Shy but savvy, He’s an unusual RK. Three months after his movie debut, he’s playing it cool. No speeding into more projects than you can count on your toes and fingers. The 25-year-old has just shot for a top brand cola with Shah Rukh Khan, is considering more high-end endorsements, shooting for a Yash Raj banner romancer and keeping his head on the shoulders on being blitzed with gazillion herogiri offers. And yeah, he pops up in the psst psst columns with items about his dates with some of the most beautiful girls in show town.Mercy be, he doesn’t go for the subterfuge of ‘no comments.’ So here’s Ranbir Kapoor in a heartspeak with Khalid Mohamed. On the dot of 4 p m, I’m in Pali Hill’s Krishna Raj villa, ensconced on a calf skin sofa. He’s scrubbed fresh, a fringe falling on his temples, bejeaned legs beating a staccato jungle rhythm on the beige rug. Perfect moment to ask:
Why are your feet drumming a beat, Ranbir?
Ha, uncle you noticed. (Uncle!.. but it sounds cool coming from him). That’s because I guess I’m full of energy, must let it out.. though dad often tells me it’s bad manners.
How else do you let off your pent-up energy?
I calculate the numbers on cars’ driving plates. I add up the digits to get a single number, I feel great if the digits add up to the number 8. Mum was born on July 8. I’m very fast at this, almost like a calculator, even though I wasn’t ever any good at maths. At school (Bombay Scottish), I was into football, pranking around.. ( blushing) and I was interested in girls at a very young age. I’m told I was four when I went crazy over a lovely miss.. a teacher.
In the RK family tradition, you couldn’t have been a whiz at studies.
Yes, I was a distracted kid. But I completed my 12th standard. The shoot of Aa Ab Laut Chalen was on in America’s Lake district. Everyone was excited, grandma gave me loads of dollars to celebrate that I’d finished school. Besides me, Dabboo Uncle is considered quite educated since he completed eighth standard! We Kapoors are passionate about cinema, not books.
Okay, now tell me going by the footage and camera shots given to you in Saawariya, it would seem the director fell in love with you.
You think so? I don’t know.
Wasn’t Salman Khan upset because his role was drastically reduced?
No, no, his role wasn’t cut at all.. he wasn’t upset. At the premiere, he told me, “Welcome to the club.”
You did become the ‘butt’ of jokes for a while, didn’t you?
You mean the towel scene, the Jab se tere naina song? That’s given me popularity. I wasn’t inhibited about it at all, especially because it was a tribute to Bobby in which Aruna Irani sees my dad without his towel.
Were you completely.. er.. in your birthday suit.. for that nude shot?
Yeah, it was a complicated shot, it took 16 takes.
Would you do such a scene again?
It’s no big deal. Why not.. if the director has the sensibility of (Sanjay Leela) Bhansali saab?
Are you in his next project?
I’m clueless about that. He doesn’t play favourites.. or else Salman Khan would have been in Devdas. Of course, I’d drop everything for Bhansali saab if he offered me a role. He gave me the kind of launch I’d want even in my next life.
But wouldn’t a hit have mattered?
Definitely. But I’ve seen dad go though the ups and downs. I haven’t reached that stage yet. Dad would never let his anxieties show. And the toughest point for a leading man is to make that transition to character roles which he has.
What did your parents have to say about Saawariya?
Even if I were the worst actor in the world, mum would say I’m the best. I was afraid of dad. I so wanted a nod from him. Dad may have had problems with the film as a moviegoer but not as a father. He sent me a beautiful text message which I’ll always preserve.
Were you paid decently for the film?
I don’t know money at all.
Rs 10 lakh at least, I hope.
Ha, ha ,Uncle, you’re not going to trick me there. I got sufficient money.. let’s say to take my dates out for dinner. Tricked you!
Who exactly is your date nowadays? I’m extremely confused.
I’m confused too. Please tell Honey and Mottu that I’m not seeing anyone right now. I’m not ashamed at all at the thought of falling in love.. my parents’ has been a wonderful love story.
What’s the exact story on Deepika Padukone and you?
We have been friends. Then she was busy with her first film’s release and I was busy with mine. Recently we were shooting in Australia and became friendly again. She’s an amazing, caring girl. I enjoy spending time with her. We go out for dinners.
You were spotted dining out just a couple of day ago.
Yes, I’m not denying that at all. She and I were at a restaurant but I wasn’t feeding her with my hands as your Mottu reported.
What are these dinners all about?
Food. Like every Kapoor, I’m a foodie. When she and I go out, we try out everything from lobsters and snails to vada paavs.
What’s the status of Deepika’s relationship with Yuvraj Singh, then?
(Pause) It wouldn’t be fair of me to ask her that. My relationship with her is platonic.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.. sure.. define that.
It means a platonic relationship. We like the same kind of movies, that sort of thing.
So whose girlfriend is she?
Not my girlfriend, in the way you mean at all.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Do you know Nihar Pandya?
Yes, he’s a sweet guy. But I haven’t met them together.
Would you let Deepika tie a raakhi around your wrist?
( Nearly leaps up ) No, no, no, no, I never allow beautiful women to tie raakhis on me.. that’s why I wouldn’t go to school on Raakhi day.
Okay, what’s with the buzz about Sonam Kapoor and you?
We haven’t been in touch. Since we were making our debuts together, the buzz was mandatory. There’s no story there. There was no exchange of flowers and chocolates. Sure we’re comfortable with each other, we’d go out for dinners.
You’re big on dinners kid. Okay describe them to me.
They’re different kinds of beauties, Sonam has the Indian classical looks. Deepika is ethereal.
So, who’s in your life right now?
Let’s say I’m not looking for love right now. Love is beautiful when it’s reciprocated. I have been infatuated with women ever since I was in school.
You have been seen dining with Nandita Mahtani on and off.
She’s a family friend, I’ve grown up with a crush on her. I’ve seen her go through various stages of life. She has always handled the situation. She can calm you down, no matter what.
That happens plenty of times.The smallest of thing, a gesture matters. Nothing has to be said really.
How do your parents react to your infatuations?
They are understanding. They let me decide, they want me to learn from my mistakes. I’ve never done anything to make them freak out. I’m the sort who speaks his heart out.. specially to my cousins Armaan and Aadar. If I ever find someone I’d like to marry, the marriage wouldn’t be between two individuals but between two families. I’d work towards unconditional approval.
Hmmm, very Dilwale Dulhania le Jayenge, that. On Valentine’s Day, which of your teen deviyans were you in touch with?
None of them. It’s a day for lovers.. not for friends.Got you there..Uncle!
Source: HT Cafe (Khalid Mohamed)