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    I’m not comfortable endorsing cigarettes and Alcohol - Aamir

    [Interview by SAVIO ZACHARIA]
    Tuesday, March 25, 2008
    As Aamir Khan gears up to run with the Olympic torch in New Delhi on 17th April 08 commemorating the spirit of Olympics , we catch up with the actor as once again he gets into an environmental cause this time around with the Coca-Cola company who are global partners of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

    Hi Aamir. For an actor of your caliber, what do the Olympics signify?

    I think the Olympics is a grand event. It’s absolutely stunning. To be a torch bearer is such an honour. I’m happy to be a torch bearer.

    Where do you see India in this year’s Olympics?

    Well, Indian sports and athletics need a lot of improvement. But if we want to make a serious impact, we have to start now and 10-15 years down the line the results will be tremendous. Films can just create that enthusiasm for a sport. But real champs come out of strong Research and Development. We need that Research and Development to know how to create a champ.

    A lot of people have been speculating your interest in being part of the cricket leagues in India. Your take on that…..

    You know, I love cricket. I love cricket as a fan. I enjoy the game more as a fan. I never intend on owning a team or so. Basically, I can’t handle too many things at the same time like many others. I can barely do one thing at a time.

    Aamir , once again you are into an environmental cause. The last time around, the Narmada issue created such protests and your film ‘Fanaa’ was struck by opposition. Don’t you fear a repeat as you once again take up such a cause?

    I think it is the basic responsibility of every human being to contribute towards the welfare of our environment. It’s the responsibility of everyone; be it a celebrity or the media. We need to bring about awareness.
    It is very important to be aware of our limited resources. How we are using these resources do matter. We all can contribute in little ways to preserve the environment. Like save water while having a bath. Or this very paper (pointing towards the notepad); writing on both the sides.

    I am writing on both sides….

    (Laughs)Ya, ya I was just drawing an example.

    So, when did this whole environmental awareness strike you and how would you like to create awareness on a larger scale?

    For the last 8-10 years, I have been tracking the global environmental scenario. See as of now I don’t have a script on an environmental film but if someone comes up with a good one I’ll surely be a part of it. Films do have a big impact in India but as of now partnering Coke and the media seems the right way to bring about that impact.

    Talking about endorsements, a lot of actors endorse a variety of products; be it cigarettes, alcohol etc. Your comment on that…

    No comments at all on what others are endorsing. Why should I get judgmental? All I can say is that I’m just not comfortable endorsing just anything especially alcohol and cigarettes.

    Tell us a little about your association with Coke. Over the years and in the midst of controversy you have stood by the brand. What is it in Coke that reflects Aamir Khan?

    I’m happy to be associated with quality.
    (Gulping a tall glass of Pink coloured shake) We both have similar qualities- Refreshing, conscious…
    (Thinks for a while) Actually Coke is my favorite brand and it is no doubt the top brand.

    (Pointing towards the tall glass) That surely doesn’t look like coke…..

    Well, that’s my protein shake. Actually I’m on a very strict diet for my next film ‘Ghajini’. I have been working out quite a bit to match the character of Surya.

    So what’s the status of Ghajini?

    Ghajini is set to release on the 1st of October. Two more months of shooting to go, actually only the action sequences are remaining.

    What’s next after Ghajini?

    I have signed ‘Idiots’ with Vidhu Vinod Chopra; being directed by Raju. Then there is my own home production ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ directed by Abbas Tyrewala . The film marks the debut of my nephew-Imraan.

    A little bit more on the film……

    Well, got to rush now. Some other time please.

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