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Mum mum bole!

Dia Mirza, who shares her name with a leopardess that gave birth to a couple of cubs in a Lucknow zoo, has agreed to support them monetarily.

entertainment Updated: Apr 25, 2010 13:43 IST
Rachana Dubey
Rachana Dubey
Hindustan Times

DiaBuzz is that Dia Mirza has adopted two leopard cubs at the Lucknow zoo, called Ashoka and Nakshatra. Apparently, at the behest of the zoo director Renu Singh, she has sent a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to support the leopard cubs and the leopardess as part of the adoption scheme. When asked, Mirza confirmed this and says she is willing to support them throughout their lifetime.

“There can’t be a better way to become a mum. The leopardess who gave birth to the cubs is called Dia Mirza. I was amused when the zoo director wrote to me informing about the cubs and the leopardess. I was thrilled to be a mother, and that too without any pain. I just have to send a cheque periodically so that my babies are well-looked after. It’s the most beautiful feeling in the world,” she gushes.

The actress named the cubs when she visited the zoo in Lucknow recently. In December 2004, a leopardess had strayed into human settlements in Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh.

Name game
The forest staff, with a lot of effort, rescued the female and named her Dia after bringing her to the Lucknow zoo. Since the animal was rescued in Mirzapur, she was re-named Dia of Mirzapur and later, Dia Mirza. Over a period of time, Dia was mated with a male leopard, Akbar, who was also rescued and brought to the zoo in 2006. Their cubs were born in June 2009.

Mirza, the actress, says that she finds the zoo director’s strategy smart because, “It’s easier for them to name the animals after popular people and then ask the same people to contribute to the animal’s well being. It actually gives public figures a chance to support animal welfare, instead of simply gushing about doing something.”

Mirza’s last release, Hum Tum Aur Ghost, didn’t become a success but kept her in the spotlight.When asked about the brewing differences between Arshad Warsi’s wife Maria, and her, she replies, “There were some media persons who devoured the story but it died a natural death. I was never dating Arshad. We were good friends and I have a cordial relationship with Maria. It was unfair to call me a homewrecker.”

So will she be seen in Warsi’s directorial venture, Akkad? She replies that he has vaguely spoken to her about the project but hasn’t put things down officially. “I’m happy that he’s directing. He’s a passionate writer. And sometimes, only a writer can do visual justice to what he has written. I think he should have done this long ago, but I’m glad he’s starting,” states Mirza. “If he offers it to me, maybe I’ll do it.”

Every actress doesn’t sleep around’

You haven’t been in action after Hum Tum Aur Ghost. Appearances have kept me busy. I am associated with certain brands and some social service organisations. It’s gratifying to support causes.

What do you think went wrong with Hum Tum Aur Ghost?
Nothing, it’s running in several theatres across the country. Nowadays, if a film lasts in theatres for close to four weeks, it recovers its cost. IPL spoiled the run. Hum Tum Aur Ghost wasn’t even publicised after it released.

Didn’t you find faults with the film?
I felt proud the first time I watched it. You can find flaws in any film, even Titanic. But that doesn’t change the honesty of the effort. IPL was always a fear factor, but it was the studio’s call.

Apparently, the film also went overbudget and took too long to make.
After we wrapped up shooting, we knew that the post-production was going to take time. The multiplex strike last year pushed the release dates around.

Even after nine years in the industry, you haven’t had a single solo hit.
Yes, but there is respect. I have never received more phone calls, emails and messages before as I did for Hum Tum Aur Ghost. Jaideep Sahani had said that no one can miss the film’s positive vibe, the industry will take note. It’s encouraging to hear such things from the fraternity. I’m motivated to take on similar work.

Why did you accept a miniscule role in Kurbaan?
Rensil D’Silva is a dear friend. Eighty per cent of the film was shot. Earlier, Minnisha Lamba was essaying my part. But her visa expired in the middle of the schedule. Rensil couldn’t wait or reshoot in the US. His budget would have gone haywire. He knew I had a visa. Karan (Johar) and he rang me up and asked if I could help. I agreed.

So, are you doing any other Dharma Productions films?
No. I don’t bargain with my friends for work. If I suit a part, they will approach me.

What’s happening to Shoebite,Familywala and Alibaug?
Familywala has been shelved. I have no clue about what is happening to Alibaug because I haven’t heard from the production house. Shoebite was rechristened Johnny Mastana. But there are complications with UTV, the producers. Till everything gets cleared, I can’t say much.

What went wrong with Acid Factory?
It was perfect for its genre. And I didn’t think it could have been a failure. A film like that needs marketing support. It was sad and unfair that it wasn’t promoted. Half-baked films also do well because they are marketed well.

Like Kareena Kapoor who wears Chanderi work to support the artisans, you’ve also started wearing Banarsis and Kanjivarams.
The intention is to revive the old fashioned saris and help the artisans involved in the making. If we actresses support these traditional clothes, and make them look and appeal to young girls, we can make a difference to the craft.

You didn’t react to allegations of an affair with Arshad, except for a Tweet.
I was expected to fuel the story further. My message shut a lot of people up. Film after film, you can’t be having an affair with the director, the producer and the co-star. Every actress doesn’t sleep around, we are not prostitutes.

Do you plan to get married?
Of course, though work is my focus. More than anything else, I want to have kids. I adore them.