She talks about everything but diamonds, chocolates and flowers. Preity Zinta discusses her next IPL moves and some more with Vajir Singh.
So, it’s IPL time again.
(Smiles) Take 2.
How would you compare it with Take 1?
First time was like running in the dark and hoping to find the right door. There’s more time this year. Our team (Kings X1 Punjab) is holding a coaching camp in Chandigarh. <b1>
There will be matches between players from Haryana, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. The idea is to scout for young talent. Selected players will go to the Kings X1 Punjab Academy and then sky is the limit.. play for Punjab.. and who knows maybe Team India.
Is this your brainchild?
It’s the team of Kings X1 Punjab. I don’t think it’s about me, him or her.. it’s about the ‘we’.
Where did your team go wrong the last time?
We played our first match in Mohali.. our team members were still coming in. No hard feelings, I’m very happy with my team members. I’m so looking forward to seeing them again.
Are you planning to retain the same players?
I wish cricketers and their selection were my forte. It all depends on our coach and our integral selector.
Speaking about last year, was it a wise decision for you to get into IPL financially?
It was a wise decision. Period.
I mean going full-out with IPL and sidelining films.
It was a big investment from my side. When I’m old and look back, I’ll say — okay, I had this desire and guts to do something and I did it.
Is there a plan to rope in more partners or it’s again going to be Ness Wadia and you?
Our ownership remains the same. If there’s any change, we’ll tell you.. right now there’s no change. <b2>
Do you feel conscious about the clash between your team and Shah Rukh Khan’s?
I think one day SRK and I should play cricket together. He will beat me in the one-to-one match and everyone will be happy. It’s so silly. Every sport is about competition. Why is it about SRK and me? He has a very special place in my heart.
Will you be cautious this time when you greet your team players?
Why doesn’t the media write about the other owners who hug their team players? And write that there’s something budding between them? That’s really so stupid, it irritates me.
I love my team unconditionally. I don’t need the media to give me a report card about my behaviour. Those who’re interested in doing that can go and sit at home.. they’re not welcome to my matches.
Okay, whatever has happened to two of your films — Jahnu Barua’s Har Pal and Deepa Mehta’s Heaven on Earth?
Don’t you think the delay in their release will dampen their commercial prospects?
They’re not delayed. It’s fine. Everything happens for the best.
Do you have a take on the chances of Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars?
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for A R Rahman. I really want him to win. At this point, I also would like to mention that it breaks my heart when I see what small-minded politicians have made out of Mumbai. Obviously, slums exist because they are looked upon as vote banks. Really, people of Mumbai should wake up and slap those who’re creating vote banks.
Has your involvement in social activities led to any visible results?
Zero results. We should forget about national identity cards.. we should have Mumbai identity cards with finger prints and eyes scanned so that no extra people come into the city. There’s congestion.. and we have to wake up every morning to see garbage being dumped outside our windows.
Why am I paying so much tax? Why can’t I see it being invested in my city? Why? Probably because some greedy politician or some corrupt babu is getting something out of it. But look.. I’m getting carried away. Let’s talk about diamonds.. cream.. chocolates.. wines and sweet sweet things.
Meaning you don’t want to speak your mind?
I’m not scared of anything. I just wish God would give me the power to change things.
I was so proud when Gandhi was nominated for the Oscars. Slumdog Millionaire is one great film, I agree. But tell me aren’t we ashamed? This is what happens in Mumbai. Now for the next 10 years of my life every time I travel abroad, I will be told, “Oh, you live in Mumbai.. where they gouge out eyes in the slums.”
And I will have to go like, “ No, that’s just a part of Mumbai.” (Sighs) For those who don’t travel to India, the slums will be their image of India.
To return to your films, your performance in Heroes was appreciated but you haven’t been nominated at any of the awards.
That doesn’t hurt because I know what awards are all about. You’re called up and asked if you’ll be in town? If you’re not going to be in town, then you’re not nominated. Sad.
Which career-phase would you describe yourself in?
I’m in a dual phase of my career.. in cricket and films. I’ve been bit unfair to films. March onwards I’ll be shooting but not during the IPL matches.
So you’ll be shooting for Yash Chopra’s next with Aamir Khan.
The next film I shoot for is Main aur Mrs Khanna.
Are you doing Yash Chopra’s next?
(Puts finger on lips) Next question.
When are you planning to get settled?
(Puts finger on lip) I’ve been asked this for the last three to four years. So, next question.
No more.. over!