An afternoon with Pooja BediManu Shankar in Mumbai
In our Rediff chats, the focus has always been on the guest celebrity, and how he/she answered the questions asked by you, dear reader.
But we decided to give you a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes, for our latest chat with Pooja Bedi.
Manu Shankar, who keyed in for the former Bigg Boss contestant, shares his experience.
When I was asked to accompany my colleague for a chat with Pooja Bedi, I was a bit sceptical.
I have been on Rediff chats before. To be honest, I have found film and television personalities dull and boring, as I cover the sports beat. If some were too chirpy for my liking, others were too pompous. I hoped Pooja Bedi would be different.
As we entered Pooja's flat in Versova, a Mumbai suburb, we heard the familiar voice of her father Kabir Bedi. I have been a big fan of Mr Bedi ever since I saw his movie Khoon Bhari Maang, then Kurbaan, and Main Hoon Na, where his acting skills and, of course, that voice, gripped me.
Pooja was sitting next to her father and looked more than happy to be back from the reality show Big Boss. The glow was back on her face as if, in her own words, "a deep sea diver was back on the surface after spending months down at the bottom".
It didn't take long for my preconceived notions about her throwing star tantrums to fade away because she was exactly the opposite. The first thing you notice about Pooja Bedi is that she loves to talk. She pulls you into the conversation and, rest assured, you will not be bored.
We settled down to take questions from our readers. Pooja was more than happy to take critical questions head on (followers of Bigg Boss will know what we are taking about here).
It's an art to be politically correct and yet put forth your point of view without hurting or demeaning anyone, and I guess Pooja has mastered that art.
As the chat progressed, I discussed how difficult it is to type conversations these days without resorting to SMS lingo. With a laugh, she agreed that the situation had changed from the days when one had to spell out the entire word.
She saved the best for the last. As we rounded off the online chat, we started with the video segment. She spoke about the characters in Bigg Boss in her witty and humourous way.
And we broached the 'hot topic' that's taking rounds these days i.e. Bedi kissing Sky on national television, she was quite sporting.
Sharing her moments inside the house, she explained how they split the work between them, how some contestants would pick up fight any time of day, how people were so finicky about make-up and about the great moments inside the house.
She was so excited about the experience that she almost forgot about her spa appointment later that day, with close friend and former Bigg Boss housemate Raageshwari.
As she talked, I couldn't help but look at the pictures on the wall. They said a lot about her. From a carefree youngster to motherhood, from actor to writer, Pooja Bedi has been all about 'living life by her own terms'.
At the end of it, I had become a Pooja Bedi fan.
Image: Pooja Bedi tals about Sunny Leone