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With dollops of humour


HER FACE is any day more familiar than her name. Her on-screen antics are far more striking than her off-screen seriousness. Her typical nosy, next-door neighbour look and laugh is a welcome respite from the wooden images of most men and women now on screen in the name of acting.

Himani Shivpuri, a senior theatre actress, is today across the mediums of TV, films and even advertisement. And creditably so.

For her, long gone are the days a decade ago when she had refused the role of Chhutki on Humlog, the country's first tele-soap, because she was too touchy about losing touch with her first love, theatre, television those days anyway was not a respected medium and her film career had not taken off then.

"Eight years ago, when I came on to small screen, it was still not considered a serious medium for those wanting to act. Many people sincerely into acting dissuaded me then from getting into television. I became apprehensive. Little did I knew then that it is going to be so big," recollects Himani. On a tour of her theatre troupe, she had coincidentally come across Kumar Sinha who was directing the serial Humrahi on Doordarshan. "Somehow, I felt convinced by him and I took up the role of Devki. I did not know then that I would be so known among audience by this screen name," it was ironic that the same loathed medium of television dropped on her lap film opportunities.

Soon came the offer for featuring in Sooraj Barjatiya's Hum Aapke Hain Koun. The movie turned out to be a blockbuster. But it was a beginning for Himani's success. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Kal Ho Na Ho... .

All hit the bull's eye.

Shooting now in Dubai

Busy shooting in Dubai for Sada Suhagan, an Indo-Pak serial to be broadcast in Pakistan and Dubai, Himani, though, begins to talk of her latest role for Indian audience. That of Pammi Khurana in the comedy Aao Behen Chugli Karen on Sahara Manoranjan since this past week.

"Since it is essentially a take-off on gossip culture in our society, it has a lot of scope for mannerisms and funny dialogues. Pammi is one of the six women residents of an elite colony in South Mumbai. A Punjabi to the core, she brings in some typical things. She runs a gymnasium which is a hub for the so-called social climbers. What follows is a series of whacky episodes," the actress describes.

Also on the pipeline are a couple of films where she promises to keep the Indian viewers entertained. "I will be seen in Keshu's Sipahi, Chand Ka Roshan Chehra and Boney Kapoor's Milenge Milenge soon," she says. Towards the year-end, she would also feature in a play.

Admitedly not so humorous in her real life - "I laugh in real life only because seriousness has to be neutralised somewhere" - Himani though keeps intact that on-screen laugh that we so easily recognise her for. "I am trying to do a balancing act," pops back this one-liner if asked about it.

Great going we say!

SANGEETA BAROOAH
PISHAROTY

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