Deception, they say is the forte of actors. Their on screen persona reveals no clue about the real person beneath that glossy veneer. Having said that I wasn't the least prepared to meet the real Imran Khan. Of course, the drop-dead good looks and oodles of charm that makes girls swoon over him were all intact. What was missing was the cockiness, the shallow attitude and the overbearing air of someone who's had it easy in life.
The sartorially savvy actor, who almost borders on dandiness, came across as matured, intelligent, strong-willed and grounded. Few minutes into the conversation, I witness astute wisdom that I wouldn't otherwise associate with him. He says, "In a short span in the industry, I have hit disheartening lows and delirious highs. Having gone up and down like that, I have realised how little of it is in your control. You work as hard as you want to but certain things are beyond you. What this really teaches you is resilience and the transient nature of success and fame. One good film and you have everybody at your doorstep and one flop, everyone forgets to call you." Struggle and dejection-he has overcome all. Over to him for some insights on life
On busting six-pack stress
Men these days value aesthetics over well being. They want to look good and flaunt six packs. But ask those guys with abs to go rock climbing and you'll be surprised they can't. Instead, concentrate on your health. Don't obsess with how you look. Be fit to do things better-you should be able to jump higher, run or swim faster. Do exercises that will help you in real life.
On muscle gain
I am hyper metabolic. I lose muscle mass if I don't work out. Throughout my life it has been a struggle to gain weight and look bigger. For Matru Ki Bijli Ka Man Dola, where I played a Haryanvi Jat, I had to look big. My trainer worked on my deltoids and lats and within three months I had a broader silhouette. But one month of no exercise and I was back to my normal lean form. If you too are lean, then ensure you workout every day or else you will have to restart all over again.
On fuelling right
There are a lot of nutrition fallacies that you need to be wary off. Yes, you need to eat big to gain muscle but you needn't eat just everything. I take in 4,000 calories in a day spread over five-six meals. You need to take a fist sized serving of protein four times a day along with a corresponding fist sized serving of carbs.
Success means being able to choose how you spend your time. You can choose what work to take up and when to take up. Success gives you that sense of freedom.
On dealing with setbacks
Life is full of unexpected and unwanted situations; you have to roll with it. Tell yourself this happens and it's in no one's control. Plan your next move. It's up to you if you want to sit down and say "the world is against me" or roll up your sleeves and get back to work. You will
be knocked down time and again. But you have to pick up yourself and
On how much grooming is too much
In India the norm is for people to groom too little. At a mass level, personal hygiene is still a developing concept. If you are reading Men's Health, then you fare pretty well on the grooming scale. You need to ensure you brush your teeth, take a bath and keep body odour at bay every day. If you have out of control hair, trim it for your comfort. But waxing chest hair is a bit too much.
On staying motivated
My work motivates me. From an exciting script to a director that pushes me to a co-star who challenges me-I enjoy every aspect of my work. However, many are not as fortunate to do a job that they love. In situations like this, you have to find your reason for doing that job. Look at your long term goal, it will help you tide over rough patches.
There are great fallacies regarding relationships. I have been with Avantika for 12 years now. My observations are that some people are meant for relationships and some are not. There's no one-fit-all advice that works. If a relationship is nourishing you or giving you something that you value, then you will make it work. Avantika and I fight all the time, she makes me angrier than any other human being but within that we realise we are getting something out of the relationship and we value each other.
On resisting the femme fatales of bollywood
I never get tempted. This kind of attraction is more sexual in nature. It doesn't hold great value for me. For me a relationship with a person is much beyond sex.
Being a father has changed my perspective on my priorities in life. Things that used to have value earlier now pale into insignificance. Before Imara, I would go out and watch a movie or meet friends over drinks but somehow these things are less appealing now. However, nothing prepares you for fatherhood. You can never be ready. But the responsibility of looking after a child who's entirely dependent on you is overwhelming. You end up valuing your child more than anything else in life.
The moment I am off the set, I am disconnected. I am not aware of Bollywood gossip. I am in a different world that has no connection with films. Keep a clear demarcation between personal and professional life.
On fashion vs style
Fashion is transitional. It's fickle, it's for followers. Style is eternal. It's an expression of your personality of who you are, your taste and personality. Personal style is worth cultivating. Somewhere in the 80s the thought came in that if a man cares more for his looks, then he is less of a man. That's not true. If you walk out of your home in your sweat pants to meet someone, it shows very low self esteem and your disrespect for the person you are meeting.
Imran's five style reckoners
1. Ignore fashion advice
In the rush to keep up with trends that change every month you will invariably mess up. If you travel 50 years back or into the future, people should look at you and say he is a well dressed guy.
2. Don't try too hard
You have to find a comfort zone. A year back everything was super tight that made movement impossible. Strike a balance. If slimmer is in, don't go skin tight, wear something leaner. You will be comfortable and can carry it for longer.
3. Not everything looks good on every one
Find what suits your personal taste and personality. Just because it looks good on someone it will not look good on you.
4. Get one well fitting white shirt
There is no man who will not look good in it. It's a kind of thing you can dress up and dress down.
5. Find a cut and fit that works for you and stick to it.