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Jogging new tracks



Khalid Siddiqui in New Delhi. Photo: R.V. Moorthy.

HE STRIKES a chord instantly with his amiable disposition and polite language, no fake accent and no pretensions, something that these new boys often end up with, especially if they happen to be as popular models as Khalid Siddiqui. Not that his demeanour impresses only those wit whom he is friendly for reasons of profession but also the likes of Victor Banerjee, known as a tough man who judges a person by his etiquette and calibre. Khalid worked with Banerjee in Joggers' Park. When the director of Ho Sakta Hai Wilson Louis told Banerjee that he had a character in his film who lives the U.S. but cherishes family values, Victor instantly suggested Khalid's name to him. Louis found his choice perfect. And that's how Khalid's almost unnoticed 30-second cameo in Joggers' Park landed him with "a full-fledged character" in Ho Sakta Hai, due to release shortly.

"I was supposed to be in Joggers Park only for that Jagjit Singh ghazal Badi Nazuk Ghadi Hai Ye that Subash Ghai directed. But when he saw me in the song, he gave me small scenes in the film. And look how that 30-second cameo helped Victor make his opinion about me. I am overwhelmed by his gesture," Khalid drops his dreamy eyes in courtesy. He is in New Delhi to promote Ho Sakta Ha.Fine, but why is he making his debut with a film claiming to be on black magic? "It is because of the character called Rahul who is a young doctor, lives in the U.S and still very Indian at heart. It is quite an involving role as Rahul believes in modern sciences such as allopathy while his father (Victor Banerjee) is a hard-core traditionalist believing in Ayurveda. The film provided me ample chance to play many shades. Though I am tying to avoid the religious part of it but I know that the holy Quran mentions that once prophet was also affected by nazar," reasons Khalid who "refused 15 film offers" before he landed this role.

"I am very fussy about my roles. Kam sirf dil se karta hoon. The script that does not impress me I say no to it despite knowing that it may affect me professionally," says this Commerce graduate from Bombay University.

And what next?

A film opposite Mahima Chaudhry titled The Film directed by Junaid.

"I am playing an assistant director in the film and Mahima plays an ageing actress trying her hand at writing a script."

RANA SIDDIQUI

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