I don’t nurse grudges against anyone: Preity Zinta

Preity Zinta put up quite a show at Thursday’s IPL match in Mohali for those who’ve been saying she isn’t interested in her team anymore.

She did a little jig after her team won, threw T-shirts to the crowd, and cheered like the effervescent Preity of old. For that appearance, she sacrificed her time on the sets of her first home production, “Ishkq In Paris”. Looking excited and happy, though a bit disgruntled with the stories floating around about her, Preity spoke to us about cricket and cinema.

They’d been saying that your interest in IPL was diminishing…
First of all, I want to know, who are ‘they’? I mean the ones spreading the rumours. No, my interest has not diminished. It’s grown instead, and you will see me with the team quite often. It’s just that I am busy with my movie and some other projects. My not turning up for some matches doesn’t mean I have quit. All of us (co-owners) have been with the team when the chips were down. And I wish to continue my deep bond with cricket and the team members.

What do you have to say to your detractors?
Nothing. I really don’t pay heed to what ‘they’ say. Life has been amazing and there are so many wonderful things happening. I don’t intend to waste my energy listening to false things.

Do you feel you’re being targeted?
Well, it’s a very strange situation. When I was completely into cricket for three years (of IPL), people started to say ‘Preity’s career is coming to an end. She’s not getting movies, etc, etc.’ But today, when I am producing a movie and acting in it, they say I am abandoning my team. What kind of thing is this? Also, meri film kaun banayega agar main time theek se utilize nahi karoongi? I have to strike a balance. Then all this makes me think maybe I matter a lot to people – they have nothing to do besides talking about me. I take things positively and that’s why you see me smiling today. I feel I am a superstar because of how much people talk about me (laughs).

You turned scriptwriter with “Ishkq In Paris”. Will you be do more of that?
The scriptwriting started during the last IPL in Dharamshala. My director, Prem Raj, visited me there and then we got on with things. Really, I feel blessed to have initiated my dream project from the place I belong to.

How was it shooting in the bone-piercing chill of Paris?
Don’t ask. It was difficult. But all of us were so motivated that we did not care and kept shooting. And with the grace of the Almighty, things went well. But I want to put a temperature chart before the beginning of each scene. I want to make people shiver (laughs). When we were shooting, the temperature plummeted to the coldest on record in France in 65 years. For a while I thought I would die, but it was a learning experience.

You look too disgruntled with the press…
I have reasons for that. Each time they come up with a different story. But it’s fine – I don’t nurse grudges against anyone. But I am looking to devote some time to writing a book on the growing pressures in journalism. I will name some people in that.

You said that the Indian Premier League and cricket changed your entire perspective on life…
Yes, they did. I learnt how to do business. After IPL, I went to Harvard to pursue a special course in that. It also helped me enhance my risk-taking abilities. That’s why, when someone says I am not taking any interest, I get angry. However, I can’t do one thing for too long, and I look to do other stuff as well. Cricket and movies are both my passion.

There were talks about the team’s owners selling their stake during the last couple of seasons…
No. My team has had its share of difficult times. We fought a legal battle and it has made me very touchy about such things. I have my fingers crossed and I wish to be with my team forever.

And what about your personal life?
Sab kuch hi toh personal hai. What I am telling you is also personal (laughs). Why don’t you ask ‘them’? ‘They’ are the ones who seem to know more about my life than I do!

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