How Rajiv Bhatia became Akshay Kumar
Long before Akshay Kumar became the kinng of Bollywood, he assisted photographer Jayesh Sheth, working without a salary.
Most of us have heard about Akshay's life as a chef in Bangkok -- we may see some of it in his upcoming film, Chandni Chowk To China -- but we don't know much about his struggling days post-Bangkok, when he tried to make it in Bollywood.
Jayesh Sheth was one of Akshay's close friends, and helped Akki find a foothold in Mumbai. He tells Patcy N what Akshay first did for a living in Mumbai, his struggling days and more.
I met Akshay in 1985. In those days, he was called Rajiv Bhatia. He looked different from now -- he had a moustache and long hair. He was taking dance and acting lessons from (actress) Madhumati. I never thought he would become an actor then though he was good looking and a good dancer. But he was not like a hero.
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I had visited the acting classes to do someone's portfolio, when Akshay came up to me and requested me to just take a photograph. He wanted to go up to the terrace and do a stunt -- he wanted to climb on the water tank and dive from there. I thought he was mad but he actually did it -- just for a photograph.
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