Pooja Batra is Smith?s tour guide
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Pooja Batra is Smith?s tour guide

Hollywood actor and singer Will Smith has a Bollywood guide on his current trip to India.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 04:40 IST

Hollywood actor and singer Will Smith has a Bollywood guide on his current trip to India. Accompanying him is actress Pooja Batra, who is part of his 18-member party. Batra flew in from the US with the group, which arrived in Delhi on the weekend.

After a visit to Agra, the entourage arrived in Mumbai last evening. Also in the group are producer and Smith’s friend James Lassiter (Hitch, I Robot, Ali), Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Alfonso Robeiro (who plays the cousin), Smith’s butler, son, cousin, brother-in-law, nephew, agent and others.

Batra says she’s accompanying Smith as a guest on the invitation of Sony head honcho Kunal Dasgupta and Lassiter. “Will is a friend, though I can’t say I have known him long.” Smith and his troupe are travelling in style with their own chartered plane and five-star facilities. “I am his guest but I am enjoying myself in my own country,” says Batra, who was recently seen with Smith at the Taj Mahal. Showing Smith around must have been all the more special? “He loved the experience. We were there for sunrise and he loved it so much that we cancelled the visit to Fatehpur Sikri.” But Smith has not seen her film yet, though she hopes to get him a DVD soon. “Travelling with him, I’m seeing a different India.” And is she his khabri? “Well, I did say I’d be his insider,” she laughs.

In Mumbai, there will be meetings with producers and directors, a private film industry party tonight, the launch of Sony’s new movie channel PIX and an appearance at an awards ceremony. “Will’s been asking me what Mumbai is like. He’s very excited and I’m looking forward to introducing him to my friends,” says Batra, who is surprised at Smith’s preparations for his visit. The actor is said to have seen Sarkar, Mangal Pandey and Black. What is Will Smith like? “He’s hot!” she says without hesitation. “And he’s a great human being, sweet and humble. It can’t get better than that.” Mumbai will soon find out how right she is.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 04:40 IST