Deccan Herald, Sunday, September 7, 2003


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Set to win

The Kaliyon Ka Chaman item has propelled Meghna Naidu 
to instant recognition. VICKEY LALWANI chats up 
the girl with an attitude

Little did she know that the attitude she picked up while attacking her opponent across the net with powerful serves and volleys, and the figure that she unknowingly sculpted through rigorous workouts for her tennis would one day propel her to the top slot in the music chart. Well, thatís how life has been for Meghna Naidu, the Kaliyon Ka Chaman girl. 

Excerpts of an interview: 
How many shows have you done after Kaliyon Ka Chaman happened?
Seventy-seven till now, abroad, at home and even in the interiors of the country in places like Khandwa, Muradabad etc. Next itís South Africa where Adnan Sami and I are performing together. 

To start your journey Ö
I hail from Vijayawada, but I grew up in Mumbai. Though I had done a few ramp shows and modeling assignments in my college days, I was more inclined towards tennis. But destiny had some other plans for me. An accidental meeting with a model coordinator at the wedding of my cousin in Chennai kicked off my foray into the celluloid world. I first acted in a Telugu film, Prema Sakshi, released in 1999 and thereafter acted in one more Telugu and two Kannada films. 

How did Kaliyon Ka Chaman offer come?
It was sheer luck. Actually it was my friend who was selected but she failed at the screen test. I was accompanying her at that time, and the director Raju Khan suddenly asked me to take a shot. Opportunity knocks only once, and I grabbed it. It was a testing time for all of us including the singer Sashwati, choreographer Andy and the music company Universal. We all gave our best and it clicked. The old Lata Mangeshkar song which was long forgotten was on everybodyís lips overnight.

Some people think that the music companies, which remix albums, should be banned. Besides, isnít there too much body exposure in most of them?
Music videos are only a fashion statement and one should understand that, and remixes are the trend. I am not a singer and I donít understand the creative mind behind lyrics. But what I do understand is that there is a dearth of good song writers and it is always better to choose less popular old songs for remix so that they can get a fresh lease of life. The popular old melodies should be left untouched as people still tend to hear them in the original format, including myself. Like for instance, I would never prefer the Chura Liya Hai Tumne number from Yaadon Ki Baarat as a remix. The original is far better. Coming to the body exposure aspect, it depends on how one perceives it. 

How comfortable are you donning suggestive outfits which has become a criterion to be a heroine?
Why are we so backward? Go to a disco or a night club, or say, a swimming pool. You do meet people wearing stuff the films show. I donít understand why there is so much hue and cry when Bollywood heroines wear these clothes. Life imitates films but itís true the other way round also.

You have signed a film Shock to be directed by Karan Razdan. What is Shock all about?
Shock is about a girl (myself) who has lots of money but she is looking for something else. There are three guys in the film - Aryan Vaid, Tarun Arora and the third one has still not been finalised. I wonít tell you who is who, but yes, one is my husband, one is a cop and one is the new model in town. We are shooting from mid-September and plan to complete it in 35 to 40 days.

Are you aiming for a career in films as a full-fledged heroine?
Certainly. But I would like to work with directors of innovative ideas and modern attitude. I would like to do films like Monsoon Wedding where the content and not the gloss, is king. I donít want to sign projects where I am there just for the glamour and end up getting lost in the crowd.

Would you be able to do a Jism?
I would first listen to the script in detail. If the script demands scenes like Jism or even wearing a bikini, I am game. I am smart enough to understand if anything has been forced into the script for the heck of it.

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