Bollywood's lazy Sundays
Once, only Shashi Kapoor did it. Now practically every show biz personality from Shah Rukh Khan to the newbies have made it a rule to avoid work on itwaar. It’s time for the family, a weekend getaway (very clean, of course), or Scrabble with the buddies.
Ashok Rai,who has unwittingly ended up toiling on most of his off days, writes on the best star Sunday in his life.. with Kajol.
On some sort of crazy impulse, I suggested a photoshoot in New Delhi, quick meetings with politicians and a quicker meal at Karim’s, Chandni Chowk. Or Taj Mansingh. Wherever. Since she had done none of these.. and since she wasn’t all wired as she is now, she agreed.. even to be picked up early a m by me in a Maruti 800 which was so battered that it could have been a Maruti 400.
Uncomplaining (sleepy though), K and I were in Mumbai-Delhi flight. She dozed (which most people do on Sunday flights) while I read the newspapers. Airhostesses asked, “Is that K..Kaaajoooo?” Shhh, I said, “No, no, she just looks similar. She’s my sister.” Eeeee. Airhostesses noted my differing, Kashmiri-apple complexion.. and retreated.
Try talking Hemingway, Faulkner or Roth and she snaps back, “What Roth you read.. just like all those boring arty movies you see! Antonioni.. Bantonioni.” Kajol is frank, forthright, caring but also very scary. I was learning so much about her on that Delhi Sunday.. and I adored her to pieces.
But boy, she must feel that you’re a good soul, or you’ve had your fish and chips.
Mix and match
Foodie? Kajol? Aaah, a little but may be, but not the sort who’ll demand that you order oysters in pearl white sauce or snails in garlic. We couldn’t make it to Karim’s, just too far and what if they recognised her.
Halla bol type of situation, then, no? We stayed in Navi Delhi. She’s fine with Chinese or Indian. We attempted a combo of both at a five-star. Which was like having hakka upma. She looked at the swimming pool longingly. That’s a holiday cooler for her. But there was a flight to catch.. and this time, she revealed another Sunday passion tome.. solving crosswords.
That good word
The flight was landing, she hadn’t got all the white boxes solved, she was looking at the airhostess (and me) as if we had spiked some brain-damage pill in her coffee. Scary.. but hello, she found the solution and all was well with the world, the landing was happy.
Suleiman Salim’s joyous background music played in my Sunday head. Since then, I’ve attempted to role model my Sunday after what I think is Kajol’s. The family it is completely, then maybe some newspapers (such RUBBISH they write.. oof da ooof), tea, toast, take it easy, lunch, doze.. naaah.. too much energy, cell phone conversations (not too long, very bad these calls are), take it easy, movie.. on dvd..multiplex avoid please.. popcorn bowl popped in the micro.. dinner.. an Amoretto liqueur.. hug.. lovely..
I imagine that’s her Sunday.
Mine can never be like that actually because.. of one element. I’ve bought a stack of them but I still can’t read any of those magic romances.. romantic magique.. or whatever books. About ladies of the rings, dragonettes, goblins and dinosaurs.
Frankly, I don’t need them on a Sunday. Okay, then on landing we did the shots with photographer Suresh Natarajan. He liked her, she didn’t like him because she likes very few people. We ended up looking for more photogenic locations in the capital and speeded to the India International Centre where water fountains whoosh musically.
She sat under a tree like a yogi. Elderly journos ignored us massively because they just love to ignore Bollywood types, unless of course it’s a Shabana Azmi, who it must be said, can talk on any subject under the sun, moon and the water fountains.
Energy is K’s forte, not mine. Politicians met, teas quaffed, I was about to embalm myself like an Egyptian pyramid mummy. But no.. Kajol must buy books — those romantic magic thrillers — which I hope she has quit reading now. They have super drawings on the cover, most of them suggesting that the readingmaterial on the pages is all about Lords and Ladies of the Ring. Kajol reads but she reads.. er.. junk.