IT'S the X and Y chromosomes at war within Aamir Khan. The actor plays a woman again, or at least half man and half woman. For a hilarious TV commercial for Tata Sky, Aamir plays both a Punjabi bride and bridegroom bickering over what satellite TV connection to install. The commercial, that airs on Monday, shows the actor dressed one half in a pink salwar kameez complete with dupatta and the other half in a blue sherwani. This Punjabi bride and bridegroom squabble on their suhaag raat over what satellite connection to install - the woman says she'll go back to her maaike in London if she doesn't get 'technological' Sky, while the groom forcefully insists that he will only use the 'barosemann' Tata. Of course, it all ends lovey dovey when the couple find out that they are quarrelling over the same product. The star was so taken in by the idea that he agreed to produce it himself. Aamir Khan Productions has worked on the creative by Rediffusion and the ad has been directed by dialogue writer and Phir Hera Pheri director Neeraj Vora. Aamir Khan, currently in the US, comments in the making of segment, "I had to change my body language from a woman to a man in a split second so the mind had to be alert and sharp." Indeed, it is this quick back and forth between the man and his wife that keeps the viewer in splits - Aamir does it so effortlessly, switching his voice from high-pitched to baritone in the blink of an eye. "It was bizarre because it's me as a man and a woman, just by turning around," he says. Director Neeraj, whose association with Aamir dates back to his Rangeela and Mann days, told Sunday MiD DAY, "Aamir has the capacity to surprise. Working with him is like driving a Mercedes or BMW over any other car." Neeraj remembers how Aamir painstakingly spent six-seven hours in a parlour to transform into a woman for a song in Baazi. "But he captures the attitude and essence in such a correct manner that it's never undignified. It doesn't look as if he's mocking women, just playing them." Neeraj is curious to see how viewers respond to the man-woman. "We chose a Punjabi couple because they are usually outspoken, their excitement is wider and they are so colourful. I knew Aamir would play it best." Since Aamir's look was key in the ad, make-up was done by the gifted Mickey Contractor, who fashioned one side of his lip with a curvy moustache and painted another a plum red. Costume designer Arjun Bhasin also got into the act, creating an outfit that was one half a sherwani, the other a salwar kameez down to the separate jootas, while hair stylist Adhuna Akhtar fashioned a wig that was both a crop and a long, decorated choti. "The wig was tricky," grins Aamir, who even wore a half-bra to get into the act. Aamir is now signed on as the new face of the brand, confirmed Vikram Mehra, chief marketing officer of Tata Sky. "We were really holding our breath when we approached Aamir with the concept, but he bought it."
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