People recognise me on the streets now but that's about all that's changed in my life after Parineeta," Vidya Balan says, munching into a diet biscuit.
The biscuits -- four in all -- and masala chai is Vidya's lunch for the day. And she eats it at 5 pm, thanks to her hectic schedule.
There's always a rush for time, she admits. In fact, the actress hopes the interview will not take too much time, as she needs to rush for a screening of her new film Lage Raho Munnabhai, which starts in an hour.
Her profession is not the usual 9 to 5 kind of job. "I work from 9 am to 10 pm," she sighs. But there's no denying that she loves every minute of it. After all, she gets to work with directors like Rajkumar Hirani (Lage Raho Munnabhai), Rajkumar Santoshi (Halla Bol) and Mani Ratnam (Guru).
Vidya admits that she never expected to be a part of Munnabhai MBBS's follow-up -- the makers insist it is no sequel, just another episode in Munnabhai and his sidekick Circuit's life -- when she first watched it. In fact, when the first film released in 2003, she was not even a part of the film industry. Her debut, Parineeta, was out in 2005.
"I don't laugh easily in films but Munnabhai MBBS made me laugh and cry, all together. My dad is not an avid Hindi film watcher but even he loved it. I never thought that I would get a chance to be in it," she says, chewing on her third diet biscuit, which now 'tastes like mud.'
Text: Ronjita Kulkarni