He has walked the ramp. He has let his hair down modeling for a whiskey brand. Harbhajan Singh's colourful life is taking a new turn. Out of favour with the national selectors, the Indian off-spinner is now going to produce Punjabi movies.
"I am in talks with the leading actors in Bollywood and the Punjabi film industry. I have also finalised the directors for the two movies I am going to produce. The movies will be comedies and will entertain audiences in India and abroad," Harbhajan said in an event in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
The cricket grapevine says Bhajji has one of the shrewdest business brains in the fraternity. Harbhajan and Dhoni are known to share real estate deals in Mumbai. The 32-year-old Harbhajan feels there is a lot of moolah to be made from showbiz.
"Most of the cricketers are doing side businesses apart from playing the sport, so why should I be left behind. I feel there is a lot of money in making films and since Punjabi cinema is doing good, this is a lucrative option for me," Harbhajan said.
The temperamental bowler, though, does not want to hog all the limelight and clarifies he will not be seen in front of the silver screen. Although Harbhajan has taken part in dance reality shows, he is unlikely to act in movies any time soon.
"Cricket is my passion, it is my first love. So I will not act in my movies as they will just be a side business for me," said the Turbanator.
Harbhajan, will join fellow Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh's father Yograj in the Punjabi film industry, also known as Punjwood. Yograj is a veteran Punjwood star, with 36 Punjabi films under his belt.
The Punjab Ranji skipper has made headlines several times for non-cricketing reasons. His controversial appearance in a liquor ad campaign in 2006 offended the Sikh Community and enraged the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Harbhajan, an ardent fan of Punjabi music, though is against the usage of vulgar lyrics in Punjabi films and songs. And, in an appeal against explicit lyrics Harbhajan says, "I am not against any particular singer or artist but the way some of the people are working these days is not good for Punjabi culutre. Being a Punjabi, I appeal to them to stop these producing such content."
Harbhajan has also recorded a four-minute song in order to convey message to writers and singers that they should create music that depicts true Punjabi culture.