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By That’s what Dia Mirza gave her Dus Kahaniyaan co-star Manoj Bajpai! Thankfully, “there weren’t many retakes” PRATIM D. GUPTA
  • Published 26.11.07

Those on the sets of Dus Kahaniyaan say that you slapped your co-star Manoj Bajpai so hard that he was reeling...

(Laughs) Well, the scene demanded it and so I did! I slapped him so hard he turned red! Thankfully there were not too many retakes or else he would have killed me after the shoot; so much for comfort level!

So, was Bhiku Mhatre good to you?

We actually got along really well. The timing in every scene felt perfect and things just flowed. And what more could I ask for. I think that could only be possible because Manoj gave me the respect as an actor. He treated me with utmost regard. That’s the key for any kind of synergy to take place. We’d discuss every scene at length, rehearse the scenes. If I had any fears, I’d voice them. And he would respond with patience and help me. There were even times when he’d scold me and say things are going right and that I’m being unnecessarily fearful! Both of us were so clear about everything that making the story possible became an absolutely enjoyable experience.

The buzz is that Sanjay Gupta used incidents from his relationship with you for your short story with Manoj Bajpai in Dus Kahaniyaan...

Nothing like that. He did actually pick up bits of my conversations with him and put them in as dialogues. That’s it. And that, I think, was really interesting. Because it made me feel so much like my character.

He even calls your character Sia, which sounds so much like Dia...

To be honest, Sia in many ways is like me! But she’s also very unlike me. Sia’s love for poetry, her faith, her strength, determination and ability to smile and be happy even when her life is falling apart.... In these aspects there’s a strong similarity. The dissimilarity is perhaps in her choices. The professional choices Sia makes are not the ones I would make.

What is your particular kahaani, Zahir, all about?

My kahaani is about two people who make a connection and how things go terribly wrong. One wrong move could change one’s life completely.

Moving away from Zahir, how was it being Shah Rukh Khan’s heroine in chiffon for the Om Shanti Om guest appearance?

Oh, it was very funny, given the situation! Shah Rukh is fantastic. He is a charmer. He makes you feel special and appreciated. See what I mean? Shah Rukh managed to do all that in such a short span of time! But that’s him. He does that with everyone he meets. I shot a commercial with him earlier this year and he left me mesmerised.

Finally, will we see a new Dia in Manmohan Mahapatra’s Bits and Pieces?

Oh absolutely! With every new film I work towards people getting to see a new me. It’s one of the joys of being an actor.

The ten stories

1. Rice Plate

Cast: Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah

A Hindu woman and a Muslim man’s journey over, er, a rice plate. It is about the challenge that the woman faces when a strange man claims her plate of rice. Will she place her hunger before her beliefs? What happens next? A sensitive story with great performances.

2.Sex on the Beach

Cast: Dino Morea and Tareena Patel

Dino picks up a worn-out book on the beach and its character comes alive as a breathtaking woman. They have a great time together, but suddenly everything changes. The mystery woman has some surprises in store for Dino. Yes, Dino must pay a price for his dream coming true.

3.Love Dale

Cast: Anupam Kher, Aftab Shivdasani and Neha Oberoi

Neha meets an old woman on the train. That chance meeting changes her life. A story about fate, destiny at play and how one moment can change your life.


Cast: Mandira Bedi, Arbaaz Khan, Sudhanshu Pandey

The Sarins are happily married. The devoted wife goes and meets her ailing aunt every Thursday. But is she really meeting her aunt? A story about betrayal and faith. It talks about how love makes a fool of all of us.


Cast: Anita Hasnandani, Nana Patekar and Rohit Roy

After an argument with her husband on a bus, Anita sits next to an intriguing man holding 14 red balloons. This story written by Gulzar unfolds as a journey within a journey as this man’s past provides a vital lesson in life.


Cast: Amrita Singh, Minissha Lamba and Parmeet Sethi

Adapted from writer Kartar Singh Duggal’s short story, Pooranmashi is about the mother-daughter bond. A mother’s only daughter is about to get married and she would do anything to make her daughter happy. A tale of unconditional love.

7.High on the highway

Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill, Masumi

The highway symbolises their companionship and their unspoken love. The unpredictable turns define this story of two people who bend the boundaries of freedom.

8.Strangers in the night

Cast: Neha Dhupia, Mahesh Manjrekar

Every anniversary, they tell the other a secret; this year it’s the wife’s turn. She begins narrating an interesting encounter with a stranger in the waiting room of a railway station. She reveals a secret that changes their lives.

9. Zahir

Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Dia Mirza

This is a story about friendship, love and mystery. After discovering something startling about his lover, a writer is driven to insanity. The mysteries of love are explored and the consequences analysed. The trademark Sanjay Gupta style is gripping.

10. Rise and fall

Cast: Sanjay Dutt,Suniel Shetty

This is a story of dreams and the bitterness on fulfillment. Two parallel stories run together to meet a common end. It is a story about two gangsters, their friendship and subsequent betrayal. Rise and Fall is a story of two friends united as brothers but divided by power.