Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Grand Hyatt knows what I did last summer

Woke up at 4:30 am today because I had to report at the Grand Hyatt for a major company event at 6 am! Which is why I had to quickly wrap up last night's celebration of Sinnerman getting his US visa. And how could the night be complete without more jabs on my hand by Soldier? Bas bahut ho gaya, need to put kala teeka on my hand already.

So I was at the Grand Hyatt at that unearthly hour, helping to set up stuff for the event. Dressed in black formals, hair neatly disciplined in place, I played the part of the serious, responsible editor. MC'ed the talks by various authors, entertained queries from teachers and proudly discussed the best-selling book I co-wrote, that has sold more than 22000 copies. And there I was -- so corporate, so formal.

And then it struck me.

If the Grand Hyatt was a human, it would have spoken to me.

It would have said, "Errr... you look familiar. Aren't you the same girl who...?" And I would have turned red and slunk away as fast as my formal black shoes would have carried me.

Flashback May 2004

Ok fine, I admit I was there! Along with thousands of other screaming fans. Ok, maybe I didn't scream so much. But I did camp outside the Grand Hyatt for three days, to meet the Bollywood stars who had come down to Singapore for the IIFA awards last year.

If my day started at the Grand Hyatt today at 6 am, my day would end at 6 am then, as I refused to budge from the hotel entrance till all the stars had returned after their heavy partying sessions. It was quite a crazy thing to do. And yes, I'll probably never do it again if given the chance.

But when I made a list of all those I managed to meet/see, it was all worth it. I had seen almost all of Bollywood. And because the crowd was not only made up of Indians, but Chinese and Malays as well, many stars were not recognised. It gave me such a high when people in the crowd started coming to me to ask who it was when they couldn't recognise some of the stars. I guess they knew I knew my stuff 'cos I was pretty much the first to call out their names when they appeared.

Here's the list I use to live the moments again:

Shah Rukh Khan - He was at the next table from me, having lunch with Karan Johar and Jaya Bachchan. I still remember his steely eyes as he said to me, "I'll give you three seconds to take my photo. Three seconds. Okay?"

Karan Johar - Saw him twice -- once when he stepped out of the car and waved, and once as mentioned above. How I love his work. You go, guy!

Jaya Bachchan - As mentioned above. Boy, she's the most elegant lady Bollywood has ever produced.

Hrithik Roshan - Great looks. Great attitude. And oh, did I mention great looks?

Amitabh Bachchan - I don't like him too much but you gotta admit the man has a presence you can't ignore.

Abhishek Bachchan - Very very likeable.

Dino Morea - I literally bumped into him on the street. He's so tall that my head actually rammed into his chest. When I looked up, I was speechless! Was it really Dino? He apologised for not having the time to pose for a picture. Then he walked off, turned back and silently mouthed 'I'm sorry' again. Incredibly sweet of him to do that.

Preity Zinta - Was shopping in disguise, and suddenly ran into the hotel lobby, shocking even the security guards. I only recognised her when she took her cap off.

Nikhil Advani - Spotted him shopping for CDs at HMV. Stalked him for almost half an hour 'cos I wanted his autograph but could not remember his name. When I gave up and started walking back, I remembered the name. Could not trace him back though.

Anil Kapoor - Ok is he ever going to grow old or what??

Fardeen Khan - Hopped his way back into the hotel on crutches after the charity football match.

Saif Ali Khan - Hopped his way back into the hotel on crutches after the charity football match.

Sanjay Dutt - Smoked and smoked outside the lobby for at least half an hour.

Boman Irani
- Spoke to us for a while. He actually had time to ask me which I found funnier -- Main Hoon Na or Munnabhai.

Javed Akhtar & Shabana Azmi
- I requested them to come forward and pose for me. They did!

Ritesh Deshmukh - Was standing there looking rather sad 'cos no one recognised him. Except me of course. When I screamed "Ritesh!" his face lighted up. And everyone else started asking, "Who's Ritesh? Which movie is he in?"

Brett Lee - Apparently, he's a great Bollywood fan!

Amrish Puri - He is SO Mogambo!

Esha Deol - Not pretty. Coupled with loads of bad attitude.

Kareena - Great figure. Bad attitude.

Bobby Deol - Cute. Gentlemanly. Quiet.

Vivek Oberoi - Friendly. Not so good-looking though.

