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A feast after Farex!



WITH THANKS: Aftab Shivdasani enjoying a multi-starrer meal at Radisson's I'Ching restaurant in New Delhi. — Photo: R.V. Moorthy.

THE FAREX boy hasn't lost his appeal - the mischievous smile is still disarming, the radiance on the cheeks is suitably inviting and the appetite is very much intact - its meaning may have taken many forms. "Yes, I certainly carry all the traits of the Farex kid. Chubby cheeks, fair skin and a well fed body. I could be easily identified as a boy who has grown up on Farex," admits Aftab Shivdasani, restless to go full blast on the food fare on offer at the I'Ching restaurant of Radisson hotel in New Delhi.

Continuing on his first professional assignment, Aftab maintains, "I don't know whether I loved the product or not because I was just 18 months old then but my parents told me I was comfortable with the camera."

One who doesn't like to mix speech with spoon, Aftab falls for the temptation of stir fried jumbo prawns with salt and pepper. "I can't resist good food particularly when it comes to Chinese and Thai food. The noodle dishes top my list. Otherwise, at home I am all for simple food, dal sabzi and chawal. On free days my mother cooks lady's finger and I just love it."

In the Capital to promote his latest release Shukriya, where he is trying to establish himself as a solo hero, Aftab puts the unusual script as the main attraction to do the project. "It's an unusual film on an unconventional subject of death. But the film doesn't commemorate death nor does it deal with it in a melodramatic fashion. It is a very cut-to-cut kind of film with crisp dialogues."

Aftab so eloquently fielded the questions about the film in the absence of the director that his association appears to go beyond putting the grease paint. "No, I am not behind the camera, it is just that I like to be associated with the script and dialogues."

Avoiding red meat

Mongolian style chicken's arrival in clay pot stalls the conversation but this time Aftab recovers quickly to tell how he avoids red meat and oily preparations to maintain fitness level.

However, his career is not in great shape. After the promise he showed in Mast and Kasoor, lately he has been appreciated just for his comic performances in multi-starrers, Masti being the latest in the list, which kicked off with Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega and includes Awara Pagal Deewana and Hungama. "Doing comedy was a conscious decision. People try comedy late in their career but I was confident about carrying off such roles easily. As for substantial roles much depends on contacts and luck as well in this industry."

Stir-fried green vegetables and fried rice, this time, announce the break and Aftab reveals he is yet to play a role, which is closer to his personality. "Mast was not I neither the role I played in Kasoor. I am shy, introvert kind of person who opens up only when he needs to open up." But he is into the limelight from his childhood? "I never allowed my profession to take over me. I completed my education with all sincerity. All through I got good grades. When I was preparing for MBA, Mast was offered to me and you know the rest. I do not go to the parties and most of my friends are from outside the industry."

With the occupancy still full on the platter and palette still asking for more Aftab refuses desserts. And the future has Boney Kapoor's Dost, which may put Aftab on the street of Bollywood's solo salvation.

ANUJ KUMAR

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