By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Haar aur jet! That seems to be the way of our industry these days. Jet lag seems to have been invented for our Bollywood stars. During the last two months practically everyone who's someone was shooting abroad. Priyanka and Preity, the two hot 'Ps', queued up for Singapore and the US , respectively.
Preity became eminently homesick. "Arrey yaar, I miss the khana. I miss the roads of Mumbai...hopefully they're cleaner now," she guffawed as only Zinta- dil Preity can. "First I was in Melbourne for six months doing Salaam Namaste. Then I landed up in NYC for Sajid Nadiadwala's Jaan-e-Mann"
The only balm to the soul is Mr. Love Interest, Ness Wadia who makes sure he lands up wherever Preity is, whenever he can. But Preity isn't talking about Ness. "My lips are sealed. I'm not saying a word about love. I've become superstitious about it. I've practically become an NRI. I'd soon need a passport to enter Mumbai," she wailed good-naturedly.
AB Sr. likes being outdoors. While he was in the remote no-network area of Rajasthan last month for Vinod (Meticulous) Chopra's Eklavya, he got to do loads of stuff that he never gets to do in Mumbai, like listening to his favourite music, watching films, or just being by himself.
"He never really gets time to chill in Mumbai," says Abhishek, who doesn't get time to do anything these days, in Mumbai or otherwise. "Pa likes those times when he can be on his own far away from the maddening crowd. Just work and no other commitments. That's really rare in Mumbai."
Maybe that's one of the main reasons why our stars like going abroad. It used to be for anonymity. "But now with Bollywood making a dent in even the remotest corner of the universe you cannot hope to merge with the crowds. I mean, even the Martians know who Amitabh Bachchan is," said Urmila Matondkar before flying off to Paris for a Bollywood summit followed by a brief vacation. And no, before minds start ticking away timorously.... Urmila wasn't accompanied by a 'special' friend on this Parisian sojourn.
Why do we always assume that our stars go abroad to be naughty?
"Yeah you do tend to let your hair down. But that doesn't mean we actors lose control and behave like bohemian gypsies, please!" Priyanka Chopra protests. She has no issues about being away. "I love being away from the stress and strife in Mumbai. The minute I land here the whole tamasha begins all over again. Whom I supposed to be seeing, whom I'm making up with, breaking up with. Please, gimme a break!"
This spunky 23-year old has lately been undergoing a great deal of stress. Her dad is currently undergoing treatment for cancer in the US. "Only I know what it takes to act normal, to do my work and behave as though everything is fine. That's how my dad wants me to be. I've been brought up to be a strong gal," she confessed during a brief stopover in Mumbai before leaving again for Malaysia.
Sigh! Mumbai binds you down. Ask dear Lataji. Till recently she used to be in London for her annual vacation either in June or December. "I love the winter in London. I'd like to be there this winter. But it seems unlikely. Too many things demanding my attention, back home," she sighs.
The Bharat Ratna has to pay a price for being the ratna of Bharat.