Feroz Khan - Bald. Tall. Majestic. 50-year-old women were screaming "We still find you sexy!"

Madhavan - His fingertip touched mine before the moronic security guard pushed the crowd away!

Arshad Warsi - Came back to hotel at 4 am. Drunk. Did a little dance for us when he saw us waiting at that hour.

Simi Garewal
- Pure. White. Elegant. Beautiful.

Zayed Khan
- Tall. And so much better looking in real life than on screen.

Prem Chopra - Was lunching at the Scotts Road food court with two henchmen when I asked him if I could have a photo with him. He happily obliged.

Also featured - Sharad Kapoor, Shoma Anand, Kiran Juneja, Satish Kaushik, Yash Johar, Dilip Kumar, Saira Banu, Yash Tonk, Shammi Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Rakesh Roshan and Suresh Oberoi

1. Screaming fan outside the Grand Hyatt
2. Serious-faced editor and author inside the Grand Hyatt

Yupp, that's me. Both of 'em.

But one thing was common in the two personas.

In both instances, people came to ask me questions about stuff I knew like the back of my hand.


anubhav said...

You met so many of them....great ..

Btw whats the name of the book you co- wrote...

planning a trip to amsterdam..? :D

Anonymous said...


I'm surprised you remember so many of them after a whole year! But then again, if you wouldn't, who would?

Sayesha said...

Hi Anubhav,

I hate to say this myself but my book will sound so incredibly boring to you that you'll never ever buy it. Besides, not to mention that you won't find it in Surat/Baroda. It's a revision and exam prep book for 9-12-year-old Singaporean kids. How interesting does that sound?

Some day, though, I hope to write a book (for grown-ups) that one would actually wanna buy. If I get too lazy, maybe I'll just compile my blog posts. Please buy! :P


ps: No Amsterdam trip for me. These crazy things are done only once in a lifetime :)

Anonymous said...

Sayesha, remember whose house you bunked at for those three days in May 2004? Remember who made litres of cold coffee so that you dont faint when waiting for the stars?

When I told my mom about this incident, she disowned me for not taking some photos of the stars for her sake! :P

Anonymous said...

In both instances, people came to ask me questions about stuff I knew like the back of my hand.

...and u wonder why people are obsessed about ur hand?!?!

oh, and one more thing. Small typo in ur blog - regarding Karan Johar : "You go, guy!" should be read "You go, gay!"

Young Master said...

sayesha, when do you catch up on sleep?

anubhav said...

ok keep me away from school books but even if you compile your blog posts or write a book which is NOT Related to studies i'll be happy to read...

Sayesha said...

Hey Pi,
Yeah man, thanks for providing food and shelter to this crazy, sleepy and delirious fan. :)

KJ may be gay or straight, but he's the greatest movie-maker Bollywood's got! :)

I need to sleep I need to sleep I need to sleep...

Thanks for the support. I'll keep you updated. Stay tuned to this blog and don't switch channels. :)

Aye Kay said...

Wow thats a lot of people. Some of them I dont even know by face, I had to Google to find their pics to know whom you are talking about. For me many of them would be "the guy who played this part in that movie".

Anonymous said...

whoa. that is a lot of stars. I would do the same in a different time for an entirely different set of people :)

Anonymous said...

cool!!I totally envy ur enthu...I walked by Scotts so many times those 3 days and saw so many crazy fans outside the hotels, I would purposely take a different route cos i hate crowds....
u go gal!!

Anonymous said...


Yes that's true that he does produce great movies. But u know what I think? I think that the success of all these past movies karan's had is because of yash ji - who stayed behind the scenes so that his son could be promoted. And now that Yash ji isn't around - Karan makes movies like Kaal. Hmm. Something to think about.

Anonymous said...


You have been book-tagged :-)

Don't know if you heard of book-tags. I have added your name to my list. take a look at my site.

Sayesha said...

Hey Pramod,

I deal with books the whole day at work. So not really into writing 'about' them! :P

Anonymous said...

wow that's great that you got to see the starz :-) i am totally crazy about abhishek bachchan and if you have any snippets about him, i would lap it up like anything!! if i were you, i'd have done the same thing....would have camped out there...haha. i know i'd be called crazy but is short!!! am with ya!

i stumbled upon ur blog while looking for something else. u write so well and u r funny :-)! keep it up :-)

take care!

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it!
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