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A reluctant hero

Emraan Hashmi sheds his boyish image and plays a possessive lover on screen


HE HAS essayed the role of the possessive lover in all his three released starrers so far. The growing confidence is showing in his performances, from Murder to Tumsa Nahin Dekha to. And at least two of them have been hits. Also, like his mentor Mahesh Bhatt - who has scripted and supervised all of them - seems to have the knack of getting into controversies. Memories of the spat he had with his first heroine, the already forgotten Mallika Sherawat, are still fresh in people's mind.

And so is Emraan Hashmi. Who was just a little boy till the other day. How quickly does time fly. One remembers him as a shy, introvert, chubby-cheeked boy. He is the grandson of yesteryear character artiste, Poornima. One remembers his scanning through the heaps of magazines and newspapers on the work desk. And whenever caught unawares on a surprise return, he would make a hasty retreat with a sheepish grin. That sheepish grin and the cute dimple greeted when one walked into the backyards of the being-refurbished Hotel Horizon in Mumbai suburbs.

He was shooting for Zehar, being directed by cousin Mohit Suri. Mohit makes his directorial debut with the film ostensibly scripted by uncle Mahesh Bhatt. It, therefore, did not come as a surprise that it is another sex-and-crime flick for Bhatt hardly seems capable of working out anything else. What's the film all about? Mohit answers, somewhat submissively: "When passion becomes poison." Aren't we getting tired of the same obsessive lover in flick after flick?

"Not entirely. Or should I say not any more. You know I am a reluctant entrant. I had other dreams while I was growing up but I guess everyone in the family had decided for me. So I guess I have stopped feeling awkward, and beginning to enjoy my work." Isn't he repeating himself, and, therefore, restricting range. Isn't that a heavy price - working for the same banner, the same clichéd scripts?

"I have just signed an outside production, and there are some under negotiation. But I seem to be relishing characters that have a streak of madness in them."

"Having now got into the profession, I am trying to play by the rules. And one of them is that you must have enough work. Even when people talk about a role that's not the conventional hero role I don't mind taking it up provided I think it will work. Because ultimately it is success that counts at the end of the day, and looking for variety in Hindi films is a wrong dream to nurture."

What about washing dirty linen in the open? "I hate to do that. And I am certainly not doing that to be in the limelight for wrong reasons. At the same time I don't want to be politically right all the time. I don't want to be taken for a ride, and I don't want to shy away from calling the spade a shovel."

Well, one must say the little boy is growing up. In fact, he is already a young man who has just signed an outside film for a whopping Rs. 30 lakhs. Not a bad beginning for a reluctant starter.

SURESH KOHLI

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