He is shy, simple, humble and every woman’s ideal man, on and off screen
Anas Rashid aka Suraj Rathi is perfect husband material and he is looking for a life partner. He says that star status has not changed him one bit, but life has definitely become easier. He talks about chemistry with co-star Deepika Singh, affair rumours with Rati Pandey and more.
How did Diya Aur Bati Hum happen?
It was an hour-long audition. They called me ‘coz they liked my face and attitude.
Now that you are a celebrity, has your life changed?
Yes, life has definitely become easier. I have come to be my real self after gaining popularity from this show. I do not have to put on a show for anyone or show attitude. People have appreciated my honesty, my work and me. They not only like Suraj – my character – they also like Anas.
How different or similar are Anas and Suraj?
Actually, they are very similar. Today also, when I go back home, I still drive my old scooter and wear simple clothes, like I did earlier. People have liked me for my simplicity and I want to retain that.
Who do you owe your success to?
You are from Punjab; was language in TV shows a problem?
I was in Punjab my whole life; I had never stepped out of there before. I only spoke Punjabi, Hindi was never my forte. When I came to Mumbai I realised I had a strong accent, which created several problems during auditions. I had to work a lot on my diction. People loved my personality, but because of my language, I lost many opportunities.
How is your relationship with Bhabo – Neelu Vaghela?
She is like my ammi in Mumbai, off-screen.
How is your equation with Deepika Singh?
Deepika is a very easygoing artiste on the sets. She was relatively a fresher when she came, but we all tried to make her very comfortable. Now it is like a family unit.
Was it awkward doing intimate scenes with Deepika?
I don’t feel awkward at all. Deepika makes the scene so comfortable that it doesn’t even register that we are doing an intimate scene. We complement each other very well that way, even though there is a ten-year gap between us.
Is it true that you are not planning to marry any time soon?
I am just 33 years old. It’s a calculated decision to marry post 35. Right now, I want to concentrate only on my career.
So who will choose a bride for you?
My mom has given me the responsibility to choose my own bride. She trusts me to make the right choice.
So what’s your dream girl like?
I have no specifications like that. I don’t have any such demands; I will adjust with whoever comes into my life. It’s a partnership – she will take care of me and I will take care of her. I just hope that whoever comes into my life is a family person. I am not looking for a girl – I am looking for a suitable family.
There were rumours about Rati Pandey and you….is there any truth in that?
I don’t want to say we are friends and I don’t want to say that we are dating either. We are something in between. Rati is a very special friend for me. Our chemistry is very different and unique.
Tell us about your craziest fan experience.
I had a fan from Hyderabad who came to Mumbai to meet me. Initially I kept avoiding her, but she kept calling me from different numbers. After about nine days, I agreed to meet her. She was wearing a burkha. When she unveiled her face, I realised she was just 17 or 18. She was apparently staying at the bus stop for nine days. She had not bathed for days and was stinking. I called my friend and together we dropped her at the station with a ticket to Hyderabad. We told the ticket collector to not let her out until she reached Hyderabad.
What is your plan after Diya Aur Bati Hum?
I will get married, take a sabbatical and chill a little. I will then get back to work with a bang.
My only regret is that I came too late to Mumbai. I should have come when I was 22 or 23.