Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for sacrifice

If you think this post is about all the sacrifices I have made as a mother, well, think again.

Last week, someone I know posted a very old photo of herself with Shah Rukh Khan. I looked at the photo and then I looked away. It was too painful.

In May 2004, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards were held in Singapore for the first time. Back then, I was just two years into the workforce, and living with two female housemates, the second of whom I didn't know very well. One day, she was on medical leave and as I left for office, I popped by her room to check on her. She said she didn't know what she was going to do all day and that she was already feeling bored. So I lent her my DVD of Kal Ho Na Ho. I also put a box of tissues next to her. You know, just in case.

When I came home that day, she said a big thank you to me.

"For the movie?"

"Well yes, but mainly for the tissue box."

It was then that I noticed her red eyes and the half-empty tissue box.

Wow.

And that's when we really bonded. Over SRK. Who was incidentally in Singapore at that time for the IIFA awards.

So on an impulse, we decided to go and do a night-out outside the Grand Hyatt where he was staying, and someone get a glimpse of him. The real him.

I still can't believe it, but the area outside the hotel was quite empty, and most of the 'crowd' consisted of elderly Malay ladies who didn't really know who was who, and because they sensed that I knew, they'd turn to me ask me every time a car pulled in. And I'd say, "Um... that's Ritesh Deshmukh." and they'd scream "REEETESH!" Even Ritesh, who was hardly a well-known face then, looked surprised to hear his name. You owe me one, buddy.

So we hung out all night, because that way we got to see all the stars as they came back from partying. We saw about 40 of them, and I'd blogged about it here.

But we didn't see SRK that night.

We saw him the next morning, when we went to have breakfast in the same restaurant as he was having it. With Karan Johar and Jaya Bachchan! In spite of my sleepless zombie-fied state, I was having a hard time trying to control myself. We were civil enough not to disturb them while they were eating, and only when they had stepped out, did we ambush them. Karan and Jayaji promptly vanished, and SRK was probably getting late for something.

"Can we have a photo with you, please?" My words tumbled out.

He looked at me with his trademark SRK piercing eyes and said, "I'll give you three seconds. Okay?"

Three seconds. Gulp. Not enough for us to click two photographs. It was NOT the age of selfies, remember?

We looked at each other. Okay, that was one second gone.

"Go!" I pushed her in front of me.

"Are you sure?" She asked.

"Just go."

So she did, and I took a very nice photograph of SRK and my housemate. It was one of the biggest sacrifices I'd made and I was surprised at myself. On hindsight, I didn't know why I did it. I was the bigger fan. In fact, my K post in the 2014 A-Z blogathon was about why I love him so much in spite of his horrible acting in most of his movies.

It has been more than a decade. From time to time, I think of the incident. I wonder if she even still has that photograph. I try to be large-hearted. I try to see how happy my gesture had made her. I tell myself - jab SRK dil mein hai toh photo ki kya zaroorat hai.

But at the end of the day, whenever I remember my sacrifice, I only have two words for myself.

"YOU FOOL."





7 comments:

Arun said...

Oh, for a selfie stick!

Courtney Turner said...

3 seconds! With smartphones, it can take longer than that to click on the right button to get the camera!
Maui Jungalow

Arun said...

"Zindagi Leni Padegi Dobara" - proposed new Bollywood title for all the fans who missed their chance :)

chengiz said...

Your sacrifice should have made the sky thunder like Bhishma's, poor you!

Living in Mumbai, I've seen only one filmstar - but that is Amitabh, so not bad. Oh yeah and Isha Koppikar was in my tuition class but of course she wasnt in films then.

You should post your pics (from that other blogpost).

shemuses said...

Totally irrelevant (but of course) but...."YOU FOOL" - said like Shahid Kapoor in Jab we met, right?

Sayesha said...

Arun,
Back then? :D

Courtney,
Hahaha!

Arun,
That's a bit too much! :P

chengiz,
Oh you Mumbai people! Viv also tells me how Kareena Kapoor was in his school. And Harman Baweja was in his class.

shemuses,
I really need to go and watch that movie againnnn!

chengiz said...

Didnt know Viv was from Mumbai. Yeah we totally dont get you folk. We had a lot of non-Mumbaikars in our college and some of them would want to go see filmstars' bungalows. We'd look at them like are you feeling okay, stayed out in the sun too long perhaps?