Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

New crush

TV hunk Namik Paul talks Facebook, fans and fab abs 

  • Published 15.10.16


Lives in: Bandra, Mumbai
Birthday: September 19
Age: I am quite old! It’s a joke among my fans. They keep asking how old I am but I don’t tell them! 

Over the last couple of months, the t2 mailbox has been flooded with requests for an interview with Namik Paul. The small-screen heart-throb, who is currently in the news over the hullabaloo of his Sony show Ek Duje Ke Vaaste going off air prematurely, is clearly an  actor who enjoys his time on screen. “It’s not every day when we love our jobs... but I do love my work,” he smiles. 

A t2 chat.

You’ve become popular in a very short time. How did acting happen to you?
I started doing theatre from an early age, so the passion grew. I also wanted to become a basketball player at some point of time and was very focused on that. Acting is something that I have always enjoyed. I had started modelling, so I thought of giving it a shot in Mumbai. I took time to find that I can actually do it like a job. It’s something I love.  

So how is this Delhi boy liking it in Mumbai? 
Actually, I have spent time in a lot of places. After a few years in Lucknow, I went to Dehradun. Then, I went to Woodstock International School in Mussoorie and then to college in America. So, I have travelled a lot. I have spent some years in Delhi and now I am in Mumbai.  

Your chemistry with your Ek Duje Ke Vaaste co-star Nikita Dutta is a big talking point. Is it organic or did you guys have to spend time to get to know each other better?
I think it’s just great writing (referring to the show’s script) and chemistry is something that nobody can plan. You can have two great actors with zero chemistry. It’s not that we sat down to develop chemistry... it just happened (smiles).

Girls are crazy about you...
I feel happy! (Laughs) On my birthday (September 19), a lot of people wished me and I was very overwhelmed. Almost after a week, the news (of Ek Duje Ke Vaaste going off air early) came and people supported me. The best thing is that people love the show. Somebody can like you because of your height or the way you look, I can’t take credit for that... I can just be thankful for it. When somebody loves your work and appreciates something that you really put effort into, then it matters. As a creative person, that is the most important thing. People love the show and my character (Shravan). It has got nothing to do with me. 

Your female fans also want to know…
(Cuts in) If I am single?!
(Laughs out loud)

Yes... and who would be a suitable girl for you?
I should be able to hang out with her like a friend. I should be comfortable with her and be able to talk to her for hours. Basically, she should be somebody with whom I can be myself. 

Namik’s TV pick:
Stranger Things

What’s a day like for you when you aren’t working?
For seven months, I haven’t had a proper off-day! The three-four off- days that I have had.... I have done usual stuff like getting a haircut or daily chores. I think if the show goes off air, then I can figure out about an off-day but I rather not figure that out! (Smiles wryly) Sometimes I do feel that I don’t get to hang out or chill with friends. Then, I ask myself, ‘Isn’t this what you always wanted?!’ 

But don’t such killer work hours take a toll?
I have fallen sick twice. I had fever but contrary to reports, I wasn’t hospitalised. In the last four to five months, I can say nobody has worked more hours than me because as a lead, you have to cover for other people. I can complain, but there are a lot of people who are dying to do what I do! So, I should be thankful and do what I do best. 

This is something I realised a month ago... that why give up this life for something that I can do any time? I used to go out a lot at one point. Now if it’s only a wedding or a birthday, then I go.

Who do you hang out with?
My friends are in Mussoorie, Dehradun and Delhi. I am in touch with everybody and have a deep connection with all of them. I don’t have friends from the industry. I am still new and yet to know people. 

What else keeps you busy? 
I play basketball, I work out, read books, watch movies and TV shows. I don’t get the time to read now, but I have bought a lot of science-fiction and autobiographies. The last TV show I watched was Stranger Things and I really liked it. I used to watch all films but lately I don’t get time. Also, I watch cricket because we all love it. 

Fans love your fab abs and want to know the secret...
I don’t follow a diet. I just had a strawberry shake and a chocolate cookie! If I like it, I have it. I feel it’s very unhealthy to look at food and not eat. I eat everything in moderation.

And you love being on social media!
I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. It’s great! We have fans from all over the world and they can’t meet us even if they want to, so we connect with them through social media. As an artiste, you work hard to get people’s applause. It’s essential to let them know how much you appreciate it. When people said that they liked the show, it boosted my confidence. All I have to do is post pictures and reply to their comments. That is not a big deal. I am happy to do it! (Smiles)

N for Namik

Comfort food: Tandoori chicken, butter naan and masala papad. That’s been my dinner for the last four-five years!

Love to wear: Classic and comfortable stuff. But, most of the time I am in track pants and T-shirts.  

A day in my life: I get up at 7am. I go to the gym at 7.30am and spend 45 minutes there. I rush to work by 9-9.30am.
After my work gets over, I come home, eat and go to sleep. 

I crush on: Deepika Padukone. If you see her filmography, you will notice her tremendous growth. Somebody who is that good-looking and that hard-working, I have a lot of respect for her. 

Five years from now, I will be: I have no idea! I want to continue doing a good job and stay busy. 

If not an actor, I would be: No clue, ya! I know I can do a bunch of things if I want. I never had a back-up plan. I love what I am doing now.  

Ratnalekha Mazumdar
I am a Namik Paul fan because... Tell