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RULES for food... NO!



SIP AND SUP: Millind Soman and Meera Vasudevan at New Delhi's Suede The Grill restuarant.

WELL! WHEN someone has a "Mouthful of Sky" at the very start of his career you can expect him to be game for a slice of almost everything and indeed almost every cuisine fits in the formula of Milind's delectable delights. The Adonis of Indian fashion industry, who is now at the Destination Producer after starting as a swimmer and taking halts as a model and actor was in a rare relaxed mood at New Delhi's Suede The Grill restaurant this past week.

"I just love food. I am not one of those who eat to survive. At home I am a perfect Maharashtrian vegetarian but when I am working or on vacation I try out varied cuisines. I relish Japanese cuisine. In India I enjoy Kashmiri, South Indian and Bengali food. But the softest corner is for Mughlai, butter chicken to be precise," reveals Milind with mocktail as starter and heroine Meera Vasudevan for company.

Mocktail gives way to Chicken Tikka and Pasta Salad and Milind lets slip more secrets. "I did a three-month hotel management course. So, I know the inside story of the kitchen and consequently developed a dislike for cooking. But there I developed a knack for experimentation. I have tried snakes, rabbits, frogs, octopuses and recently horse in Germany." Any more desires? "Yes, I am looking for rats," Milind chuckles.

With the arrival of Char Grilled Chicken and Malay Prawn Sambal, Milind settles for some serious talk. "I live life moment to moment. Future doesn't worry me and it is the same since my swimming days. That is the reason perhaps I don't get tired as I enjoy what I do. I entered the modelling business when fashion had just made an entry in the lingo of Indians. I was offered the actor's role, when models were considered wooden and fortunate enough to be nominated for `Agnivarsha'. Now again I am turning producer with `Rules' because I feel I have some new ideas to offer to the Indian audience."

Milind, in fact, changed the rules for models in industry with ramp scorchers getting lead roles in films. "Yes, though it started by chance with a major character in TV serial `Maragarita' and people came up with all kinds of stories but I consciously stayed clear of run of the mill roles on all screens. But once my efforts got noticed in `16 December' and `Agnivarsha', not only critics got silenced but it also opened the gates for other potential actors."

But what about films like "Surya", where he is doing the routine dance and fight sequences. "I just wanted to try out the typical melodramatic character of Hindi cinema and since Partho Ghosh is the director, I have faith in the film."

However, Milind is eyeing Ashok Kaul's "Bhagmati" for creative satisfaction. "It is a semi-animation film inspired by the love making of Quli Qutub Shah and Bhagmati."

Turn the talk back to "Rules" and Milind passes the baton to Meera as "it is she who arrives at a formula not me." Meera, a vegan is yet to finish her vegetarian tandoori salad comes to life with a fizz, "Radha, my character is besotted with the model played by Milind in my life but doesn't know how to go about it. And when Tanujaji tries to help her, she doesn't understand so she turns everything in the form of formula and rules, the language Radha is familiar with."

Milind joins in with Mini Chocolate Fig as dessert and for a change Meera now can give him company in one more way. "At home, I prefer Kheer and Sandesh also succeeds in bringing water every time it settles in my cavity."

And what about settlement plans in life considering Milind has a long list of `good' friends. "Well, I know how to maintain relationships. All through I have carried a lovable guy image but like the kitchen here also I understand the inside story of bonding. Frankly speaking, right now I am not in a position to give sufficient time to any commitment barring professional ones."

A formula for every occasion, a model rule worth a wait.

ANUJ KUMAR

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