At a party hosted by Subhash Ghai last week, photographers rushed to click pictures of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan as they stepped out together. And Aishwarya, often even referred to as Ash, was addressed, as usual, by her first name. While Aishwarya didn’t react, mum-in-law Jaya Bachchan took offence.
She reportedly lashed out, saying, “Kya Aishwarya Aishwarya bula rahe ho, tumhare class mein padhti thi kya? (Why are you calling her Aishwarya? Was she your classmate?).” While that came like a bolt out of the blue for poor paparazzi, others, too, have been known to object in the past. Govinda, for instance, said he didn’t like being called by his pet name, ‘Chichi’. So, we spoke to the photographers whose job it is to follow the celebs everywhere, as to what is that one moniker that is sure to get them the perfect smile and all the attention from celebs. On the condition of anonymity, they gave us some interesting insight.
“Post-wedding, Genelia Deshmukh is addressed as ‘vahini’ (Marathi for sister-in-law) and she’s okay with it. Similarly, Aamir Khan likes being called ‘Mr Khan’,” said a senior paparazzo.
Another photographer said, “Shah Rukh Khan is addressed as ‘Khan saab’ or ‘King Khan’, while Salman Khan is called ‘Bhai’, but not ‘Sallu bhai’ as he doesn’t like being called Sallu.”
Yet another press shutterbug told us that veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha is endearingly called ‘Shotgun’ and he plays sport to it; some even jokingly say ‘Khamosh’ — the word he famously uttered through his acting career — to attract his attention, and it works.
Coming back to the Ash drama, we asked professionals what might have evoked that reaction from Jaya. “It’s the way the name is called out at times, that they object to. If you call out to them with respect, it’s fine,” said a well-known photojournalist. As for Aishwarya, we’re told she’s been called ‘Mrs Bachchan’ for a while now, and that’s how the family likes it.