Recently, I had the opportunity to work for the most handsome, suave and heartthrob of millions of girls, Rajeev Khandelwal. Yeah I know, most of you would be wondering that who on earth is this ‘Rajeev Khandelwal’. But for those who are familiar with the name, they know that there is one and only “Rajeev Khandelwal” on this earth.
There is a thing called ‘teen crush’ which is kind of crazy and common thing among teenagers to have crush on their favourite actors or celebrities. So like every other teenager, I was truly, madly, deeply in love with ‘Rajeev Khandelwal’. Logically speaking, it wasn’t Rajeev Khandelwal but ‘Sujal Garewal’, the name of the character he played in one of the most popular Indian soap operas in the early 2000.
So, ladies and gentlemen please put your hands together as I introduce you to this amazing character and my teenage crush, ‘Sujal Garewal’. Wohoo!!
“Sujal” the name itself gives me goose bumps. Dream guy, heartthrob, thief of millions of hearts, is how I would describe him. Any girl would fall for him, he is that good. He is not someone like the Indian actor Hritik Roshan or British model David Gandy and not even like the German-Irish Michael Fassbender but he is more of a guy-next-door. Simply put, he is the-guy-you-would-take-to-your-Mum. Yeah, you know what I mean.
Sujal is an arrogant young guy who comes from a rich family and holds a reputable position in his family business. He doesn’t smile much; more reserved character and has the most appealing anger until he falls in love with a girl. His love story then leads to some romantic moments and some sad ones too, way too many misunderstandings, tear-jerking moments and lots and lots of songs. Songs?? Well, that’s the beauty of Indian soap operas. And believe me, every time Sujal cries on screen, I would cry in real life. The songs played in the background during happy or sad moments or just anytime still have the same impact on me as in those days. Also when Sujal who wouldn’t smile a lot but whenever he did, I would find a curve around my lips too. That’s the impact of his character. Well, well, well, let me use a cliché here – ‘Words are not enough to describe Sujal’.
Okay so now fast forward to the current times when I am no more a teenager but a married lady busy in life carrying out her mundane work. With my teenage, I had also bid goodbye to my crush and it was all a thing of the past lying somewhere in the rags of memory. Then all of a sudden a special work project comes to me. Yes, “SPECIAL”. Why? Because it involved Sujal. You read it right, Sujal. Honestly speaking, I had never imagined or wished to meet him in real life and here I was going to work on his project. Wow! But this time, the only difference was that I had to work for Rajeev Khandelwal and not Sujal.
I was happy with the project but I must admit that at this point in my life, I wasn’t that excited as I would have been in my teens. So, it was kind of okay feeling. And then, there came a day when I had to call him over the phone for work reasons. Initially I was kind of at ease but gradually as I picked up the phone and dialled his number, my heart started beating fast. Soon there was a familiar voice coming from the other end of the phone. The voice I had heard many years ago on the TV and now on the phone. Without doubt it was Sujal. But as we started speaking, I realised that there were no love songs playing in the background, he did not utter romantic words, and he was not Sujal because I wasn’t Kashish (his soap opera girlfriend) either. And that’s no wonder why the voice from the other end said “Hello, this is Rajeev Khandelwal”.
It was a short conversation but I felt my speech rushed out of nervousness. While his voice was calm and composed. Once through with the conversation, I looked up on YouTube a few of my favourite scenes from the soap opera. Some brought smiles and some did bring tears. But the realisation that dawned upon was remarkable that even though times have changed and lot of years have passed through, the memories came back fresh. I am sure Rajeev Khandelwal must have put lot of effort in his character ‘Sujal Garewal’ that even after years, his character can rekindle the flame.
And here’s a throwback to my teenage crush