On August 16 Manisha Koirala turned 48. She says she has never felt better. “I had a party at the Taj Lands End (Mumbai) on my birthday and all my old friends from the film industry, people with whom I haven’t worked for years and years, they all came. There was Rekhaji, stunning as ever. She lit up my birthday with her presence and blessings. Sanjay Leela Bhansali who hardly socializes made it a point to be there for my special day,” exults Manisha after a night of intense partying.
What made her truly happy was the presence of her entire team from her debut film. “It seems like yesterday when I made my acting debut in Saudagar. And now my director Subhash Ghai, my leading man Vivek Mushran, my co-stars and dear friends Jaggu dada (Jackie Shroff) and Gulshan Arora, they all showed up. Shah Rukh made it a point to come.”
It gratified Manisha to know that there was still so much goodwill for her in the film industry. “At the end what do we have except the goodwill that we’ve earned? I’m glad I am still thought of with affection by colleagues whom I haven’t worked with for so many years. By coming to my party they made the day special.”
Manisha’s parents were in Mumbai for the celebration, but not her brother. “I really missed Siddharth and his wife, my Bhabhi on this occasion. Someone had to stay back in Nepal to look after our interests there. Siddharth’s son who is 10 now, is absolutely my darling. I love my nephew like my own child.”
While all her friends enjoyed themselves, Manisha remained stone-sober. “I’ve given up alcohol completely after my illness. I lead a very regimented life. And no breaks from the disciplined routine,” Manisha reminds herself.
She is now in the process of completing her book on health and fitness. “I’ve planned two books. One a memoir which I will write later. Right now I’ve just completed a book on fitness and health based on my experiences (with ill-health). It’s now gone to the publisher and should be out by December.”
Manisha is now looking at quality rather than quantity in her career and personal life. “I’d rather stay single than end up in a compromised relationship. Likewise I’d rather not act for some months than do the wrong kind of films. I’ve so much else to do apart from acting. I love to travel and I will be doing just that later this year. Right now I’ve just had Sanju released and it’s been so well received. I also got immense appreciation for my story in Lust Stories.”
Manisha just said no to a web series after saying yes. “Initially it seemed all okay. But then I had misgivings so I opted out. It’s better not to do the work I’m not fully convinced about.”