Ajay himself is a great ‘catch’ for some filmmakers who won’t make films without him — Rajkumar Santoshi, Rohit Shetty... “There’s a certain comfort zone,” agrees Devgan. “They’re all good directors, and if I suit a certain character, they approach me. It’s simple! It’s not campism; it’s work.” Besides Santoshi’s Halla Bol , the man has been roped in to play the title role in Raj’s Ashok as well. A previous attempt on the subject wasn’t a very impressive fare at the box office. “We aren’t attempting to re-make what has already been made before. Our story is post the Kalinga war, and how the Emperor embraced Buddhism,” explains the actor. This makes me ask of Ajay’s religious sensibilities. “I’m religious. I believe in most religions and also appreciate and try to follow the good virtues each of them propagates.” Usually treading the right path, Devgan hasn’t been a part of any controversy. Save one. His dislike for Shah Rukh Khan is much talked about. “I don’t dislike Shah Rukh. And if you are referring to my absence from Om Shanti Om, I was out of town during the time the film was being made. I assure you that if I was in the city I would’ve done what Farah approached me for,” he states, convincingly.
Talking about Shah Rukh, the topic of six-pack abs can’t be too far away. How much has the fitness conscious Devgan conquered? “I like to take care of myself. I eat and work out right. I won’t claim to have six-pack abs, but I do have a much toned stomach,” he confesses proudly. A great body, intense eyes, much fame and success and yet no link-up stories... Proves his undying love for Kajol, eh? “I don’t know. I work, and once it’s pack up, I rush home to be with family. Socialising leads to rumours of link-ups. And I just can’t socialise. I don’t enjoy it, so I don’t do it,” he avers logically.
Never mind Ajay’s success stories, another high of his life is his first directorial venture, U, Me, Aur Hum which has been falsely hailed as a re-make of the Hollywood flick The Notebook . With Kajol and him returning together on the big screen, the film truly seems to be a ‘home production’. Will daughter Nysa make a special appearance in Daddy Devgan’s special venture? “No,” says Ajay. “We’re sticking to the script, and Nysa is not a part of it,” he laughs, “But she is the most beautiful part of my life story.” So besides being a good actor, does Ajay make a good father? “That’s a question you’ll have to reserve for Nysa when she grows up. I’m trying to do my best, but I don’t know how well I’m doing or if I’m doing well at all,” he says. Ajay, the actor, director, producer, father, husband, son... He is quite the complete man. “I’m not a complete man, but a happy man! Nobody is complete. I falter, too.” Saying this, the actor is informed that the shot is ready. The score is now 25/1, and as Dravid prepares himself for a delivery from Yasir Arafat, Ajay readies to deliver, too!