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Raring to go

S. F.

A face that has launched over a dozen products, Koena Mitra shot into limelight with her item number for Ram Gopal Varma's `Road'.

PRETTY WOMAN: Koena proves she's more than an item number. — Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

KOENA MITRA presents a different image each time she flashes on the screen. She has also walked the ramp for leading fashion designers in the country after winning the coveted Gladrags Mega Model 2002 crown. That's where the glamorous chapter in her life begins.

"My father thought I could be a lawyer or a business woman. But I decided to move to Mumbai from Kolkata. Why waste my title, I thought," recollects the dusky beauty Koena, during her recent visit to the twin cities.

Does she like to shop? "I am a shopaholic. I like branded stuff, not for showing off the labels but because you don't find too many pieces of the same design around, hence the novelty value for the designer pieces," she says.

When it comes to clothing, her favourite Indian designers are Sabyasachi Mukherjee for his ethnic wear as she "loves the way he plays with colours", Rina Dhaka for her westerns and Manish Malhotra for his special touch in the filmy collection, that lifts up a star's image.

That brings us to the interesting part of her career, the big screen. After appearing in two songs for A.M. Ratnam's Tamil flick Dhool and Ram Gopal Verma's Road, she decided not to do anymore `item numbers'.

"It was a good experience working with Ram Gopal Varma and other big co-stars. The song Khullam khullam pyaar karein gave me a good introduction. I am happy the way the number worked for me and with my decision not to sign up anymore item songs, though I did get several offers post Road. After being part of a Ram Gopal Varma film, I wanted to sign up suitable movies," she says.

And what would those be? "A film that gives me enough space and time to perform, preferably with not many big stars. If it is my launch movie, probably too many established stars would leave me little scope to perform. And, I have nothing against negative roles," she says.

It needs a lot of grit in a fierce dog-eat-dog glam world and the girl has it all. Her famous campaigns — Maruti Alto, Mirinda and HP to name a few, rocking videos like Aaj ki raat for War of DJs, Jassi's Channo and the Stereo Nation hit Ishq, countless ramp shows and cameos in two films in a short span, says it all.

"Ramp takes too much from you in terms of rehearsals, fittings and hard work, and does not pay by the same token. When you do two or three songs and a few stage shows in a year, you get all your money, but then your stay in the film world becomes too short. You can neither get into Bollywood nor get back to the ramp. As it is, survival here is for a small period," she says.

Content with the major campaigns and brands she is endorsing currently, Koena is looking at a few film projects.

Five years down the line, "I might be rocking in Bollywood or six years later, you might find me married and doing business looking back at the current period as a memorable dream. I firmly believe that what is in store for you will come to you. Each one has his/ her own quota."

"I have observed that no director compromises on his choice of actor in a role that he has on mind, if he is looking for precise looks. In spite of my sensuous image, I was chosen to portray a plain Jane for the Margo soap campaign that is on air nationwide, and that has strengthened my belief. I never plan, I don't mind taking risks and won't like to set boundaries to my dreams or ambitions," she says.

Poised, resolute and relaxed, Koena Mitra is not just a beautiful face, one observes.

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