Sangeeta Bijlani has seen it all - as a model, actor and wife of a top cricketer. Glamour and attention don't mean much. Her new-found love is to serve the people of her husband's constituency. Mohammad Azharuddin is the Member of Parliament from Moradabad and Sangeeta is his guiding force.
In a chat Sangeeta, who has looked the same over the years, talks about food, cinema and life. "I don't starve myself. I eat every three hours - mostly vegetarian food. I drink atleast three litres of water a day. I live simple. I think simple," she stresses.
Sangeeta, who did 25 movies, loves her association with the film industry. "I enjoyed every moment of my film career. It is a wonderful time to be in the film industry today. Technically, the progress has been amazing. The range is much more. Cinema today is more realistic. Even big banners are willing to experiment. The focus of Indian films is international now. I really like watching films. It is a great way to unwind."
Her personal best? "'Tridev'. It was a huge hit and director Rajeev Rai convinced me to work in the movie. Cinema taught me to deal with the masses, to be aware of different languages and culture, get a flavour of all walks of life." How much did modelling help? "It was a stepping stone to get into movies."
How does she view the popularity of dance and music in Hindi cinema? "They make films entertaining. Even foreigners are now dancing to Indian music."
Sangeeta was one of the key poll planners for Azharuddin. "It helped to be an actor when I campaigned for him. I was running a parallel campaign for women and youth. I want to reach out to people. We know we can work and make a difference. Meeting them during Azhar's poll campaign was a humbling experience," says Sangeeta who is planning to launch an NGO.
Our talk veers towards cricket. "Honestly, I don't understand the game much but I know it was a wonderful experience to watch Azhar play. He was a great entertainer. He is still so dedicated and passionate about cricket."
She ran a fitness centre in Hyderabad before moving to Mumbai. "My dad is my guru; a huge influence on me," she says. "I am giving time to myself now."
She has a three-hour schedule in the morning that includes yoga, pranayam and meditation. "I like spiritual books; I can read them the whole day."