‘Trust me. I will do well’

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By I’m not finished yet! — Dev tells t2 Kushali Nag What’s your message for Dev? Tell t2@abp.in
  • Published 21.05.14
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The shutterbugs didn’t stop for a moment as Dev, the protagonist of Rajib’s Bindaas, turned up at the first-look launch of the film at The Park on Monday. Flanked by his two leading ladies — Shrabanti and Shayantika — Dev was in a bindaas mood as t2 caught up with him for a chat.

You’ve got a new haircut!

This new look is for Joddha. Nah... actually I got bored with the same hairstyle, so I got a haircut and told my director (Raj Chakraborty) to keep this look.

You seem to be in a bindaas mood, now that you have won the polls...

See, you know me from the first day. Success never really gave me a high. Success is something which motivates and inspires me. I am always a grounded person. I’m the same. I am still the prankster I used to be. I can’t say, ‘Ami MP Dev bolchhi.’ (Laughs) But at the age of 30, I have been given this huge responsibility. It’s yet to sink in.... I still can’t think of myself as an MP! All I have in my mind is that Bindaas has to release. I am going to Bombay in a couple of days to shoot a song sequence, match my steps to a superb song. People shouldn’t say, ‘Arrey Dev-er e ki holo!’ People are thinking that Dev is finished. His career is over. When I heard these things I only smiled. I am not finished yet!

What messages have you got from your colleagues and friends in Tollywood?

Initially all their messages were very negative. Nobody came forward to encourage me. Everyone frowned at my desicion to say yes to politics. Shree Venkatesh Films and Rane (Nispal Singh, producer) were the only ones who encouraged me. My parents were very upset because they were not in the loop. They thought I had planned it all. But it wasn’t planned. I said yes to politics because I am from Ghatal. It’s my parents’ native place too and it’s a very backward place, honestly. I felt if my becoming an MP can benefit the people, then that’s good. Most people make big promises before the elections but run away later. I will definitely work for them. I haven’t become an MP to enhance my bank balance. If I inaugurate two shops, I will make money. Touchwood, with God’s grace I’m doing well for myself. I also don’t believe in power games... MP doesn’t mean that I’m the most powerful, no. I’m still the regular guy-next-door. I will definitely work for the people. Most of them live in mud houses in Ghatal.

So you’ve reconnected at the grassroot level...

No yaar... I’m always a grassroot person. The way my parents have brought us up, we will never forget. I have seen how my dad struggled to pay our school fees. Every month he would pay late fees. My sister and I belong to that kind of a family, we know the problems. But I’m not saying I will be able to wipe out all problems. I will definitely do my best. I know success can end any moment, one given Friday I may go out and be nowhere. And another Friday I may do very well. There will come a day when my films won’t run any more. I will have wrinkles on my face. Some other hero will take over. I am ready for that too. I never reacted when day after day Chander Pahar was trashed by the media. People trust me. And my decision to contest the elections has been only for Mamatadidi (Banerjee). She had supported me so much after the release of Khokababu and she is doing so much for our industry. Besides, I have made it clear that I am not going to be a political person. I will be Dev all the time and do things my way. I am going to have an ‘un-political’ approach to everything in Dev’s style. The only concern is how I am going to manage time and start work for the people as soon as possible.

What are your time management strategies?

Don’t worry about that. Trust me. Have faith in me. I will do well.

You’re just 30. Don’t you think you are too young to understand the nitty-gritties of politics?

It’s a myth that a political leader has to have white hair and wear pyjama-kurta. We need people of our age who can represent our country. I am happy that Indian politics have young minds.

Now that you’ve entered politics, will it also influence the kind of film roles you choose?

No. Right from day one I made it very clear to myself. Have you ever seen me campaigning in panjabi-pyjama? I was always in jeans and t-shirt and I have always spoken like Dev. People love me because of who I am, not because I have joined a party. I can’t lose my identity. The day that will happen I will be out and over. But I am aware that Dev is different from MP Deepak Adhikari. So Dev will continue to work in films and Deepak will work for the people.

After the 40 days of campaigning in the heat and dust and after winning, are you sleeping peacefully now?

I miss a few things, you know. I see those kids in my dreams who would tell me during my campaigns, ‘Devda you have to make a school for us, Devda you have to make better roads for us.’ Lots of memories, yaar. A journey of 40 days, not a matter of joke! I met the tribals, the farmers and they would say, ‘Dada apnar paayer dhulo ta diye jaben.’ These are things I will never ever forget.

Up for release:

Bindaas
Bunohaans

Currently shooting:

Joddha

Films he will start shooting for:

Aparna Sen’s Romeo & Juliet
An untitled film with Koel Mallick and Mithun Chakraborty