HE CALLS himself the black sheep of the family. Now riding high on the success of his role as Sujal in the tele-soap "Kahiin To Hoga" on Star Plus, he says, when he first told his father, an Army officer, that he wanted to be an actor, his father could not believe his words. Striving for years together, first in Delhi and then in Mumbai, Jaipur-born Rajeev Khandelwal himself could not believe it when he finally tasted success through this Balaji Telefilm production after many a slip.
"I struggled in Delhi to get noticed. I ended up doing a few plays. Nothing more. Finally, I had to migrate to Mumbai. There too, running from pillar to post, I almost thought I had lost it till one day I went for a screen test to the Balaji studios for the serial. I could not believe that I bagged the lead role of Sujal," says this 27-year-old chemistry graduate. Calling Sujal's character as "human", Rajeev calls it the usual love triangle, but "very passionate and intense."
In his effort to get noticed, he says, he started doing advertisements. Subsequently, though, he tried his hand at production, which proved to be his financial undoing. He even lost his car in the process. "When I became tired of waiting for a role to come my way, I started making documentary films for Doordarshan. But what turned out to be a financial disaster was a pilot project I shot for Star Plus. It got rejected, and I lost all the money," he recalls.
After making his debut in a small role in the first story of the series "Kya Hadsa Kya Haqeekat" on Sony TV, Rajeev's real success landed up in the form of Sujal. "Now people recognise me on the street. My parents are pointed out in a crowd as Sujal's parents. They have finally come to terms that I shall never be an armyman like my brother," he says.
In New Delhi recently to inaugurate a shopping mall in Pashim Vihar, Rajeev says people were pushing and jostling to shake hands with him. "I perhaps enjoy it more than others because I know I have worked hard for it," he says.
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