It probably isn’t a good thing to have your birthday five days after every new year is born. For one thing, there’s no fun in partying till you drop on New Year’s Eve when you need to pick yourself up and gear up for another bash in a few days. But all of that doesn’t seem to apply to Deepika Padukone, who turns 27 today.
Looking as sprightly as she did five years ago in Om Shanti Om, the actress swooped into the city for the launch of an initiative to help young girls learn how to ride a two-wheeler, by Yamaha India.
Intriguingly, her visit outlines the fact that 2013 is a year when her connection with Chennai is likely to peak. Not only will she debut in Kollywood in the eagerly-anticipated Rajinikanth period-flick Kochadaiyaan by April or thereabouts, she’s also brushing up on her Tamil as the shooting for Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express is progressing quickly.
Perhaps part of the fact why she seemed excited and blushed ever-so-slightly as she made her way from her suite at The Hilton to the stage, was because there were loud whispers that almost seemed like an echo, “Kochadaiyaan,” they all said. It goes without saying that the buzz would have been considerably lesser if she had done a movie anyone other than Rajinikanth. Incidentally, Deepika plays a princess who falls for a valiant chieftain (played by the Superstar) in the movie, shot by motion-capture technology, besides intense schedules in England and Kerala.
Her most recent splash was when the promos of Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express were released a couple of days ago – featuring both King Khan and Deepika in bright, cut shirts and lungis, flanked by well-oiled bayilwans (body builders). She must have also had a blast shooting with Chennai-based actors Delhi Ganesh and Mohan Raman, who tweeted that their experiences with SRK and Deepika had been great.
As she launched Yamaha’s programme to help young women learn how to ride a bike, India Yamaha’s Dy MD Masaki Asano gifted a Yamaha Ray to Deepika as a birthday gift, “It’s white! You know, white is my favourite colour. My entire wardrobe is a huge bunch of white stuff and now I have a white bike to go with it,” she said with a little extra glee than normal. Though people were skeptical about whether she would ever actually ride a scooter on an Indian road ever again, she skilfully said that she moonlighted on the Yamaha Ray (their scooter for which Deepika is the brand-amb and is targeted at women), while shooting for the commercial, “The director had to keep calling me back between shots, because I would just take off on the bike,” she laughed, bringing back memories of the girl from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore.