By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Sep 21 (IANS) Bollywood elites don't like mingling with her, others make fun of her, but the popularity of bold and 'bindaas' Rakhi Sawant is growing by leaps and bounds.
Post Sony TV's "Bigg Boss", she managed to appear on Karan Johar's swish chat show "Koffee with Karan" and now she is doing an item number in Rakesh Roshan's "Krazy 4"."Look at my good fortune, I've been signed by Rakesh Roshanji to do an item song in 'Krazy 4'. I had tears in my eyes when Rakesh Roshanji called," said Rakhi, who was seen in bit roles in "Chura Liya Hai Tumne" and "Mumbai Express".
Commenting upon the discrimination she faces in filmdom, Rakhi told IANS: "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.
"The heroines are specially reluctant to acknowledge my stardom. Yeah, some like Rani Mukerji, Bipasha Basu and Ayesha Takia have been kind. On the whole, I'm not given the respect I deserve."
She gives credit to the media and her hard work for her newfound fame in showbiz.
"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 and bad deeds. Somewhere they feel I've got my act right."
Q: How does it feel to be Rakhi Sawant?
A: Shall I tell you something? I'm doing dance competition "Nach Baliye 3" with my boyfriend Abhishek. Today he's not as well-known as I am. Just like John Abraham and Bipasha Basu 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.
Q: How's the experience of participating in another contest?
A: Every time I enter the sets, the other contestants say they want their money back and drop out. They feel if I'm participating with my boyfriend, they don't stand a chance. Everyone feels I'm going to win for sure. I feel good about winning. But do I want to win at the cost of offending others? Am I overconfident or are the other girls around me insecure?
Q: Maybe they grudge you your success?
A: Do they know how hard I work? I'm rehearsing day and night 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.
Q: But Rakesh Roshan has only given you an item song?
A: So what? It's a big banner.
Q: Did you ever dream of being mobbed like a 22-carat star?
A: Yes, I did. I always knew there was something very special about me. I struggled for eight years to get where I am today.
Q: Your stardom is a freak case.
A: You can say that again. Lots of strugglers and aspirants get tired and give up. But I kept at it. I started by doing item songs and bit roles. I chose to do small roles instead of sitting at home. I wasn't a star-daughter with a producer-father willing to gamble tens of millions on me. Nobody big came to sign me at the start. Nobody knew me.
Q: Are the heroines nice to you?
A: The heroines are especially reluctant to acknowledge my stardom. Yeah, some like Rani Mukerji, 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 "Big Brother" after watching me on "Bigg Boss". But on the whole I'm not given the respect I deserve.
Q: For the promotional campaign of your film "Buddha Mar Gaya", you were mobbed the most, above stalwarts like Om Puri and Anupam Kher. Do you feel vindicated?
A: 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 and bad deeds. Somewhere they feel I've got my act right.
Q: Today your popularity equals that of any big star.
A: 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. 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 bread for nothing. One has to earn it.