smile, “Your day will also come and you will achieve what you want.”
Success came closer: Jackie Shroff was right. One sudden day, I received a call from Chakki da’s office and he informed me that I had passed the screen-test for the lead role in ‘Deedar’. After this, I got many offers but unfortunately my films flopped at the box-office. After every flop, I started going to Mata’s Darbaar barefoot. Belief in devotion gave me strength to carry on after every flop show and finally I got film ‘Khiladi’ which proved to be super-duper hit. This film filled my life with colours and my Bollywood career just set off from there and I never looked back. My stint with success started with ‘Khiladi’ and I am still trying to retain that. But for me, the genuine taste of success is the happiness that comes after insurmountable hard-work and after overcoming all odds.
Success= Name+ fame: Aamir Ali, actor-model
I have never thought much about success or failure, but I have faced lots of ups and down in my life. I believe that luck is the only factor which can give you success or failure. I have done my graduation from Washington University (US) and that time I never thought that in future I would work for Television.
It is not a struggle, but an effort
Some people call their journey of life as struggle while others call it an effort. But for me it was my effort that got paid off. After graduation when I came back to Mumbai I participated in Grasim Mr India contest.
I won the ‘Mr Photogenic’ tag and after that I got many offers. I got a television offer also. Later, I did a few movies. I did daily soaps like Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Wo Rehne Wali Mahalo Ki and later I did many reality shows like Nach-Baliye, Zara Nach Ke Dikha.
However, I took a break for two years as I did not get good offers. At this juncture I did some self-introspection about myself and career and finally signed television serial ‘FIR’.
Success to me means name and fame
Everyone has to toil hard. Some has to sweat it out a lot while others do a little less. For me, success means name, fame and money altogether. But I will never do anything only for money. For two years when I did not get any good offers, I got myself stuck to doing nothing rather than taking up unworthy projects. I and Sanjeeda did lots of entertainment shows all over the world. I have never compromised on anything for success. I cannot accept something which my heart and dignity do not permit.
I accepted the challenges
During the reality show Nach Baliye I did not know anything about dance but I won that show with my girlfriend Sanjeeda. I have always taken up challenges. With the grace of God, I have been successful in dealing with the challenges. I have never felt like a looser. But I believe that if you do not belong to any filmy background then one defeat is like a big blow but if belong then you will get opportunities despite giving flops. My mother Nargis Ali has always supported me. I believe that God helps only those who help themselves.
Hard-work and fortune bestowed me with fame: Prachi Desai, actress
I came to Mumbai from Gujarat. From a cultural place to an educational hub and now I am in a glamorous city. I was interested in acting but I never thought to pursue this as a profession. During my education in Pune I gave an audition for a serial and became Baani in ‘Kasam Se’. Many avenues opened up in front of me. At the age of 17, I was earning Rs 10 lakh and I believe that it was the biggest achievement for me.
Money and needs
I have never been crazy for money and power. I belong to a middle-class family so I spend my money very carefully. Once I bought a lipstick from market and my mother asked, “What is this? The quality of this lipstick is not good. Why did you buy it? Always remember you should spend money on useful items.”
Afraid of seniors
During the early days of my career I had to go for shoots early. Sometimes I had to wait for an auto-rickshaw for hours. It used to scare me that if I reach late then my seniors will yell at me and shooting will get postponed. When I got huge amount of money then my parents advised me to buy a car.
I bought a black Maruti Swift car. I believe Ekta is like my Godmother. Had she not given me the
opportunity I would have never become successful.
Bought my house
Last year I bought a house with my salary. I even bought a mirror worth Rs1 lakh. I became very emotional then. May be success is the real name of these tears of happiness. I believe that slow and steady wins the race. I just want to do good work and destiny has given me lots of happiness in a very short span of time. I am very satisfied with my successful journey.
Success to me is changing someone’s life positively: Onir, director
Success holds different meaning to me. If I ever can change anyone’s life I will consider that as a personal achievement. Success is a relative term. Its meaning differs with every individual.
Respect and love, essential factors
For me, love and respect are everything. I did films like My Brother Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal, Sorry Bhai and I Am.
My parents used to ask me why I directed such kind of films which never gave me good financial gain. But my films are my passion. I cannot make them understand that my movies are more experimental and less commercial. They can never understand my obsession. My struggle has been unique. I did not have the financial backing to make a film. But I was confident. I asked my friends for help through Facebook. My friends liked my passion and helped me.
I term failure only as an obstruction. I believe that every moment gives you an opportunity to learn something. I consider myself as a successful person. When I look back and see people trying hard to make an entry in Bollywood I feel lucky to have had an easy entry. Interestingly, in six years I made only four films.
To keep going is success
I believe that success is a never ending process. You have to make your way amidst the thorns of struggle and ensure success. Here I would like to thank Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri. A famous actress like Juhi Chawla agreed to work with a newcomer like me. But I never underestimate myself. I am walking on my chosen path. I have not compromised with my passion. For me, this is the real story of success.