The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ash’s toe keeps Vivek on his toes
- Hurt in left foot and arm, actress advised bed-rest by doctors

Mumbai, April 3: The small toe on her left foot has hairline fractures, but Aishwarya Rai has already walked — with support, of course.

And support there was in strength — mental and physical — in the shape of a strapping young man whose body and soul can’t bear to leave the 15th floor of the Hinduja hospital here.

It’s just for a “good friend”, though, as Vivek Oberoi would like the world to believe, that he spent most part of last night in the hospital. The world would like to believe he was at Aishwarya’s bedside and, when not there, pacing up and down the lonely corridor worrying about her small toe. And the injured left arm and the sore waist.

Hurt in an accident during the shooting of Khaki yesterday evening, the actress was certified by doctors as being in no danger but has been advised bed-rest. She could miss work for a couple of months.

Aishwarya was brought from Nashik, where the accident occurred, to the hospital just after midnight. As there are no flights from Nashik to Mumbai, Amitabh Bachchan, who stars in the Raj Kumar Santoshi movie as well, is believed to have used his networking skills to rush in a chartered helicopter to fly home the actress.

Vivek, who had only a day before accused senior colleague Salman Khan of “picking on him” allegedly for being Aishwarya’s latest love interest, was at the old airport in Vakola to receive Bollywood’s leading lady, as she was flown in from Nashik.

He accompanied Aishwarya to the hospital and left only at the crack of dawn, only to return again, according to hospital sources.

At the airport was also a concerned Subrata Roy with his wife. The Sahara couple went along with the actress to the hospital, as did Amitabh and Akshay Kumar, also her Khaki co-star. Aishwarya is on Sahara’s advisory board.

Vivek, who made his name in Company and Saathiya, told reporters he would help “any friend” in need. “The whole industry knows that I will be there for my friends, whatever the circumstances,” Vivek said, dodging questions why after making allegations against Salman he didn’t file a police complaint.

“Right now this is more important,” the actor said before rushing back into the hospital.

Whoever said it is not more important'

He did, after all, gift her a cuddly teddy bear recently, didn’t he'

Dr Sanjay Agarwal, who is attending on Aishwarya, announced that she was “out of major pain” and that he even made her walk with support in the morning.

It seems it’s not Salman alone that is a thorn. After being hit by a jeep during the shooting, Aishwarya fell on a cactus and thorns pierced her translucent skin. The thorns have been removed but there are abrasions on her elbow, waist and back.

Doctors have used fibreglass bandage, which, they said, would help heal the hairline fractures faster. Her foot and arm will be in cast for some time.

Aishwarya is recuperating in a well-guarded special room to block the stream of well-wishers. But the flowers do not stop coming. Nor the queries from industry colleagues and fans.

Has Salman enquired after her' Well, it’s not known.

Trade analysts said the forced lay-off would not hit her projects, which may at the most be postponed for some time.

“It doesn’t seem likely that her projects will be affected,” industry expert Taran Adarsh said. “Anyway she has only a selected few films lined up.”

Other than Khaki, Aishwarya is starring with Vivek in Sameer Karnik’s Kyon… Ho Gaya Na' which also stars Amitabh. Shooting for the Rituparno Ghosh-directed Bengali movie Chokher Bali is complete.

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