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|February 6, 2001||
The camera loves her and she knows it.
But Madhuri Dixit was unusually nervous on the eve of the shooting at Film City on Monday, February 5.
But then again, this was no ordinary take.
And it wasn't just her heart that was missing a dhak-dhak, Madhuri's friends were equally tense. The actress and her friends spent Sunday evening poring over general knowledge books in an attempt to come out with flying colours the next day.
Revealed Madhuri's mother: "Come and have a look at our dining table. It is full of general knowledge books." The actress revealed that her friend had bought GK books because ''she wanted me to win handsomely.''
Monday morning saw Mads in Film City with her parents and trusted secretary, Rikku, aka Rakesh Nath, in tow. Although she had been asked to report for the show at 10 am, the shooting commenced at 2:30 pm.
A shoot with Sachin Tendulkar in the hot seat was completed before Madhuri's show. The prize money won by both stars is to be donated for the welfare of Gujarat's earthquake victims. The show will be aired on February 10, at 8 pm on Star Plus.
Madhuri has requested the producers to send part of her winnings to an orphanage in Pune. Said the conscientious actress, "I dread to think what children who have been orphaned and/or lost their limbs in the quake will do. With the prize money, the orphanage can help such children."
As Madhuri revealed the previous evening to a friend, "Had it not been for a noble cause, nothing on earth could have made me participate in the show."
Madhuri used just one lifeline -- phone-a friend. And pray, who was this friend?
Since it was a question related to matters of the heart -- Who performed the first successful heart transplant operation? -- the Dil girl obviously phoned dil ki dhadkan, the dil ka doctor, Sriram Nene. And no prizes for guessing that saajan Nene breezed through the question as easily as his wife danced to the heart stopping Ek, do teen...
Poor Ram! It is customary for the KBC team to telephone those named by the participant for the phone-a-friend lifeline. Since the shooting was delayed, they kept ringing Dr Nene to make sure he would be available. From midnight West Coast time to 4 o'clock in the morning, Dr Nene's phone didn't stop ringing as the team gave him a blow by blow of what was happening.
"The KBC team was understandably tense about whether Ram would be standing by for my call, if I needed his help. I laughed and told them, 'Look, it is 2 o'clock in the night there. Where will Ram go at this hour?!'"
"Another option for a phone-a-friend was my maternal aunt who lives in Dombivli (a town close to Bombay)," the superstar said. "Before the shooting, I telephoned to inform her. She was so nervous she told me to repeat every word and very slowly at that, even after I told her to relax!
"A funnier thing happened when the KBC team called her to make sure she would be available if required. They had got her name wrong, so when they asked for her by that name, she snapped that the person they were looking for had gone out and would return home only after 3, 4 hours!
"She didn't know the phone was from KBC. She wanted to postpone all other calls until after my show because she wanted the telephone to be free. When the KBC people, on being told that the lady had gone out, told her they were calling from the game show, she jumped out of her skin. 'Oh! It's me, it's me,' she screamed even as she almost scolded them for not revealing their identity before asking for her!"
Amitabh couldn't help but marvel at Madhuri's presence of mind as the actress unhesitatingly answered one question after the other. Her time was up when she was just a question away from the 1 crore mark with two lifelines remaining. Nonetheless, she won a princely amount of Rs 50 lakh.
In spite of her outwardly calm, Madhuri says she lost a couple of kilos in the four days she was preparing for the game show! "Digestive disorders were the order of the day, not just for me, but for my hypersensitive friend too!" giggled Madhuri.
Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, who featured in previous episodes of the show, won Rs 50 lakhs each. Sachin Tendulkar also won Rs 50 lakhs.
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