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Grace personified

MetroPlus catches up with Simi Garewal in between breaks while shooting for her Sunday show



Simi: As classy as ever — Photo. R.V. Moorthy

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

Cite all these to the former Bollywood actress, and she would lend you a patient ear, paste that known smile on to her face and then utter in her husky tone: "Oh thank you. It's so kind of you." As calm and peaceful as the colour of her outfits, white, as receptive and responsive to what you say as she is with her interviewees in the Star World show Rendezvous With Simi Garewal, the lady is grace personified. Lacing her conversation now around herself, her show, her films, her directors and finally, her kind of work.

"People often ask me, `How come you look so calm staying in a city like Mumbai?' I tell them, by nature, I am so. If a person can at all make me angry, then he has to be extremely incompetent," states Simi.

On February 20, she rolls out the last of her editions this season, her only professional engagement these days, before taking off for a two-month holiday abroad. Only to return to Mumbai to work for four months with a new line-up of guests. "Being involved in a demanding show like mine, I am really looking forward to this annual leave. But before I go off air, I shall show the best moments of all my interviews this season. Celebrity names like Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Leander Paes, Rani Mukerjee, Priety Zinta and the like would be shown in their finest moments on my sets."

With Jayalalithaa

Chatting more about the show, Simi says she looks into the last detail of every episode and so, can't even recall 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 lot of people who opened up rather well. For example, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. Though everyone thought it would be the most difficult interview, as politicians often do not open up so much on camera, it turned out to be one of my best interviews. Many editors later called to congratulate me and the lady became a good friend for life," recounts Simi.

As an actress, the England-bred daughter of a brigadier shone in films such as Karz, Mera Naam Joker, Do Badan, Namak Haram, Satyajit Ray's Aranyer Din Ratri and Conrad Rooks' Siddartha, a cross-over film way back in the 1970s. "I had always the chance to do films with heavyweights, be they actors or directors. If I have to recall, more than actors, I remember with gratitude super directors like Satyajit Ray and Raj Kapoor. They had so much to offer," Simi muses.

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 idea about a particular role in my mind, but there are a lot of good crossover films being made now. It is quite tempting."

SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTI

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