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Bad boy makes it good

From a Bollywood villain, Bob Christo has morphed into a fitness guru.



Bob Christo: "I have been practising this great Indian regimen for the past 22 years."

BOB CHRISTO, who has acted as a villain in 230 Indian films, is earnest about his invitation. "If you want to see a `good' Bob Christo, just come over to the Golden Palms Spa where I am Director of Health and Fitness!" says the Australia-born hunk, who is based in Bangalore.

Bob can talk about his `fearsome' past with a broad smile because it all happened by chance.

He started off as a civil engineer. Modelling assignments came next. When he first got an offer in a film, a well-wisher advised him to work on creating sets rather than limit his work to a bit role in a Marlon Brando starrer. Military work and modelling projects took him to Rhodesia, South Africa, and then Muscat. While waiting for his work permit there, the rules required him to be out of the country. "So I looked at the world map, saw Bombay in India, was reminded about the wonderful article in Time Magazine about Bombay's film industry, and thought to myself, why don't I go and see if I can meet the gorgeous Parveen Babi!"

And Fate not only arranged a meeting between Bob and Babi, but also pushed him towards Sanjay Khan. After `Abdullah', there was no looking back, and Christo happily showed off his muscles . But off screen, Bob became a favourite with many of the rich and famous, with his good heart and his expertise in wind surfing, water skiing, and other sports.

"I've always been an athlete," says the lithe Bob who toured Europe on a cycle. "Then films happened. And one day, the stunts, took a toll on me." Bob was down with a slipped disc and his doctor ordered bed rest for two weeks and physiotherapy. "But physiotherapy is 90 per cent yoga, I said, and decided to take to yoga totally. I got myself a master and I have been practising this great Indian regimen for the past 22 years."

Bob sees no reason why people should complain about the lack of time for exercise. "If you can't find time to do something that is going to keep you fit, you definitely need to change your lifestyle," he remarks. He should know — he changed his hectic schedule as a much sought-after villain.

The `villain' has taken on a permanent role as a do-gooder, as one who promotes the benefits of meditation and exercise. But what about `good' roles in films, I ask him. "A duo from London did produce a film with me in the role of a priest! But I don't think the film has been shown!"

MALA KUMAR

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