Serendipity is a funny thing, they’re unexpected moments that bring out the most unexpected side of a person. But when it comes to serendipitous meets with a celebrity, that unexpected alter ego can range from borderline fanatic to creepy stalker to idiotic starer.
It’s true. These reel-life biggies have jaw-dropping effects on real-life people. When they come face-to-face with an audience, they cause an overwhelming surge of emotion that cannot be fathomed.
But they’re just like us after all, right? We all know that. We think we’d be super chill if a celebrity happened to pop up next to us on an aeroplane or a theatre. We assume that we’d compliment them, take a selfie perhaps, crack a witty joke may be, leave them beaming, and exit with a good impression. Well, thanks to our starstruck nerves, this can never be the case. Ever.
I speak from experience. Living in Mumbai has its perks, and I’ve found myself exactly where these B-town biggies were a few lucky times. This one time I didn’t get too lucky with spotting Shahrukh or Salman Khan, but I saw Aamir. He was standing in a posh Bandra locality, close to his Bentley 0007 and before I could process it all he actually waved at me. Part of me thought I was dreaming, another part wanted to go to him and take a picture, but mostly I just stood there rooted, too surprised to react. Until today I think about how I could have easily had a word with him, asked him about his next project before he drove away. Silly me. The worst part was, nobody believed me because “pictures or didn’t happen” is the rule we all live by in the 21st century.
I promised myself then, that the next time I spot a celeb, my first instinct has got to be clicking a photograph. So I did. I bumped into John Abraham, exactly a week before my final exams and I was so overwhelmed (It was right after the movie Dostana released, you know what I mean?) that I actually told him he looked better with Priyanka Chopra than Bipasha Basu. He looked composed, but I’ve been embarrassed about that comment till date. It haunts me. The next time I saw him, he was with Bipasha, and all I did was look away.
I didn’t give up even after my mindless babble with John, thinking at least I didn’t go mute like the Aamir incident. So I kept at it.
This one time during college I had to go around my neighbourhood to spread a word about the use of electricity. One of those homes turned out to be Aditya Roy Kapoor’s rented flat. Oh, what were the odds? He turned out to be a chivalrous host who politely listened. I was too shy by his suave presence to ask for a picture but a naive teenage girl like me was delighted when he held the elevator door for me. That’s all. He remains a favourite to date.
This gave me the confidence, of course, I was getting better around the famous ones. Having a casual conversation with them was no big deal anymore. I was a grown up.
My next popular acquaintance was Ayushmann Khurrana on my birthday, he was promoting Vicky Donor in the same building where I was partying. I have a great picture with him on Facebook. I then interviewed Alia Bhatt for a magazine I was interning with and it felt like I was talking to someone my own age. Because I kinda was. I have a photo with her too. And with Jacqueline. Let me tell you, she has the hottest legs I’ve ever seen.
Yet all of these celebs, who happen to be so hard to reach, started to lose their charm in my eyes. It was either because I kept seeing them so often or because I grew up – I was eventually over the maddening hysteria celebs triggered.
The next few times when I spotted stars like, Karishma Kapoor at a fashion store, Kalki Koechlin at a peace rally, Farhan Akhtar and Shraddha Kapoor at a concert, Sushmita Sen at a Fashion Week, Anupam Kher outside his acting institute and Ratna Pathak outside a theatre, I didn’t bother them or ask for a picture. I just smiled and let them be.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a crazy Bollywood buff and I still remain a fan of their pristine art. But I know how to separate it from who they really are. I agree that it’s easier said than done because their work has inspired us on so many levels that we can’t help but express our love for them. But the truth is, they’re just like you and me.
p.s: None of this applies to Ranbir Kapoor. He’s BAE.