I've truly fallen in love this time: Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone in a heart-to-heart with Subhash K Jha.

Post Om Shanti Om (OSO) how has your life changed?
All this is very new for me. My father (bandmintom champ Prakash Padukone) was also a celebrity. But we were never exposed to much media coverage.

Before I went into the modeling profession I did go into my dad's profession—it was the expected thing. I played bandminton at the national level.But I realized my heart was set on modeling.

Movies weren't even in my range of vision. But after two years of modeling I started getting film offers I was only 18 then. I didn't want to jump into anything.

What took you down south?
You mean my Kannada film Aishwarya? I am from Karnataka and it was directed by a young and talented man Indrajit Lankesh. And I was paired with a huge Kannada star Upendra.

Did you speak your own lines?
Yes I did. I learnt Kannada in school. Farah Khan had already offered me OSO. But we were to shoot a year later. So I did the Kannada film.

You remind me of Aishwarya Rai.
I'd take that as a compliment. I grew up watching her. When I was in school I remember how thrilled I was when she won Miss World. Ash and Sushmita are people I've admired.

You're still young. Don't you miss doing the normal things?
I do the normal things. I've life away from my work. But yes, I definitely feel a lot older than girls my age.I started working and moved out of home at a very young age. I tried to work out of my home- town Bangalore. But like it or not Mumbai is the mecca for the glamour and entertainment industry.

Do you miss Bangalore?
In Mumbai I definitely miss my family. For me ordinary things like having warm food on the table or getting the car ready to leave for the day are not so easily obtainable. Like all girls I'd like to see my parents when I wake up in the morning. That isn't possible when you're living alone.

Is Mumbai a lonely city?
No definitely not. I've lots of friends in Bombay. And I haven't changed for them, nor they for me.Yes, certain people around me have changed. But people who are really important to me, that's my parents and my childhood friends are with me.

One needs to have friends outside one's profession to interact and to share one's life with. Otherwise I'm not the party-hopping kind.

What do you and Ranbir talk about?
Well…we do know what's going on in each other's careers. But otherwise we try to keep cinema out of our conversation. We try not to get into one another work space.

It's amazing but both of you started your careers in Hindi as fierce rivals in Saawariya and OSO?
That rivalry was more media-created than anything else. Comparing me with Sonam was so uncalled-for. We come from two totally space. We started differently. She assisted Mr Sanjay Bhansali.

I come from the modeling world. And our debut vehicles are so different. Fortunately we were too involved with our own projects and had no time to think of each other as competition.

You started with Shah Rukh Khan as a co-star. Can it get any bigger?
I hope it does. Initially I was very nervous about working with him. But Farah and Shah Rukh made it very comfortable for me. We did readings together, we met socially so that we were comfortable when we faced the camera.He's again someone I grew up watching.

You have acquired the reputation of being extremely choosy.
Yes. Every project takes up so much of your time. You've to be sure of what you're doing. So often I say no because I don't have the time. I meet every director who wants to meet me. I do consult my parents.

It would be unfair to distance them from my career just because they aren't part of the entertainment industry. But the final decision is mine.

Your dad is a celebrity in his own right.
Yes but nothing to do with the entertainment industry. During his time sportspersons didn't do endorsements, advertisements. I'm really close to both my parents.

Ever since I moved to Mumbai it's a different kind of relationship with them. The fact that we live in different cities has brought us closer. I feel much closer to them. Sometimes I feel bad at the unwanted attention they get because of me.

They're bombarded with all kinds of questions about me. It wasn't like that during their times. My parents are very simple reason.

Is the image of the boyfriend deserter hurtful?
The media needs to be a little restrained. I am a simple girl and from a respectable family. And loose talk about me harms my reputation.

One day like any other girl I intend to settle down and have children. How would those write-ups look at that time? I'm so glad I've found a man who comes from the same space and understands the pitfalls of sensational journalism.

I feel after a point no one will take these write-ups making a tamasha out of my life seriously.

Why did you and Ranbir decide to go public about your mutual feelings?
Because this is the first time I've actually and truly fallen in love. Being in love is the lovelist feeling. When two people are getting close they need time to understand one another.

I've reached an age when I can't be in a frivolous relationship. Linking me to so many men at a time when I wasn't sure about my feelings was unfair.

Did the earlier link ups collapse because of excessive attention they got?
Quite possible. At the end of the day it was just destiny that I was meant to be with Ranbir. And we're very happy together.

Do you get time to be with one another?
We try to be together as much as possible. We did a film together Bachna Ae Haeseon. That's when we got close. We had met and interacted earlier. But we didn't get a chance to know each other well enough.

He was busy with his film. I was busy with mine. We were both under all kinds of pressure. Everything became very messy.In Australia when we shot together we started afresh. We almost met like two new people.

There was no baggage to be carried forward from the past. Because even in the past we didn't part bitterly.