Millions dream about it, Thousands from across the globe enter the dreaded domain, Hundreds get selected and out of them one gets lucky. Introducing Ruhi Chaturvedi - Bollywood's newest find. Now, she may be new to you but I've bumped into the lady quite often at movie-goers paradise called WTF in Andheri. She's dusky, damn tall, got curly hair and has a rather unconventional face that's a rarity in Bollywood. The question though to be asked is - Is a movie like Aalaap a rarity for a debutant like Ruhi? The damsel answers, "Aalaap is a good debut but I can't say whether or not it's a right debut. Every newcomer, especially actresses, want to star opposite Salman, SRK, etc. It's the perfect debut. But everyone needs to start off somewhere and I started out with Aalaap."
While most of the new faces are chosen with sheer gut, they are also put through the toughest and the most gruelling word they've ever heard - 'auditions' to prove their mettle. "Frankly speaking, when I went for the auditions they gave me a scene to do with the lead actor of the film Amit Purohit. We did it and in the evening I got a call saying that I am on for the movie. But the first thought in my head was - 'Are they mad?' I mean, how could they be giving me the part? Was it that easy?," the model turned actress tells me.
And if you thought that Aalaap is about music and only music, think again. Chaturvedi comments, "Aalaap deals with the naxals and their issues and tries to solve it through music as the backdrop. The music is given by Agnee. This is a movie with a message and yet entertaining. This might be the solution to the world. How long are we going to keep fighting? If we sit down and talk, there is always a solution."
To debut with a movie with three men who've just begun their careers in Bollywood is quite a risk Ruhi has taken. So who are these men? Ruhi gives me their introductions and her learning curve with them. First up...."Amit Purohit is a very calm person. I am hyperactive. He was always there to calm me down. He is a kind of person who told me that in the movie industry you need to be patient and that's the way it works. Amit is the reason why I could handle myself for two months on the sets (laughs)."
Ruhi introduces Pito (as well all love to call him) who has got films like 99, Shor In The City and the upcoming Joker and Shanghai under his belt. "Pitobash is the most experienced and a senior to all of us. He is a very funny guy. He will explain you not to do a shot for the heck of it. He wants to feel everything from within and then give a shot. He is surreal on the sets and by far, one of India's best finds on celluloid." She continues, "Harsh was more like a friend who I could fool around with. We are the same age and he too has done a lot of commercials."
Do you remember questions being asked to all the final contestants before they are crowned Miss World and Universe? Well, I too asked one that went - When was the first time you ever thought of becoming an actress? Recall any incident. And boy, she recalled on the count of 'Ek Do Teen'. Ruhi answers. "I was hooked on to dancing since a kid. Madhuri Dixit used to stay in my building and I've been brought up by seeing her dancing on the sets and in the movies. As a kid, she used to take me to her sets. I recall my first time was when I went wither on the sets of Dil when they were shooting 'Khambe Jaisi Khadi Hai' with Aamir Khan. I was smitten."
It's not over yet. The answer continues, "I went to a theatre in Andheri East called Sangam to watch Tezaab with Madhuri Dixit and my mother. Madhuri was disguised in a burkha. That's when I realised how big a heroine she was and what it takes to be big in Bollywood. People were throwing money and shouting and whistling when 'Ek Do Teen' song started on screen. I decided then and there that I too wanted to become an actress."
And finally, the balancing act, the juggling act. Is Ruhi ready to quit modelling and enter Bollywood? "I have been modelling for the last three to four years. It's like a paid holiday. Now the whole idea of super models is over. The showstoppers are either actors or cricketers. My main focus is movies but I hope I can balance my movies with modelling."
Welcome to the fantasy world of movies, masti and lots of magic Ruhi Chaturvedi.