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The Telegraph
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| Sunday, February 3, 2013 |

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One true love

Making films brings out the best in Farah Khan

There have been many turning points in my life. One of the earliest was watching Michael Jackson's Thriller video when I was about 17. That's when I realised that dance was going to be an inseparable part of my life's plans. Subsequently joining Mansur Khan as assistant director for Joh Jeeta Wohi Sikander (JJWS) was a defining moment for my career. I actually came into the film industry to be a director. But Mansoor eventually also got me to choreograph for JJWS. So, choreography happened accidentally.

My directorial debut Main Hoon Na (2004) proved to be a major milestone for me. Interestingly, the film got terrible reviews when it was released and it was only later that people started raving about it. Om Shanti Om (2007), my second film, though was declared a hit right away.

My acting debut in Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi last year was something I never even remotely had in mind — and I have no intention of doing any more of it. I don't know how I was convinced in the first place. I guess I let Bela (the film's director) just flatter me into it.

Direction is what makes me happiest. It's made me a calmer and more patient person, unlike what I am when I'm choreographing — and shouting at everybody. There are 100 problems that crop up while directing a film but working your way through all of that is definitely more fulfilling. It's like having your own baby as compared to handling someone else's for two hours.

On the personal front, my kids are pivotal to my life. Becoming a mother changes your perspective altogether. You learn to prioritise and so now that my kids are around, I always try and spend most of my time with them. I don't take up projects at the drop of a hat unless they are offered by very close friends, are subjects that I am extremely passionate about — or they pay a fortune (laughs).

I am now looking forward to my dream project, Happy New Year, which goes on the floors this May. It'll be a no-holds-barred entertainer. I recently choreographed Ajay Devgn and Tamannaah for a song (the classic Ta thaiyya) in my brother Sajid Khan's remake of the Jeetendra-Sridevi blockbuster Himmatwala.

(As told to Angona Paul)