Years ago, she was laughed at when she talked about running her own business someday.Today, she’s is seen as one helluva successful owner in the cutthroat world of IPL. She’s held her own despite the charges levelled at her outfit and emerged strong. But then, Preity Zinta has been known for both her beauty and her balls. She was once crowned as the ‘only man in the industry’, thanks to her testimony against the underworld. She’s also taken the property dispute with the late Shandar Amrohi’s family head-on.She’s no bra-burning feminist but advises new girls to hold on to their clothes and not just turn into bikini babes. She says she’s happy without ex-Ness Wadia and doesn’t really need a man. Almost in the same breath, she confesses seeing someone but won’t name him as she’s tired of her personal life being played out in the tabloids. Unruffled by the debacle of Ishkq In Paris, she will be seen in Bhayyaji Superhitt, Happy Ending and other projects. Her never-say-die approach make her a living, breathing woman of today than a perked up Barbie. She’s steel wrapped in velvet. Excerpts…
How is the IPL 7 Looking Like?
Great! We have a brand new team, a well-balanced squad. We’re excited to have Virendra Sehwag on board, he’s a dynamic and destructive player. We’re also happy to have Mitchell Johnson, George Bailey, Glen Maxwell, Thisara Perera, Shawn Marsh and David Miller, whom we call Miller The Killer!
Have Controversies Affected the Morale of your Team?
This is part of the game. It hasn’t affected us because we have been pretty straight and clean. I don’t believe all of cricket is bad, there might be one or two characters. I’m glad they are out of the game and have faced tough consequences. I feel bad because our fans have emotionally invested in the game.
IPL is not Happening in India This Time. Does it Mean Loss of Revenue?
Well, as much as I love cricket, the elections are more important. So we have had to take it overseas. But we’re going to come back here and hold the other half of the tournament in India. Everyone’s beating BCCI and saying nasty things about them. But they have been wonderful. They’ve assured us that if things go beyond a certain point; they’ll make sure that the franchises don’t lose money.
How is your Relationship with Ness Wadia (co-owner of Kings XI Punjab) Today?
It got over in 2009. So we need to stop mentioning him every time.
I Mean Professionally…
It is the same as it is with Mohit Burman and Karan Paul, my other team co-owners. My request to the media is let him (Ness) be. I’ve moved on. He has moved on. There’s someone else in my life and I am happy about it.
Is it Difficult to Work with Ness Now?
It’s not an ideal situation but it’s also not the worst. I’m okay with it.
So Who are you Dating?
I will not reveal that. I don’t like to talk about my relationships because you are still dragging about my last one. I am fed up. So this time I prefer to keep my mouth shut. I am really happy right now.
Okay, what’s the Thrill about IPL for You?
It’s always been about winning. I’d like to win the trophy, wash it with Dettol or some antiseptic, because it has gone through so many hands… I’m a germophobe… and sleep with it one night.
How True are the Rumours About you Leasing your Apartment and going Bankrupt?
I have lived in this house for the past 10 years and I’m not going anywhere. I’m not a bumblebee that if I fly off nobody will know. I’m also an entrepreneur. Besides running a cricket team, I’ve other investments too. I’d appreciate if you’d research this bit of news. I can’t keep suing 100 people for false news. Today, if I say that Brad Pitt is leaving Angelina Jolie for me, will you carry it as news or will you seek confirmation from Brad Pitt? Three days after this report, I went to the IPL auction and everyone was like is everything alright? I laughed about it then. But I’m not laughing about it now because people are asking me strange questions. It’s difficult to clarify.
What is your Clarification on the Shandar Amrohi Controversy?
Firstly, I don’t want to talk negatively about anyone. Also, we have a good judicial system. Things are going well in court for me. Let the judge decide. You do something good for people and it backfires. I don’t believe in slandering people. I guess, I should copyright my name, like Sachin Tendulkar. Nobody can use and abuse me at their whim and fancy. There’s a certain respect I command and have earned through the years.
Why Did you Take this Matter to Court two Years after Shandar Amrohi’s Death?
I already had a court case with the BCCI. You prioritise things that are more important. I helped Mr Amrohi buy a house, where I used to go and visit him. Once I went there and there was no house. It was sold. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know whom to talk to and when I did I was stonewalled.
Why did your Relationship with Shandar, who Reportedly Regarded you as a Daughter, go Sour?
It did not. I just didn’t want him to spend his money on making a movie with me on Meena Kumari’s life. I asked him to write a script and I’d get him Katrina Kaif, who is one of the biggest stars today or any other actress. I didn’t want him to spend his money just because he had it. He was old and had a wife. I wanted him to live the rest of his life with dignity. All the money that he had fought for would go in making a movie. He went on to write a script but he died.
Has Moving to the IPL Affected you Friendships in the Industry?
My relationships are not based on how many times I call my friends and which parties I attend. They are based on caring. Like Salman (Khan) for me is the ultimate, in terms of the person he is and the friend he has been. I’d do anything for him because I respect him and admire him as a human being. I have good equations with actresses too. Aishwarya is a dear friend. But we don’t really speak much, apart from occasional BBM messages. Abhishek is a friend and so is Saif.
Are you in Touch with your Other Heroes?
Last I saw Shah Rukh was when the door fell on him during the shoot of Happy New Year. Three days later he was at an event, a wedding and here and there. He’s amazing. I respect Aamir for doing Satyameva Jayate and going out of his way to make a difference. I salute that. Hrithik Roshan is a decent and a wonderful guy. I love him dearly. Sussanne was my first friend from the industry, even before I became an actress.
You were once dubbed ‘the only man’ in the industry. Your advice to young girls with starry aspirations…
Live your life. Don’t limit yourself by rules that others make because rules are meant to be broken. Less is more does not mean you wear less clothes. Think about the implications and don’t agree to just be an object of desire.
Are you Looking to Settle Down?
Why wouldn’t I want to settle down? What’s wrong with me yaar? I’ve always maintained that I want to get married and have kids. But I want to make the right decision.
What Kind of Mother Would you Make?
I’d be the best mother on this planet! When you know who you are, when you have seen the world, you can make for an incredible mother. It’s so wonderful that Ash (Aishwarya) is so much into her little girl (Aaradhya) and that she’s a hands-on mom. No one has been a bigger star than her till now. She’s enjoying it. I’m so happy for her. She looks lovely!
What can a Man Give to a Strong and Successful Woman Like You?
Everything! Behind every successful man there’s a woman. Behind every unsuccessful man there are two women. But behind every successful woman there’s a man who’s confident enough to let her succeed and is not trying to compete with her and pull her down. Few guys have the confidence to let you be and not punish you for their shortcomings. The right man adds depth to your life. He’s an emotional anchor and brings a smile to your life.
What Would you Never Tolerate in a Relationship?
I would never tolerate violence and abuse!
What are other Things, Apart from Movies and the IPL, That Interest you?
I love to sleep, I love travelling, I love reading, I enjoy being lazy once in a while and getting relaxing massages done.
It Must Be Hard When Your Close Friends, Hrithik and Sussanne Parted ways?
I hope all things wonderful for them. It’s a personal issue and I respect their space. It’s important for people to understand that they have two kids who are not little anymore. People should watch what they say.