Kajol And Ajay Devgn Revisit Romance
Filmfare|December 2019
A Filmfare exclusive with Ajay Devgn and Kajol
Raghuvendra Singh & Rahul Gangwani

They created a hulchul of sorts both on-screen and off it ever since Kajol and Ajay Devgn were cast together in Hulchul (1995). The reel romance soon turned real and the duo got married after four years of courtship in 1999 and have been inseparable ever since. Theirs is an old school romance, such a refreshing change from the online PDA showered by star couples on each other today. In an industry known for fickle relationships, theirs has been going strong for more than two decades. Kajol still blushes when asked to speak on him and the ever reticent Ajay floods up with superlatives describing her. Presenting excerpts from straight from-the-heart interviews of Ajay and Kajol distinct as personalities, one as parents. A made for-each-other-couple unlike any other...

"Kajol has sacrificed a lot for me"

AJAY DEVGN’S focus remains work and family. RAGHUVENDRA SINGH gets the reticent actor to share how he stays calm and positive

WHAT MADE YOU PLAY A HISTORICAL FIGURE LIKE SUBHEDAR TANHAJI MALUSARE?

There’s little written about Tanhaji (military leader in the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) in history books. When I read the script, I got to know about his contribution to history and the sacrifices he made. He died while keeping the Kondhana Fort from Aurangzeb (in the Battle of Sinhagad 1670). Aurangeb ka poore Hindustan par hukumat karne ka sapna adhura reh gaya. We’re (Ajay Devgn FFilms) planning to launch a franchise called The Unsung Warriors. Tanhaji is the first in that series. Under the title, we want to tell stories of unsung warriors. It’s not necessary that they should have fought wars. It could also be a person, who’s fought for society’s betterment.

HOW DID THIS STORY COME TO YOU?

Director Om Raut came to me with the story. He’s directed the Marathi film, Lokmanya: Ek Yug Purush (2015), for which he won several awards. He’s well-versed with Maratha history. The script fascinated me. We realized the look and the scale of the film would be difficult to achieve. It was not about the budget. It was about expertise. To make a film like Tanhaji you need a knowledge of technicalities, which Om has. The character was equally inspiring. You have to be conscious about presenting such a historical figure with dignity, keeping in mind his stature.

BIG-BUDGET HISTORICALS SEEM TO BE THE ORDER OF THE DAY…

During Golmaal Returns, I was asked about slapstick comedies being a trend. Actually, there’s no such thing as a trend. All kinds of films are working at the box-office. The film must be good. Currently, I’m doing a variety of films. Amit Ravindernath Sharma’s Maidaan (plays Indian football coach and manager, Syed Abdul Rahim, under whom the country enjoyed glory between 19521962) and Bhuj: The Pride Of India (plays Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik, supervisor of Bhuj airport, during the Indo-Pak war of 1971) are interesting films. You could hear 10 scripts, out of which only two sound extraordinary.

KAJOL AND YOU COMING TOGETHER ALWAYS CREATES EXCITEMENT…

As actors, we were excited about the script. In Tanhaji, Kajol doesn’t have a full-fledged role. She’s playing an important character, that of Tanhaji’s wife (Savitri Malusare). She has six to eight scenes. But we needed a fine actor for this character. We believed Kajol was perfect. She too got excited about her character and wanted to be part of it.

HOW DIFFERENT IS KAJOL ON THE SET AND AT HOME?

(Smiles) She’s the same person on the set and at home.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EQUATION WITH KAJOL THROUGH THE YEARS?

We’ve been married for 20 years. With time, your relationship matures. Your understanding of each other grows. Life eases out. She knows exactly what my habits are, what I’m seeking from life, just the way I know about her. We’re happy being with each other and giving space to each other as well. The balance comes with time gradually, which is good for a marriage.

HOW HAS KAJOL CHANGED THROUGH THE YEARS?

(Smiles) There’s no drastic change in her. She’s the same person she was. Earlier, people would say that Kajol says it the way it is. She does that even today. The only difference is that she has become more mature. She understands things better. She reacts in a better way.

WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO LEARN?

I spend a lot of time with my children. I want them to be true and honest to themselves. If they’re honest to themselves, they’ll be honest with us. I want them to respect others and themselves. I tell them that every day. That covers everything. If you respect yourself, you carry yourself with dignity. When you respect others, you uphold your culture. That’s the basic foundation.

YUG SEEMS TO BE INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY. HIS CLICKS ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES ARE INTERESTING…

No, nothing like that. He’s way too young. He plays football, he does parkour and indulges in photography as well. Like any kid, he enjoys it all. When he grows older, he’ll be able to decide what he wants to do.

WHAT ABOUT NYSA?

She’s in the eleventh class. She has a lot of options to choose from. Children should be allowed to pursue what they like. But we do discuss what’s good for them. The final call is theirs. If you study something, you should be able to enjoy the process. If you force something upon children, they will neither enjoy it nor succeed.

IN AN INDUSTRY THRIVING ON PR, YOU DON’T SEEM DESPERATE FOR ATTENTION.

I’m like this only. I believe once you’ve done your job, you should shut up. People have ears, eyes, mouth… They can understand everything. It’s their job to talk, not yours. Touchwood! people meet me with respect. I feel happy about it. You gain nothing by shouting from the rooftops. Whatever you achieve is temporary. And I don’t believe in temporary things. They never last.

HOW MUCH CAN WE GET TO KNOW THE ‘REAL AJAY

DEVGN’ FROM YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLE?

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