One of the greatest actors and entertainers of Bollywood, Govinda, turns 57 today. He might not be delivering hits at present but is still celebrated and has a fan base among the moviegoers of all groups. Not just his on-screen image, even his off-screen image is popular. His interviews especially are worth cherishing as he always speaks from the heart and even gets non-political frequently. Therefore, he’s truly a journalist’s delight.
On his 57th birthday, we bring to you an old interview of his that caught our attention. Recorded in the year 1987 on the sets of the film Ghar Mein Ram Gali Mein Shyam, the actor is seen speaking to Nari Hira of CineBlitz. This was the time when his films like Ilzaam (1986) and Love 86 (1986) had released and he was quite a lot in demand, and how! Govinda matter-of-factly says in this interview, “I had 70 films in my kitty. Out of these 8-10 films got shelved. And (pauses to think), 4-5 films I had to opt out of, due to date issues.” When asked how many films he shoots in a day, he replies, “It depends. Sometimes, I shoot for 3 films, some days, I shoot for 2. At certain days, I even shoot for 4 to 5 films.”
Nari Hira asks him from where he comes from. Flashing his million-dollar-smile, he tells, “The last station (in Mumbai’s suburban railway network) is Virar. That’s where I belong to!” He reveals that he, too, is a star kid. “My mother used to work in films. My father, too, was an actor, in the 40s. Mere daddy Mehboob Khan ji ke hero the. And now my mother is a classical singer,” he says. Govinda’s father was named Aroon while his singer-actress mother was Nirmala Devi. Aroon was best known for acting in Mehboob Khan’s 1940 Aurat, which was remade by the same director as Mother India (1957).
The interviewer asks whether Govinda was astonished with the sudden rise of his fan following. To which, Govinda reveals, “I was not expecting this sort of popularity. However, I didn’t get surprised by it. Of course, I was happy. But since the beginning, I don’t get too excited. I neither get too happy when things are going fine nor do I get very low in sad times. This is because I know that nothing is permanent. The circumstances keep changing. My father was a top actor at one point. Hamara naam tha, bungalow tha. Lekin phir Virar chale gaye hum log. We spent our days in poverty. Now we are back to Bombay. So this cycle continues!”
Having seen the economic hardships, one would expect that Govinda would have thought of planning for the future. But he states, “I am the only who doesn’t plan for the future. Everyone says it’s important and I understand that one needs to plan. But that can be done only in mechanical stuff, not in personal matters. This is because life is unpredictable. Man proposes, god disposes!”
Govinda then confesses about his love for a luxurious life. He says, “Not for status symbol, but I am fond of good clothes, good cars, a good house etc. Everyone is.” When asked about his favourite car, he confesses, “I feel a man must have 8-10 cars! Jeep, however, is my favourite. It’s quite rugged.”
This was the time when Govinda was already married, to Sunita Ahuja. The marriage was kept secret for a couple of years. The interviewer asked him that there are reports of him seeing someone. Govinda blushes at this question but doesn’t answer much. But he tells that he’s not ready to get married. He says, “I won’t marry soon. It diverts the person’s attention. And one must fulfil the job that one has taken up.”
There’s a lot that Govinda has spoken in this interview. Not just his spoken words, but also his looks and his boyish charm make the interview a must watch affair.