Monday, July 10, 2017

Bollywood's Graceful Diva!

She is known to be one of the most naturally beautiful faces of Bollywood. But, as I discovered from close quarters, she is a lovely person too.

This was early 2000. She was staying with us to launch her brand of candles, dreamily called "Faraway Tree."

I was introduced to her by her Manager in The Oberoi Ballroom while we were doing a recce for the big event the next day.

Dimple Kapadia was not particularly garrulous but she was pleasant and nice and somewhat friendly too. I liked her instantly.

Sometime later, I bumped into our General Manager, while walking the Lobby during the restaurant lunch hours. He quizzed me about the Bollywood Diva and told me how standoffish and arrogant she had been with him. The French Gentleman was also bruised because she even refused to shake his hand. I found that a bit odd because Monsieur J is such a charmer and has a way with people. But I guess he failed to cut ice with her.

On the other hand, she took to me famously. We engaged in several short dialogues during the preparation of the event. The event, itself, went off smoothly and we all were quite pleased with the attendance and the media coverage. Dimple and her team were happy with the turnout of guests, on-site sale and further trade enquiries. It was a win-win outcome for us all.

While looking around the Exhibition, I showed interest in 3-4 of her creations and mentioned it to Dimple's Manager.

The next morning, the Manager trooped into my office with those four things that I had liked. To my huge surprise, she put her foot down when I took out my wallet to pay.

When I insisted, she told me that, "Madame has clearly instructed that we do not take any money from Aruna. Tell her that it is a gift from me and she cannot turn it away."

I sought an audience with her to thank her personally. She obliged, requesting me to come to her Suite.

When I entered the Suite, I found her wearing chocolate brown shades, in a way, matching her famous auburn tresses. She took them off briefly and I noticed that her eyes were puffed up, presumably from lack of sleep.

The event had wound up late and then her close friends, the famous Designer Duo - Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla - had visited her for a get-together.

Yet, unmindful of the loss of sleep or swollen eyes, she met me. We sat and talked a little and then she, unlike many vain film stars, agreed to be photographed with me as a keepsake reminder of our meeting.

I think she looked as lovely (or perhaps even more, since I got to see the person behind the persona) as the night before. Yes, on both occasions she wore AJSK!

And she looked ravishing! Don't you agree?

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