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Liking Rahul Dev at Lakme...

HE HAS seen pomp and glitter of fashion and has set the ramp on fire. After rubbing shoulders with actors like Shah Rukh Khan and Sunny Deol and establishing himself as the bad guy in Bollywood, Rahul Dev has no compunction to stride down the rostrum in a lehenga at the Lakme India Fashion Week.

Relaxing backstage, Dev says, "Anjana Bharghav is a new designer. So I don't blame her for making me parade in this. I'm at Lakme for Rohit Bal, J.J.Vallaya and Ashish Soni. I owe it to them. So this is a sweet homecoming."

Dev hadn't planned to participate in the show but the shoot for Partho Ghosh's film got cancelled. So he decided to be at home with his parents as well as make some money. He says that fashion is a different ballgame altogether from movies as there aren't any retakes.

He pats himself on the back for breaking the jinx that male models, cannot make it to the silver screen. Only Aishwarya Rai, who got best actress award for "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" and Sushmita Sen for best supporting actress in "Biwi No.1" had made their name on the marquee. He proudly recalls his association with the late director, Mukul Anand, who directed memorable films like "Khuda Gawah" and "Hum". He says, "I believe you are an actor from your soul. I never took part in school plays. Mukul Anand spotted me and called me to shoot for an advertisement. He told me that I had to play the role of Afghan terrorist Mast Gul, who had burnt the shrine of Charar-e-Sharief. My role in `Dus' was equivalent to that of Gabbar Singh in `Sholay'."

Claiming he is at home with films, Dev says, "I am doing pretty okay in Bollywood. In `Asoka' I was nominated for best supporting actor." One leaves him as he ties a silverware over his brow and braces himself to obey the dictates of designer, Rohit Bal. Rahul Dev is back to his first love - fashion.

MADHUR TANKHA

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