It's not Vidya Balan. Neither is it Sania Mirza. Nor is it Amrita Rao. It's someone else that Shahid Kapoor is in love with these days - himself. He opens up in a freewheeling talk with Hindustan Times. "It's my life, it's not a contest. And it's certainly not funny to have just any name attached to mine. I'm a normal guy who goes out for dinners and lunches with others. But that doesn't mean that it should become breaking news and a matter of analysis," says Shahid.
Post his break-up with Kareena Kapoor, Shahid disappeared off the media radar. There were rumours that he was depressed. But Shahid rubbishes the speculation. "I would have given interviews but they would invariably have become about my personal space. I like to keep my personal life guarded. So it was a conscious decision to stay away and wait for the storm to calm down. "I'm more myself now" he continues.
"I got to spend time with myself, to look at the future in a new way and develop a fresh perspective. I think I've grown up a lot in the last year I have grown to respect all those people who were there for me unconditionally."
His life is more focussed, and now it is his work that holds centrestage. "I am very happy At 27, I couldn't have asked for more. It's a very important place I'm in right now. I have two successful films [Vivah, Jab We Met] behind me, and it's time to use that grounding that I have managed to create for myself. I made certain choices that have worked. I am in a place to make better choices now."
Sounds like Jab We Met's focussed Aditya Kashyap is making an appearance in real life too. "From the success aspect, yes," he agrees. "I'm surer as an actor I'm my own person now. I will think at least 50 times before making a decision. Earlier, if someone told me something five times I'd follow their advice. Now, my decisions are mine and no one else has any say in them. If it goes, wrong, it's my mistake and I'm going to own up to it."
Moving on to his movies, his next project to hit the screen is Aziz Mirza's Kisrnat Konnection. A romantic comedy with Vidya Balan, Shahid says it's a very believable film. His character is "a struggling architect who is going through the worst luck in his life. He's street smart, but he's short of money all the time. He's always behind time. He has to make his way using white lies and the gift of the gab."
He praises Mirza's characters. "They are always very real. Not perfect guys. They have their faults like all of us and that's what makes them tick." Post Kismat..., he will be seen in Vishal Bharadwaj's Kameenay opposite Priyanka Chopra, in a dance film by Ken Ghosh and in his father's film.
"I am excited about all my characters. It seems to be a very happening time." And finally what of Kareena - has she been completely erased from his life? For the first time Shahid's answer is not as confident. "Well... the name is still in my phone book..." he trails off.