November 13, 2002 
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Shamita Shetty
Shamita steals a song with Vivek Oberoi
Maria Goretti opts out of Shaad Ali's Saathiya

Subhash K Jha

Former veejay Maria Goretti is no longer doing the Chori pe chori number in debutant director Shaad Ali's Saathiya, starring Vivek Oberoi and Rani Mukherjee.

After Shamita Shetty's successful Sharara song in Yash Chopra's Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (Jimmy Shergill, Uday Chopra, Sanjana, Bipasha Basu), she has been roped in to take Maria's place and redo the song.

As the Saathiya unit prepares to pack in an extra punch into the youthful film, Shaad says, "I have known Maria and [choreographer] Piyush for years. Piyush has choreographed most of the songs in the film. I have spoken to both about their song-and-dance being reshot and they do not mind it. Shamita's Sharara shaped up well. We are hoping she would work the same magic in our film."

The new version of the Chori pe chori song will be shot in Mumbai from November 14. It will be choreographed by Remo (Chhal, Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai).

But why the need for a change? Shaad explains, "The tempo of Chori pe chori is very different from its Tamil original [Mani Ratnam's Alai Payuthey starring Madhavan and Shalini]. Also, I have changed the placement of the song in the film. That changes the relevance of the song. Chori pe chori is more of a story-oriented song --- far more dramatic than I had originally planned --- than a item number."

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The director has no intentions of publicising the song before the film's release. "It won’t be promoted as an item song like Ishq kameena (in Shakti), because it isn’t. Even if Chori pe chori becomes hot, I do not want to give it for the television promos. Let there be an element of surprise in Saathiya. Nowadays, audiences know every frame of a film from TV. That's why they have have stopped going to theatres. A forthcoming film like Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai looks promising and its songs are doing well. But in three weeks, they have shown four songs on television! Why should we place all the cards on the table at the same time?"

Shaad adds, "I am looking forward to shooting with Shamita. I am a huge fan of her sister [Shilpa Shetty]. I had seen her film Baazigar in school and had freaked out! Shilpa is a fabulous dancer. I would have loved to have her dance in Saathiya but Shamita goes better with the mood of the film."

Meanwhile, Vivek Oberoi who has to participate in the song, has injured his foot. But he intends to dance with Shamita anyway. "I'm a professional and I wouldn't like to change that for anything," Vivek smiles.


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