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October 6, 2001
It's a sweltering day at Bombay's Royal Palms.
But Aftab Shivdasani is surprisingly cool. Perhaps the tall glass of cold coffee he holds, has someting to do with it.
He's here with Esha Deol to shoot for Boney Kapoor's Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche.
Aftab is busy conversing with his dress designer, besides the pool, trying to figure out what the actor will wear for the next scene. While Esha is still donning on the greasepaint. And Aftab is in no hurry, to hurry her; he's got his coffee.
Directed by Vinay Shukla (Godmother), Koi Mere is the usual love story with the mother-daughter relationship twist thrown in for effect.
Esha soon emerges, resplendid in a pastel-coloured salwar kameez. With a jute bag on her shoulders and her hair blowing in the wind, she's a sight.
She heads straight to the director for instructions. It's very simple. All she has to do is act like she's waiting for a friend. Aftab has to walk up to her and try to chat her up. As Esha plays a shy girl, she must ignore his overtures. But he needs to keep at it.
Aftab is ready to go in a minute. In a blue t-shirt, black trousers and his leather jacket, he screams attitude.
Director Shukla sets the camera. But the pool water which reflects too much sunlight, must be dealt with.
With that and Esha's makeup touchup taken care of, the director calls for action.
Aftab strolls up and begins with his small talk. Esha shoots him a dirty glance and continues checking her watch. But Aftab persists.
'Cut!' says the director and the shot is canned. It's now time for a few close-ups.
Aftab returns to his beverage. "When it's hot, there's nothing better than a glass of cold coffee."
Rumours linking him with his co-star have been doing the rounds but he casually dismisses them: "I'm just a friend. We have to work together; why does it always have to be more than that? Our relationship is entirely plutonic, strictly professional. If people have nothing better than gossip, it's ok with me. I'm above it all now. I had a wonderful time shooting for this film and Boney uncle has been a great producer."
Aftab is upbeat and with good reason too. His list of to-be-relased is pretty impressive -- "After Koi Mere..., there's Suno Sasurji, a comedy with Amisha Patel and the Tips film which follows. 2001 has been good to me. And I hope the run continues with Koi Mere...."
"The film has such a heart warming and endearing subject. Even though the girl though loves this guy, she can't admit her love because of the skeletons in her closet. The turmoil, the anxiety has been depicted marvellously. Vinayji is a first-rate director."
Esha is thrilled about her debut too. "I can't wait for the release. Watching my self onscreen is an indescribable experience. I play an ordinary girl who can't behave normally because of her past. I'm glad I had the opportunity to play a mature character."
India News Features Service
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