Preity Zinta, the vivacious, dimple-cheeked Bollywood star, celebrates her 33rd birthday on Thursday with greater confidence in her abilities and demonstrating a little known business acumen with the recent bagging of the franchise of the Mohali team in cricket's Indian Premier League.
Preity would have had a big do to mark the occasion had her professional commitments not come in the way, according to a source close to her.
However, she has ensured that the 'big day' in her life is not all work and no play. She will celebrate, but it will be a quiet one. Who are included in her private party's guest list is also kept under wraps to avoid media scrutiny.
One person who will stand beside Preity to cheer her and sing "Happy Birthday To Dear Preity" the loudest will be her beau, Ness Wadia, the scion of the Wadia family who runs Bombay Dyeing.
Professionally, after a decade in the industry, Preity is now bold enough to tread on uncharted territories with a rare confidence to ensure that she carves her own niche in Bollywood -- of course, with an eye on Hollywood.
Indeed, she has accepted the challenge of movies like Deepa Mehta's forthcoming venture, Heaven On Earth, and Jahnu Barua's Har Pal, movies that are far away from Bollywood's commercial standards.
In both the movies, due for release in the first half of 2008, Preity will surprise her fans and audiences alike, portraying far less glamorous roles than she has ever played in the past.
In these movies, she plays the roles of women who are psychologically troubled due to family reasons but come to terms with their respective situations in a mature way and finally emerge victorious.
The two movies will present her in an image that is absolutely different from the bubbly image the mainstream Bollywood movies have given her, Bollywood circles explained.
Preity has decided to walk on a terrain, which has nothing to do with movies, but everything to do with glamour.
Yes, from a gentlemen's game, cricket has become a glamour sport of late. And Preity, along with Shah Rukh Khan, provided oodles of it when the two won the IPL franchise to sponsor two important cricketing teams.
Glamour of cricket and de-glamorised roles in movies - is this the beginning of metamorphoses 2008 that Preity is experimenting with?
More important, will it lead her to new heights?