Sajid Khan is a brutally honest person and we don’t think he can ever be politically correct. Here, the Birthday boy talks about his life, family and personal relationships!
How do you usually celebrate your birthdays?
I don’t celebrate it at all. I usually try to keep myself busy on that day. If there’s a shoot or a show, I try to make sure we schedule it on my birthday because I feel it’s very important to work on your birthdays. It gives you a sense of satisfaction. But last year, I had a big bash because my best friend Sajid Nadiadwala wanted to throw a huge party. We were estranged for two years. In 20 years of friendship, two years of fights are allowed! So when we got back in 2014, he said that it was important that we have a big party and call all our friends from the film industry, too. It also sent out a lot of positive vibes to the film industry… the fact that we weren’t fighting anymore. That is probably the best birthday gift I could ever get… it cleared a lot of things being said about us.
You are extremely close to Diva, Anya and Czar…
I love them to death. You should see me with Diva, Anya and Czar. I don’t talk to them like an uncle, but as someone their age. I try to connect with them on that level.
What do they do for you on your birthday?
They make cards for me every year. I have saved all the cards they’ve made for me. I am not one who takes gifts and all. They pretty much have everything a seven or eight-year-old child would have. Otherwise, on my birthday, I would give them gifts.
There has been much written about you and your films. Does that still bother you?
Of course, it does. But it doesn’t bother me as much that it alters my life or the way I connect with people. It has made me realise that people are very short-sighted and they don’t really care. There’s one question that people always keep asking me. ‘How is it that you know so much about movies, but still make cinema like this?’ I know I am far more intelligent than the cinema I make. But the cinema I make is always going to have a wider spread than other films. My last two films didn’t do well, but it still did Rs 55 crore plus business which is probably the business of certain hit films on smaller budgets. The audience doesn’t care about the budget.They don’t care whether they are watching a Rs 100 crore movie or a Rs 200 crore film. When was the last time you thought that I am watching a Rs 20 crore film, so my ticket should cost less or vice versa? That doesn’t happen.
Do you carry emotional baggage around?
No! I think Twitter has helped me a lot. When I thought of joining it, everyone thought that now, he’s going to do everybody’s ma behen, screw other people’s happiness. I haven’t done that and I will never ever do that. When I was making fun of films and film reviews at 17-18, I was just doing my job. The only difference between most of these guys today and me is that my life is cinema. The purity in cinema goes to the time when I used to bunk school or college and watch movies alone. Trying to get into an adult movie, then getting thrown out and entering from the back gate. Or trying to sneak in without a ticket and standing at the back, watching the film because there were no more tickets, Then, there was no video or TV. People grow up, they have families, wives, kids, they have responsibilities. I have none, so I guess I never grew up and my love for cinema is still the same as it was when I was a kid. I have sacrificed a marital life for my cinema. So that my time is not divided and when the brickbats also come, I can take it a little easy and not get perturbed because I don’t have to think about how my wife would feel or what my kids would have to hear in school.
You have been in a lot of serious relationships in the past…
Some not-so-serious ones, too!
So is sacrificing it okay for you?
I have turned 45. By being with a woman, she also has to understand she isn’t with a normal guy. I love watching three movies a day. And some girls tried their best, they felt that it’s damn cool to be with me because I love movies. And they say that women love men with passion. Unless the man’s passion is his mom! (Smiles) I have been in relationships where some girls have liked the idea initially, but after six months, they would be like, ‘Get on with it. Let’s go out.’ And I’d say, ‘Let’s watch a movie’. It has lasted me 40 years of life and it didn’t change. Why will it change for anyone else?
Have you ever been close to getting married to somebody?
Yes! Again, two of those girls are married, so I won’t take names. I was in a steady relationship with this sweet girl way back in the ’90s. I thought I would end up getting married to her, but I was not a good guy for the simple reason that she was nicer than me. I was cheating behind her back and she caught me. But she even forgave me. That’s how nice or should I say naive she was! (Smiles) I won’t say I regret not getting married to her. But if I split in June, the break actually happened in February-March. It takes around 90 days to get on with it and end it. Most relationships break up around three months before the actual split. I was even engaged to somebody once in 2003, a slightly popular name. Even that didn’t work out and I wasn’t a bad guy then. I didn’t cheat. I guess you just get bored. Plus, I am a reclusive person. I don’t go out, I don’t party. My outings are only my dinners with my friends or PVR movies!
You collect film tickets?
I used to! I have actually collected each and every ticket of each and every film that I have watched over the years, but they don’t make them like they used to earlier. Behind every movie ticket, I would write the length of the film and I used to mention, who I watched it with and then, I would give it a 1-star or a 5-star review, depending on what I felt about it. All the tickets are intact.
How many tickets do you have?
I started collecting them since 1982. I stopped collecting in the early 2000s. So there are over 3,000 tickets.
No one knows that you were initially the first choice for Circuit from Munnabhai…
Not that I went to meet Hirani or give a screen test, so I really would not be able to confirm whether I had got it or not. But I do know for a fact that Abbas Tyrewala, who was writing Main Hoon Na at that point for Farah, was my friend and was writing Munnabhai. He had told me, ‘You are perfect for the role and Raju would love to meet you. You should do it.’ Anyway, I was close to Sanju as friends. Then I called up Baba (Sanjay Dutt) and asked him what he thought. He was like, ‘Do it Saju, we will have a rollicking time.’ I was in this dilemma whether I should do it or not. Aur woh pehle aap, pehle aap ke chakkar mein woh gaadi nikal gayi. Then, one day, I realised Arshad got it. And he is damn good in the film. No regrets because Arshad did, probably, a better job than what I could have done because he is a far superior actor than what I am. The only reason I regret it a bit now is because I know for a fact that whatever I was charging for being on TV at that time was there. But when Munna and Circuit became such a big rage, Arshad started charging much more for shows.