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No full stops

Namrata Shirodkar is the surprise element in "Rok Sako to Rok Lo" released this Friday. RANA SIDDIQUI speaks to the actress.



A new shade to life in tinsel town... Namrata Shirodkar in New Delhi. Photo: R.V. Moorthy.

SHE QUALIFIES for being a lazy bone, not only in her personal life but also in her professional commitments. While she defends this attitude in her personal life by saying she needs space and time to ponder over matters beyond films, for professional life she asserts that even if she chooses to do two films a year, her "payment" is the same as one average heroine gets doing eight films a year.

Well, we won't dispute that neither do we dispute that she appears and behaves like a girl next door; absolutely without make up. She is dressed casually too. "I am like that. When I go for press shoots, my mother keeps pressing me, `Apply at least some lipstick' but I just don't feel like." This is Namrata Shirodkar for you, polite yet firm. She is in New Delhi for the promotion of Rok Sako To Rok Lo, her latest film now showing across Delhi.

The film promos show her dancing to the tune of the film's title song but she insists, "I am a surprise element in the form of sutradhar of the film. That's why neither I appear in the film's posters nor my name is mentioned in the star cast." This "sutradhar" called Sandra owns a café at the Valley School campus who shares a personal rapport with the students, so much so that she knows which student is likely to bunk a class on a specific day or who likes to eat what in her café, she informs.

If courtesy is her virtue, firmness defines her more eloquently. If she dislikes anything, she expresses it. "I am sure you haven't read Jane Austen's `Pride and Prejudice' otherwise you wouldn't have asked me this question", she admonishes an electronic channel journalist for asking her why her role is overshadowed by Aishwarya Rai in Gurinder Chaddha's Bride and Prejudice.

Though she stepped into films because she got "bored of modelling" but her inspiration remained her grandmother, Meenakshi Shirodkar, doyen of Marathi films of black and white era, known for hit films as Brahamchari, Brandi Chi Batli and so on. "Though when I joined films she was almost retired yet she contributed a lot to my acting skills." For example, she taught her "how to cry, handle emotions and comedy on screen and gave tips on make up".

No Image

Be it Vaastav in which her role was acclaimed, Charas in which the director Tigmanshu Dhulia tried to make a Zeenat Aman out of her in the song "Dhuan Dhuan" or Insaaf which she says got rave reviews, or LOC - Kargil that she did "only because its director was J.P Dutta", or Tera Mera Sath Rahe which she thinks was one of the best films with a strong social message, she chose all such films to avoid being slotted. "Even if my films receive three out of 10 at the box office I am happy because I still don't have an image. A director can conceive me on black and white paper and that's my achievement in the industry".

And guess what, she is ready to "sacrifice anything" for the sake of a role like that of Nargis Dutt in Mother India. "But I am sure, aisi film ab nahi ban sakti," she moans.

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