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He seems to have hung up his gloves.

Fresh faced as ever, Akshay Kumar, by his own reckoning, is now a veteran, and tired of his successful stud-defeats-world-by-kickboxing persona. In a candid conversation with Syed Firdaus Ashraf and Patcy N, he reveals the real thrills in his life.

Here are some excerpts:

"This is my 15th year in the industry; and I've done two films with Abbas-Mastan before this -- Khiladi, the first big success of my career, and Ajnabee, which gave me a lot of awards and critical applause for a negative role. Whenever they have given me any role, it has been that of an accomplished actor. Now, in Aitraaz too, it is a very different role.

It's the role of a common man. I remember when they first narrated the character to me they said it's not the typical Indian hero kind of role, where you are being framed in a rape case and to escape that you just go around hitting two or three guys or jumping from a building or beating up the lawyers -- it is not like that! This is a common man's role, and you have to perform with a lot of integrity and honesty.

The film is based on a controversial case, some two and a half years ago, involving basketball player Kobe Bryant.

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Text: Syed Firdaus Ashraf, Patcy N | Design: Uday Kuckian

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