Deepika roots for Virat Kohli

The petite gal went straight to the Jamtha Stadium from the airport on Saturday afternoon, and then hopped back to the city, in-between the match to attend a press conference, which she wrapped up in almost ten minutes. And then she insisted that TOI accompanies her back to the stadium, so that the interview could be done on the way because she didn't want to miss the last overs of the match. And we settled down to a relaxed tete-a-tete...

Maiden effort
Dressed in an off-white sleeveless top with a matching fedora hat, she left everyone in awe. Ahead of her visit to Nagpur, there was a lot of buzz around her live performance on a sizzling number from Dum Maaro Dum, which was later cancelled. Ask her if she was disappointed, and she candidly replies, "Yes, but at the end of the day, I am glad that I got an opportunity to come here. I am in the middle of the shoot for Aarakshan in Bhopal and with great difficulty I managed to come here. I am someone who believes in rehearsing a lot before coming up on stage, so, I didn't want to do something in a hurry. Hopefully, I will come back soon and perform here."

Bowled over
Ask the actress about her experience in the city, and she can not hide her excitement. "This is my first visit to Nagpur, and I am still waiting to get my hands on some oranges. As soon as we walked on to the ground during the halftime, the crowd went crazy. This is something I will cherish forever." Happy with Bollywood's innovative idea of promoting films at cricket venues, she adds, "'I think cricket and cinema are like religions in our country. So, it's nice to get the two together and hope this combination works." The actress is an ardent supporter of Team India. Ask Deepika about her favourite cricketer, and she says, "Sachin is iconic, but I think among the younger lot, Virat Kohli is extremely talented. I just hope he doesn't lose focus, and if he continues playing the way he does, he has a great future."

Munni and Sheila beware
Grapevine says that her item number in Dum Maaro Dum has all the ingredients to push songs like Munni and Sheila to the background. She laughs and says, "Whether it's a song, an ad or a film, any form of work I do, I want it to be a huge success. But, that's not my sole focus when I am working. I enjoyed dancing on this number and if it becomes as big a hit as Munni and Sheila, then it's great!"

Ask her if there were any apprehension performing on this song, which was originally picturised on Zeenat Aman, and she says, "Not at all, if I'm nervous, how will I perform. If the concept and the song would have been exactly the same like Zeenatji's, then I would have felt the pressure. Rohan's version of the song is completely different and Pritam has modified it a lot. Of course, Zeenatji's version is iconic, and we as youngsters will never forget it."

A few months back Deepika Padukone had stated that she was not interested in item songs. "I have always said that it depends on the script and this song was the demand of the script. I will never say I am not going to do this or that because it really depends on my frame of mind at that point of time," she clarifies.

Grounded star
She is currently shooting for Aarakshan being directed by Prakash Jha, who has a reputation of being a serious taskmaster. Ask Deepika about her experience working with him, and she says, "If you are doing a very serious film and you are joking around on the sets, it can be a distracting factor. But, it doesn't mean that Prakash is a serious man all the time. After the pack-up he's very jovial and a chilled out person and a wonderful host." In Prakash's film, Deepika is sharing screen space with Big B for the first time. And reports claim that she took some tips from Big B... She explains, "I'll be a fool if I didn't. People think he's a very serious and intense person, but I had an amazing time working with him. I was very nervous in front of him in the first few days, but today, I am very comfortable working with him because his presence has a calming effect."

It's my life
Deepika and Sonam Kapoor's joint fun comments aimed at ex-boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor on Karan Johar's show created quite a flutter. Ask her, if she wishes she hadn't said all that in hindsight, and she says, "I'm OK as long as Ranbir and I understand each other. It really doesn't matter what other people say." There are also lots of speculations about her relationship with Sidhartha Mallya, which might bother her at times. Ask her if she would like to clear the air, and she says, "I'm not answerable to anybody! Mere statement dene se kuch badlega toh nahin. Media will say what they want to, so, I would rather keep quiet and watch the drama."

At such a young age, she's under media scrutiny 24x7. Does that make her relationships more vulnerable? She replies, "When you are in the limelight, these are the things you have to be prepared for from the very beginning. You learn to accept the nice things people say and ignore the things, which are not true. I have taught myself to handle the situations sensibly."

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