A gorgeous and much younger-looking Mandira Bedi was in town. She talks to Priyadershini S. about the past, present and the future
Anchor-actorMandira Bedi loves theatre and hosting ‘live' shows
Mandira Bedi was in town, noodle straps and all. Sporting a chic, new look she was the cynosure of all eyes. She looked gorgeous in a dark crimson dress, wedge silver sandals with a pixie cut hairstyle that took away years even from her youthful face. Adding to her looks were her charming, warm ways as she chatted happily with the sporty glitterati at the recently held Indmerc Power Boat rally in the city.
On her new look, Mandira said that it was born out of sheer boredom. That she had done with long curly hair, the ‘Shanti look', after which she had the medium length and now it was time to go in for a change. But such a drastic one? Her hairdresser Sapna Bhavnani , of the MSD and John Abraham fame, too was apprehensive but Mandira stuck to her guns and went in for this tomboy hairdo, all coloured, glossy and chic.
“My husband introduces me as his younger brother now,” she laughs adding that it is a look “ validated” by her father who is apparently a man of few words.
Any which way Mandira is looking gorgeous.
Dabbling in TV, films, cricket, magazine covers and endorsements has it been a frenetic and fashionable lifestyle for the actor-anchor? “Yes, it's been an exciting journey,” says Mandira who has been on the cover of magazines like Cosmopolitan, Health and Nutrition and now The Man.
This student of Mass Communication did not plan her life this way. From one who ironically wanted to be behind the camera she got an apprenticeship with ad guru Prahalad Kakkar. She even landed a job as a copywriter at O&M, having been recruited by none other than Piyush Pandey. It was at the ad office that Mandira was spotted by the producer of ‘Shanti', the popular daily soap. After two auditions she was chosen for the role and the rest, as they say, is history.
“That was my acting school,” her learning ground after which she was ‘Shanti' for a long, long time. Then a negative role in ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi', made Mandira vow never to play the role of the other woman.
It was with anchoring of the sports show ‘Extraa Innings' (2003), that was the crossover for Mandira from serials to big time sports, fashion and glamour. Inducing a catchy freshness to anchoring cricket matches Mandira had the whole nation literally bowled over. “Sports was the turning point,” she says recalling the “cricket quiz” she took and did well to be chosen among other contenders . “I think I scored an 18 on 20.”
Then came the endorsements, ads, magazine covers and hosting of events.
Endowed with beautyand acting skills, why is it that she has not found a footing in films? “The Indian film industry does not know where to slot me.” It's either an item number or a bhabhi role that she has been offered but Mandira prefers a role of substance. Theatre or live-anchoring is what Mandira enjoys the most. “It's the true test of skill” she says and loves the adrenalin rush that it brings forth.
Of her affair with Kerala she says that Kerala knows her too well through bill boards and hoardings where she models saris for textile store, Seematti.
South Indian food
Another close connect with the South is her love for South Indian cuisine. Appam-stew, dosas, vadas, idlis, she relishes them all. “I love South Indian food,” she discloses adding that she visits, Mysore Café, a South Indian food joint in Matunga in Mumbai for her favourite ‘pesarratu'. She has a sweet tooth and loves Mysore-pak but she had given up on mithai for a good six months to trim down and get this fit look.
“I became serious about fitness after the adventure show, ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi'. I needed to get strong,” and so she began her gruelling fitness routine. She worked out five days a week and gave up sweets.
“Sadly losing weight is only 30 per cent workout and 70 per cent dieting,” says Mandira who is a vegetarian. “I have a natural heavy look” she feels and that's the reason why she went in for this extreme makeover.
The Mandira of ‘Shanti' has come a long way. From the adorable charm of the simple girl who stole everybody's hearts she has acquired a chic maturity.
In her new avatar, Mandira continues to steal hearts.
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