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‘You have to be ready for criticism’

Actress-writer Kalki Koechlin believes that commercial and independent cinema co-exist in a healthy way in the Indian film industry. The 29-year-old has been part of offbeat cinema with movies like Shaitan and ‘That Girl In Yellow Boots’, and tasted the commercial flavour with Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. She feels the industry is united in making independent cinema as successful as commercial movies.

“I think there is a space for independent cinema and I think they should and they are happily co-existing. There is a constant way of going about it. The minute independent
cinema becomes commercial, which is our aim, there will be a new wave of independent cinema and that might be darker or wackier. It has been happening for the last 10 years or so,” Kalki says.

The actress has had her share of box-office disappointment with ‘My Friend Pinto’ and ‘Shanghai’, but feels complaining about criticism is not a wise thing to do. “I think criticism is something that comes with a territory. Anyone who complains about that is silly. When you are out there doing anything, you are going to be criticised by some people. Even if you might be the most saintly person, that might offend a small group of people. So you have to be ready for that criticism,” she advises.

How does she deal with criticism? “For me, sometimes the best thing is to isolate
myself, cut myself from public for a while. When you are criticised heavily, you tend to doubt yourself. At that time, it is important to go back to what is important and for me it is the craft of acting. I go back to theatre, work on my Hindi and work on any
weaknesses that I might have,” she adds.

Kalki will soon be seen in director Kannan Iyer’s Ek Thi Daayan, in which she plays the role of a bohemian teacher. Produced by Vishal Bharadwaj, the movie is a musical thriller. The actress says the movie will entertain children and she will take their “honest” criticism seriously. “This is first movie where I am aiming specifically at children. They are the most honest audience. They don’t care about who the stars are, costumes or quality of the film. They care about the story and whether it captures their interest or not. I will take their criticism very seriously,” she states.

Lucky in love, at last

Aftab Shivdasani is all set to marry Britain-born Indian model Nin usanj next year. Apparently, Aftab’s wedding is being planned in early 2013. The actor admits that he’s found love just when he needed it the most. “

“Yes, we will get married. Nin was Hong Kong-based. She has now relocated to India. She is a Punjabi girl, born and raised in London. But she’s been working in Hong Kong for the last six years,” says Aftab. The 34-year-old had stopped signing films in 2010 — he took a year off to work on his physique and his performing abilities as an actor. He then came back to his friend and director Vikram Bhatt, who signed him for ‘1920: Evil Returns’ that has just hit the screens. The actor admits it’s been a tough phase in his life. “I stopped signing films. There was no point in doing films I wasn’t happy with,” he says.

Vikram Bhatt recently spoke to Aftab’s new lady-love and was bowled over by her devotion to the actor. “If Aftab has been unlucky in his career, he has been even
unluckier in love,” he says, adding, “Yes, I did speak to Aftab’s girlfriend. I can tell you this much, it’s a very rare kind of love that they share. Aftab has been singularly unfortunate in love. He has been used and discarded by women. The thing about Nin is that she is not concerned with what he does, or what his stardom quotient is. When I spoke to her, I could feel this unconditional love that she has for Aftab. I think my friend has found his true love.”

He admits that Aftab had hit a low — but he feels he’s been born again. “His life has come together. He’s finally found the perfect partner and is hopefully en route to a second lease in his career,” he says.

Birthday treat for Milind

Model-tuned-actor Milind Soman turned 47 and his actress girlfriend Shahana Goswami calls him the loveliest person, adding that he really inspires her.  “The loveliest of them all was born today. My sweetest, most adorable and someone who greatly excites and inspires me...Milind (Soman),” Shahana tweets. The actor, who has had a relationship with co-model
Madhu Sapre in the past, married Mylene Jampanoi, his French co-star in ‘Valley of Flowers’ in 2006, but got divorced in 2009. Shahana, 26, who was appreciated for her performance in Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Rock On!’, has been dating Milind for more than three years now.

Partial to sequels

Actor Riteish Deshmukh, who has worked with director Indra Kumar in films like Masti, Dhamaal and Double Dhamaal, is currently shooting for Grand Masti. “Shooting for Grand Masti. Life gets so easy when your director
Indra Kumar is a fantastic actor himself,” tweets the
33-year-old. The film is a sequel to the 2004 hit Masti, which also featured actors Aftab Shivdasani and Vivek Oberoi. It seems the actor has a special attachment with sequels. This year, he featured in ‘Housefull 2’ and Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum, which were sequels to ‘Housefull’ and Kyaa Kool Hai Hum
respectively.

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