Your stint in Bigg Boss was somewhat marred by the ugly link-up with model Jasleen Matharu?
It was never meant to be ugly, nor was it meant to be a link-up. She is my shishya (student) outside Bigg Boss House and I am her guru. She learns music from me. And that’s the equation we were to share inside the Bigg Boss house.
So when did that equation change?
It didn’t change. We remained guru and shishya throughout the show. Nothing more nothing less. We shared no physical or emotional intimacy.
So why was your relationship with her announced to the world in such a salacious way?
Jasleen is responsible for it. When I reached the Bigg Boss venue to enter the House I was shocked when she announced our relationship to Salman Khan as that of a boyfriend and a girlfriend. I couldn’t do anything at that late stage. She had been at the venue of the show from many days before the inauguration. I just rushed in. I had no time to give this (the salacious suggestion of a relationship) any thought. I thought I would clear the air once we were inside the Bigg Boss house.
Why didn’t you?
Because Jasleen felt the link-up would benefit her career. And it did. She is still in the Bigg Boss house while I am out.
But surely you must have thought of how this would tarnish your image? You are the Bhajan Samrat. Hindu households across the world wake up to your voice?
I agree. I should’ve thought of this. But I knew I would clear the air once I was evicted. And I have. Maybe a section of my fans are offended. I apologize to them. I can only assure them that my intention was not to offend at all.
Jasleen is now saying she’s shocked that you are denying their relationship?
What can I say? If she wants to continue with her naatak, I can only request to stop it now. Enough is enough. Even her father has made it clear that we are not in a relationship. He says he and I will do her kanyaadan jointly when she gets married. And we will.
Why would any decent girl want this kind of a linkup?
See, the 20-something generation doesn’t care about the ethics of publicity as long as they get noticed. Jasleen is a good singer. The problem is, she invests 30 percent into her singing and 70 percent into her image. I told her father the day she reverses this ratio she will be a successful singer.
You are still grieving for your late wife (Medha Kapoor). I don’t understand how you could allow this cheap publicity gimmick?
I realize I should’ve put my foot down. You are right. It was disrespectful not only to my fans but also to the dead.
Did any good come out of your Bigg Boss experience?
Oh yes. I learnt how to live like an ordinary person, how to mop floors, clean dishes, etc. It was a lesson in self-dependence that I will cherish. I also lost 4 kgs in the Bigg Boss house. If I lose 4 more kilos I can host Bigg Boss. And lastly, the show introduced me to the younger generation. So my fan following is enhanced. I am looking forward to my next live concert.