`With freedom comes responsibility'

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Forty days on the road and his destination changed from Indian Army to MTV. That might sound like an antithesis to Farhan Akhtar's "Lakshya" but biker and VJ Rannvijay (winner of the first Roadies show) knows a thing or two about playing it safe, no matter how adventurous he might want to get with life.Ayesha Takia, the starlet of "Shaadi Se Pehle", who made her debut with "Tarzan - the Wonder Car," too decided to play it safe recently at the Taj Coromandel, Chennai, when Ellements Regazzo organised a charity dinner, in association with UNAIDS, for AIDS awareness. The youth icons agreed to talk on the condition that they would only discuss the cause they were in the city for. Soon enough, Sudhish Kamath was privy to a hurried conversation that didn't last five minutes.Rannvijay: Nice to see you. How come you are here?Ayesha: (laughs) We are here to support the cause...Rannvijay: Yeah, it's a good cause. Have you ever done something like this before? Any other cause?Ayesha: No actually. I haven't.Rannvijay: Did you run the Mumbai marathon?Ayesha: No. Did you?Rannvijay: I've run. Since I've been in Mumbai, I've run twice. Seven-and-a-half km on the Dream Run. It's always nice. I didn't know you were going to be here. Ayesha: Neither did I.Rannvijay: Really? They didn't tell you? (laughs) It's all over the place.Ayesha: No, really I didn't know. But I'm happy to be doing this. I think it's so important. This is the first time I'm doing something like this.Rannvijay: Very nice. You've just started out your career. This is the time you build up... Ayesha: So have you. (laughs)Rannvijay: (laughs) I know, but if you see Cyrus Broacha, not that I'm comparing... But he's been a VJ for 10 years and now he's an ambassador for AIDS awareness. But you tell me, I'm a little stupid and you are probably more intelligent... Tell me how does AIDS spread?Ayesha: There are many ways it spreads. One, through sexual transmission.Rannvijay: For that, we can be safe.Ayesha: Yes, I think it's important. I think everyone should know that. We have to be safe.Rannvijay: Which we are. We should always be safe. Like when I ride a bike, I wear a helmet. So if you meet with an accident, your life will probably be safe. When you drive a car, you wear seat belts. Safety is important. AIDS is not like a tumour or cancer...Ayesha: Exactly... Yes, if you have knowledge about it, you can prevent it. It's up to everyone to be responsible. What I feel is, these days, everyone is so independent, everyone makes his or her own choices but I think freedom comes with a lot of responsibility. Many people don't figure that out.Rannvijay: Especially, the youth. It's so scary. I interact a lot with college students. When we do shows with the youth, we see that these kids are growing up so fast, it's unbelievable. As a kid, I used to play cricket, badminton, basketball... and cycle and swim in the evening. These kids just go and `hang out'... In Mumbai, they are in Barista, they are in Mocha... they are growing up so fast. Girls barely 18, they have their purses matching their shoes....Ayesha: And they have boyfriends...Rannvijay: It's so scary to know that...Ayesha: But I think if you want to be known as ahead in terms of everything else, I think it's time the youth are more responsible and read up the facts, ask doctors, teachers or friends or go on the Internet.... Rannvijay: Education and awareness are important. I also think it has a lot to do with upbringing. If parents are aware, open and confident about their children... Like, when I was young, I went to boarding school, my father always spoke to me about the facts of life. I think parents should talk to their children.Ayesha: Parents need to create an environment and make children aware of sex.Rannvijay: We are creating such an environment. Every minute, there is a child under 18 dying due to AIDS. Ayesha: I was shocked to hear that.Rannvijay: As we are talking, in the last five or six minutes ... beautiful, but that means six kids have died, it's just really that scary.Ayesha: I know. It is very scary.Rannvijay: I've spoiled the conversation with that but I was just being myself. Anyway, we at MTV do an AIDS awareness show every year. Everybody was there last year but you were probably busy. It was a show with 20 performances. Himesh Reshamiyya was there. Strings was there. This time I'm going to invite you. Do come. Ayesha: I will.Rannvijay: It's just one evening at Bandra Kurla complex, where there will be pop stars performing and actors. So do come, we will have fun. Ayesha: Yes, and create AIDS awareness.




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