At 60, Talat Aziz is a knock-out, something that not many sexagenarian musicians in the world can boast! A delightful chat with the singer uncloaked sides to Talat that we hardly knew…
Not many know about your stint in modeling when you were younger. How did that happen and how was the experience?
(laughs) No, no. I modeled for OCM suitings because they approached me. Kailash Surendranath, the famous ad filmmaker who made Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’s and the famous Liril ad, happens to be my friend and he asked me if I was interested in working for the brand. I shot with Mehr Jesia, the biggest model at the time. We even made a short film. But, I didn’t model after that. I did act in a movie, though. It was called Dhun and it was a Mahesh Bhatt film.
Tell us about the movie and your experience of shooting the film…
Well, I was the male lead in Dhun. The film also had Sangeeta Bijlani, Anupam Kher and others. In fact, my guru Mehdi Hassan and I recorded a Bhajan for the film too! He was in town and I told Mahesh Bhatt that it will be great to have him on the project. They released the music. But, unfortunately it didn’t see the light of day.
You’re one of the fittest celebrities in Bollywood. How do you maintain your health?
I was a cricketer when I was 19-20 years old. So, that inculcated a habit of healthy living in me. I remember going to this gym called Ultimate Fitness. All the actors at the time – Sunil Shetty and many others – used to visit the gym and a lot of times we ended up working out together. My workout is still quite rigorous, but I do it three times every week. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I have a trainer who helps me out with my back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and leg workouts. You have to be really careful of your posture while working out and I have a back issue already.
For all the sexagenarians, can you give a few food habits that one should avoid or take up in their lifestyle.
I don’t diet. I have my normal sabzi, roti, dal and chicken. I avoid red meat, but do indulge in it some times. My favourite dessert is mangoes with vanilla ice cream! But, I do avoid sweets on a regular basis and I eat light dinners and I have it by 8.30. My mantra is – eat till you feel about 60% full. Your brain needs a few minutes to register how full you are. So, if you eat until you’re almost full, a little later you will realize that your hunger is optimally satiated.