Never thought I'd come this far: Aamir Khan

Mumbai, April 29 (IANS) Aamir Khan, who completed 25 years in filmdom Monday, attributes this success to the mistakes he made over the years. One of the most respected and versatile actors of his generation, he admits when he started, he never thought he would come this far.

"I have had unsuccessful films, but I learned a lot from those films. I give my failures as much importance as my success," Aamir said at a press conference Monday to celebrate his silver jubilee in the industry.

His debut film "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak" came out on April 29 in 1988 and turned out to be a game changer at the box office, which was reeling under hackneyed plots and flops.

A fresh film with fresh faces brought in a breath of fresh air. If the beautifully stitched romantic saga launched Aamir Khan in filmdom, it also introduced Mansoor Khan as a director and gave Juhi Chawla her due.

If the story was fresh, so was the music of the movie that is still remebered for lilting numbers like "Gazab ka hai din", "Akele hain to kya gum hai" and "Papa kehte hain", which were picturised in a completely different style.

Two-and-half decades ago, Aamir was not sure about how his career would shape up.

"When I was new, I didn't know where my career will go. Initially, my films were not even successful, but then I learned a lot from my mistakes," said the 48-year-old whose "Love Love Love", "Deewana Mujhsa Nahin" etc. had bombed at the box office.

"When my three-four films were not successful, I decided I won't sign a film for money, a big banner or a specific person. I decided I will listen to my heart. That is why I started doing less films. I have followed this till date," said the actor who made his mark with his work in "Raja Hindustani", "Sarfarosh" and "Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke".

When he cut down on his assignments, Aamir admits he became butt of a joke.

"The way I used to work was different from the industry's norms. People used to laugh at me and thought that I won't be able to stick for long," said Aamir who not only proved naysayers wrong, but also earned the tag of a "thinking actor".

Year 2001 marked a turning point in Aamir's career as he turned producer with Oscar nominated period drama "Lagaan - Once Upon A Time In India", and later directed issue based film "Taare Zameen Par".

Post "Lagaan", he has been part of some of the biggest hits of the decade like "Dil Chahta Hai", "Rang De Basanti", "Ghajini" and "3 Idiots".

"I do what I feel is right. I am not scared to walk on the new path and take risk," he said.

After reaching the top of the pyramid, he says: "I never thought this would happen. I can't believe how I have reached here. I am happy that I have entertained people and made them happy."

On the occasion, Aamir thanked directors, filmmakers and other people who have contributed to his career.

"I want to thank writers and directors and other people who have worked with me. They have all contributed to my journey...I also want to thank my audience, they gave me so much of love and respect," he said.

"I want to thank my family. Our field is tough and the family has to go through a lot," said Aamir, who is married to Kiran Rao, a filmmaker.

When it comes to unfulfilled dreams, Aamir has one too.

"I always wanted to work with Dilip Kumar. He is one of the world's top actors and I have missed working with him," Aamir said.

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