March 1, 2001,
Supercop’s real salute
“My tapori days are over”
Supercop’s real salute
now she must be used to being portrayed on the big and small screens.
There have been shades of her life in performances by Dimple Kapadia,
Madhuri Dixit, Vijayshanti and a line of other actresses who have played
the role of police officer. In fact she has also been the subject of a
hit TV serial, Udaan.
"It was a challenge I accepted with happiness" she says with a smile. Shot in Gurgaon, near Delhi, the idea of the film first came to the mind of directors Shakti and Guna when they were walking through a village and came across the Indian Tricolour dumped in a garbage can and torn from one end. "The very fact that the national flag was lying so disrespectfully was a statement in itself. And that is the basis of this documentary," they say.
Bedi plays the rag-picker who discovers a torn Indian flag in a village dustbin. She picks it up and then goes and sits in one corner. Upon examining it closely, she discovers that part of the green colour of the flag is torn. She then rips her green saree and stitches it on the torn portion. That done, she mounts the flag on a pole with pride and happiness.
"When we began short-listing people to play the title role, our choice automatically fell on Kiran Bedi, who is today a role model for young people and everybody looks up to her with a feeling of hope," says Gopaljee, the producer of the documentary. But convincing the high profile police officer was no easy task. Instinctively she said no.
Yes, she agrees, besides being a supercop, she has played a number of real-life roles — a reformer, a committed social worker, an author and a voracious public speaker. "Acting, however, was an altogether different ball game," she says. But the filmmakers’ perseverance paid off and Bedi finally relented to try her hand at acting as well.
"I am delighted to see the complete version and I am sure it will be a hit with everybody who watches it," says Bedi and adds,"the Indian flag should be respected not just on certain days of the year but every day."
The Real Salute has been made in five languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Shot in just a few hours the 3-minute documentary tries to imbibe the spirit of patriotism in the present generation. Though the theme may be moralistic, its treatment and presentation is unusual. And the fact that it features one of India’s most dynamic personalities lends it credibility and depth.
Does the documentary mark the beginning of a new career for her — acting? "Who knows? If the theme is about a social issue or promotes national integration I wouldn’t hesitate to take up the offer. But the films would have to be short since I am tight on time," says Bedi. Supercop, author, social worker, reformer, guest speaker and more. How does she manage her time? "By remaining focused," is her cryptic answer. And focus is something that Bedi has never lost both personally and professionally — whether it is extending the long arm of the law or acting the role of a patriotic rag-picker in a film.
Aishwarya’s starry tantrums
A director’s dream actress at one time, Aishwarya Rai is proving to be quite a nightmare for Devdas director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Her starry tantrums and temperamental behaviour on the sets of Devdas are reportedly driving him up the wall.
Hell-bent on beating Madhuri Dixit, the other leading actress in the film, in the looks department, Ash spends hours together on her make-up and then sends her dress for ironing after every shot. The result is not difficult to imagine: a shot that should ordinarily take one hour takes the whole day. As it is Bhansali has been plagued by one problem after the other that has delayed the completion of his pet project.
Kamal who, did you say? He is the very same Kamal whose one-time claim to fame was being Pooja Bhatt’s boyfriend. Though keeping in mind the steady stream of boyfriends who have waded through the Bhatt babe’s life, that’s not a very helpful hint either.
Wish we could tell you the name of a hit movie in which he starred to help jog your memory cells, but as they say if wishes were horses....Anyway, we wish the newly married couple all the bliss that marriage brings.
He has come a long way since his ole ole days and though he’s taking time maturing as an actor, Saif Ali Khan has handled with aplomb most of the recent projects he’s been involved in. Whether it was Kundan Shah’s Kya Kehna or Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Saath Saath Hain, the Chhota Nawab is on the right track and is just awaiting that one big hit that he hopes would take him right to the top. Saif talks about his life and times as a Bollywood star to Nutan Sehgal.
Kya Kehna emerged a surprise hit in 2000. How do you feel about scoring a bull’s eye after some time?
Of course, I’m on a high. But somehow, somewhere in the back of my mind, I always felt that Kya Kehna would do well. Kundan Shah is a brilliant director who loves to experiment. I feel it is because of him that the film got such a wonderful response. And I should remind you that people appreciated my performance in Hum Saath Saath Hain where I feel again it was Sooraj Barjatya who it responsible for extracting the best out of me. I am lucky to have worked with such excellent directors.
How was the experience of working with Lawrence Desouza in your latest film, Yeh Pyar Hi To Hai?
The experience was good. Lawrence Desouza is a very focused director and has given hits like Saajan, Dil Tera Aashiq, Arzoo and many more. I play a flirt who doesn’t take life seriously. But one fine day he actually falls in love with a girl (Pooja Bhatt). Everything is fine and the couple is all set for marriage when all of a sudden my best friend (played by Atul Agnihotri) ditches me and marries my girl. From here follows some high-voltage, exciting drama.
But isn’t this character very similar to the one you portrayed in Kya Kehna?
Yes, I must admit, it has a few similarities, but that is not intentional. The story and treatment in Yeh Pyar Hi To Hai is totally different. Nadeem Shravan have provided brilliant music and many of the numbers, including Ek Baar Pyar Se Tu Bol, Tum Gawahi do and the title track Yeh Pyar Hi To Hai are already big hits.
How much have you evolved as a person over the years?
Oh, my past has been really very crazy. I used to be quite a flirt in real life, too. I used to have late nights at discos and return home in the mornings. I was quite a tapori. But all that was before marriage to Amrita. Now, I’ve sobered down, learnt to take on responsibility as a family man. Trust me, I’ve really changed.
What are the new projects that you have on hand?
There is Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahata Hai with Amir Khan and Akshay Khanna. Then there is Ram Gopal Verma’s Jackpot opposite Sonali Bendre and Na Tum Jaano Na Hum along with Hrithik Roshan.
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