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I am planning to return to cinema: Fardeeen Khan

Fardeeen  Khan  who was  spotted in Mumbai at  casting director Mukesh Chhabra’s  office, is  all set to make a comeback  to the Indian entertainment industry.  He was  last seen in the film Dulha Mil Gaya  in 2010 in  the august company of Sushmita Sen. In  a candid interview  with Subhash  K Jha,  Fardeen comes clean on his  last ten  years.

You’ve been completely off the radar, and now you  planning  a comeback?

Yes, I’ve been  away. And yes,  I am planning to return to  cinema. This is  such an exciting time to  be working again, don’t you think?

Yes, there is so much happening?

Indian cinema has evolved so  much. I guess  it was long over-due. Technological advancement is  part  of that growing process. Whatever the reason, the  maturity and diversity  in the kind of films being made  is definitely  something to be happy about.

What kept you away for so  long?

Subhash, it wasn’t planned. I never thought I’d be away  for so long.  But it happened.Initially my wife Natasha and I had to  move to London because we were  having  challenges(to face)  in having children. In 2013 we finally had our daughter.  Four years  later our son  was born. Each time there  was  a bundle of joy in the house it just took over our lives. I didn’t even know  how when  so much time flew by. I had to be  up and  down between  Mumbai and London. Because we  had chosen the  IVF  route it wasn’t easy for  my wife  Natasha  . I had to be  by her side.

So time just flew by?

Initially we thought we’d be away from Mumbai for  only  2-3 years. If only life were  that simple! Being away  wasn’t planned, I was dealing with circumstances. Now  I  am blessed with  two beautiful children.And  the  time I’ve spent with them away from work has been so beautiful. My children  and I share an amazing bond.I count  my blessings every day, Subhash. I  have a lot to be grateful for. Now I see the children a little more settled.I feel it’s time for me  to get back to work.My return to work  happened organically. It happened when  it was meant to happen.Having returned I find the entire landscape of  the  film industry has changed.

Are you back for good  now?

Subhash ,I’ve  always been  going back and forth between Mumbai and London.I spent half my time there and  half my time here.This time I’m back with a purpose. I want to do good meaningful work. I think this  is  the new golden-age  of cinema. It’s encouraging to see such a diversity  of  cinema  happening. Recently there  was some publicity over a picture that someone clicked.

You  mean  the body-shaming  over your overweight?

That’s a closed chapter in my life,Subhash.It happened when it had to happen.I  was  never aggressively  active on social media.  That  was  a shocking introduction. Social media is a whole new reality. Everyone is learning how useful or damaging it can be. I think we’re all on the learning  curve  regarding the social media.We just  have to be responsible with it.

 Is  your family with you in Mumbai?

No, my children  have school in London .My daughter is  7 so all our decisions have to be according to her school calendar. So  the  move to  Mumbai will have  to be in June next year.I am now heading back to London  for  the holidays. Will be  back  in January. I’ve been in Mumbai for a month now.The response has been  very encouraging.  It’s very heartwarming that people still remember me after ten years.I’m looking forward to working again. I am exploring the  new  landscape in our film industry. The old  landscape is being re-defined. Work ethics have transformed. People are far  more professional. With all these new movie-making platforms it’s all very exciting and new to me.

Have you been in touch with friends like Ram Gopal Varma?

I have had a few interactions on  the phone.With Covid  , I have to be careful  because I’ve my mother living nextdooor to  me in Mumbai. Hopefully  next year with the vaccine  it will all be better .

So you  are determined  to  return?

I am up for all challenges. Of course I’ve years  of experience behind me,and the older you grow the wiser you get. But my mindset is that of  a newcomer. I feel I am just starting out.I am excited, Subhash. I am  not coming back with any assumptions or any sense  of  entitlement . I just want  to do good work.The new platforms  have made our cinema relevant and progressive. We are  such a rich country. I mean India and US  are  the two biggest experimental democracies  of the world. There is so many stories to tell  in these two countries.

I can see  your father (actor-filmmaker Feroz Khan) smiling down  on your enthusiasm?

Well,  yes. I  have his blessings and hopefully some  of his  experience.

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