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Dia Mirza, R Madhavan reunite after 19 years for a special conversation

The former co-stars discussed their cult film, Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein (2001) as well as their shared love for nature and animals.

Our Correspondent

Dia Mirza and R Madhavan worked together as co-stars in just one film, but that film, Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein (2001), became a cult favourite and is spoken of fondly even today.

The lead pair of RHTDM reunited again for a special conversation about their film and their shared love for nature and animals. Dia Mirza made her Hindi screen debut with the romance, playing the character of Reena, while R Madhavan played, well, Maddy.

The actress has been hosting a weekly Instagram Live conversation every Wednesday leading up to World Environment Day on 5 June. On the show, Dia Mirza, who is currently the UN Environment's goodwill ambassador for India and the UN secretary general's advocate for sustainable development goals, speaks with individuals who have made lasting contributions towards sustainability and trying to reconnect with nature.

Mirza introduced her first leading man in Hindi cinema by saying that he was very special. "Along with being an amazing artiste, he is an incredible human being with whom I share a strong love for nature," she said.

“I know people have been dying to see us on screen [again]," said Madhavan of their pairing in the cult film. "It's been over 19 years and somehow I’m still inundated with songs, scenes and dialogues from the film every day on my social media.” Over the years, there have been many instances where a sequel or a spin-off has been discussed.

Mirza responded, "We are doing our best to make it happen, but we will only work together when we can give our best. There is something so special about Reena and Maddy and I think there was an innocence and honesty we shared in RHTDM that resonates so deeply with everyone even today. We wouldn’t want to dilute that in any way."

Madhavan later spoke of his childhood in Jamshedpur, then in Bihar and now in Jharkhand, where he was always surrounded by nature. The former co-stars spoke of their experiences of climbing trees and enjoying freshly plucked fruits when they were young.

"When you are in a small town, one of the things that you become part of is nature — the geography of the place, the flora and fauna, it all becomes part of your upbringing," Madhavan said. "You learn to respect things depending on how people around you react to it. You are aware of everybody and everything around you, unlike in a big metropolis."

The actor maintains an urban farm at home where he grows his own produce through hydroponic farming. He has converted all his balconies into farms for vegetables and fruits and has motivated others to do the same and lead a healthier lifestyle. Madhavan has also cultivated a former barren piece of land which now bears abundant fruit.

"The more technology we are able to take to the farmers, the stronger our nation will become," he said.

"I think the COVID era has made everybody take a deeper look at themselves, more than anything else," he continued. "A lot of priorities are becoming clearer as we go along, and I think one of the things that everybody is realizing is how important it is to be in touch with who you really are, what really makes sense. Without a doubt, it doesn’t matter which community or religion you belong to, because eventually you have to be one with nature to be at peace."

Mirza and Madhavan concluded their conversation with a plea for everyone to be more compassionate. "It’s going to be a changed world when we all get out there and we’re all going to come from a place of stress, insecurities and fears. One thing that is necessary and most welcome is an abundance of compassion and understanding," Madhavan said.

The actress plans on speaking with others on her Wednesday interviews. "I hope these conversations on #DownToEarthWithDee help all those seeking ways to live in better harmony with nature despite living in cities. I hope they find some magic, inspiration, and solutions in our conversations,” she said.