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Ready for a new morning...

"Morning Raga" was a calming experience for Perizaad Zorabian, known as the face of diaspora films. But she is now desperate to do Bollywood masala films.



GOOD MORNING! Perizaad Zorabian unveiling the new jewellery collection of Avenue Montaigne. Photo: S. Subramanium.

IT WAS a `dawn of wisdom' upon Perizaad Zorabian after she signed Morning Raga. "It was a calming experience. It centred me as an actress too. It taught what it takes to be a classical singer. It was a completely new world opened up for me in which I had to improve my skills to be a part of it. More so because I have an intelligent and no nonsense companion called Shabana Azmi with me," says Perizaad Zorabian, stationed at Gurgaon's Avenue Montaigne to unveil its new jewellery collection as the brand ambassador.

Improving skills as an actress included "learning Carnatic music for a month in which I had to act my mistakes on screen" because in the film too she is learning Carnatic music and commits mistakes in the process.

And Shabana too unconsciously proved to be a teacher for her. "I realised that when I deliver dialogues, my whole face speaks while Shabana conveys through her eyes only. It gave me a guilty conscience. One must know how to speak through the eyes especially when the role does not demand much exuberance," Perizaad says.

Bollywood Calling, Mumbai Matinee, Joggers' Park and now Morning Raga. Perizaad is a few films old in Bollywood. And her films were what one would loosely label as multiplex ones, something that she is now "desperate to come out of the clutches of".

"I desperately want to do a typical masala film now. I don't want to remain as a face associated with NRI movies only." But what still worries her is the sensationalisation that these films "stoop to".

Good films

"Murder and Khwahish were good films but what unfortunately made them infamous is the sensationalisation through intimate scenes. It all depends on how you like to market yourself. I also gave kissing scenes in Bollywood Calling and Mumbai Matinee but nobody talked about it simply because I did not sensationalise it."

For this Parsi heroine, there are two films that she thinks will prove her as a "more versatile actress both in India and abroad". In a Chinese production she plays Indira Gandhi. "My audition for this film was very tough. On the sets too, I was told that I don't have to enact Indiraji whom I saw as a leader but as one who was introverted, shy, little forthcoming yet very strong before joining politics. It is this Indira whom the public hasn't seen as yet, so I had very little groundwork to do to play this character," admits Perizaad. Her international film Exits with Malcolm McDonald as her hero, is all about a "sensual, glamorous, very intelligent yet manipulative girl who gets to work in a video games parlour. Her involvement with the man who owns it, and how the entire process of video gaming takes both of them for a ride", is what it is all about. That's different, we must say and yet her own Parsi community would not like her to demand "something different".

"Our Parsi Panchyat's rules and regulations are very tough. They do not allow us to marry outside the Parsi community. The reason they give is the decline in Parsi population. But I think it's high time they relaxed the rules for us. If I love someone outside this community, I must be allowed to marry him," asserts Perizaad.

RANA SIDDIQUI

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