Once again, love in Bombay

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 4.08.13
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Bharathi S. Pradhan Celebrity Circus
Bharathi S. Pradhan

It was like a mini Bengal at the Andheri multiplex where Joy Mukerji's last film Love In Bombay was premiered on Thursday night. Yes, the 1971 film was actually premiered. Wife Neelam Mukerji sent out formal invitations with neat heart-shaped key chains accompanying each card. Even if heroine Waheeda Rehman was miffed that a censored but never released film was being warmed up and served after 42 years (she must have been embarrassed to be seen in a nightie in the film), Bengalis driven by sentiment turned up in an expected show of support.

Most of the cast and technicians (Joy, Kishore Kumar, Shanker-Jaikishen et al) had bid the world goodbye but near and dear ones enthusiastically braved the rains and partied for an hour before the screening began. Moushumi Chatterjee came in glowing and turned all gooey-emotional when she spotted Kishore Kumar's first wife Ruma Guha Thakurta with her son, Amit Kumar. Ruma, now 80-plus, had played a brief role in Moushumi's debut film Balika Bodhu nearly five decades ago.

Old timer Sonia Sahni, one of the few from the cast of Love In Bombay who is still around, came for the screening and had Mumbai socialite Dolly Thakore for company.

Joy and Shomu (Kajol's dad) may be no more but two other Mukerji brothers, Rono and 1960s' actor Deb came to the premiere.

Deb Mukerji, today better known as 29-year-old wonder kid Ayan Mukerji's dad, unabashedly introduced his wife Amrit as, "The mother of Sunita Gowariker." As most seniors know, Ayan is her son from her second marriage (Deb is her second husband). And Sunita is from her first. This is no scandalous past but an honest fact and neither the Mukerjis nor the Gowarikers try to sweep it under the carpet. In fact, Ashutosh Gowariker even turned up to wish the family and chatted happily with his mother-in-law and her second husband.

Ayan's parents are in a happy space and are full of stories about their recent trip to Europe. After his second film Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani crossed the Rs 200 crore mark, Ayan gifted his parents an all-expenses paid fortnight all over Spain and Switzerland, with a cruise thrown in. He did not just pay for it all but also accompanied them and was by their side all through the fortnight before they came back to Mumbai and he stayed on to backpack and chill out in the Netherlands.

Ayan does that after every film. After Wake Up Sid too, he had taken off on a long trip and gone back-packing before he returned to write YJHD.

And, after WUS too, he had wanted to take his parents on a jaunt abroad. Guess why he didn't? Because dad Deb couldn't give up his cigarettes and couldn't entertain the idea of a long, no-smoking flight to Europe. "I've given up smoking, so we could travel this time," laughed Deb.

As for Ayan, he is back in Mumbai, completely refreshed. He has, of course, become the next big thing to watch out for. A few weeks ago, when he said in passing that he had been too busy to see Aashiqui 2, T-Series promptly arranged a special screening for him at Light Box, the preview theatre owned by Farhan Akhtar.

With Ayan's film collecting over Rs 200 crore, the buzzword now is Rs 300 crore. There's a whisper going around that Aamir Khan thinks it's going to be his own Dhoom 3 that will break his 3 Idiots record. Dhoom 3, 3 Idiots, Rs 300 crore — it's No. 3 at the top all the way.

Breathing down Aamir's and every other Khan's neck is Ranbir Kapoor. First he went about quietly making some very daring non-commercial choices as an actor. Then he got his box-office credentials with Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. Now Ranbir has entered Salman Khan's tapori, pedestrian territory. His Besharam (with Abhinav Kashyap who made the original Dabangg) is pure mass-oriented masala with randy dialogue and gestures included. After taking Salman's girl, he'll now get the Khan's audience too.

Finally, Vindu Dara Singh (breathing better with Srinivasan, son-in-law et al getting away with all their shenanigans in the cricketing world) has started a new chapter, post the betting and bookie scandal that had him behind bars for a while. Vindu has sent an SMS with a new phone number. Delete the old one, he requests, and save the new. Done.