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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) is closed for Puja vacation but classes are on in full swing on its green lawns.

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, college-goers Dev-Subhashree and their classmates are all ears as director Raj Chakraborty lectures them on how to do a song-and-dance scene.

Raj wants everything to be perfect in the college sequence for Challenge, the second film after his successful directorial debut Chirodini... Tumi Je Aamar. The Challenge team is back in town after shooting the indoor scenes in Hyderabad.

“I no longer feel excited about Chirodini. That’s history for me. Now I am completely focussed on Challenge. Technically, it will be far superior to Chirodini. Chirodini lacked finesse. I am working very hard for Challenge. I am very particular about the look of my characters. And mark my words, Dev will have a huge fan following after this film releases!” forecasts Raj, keeping an eye on the monitor.

Looking smart in a striped sleeveless sweater and shirt, Dev is excited to have got a makeover for Challenge. He has cut his long locks short and shed eight kilos.

“Nobody has appreciated my new look yet but I am happy. I was bored with my lover-boy image with long hair and chubby cheeks,” admits Dev. “In this film, I play Abir, a very rough-and-tough guy who loves challenges, and so the look was important. And I will sport a stubble for the first time too,” he adds.

The lean look has come after a strict diet regimen and sweating it out in the gym thrice a week.

“I do cardio, hit the treadmill and jog. And I am skipping rice. Lunch means two chapattis with a vegetable curry and dal, while dinner comprises just a chapatti and lots of salads. I munch on biscuits when I am hungry,” smiles the I Love You lad.

Dev’s co-star Subhashree is over the moon for a different reason — she has bagged her first project with Shree Venkatesh Films. “It’s quite an achievement for me to have got the chance to work with this banner. I am very excited about my role. I play Puja, the bubbly daughter of a possessive father,” says the Burdwan girl.

Once the SRFTI shoot is over, Raj will lead his college students to Mumbai for an item number, and then to Australia for another song sequence.

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