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    Riteish rids himself of acrophobia!

    By Staff

    By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
    Tuesday, December 19, 2006
    From building skyscrapers to leaping off them, Ritiesh Deshmukh can now truly say he has done it all. Although the actor suffers from fear of heights for a scene in E Niwas's De Taali, he sky- dived off a tall building.

    Riteish, who has just returned from a 19-day outdoor for De Taali from New Zealand, says, "Ever since I was a child I have been petrified of heights.

    But for a song sequence in De Taali, Aftab, Ayesha (Takia) and I were asked to jump off a 750-ft tall building and I decided to do it. It's a place visited by tourists from all over the world by skydiving fans.

    Skydiving is a lot like bungee jumping but the difference is that your back is harnessed here in stead of the feet being tied up."

    Overcoming fears

    Has he got over his fear of heights now? "No. No matter how many times one tries to conquer one's fears, one can never get over them. It somehow creeps back in again when you feel you've conquered it. While doing the stunt, I had to keep psyching myself. I concentrated on the outside environment and noise. That helped me overcome my fear till I took the jump. It was extremely scary!"

    Besides skydiving, there was reverse bungee, which Riteish also had to learn for the film. Explains Riteish, "Reverse bungee is where three people sitting on a chair, are strapped up and then you are thrown up into the sky. It's a kind of reverse gravity where the person shoots up at fast speed. There were no action directors but professionals who helped us all the way right from strapping us up to the end."

    Riteish is glad to be back in Mumbai, "Auckland is beautiful but it's a dead town. There are hardly any people there as compared to Mumbai. The population is hardly about 12 lakh. I have been on outdoors for almost two months. I am so happy to be back in Mumbai."

    The CM's son who turned 29 earlier this week (December 17) "I got loads of flowers from all my friends but I didn't get anything from my family. There comes an age when you stop expecting gifts," smiles Riteish.

    He began his special day with a visit to the temple and followed it up with a quiet gathering with a small group, "Early in the morning I visited Siddhivinayak Temple and then my friends came over. We had a small get-together and that's about it."

    What's in store

    Riteish has several films lined up for release in the coming year. He's got De Taali, Indra Kumar's Dhamaal, Anubhav Sinha's Cash, Sujoy Ghosh's fantasy-magic flick, Aladdin and Sajid Khan's Hey Baby.

    It's rumoured that after the success of Apna Sapna, today he has started charging a crore a film! He smiles, "I never discuss my finances. Everyone strives to earn more than what you do. Progress is related to money and I am no different than anyone else."

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