"Arshad is a keen observer and seeker of talent. He told me some time ago that he thinks I am a sincere actor, having noticed the effort I put into every character I play. He also mentioned that he thought I have not been given my due, and he cast me, thus keeping his word. He, too, has suffered. He would struggle every Friday. I am happy that his talent is now being applauded," says the enthusiastic Dia.
A brief chat on parents, relationships, her man, puppy love, fashion, social assignments, and films, with the pretty Dia Mirza:
On her character in Hum Tum Aur Ghost - My character is pretty close to Gehna in Hum Tum Aur Ghost. In real life too I believe in being practical. My mom always said, "You need to forget and forgive and always move ahead in life. One should not bear any grudges in life." I have never had any cat fights with anyone in the industry. I make friends with everyone I work with. Some of my friends from the industry include Konkona Sen Sharma, Lara Dutta, and Sandhya Mridul. I have never felt intimidated, nor do I feel insecure. I believe in eternal love and peace, and in breathing fresh air.
On puppy love - Yes, I have had my share of puppy love! When I was in the seventh grade, this boy would catch butterflies for me, not knowing that this butterfly had a crush on him. (Laughs).
On her ideal man, and marriage - I would love a man with sound values - somebody who respects a woman's independence, who is honest, and can take life forward. I believe in the institution of marriage. There should be no space for ego hassles in a marriage. Each partner should be able to take criticism and confrontation, and throw out of the window all the bad blood. It is very sad to note that marriages do not work these days, and I believe that women are equally to blame. I intend to get married very soon.
On her relationships - I have had my share of relationships. For various reasons, they have not worked. Commitment, or the lack of it, has also played an important part in these relationships not working out.
On Parents and Relationships - I belong to parents from diverse religions, and I have been taught how to stay down to earth. Life has taught me to be very practical. I belong to a broken family and grew up in a hostel. My mom has been responsible for bringing me up, and she is the one who has been my guide and mentor. My parents believe that in a relationship, if you are unable to carry it forward, then you may as well part ways. Remain good friends and be of some help to each other. Belonging to the hostel kind of an environment, I have learnt how to tackle the ups and downs of life. You should have a positive attitude towards life.
Fitness Mantra - I am training extensively in martial arts . I have to sacrifice a lot - starting with avoiding yummy food. I try living on salads, fruits, juices, soups and discreetly-consumed meat. In addition, I work out rigorously at home.
Current Style Statement - I don"t really follow trends. I believe in individualism. I applied my first cosmetic mascara when I was 17 - my mother wanted me to be simple and natural. However, over the years, I think I have developed a characteristic dressing sense. As I said, some things come naturally to some people.
On social work, especially work on spastic children -I feel very strongly about the plight and the integration of spastic children in regular mainstream education. I feel it is necessary that these children be a part of regular life and vice versa. Why should they go to spastics schools? They have to be made one with society. They are not aware of the norms, ways, and behavior of the normal human beings. For example, there was a blind girl in my school, and she was far more intelligent than the average kid. I think such kids deserve equal treatment. I am on the board of the Coco-Cola Foundation, which, in collaboration with some NGOs, is promoting electricity in villages, and also promoting the green campaign. Arshad and I have decided to promote the campaign to 'Save Paper', along with the promotional campaign of the film, Hum Tum Aur Ghost.