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Mahima's mores

The `Pardes' girl is on a comeback trail with a lot of multi-starrers in the pipeline



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 multi-starrers 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 artiste 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 multi-starrers 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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