Meeting Abhay Deol…..!!!!

I’m one of those really corny, kind of crazy, star struck people. And if I get the opportunity to meet one of my favorite movie stars, well there’s no stopping me then.

So well, as a complete matter of chance, I got to meet Abhay Deol – someone I totally adore!! I was sweating it out on d – (read: taking a brisk walk in really humid weather), when I got a call from a friend who works for an online Bollywood magazine.

She asked me if I would like to be a part of an event they were organising for a few fans who could meet with Abhay Deol and interact and chat with him. Oh man, i jumped right outta my shoes!!! Of course i was going to go.

The venue was JW Marriot at Juhu. Swanky for sure! Most of us were there on time and Abhay Deol made his entry 45 mins later in true star style.

Well first impressions of seeing him in person:

1. Very Skinny!! Or maybe skinnier than I’d like. I think I would give him stiff competition in an arm wrestling match for sure! But then again, maybe I would give a lotta people competition in a wrestling match ;). Anyhow, what I mean is, he was skinnier than the average male. He could do with some muscle definition (ok I’ll stop at that!).

2. Very Chilled out and down to earth. No airs about being such a popular movie star. Of course, I’m sure he’s used to being a part of many such events and on a much lager scale too, but still, very friendly and forthcoming.

So anyway, we commenced with a round of questions that each one of us could ask him. Most of the questions were centered around his past roles and his forthcoming films and his reasons for being an actor, which he responded to very comfortably. Except, this one guy, who asked him the most ridiculous thing. So here’s what he said:

“I have heard that you are very passionate about girls. WHat do you have to say about that?”

Oh man, you should have seen the colour on Abhay Deol’s face. Turning a deep red and trying to deal with that question with every person’s gaze fixed on him. So after some initial mumbling n fumbling, he tried to put it in perspective for the guy who asked him the question. He said:

“Whether its girls or your work – what matters is, that you do it with passion. If you’re not passionate, it’s not worth it. So that’s whats really important.”

So well, after this tiny blip, the remaining session went on pleasantly. After most of the interactive event was over, we were allowed to get pictures clicked with him and then we were free to leave. There were some reporters from NDTV who wanted to do a short interview with him so we hung around to watch.

I guess it was Abhay’s day to deal with obnoxious questions and comments. So this reporter was referring to his forthcoming film which is supposed to be a love story, and asks him if he’s learnt anything from it – since he  can’t hold a relationship for more than a few months himself.

Wow!! That was a pretty offensive statement, and offended Abhay Deol was. But then again he toned it down tactfully and told the reporter that he needn’t answer that since she’d already made her judgments about him and that she seemed to know it all. I don’t think she realised what she said……

Anyway, once that was over, another reporter from NDTV came and requested that some fans sing for Abhay. Of course I wasn’t gonna make that much of a spectacle of myself, had it not been for the friend who took me there with her. Also, being the only ones who stuck around while every other fan had left, we weren’t really given a choice. A guy from my friend’s office was very confident that he wanted to sing, but the reporter pulled us in coz she didn’t want “girl fans” to be missing from the frame and just a guy fan serenading Abhay would have been kinda odd ;).

So we hummed along while that guy sang a song from one of Abhay’s movies. Abhay of course was very amused and kept giving us looks of encouragement so that we didn’t feel like fools as much!

In the end it was all good. We got to chat some tiddy bitty more and laughed around. We even got to take pictures on our cell phones with him. It was all very gracious on his behalf…..especially since we had made the effort to stay and sing. And as he left, there were some more moments of light conversation and laughter and bye byes….leaving us all dreamy-eyed!!!

Here’s my official magazine picture with him. It’s a treasure!!

😛 I’m a sucker for movie stars!! and of course I’ve been quite the show off on Facebook….making it my profile picture and screaming to all my friends that I MET ABHAY DEOL!!! 😀

Links to the website:


Cafe Solitude….

For the longest time I was totally adamantly against the idea of going out alone to spend an evening by myself. I just found it so morose.  It always made me feel like I would start feeling even more lonely and sorry for myself.

Its not that I don’t do things alone. I do. And I quite enjoy myself too. Like shopping alone, brisk walking up-n-down Bandstand, browsing a bookstore alone – taking my own sweet time, walking down a busy market street at my own pace, with headphones and my favourite music to keep me company and window shopping with the occasional halt for a mug of fresh juice. Or some street shopping for kolhapuris, rubber chappals, tee-shirts to sleep in, etc….. Actually, most of the time I prefer being a loner and doing things exactly how i want to.

But the one time that I can’t bear to be alone is when I have to have a meal all by myself.

I hate eating alone in a public place. And I hate being watched while I do it.

And it is a stupid thing, because in a city like Mumbai, one finds so many people who are doing the exact same thing. But I still feel so conscious and exposed. Like everyone is watching me and thinking, “oh poor thing, she doesn’t have any friends”. But I do have friends and they do happen to like me a lot and I don’t know why I have this strong urge to make that clear to anybody who is staring at me and thinking that.

It might sound like I am so insecure about my friends. But that’s not it, I guess that I’m just not ok with people making their own impression without really knowing the background.

