Struck by stardust
A behind-the-scenes look at some more luminaries I've met in the last two decades
Here are some more luminaries who stood out during the course of my journalistic career spanning over two decades.
Karan Johar, filmmaker: This was at the launch of his film, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. I asked him when he cried for the very first time in a cinema hall. “When Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn part ways in the film Roman Holiday,” said the then 29-year-old filmmaker. “Now of course, I first think a lot, then cry and then laugh.”
Suneet Varma, designer: He exploded on to the Delhi fashion scene more than a decade ago with his show-stopping Greek collection that showcased, among other things, a brass nipple bustier. Several years later when he came to Bangalore, his eyes were at it again. But he clarified to me that he hasn’t trained his eyes on areas below the waist this time. Instead, he has decided to move his operations from the polluted capital (Delhi) to the salubrious Bangalore. Don’t know if he said it so he could be quoted, because he still hasn’t.
Madhuri Dixit, film actress: For answering all my questions with a deadpan expression; from whether she is planning to open a dotcom (that time every Bollywood type was hopping on to the cyber-wagon, including Shah Rukh Khan) to how much she charged for a live performance. Dixit showed no inflection, no nervous ticks, no display of emotion and no thousand-watt smile. Was it peeved professionalism at work? I would never know.
Celina Jaitley, model/film actress: When asked, what’s weird about fashion shows, she said, “In India, nobody comes to watch the clothes; everybody comes to see the models.” But what beat me was the following tete-a-tete:
Do you believe in spirits?
Have you met one?
“Yes, when I was living in a haunted house in Ranikhet. It was a 300-year-old British bungalow.”
How did the spirit look like?
“It was a misty human form.”
Was it a person who was long dead?
“I don’t know. Never spoke to it.”
Rahul Dravid, cricketer: For shyly asking me not to give his phone number to anyone other than myself.
Ken Ghosh, filmmaker: For saying, “I am sure the casting couch exists, but I haven’t tried it.” After a pause, he continued: “It exists wherever a woman needs a job and money. It all boils down to the woman. Men like to hit on every woman but it’s really the way a woman responds to the man’s overtures. Eighty per cent of the time, it’s because of the way the woman responds to men. The remaining 20 per cent is rape.”
PC Sorcar Jr., magician: For saying, he will make the Vidhana Soudha disappear for a few minutes if he was given Rs 50 lakh.