I got a call from Nikita to visit the Dharma office for a costume trial a week before the Ahmadabad schedule of Two States was to begin. This was going to be my first costume trial and I was kind-of excited about it. When I got to the Dharma office at Khar, a strange (truly Bollywood!) thing happened. I was waiting at the reception for someone to come and escort me inside for the trial when I saw a huge picture of Mr. Yash Johar on the reception wall. I looked at it for a while with a smile and before I knew it, I was having a conversation in my head with Mr. Yash Johar.
Yes, I know this is filmy but what can I say? It did happen! It might have happened to most of you at some point or the other. Of course, my rational mind tells me that this was my own imagination and it was really just me speaking from both sides. However, I also would not like to rule out the possibility that Mr. Johar was actually present there in spirit! It was a very personal conversation which lasted for a couple of minutes and by the end of it, I felt very nice, calm and confident. It was almost like speaking with my own grandfather! Just then, Kriti came and took me to the room where the costume trial was being conducted.
I entered the room with 4 pretty girls including Nikita and Natascha browsing through heaps of clothes and accessories. My co-actor Siddharth was to be there too but he was a little late so they started with me. Nikita gave me my first set of clothes and continued looking at other stuff. Now, I was standing in the room with all these girls and had no clue whether I was to step out to some other room to change or was expected to change right there. I was blank and just stood there for a few seconds which is when Nikita asked, “Do you want us to step out?”. In my head, I said “Yeah…aaaah obviously!!!” This is when I thought that may be all other actors who come for a costume trial at Dharma have great bodies and are never shy to change in front of girls. But my case was different. I was MONTHS of gymming away from having a physique ready to be flaunted before girls. Yes, as an actor you are supposed to be comfortable with your body and not be so conscious. But for me, it was much easier to go shirtless on stage or before the camera than in a situation like this. So they stepped out and I changed inside the room as quickly as I could. Little did I know that there was going to be a day during the shoot when I would have to change on set before 60 people (including the ones present in this room)!
After the first set, I volunteered to step out to the rest room and change instead of making all of them leave. With regard to the costume, I was loving everything that they were giving me. I always knew Dharma is excellent when it comes to costumes. I was happy with the look I was being given! In a little while, Siddharth came along and he was given his costumes too. This is also where I first met Nitee, a costume AD whom I was to work with for 15 days in the Ahmadabad schedule. She was a cool, fun-loving girl who had worked with Siddharth earlier and chatted with him most of the time during the trial. I was done with all the costumes in about half an hour. I thanked the costume team and went on to meet Arif, the first AD. I wanted to let him know that if there are any days when I would not be shooting as an actor, I would like to be a part of the ADing team. It was better to be on set and learn stuff rather than sit in the hotel room doing nothing. Arif informed me that I would be shooting almost every day but if there was a time when he can use me as an AD, he will. On my way out, I looked at Mr. Johar’s picture once again with a smile and left the Dharma office awaiting my first outdoor schedule for a film!