'I can never leave India'

In conversation

'I can never leave India'

She is more cerebral than your average actor. Combine it with a classic down-to earth sensibility and a wacky sense of humour, and you have Preity Zinta! Back after a sabbatical and marriage to a US-based entrepreneur, she is raring to go.

Then there is her pet project waiting in the wings, which also tomtoms her arrival as an entrepreneur, and the movie ‘Bhaiyyaji Superhitt’.

In the city to launch the Advance Beauty and Cosmetic Clinic, the actor chatted with Anupama Ramakrishnan on her women’s safety project, about balancing one’s ‘karma’ and her expectations on GST.
  
Was there always an entrepreneur in you?
Yes. When I did my first interview after winning the award for ‘Dil Se’,  they asked me ‘how do you see yourself 10 years from now?’ And I said ‘as an entrepreneur’ and they told me, ‘Shut up and enjoy your job’. I never thought I’ll be an actor. I was studying criminal psychology and became an actor by accident but I love this profession. It is who I am and in some ways, where I come from, but I feel there are different aspects to my personality.

You have a packed year ahead...
This year is going to be a complete bonanza for me. I’ve a movie coming out — ‘Bhayyaji Superhitt’. And then I have a project for women’s safety, which I am very excited about.

What motivated you to come up with this project?
All through my working life, I have felt the need to give back. I have got more than I ever imagined or asked for. So in some way, I wanted to give back to the society.

How are you going to make a change?
If you look around, everybody wants to make a difference. But we don’t know how to and this ‘how to’ took five years for me to figure out. Every woman is free to live her dreams and not have this fear of being unsafe. Being a woman, one always expects a man to protect us and at the same time, we wanted to be treated as equals. I think it’s time women took it on themselves. 

You have adopted a village too...
 Yes I have. We have made a well there and now, a small dam too. Honestly, it’s a very small thing I am doing. At some point of time, each one of us, when we get more than our required share, have to balance our karma and give back.

Shifting to GST... Are you for it or not?
I think in the long run, it is amazing, but in the shorter run, I need to know what exactly it is going to cover since it has so many different slabs for different things. The only thing disappointing is that they have a higher GST for sanitary napkins.

Now that you are married and shuttle between Mumbai and LA, do you miss India?
Actually after I got married, I have been here more than in LA. I can never leave India. My husband has spent more time here than in LA this year. I tricked him (laughs).

That was one transatlantic romance...
(Laughs) The biggest gainer was the airlines; the business I have given them travelling back and forth!

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