In an attempt to structure a story on how Priyanka Chopra is distancing herself from boyfriend Harman Baweja after his debut film, Love Story 2050 tanked, leading dailies and tabloids here in Mumbai carried solo pictures of Priyanka Chopra juxtaposed with those of Harman with Victory co-star Amrita Rao, all clicked at the same function. Predictably, the accompanying copy was on how Priyanka and Harman turned up solo at Farah Khans triumphant lingerie fashion show and avoided each other.
The truth is vastly different.
Just before the show took off, the VIP table where Karan Johar, Gauri Khan, Preity Zinta, Sonali Bendre and Susanne Roshan were seated, was crammed. Thats when Harman Baweja walked in, solo. He went largely unrecognised, as it is his ladylove who is the more famous face today. Finding no seat at the VIP table, Harman quickly shared dress designer Shabina Khans chair at the adjacent table. As the show started, a flurry of quiet messages went back and forth and three empty chairs were produced, linking Shabinas table with Karans. Harman nodded his approval and moved into one next to the dress designer. Five minutes later, a plump girl tapped Harman on the shoulder and whispered. The young actor nodded again in the direction of the two empty chairs and voila! Ten seconds later, Priyanka Chopra in a shiny micro mini rushed in and sat next to Harman. Mummy, she mouthed. Her mom appeared and took the next chair. All this went on in the audience while Farahs show took the spotlight.
The truth is that Harman and Priyanka watched the entire lingerie show seated next to each other, passing little remarks between themselves as resplendent underwear was displayed on the ramp under Farah Khans direction.
Obviously, once the show was over and the photographers began clicking, Priyanka did girlie bonding with Preity Zinta, Gauri Khan and Susanne Roshan, while Harman did his PR bit with Amrita Rao for his next film, Victory.
Unfortunately, today a lot of tabloid and Page 3 journalists are so busy playing celebrity that they didnt bother to watch what was happening at the VIP table. And, as is the wont of most journalists today, they rely largely on the photos that freelance lensmen dump on their tables the next morning, to write their stories. Thus the story in every paper that Harman and Priyanka were at the show but not together.
One couple that denied its intimacy for months but has now begun to date openly is Lara Dutta and Dino Morea. At Farahs show, Dino was heard asking loudly, Wheres Lara? His arm candy was mercifully nearby, so they could go in together.
Farah Khans fashion show had two prominent features: despite the lingerie on the ramp, there was no sleaze. In fact, professional musicians like Pentagram and Sukhbir were on stage singing live while the models strutted their stuff. The second feature was expected: a huge celebrity turn-out with pal Bhavna Panday (Chunkys wife) in charge of the guests. One of the many who turned up was Sushmita Sen who, happily, has shed the ungainly kilos that shed displayed on the TV show Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, the same show on which co-judge Wasim Akram laughingly told viewers that the overdose of Inshallahs and Mashallahs had come from her, not him. Sush is obviously influenced by the current man in her life, Mudassar Aziz. He has also influenced her to kick the butt and to trim the lard. Still, Sush came cleverly dressed in all black, the colour that hides your flaws.
Spotted at two recent fashion shows: Arbaaz Khan minus glam wife Malaika. The first time was at Shatrughan Sinhas daughter, Sonakshi Sinhas debut on the ramp at the Lakmé Fashion Week. Extremely confident, tall and healthy-slim (no size zero here), Sonakshi strode the ramp while her parents, Poonam Dhillon, Satish Shah and Arbaaz made up the front row.
Arbaaz was at Farahs show too. A sudden interest in the leggy uns on stage? And, with Fashion come and gone, Arbaaz cant even claim to be doing homework for his role.
Bharathi S. Pradhan is managing editor Movie Mag International