Mixing a brew of freelancing and writing in the pan of social media
Here’s my fictional interview with international model and Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri. She is half-Czech and half Pakistani by birth and has worked with Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor in her first film ‘Rockstar’. She says in her fictional interview with me that she no longer buys hard copies of books to read. This took me by surprise. Sounded extreme. So, as soon as I heard her say this, I had to share that interview with all of you.
Me: Hi Nargis! Welcome to my blog BylineRaza.com. Thanks for taking time out from your busy life and schedule.
Nargis Fakhri: Hi Raza! Thanks for having me here. Ya, shooting is hard work, but then you do get to meet interesting people. And, how are things?
Me: Things are ok. Monsoon’s going on. It rains, it stops, it rains again. But whenever I can’t go out and have free time, I am either surfing the Net or seeing some movie or reading some book.
Nargis: Oh! Me too. Whenever I get a chance I watch lots of Hindi movies. It helps with my acting and my Hindi diction. But honestly, before coming to Mumbai, I was never a movie buff. If I did go to some theatre to watch a film, I would fall asleep half the time.
Me: What! And here you are knee-deep in Hindi films and Bollywood. You sure can’t catch up on your theatre-sleep now. By the way, how’s your back? Heard you pulled a muscle while rehearsing steps for an item dance number with Shahid Kapoor. Please take care of yourself.
Nargis: Ya. It seems to be getting better now. Have been advised rest.
Me: Good. Take rest. What about reading? How do you catch up on that?
Nargis: I have to travel a lot due to my film schedules. But I do carry a lot of books with me. Thankfully they don’t take much space now.
Me: Excuse me? If you carry a lot of books with you, then logic says they will take a fair amount of space in your luggage. Don’t you think, or am I being irritating?
Nargis: I mean, I don’t carry hard copies of my books. I keep ebook copies of all the books that I want to read.
Me: You mean, you have become a Kindle reader and now you read your books on Amazon’s Kindle Reader?
Nargis: Well, I haven’t bought a Kindle yet. Maybe I will. But I came to know that I can store my ebooks using the Kindle app on my tablet and Android smartphone too. So, that’s convenient for me and I have started reading ebooks now. In fact, I no longer buy hard copies of books I want to read. I simply go online and download them (free or buy) from good websites like Amazon.com and even Flipkart.com. I have downloaded a few free ebooks too, which are there in abundance.
“I no longer buy hard copies of books I want to read. I simply go online and download them (free or buy) from good websites…”
Me: I don’t think I heard right, when you said you don’t buy hard copies of books anymore. So you are ordering paperbacks from those websites, right?
Nargis: No Raza. I am buying ebooks only. I just pay using my credit card and the book gets downloaded instantly to my reading app that I have already installed in my smartphone and tablet. Sometimes I read it on my laptop too. I tell you it’s a relief for me. I don’t have to miss my books and I can read them anywhere.
Me: Lucky you. Currently I read my books on my laptop. I’ll buy a good smartphone soon and then load my books on it.
Nargis: Good. If you are going to buy a smartphone, buy one with 5 inch screen and white colour. You can read properly on it and it also looks good na?
Me: Fine. I’ll buy a 5 inch one only and white. And if it’s not available, I’ll take yours.
Nargis: Ha, Ha! Sure thing. And you know what, I don’t use my mobile to SMS or text much. Frankly, phones are mostly for relationships. Of course, I use my mobile for work. But I don’t think I’d jeopardise my career by getting into a relationship at this stage. Boyfriends are troublesome and unnecessary.
Me: Why do I feel sad suddenly? And here I was hoping…
Nargis: What were you hoping Raza? To be my… Listen let’s be friends first ok. You never know what can happen later.
Me: Right. Why do I feel happy suddenly? God, these emotions. I thought you girls were the emotional lot.
Nargis: I am emotional and I did cry a lot when I watched Mother India and even the recent English Vinglish. If some movie gets me, I cry. You won’t believe it, when I say that at times my tears start coming out when I see a cute kid or puppy. And don’t make fun of that please.
Me: Come on…I have myself had lumps in my throat and even a tear or two when some sports movie or the other lifted me out of myself. I think I remember Arshad Warsi’s movie ‘Jolly LLB’ doing it to me. And then there was also Kevin Costner’s movie ‘Tin Cup’.
