A FINALIST ON ZEE'S SA RE GA MA PA CHALLENGE 2005, THE HUSKY-VOICED PETITE TWINKLE BAJPAI SHOT TO FAME AS LAXMI IN THE MASALA-FILLED SOAP GHAR KI LAXMI BETIYAAN. SHE'S SPUNKY, ALWAYS SPEAKS HER MIND AND IS NOT AFRAID TO COURT CONTROVERSY. AND EVEN THOUGH SHE COMES ACROSS AS BOLD AND BRASH, SHE'S EVERY BIT THE SMALL-TOWN GIRL FROM LUCKNOW, TIGHTLY HOLDING ON TO HER ROOTS.
She's blazing the screen nowadays in the reality show Kaun Jeetega bollywood ka ticket, and exposes her malevolent side as Vaidehi in the long-running Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. This month's hard talk sees a spirited twinkle talk about sex, intimacy, love and lots more…
ST: What's your take on the casting couch?
TB: It depends on you as an individual and how you react to it. I personally do not believe it exists because i haven't encountered it. And if someone did proposition me, I'd give him a tight slap. Everyone knows how stubborn I am, and no one has the guts to try something like that with me.
Also, the fact is, when it comes to the casting couch, nobody gets raped. It's your own free will. It's not like you cannot grow without the casting couch. And at this stage of my career, I don't see it happening.
ST: How would you react if a guy made a pass at you?
TB: I would not react.10, 000 dogs bark when an elephant is moving on the road. The elephant can't react to all. And I would never be flattered if a guy made a pass at me. I prefer simple people. If a guy really likes you, he won't pass comments at you or flatter you. He'll just come and tell you outright that he likes you. I like honesty and bluntness.
ST: Has a girl ever hit on you?
TB: (laughs loudly) actually, yes. I was at an event in London signing autographs and shaking hands with my fans. Suddenly a girl caught my hand and started kissing it saying, 'you're so hot. I love you.' i had five bodyguards with me and they had to push her away. It was so embarrassing. I mean, if a man hits on you, it's still okay. But a girl hitting on you is just shocking. Plus, she was quite manly looking, I was so scared.
ST: What's your take on homosexuality?
TB: I wouldn't want to comment on that; it's too personal. In today's world, where people find it so difficult to even smile, if they get happiness out of this choice, then why not? I'm not for it, nor am i against it. Who am i to judge anyway? I believe you should do whatever you want for your happiness, as long as you don't harm or kill anyone.
ST: Tell us about your first crush.
TB: It was on my school principal. He was very handsome and good-looking, and he taught us English. I went and told him that I had a crush on him; I was in the 11th grade then. He burst out laughing. I've still not got over him. I still love him, but like a father now. I respected him then and even now.
ST: What was your first date like?
TB: (smiles bashfully) I don't want to talk about it. It was so beautiful and a little too personal to discuss.
ST: How far would you go on a first date?
TB: Not more than a cup of coffee. I won't say that I'm the extra-traditional types, but you can't know or judge someone on a first date. And for me, if it goes ahead to a relationship, it has to lead to marriage.
ST: Have you ever gone out on a blind date?
TB: No, never. And I never will either. I can't judge or trust men easily.
ST: Would you call yourself a flirt?
TB: I'm not exactly a flirt, but I'm very blunt. If I like somebody, I'll tell them so. I can't smile and do girly things. I'm pretty upfront in these matters. Also, I don't have the time or the patience to flirt with a man. I'll just tell him if I like him, even if it's his perfume or his personality. I don't care about the fact that I may be misunderstood. Why should I care about people? You shouldn't bother about what people think or talk about you.
ST: Why do men love bitches?
TB: Because they're dogs themselves. Then again, i don't like to think that all men are like that. Men who are attracted to bitches are dogs themselves. They may be attracted to bitchy women but they want to marry sweet, innocent girls.
That's the typical Indian male mentality. I can't say I'm either one of them, but i know how to get my way with a man. I know how to rule them. I will never be dominated.
ST: Showbiz entities are assumed to be loose. How do you react to such assumptions?
TB: (retorts angrily) someone should come up to me and tell me that, I will just slap them. A working woman is not characterless. We come out of our homes to work and hold our place in society. I don't care about such assumptions; only good-for-nothing people think like that.
We actresses work harder than the men. We work in extreme conditions. We're expected to wear slinky chiffons in cold temperatures and still look hot. We should be respected rather than degraded. In media, films and TV, people think like that of you. I take it as a compliment.
ST: Do you think men always have sex on their minds?
TB: No, not at all. My father is the most decent man on earth. People wonder how I'm his daughter; he's so humble and polite. That's why I feel not all men are that way. But yeah, a percentage of men may always think of sex.
ST: Why are men called dogs?
TB: Because they behave like dogs. A particular percentage of men look at women as conquests. They're constantly leching at them; those men are dogs. Have you seen how a dog looks at a bone, with his tongue hanging out? Those men behave exactly like that.
ST: What are your views on pre-marital sex?
TB: Everybody is doing it nowadays. People marry late today, when they're 30 or 32. So it's normal; no big deal. It depends on the individual again. I don't think it's bad, whether it's before or after. (Adds as an afterthought) i feel pre-marital sex can reduce the rape ratio in the country. Because men are getting sex without having to wait for marriage.
ST: Do you think the world moves ahead on money and sex?
TB: Not sex, but money, yeah! Money definitely moves the world ahead.
ST: What kinds of men turn you on?
TB: Very simple men. I hate show-offs, who flaunt brands, their cars. I just hate them. I like men who are tall, dark and handsome. He needn't be six-feet-tall or something because I'm just five feet two inches. But he should be dark-complexioned.
ST: Do you think the male nude is repulsive?
TB: I can't say. I'd rather keep my mouth shut. But no, i don't find it repulsive, not if it is aesthetic.
ST: What has been your wildest fantasy?
TB: I'd love to go on a date with Salman Khan, where it's only him and me, so he can concentrate on me. Nobody else should be there. A secluded beach or an island would be perfect.
ST: What would you wear on a hot date?
TB: A Salwar Sameez with some good perfume on. Like I said earlier, Indian men may like bitches, but they want to marry the sweet ones who'll look after their family and kids. I don't just want it to end on a date; I want it to lead to marriage. And I look best in a Salwar Kameez (grins).
ST: Do you think nice guys have a tough time getting the right girls?
TB: Yes, they do. According to me, a nice guy is one who is innocent and humble. It's hard for them to find a nice girl. In a relationship, they tend to get dominated. And I've noticed with my friends too, that men get dominated very easily. For a nice guy to find a nice girl is difficult and vice-versa. Because anyway, opposites attract.
ST: Your take on one-night stands.
TB: I think they're rubbish. Only people who have no character indulge in them. I don't believe in it at all.
**BY SNEHA KAMAT
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