Aziz Mirza wanted a younger SRK and chose Shahid Kapur

Aziz Mirza's next project will see him move out of Mumbai and work without his protégé' Shah Rukh Khan.

"My new film, for which we've found no suitable title as yet, is set in a foreign city. I made a conscious decision to move out of Mumbai this time," Aziz told IANS.

Considerable time has passed since Aziz last wielded the director's baton for "Chalte Chalte". "Since I last made a film, the process of globalisation has been accelerated. I want to see how it affects my protagonist. But yes I'll continue to be taken up with the problems of the have-nots."

There's much speculation in tinsel town about how Aziz and his protégé Shah Rukh have drifted apart.

Aziz is genuinely surprised at the rumours. "Not at all. Juhi (Chawla) and Shah Rukh are like my own children. How can I move away from them? The only reason why Shah Rukh is not in my new film is because this role required a young boy, just out of college.

"In fact the minute Juhi heard the role she said she could see a younger Shah Rukh in it. That how Shahid Kapoor came in."

Aziz lapses into a flashback about Shah Rukh. "It's wrong to say I helped his career. Everyone has his destiny. Shah Rukh became an overnight star with 'Deewana'."

"I remember they had shot half the film with another actor. Shah Rukh came into the project at that late stage. If that isn't destiny, then what is? I've done four films with Shah Rukh. One doesn't have to continue working constantly with the ones whom one loves. Some relationships go beyond the professional. Shah Rukh is certainly one of them."

Ever since his wife Nirmala's death, Aziz has been in a state of seclusion.

"Not really. It always takes me time to make my next film. Writing a film isn't an easy process. After 'Chalte Chalte' I had to do a film that I was comfortable with," says the soft-spoken director.

Indo-Asian News Service