An actor and an individual – Day 2028

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I did not speak to any of the association heads post the conference and did not file a report on the event either. 

Next evening, around 7pm, I was crossing the road to go to Church Gate Station, when a shinning Black Mercedes stopped before me! The face at the window looked familiar and as I walked closer, Dilip Kumar smiled and opened the car door for me.

Unthinkingly, I stepped inside the vehicle but my mind was racing. Why had he stopped the car for me, was he confusing me for someone else and where were we heading? I sat on the edge of my seat and I am certain he was aware of my discomfort but continued to converse casually. He spoke so softly that he was barely audible and to not appear rude, I alternately shook my head and smiled.

When the car zoomed on to the Pedder Road, he asked the driver to stop aside, turning to me he said, “My destination has arrived, thank you for your company”. I got off on the middle of the road still perplexed about what had happened, I managed to hail a passing cab and hopped into it unsure if what had just happened was my hallucination or real.

To be continued

Remembering Dilip Kumar – Day 2027

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It was sometime in the mid-seventies when I first set my eyes on Dilip Kumar. I was in college and doing internship with a film journal and sent for a press conference without clear instructions and I was so nervous that I asked no questions. After great difficulty, I located the conference venue and by the time I walked inside the hall, all the seats were taken. I tip-toed through the side corridor, searching for an empty seat but there were none. So, I stopped half-way and focused on what was happening on the stage.

A long table covered with white cloth over which were placed some unsteady flower bouquets. Behind the table, sat a few grey-haired men and one of them addressed the audience. Dilip Kumar was seated in the center and as our eyes met, he succinctly guided me to walk ahead. I did hesitantly and found many empty seats in the front rows but was reluctant to park myself and so looked up again at Dilip Kumar on stage and he nodded.

I nervously seated on the corner chair and tried very hard to focus on the boring speeches but nothing made sense and then Dilip Kumar rose, spoke softly and passionately and for the first time I understood the motive behind the conference. The film fraternity disagreed with newly implemented government policy and declared to go on strike and Dilip Kumar was present on the occasion to lend his support to the cause.

To be continued

Another phase, another chapter – Day 2026

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Psychiatrists say that divorce is the second biggest human suffering after the loss of a child. The third is the loss of a spouse and the fourth the loss of a parent. We all remember what happened with Aamir Khan after his divorce with his first wife Reena Dutta. Unaccustomed to staying away from his children and filled with mixed emotions, Aamir sought solace in alcohol and put on so much weight that he was unrecognizable.

The family tried its level best to get him on the track but it wasn’t easy. One day, his mother Zeenat, phoned Aamir and asked him to check his picture in the morning newspaper. He did, and an overweight Adnan Saami smiled back at him from the pages. Khan got the message but still lacked the initiative to do something about it. Then Aamir’s mother spoke to Salman Khan and Salman dropped by at Aamir’s home, chatted him up all night and next day, sent him a trainer with an ultimatum. That is how Aamir Khan snapped out of his depression. 

Will Aamir Khan get into depression a second time? It does not seem so from the joint video circulated on the social media by the couple.  Is there a new woman in his life again? There is a possibility that there is. Will he marry a third time? It will depend on what the woman but in my opinion, he mustn’t because actors like him and Kamal Haasan are not meant for marriage. Kamal Haasan has accepted this after separating from Vani Ganpathy, Sarika and Gautami. Aamir will learn too.

New partner, new production – Day 2026

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I will not get into the details about how, where and why the rot set into the sixteen-year-old relationship but three years post his divorce, Aamir Khan was ready to flaunt his new wife Kiran Rao, his assistant during Lagaan in a grand wedding reception attended by the entire film fraternity including Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand. Kiran called him Chottu and he loved her looking scholarly in her spectacles.

They moved into a new home, a new office, purchased more properties, had a surrogacy baby and a launched a joint company called Paani Productions. He traveled frequently for outdoor shootings; she stayed at home, wrote scripts, planned films, collected her son from school. At Diwali party and private screenings held at their home, Aamir and Kiran looked synchronized but the cracks must be adding up because the couple admits to strategizing a peaceful separation a while ago and only now feel comfortable to go public with the declaration.

I have read the carefully worded press note a number of times and feel it’s a sugar-coated statement that all’s well in a paradise called divorce. They reveal that 15 years of togetherness has grown into trust, respect and love for each other. Is it? Then why not transfer all this understanding and bonding to mend the existing relationship and save heartache to little Azad and your individual extended families?

To be continued

Aamir Khan-Kiran Rao Divorced – Day 2025

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It was a normal day when Aamir Khan’s PR team decided to drop the announcement of Aamir Khan-Kiran Rao divorce in my and several media member’s inbox. Was I surprised? Not at all, did I expect it, yes in a matter of time, I did and feel relieved for them now that the decision is public.

Before I delve into the present, I want to rewind a few reels of the past. Year: 1986 when neighbors Aamir Khan and Reena Dutt had a secret wedding. Aamir’s uncle, filmmaker Nasir Hussain was launching his nephew in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and warned him to not reveal his marital status till the film was released. In 1988 a star was born and a year later, the wedding details revealed in a gossip magazine.

The heart throb of millions was a married man affected Aamir’s image temporarily but the marriage survived alright. Reena came from a different world and did not try to fit into the star wife slot and Aamir liked the fact that she was different. They looked made for each other but all marriages are deceptive and in 2002 soon after the release of Aamir Khan’s debut production Lagaan the couple split.

To be continued

Happy Birthday Neetu – Day 2024

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There was a sudden vacuum in Neetu’s life and Rishi Kapoor brought her back to the spotlight in a cameo for Love Aaaj Kal. Destiny had turned the wheel for the actor and even though she had not planned a career she did Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Do Dooni Char and Besharam with her husband and son, Ranbir.

They were building a new home, looking forward to Ranbir bringing his bride home and perhaps planning a few productions as a family, when Rishi Kapoor fell ill fell. Initially it seemed like lethargy, a few tests, change in medication and Rishi was back to work for a new film in Delhi.

When I visited her home for Ganpati darshan, my annual ritual, Neetu mentioned her husband had been feeling uneasy lately but even she was not prepared when he was diagnosed with Lukemia.

The coming year in America where he underwent treatment and the following months in Mumbai when he was on a yoyo were traumatic for the family and the end heartbreaking!

But the show has to go on and so Neetu Singh Kapoor is  slowly and gradually learning to stand on her feet, learning to smile and for the first time perhaps, learning to live life for herself.