Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tete-a-tete with Sonali Bendre

I remember four years back (college, 2nd year), when I took the first interview. It was with "Mr." Dimple Kapadia! (That's what I would like to call Vishal Karwal of MTV Roadies/Splitzvilla). I remember how star-struck I had become - since the day I got to know that I were to interview him (and it lasted for a couple of days after the interview). It's very school girl-ish I know, but I guess I can never grow up. Well, he was the first person to tell me, "Nilanjana dear (LOL@dear!!), that was a superb piece of interview. You should be in media. Why are u wasting your time doing engineering!". Well, to state it plainly, his compliments were pouring as I had unduly praised him to skies in the write-up, and not b'coz the interview was truly superb (HUH!). But I did take his words seriously.

Yesterday, the deputy editor came to my seat, and I was flinching as I could smell even more work. "Nilanjana, you have to go tomorrow to Omega Constellation event at TAJ Palace and interview Sonali". Pat came the reply, "Who Sonali?". Then she made me read an email that stated,
"This is regarding an exclusive interview with Omega Brand Ambassador Sonali Bendre Behl on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 2 pm. Let me know if this is feasible".
I looked at the mail once, twice, thrice and then looked back at her. "You mean THE Sonali Bendre?? The actress Sonali Bendre??". I just could not afford to believe that was real! She looked vacuously at me with the expression "what's so great about it! I have taken a hundred celebrity interviews". I was very strenuously holding myself from jumping in wild hysterics! She started explaining me the details of the interview but who was listening. I was trying to hold my smile, but my cheekbones ditched me, and I chuckled and chuckled like an idiot! Her expressions changed from "What’s wrong with her" to "Never mind".

I called up the concerned Omega PR person to give her my contact details. "Hey Nilanjana, Yup you are on for tomorrow. Abhishek is also going to be there. So you can meet him as well." I thought Abhishek would be Sonali’s assistant or something.

Then the deputy ed walked back to me again. “Abhishek Bachchan is coming too. Meet him up and just ask him for a cover story!”

YOU gotto be kidding me! Please, that’s too much for a single day!

And all said, she handed me over a purple invitation card. (The dress code of the event was “a touch of purple”)

Driven by instinct, I told my friends all about it and they all self-invited themselves. :-P Sadly though the card allowed only one entry.

The next day --->

I reached office in a crisp purple shirt (LMAO! I tried to arrange purple trousers and purple sandals as well, but thankfully none of my colour-wise friends had so).

I kept staring at my watch .. it was ticking 10am then… I waited for it to strike 12 am so that I could rush to the venue and first get a photograph clicked with Mr. Abhishek :-). Not that I liked Abhiskek, but so that I could tell my kids … “This is ‘some’ Abhishek, whom I met ‘some’where, ‘some’day ”.

But as fate would have it, 18th of August turned out to be painfully hectic. It was one of the days of the “production week” when we put all hands on the deck.

It was 2pm, the stipulated time, and I still stuck my ass on my seat. Exasperated by the work load and petrified to miss the actors, I just lifted my bag, and sneaked out to find myself at the Taj Palace at 2.20pm.

I never thought I could miss so much in these 20 minutes!!! The PR chick said that Abhishek had left and Sonali had been waiting for 10 mins…!!!

I was flushed with sudden disappointment as the sweet dreams of Abhishek and story-telling to my kids did not work out :( But hang on.. whoa what just happened? Did I really keep a celebrity waiting for me? :-P

So I rushed to the eighth floor to meet Sonali, bypassing all security checks, telling them I genuinely belonged to the press.

She was dressed in a beautiful purple gown, and didn’t look her age at all, given that she has a five-year-old son. I took a seat in the conference room, while she posed for a photo shoot.

Just as the photo shoot got over, “Who is next?”, she asked. I took the seat next to her. I had completely lost track of the questionnaire, and was building up the questions impromptu. After each question, I got pre-occupied with what to ask next.

This continued for around 30 minutes, till I gave up on my ability to cook up more questions.

“It was nice meeting you, Nilanjana! Contact my manager for a beauty shoot”, she smiled as she took off. Her purple gown went brushing against the marble floor and her assistants followed.

I returned back to my office and kept smiling for the rest of the day. Not just coz I interviewed a celebrity, but more so because I made her wait. ;-) So who's next?!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A not so happy friendship day for me

I was sitting in front of the mirror and pondering deep, trying to read my own mind but I couldn’t. I could hear nothing but a deafening silence. .. see nothing but a glaring darkness and ..and feel nothing but a pinching vacuum. ..I felt like an extant nobody that day.

My phone was beeping SMS, one after the other ‘Happy friendship day’ greetings. I tried to smile dissembling my true emotions. I was missing something. Or probably some people. And the ones very dear at that.

I felt like calling them up. But I just forwent. Sometimes the pleasure of missing them is more pleasurable than being with them.

Meko rona aariya si” I made a measly attempt at expressing my feelings in Punjabi, just to imagine
Aastha say, ‘You should be BANNED from speaking Punjabi!’

Navjeet say, ‘YEAH right’

Nilanjana, ‘arre sacchi, yeh dekh main crying already

Mayuri say, ‘Ninja kya khaake baithi hai?

Surbhi say, ‘You need help :P

But I really miss you guys ya! :-(
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