He bopped into stardom with dollops of slapstick and lipstick in the ‘90s, and then become a parliamentarian. At 57, his swagger and smile are firmly in place. The dance moves may have slowed a bit. Govinda is back in the reckoning with Indian Pro Music League, a TV reality show. He has much to tell…excerpts from an interview to Eshita Bhargava.
Act One, Scene One: We are from Gujranwala and my father, Arun, was a successful actor. Mehboob Khan Sahab launched him as a hero in Aurat in 1940. We had a bungalow on Carter Road in Mumbai. But my dad suffered heavy losses after producing a film. We sold the property and the family [Govinda has four sisters and an elder brother] moved to Virar. The loss took a toll on my dad’s health. When my mother was expecting me, she began living a sadhu’s life. That alienated me from my father and he wouldn’t take me in his lap for a year after I was born as he thought it was because of me that his wife became a sadhu. Over time, he accepted me as people told him that his second son is a khoobsurat baby, a good boy. He encouraged me to become an actor when my mom wanted me take a regular job in a bank. I would visit Rajshri Productions for work. I went to an acting institute where Roshan Tanejaji and Saroj Khanji taught me for free. Learnt fight stunts too. And I became a hero at 21.