September 11, 2002 
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Sushmita Sen
The Sen factor
Sushmita joins the ensemble star cast of Pran Jaaye Par Shaan Na Jaaye

Subhash K Jha

Debutant director Sanjay Jha's Pran Jaaye Par Shaan Na Jaaye is about life in a chawl and stars Raveena Tandon, Namrata Shirodkar, Shweta Menon, Divya Dutta, Diya Mirza, and Rinke Khanna.

Previously titled Pran Jaaye Par Chawl Na Jaaye, the film, with an unconventional cast, has been produced by Mahesh Manjrekar.

The latest entrant to join the stunning gallery of beauties is Sushmita Sen. Sen is also working with Manjrekar in the English-Bengali bilingual version of the Tabu-starrer Astitva.

Considering that the shooting of Pran Jaaye Par... had been completed and the film was being readied for censoring, Sushmita's last-minute inclusion came as something of a surprise.

"Sushmita's presence in Pran Jaye Par Shaan Na Jaye is an afterthought," admitted Manjrekar. "[But] it is a meaningful role. After the film was shot and ready, we thought we needed a sutradhar [narrator] to tie the various strands in the story together. It only required a day's shooting."

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Sushmita said she had a ball while shooting for the film. "I have never done something like this before," she exulted. "I love the song that is being picturised on me."

Earlier this week, Sushmita celebrated her adopted daughter Renee's birthday. "It was a very special day for both of us," she beamed.

Woman-based themes make a huge difference to Sen. One of the reasons why she chose to do a super-guest appearance in Pran Jaaye Par... is that the film deals with the life of working women, their trials and tribulations.

Manjrekar said he could foresee no problems with the censor board except maybe for a love scene involving Divya Dutta. And he can't stop raving about Divya. "She is going to make audiences sit up and notice her," he said. "Her performance is jolting."


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