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Sen and sensitivity

Sushmita Sen is all set for her "Samay"



WITHIN GRASP: Sushmita Sen waits for her time with "Samay". Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.

SHE IS down with conjunctivitis and a running nose. Can't keep the tissue paper away from her hand even for a minute. Funky yellow glasses cloud her eyes. To keep her restlessness at bay, she resorts to quick fags. She even complains of mild headache . She is asked to take off her goggles for a click. "When I took off for Delhi, my mother told me in no uncertain terms that I should not take these glasses off at any cost. Mom's rule you know. Even in the evening I will go live on camera putting them on," a truly mama's child, Sushmita Sen points out towards her mother accompanying her. Sushmita tells that with Samay: When Time Strikes, she is geared up for "better times" now. She hasn't studied the character she plays - Malvika Chauhan, an ACP in the film. "Because much studies were done on it. I blindly followed Robby Grewal, the director. In any case, I am a director's actress. I completely switch off my judgment faculty after my part is narrated to me. Otherwise my thinking mind questions a lot, it is very disturbing both for me and the director's vision of the character." This ACP of the film also plays a mother of a girl called Anjali. She relates to her character, hence. "The company of my four-year-old daughter Renee at home helped me a lot in dealing with the mother's part. When they say cinema imitates life, so true it is. Malvika is just not a great police officer or a never-failing mother, she commits mistake like any human being and realises that time waits for none," she describes her role.

Believe it or not, this product of Hindi medium Kendriya Vidyalaya still struggles to get the right pronunciation of English words. She loves phonetic dictionaries and those "who speak with good diction". She feels "wow" picking up a fight with mom when she pronounces an English word incorrect. "I correct her, it's a great feel," she chuckles like a small child.

When she was admitted to Air Force School in Delhi after her High School from KVS, she felt great but overawed. "Everything in that school was regimented. But the best part was that there was a section for special children on the campus. We were supposed to teach them what we learnt in the school as part of our curriculum. Without even realising that we were doing something for them at that age, we did a lot. It is such a great feeling, keeps you grounded," she says, humility personified.

By this time, one can make out that she is a genuinely warm lady. Her etiquette, patience and politeness too are not a `put on' for such an occasion. She exudes warmth, not quite apparent in many. "Renee has taught me this patience. She tests this virtue to limit. She asks me 100 worthless queries, why black is a black, can you answer this?" This patience she has shown with Shah Rukh Khan and her chiffon sari too! Well, in her next film Main Hoon Na she teaches him chemistry and wears "incredibly slipping chiffon sari" which she tucked with pins on both shoulders. "But never would you see a sari looking so elegant yet romantic. My very entry in the film is shown through fan-induced ripples created in the palloo so musically in that Darjeeling cold you know," she turns nostalgic.

And in Paisa Vasool she is "Mumbai ki typical chokri, called Baby".

Time to bid her good-bye for which she stands up, holds one's hands tight and says with no spurious smile, "Nice meeting you. God Bless." It is Samay to move on.

RANA SIDDIQUI

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