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Esha Deol
Esha hails from a traditionally conservative family and there was serious objection to her joining the industry, but that was before she donned the greasepaint in her debut film, Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche with Aftab Shivdasini. It took a bit of polishing from, but now she's looking svelte and fit in her latest release, Kaal with the hottie John Abraham.

The road has been littered with her fair share of flops and relatively fewer hits, like Na Tum Jaano Na Hum with Hrithik Roshan, Kya Dil Ne Kaha with Tusshar Kapoor, Yuva with Ajay Devgan, Chura Liya Hai Tumne with Zayed Khan and Dhoom, once again with John Abraham and Main Hoon Na with Ajay Devgan.

Her forthcoming films include No Entry with Salman Khan, Kahin Aag Na Lag Jaaye with Milind Soman and Kya Pyaar Karogi Mujhse with Tusshar Kapoor. Esha is now gaining confidence and it does look like the hard work is paying off! Excerpts from a candid conversation with the outspoken Esha Deol on the sets of No Entry...

The Record: Why do you react strongly if anyone mentions your resemblance to your mother, Hema Malini?
Esha: Oh, I am sick of hearing about this resemblance and comparison business. Ok, so I accept that I do resemble my mom in every way. So? Can anyone tell me what I should do? Perhaps, the only course left is to go in for plastic surgery! Then, perhaps I can also undertake speech therapy sessions too. But still, jokes apart, I am happy as I am and I am also proud to be my Mom, Hema Malini's daughter. That also gives me a funny idea that maybe the producers of my next film should cash this as a pre-release publicity by putting up hoardings proclaiming Dreamgirl Hema Malini returns in a new and young avatar.

TR: Have you taken stock of your career - from your shaky debut Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche to the much-hyped Kaal?

Esha: Let me be honest, I still feel the pangs of having lost out on the opportunity of a starry launch pad, like the ones that launched my brothers Sunny and Bobby or even my cousin, Abhay. But then I have only myself to blame; I was always driven to make it on my own steam. My parents coaxed and cajoled with the promise that they would have a super launch pad for me. So in between I did give in, but the projects that they came up with did not live up to my expectations. So I decided to hold on. And then Faffy, I mean, Aftab {Shivdasini} a close friend came up with Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche offer and I lapped it up. And my woes began, as the film ultimately bombed. So it was back to square one. Once again, I was at fault as I had turned down offers that came my way to wait for the results of the release of my first film.

TR: A few inconsequential films followed, which also failed to boost your career. What went wrong?
Esha: Once again, frankly speaking, my choice of subsequent films with my parental guidance, especially my mom's, went wrong. I blindly signed any and every film suggested by them or rather, by my mom. No, I am not blaming her or even my dad. As they did their best as per their own experience, without perhaps realizing that times had changed. To cut the long story short, I never felt comfortable doing all those in between films.

TR: One allegation is that you concentrated more on your relationship with Aftab Shivdasani then, rather than on work. Comment.
Esha: Come on. There is no point in dragging that poor fellow in the muddling up of my career. Besides, he is still a very good friend, not a boyfriend mind you, and he had never distracted me in any way. Once again, I would like to repeat that I had made several wrong choices and several wrong moves too.

TR: Wrong moves…?
Esha: Like trying to be an eternal papa and mama's pet baby. I had let go, flowing with the parental tide guiding my every step. Not even making a decent or the slightest attempt to make my own decisions. Inspite of being a grown up girl, I allowed myself to be chaperoned around. Yes, I consider this as a wrong move on my part. Once again, I am not blaming my parents.

You can read the rest of our feature on Esha Deol in the May 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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