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With a dream in his heart...

Arjan Bajwa...Miles to go. Photo: V. Sudershan.

SPLASHING IN Bollywood warm waters is latest entry, Arjan Bajwa, the 1998 Gladrags Runner Up debuting with Kuku Kohli directed "Woh Tera Naam Tha". With a trailblazer of some ad-films including the Raymond Trousers and Fair & Lovely videos, some music albums and four bumper Telugu movies, Arjan sits all belted for his roller-coaster ride into Hindi filmdom. Delhi's own boy from Anand Vihar was in town to promote his movie this past week.

Basically a love story, "Woh Tera Naam Tha" depicts a Muslim society in 1956. The hero Akhtar played by Bajwa, is a photo journalist, working in for the Milaap newspaper in Delhi. He goes to Madhya Pradesh, when Bhopal is being crowned as the capital of the state only to get entangled in a love saga with Reshma (Kanchi Kaul), following which crops up a tale of love and sacrifice. The whole Muslim perspective, Arjan feels, sets the story apart from those told so far.

"The entire experience was a very enriching one. Just wearing those costumes that represent our 50's instilled in me sentiments that seemed to transport me all the way back in time. In addition, all the seasoned actors on the sets were very kind to me," said Bajwa remembering an instance when Amrish Puri came up to him and advised him on reduced speed of dialogue delivery.

When asked as to how he came to be like showbiz, the tall, fair lad blames the Gladrags Man Hunt, five years back. I'd been just a run-of-the-mill architecture student till then. "From there, it's been a zooming ride: advertisements and music videos, the Telugu spiel teaching me acting and a lot of Telugu, and now "Woh Tera Naam Tha". Telugu movies had really been infectious. From what I heard, I'm the only outsider who'd managed it big. So that gave me a big boost."

With a vulnerable face, that have the ability to portray both a chocolaty hero's expression and a rough-and-rumble gruff look with equal ease, putting him at a definite advantage, Arjan feels he still has miles to go. "I am way down the ladder when it comes to experience, and that puts me at a disadvantage," rues the man.

So there's a new star on the horizon. Only time can say, whether he'll rise to see the light of the day or its set into the night, unknown.

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