Spending a few hours with actor Vivek Oberoi is interesting. What’s more interesting, however, is to see the actor get lost. So, how does Mr Oberoi - in town to play showstopper at a fashion show - lose the way to his own hotel room? Well, that comes later.
The task at hand is simple - to chronicle the actor’s journey from the time he arrives at the venue to the moment he steps on the ramp. Simple, but for one problem: Mr Oberoi’s rehearsed answers can frustrate you more than a Rubik’s Cube. Especially when he’s responding to questions about his fiancée, Priyanka Alva. But we persist. “For the last six years, I was committed to bachelorhood. Now, I’ll be committed to marriage,” says Oberoi, when quizzed if life has changed since his engagement. “My friends were surprised that the last bastion of bachelorhood had fallen. But I’m done.” Sure? “Yes, I’ve had my share of fun,” answers the actor, who was walking for designer duo Nikhil and Shantanu at the just-concluded Blenders Pride Fashion Tour in Delhi.
By this time, the makeup is finished. Mr Oberoi reclines into his chair, with little regard to posture. He asks a hotel staffer to turn the air conditioning off, since the only woman in the room - a publicist - is feeling cold. A minute later, he’s discouraging Nikhil from having a smoke. Too good to be true? May be.
“What is an arranged marriage? People like to compartmentalise things. Yes, I was introduced to Priyanka by my parents, but I, myself, realised that she’s ‘the one’,” he continues. And is his fiancée game for living life in the public eye? “My mother, my sister, and my wife have not chosen to be in the public eye. I expect the media to respect my boundaries. Some things define being a man, and protecting your family is one of them.” And, will shedding his bad-boy image be an added advantage of marriage? “Bad boy? Me? I think you’re confusing me with someone else,” he laughs. Aware that he’s taken a pot-shot at an old rival, he adds, “I don’t know who that someone else is, though.”
It’s time to leave the room. But not without due deliberation on whether the trousers he’s supposed to wear on the runway fit him perfectly. “I think it’s too loose from the sides,” he tells the designer.Backstage, it’s chaotic. After air-kissing a dozen-odd models, Mr Oberoi’s starting to worry about his coat getting crumpled. "I’m a Virgo. I don’t like things getting crumpled." Before the show starts, he’ll get the coat ironed more than once.
Some déjà vu inducing interviews later, Mr Oberoi realises he wants something from his room. His man-Friday in tow, he gets into a lift. Three seconds later, he’s told he’s in the wrong one. The actor is irritated because he can’t find his way, but he’s trying hard to feign a calm demeanour.
Mr Oberoi finally finds help in the form of a female hotel employee, who wants to get a picture clicked with the actor. She guides him to his room, and guides him back to the show area. “The show’s about to start; we must hurry,” he says, but continues to walk at the same languid pace. As he walks to the changing area, he promises his newfound guide, “I’ll do a picture with you after the show.”
Having said that, it’s showtime.