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Inside Sonal Chauhan's oomphy Jannat

Last updated on: November 3, 2009 16:20 IST

Inside Sonal Chauhan's oomphy Jannat

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She is chic, chilled out and classy. But trust me (or better, trust the oomphy photos in this spread), this babe is like a simmering volcano -- she can erupt in molten appeal when she decides to.

Better known as the Jannat girl, Sonal Chauhan started her Bollywood career starring opposite Emraan Hashmi in the Mahesh Bhatt sleeper hit from summer '08.

But from being the fresh faced girl in that thriller-romance set in the backdrop of cricket betting, to working with (and liking) someone like Saif Ali Khan, she surely has come a long way.

Currently working in painter M F Husain's son Owais Husain's directorial debut Punjab 69, Sonal says she never plans stuff in life for "when I do, it never works out."

Has life changed for you after Jannat?

Yes. For the better, I believe. I get paid more as an actor than I did as a model. I enjoy acting and am trying to make a place for myself. I hope people appreciate my future films as much as they did Jannat.

'Normal girl' is an understatement when you have been the face of Ponds and have won the international Miss Tourism title.

Being a model is different. Only few people recognise you whereas an actor has mass appeal. As a model, life is good but as an actor you live a larger than life experience and it is better. Since my first film released on my birthday I believe it was the best birthday gift I could get.

Text: Priyanka Jain/The Man


Image: Sonal Chauhan
Photographs: The Man
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'If a man can't have an engaging conversation, I lose interest pretty fast'

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How is it working with M F Husain's son Owais on your new film?

Owais is an artist. The first time he narrated the script to me it felt as if he was painting his characters on a canvas. Punjab 69 is a love story and has been shot with the sensitivity of an artist. Anurag Sinha from Subhash Ghai's Black and White is paired opposite me and the film has been shot by cinematographer Santosh Sivan. We shot in Chandigarh for 40 days and I just didn't feel like coming back. I bonded well with Owais's sister and wife. 

Did you get a chance to interact with M F Husain? What was your experience?

Hussain saab is passionate about film-making and is very fond of Owais, his youngest child. They were in touch on SMS. As he was missing the whole experience, we would update him.

Since Owais is an artist, were you exposed to art during the film?

Art runs in his blood. So, yes I was. We did discuss paintings and famous artists. We also had a lot of shayari on the sets. Owais and his assistant director would make up poems on the weather, sometimes they would dedicate a poem to me. I loved that; it was flattering.

Does the written word turn you on?

Yes. I love it when poetry is written for me. I have tried writing it myself. Recently, at my sister's urging I have started to write a diary. It's fun. I enjoy writing in it. It's like exploring a new side of yourself. Conversations are also important. If a man can't have an engaging conversation, I lose interest pretty fast.


Image: Sonal Chauhan

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'I want a man like Saif Ali Khan'

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What else in a man turns you on?

I like men who smell good, and have good breath. They should respect women. I would like to date someone who is secure and confident -- a man like Saif Ali Khan.

Saif is a very dignified human being. He is comfortable in his own space and respects his girlfriend, Kareena. He lets her be, is not insecure about her and the best part is that he is not scared to admit to the world that he is madly in love with her. That is great. I would want to have a man like that.

You don't have one in your life right now?

[Chuckles] I am single.

I believe in soul mates. For months now I have been reading books on the subject; so maybe, it's a sign from God. If there is something like soul mates I would like to find mine. They say if you look into a person's eyes you know if it is him.


Image: Sonal Chauhan

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'I find men in uniform -- navy or army -- very attractive'

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What kind of men do you like?

I find men in uniform -- navy or army -- very attractive. They have this aura about them. I respect these men who put their lives at stake for us. Playing with their lives, saving the country. My father is in the police.

When anything goes wrong in the country we blame the police force but when things are going well no one praises them. Even during the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, we were scared even to step out of our homes. At times like this, these men show no fear. Imagine what their families go through. When one of them dies in in the line of duty, we give their families some money. Is that enough? Everyone needs to think about this and do something.

After the terrorist attacks, when I went for the peace march at the Gateway of India, I was so moved. When we saluted them, the commandos waved at us. That respect meant a lot to them. I had goose bumps all over my body and tears in my eyes.


Image: Sonal Chauhan

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Quick Takes

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Favourite Designer: Roberto Cavalli

At home we would find you in: Track/linen pants or shorts and a T-shirt

Bags: Gucci

Shoes: Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Ferragamo, Prada, Fendi

Shades: Gucci, LV, Prada

Hangout: Zenzi and Aurus

Music: A R Rahman's music

Favourite authors: Paulo Coelho, Brian Weiss

Favourite dish: Anything with chicken in it

Cook? Bake cakes

Pets: Love puppies. Direct way to my heart!

Weakness: Shopping. It's actually therapy for me when I am tired or in a bad mood. It helps me to get back into the groove.

Image: Sonal Chauhan

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