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Riteish D puts the wheels in motion

By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Friday, September 22, 2006
Riteish Deshmukh is extremely excited these days. He is learning skateboarding and street luging for Anubhav Sinha's Cash in Cape Town.

Street luging? What's that? Informs Riteish, "Let's just say it's a different way to skateboard. The skates are bigger and you have to lie down on it while riding. I have been training for it for the last six days and I find it very exciting. When Anubhav told me about it for the first time, I was apprehensive, but with training the going gets easier."

Lean and mean

In fact, Riteish was so charged up about learning how to skateboard that even while shooting for E Niwas' De Taali in Bangkok last month, he would spent hours learning the craft when not shooting. "In Cape Town, we have two experts teaching us. Without proper training, one can't do these action sequences well."

Riteish has lost weight, as he wants to sport a lean, toned look for his role in Cash. "I've been working out a lot and avoid eating carbohydrates at night. I want to be fit and trim while riding a skateboard. They can't carry heavy weights!"

Rites of passage

And has he ever fallen off while practicing? "Sometimes. Last week I had gone street luging on a hill and crashed into something and fell over. Though I hurt my shoulder, it wasn't serious. But I am going to keep learning till I perfect the art."

Street luging can be dangerous, but Ritiesh has the last word. "Anthony, our action director, is a very careful guy. He never forces us to take unnecessary risks. Instead, he tells us that we shouldn't do it if we're not comfortable.

The safety precautions are great!"

Riteish further adds, "In Cash, Zayed Khan is the master of water while I am the master of the roads. Ajay Devgan is the one who controls and coordinates all of us."

When Riteish quivered with fear

Deshmukh says that one of the few times in life that he was really scared was when he was shooting for Darna Zaroori Hai. "Ramu told me that I had to shoot a scene with Mr Bachchan in one take as that's what Mr Bachchan wanted. It was a 7 am shoot and I was paranoid with fear. Though Abhishek and I know each other well, I was shooting with Mr Bachchan for the first time and I didn't know what to do. Fortunately, the shot got over with some breaks in between."

What is street luging?

Street luge is a gravity-powered activity and is also known as land luging or road luging. A person has to lie flat on one's back on the luge board, which has no steering wheel, brakes or engine, and career down a slope at speeds of over 50 mph. All you have is a hefty pair of boots and gravity!

It was born in Southern California as downhill skateboarders found they could reach faster speeds by lying down on their skateboards.

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