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|September 26, 2001||
Manoj Bajpai is trying to memorise his lines.
Clad in a simple brown kurtaand faded blue jeans, he looks every bit the writer he is playing.
"I love getting into the psyche of a writer and learn what he really thinks of the world," says Bajpai. There is no sign that the failure of Aks has fazed him.
Mahima enters the room then, with apologies. She was held up at the recording studios, dubbing for her upcoming film, Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar. She rushes into the changing room for her makeover.
The scene has Manoj spouting poetic verse, and Mahima playing spectator. He then fumes about romanticising life, when reality bites.
Manoj goes on to rehearse his scene, solo, as the director anxiously calls out to Mahima to hurry up. "Manoj is too good. I want to can the shot when he is totally into the scene. I hope I don't miss the performance he gave at the rehearsal," says Ghosh.
Manoj listens, grins and lights a cigarette. Mahima joins him soon, ravishing in a pink salwar-kameez with an embroidered dupatta. She is looking forward to the release of Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar, her first release after Lajja: "It is my best job to date. I enjoy doing comedy though I've never attempted it before," she says.
In Panchhi, she plays "the hurt girlfriend of a writer who is totally frustrated with society." She is full of praise for Manoj: "He is a great actor. We keep having these self-improvement fights -- it's nice."
The rehearsal begins. Mahima comes in on cue and Manoj gives it his all. His philosophy -- practice makes perfect. Parthoda is pleased as punch with the way things are going. He's ready for the take.
The room is rather warm, but the fans have been switched off. The actors are to stand adjacent to the dining table -- that's where the shot will begin. As the camera rolls, the actors must slowly make their way onto the balcony.
Manoj combs his hair and soon assumes his position. Mahima bursts out laughing, as he turns to face her: He has apparently pulled out a strand, leaving a few others standing poker straight.
The actor combs his hair again. With a mirror, this time. He shoots Mahima a wry grin. It's evident the two share a comfortable working relationship. Two takes later, the scene is canned.
Manoj is overjoyed. "Working with Parthoda is a high. I have never played a frustrated writer who makes a difference to society in his own way. I aim to bag different roles like this one. As long as work keeps coming in, I'll act. Acting is my life."
India News Feature Service
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