Do you remember Kajol’s onscreen fiance from the 1998 film ‘Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha’? It was Rahul (Bijay Anand) who forced Kajol to travel to India in the movie.
He had started his acting career on a great note. After ‘Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha’ turned out to be a hit, he was reportedly offered 22 films as the lead actor but he made up his mind to quit the film industry because his heart told him to do so.
Now, almost 20 years have passed and Bijay Anand looks completely different. Totally unrecognizable and different from his past look, he is doing something that has no connection with films or acting. After ‘Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha’, he devoted his life to spirituality and Yoga. As soon as he started attending Yoga conferences, he started becoming disinterested in films. An old report from The Asian Age quotes him saying:
“I have seen everything — poverty, struggle and I wanted to be known as an actor. But when I finally got that I realized it has no meaning.”
Talking about his attraction towards Yoga, Bijay Anand said:
“As my body was stiff, I felt yoga would be of help. When I was 36, I got arthritis and I was also diagnosed with high levels of cholesterol. That’s when I discovered Kundalini yoga. If the soul is not happy, the body contracts all kinds of diseases. I realized my stiffness was because of my anger. Once I let it go out of my body, my body became flexible.”
After a 17-year long break from films and camera, Bijay Anand returned to small screen as King Janak in mythological show ‘Siya Ke Ram’. Despite quite a long break, Anand felt no discomfort in front of the camera. Describing his experience of comeback, he says:
“When I finally faced the camera for this show, it didn’t feel like I was doing it after 17 years, seemed like just 17 minutes. It’s in fact easier now, since I understand life better. Earlier I was acting, now I’m being myself on camera. I don’t know if I will take up any more projects after this, it all depends on my friend Khidr.”
But what was it that made him return on screen? He replies:
“I’m a yoga teacher now — my dharma and karma is to teach people something important. I realized where I teach is not important, as long as I teach —be it in my class or on screen. Even my character Janak is a teacher. Teaching is in fact reaching out to people. The character is just what I am in life. When Nikhil Sinha (producer) approached me for the show he said to me, ‘you are not an actor playing Janak, you are Janak, which is why I want you. I cannot think of anyone else for the part.’ And I agreed.”
Apart from doing the Kundalini Yoga himself for all these years, he has conducted Yoga sessions in many parts of the country and the world. According to him, the West has embraced Yoga much more than Indians who do not value it very highly. On the personal front, he is married to Marathi movie and TV actress Sonali Khare and the two have an adorable daughter, Sanaya Anand.
Do you think Bijay Anand’s transformation is unbelievable? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!