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No full stops

Namrata Shirodkar is the surprise element in "Rok Sako to Rok Lo"

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 an average heroine gets doing eight films a year.

She appears like a girl next door casually dressed with absolutely without make up. "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 it." This is Namrata Shirodkar for you, polite yet firm. In her latest film Rok Sako To Rok Lo, 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 I do not appear in the film's posters nor is my name mentioned in the star cast." This sutradhar called Sandra owns a café at the Valley School campus and shares a personal rapport with the students.If courtesy is her virtue, firmness defines her more eloquently. "I am sure you haven't read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice otherwise you wouldn't have asked me this question", she admonishes a journalist for asking her why her role was overshadowed by Aishwarya Rai in Gurinder Chaddha's Bride and Prejudice.

Though she stepped into films because she got "bored of modelling," her inspiration has remained her grandmother, Meenakshi Shirodkar, the doyen of Marathi films of black and white era."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". 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, Insaaf for which she got rave reviews, or LOC Kargil that she did "only because J.P Dutta was directing," 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.

RANA SIDDIQUI

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