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I Served Chai To Smitaji, Says Aamir

PTI 13 Dec 2010, 10:24:58 IST
Bollywood star Aamir Khan once served 'chai' (tea) to Smita Patil on the sets, the actor revealed, reports Times of India.Aamir met the legendary actress just once in his life. It was way back in the 80s, when he was assisting his uncle, film-maker Nasir Hussain.

"I still remember Smitaji was shooting on an adjacent set. After pack-up, she dropped in on our set to speak to Nasir saab. I had heard so much about her. I adored her in Bazaar. I was a huge fan of Smitaji and I was curious to get a closer look at her. I ran to serve her chai."

Of course, as destiny willed it, years later Prateik was given a break by Aamir Khan in Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na. And he is also the leading man of Kiran Rao's Dhobi Ghat.Says Aamir, "Whenever I see Prateik I am reminded of Smita. He has the same intensity, similar eyes and smile. The camera loves the boy.''

Getting slightly nostalgic, Aamir adds, "I feel for Prateik, the way I feel for Imran. This is perhaps, because he has done a couple of movies with our banner. Prateik is committed, really hardworking and an ideal actor. He learns his lines, he does his preparation before he comes on set...and I can see that he enjoys the movies. I think his true potential as an actor is still to be discovered but he is growing with each film.''

Aamir feels that if Smita Patil had been around, she would be a very proud mother today, watching the progress Prateik is making in his chosen field.

Says he, "as an elder, as a producer, as someone who has just briefly been touched by Smitaji's presence in my life, I will leave no stone unturned to make sure Prateik is always presented well in our movies. He is family to Kiran and me.''

Kiran Rao adds: "It is our love for Smita Patil and the great resemblance Prateik has to her, that makes him special.

"Prateik's screen presence is really remarkable. Even from an audition on video, I felt something quite powerful. He has depth, something he just naturally has. There is something intriguing about him, you want to get to know him.

"He is not just a pretty face. He has got very sensitive eyes and a sweet smile. I think it is a lot also because of our love for Smita Patil and the great resemblance he has to her. You connect with him almost immediately.

"I have never met her. I was very young when she passed away. But she is just so amazing. Recently, there was the retrospective at the Lincoln Centre. I was just looking at the brochure... Smita was so spectacular looking. And the range of roles that she played is nothing like we have ever seen. No actress in the history of Indian cinema has played the kind of roles she has. I can say that perhaps it's only Nargis, who did glamorous roles and then did a Mother India. Smita Patil was the next. Her beauty is timeless."