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Waiting for a hit... till then, Kuch Na Kaho



SIP TO SHARE: Rohan Sippy and Abishekh Bachchan share a thing two about "Kuch Na Kaho", at The All-American Diner in New Delhi.

KUCH NA Kaho. That seems to be the formula of forever up and coming and never quite arriving hero, Abhishek Bachchan as the film kisses the silver screen at cinema halls across Delhi this Friday. Call it diffidence, if you are inclined towards charity, indifference if you are not in a generous mood, but Abhishek Bachchan, he, with more than half a dozen flops and no hit, is clearly not ready to step beyond the rehearsed, the ready-for-occasion words. At India Habitat Centre's 60-cover The All-American Diner in New Delhi, he is more inclined to talk of the future and the hope it holds than the past, and the lessons it conveys. A little smile here, a little sip there is all he permits himself.

The restaurant serves malts, shakes, coffees, pancakes and waffles, etc. but what interests Abhishek is the film he has just wrapped up with Rohan Sippy, his childhood friend-turned director, who himself cannot stop talking about the film. If Abhishek is sober, even grim, Rohan permits himself the luxury of a pearly smile, and a little confession: "As Friday is nearing, I am beginning to get more nervous."

Abhishek is more used to this feeling as he made his debut good three years ago with J.P. Dutta's "Refugee". "I don't agree that I have been good in bad films. All my films have been good," he claims, adding for good measure, "We are here to give our best as actors, director and everybody. Beyond that we have to leave it to the audience. They are the final judges, the jury. Every Friday they make or mar destiny."

As the waiters bring some fresh fruit juice in this "elegantly designed restaurant" with a mini-bar, Abhishek talks of the sweat and hard work put in by Rohan and others in the film. "This is a sensitive film made with a lot of passion. The fact that my pairing with Aishwarya Rai did not work in `Dhai Akshar Prem Ke' does not mean that the audience won't like this film either. The audiences just watch a film. They don't remember what you did last time."

"Kuch Na Kaho" has not exactly set the advance booking counters into an overdrive nor for that matter did "Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost" have people scurrying across to procure tickets but Abhishek feels that is not quite food for thought. Or worry. "It is up to the audience to accept or reject the film. I won't call `Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost' a flop. It is too early. The film may not be super-successful but is doing average business. Nobody will lose money. I am satisfied. On my part after every film I tell myself that I have to work harder. I cannot be defeatist in my thoughts. However, I have no complaints with the media or the audiences. They have all been very patient, very supportive." He can take heart from his father's early career hiccups as the legendary Bachchan himself gave many flops before he covered himself with glory. "That does not provide any cushion though," he says.

If the audiences have not had enough of him so far, this part-time chef hopes to win them over with his high-frequency fare. "I have this change of philosophy. If you cannot beat them with quality, beat them with quantity. So there is no way you can avoid watching me on the screen," says the man who would shortly be seen in "Zameen" with Ajay Devgan, whom he calls "as my friend, my brother", "LoC" with J.P. Dutta for whom he is ready "to do a two-minute role" besides a couple of films with Bachchan Senior.

The junior though, when he is not shooting, loves to freak out on "junk food". "I love junk food to the dismay of my mother. I can cook food to save myself. I am a pucca non-vegetarian. I prepared a meal for myself just last week though I don't remember when I last prepared one for my parents," says the man who loves butter chicken, and nurtures self-admitted "bad food habits". "I work out for an hour every day to avoid flab though people tell me that I am gaining weight," reveals this man of few words in love with Delhi because his "nephew and niece stay here".

As a formally attired waiter hints towards cocktails, Abhishek and his director friend Rohan, both in smart casuals, get up with one message: "Watch `Kuch Na Kaho'. It has a message without getting preachy. It is a film for the entire family." High on hope, one would say!

ZIYA US SALAM

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