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Rendezvous with Simi

Simi Garewal talks about her films, directors and chat show

Pic. By R.V. Moorthy

Grace personified... Simi Garewal

WHEN YOU talk of Simi Garewal, you just can't evade these adjectives: sophisticated, chic, classy, well-groomed... .

Say all these to the former actress, and she will lend you a patient ear, give that familiar smile and then utter in her husky voice, "Oh thank you. So kind of you." Leaving you loving her even more.

As calm as the colour of her outfits, white, as receptive to what you say as she is with her interviewees in the show Rendezvous With Simi Garewal, she is grace personified.

Talking about herself, her show, films, directors and her kind of work..., she says, "People often ask me, `how come you are able to remain so calm amid the bustle of Mumbai?' I tell them, by nature, I am so. If at all a person can make me angry, then he has to be extremely incompetent."

Come February 20, the last edition of her talk show will roll out, and then she will take off on a two-month holiday abroad. Only to return to Mumbai to "work on" her Sunday show for four months with a new line-up of guests. "Being involved in a demanding show, I am really looking forward to this annual leave. But before I go off the air, the best moments of all my interviews this season will be telecast in the last three episodes," she informs. The winding up of the present edition of Rendezvous With Simi Garewal began this past Sunday, and Simi plans to show special moments from the last 100 episodes.

With Jayalalithaa

Chatting more about the show, Simi says she looks into the last detail of every episode and so, can't recall even a moment when it was hard to get someone to the sets on time or any question that she had asked her guest and wished she had not.

"In fact, there are a lot of people who opened up. For example, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa. Though everyone thought it would be the most difficult interview, as politicians often do not open up much on camera, it turned out to be one of my best. Many people later called to congratulate me and Ms Jayalalithaa became a good friend," recounts Simi.

Known for many a good film such as Karz, Mera Naam Joker, Do Badan, Namak Haram, Satyajit Ray's Bengali film Aranyer Din Ratri and Conrad Rooks' Siddartha, a cross-over film way back in the 1970s, this England-bred daughter of an Army brigadier has many beautiful moments from her Bollywood days to recall. "I got an opportunity to do films with well-known names, be they actors or directors. More than actors, I remember with gratitude directors such as Satyajit Ray and Raj Kapoor. They had so much to offer," muses Simi, underlining what we always knew, that she is no usual Bollywood heroine. "Among new directors, I like the works of Ashish Chopra and Farhan Akhtar," she says, adding that she catches up with "all the new good films."

Though not keen on returning to celluloid, Simi might take a shot at it if "a good cross-over film comes my way." "I have no specific role in mind, but there are a lot of good cross-over films being made now. It is quite tempting," she says.

SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY

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