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`I am anything but conventional'

Pooja Bedi, who lives life on her terms, is busy writing and hosting television shows

— Photo: Anu Pushkarna

Pooja Bedi... — Photo: Anu Pushkarna

THE ORIGINAL wild child of the 1980s, Pooja Bedi, is never at loss for words. "I love talking, so I love writing," she says with her big bright eyes twinkling merrily. "I know there is no money in writing but it is my passion."

It is this passion that saw Pooja writing two books — a handbook for moms-to-be and the heart-warming Timepass, a biography of her mother, Protima Bedi — and innumerable irreverent columns.

When quizzed about which she prefers — writing or hosting a television show, she flicks her tresses off her perfectly tanned shoulder and exclaims, "They are two totally different facets of expression! That is like asking what do you prefer — motherhood or working! My writing is extremely opinionated while in my show it is opinion of the celebrity I am interviewing."

Asking Pooja to describe herself in one sentence has her in splits, "It will be a very long sentence," she says. "Okay here goes, I am happy to be on this planet, surrounded by the people I love, going through the experiences I have gone through, in the body I have..." And how does she maintain that wonderful toned body? "Let's see, I cannot diet. I love food too much! I go by the principle of quality over quantity. You know if I like something very much, I tell myself, instead of having six helpings, I could have three. The food is not going to go away. I can always order it again or ask my cook to stir it up again. I also have a healthy exercise regimen with kickboxing and Tai Chi."

Pooja Bedi, daughter of Kabir and Protima Bedi, shocked the world with her raunchy Kamasutra ad campaign. Her foray into Bollywood was restricted to Vishkanya and Mansoor Khan's Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander where she played Veronica to Ayesha Jhulka's sweet wholesome Betty.

So is she planning another entry to Bollywood via direction? "Oooh! That is so predictable! Acting ho gaya, ab direction. Hey I will always play me and I am anything but conventional!" Pooja's strong sense of self is reflected in her clothes as well — sporting a beaded, sequined tie up blouse with well-worn jeans and clogs.

"I believe you must wear clothes that suit you. Don't ever ape others or fashion trends. Be yourself, wear clothes you are comfortable in, that suit your body type and skin tone."

"As for me, I am more of a dress person you know. I love to be a woman in every possible way so I like dresses that make me feel elegant, sexy and feminine." That goes for accessories as well — from the long jingle-jangle shell danglers in her ears to the little beaded clutch purse.

Pooja wants her six-year-old daughter Aaliya and four-year-old son Omar "to grow up to be happy, independent citizens." And her advice to young women growing up in millennium India is "exercise your democratic rights and never make a decision based on fear, on the pressures to conform. I live by the motto of be the change you want to see."

Pooja is all for Goa as the venue for the International Film Festival of India. "A metropolis like Delhi does not offer all that Goa can. Goa is a fun place with lots of stuff to do, apart from films. There are beaches, the carnival and the clubs where one can chill out big time."

With a life less ordinary, has Pooja considered writing her autobiography? The suggestion is met with uproarious laughter. "Hey, don't you think I should be a little older for that? Then, I would be more inspirational rather than recreational."

MINI ANTHIKAD CHHIBBER

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