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Acting nice

Miss K is what in cinema world they call the ‘starlet’. This is her weekly diary.

india Updated: May 09, 2010 17:50 IST

It’s amazing what eye contact or the lack of it can say. Whether you’re rich, famous, high or mighty, looking someone in the eye is a sign of warmth and honesty.

In my line of work, I’ve often had the privilege of meeting a lot of “famous personalities”. Some have turned out to be exactly the way I imagined while some were devastatingly different. Most friends are curious to know how he or she is “as a person”?

It would be judgmental to jump to conclusions over a brief encounter. But these things are often huge giveaways about someone’s personality. Most people I have adored were struck off my favourites list after an encounter, where they came across as stuck-up or snobbish. A famous dimpled actress, whom I shot with for a hair commercial, did not even look at me through the shoot. We worked closely on that shoot, and she intentionally avoided eye contact. How hard it is for an actor to “act” nice?

This week, I jet-setted back home for the launch of a lifestyle magazine that featured me as the ‘Achiever of the Month’. I was sharing the stage with a popular female author, lens man and designer. The chief guest was fashionably late, giving me time to bond with the photographer. Suddenly, there was silence in the hall as the chief guest walked in. She turned to face the audience with a massive Namaste, bending her head forward gracefully.

I had to go up on stage and introduce her …gulp! I spoke about her books and columns, trying to make eye contact with the audience and her! Thanks to my anchoring experience, and 20 mirror rehearsals of my speech, I managed to pull it off.

I remember stealing a few glances at her and seeing her warm face smiling back at me. After a job well done, I sat back and enjoyed her impromptu speech, filled with anecdotes related to my city and to each of the special guests. She didn’t leave me out either. Some day, I’d love to have her flair.

After a blinding few minutes of posing with the unraveled magazine cover, we dispersed for some wine and cheese. Over wine, I asked her to autograph one of her books. She generously wrote my name followed by the words, “Beautiful, Talented and today’s “Super Indian”. As with every other performance of mine, sure enough, my mom gave me a rating for my speech abilities and whispered with a smile… “8 on 10”.

The launch was followed by dinner for the special invitees. The author reviewed the magazine with constructive criticism, and we shared some laughs over communities and their habits. I had finally met a warm, wholesome, independent woman… a nice person!

I love my encounters with the who’s who of the world and look at it as an opportunity to always learn something…what to aspire to be when I earn my stardom… or what not to.