The background. Ah well, the background is that now I am in between jobs and so I have a lot of time to kill while I look for one. So when I’m sick of being holed up in the house all day, I step out in the evening.

So well, today I stepped out with a book in hand thinking where could I go and read it in peace without getting too conscious of people watching me. Well, there isn’t much choice when its 7 pm in the evening and the sun has set for the day. The obvious option is a coffee shop.

So I walked down from home and came across one. I peeked to asses how crowded it was and to my relief it was quite empty. So I walked in and found the farthest and corner most seat in the place. Promptly placed an order for a large ‘iced cappuccino’ so that there was no more getting up and moving about and finally settled in my corner satisfied.

I spent a good hour and a half there. Reading a book of short stories. Bits of stray conversation falling on my ears. And what do you know, I had a good time. It was so normal. People came and left, some sat around. I don’t think anyone really cared I was there. And if anyone did, I was too engrossed in my book to notice. I finally got up because my book had come to an end 🙂

When I walked out, I felt so light and happy. I told myself I was so ridiculous for having those silly issues of not being in a coffee shop or restaurant alone. It has a charm of its own. And I’m so looking forward to doing it some more. Starting a new book in the excitement. 🙂

Maybe I’ll take a friend’s strongly recommended suggestion of catching a movie by myself  too. Plus I get to have the popcorn all to myself . Caramel it is then ! 🙂 Couldn’t get better than that.

MUMBAI – i’m still discovering it!!

I started writing this in Dec 08′ last year and for some reason never got to completing it. Revisited today…..and decided to publish as it is.

This is the first time I have had an urge to pen down my thoughts in this blog. I had thought it would happen much more often but I always had to think of a topic to write about. Not realizing that its just about writing randomly about the things you feel. So, this time its spontaneous and I feel a little bit like a “writer” – all brimming with things in my head that I wanna write about ;-). And of course its what many people have written about – but here’s my version!!

I’ve been in  Mumbai for almost a year and a half and I guess thats a long time to get to know a city, but there’s something about Mumbai that it continues to be ever evolving and ever surprising. Its like a flux of so many forces, so many sounds, smells and vibrations that one can only begin to discover something new each day. Its a city that exposes you to the most vibrant and diverse aspects of the many lives that reside here, that it fills me with so much wonder at the way it is just like a mini universe in itself. You can go deep into its blood stream and get absorbed like you are a part of it all, and yet you can come out thinking and re-assessing  your own analogies for this city.

There are some very striking scenes that catch one’s eye in the day to day lives of he people here. Like every morning on my way to work I notice this old man with longish unkempt hair and shaggy clothes whose job it is to arrange the newspapers in the correct combo. The Times of India goes with the Mumbai Mirror inside and so on…..and he does his job perfectly – though I’m pretty sure he doesnt even have a clue what the papers say.  Its like a reflex action for him……something so automatic, so mechanical.

Then when I get off the local train at Andheri and head out of the station using the overbridge – there’s this ancient looking man sitting in the same spot every morning and playing the most monotonous beat over and over again on his “daffli” urging people to drop a rupee or two in his steel dubba. This man is deprived of sight which is clear from his sunk – in eye sockets, He’s also very scrawny and thin. But the rigour with which he plays that “daffli” every morning with an open toothless mouth and a funny continous shaking of his head, like only he can appreciate and enjoy the music he plays – it just makes me wonder that there are so many facets to so many peoples’ lives that go so unnoticed inthe midst of unending waves of people rushing to work or someplace important – and I get inquisitive about the life that this old old man led. What he was like when he was younger, was he happy, did he get a full stomach of food everyday and what fate brought him to the spot where he now sits and earns his daily bread, and whether he earns enough to be able have daily bread also or not.

Many poeple come to this city with a preconcieved mind set that its dirty and over populated and it stinks – which by the way are all true but still i’m unable to relate my self to these aspects which do form an inherent part of this city. What I feel closer to though is the rythm or what many call the heart beat of the city. Ever beating and never failing to make one a part of its tandem. It doesn’t matter where you came from, what you do for a living, what you wear, how you look…….its ok. You have the liberty to conduct yourself as you please and just be comfortable in your environment.

 Sure this attitude reflects even when things go really wrong, and maybe that sends the wrong signal to a lotta characters out there who are waiting for an opportunity to strike. Like the 26/11 terror attacks in South Bombay. What an unnecessary waste of life, resourses, heritage. But the city bounced back. Yes, I appreciate how quickly Mumbai gets back into groove but No, I do not always agree with it. It frustrates me to see how the masses just takes, suffers and moves on with whatever is thrwn their way. We talk about how the masses are helpless and can hardly influence the regulators or put enough pressure on them to get their act straight, but this incident is marked by the fact that most of the victims were part of the elite class of Mumbai and what rose as a major issue finally also fell pray to the news coverage agenda……as long as the news people didn’t make a big deal about it, there wasn’t a need to consider it a big deal either, ofcourse, that excludes the people who suffered the loss of their loved ones. But this discussion never gets me anywhere except building up a whole lotta frustration. So topic change – bol diya jo bolna tha!!

So to sum up, I love where i live, hoping to start loving what I do for a living and I know for a fact that this is the one and only place where I would be the happiest as long as my status remains “Solo” 🙂 !!