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Mahima's mores



NEW FRONTIER: Mahima Choudhary awaits the release of "Sarhad Paar" and "Film Star". Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.

BASKING IN the self-anointed lucky mascot tag, Mahima Choudhury is on a comeback trail with half a dozen films lined up for release. "I did a cameo in `Dhadkan' and the film was a hit. I did a song in `Tere Naam' and the film and its music are setting records. Again, I did a small role in `Baghban' and it became one of the top grossers of last year," says she, unmindful of how ominous she proved for multistarrers in between - what with "Dhadkan" followed by "Deewane" and "Dil Hai Tumhara" and "Tere Naam" proceeded by "Lajja" and "Om Jai Jagdish". She may have been reduced to an amulet for brands, but she is certainly more than a lucky charm on the tennis circuit. Meanwhile, Mahima has set her sights on "Filmstar".

"It is a film by Tanuja Chandra where I am playing the central character who is unable to come to terms with the reality that the spotlight is no longer on her." Great role, but isn't it too close to Mahima herself? "No, I was always aware of the reality of show business. Actually it is towards the end of the film, that you will find the real Mahima. I waited for two years after doing the Pepsi advertisement, though I had offers from leading directors including Mani Ratnam, as I found myself unprepared to take the plunge. Also, you can't deny that after `Pardes' my next two solo films `Daag-The Fire' and `Kurukshetra' did good business and `Ye Tera Ghar Ye Mera Ghar' received critical acclaim."

Indeed but the directors were the ones who walked away with the credit, while Mahima was panned for her squeaky voice. "I am happy with whatever I have got. Coming from Darjeeling, in a country of one billion, that I am one of the 30 something actresses in the industry is creditable for me."

Mahima doesn't consider that things have changed, and today actresses are striving for greater screen space. "Nothing has changed. Look at history. Actresses like Nargis, Nutan, Shobana, Smita, all tried different roles. And you can't say that during all these years actors were experimenting. When you talk of a male artist doing something really different, only Richard Attenborough's `Gandhi' comes to my mind. Then there is Sunny Deol's role in `Gadar' and Aamir's performance in `Lagaan' that stirred me. Otherwise, men are also just fighting and dancing."

Mahima's hopes with multistarrers continue with "Zameer" opposite Ajay Devgan and Amisha Patel, a remake of a Tamil film where she is playing Shobana's part. This will be followed by Raman Kumar's "Sarhad Par" with Tabu and Sanjay Dutt. Also awaiting completion is Shashi Ranjan's "Dobara" with Jackie Shroff.

ANUJ KUMAR

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