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Vivek Oberoi opens up about his depressed phase

The actor admits that professional and personal setbacks did take a toll, but charitable work helped him recover.

Mayur Lookhar

If success cannot guarantee happiness, why should failure bog you down? But that's easy to say and harder to do, especially for artistes in a place like the film business where you fail in the full glare of the arclights. And barring a handful of stars, most actors have to struggle to achieve any sort of consistency in their careers. Vivek Oberoi is one such actor.

Having made an impressive debut with Company (2002), Oberoi was tipped for bigger things. He produced a few hits, like Saathiya (2002) and Masti (2004), but thereafter his career hit a speedbreaker. More than his work, Oberoi made news for his affair with the actress Aishwarya Rai and, later, his press conference on All Fool’s Day in 2003 when he made some sensational allegations again Rai’s ex-boyfriend Salman Khan.

Since then, Oberoi's career hasn’t progressed much, though he did apologize publicly some years ago to Khan. While the actor has moved on, the media keeps reminding him about that incident. Thus, even at the promotional event for his next film Bank Chor, Oberoi was asked if he regrets the incident that affected his career.

In the past, Oberoi has often played down the matter, but this time he opened up on the low phase in his career. "Yes, that was a low phase for me both professionally and personally," he said. "I will not hesitate to say that I was in a state of depression. I was really low. I remember going to my mom, keeping my head on her lap, and telling her I don’t feel great. I didn’t leave my mom that day."

The actor overcame this low phase through charitable deeds. He recounted a life-changing meeting with cancer-afflicted kids.

"Often we think we are trying to give hope to these kids, bring a smile to their face, but it’s the other way around. You meet these kids, they are 6-10 years old, they look weak, have lost hair, but they are full of life! Their smiles were a blessing for me. From that day, I stopped cribbing about anything. God has given me more than what I could wish for. Whatever stardom I have does not give the same pleasure as meeting these kids. I don't know how successful or unsuccessful I am, but by the grace of god, I’m in a position where I’m rejecting two offers every month. I don’t want to live for 80 years and keep cribbing," he said.

Bank Chor is set to be released on 16 June.