The Akshay Kumar fan who won a date with her idol in an online charity auction, came away charmed.
She recounts the experience.
New York-based neurologist Shazia Wahedna finally got to meet her idol Akshay Kumar in Toronto, Canada. The doctor had put up the highest bid $13500 dollars (approx Rs 6 lakh) for a breakfast date with Akshay at a charity auction organised by Farah Khan last month.
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Says Shazia, "I was scared that I wouldn't win the auction so I put in the highest bid I could manage $19000 (approx Rs 9 lakh) for the online auction but ended up paying $13500, the final bid amount. I'm glad the proceeds are going to charity. I have been a lifelong fan of Akshay and have watched all his movies. I watch the first show of every film of his."
She learned of the auction on a website. "It's for a great cause so I didn't mind. In fact, I was very apprehensive that someone else would bid higher than me. I had to stay up all night every day or bid the highest. So I put in the highest amount so no one could beat me!"
Shazia was charmed by the actor's pleasant behaviour and down-to-earth attitude. She says, "Originally, the plan was to have a breakfast date at a Mumbai five-star but I am anxious about not getting a visa to India. I spoke to Ajay Virmani (the actor's close friend) in Toronto and through the auction website, requesting Akshay to have have breakfast in Canada or USA. Kumar is such a generous and wonderful human being that he told Ajay if I win he'd meet me outside India."
She continues, "Akshay met me in Toronto on October 19. The ride from New York to Toronto was the most exciting one I have had in my life. He suggested changing the time from breakfast to dinner. We met at Italian restaurant Trattoria Sotto Sotto in downtown Toronto. He took so much care of me I was stunned. I was very nervous but when he walked in there was something so comfortable in his attitude that I relaxed. He has no starry airs. We had a lovely chat for over two hours."
Akki chose a five-course meal a salad with goat cheese and chickpeas, three different pastas with pesto, tomato and cheese sauce and the main entr ©e was fish. "I wanted to visit his Indo-Canadian joint venture film (Breakaway) shoot the next day and he treated me magnificently there.
Akshay is a thorough gentleman. He kept asking me if I was comfortable. It was the experience of a lifetime for me. I have supported other charities in the past but because I love him so much as his fan I would support any cause he does. If another opportunity like this comes along, I would do it again."
Says Khiladi Kumar, "It was lovely meeting Shazia and I had a great time getting to know her."