On Friday, March 12, Karisma Kapur delivered a baby boy. Finally, Ranbir Kapoor has competition. Even though Kiaan Raj is just 10 days old, his parents, Sanjay and Karisma, already dote on him, as does his little sister, Samaira. Aunt Kareena is delighted that he looks so much like his ‘mummy’, even though his eyes are greyish now. “May be they will turn blue as he grows up,” she says hopefully.
Karisma stepped into the world with light blue eyes. Her grandfather, Raj Kapoor, took one look at the new baby and beamed, “She has my eyes!” Their sparkling aquas is one reason Karisma always felt a special connect with her dadaji whose showbiz mantra was, “Jeena yahan, marna yahan, iske siva, jaana kahan.”
However, during her growing up years, her ‘neeli neeli aankhen’, the actress once confided, had set her apart from her black-eyed and brown-eyed friends. And it was only when she was abroad that she felt less of an ‘alien’. “I was extraordinary when I just wanted to be an ordinary girl,” she’d sighed.
The ‘firang’ tag followed her into the film industry. The Prem Qaidi star was a prisoner of her genes till Anari and Khuddar came along and convinced sceptical filmmakers that lil’ miss Kapoor could pass off as a ‘gaon ki gori’ and a ‘desi patni’ too.
The chartbuster from Khuddar, ‘Sexy sexy sexy mujhe log bole…’ that was later changed to ‘Baby baby baby mujhe log bole…’ following protests from the moralists, had a line that summed up her childhood woes, “Neeli neeli aankhen meri, main kya karoon?… Gore gore gaal mere, main kya karoon?…’ I remember coordinating a photo shoot with her and Shantanu Shorey. She danced into the Big Man of the ad world’s studio like an excited schoolgirl. While her hairdresser and make-up man set to work to turn her into a teen princess, we chatted on subjects galore.
An hour later, she flounced out in a swirl of strawberry pink, her blue eyes flashing bright. Shantanu took one look at her and hollered, “Go, wash your face off all the make-up. I want only a slash of scarlet lipstick. That’s all we need!”She was subdued when she returned and allowed Shantanu to drape her in a swathe of black chiffon. Click, click! The close-ups were ethereal! Karisma’s eyes had never looked more beautiful. Still they were a pain, she admitted. “With grey, black and brown eyes you can use any colour liner, not with blue eyes,” she pointed out. “Also, clothes are a problem. I can’t wear greens and reds because they make my eyes look greenish.”
Soon after, she signed up for Dharmesh Darshan’s Raja Hindustani and along with a load of chiffon saris, he gave her
melting chocolate lenses. The new look was a hit. I don’t have a ‘firang’ fix but I was glad when Karisma returned to her natural blues. They remind me of a serene sea, the summer sky and a whirpool you can drown in. They remind me of a desi Chaplin who doffed his hat to the world and warbled, “Awara hoon…’ I hope Kiaan Raj’s grey eyes turn blue too. Then may be we will have another ‘Awara’ Kapoor.. or Kapur... too!