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Her slender fingers move fluently as she speaks, gesticulating almost in signs in order to explain the importance and difficulty of the process, the 'building' nature of the language. Nandana guesses it'll be akin to the Lego blocks assimilated together to form new meaning in Japanese, then laughs off the suggestion that she might learn that cryptic tongue as well.

Isn't she ever at a loss forů words? Finding the right turn of phrase or wordy nuance to express herself perfectly? She agrees that it is difficult, but she's practicing. "People who are fluent in it don't face any problems. It's a very precise language. Finger movements," she says, her sweeping index-finger breadth almost knocking a glass of water off, "have to be completely accurate! Otherwise, it's like stammering, or mumbling. You can't mumble in sign language."

In Bhansali's film, Nandana plays Sarah, Rani's little sister. "She goes through all the insecurities and angst of adolescence -- she's a typical 16 year old in that way. You see her evolving in the film, from this oversensitive, moody teenager who is constantly hungry for more affection to a nurturing, loving, caregiver who deals with her sister's circumstances with a lot of love and understanding. It's always interesting to play a character that has so many different emotions under the surface at all times -- love, hunger, the feeling of exclusion that teenagers always feel, tenderness, sympathy, resentment..."

She's bursting with excitement about Black, but why does she assume the film to be so pathbreaking? The actress has a list ready in place: "Because of what it's about. Because the look is not close to anything you've ever seen in Hindi cinema. Because of the form, the stylistic choices the director has made, the palette that he's used -- which makes it stand out from other films. And then, there are the obvious reasons -- no songs, no conventional romance track -- which really redefine cinema for today's audience."

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