We’re re-living the torrential rains of 26 July 2005 for the past month.” And the on-camera deluge has been created in no ordinary studio. Says Emraan, “Since no studio could give us a floor large enough to submerge cars in rain water we’ve hired this disused scrap-metal factory in Mulund which has been filled up with water. It started with ankle-deep water. Now it’s knee-deep. Now the water has gone up to the waist and stomach. Soha is much shorter so we just see her head popping out of the water. ” Wading through stagnant water for almost a month has taken its toll on Emraan and Soha’s skin. “There’re two recycling plants installed. But they haven’t helped much. And on top of that we’ve cars underwater which we bump into regularly. The director Kunal Deshmukh should be happy he’s got two co-operative actors. We don’t demand mineral water instead of rain water to sink into.” A broken finger was the birthday gift he got when he turned 30 on Tuesday. “I and Soha Ali Khan have been literally shooting 16-18 hours a day. I couldn’t even attend the birthday calls. When I went back home I saw more bouquets than I had ever seen in my life. Quite a change from how it used to be when I had debacles.” In his words, Emraan’s birthday was chaotic. “The shooting went way beyond what we expected. So by the time I reached home we couldn’t really go out. My wife and I just had a quiet dinner. No gift from his wife because Emraan doesn’t believe in giving or getting gifts. “My wife was with me and she made dinner for me. That was gift enough.”
Mahesh Bhatt likes to receive gifts from his nephew and favourite protégé Emraan Hashmi. Even on the young actor’s birthday. Says Emraan, “On my 30th birthday on Tuesday I called Bhatt Saab to ask what he’s giving me. He turned around and made me gift him books. He makes me do that quite often. The only thing is he doesn’t call it gifts. He calls it guru-dakshina. In fact after every hit film he takes a cheque from me. And every couple of months I give him money to buy books.” For his birthday all that Emraan got from Mahesh Bhatt was a long touching SMS, and a fractured finger. “I’m finally a true-blue member of the cast,” puns Emraan Hashmi jokingly about the plaster cast on his finger. Shooting scenes of torrential rain in Kunal Deshmukh’s Tum Mile, Emraan broke his finger on Tuesday. “This is the second time I’ve injured myself during this film’s shoot. Earlier I injured my eye. But I need time for it heals fast because we’re shooting under several feet of water.