No dearth of actresses for Shahid Kapur

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By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Oct 11 (IANS) Whatever the truth about the status of his relationship with Kareena Kapoor, one thing is clear - there is certainly no dearth of heroines for Shahid Kapur. The lament, "There're not too many suitable leading ladies for me", no longer seems to hold true.

After the ready-for-release "Jab We Met" with Kareena, it's Aziz Mirza's "Lucky Charm" with Vidya Balan, and then a straight-from-the-heart love story for Rajkumar Santoshi, in which his leading lady is Katrina Kaif.

The prolific Santoshi, who has decided to bring together the untried pair, is currently in the pre-production stage of this romantic quickie."I haven't done a simple love story before. Most of my films have been very intense. Now that my Ajay Devgan-Vidya Balan starrer 'Halla Bol' is ready, I just wanted to see what it felt like to direct a boy-meets-girl story," Santoshi told IANS.

Shahid is an actor Santoshi wanted to work with for a while. He earlier planned to bring Shahid and his father Pankaj Kapur together in a comedy but has now decided to go ahead with the love story instead.

"He's got what it takes. And I know Shahid is capable of great intensity in a romance," said Santoshi.

The untitled film hits the floors in early November.

"I hope to complete the film by the end of the year."

Commenting on his forthcoming release "Halla Bol", Santoshi said: "It's my take on an actor's conscience and its awakening. But it isn't preachy or solemn. I've tried to keep the message as entertaining as possible."

The versatile director's much-discussed "Ramayana" project with Ajay as Rama, Kajol as Sita, Riteish Deshmukh as Laxman and Prakash Raj as Ravan has been pushed to the end of 2008.