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March 14, 2003 11:26 IST

How busy actors and actresses are waking up to the power of email

Actress Deepti Naval cannot get over the magic of opening her email everyday. "I feel I have my own personal postman delivering me letters. I enjoy being online for the sheer pleasure of writing and receiving email," exclaims Naval.

This actress checks her mail twice a day. What irritates her though is the amount of junk mail in her account, which cannot be blocked or traced and keeps returning like a bad penny. Naval who recently was offered four films while she travelled around the world is not alone in discovering the powers instant communication.

Former Miss Universe and actress Sushmita Sen is hooked too. She spends about an hour clearing her mailbox every two days. What upsets her is spam mails and unnecessary forwards. "Thankfully my friends don't send it to me," she says.

Model and actress Raima Sen has different accounts for different people. "It depends on who I meet," she reveals. Sen has four accounts including Satyam, Yahoo!, Hotmail and Rediffmail and though checking them all can get time consuming, she manages to juggle all her accounts.

Veteran actor Jackie Shroff who is contantly connected, keeps in touch with his fans and friends via email. Anytime you meet him he is most likely to rattle off his email id and say with a smile, "Keep them coming!" Responses are always crisp and to the point.

Fan emails, for most actors, are always welcome. Arti Chabbria says she admires the persistence of her fans, some of whom have tracked down her email addresses to write to her. Pooja Batra's become quite Net savvy, courtesy her long distance affair with beau Sonu Ahluwalia, and was surprised when she received fan email on a private address. "I had to request him not to give it to anybody," she says.

Email has become a very fast and convenient way to keep in touch with people across the seas in overseas markets. Model Jesse Randhwa uses the Net to keep in touch with all her modelling agencies in New York, Milan and Paris. "That's the only reason why I check email regularly," she explains.

Actress Neha Dhupia did an entire deal via email. "Some people wanted me to visit their country as a Miss India and they persuaded me via the Net that I should visit them. Sure enough, because of their repeated mails I did take up the offer. Since they did come with good references, it was easier."

Actor Abhishek Bachchan complains about the lack of time to check his always full email account. "I used to be Net savvy when I was in college. Now I don't get any time."

On occasions, they have also gotten into difficult situations. Like Raima Sen who thought her email account was hacked. Only to realise a few days later that she herself had changed the password.

Actor Parvin Dabbas, who is extremely Net savvy, received an email with a Spanish subject line and hurriedly opened the mail. It turned out to be a virus. "It totally screwed my computer and I had to erase everything and reload it. I've stayed away from Spanish women ever since," he jokes.

Jimmy Shergill uses a VSNL account can access the Net anywhere across the world on his laptop. Mahesh Bhupathi has an AOL account since it's a popular service in America and easy to access. Sitarist Ravi Shankar's young daughter Anoushka uses the same service due to her frequent tours and concerts all over the world. "But Net speeds in India have been really slow, so I haven't really checked email here. I don't give out my email, people usually contact me through my site," she says. 

There are, of course, many who keep their distance from this form of communication. Actor Atul Kulkarni replies to fan email by dictating responses to his Net savvy friends. Budding actress Katrina Kaif prefers to use the phone rather than email to keep in touch with friends. Cyrus Broacha gets his wife to download his email and friends to type his responses since he hates typing! 

Many others are completely Net unfriendly. Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor and Sonali Bendre prefer SMS to emails. But Bendre says she would like to get online just for the pleasure of getting fan email, "It would be great fun to receive instant reactions!"

Arti R