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Star daughter awaits a big hit

LAKSHMI BALAKRISHNAN talks to the Dream Girl's `little girl' to keep track of her career in Bollywood.

`I would like to do action roles in films... ': Esha Deol

`IT IS A-i-s-h-a and not E-e-sha'' she had explained with a tiring and painful look the last time she came visiting Delhi. That was last month, May, and Esha had looked full of hope. She was bubbling with energy, except for the few cracks in confidence that surfaced every time an inquiring scribe insisted on reminding her that she was yet to make it big.

A good month later now Esha has one more flop to her name. And you wonder how well prepared she is to handle the criticism that comes with it. Esha may not look too haggard at the outset, but like all young and ambitious ones, she knows that the burden of big expectations is not all that easy to shrug.

``I guess you can only ask me about my new film, considering I told you the rest last time around,'' she remarks rather matter-of-factly. Esha perhaps likes to believe that her work is what people are interested in. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

When you are born to two of the most loved and admired actors of Indian cinema, comparisons are made at all levels, personal and otherwise. Not that Esha is not ready to face them.

``I don't bother myself with comparisons. They are bound to be made. I admire my mother and take it as a compliment when people say I look like her. But when it comes to acting I know I am different,'' she says.

Continuing after a pause, Esha points out she has no complaints, though she does "want the industry and the audience to give a newcomer like her a little more time to prove herself''.

Hema's little girl is sporting a new look these days, having coloured her hair and cut her tresses short for a new film that goes on the floor soon.

In fact, her upcoming one with Tusshar Kapoor, "Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa'' (KDNK) will see her in a more modern image.

``It was just that both my earlier films required a simpler, girl-next-door image, while KDNK will see me as this modern Indian girl,'' she adds.

Ask her about the kind of roles that she would like to do and she surprises you by saying "action''.

"It has to be a little different. I would like it to have a little bit of action or an element not explored before.''

Bollywood may seldom give its beautiful women the chance to be different, but Esha is quick to defend. "Of course, the opportunities are few. But then my mother did get to do films like `Meera' and `Razia Sultan''' . Try telling her that even a Hema Malini had to wait for years before she got those good character roles and Esha hopefully enough adds: "but today, the career span of a heroine is much shorter. So I guess it will come to me faster.''

It might seem strange that despite being known as a brilliant classical dancer, Esha is yet to get her share of `hit numbers' to her credit. Things, of course, look all set to change with the song "Dil ne kiya Nikamma'' from KDNK, which has Esha donning those much important dancing shoes.

"I guess it is just that the script of most films have not demanded it. As for classical, my mother would kill me if I did not practice. In any case, I enjoy dancing, though classical has a different kind of audience.''

As of now, dream girl's little girl is preparing for a long break. There are no releases for Esha at least for the next few months. She refuses to speak on any future projects, maintaining that she would do so only when things have been finalised. Till then, Esha can perhaps let her hair down.

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