Art patrons might get a chance to interact with their favourite movie star as well. As part of Treasure Trove, a charity auction that raises funds for the Jai Vakeel School for special children, a Paresh Maity painting will go under the hammer, with an added incentive. “Bollywood is very generous and comes forward for numerous causes in a heartbeat. This year, we will auction a bike ride with John Abraham and a coffee date with Ranbir Kapoor,” reveals director-producer Farah Khan, adding, “But the biggest item is Paresh Maity’s painting in collaboration with Shah Rukh Khan. Whoever bids the highest will interact with Shah Rukh and he will sign the painting as well.”While organisations have donated expensive paintings, sculptures, jewellery, branded bags and clothes, Farah realises that other than these, an interaction with a Bollywood star is the biggest ticket for success. "Last year, I arranged a gym session with Salman Khan and a breakfast date with Akshay Kumar. This year too, every person I approached helped without any extra prodding. Other than material things, experiences with actors are a huge lure for their fans." Calling herself the smallest part of the charity, Farah says, "I am only helping a wonderful group of ladies who run the project. Last year, the auction went off very well and we were able to raise over Rs 2 crore. This year, we hope to double the sum."
The auction will go online as well with many patrons from all over India and abroad bidding for the charity that needs R4-5 crores a year to run. “In the school, kids from every strata of society — be it slum dwellers or rich families, are admitted, looked after and taught to function better. Kids from slums are taught for free while others pay a nominal fee. Most stay in the school for years.”
John not in Farah’s film
After the announcement that Farah Khan was doing a film Shah Rukh Khan, it was recently reported that she got John Abraham on board as well. Ask about this and she replies with a smile, “I am amused to read various reports on a daily basis about my film. Every day there is a new rumour. I have not approached anyone, let alone signed a star. The script we are working on is a revised version of Happy New Year that I have wanted to make for many years now.”