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Aamir shows up, disappears again

entertainment Updated: Dec 14, 2009 14:05 IST
Hiren Kotwani
Hiren Kotwani
Hindustan Times
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Aamir, the banarasi babuLooks like round one goes to Aamir Khan. The actor who has disappeared from Mumbai as part of a game for his forthcoming 3 Idiots, revealed himself briefly in Varanasi before vanishing to another city.

True to his reputation as a perfectionist, Khan disguised himself as an elderly Banarasi Babu before venturing out into the temple city. In keeping with his first clue: ‘Maa ke aangan mein raat bitaaun’, Khan chose Varanasi because his mother Zeenat was born there.

It is believed he also visited the Dasaswameth Ghat where his mother often went for boat rides as a child. Although his grandparents moved to another bigger place, Khan was said to be keen on visiting his mother’s first home, Khwaja Manzil in the Tiliya Nala locality.

According to a source close to his family, Khan called his mother in Mumbai and asked for directions to her home. “Aamir’s mother simply refused to believe that he was in Varanasi. So he gave the phone to a local and asked him to tell his mother of his whereabouts. Since he was in disguise, the locals couldn’t recognise him,” the source said.

After a lot of searching, Khan did find his mother’s first home and met the current owners. He’s also said to have spend the night there as the guest of the current owners.

On early Sunday morning, when the actor revealed his real identity to all the people who had helped him the previous day, shock and awe were writ large on their faces. “However, news of his presence in Varanasi spread so fast that more than 10,000 people reached there to see him. The police was called in for crowd control. But by 8 am he had disappeared again,” says our source.

Late Sunday evening, Khan gave the second clue to his whereabouts. It is believed that this hide-and-seek game — which he calls Alternative Reality Game — with the audience is the actor’s brainwave to generate hype for 3 Idiots, which releases this Christmas.