Chill Out Zone – Ashmit Patel
Bollywood dudes not only display, sometimes topless a la Salman Khan, muscle power and romance their heroines on the Swiss Alps on screen but they also believe in living life to their fullest off screen. Shaheen Raaj recently cornered Bollywood actor Ashmit Patel in his own chill out zone. He had almost disappeared into oblivion since three years after doing films like Inteha, Daag, Murder, Nazar, Silsilay, Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamana, Fight Club et al. He has resurfaced again this time busy shooting for two English films American Empire and Florida Road.
Describe a typical leisurely day in your life?
A leisurely day is spent doing everything that I miss out on when I’m working. Here’s how a typical day goes in the life of Ashmit Patel…sleep, sleep and more sleep, only to be woken up and served breakfast in bed (which usually ends up being around lunchtime)!! A DVD and the inevitable late afternoon siesta follow this. Fresh and alive after having gotten adequate rest it’s time to shake off the excess calories at Sykz gym. An hour-long session of pumping hardcore iron earns me a protein shake, a beautiful aromatherapy massage and ten minutes in the steam room. A prolonged shower and half an hour later finds me hooking up with friends for dinner and the one off drink. It’s then back to the crib and time to put in some serious reading towards either a script or a novel…sweet dream zzzzzzzzz!!!!!
What would be your idea of unwinding, de-stressing, relaxing, and snatching a few moments of personal life?
Ideally one of the days described above would help me cure all the symptoms of stress and tension in my life. After a hard day’s shoot, no matter how exhausted I am, I make it a point to hit the gym. I find that a good workout not only helps me de-stress but also invigorates me and gives me energy. A long drive with soft lounge music playing is also a great way to unwind. I’ve lived very close to the sea all my life. Since young age I have enjoyed either going for a run by the seaside or simply taking a walk along the beach. The vast expanse and openness of the ocean gives me the freedom to let my thoughts flow and clear my mind of whatever might be fogging it.
Do you have any particular hangout where you spend time with your male friends on a weekend and how?
Up until a few years ago there wasn’t a single bar or nightclub that you could walk into and not find me in. That was back in the day though, when my weekends begun on Wednesday night and stretched into the wee hours of Monday morning. I’d like to think that my mates and I have grown up a tad since then. Which is not to say that I am totally averse to partying; I now save it for special occasions. These days it’s the 3 D’s that do it for me: Dinner, Drinks and DVD’s!!
Any particular interests you pursue in your leisure time?
I was extremely sports oriented when in school but unfortunately I don’t pursue any sport now other than body sculpting at the gym. I am a complete adrenaline junky and when in college in the U.S. I would pursue sky diving, canoeing and white water rafting. I did all this without the knowledge of my parents of course. Had they known about my adventure sports they would have had me extradited back to Bombay instantly. As you’ve probably guessed by now that I am a very extrovert kind of guy and when time permits I like to take off to Mahableshwar with my friend Khursheed, who has introduced me to the world of hills and trekking. I intend to take up paragliding too in the near future.
Do you like spending a lot of money? And do you later feel guilty thinking of how much you spent on pampering yourself?
My mantra in life is, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” and “If you’ve got it, spend it”. No worries, no guilt!!
Would leisure time means just kicking off your shoes and relaxing or would you prefer to do something more adventurous?
It would depend on how I feel on the day really. A balance between the two is essentially what I go with.
What are the craziest things that you have ever done in your life?
Since your publication can be picked off the rack and there’s no way of censoring what I say, my better sense shall prevail and prevent me from answering this question!!
Would you prefer to spend a holiday traveling abroad or in india, any specific holiday destinations?
That would depend on the financial situation at the time really. One of my favorite destinations abroad is St. Tropez in the south of France. I would also like to visit Greece and explore South America. Having said that, there are a lot of beautiful places within India waiting to be discovered. Goa is my all time favorite number. There’s something about Goa that makes it a different ‘trip’ every time I go there.
What would be your idea of a typical bachelor’s day or bachelor’s night out?
A bachelor’s night out would not be complete without the 3 W’s: Whisky, Wine and Women. Not necessarily in that order!!
What are your favorite pick up and bedroom lines? How often do you change them?
“Don’t talk, just kiss”, worked like a charm so far…haven’t found the need to change it yet!!
Finally if you are being quizzed on a celebrity chat show, what would be your honest, free, frank, sincere and boldest answers to these queries?
A strict no – no.
Extra marital affair?
Live and let live.
Your take on sex?
Is the best when had with me!
Your views on sexual crimes and politics?
Sexual crime is the rape of an individual; politics is the rape of the public at large.
Male bonding and male exposure in Hindi cinema in particular and Indian cinema in general?
Does it exist?
Safe sex – theory and practice?
Practice the theory or soon you will be history.
Live in relationships?
Marriage without the excess baggage; I’m all for them.
Second only to nuclear power. Period!
–Shaheen Raaj/Sampurn Wire