By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, Oct 4, Had it not been for his publicised acquaintance with David Coleman Headley, who was charged with scouting targets for 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Rahul Bhatt, son of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, says he would have never got a call for reality show “Bigg Boss 4”.
“I am well aware that I’m getting an opportunity in a show like ‘Bigg Boss’ thanks to my friendship with Headley, however peripheral it was. It is indeed because I made a lot of news due to Headley,” Rahul, a gym trainer, told IANS over phone from Lonavala before entering the “Bigg Boss” house.
Rahul, 28, feels the reality show will provide him an opportunity to clear his name.
“But I am here to get the two monkeys — Headley and my dad Mahesh Bhatt — off my shoulders. I have always been known as either Mahesh Bhatt’s son or the guy who knew Headley. But do people know me for what I am? I think ‘Bigg Boss’ is an excellent platform for me to clear my name since the media almost painted me as a terrorist,” he said.
Rahul was under the scanner for his acquaintance with Headley, who used to work out at the same gym where Rahul once trained. But Headley’s connect with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack came as a shock for Rahul.
“I didn’t know his real identity. For me, he was just another person who had come to my country, to my gym and I had a few cups of coffee with him, saw movies…it was well, a good old clean friendship. I liked him for what he was…he was not a moron. He was an intelligent man who made for interesting company.” Rahul said.
“He didn’t even ask me for any favours or ever said that he wants to meet Salman Khan or Mahesh Bhatt. I didn’t know about his intentions. But when I got to know about him, it came as a rude shock. I felt betrayed,” said Rahul.
All said and done, Rahul has no regrets about what happened and feels he came out as a “stronger and enriched” person after the episode. He also thinks “Bigg Boss” couldn’t have been offered to him at a better time.
“I have been through so many obstacles and have faced so much that no amount of bickering and bad-mouthing will affect me. So definitely, there could be no better time for me to do this show.”
“I won’t even miss anything inside the house because I lead a monk’s life. I don’t smoke, I don’t womanise, I don’t drink…all I need is a gym and that is there inside,” he added.
Rahul, who claims to have turned down a movie offer, says he did face resistance from his father for entering the show, but he followed his instinct.
“Dad was a little hesitant and told me that ‘Bigg Boss’ is like a ‘choron ka sammelan’…it’s a show of infamy. But even I am a stubborn man. I can’t be influenced and I have a mind of my own. I just listened to my heart and my instinct told me I have to do it.”
“Bigg Boss” features 13 other celebrities and controversial people locked inside a house for three months without any communication with the outside world. The show is the Indian version of international show “Big Brother”.