Actor Eijaz Khan began his career in the television industry with shows like Kkavyanjali, and Kyaa Hoga Nimmo Kaa. The actor rose to fame his stints in shows like Yeh Moh Moh Ke Dhaagey and Yeh Hai Mohabbatein among others. He even starred in Kangana Ranaut and R. Madhavan‘s Tanu Weds Manu and its sequel, Tanu Weds Manu Returns where he played the role of Swara Bhasker‘s husband. But right after, he was off the radar and missing from action.
We caught up with him a few days ago, and chatted about everything from mental health, to his hiatus from work and about his outlook in life right now. Speaking about it, Eijaz shared he just took off to the mountains and went to Dharamshala for three months at one point because he was completely burnt out.
I went with no money. I was actually washing utensils and eating in restaurants. I haven’t spoken about this before. I was at the peak of the career, but nobody recognised me there. There, I decided it was time to focus on self love than finding validation through anything else…I just had one pair of pants and bought 2 second-hand sweaters. And I remember just crying sitting in the mountains asking, why me? Because I had all the basic necessities I needed for a good, successful life, but I was not happy…I spoke to many people there, and learnt a lot. I didn’t get all my answers there, but it just changed my perspective towards life.
He then went on to speak about toxic masculinity. He says that back when he was younger, he always thought that as a man, he had to be the provider and the protector, and the whole idea of “be a man” led him to become very toxic to himself and the people around. But he says that now, he is relearning everyday.
Speaking about how it was, as a man, as an actor, to deal with mental health issues in a time when it was still not normalised, he says that it was definitely tough. Agreeing that he has been to therapy, he says that being in a profession like his, he was more susceptible to dealing with it. He also adds that at some level, it was also his childhood traumas that added to his mental health issues.
People used to call me mad, and say who’ll handle him? The word ‘mental health’ was not known then, it was only ‘mental’. There was no health attached to that. But now, thank god it is. We need to be more vocal about this and need to make it mandatory in schools. Because many times the pressure and studies just make students crack. I did, when I was in my tenth grade, though I was a brilliant student. There was angst for no reason…So I am glad there is so much material to read from and learn…I can’t say I am better now, but I am learning to be equipped to deal with it better.
In recent times, he has worked on web series’ like, Mayanagari – The City of Dreams, Bhram, and shows like Tenali Rama and Bepanah Pyaar, among others. We sure cannot wait to see more of Aejaz on screen very soon!