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Search on for a new Waheeda

Pritish Nandy is looking for the second lead for his Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. The role was essayed by Waheeda Rehman in the original.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 17:25 IST

It is definitely on. At the end of 2005 Pritish Nandy Communications commenced shooting of Rituparno Ghosh's Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam - but many are wondering who will play the character of Jaba.

"Pritish Nandy Communications has never done a period film before. It will be our most ambitious and expensive project to date," said Nandy.

"We have got Priyanka Chopra to play Bibi, Salman Khan to play Sahib and John Abraham for Ghulam. We are now looking at someone to play the second female protagonist Jaba."

"It's not a second lead. But how do we explain this?" he added. The role was essayed by Waheeda Rehman in the original.

Priyanka is ecstatic about her character.

"It is a dream role. I still pinch myself into believing I am doing Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, especially with Salman who is one of my favourite co-stars. I was heartbroken when I lost UmraoJaan. But now I am looking forward to this. I have never done a period film before," Priyanka says.

Search is on for a second lady in Rituparno Ghosh's Sahib BibiAurGhulam.The role was essayed by WaheedaRehman in the original.

Ideally Pritish would have liked Kareena Kapoor to play the whimsical Jaba. But after their confrontational roles in Abbas-Mustan's

Aitraaz

it is unlikely that Kareena would want to team up with Priyanka again, especially since Priyanka has the author-backed role.

So who would it be for the coltish Jaba in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam?

Possible contenders...

Amrita Rao: Pretty, wholesome, nice, impish and wild but yet conservative personality, tapped to advantage in Farah Khan's Main Hoon Na. Amrita could swing Jaba quite effectively. She has the classic features to go with it. But, would audiences accept the Ishq Vishk gal in such a nostalgia-steeped role?

Vidya Balan: Done a Bengali Saratchandra Chattopadhyay classic Parineeta. Has a touch of Waheeda Rehman's dignity and grace to her personality and dances well. But known as too much of a Vidhu Vinod Chopra protégée.

Soha Ali Khan: Mother Sharmila Tagore's classic features plus an old-world grace (she prefers wearing saris at premieres) could tilt the scale in Soha's favour for Jaba. And if brother Saif has a Parineeta surely Soha should have a Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam to her credit.

Raima Sen: Not to be confused with sis Riya, Raima has a classic literary personality, tapped to advantage by Rituparno Ghosh in Chokher Bali and Vinod Chopra in Parineeta. But not star material...as yet.

Tabu: Slightly out of bounds for Jaba age-wise. But who said the character was ever meant to be sweet 16? Tabu with her grace and intensity is the only true successor to Waheeda Rehman. Only problem... Priyanka would have to run for cover.

Kajol: A natural scene-stealer...close your eyes, and you can see Kajol singing Bhanwra bada nadaan hai in Guru Dutt's Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. She is the only actress with the guts to take on a role that's not author-backed. Remember she had offered to step into Rani Mukerjee's stilettos when Karan Johar couldn't get anyone for the second lead in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai?

First Published: Feb 02, 2006 15:54 IST