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Miss India to Mr India

Sonam Kapoor talks about her childhood dream of being a beauty queen, Ranbir Kapoor, Aisha and more.

entertainment Updated: Jul 04, 2010 15:17 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

I don’t remember seeing Sonam Kapoor as a child. She may have been one of the kids scampering around the Juhu bungalow when I dropped by for an interview with her dad, Anil Kapoor. Or it could have been her sister Rhea.

I did hear a lot about her though, from her proud father and his many friends. I knew when she went abroad for studies… And when she returned home. I knew when she joined Sanjay Leela Bhansali as an assistant during Black… And when he signed her on as the lead of Saawariya. And I waited to interview her.

Beauty queen
It happened just before the release of her debut film. I took her by surprise with my first question: Hadn’t she wanted to be a Miss India? “Who told you that?” she exclaimed, but admitted that when she was around 11 or 12, inspired by Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra, she too had dreamt of winning the beauty title and going on to woo the world, may be the universe too.

Mr India’s daughter a Miss India? But that didn’t happen because Sonam then was a wee bit over-weight. May be 80 kilos too heavy!
“Food has always made me happy,” she chuckled, saying that on the sets of Saawariya, when she would react to her mentor-director’s temper with tears, Sanjay sir would tell her to take a break and eat something. By then, she had lost over 30 kilos and was nibbling on salad sticks rather than French fries.

Oh Ranbir!
All this talk about food reminded me of the cosy dinners she and co-star Ranbir Kapoor are believed to have gone on. She burst out laughing, “You mean family dinners? Ranbir is a buddy, but he’s an introvert and it’s a job getting him to come home for a bite. I have to badger him with calls for five days and then it will be, ‘Hmmm, may be… Let’s see.”

There’s something about that laugh. It lights up her face and lights up the screen. The other day, after a show of her new luv story, I took it home with me and marvelled at how quickly Anil’s daughter had grown.

Even though Sunita had kept herself and her kids far away from the spotlight all through their growing-up years, somehow I had always expected Anil’s children to follow in his footsteps.

A writer maybe
Sonam admitted that as a child she had often wanted to barrel into the TV set when watching Mr India—“I’ve watched it five million times”— and join the other kids who had Calender to cook for them and her daddy to look after them. Buzz is that she could be in the Mr India sequel that is in the pipeline. Wishes, even impossible ones, can come true, right Sonam?

Tomorrow, the music of Rhea’s first production, Aisha, will be unveiled.

And in a few years, I know, Harsh, the superstar in the making, will take a bow. Before I rang off, I had to ask Sonam what if she hadn’t become an actress? “I’d have been a writer then,” she retorted instantly. The laugh rang out again, “And may be I’d have then angled for your job.” Touché!