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Kalki Koechlin: The perfect Lolita

Last updated on: September 30, 2009 

Kalki Koechlin: The perfect Lolita

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Vladmir Nabokov would certainly approve -- she's the perfect Lolita. A wide-eyed ingenue' with bee stung lips and sex appeal oozing from every pore. Oh yes, Kalki Koechlin is every red-blooded man's wet dream come true.

And in case you still need convincing, this French fisher-woman (she claims she can swear like one) hates shopping. She wants you to even buy underwear for her, lacy scraps we are guessing.

Born in Auroville, Pondicherry and educated in Ooty and London, this 'white girl' feels more Indian than French. While studying theatre in London, Kalki worked as a waitress at a bar run by Kevin Spacey's theatre group because she got to watch plays for free. When she came back to India, she decided to put her training to use.

"She is a hippie. When I first met her, she was living out of a suitcase. She doesn't shop like other women. I even buy her lingerie," reveals Anurag Kashyap, her Dev D director she's been dating for the last few months.

The maverick director looked quite happy watching his muse try on clothes, and even bought her a pair of designer jeans and an evening gown from the collection.

Text: Priyanka Jain, The Man magazine
Stylists: Pinky Gogri and Aesha Merchant
Makeup and Hair: Pompy
Location: Palm Hotel Tower and Villas, Mumbai


Image: Kalki Koechlin
Photographs: Rohan Shreshtha/The Man
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'Being white, I get stereo typed into doing bikini roles or arty stuff'

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After Dev D, for six months she co-wrote and acted in a play, Skeleton Woman. In fact, not many know she is also writing Anurag's next film Happy Ending in which she will play an important part. "She doesn't think much of herself as a writer. But I feel she has an incredible point of view," says Anurag.

"Being white, I get stereo typed into doing bikini roles or arty stuff. It will take a few more films for people to realise my potential. I am clear that I am here to do good cinema and make money. So I will keep striving for that. I have signed Shaitan opposite Ranvir Shorey, to be directed by Bijoy Nambiar, Mani Ratnam's assistant."

Talking about her one-year-old relationship with Anurag, Kalki says, "We started seeing each other after Dev D was completed. Anurag kept calling me on one pretext or another, for dinner and plays. We eventually became friends and then fell in love. It's been a year now and we are very happy to have moved in together."

Talking about the virtues of accepting change and sometimes compromising when one moves in with a partner, Kalki says, "It was very tough at first. You discover each other's annoying habits.

"Anurag does this weird thing of scratching his throat and making noises when he wakes up. It used to make me feel sick. He leaves used teacups, food plates and newspapers all over the floor. When he shaves, he would leave hair all over the sink. It was disgusting. Sometimes, I still have to tell him to put the toilet seat up before he pees. He has those dirty male habits. At times he wouldn't bathe for two days."


Image: Kalki Koechlin

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'Watching a man cook for me gives me a great high'

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"He has changed a lot now. Before I moved in, he would eat only junk food. Now we eat home-cooked food. He has realised the importance of eating right. We go for walks in the morning. At home, he uses the treadmill while I do yoga. He has many health problems but he hasn't as yet reduced his smoking.

"Then, there are certain quirks. When things go wrong he gets angry and upset. I, too, am a drama queen, sometimes. When I get depressed, I need lots of attention. We understand these differences and have learnt to live with each other.

"Also, watching a man cook for me gives me a great high. Once, after a fight Anurag made breakfast. I was pleasantly surprised and the anger went out of me. You learn to let go of your ego. Maturity comes from living together. It's also nice to get home and cuddle up."

She shares some suggestions for men on what they shouldn't do while dating.

"Don't take a girl out for a romantic dinner, order wine and get her drunk on the first date. This gives the message that you are only interested in sex.

"In the first few weeks of dating, women pretty much size up a guy. If he constantly tries to touch you or bring you home after an evening out, then you know there is something wrong; where as, if the interest is more than skin deep he will try to figure out your interests and do fun things with you.

"Also, don't call women babes or sweets. Please try to remember their names. It is awful when guys ask for your number when they have just met you in a party. They say hello and then, "Can I have your number?"

"Also don't constantly talk about yourself, your work or how much you earn. The bottom line is DON'T SHOW OFF."


Image: Kalki Koechlin

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'Anurag has learnt how to make butter chicken because it is my favourite dish'

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Kalki shares tips on how a man can understand if his girl is ready to take the next step.

"She will make her interest obvious. If she loves somebody, she cooks, dresses up and seeks his attention. If she is not too interested in the guy, she may want to meet up once a week or so.

"Before moving in with a guy, she wants to see commitment and honesty. She doesn't want to have to ask herself things like why he isn't picking up the phone or why he isn't answering her messages. That responsiveness needs to come from him. Otherwise, they shouldn't move in together." 

Kalki shares her own experience of how she and Anurag keep their relationship alive.

"Once in a while we just get away from each other. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Anurag and I both go out for our shoots and it is so exciting to see each other again after that break. It feels like the first time.

"Sometimes I surprise him by showing up at his work, dressed really nicely and distract him from his work. He has learnt how to make butter chicken because it is my favourite dish.

"Another thing that keeps a relationship alive is spontaneity. We sometimes go out for a midnight drive and have tea on the street."


Image: Kalki Koechlin

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'Having Kalki move in has been a blessing for me'

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Talking about Kalki, Anurag said, "She keeps me on my toes. She understands my emotional boundaries and is comfortable with it. She doesn't judge me. I have become healthier, I feel better. Ever since my divorce three years ago, I was going dowhill. I used to live like a pig -- drink, eat and waste myself."

"I have written more in the last three months than I have in last three years. I feel inspired and settled. I don't feel the need to go out to a nightclub and meet women any more."

Anurag shares his thoughts on moving in with a girl.

"Be accommodating and tolerant. Understand and accept your differences. Having Kalki move in has been a blessing for me. I don't feel miserable. I don't feel my house is going to eat me up; it doesn't look like a pad anymore, it looks like a home. I have found my sense of humour again.

"I am too scared of losing her. I have not had anything as good as her in my life before. What has helped the most in my case is the age difference between us. I understand where she is coming from, her mood changes, her phases, things that I would have reacted to earlier, I now understand. I give her space. I make an effort to know what she likes and what she doesn't."


Image: Kalki Koechlin

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