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Bollywood’s yesteryear villain Ranjeet says he was always a ‘shy person’

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Image source: india-forums.com

Chandigarh: His onscreen maybe that of a ‘rapist’, but yesteryear Bollywood actor Ranjeet, who is best known for being the bad guy of the Hindi film industry, says that he had “always been a shy person”.

After nearly five decades in Bollywood, actor-villain Ranjeet says that he was always a self-made man.

“I am completing 50 years in the film industry. I have lived life on my own terms. I did not have a godfather. Despite the image (of a baddie), I have never been involved in any controversy all these years. I can say that I have lived very gracefully,” Ranjeet told reporters in an interview here.

Having done various roles in over 500 films, in practically every Indian language, Ranjeet says that work for him is paramount.

“Work is work for me. I can do any work in the field of acting. Be it films, television or theatre, I am willing to do anything,” he said.

Born in Punjab’s Jandiala Guru town near Amritsar and named Gopal Bedi by his orthodox Sikh family, Ranjeet had never worked to get into films.

“When I was young, I used to play football for at least six hours daily. I used to be the goalkeeper and everyone used to call me ‘Goalie’. That name has remained with me since then. I was selected for the Indian Air Force but had to leave it during training.”

He happened to be in Bombay (now Mumbai) once and was attending a party where a producer asked him if he would be interested in films. “I immediately said yes and my film career started,” Ranjeet said, adding that the first role he was offered never saw the light of the day as the film was never made.

Ranjeet, who studied in Delhi’s Hindu College for some time, got into the film industry in 1966-67, playing the role of Rekha’s brother in the movie “Saawan Bhado”.

He was given the screen name ‘Ranjeet’ by superstar Sunil Dutt with whom he did “Reshma aur Shera” in 1968. He started doing villainous roles from his third film ‘Sharmelee’ with Shashi Kapoor and Rakhee.

“I have done over 500 films in all languages, except Malayalam and Assamese. But I have seen just about eight or 10 films in these five decades. I had never got any formal training in acting,” he said.

Having successfully created a name for himself in negative roles, Ranjeet says that he has learnt to live with his image of a villain and a rapist.

“My family, which was very orthodox, threw me out of the house when they learnt that I had raped the heroine in the film (Sharmelee). For some time, I had to stop signing films. I had to convince the family that I was only acting,” Ranjeet recalled.

“I am still a very shy person. I am a vegetarian and hardly drink,” he said.

Ranjeet feels that the days of the ‘iconic’ villains – the likes of K N Singh, Pran, Prem Chopra, Amjad Khan, Gulshan Grover, Amrish Puri and Shakti Kapoor are over.

“The Indian film audience still waits for the thrill of the entry of the villain. However, now the lines have changed. A lot of heroes are also doing anti-hero and negative characters,” he said.

On the lighter side, though, Ranjeet says that roles of regular villains have also shrunk with the size of the clothes of actresses. “It is no longer the same. Things have changed,” he says with a laugh.

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Bollywood Celebs Shares Their Views: International Yoga Day

Here's what the celebrities had to say

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Bollywood Celebs Shares Their Views: International Yoga Day
Bollywood Celebs Shares Their Views: International Yoga Day, Flickr

From veterans like Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini to mothers Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Soha Ali Khan — Bollywood celebrities, for whom fitness is a way of life — posted yoga poses and spoke about its benefits on the occasion of International Yoga Day on Thursday.

While Amitabh Bachchan shared an old image of himself performing a yogasana on Twitter, Hema took the opportunity to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for spreading awareness about it “not only in India but in all the countries he has visited in the world”.

Here’s what the celebrities had to say:

Amitabh Bachchan: Greetings… but the attire for yoga is not ideal, that was a still from the Gujarat Tourism campaign.

Amitabh Bacchan
Amitabh Bacchan, flickr

Hema Malini: Today is International Yoga Day — a celebration of the world wide interest in our own yogasanas. Thanks to our PM who has spread awareness not only in India but in all the countries he hs visited in the world! I request all of you to spend a little time on your bodies to keep fit. I do!

Shilpa Shetty: Pranayama: Prana means life (no life without breath), Ayama means practice or control. So, when you practice control over breath you will have control over your life and mind. It not only cleanses 72000 nadis or channels, your mind and blood, but that cleansing process translates into energy..

Shakti. This power helps you positively manifest your Aura, relationships, self awareness and goals. This International Yoga day start with Pranayama. Welcome the new you. Inhale the future, exhale the past. Enjoy the present. A big thank you to Narendra Modiji who leads and inspires by example and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore for keeping the momentum going so passionately ‘hum fit toh India fit’.

Sandhya Mridul: Smile. Everyday. Best asana of all! Happy Yoga Day people.

Rajeev Khandelwal: The world follows it… we created it.. let’s own it!

Milind Soman: My contribution to the 1,00,000 Suryanamaskaaras that the people at Be Cure Fit are targeting today on International Yoga Day. I feel stronger and more flexible with yoga and it’s never too late to start.

Soha Ali Khan
Soha Ali Khan, flickr

Soha Ali Khan: Why I’ll always pick yoga over the latest fitness fad.

Nimrat Kaur: Place we shall ever have to live in. Keep it safe and beaming! Way of life. Born again.

Also read: Yoga a Boon for Breast Cancer Survivors

Mugdha Veira Godse: Union of body and mind! Happy International Yoga Day. Today is the day to start a brand new fitness routine. (IANS)