By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Nov 26 (IANS) Every time there is a scandal involving nude pictures of actors big and small, pat comes the reply, "That wasn't me. That was my morphed picture." But model-turned-actor Himanshu Malik has no trouble owning up.
So when some months ago his nude pictures were splashed on several mainstream and porn websites, Himanshu was surprised but not scandalised.
"I checked out the pictures after I was told about them. They're mine all right. And I don't deny them at all. I had shot them with a well-known photographer when I was 21," says the actor.He laughs and says, "Look, a lot of our actors have a shameful past. Sly Stallone started in porno movies. I know of some actors and actresses in Bollywood who have featured in blue films. I did none of that. But when I came to Mumbai from Delhi things weren't easy for me. I was propositioned and treated like a sex object everywhere but I stood my ground."
Himanshu was introduced by Anubhav Sinha in the love triangle "Tum Bin" some years ago and has thereafter done films like J.P. Dutta's "LOC", Mahesh Manjrekar's "Rakht" and Govind Menon's "Khwahish" (yes, he is the guy who smooched Mallika 37 times).
So..er, the nudes? "During my days of early struggle I was spotted at a restaurant by a photographer. He kept looking intently at me. Since I was used to both men and women making passes at me, I just ignored him. He then came up to me and asked me if would like to pose for him."
"At first I was revolted. But then when he showed me the concept, I happily agreed. We shot some very aesthetic pictures in his studio. Of course, I stripped to my birthday suit. I've a good physique and I don't mind flaunting it. But there was no frontal nudity. Thank god! Otherwise I'd have to give my daughter a lot of answers when she grows up."
So any regrets about being part of cyber porn?
"I don't think about it. The pictures are part of my wild past when I did many unthinkable things. Today at 30 I've a beautiful wife and lovely baby girl."
"My career hasn't taken off. But I'm on the verge of signing two important films. I'm not ashamed of the pictures. We all have a past. We should be able to look at what we've done without regret or guilt."