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Ready for revamp

Rolling out her third small screen presentation this month, versatile actress Aroona Irani tells she is still game to play a vamp



Aroona Irani... Time for small screen exploits. Photo: Anu Pushkarna.

IF LALITA Pawar brings to mind the face with a squint and Bindu an archetypal Bollywood vamp, then, Aroona Irani certainly reminds one of that famous mole on the chin which not only tarts up her appearance but also helps to play her role rather convincingly. A seductive, impish servant girl with a mole on her countenance; a rather black idea of a woman with a spiteful drive with a mole of course; even a sweet and shy girl next-door or a hero or heroine's sister yet again with a mole; are realistic enough garbs for the oft-not-so-real Bollywood tales. Hence, her need. And indeed, she enacted them very well.

But all this fits flawlessly into her yesterday. Though she does not brood much over her tomorrow, her present definitely is not what has been her emblematic Bollywood projection but that of a seasoned small screen family soap producer and artiste as well. After the success of her tele-serials, Mehendi Teri Naam Ki and Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand, Aroona is back with hopes of a hat-trick Tum Bin Jaaon Kahan.

The still-so-attractive Aroona says, "this is an out-and-out romantic story with a reincarnation angle. I had initially thought of turning it into a film. Since Bollywood is not having a very smooth ride, I thought of making it into a serial". Well, who does not know of her mixed bag with Yeh Dil Aashiqana? And, you breathe easy that she did not jump into yet another film venture.

Nevertheless, Aroona has not forgotten her earlier film's heroine, Jividha Singh whom she signed opposite Vikas Bhalla to play the lead role in this serial to be aired on Zee TV from this coming Sunday.

"I am happy that none of the stories of my serials are anyway similar. I agree that certain things like saas-bahu connection and love angles cannot be avoided to a certain extent but the focus of the serial has to be different from the other. Because, the competition is much more than in films," says the lady, using all the hand movements possible to drive home her point. Agreed, for of course, while watching a film, you do not have the option of channel surfing.

"But you have to trust your gut feeling. When I made an important character in Des Mein... a villain from being the ultimate good overnight, I took a great risk. Many who heard me, wrote me off instantly but see, how well the viewers are taking it," she says, adding, "Besides others, I also try to take opinion of even maids and their mindsets. Mind you, their viewpoints about certain things are very strong."

But, would her new serial also have a so-called dark, female character like the one in Des Mein... ., a trend in most serials? "Well, Anu's character adds taste to the serial. It is like having achar to enhance the flavour of food," she comments.

While television serials are lapping up the role of the proverbial vamp, interestingly, in today's films, often the role of a vamp is rolled into that of the heroine. But Aroona, with that familiar expression of half a smile, a mole and a narrowed eye, says, "even today, I dream of doing the role of a typical vamp in a Hindi film".

And adds, "But, the credit of starting the trend of mixing the role of a heroine and a vamp goes to Manmohan Desai".

Still very nostalgic about her roles in films like Caravan, Mili, Beta and Raja Babu, the versatile actress, whose range of roles stretches from being a heroine to a vamp to a mother to a sister, is, but "a satisfied soul".

"I struggled a lot professionally but today, I thank God for all that He showered on me and I tell Him, continue till You can," says Aroona beaming. As she walks away she hums the famous oldie: Mein Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya... ."

Undeniably yes!

SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY

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