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Cheating on diet, honest with food


HIS EFFERVESCENCE has long outlasted the fizz that announced his arrival. Yesterday is a dream to him, tomorrow just a promise. He revels in the glory of today, the day that he fills with action. Sitting across the table at The Radisson's New York Café in New Delhi, he makes you believe that surprise is his middle name. Tusshar Kapoor, with an extra `s' in Tusshar is a paradox rolled into a human form. One moment he is an intelligent being who personifies half the philosophy of Dale Carnegie's life, the other moment he is a little vivacious kid who wants to be the coolest dude on the planet.

The Jumping Jack Junior, who has studied the liberal arts and business administration at the University of Michigan, seems to be perennially trapped in the mould of that unobtrusive college boy. "I can't afford to be too choosy," says Tusshar, making no bones about the limited sunshine he has seen so far. "But I am getting better every day. I am learning from my mistakes, trying to look for better scripts, reading cinematic history, working out regularly and keeping a check on my diet," he points to the silver lining in the dark clouds which have tiptoed him ever since his first film, "Mujhe Kuchh Kehna Hai" hit the silver screen. But is cheating the diet plan allowed? "I live to eat, so I cheat a lot," he answers as he eyes the a la carte menu. Tusshar is in Delhi as part of the DT Cinema venture for the promotion of his new movie that hit the big screen.

So is it cheating time now? "I won't mind allowing my taste buds to prevail over my dietary plans but I guess it's no longer breakfast time," he laments as he settles for a French toast over brunch. But his taste buds don't always get the better of him. They aren't allowed to discriminate between vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, for instance. "I don't mind eating anything as long as it is cooked by someone else. I have tasted all sorts of cuisine thanks to my globetrotting knack," he confides. "At home I prefer the usual Punjabi stuff - paranthas and lassi, but when I am eating out, an eclectic mix of Italian pasta, Chinese noodles and spicy chicken, and all sorts of sea and junk food are my favourite. Extra cheese and some wine or champagne make the perfect meal," he adds.

But doesn't a perfect meal call for a perfect person? "Well, yes, but I guess I have to do without a perfect meal," he answers. Talking of people, Internet really helps to stay in touch. Doesn't it? "It's a great feature and I use Internet for e-mail purposes." And the Net can also be used to find the whereabouts of a girl living in Carolina, is the next question. "Carolina as in North Carolina," he expresses disbelief. "It was back in the college days but that's about it. Nothing more," he answers honestly. He continues to be honest when he reveals that he once went to a marriage without being invited!

Amidst all this drama, he however doesn't forget the more burning issues. "Is Saddam dead or alive," he asks? Not quite getting the answer, the `Nikamma' star, who has followed in the footsteps of his father Jeetendra, resumes the conversation. "I like old Hindi songs, pop music and slow rock. I have always loved dancing but I took it seriously only after MKKH happened."

Luck might not have favoured him but Tusshar is content with life. He seeks to improve every day. "I have learnt Urdu to improve my diction," says the budding actor who can even read and write the language. He admires Tom Hanks and Reese Witherspoon. "She is so cool," he believes.

He plans to do out-and-out action movies one day. Also in the offing are stage shows but he always remembers that he tore his pants during one such show.

Finally, he aims to be the greatest actor on the face of the earth. That of course is nothing but innocence combined with honesty. Let's see how far do these traits and "Khaki", his next flick, in which he plays a cop, carry him in this journey towards stardom.

S.M. YASIR

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