Nargis: Oh yes. Good movies both. I forgot to tell you. You know what I’ve done with the books I already have. I have converted one whole wall of my apartment into a shelf and racked up all my books there. There’s still enough space on shelves there for more books. But now I am filling it up with interesting curios I have got from my travels around the world.
Me: A whole wall of books. Amen. And you like to travel. The backpacker. What a change now, from all that freedom you had earlier.
Nargis: I know. Freedom is the first casualty. I do travel now also, but its not the same. I am a travel junkie. I was an international model. I’ve lived all over the world – New Zealand, Thailand, Hong Kong, London, Singapore, Australia, Germany, France, Greece. I have bought my own groceries, driven myself around, cooked and cleaned.
Me: Kamaal hai! You are some hippie who finally packed her exotic travel bags and moved to Aamchi Mumbai AKA Bollywood AKA Hindi Film Industry.
Nargis: True. But this too is an adventure I am living. Plus, I am also happy that I can have more good books for company with me all the time. Now, I don’t have to think where to store the books that I have read. My wall bookshelf has taken care of that for now. Best thing is, now I don’t have any second thoughts on buying new books that I really want to read. They are all there in ebook form and most of them are available on Amazon. So, yippee! No more problem of book storage and keeping my new precious books somewhere safe from dust and termites. They are in safe digital place already.
“My love for ebooks makes me a dedicated tree-hugger now.”
Me: Well done Nargis. You are The beauty with brains. My request is remain this kind of person even after your marriage.
Nargis: Marriage? I don’t believe in the institution of marriage. It’s a challenge to spend all your life with one person. You know, emotional dependency weakens you. I am single right now and family is very important to me. One day, I’ll have many kids – maybe even adopt, if I don’t get married.
Me: OMG! Strong thoughts you have. Travel has really done things with your mind. But thank god, you are single for the moment. And this also means you have more time for yourself at hand, after shooting work.
Nargis: True. I feel blessed. When I am with myself during some free time, I watch documentaries and YouTube clips and TED talks. In terms of book reading, I mostly read about human behaviour and spirituality.
Me: You have had past relationships and you are aware that there are a number of free ebooks and paid ebooks that are easily available in the category of Romance. Have you bought any of those?
Nargis: Nope. And I won’t. Since I like reading about human behaviour, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned from my past relationships. Never give up your life. Just be yourself. At the same time you have to always be financially independent and stable. Just because the guy is jealous, you’ll sacrifice your happiness? Never. My happiness is of utmost importance. That’s what I’ve realised over the years. I have realised that the minute I have compromised on my happiness, I have become bitter. Also, nobody seems to get this, that you have to love yourself first and you have to love yourself enough. Your Mr Right won’t come to you till you love yourself. And, I’ve learnt that one’s life becomes easy when one learns not to expect much in relationships.
Me: Nargis, these are pretty deep thoughts you have. You are not just another standard issue PYT, who smiles and laughs a lot. You think a lot too. And, you read books. That’s a fiery combination that someone up there gave you.
Nargis: Ha, Ha, Ha. Maybe…And you can also call me an environmentalist now.
Me: How? You save water, by taking a bath only once in three days?
Nargis: Ewww! Please. I do save water where I can, but allow me to take my daily bath. By environmentalist, I meant that I save paper now. Since I no longer buy paperbacks or hard copies of books, I save precious trees. My love for ebooks makes me a dedicated tree-hugger now.
Me: I am impressed. Your choices define you well. You have a pretty mature head on your shoulders at such a young age. Nargis Fakhri fans, please note: Flattery won’t get you anywhere with Nargis. But if you yearn to see the Great Wall of China and you would love to climb the mountains of Machu-Picchu, you might just get an exclusive smile and handshake from her. And if you actually go ahead and do the China and Machu-Picchu thing, then…well you can even expect and get a hug from her.
Nargis: And more maybe…Ha, Ha, Ha! One of my favourite saying is: ‘A person’s true age is reflected by his thoughts and not by his years’. So, yes, I seem to be absorbing my life lessons quite well.
Me: I had a nice time chatting with you Nargis. Carry on being the traveller that you are and may your ebooks continue to give you great company and guidance, whenever you click them open. Thanks for your time.
Nargis: Thanks Raza. It was fun. You too, take care.
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