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First out of the blocks



The path is clear... Yash Pandit is ready with "Rok Sako To Rok Lo". Photo: Sandeep Saxena.

ONE IS amazed to see him sing on the dais with such ease, for, gone are the days when actors were accomplished singers too. But then, Yash Pandit, who is going to be seen in Arindam Chaudhury's Rok Sako To Rok Lo, slated for release this year-end, has "some bit of background in classical music", courtesy his musician grandfather Pandit Pratap Narayan, father of Jatin Pandit of the famed Jatin-Lalit duo. So Jatin is Yash's uncle.

Politely refuting the charge that he is in the film because of his association with the duo - who has composed music for the film - Yash says, "They didn't even know that I had applied. I also didn't know that they were composing the music for the film. Moreover I was selected from among the 500 candidates after a proper screen test as `Sir' (Arindam) did not want to take any risk." Here we get to know that Yash is also a student of this management guru.

Yash is quite a likable guy exuding an unassuming charm with his gym-honed physique, soft speech and an appealing smile; what is left to be believed is his acting skill as the audience had a none too happy experience in Ye Kya Ho Raha Hai, his first film.

"I was very raw when I signed that film. Even my name was not mentioned in the credit. Moreover, I am sure the Kya effect will not have severe repercussions on my career because I believe in myself. Even Aamir Khan started his career with Holi, Salman Khan with Biwi Ho To Aisi but it didn't mar their careers," says this 25-year-old who has taken acting course at Kishore Namit Kapoor's school in Mumbai and also "groomed" himself by "studying acting" through Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan films, a collection of whose films are his "treasured possession". Yash has also performed in street plays in college and taken "Urdu diction training for flawless language." A Commerce graduate from Mumbai's Mithibai College, one might find him a good dancer as well, for he has learnt dancing too.

Right now he is on a "two-year contract " with Planman Life, Arindam's corporate venture. He is playing a "hero in search of an identity" in his next, offbeat film titled Faltoo and one yet untitled love story.

For now, he does not think that Sunny Deol in Rok Sako will overshadow him nor is he portraying a college guy seen only in films. "I will do my own work, Sunny, his own. Audience is smart enough to judge. Moreover, I am wearing ordinary jeans and T-shirt in the film and driving a normal bike which any student can afford by taking a loan."

RANA SIDDIQUI

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