Post IPL, Preity is Bollywood’s busy bee

June 21st, 2008 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS  

By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, June 21 (IANS) Preity Zinta has put the highs and lows of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and her Mohali team behind and is busy with as many as four pending films and looks forward to the Bachchans’ world tour. She too needs a well-deserved break and is now raring to go.

“I didn’t realise how much I had put behind. I’ve so much pending work. Four films are at different stages of completion. I’ve to immediately start dubbing for ‘Harr Pal’ and ‘Heroes’. Then I leave for the world tour with the Bachchans.”

In “Heroes”, she is paired opposite one of her favourite co-stars, Salman Khan. And she has even agreed to do a cameo in the Salman-Kareena Kapoor starrer “Main Aur Mrs Khanna”.

“It’s Salman’s home production … and he is a buddy. But it’s not an item song really. It’s an interesting cameo. And I’ve agreed to be in the film because the director, Prem Soni, is a dear friend. And since Salman has played Prem so often, let’s just say this one is for Prem,” she chuckled.

She is also excited about her Punjabi film “Heaven On Earth” with acclaimed director Deepa Mehta. And the filmmaker has apparently said that Preity is the best actress she has ever worked with.

“I love Deepa for that. When she signed me for the film, she told me she wanted the actress, not the star. That sounded so corny. But when I reached Toronto to shoot ‘Heaven On Earth’ I knew exactly what she meant. I’m dying to see the complete film,” Preity told IANS.

Looking back on the IPL experience, Preity says “it was one helluva learning experience”.

“It was also very annoying to hear rubbish like ‘Preity sat on a cricketer’s lap’. Does it make any sense for me to make a public spectacle of myself? I mean that’s hardly me. I don’t sit on people’s laps,” she remarked.

But the actress, who was the co-owner of Kings XI Punjab, stressed that it was a positive experience on the whole.

“I learnt a whole new definition for the concept of on-field bonding. See, as a film actor I’ve always worked in a team … but not in this way. Here, on the field I was hands-on.

“I loved the Sri Lankan and Australian boys. Some of the Australians would hardly utter a word. I had to make a special effort to make the younger inexperienced Indian players comfortable. Now I know that having bonded together in spite of being from different spaces, they’d understand the team spirit much better.”

Preity was openly and unabashedly demonstrative during the games.

“I showed my emotions spontaneously as I always have. I hugged players when I wanted to. I cried and I cheered when I wanted. If that was misconstrued by some, so be it. I was having a good time while learning so much about cricket and human behaviour.

“As for the spoilsports, they can’t be helped. There were people whom I thought to be friends who cribbed about not being invited to the matches. The IPL experience made me realise who my friends are.”

Preity admits that there was a sense of loss when her Mohali team lost at the penultimate match in Mumbai, but she still defends her team stoutly.

“It was Murphy’s Law at work. Something somewhere is bound to go wrong. And it did. But I can’t say my team played badly at Mumbai. We did go right up to the semi-finals. And that was no mean achievement. Next time we’ll go right to the top.”

Though next time is far away, Preity says she would be better prepared at that time.

“A lot of planning has to be done for the next IPL matches. The first time was a huge learning experience. And we need to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again. I also need to learn how to avoid getting crowded. This time I nearly lost an eye in the jostling. But I thoroughly enjoyed the IPL experience. Being on the field with the boys made me understand the importance of solidarity on the job. I guess it has made me a more mature person,” the actress-entrepreneur said.

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