In a film career spanning 10 years, Vivek Oberoi has played diverse roles, witnessed ups and downs, successes and failures, but he says nothing is more gratifying than being able to aid society and work towards its betterment.
Indulging in social work and supporting charitable causes helps him move away from the parameters of success and failure, he maintains.
"Doing social good has taught me that there is more to my life than just box office's parameters of success and failure. It has taught me to reach out and do some more to my life, and the satisfaction that I get is amazing," Vivek said in an interview.
Over the years, he has involved himself in charity work, but hardly talks about any of it.
Vivek helped re-build a village, which was hit severely by the 2006 tsunami in Tamil Nadu. He was in Chennai when disaster struck and assembled six truckloads of relief supplies. He has also adopted a tsunami-ravaged village in the state's Cuddalore district.
The 36-year-old, who recently became a father to a boy, also runs a school in Vrindavan. Named Project Devi, the facility caters to underprivileged girls abandoned by their families.
"Doing charity makes me feel really happy. A lot of people asked me to speak, when Forbes magazine featured me as one of the 'Top 40 Philanthropists around the world under the age of 40'. Talking about it doesn't really matter to me as the work here is important, not the recognition," he said.
In Bollywood, the work and the recognition have been equally important for the actor, who still feels like a newcomer and looks at every role with the same excitement as he did in his first film.
"I describe my whole journey as just a beginning. Time has just flown by and it has been 10 years, but I am still looking at almost all the films as a newcomer, with same excitement, same energy and enthusiasm. I am just happy to be here.
"I am still very instinctive and spontaneous. I don't calculate, think or plan. I just jump to the opportunity. I am still like that kid in a playground, just running around and doing different films," he added.
Son of veteran actor Suresh Oberoi, Vivek made his Bollywood debut with Ram Gopal Varma's "Company" in 2002, which went on to earn rave reviews for him. He also impressed everyone as a lover boy in "Saathiya".
He has tried to maintain variety - whether it was a gangster's part in "Company", a lover boy in "Saathiya" or a villain in upcoming film "Krrish 3".
Vivek hasn't feared experimentation either - "Yuva", "Masti", "Kaal","Omkara", "Shootout at Lokhandwala", "Kurbaan" and "Prince", all stand as examples. While some worked in his favour, others did not - but it has all been a learning experience for him.
"The ups and downs in the career have taught me perspective, whether it is material or superficial. Whether the happiness that I am getting is temporarily linked to the ups and downs on a Friday in Bollywood, or it is the happiness linked to something more real and stable," said Vivek.
"You have to determine what makes you happy and that is what this life has taught me," added the actor, who plays lead in just released "Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story"
(Priyanka Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)