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On to Taj, Chupke Se



Zulfi Syed... announcing his arrival

HE ANSWERS to the name Zulfiquar. But you won't find very many people calling him by that name. For most this Gladrags ManHunt winner is simply Zulfi. Yes, he is the same Zulfi Syed who sent your pulse racing with his Tata Indica act, and then had many blushing with his Rupa briefs' lipstick-on-his-body deed. Now, he has just made the first ripples in film circles with Shona Urvashi's "Chupke Se", where he has silently covered a lot of ground he lost out to peers like Arjun Rampal, Milind Soman, etc.

Calling it "a conventional Hindi film", Zulfi claims he did not have to put in a special effort for his role of super rich kid married to his work. "I have not acted here. It is a role close to my heart. I have worked hard."

This is not the first or the last time this Hotel Management graduate has burned the midnight oil though. "I worked sincerely for `Pyaasa' too. Unfortunately, not much home work was done by the director," he says referiing to his debut film with Yukta Mookhey and Aftab Shivdasani which sank without a trace at the box office.

From "Pyaasa" to "Chupke Se" and on to "Taj Mahal", Zulfi Syed is going places. "Yes, `Taj Mahal' is a great project. It is a one-time project. People cannot make `Taj Mahal' again and again. I am quite emotional about this film. I spent two months with Akbar Khan working on my diction, body language. I watched `Mughal-e-Azam' many times. It was easy to play Shah Jahan though a lot of home work had to be done for the role. I am confident that this film will click simply because it is going to be a magnificent essay."

Incidentally, Zulfi, who claims to have worked on his diction for the film, is a master with languages. Equally at ease with Hindi, Urdu, English, Kannada and French, he even knows a smattering of Italian, and would one day like to open an Indian restaurant. Probably his Hotel Management studies would come in handy then. That will have to wait though. For the moment, the super model is busy carving out a slice of celluloid fame. "Chupke Se".

"Taj Mahal", meanwhile, will have to wait until December. After all, as the cliché goes, Taj Mahal was not built in a day. Here is hoping Zulfi's perseverance pays off and this six-footer with a neat V-figure figures in the scheme of things of dream merchants.

ZIYA US SALAM

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