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No matter where one’s fandom lies, if one saw the clip of you visiting your son in jail, the sheer dignity would have one converted to 'being yours'!
I have done enough stuff in my journey making my son and husband often exclaim vexedly, ‘Aap Zara Sa Tham Jao Ji!’
But never in my dreams did I imagine that I would be writing an open crush-puff-piece at this stage of my life!
That too, of all the peeps to you!
As a newlywed, when I watched your block-buster DDLJ I almost croaked. More out of anger I confess. Here at 70 mm, you were painting a beautiful landscape of amour leading to a happy marriage and my romantic reality was dark as possible.
The struggle to slot you began then as you sold Teflon dreams of eternal love, as millions swooned to your too-good-to-be-true Raj template, and in the process, you moved from humble abodes to palatial Mannat.
All my repressed feelings came to the fore, once I discovered the pleasure of conveying my pithy thoughts in wildly acerbic words.
Image and text credit Anupama Jain
Your movies came and I relished dissing them to pieces be it Harry met Sejal or Zero. It worked well for both.
You continued to romance women half your age on screen (That is so bad, Shah!), smooching them even and I kept churning out opinions as I listened!
Mind you, at great risk to my sanity, and non-regenerative (and limited) brain cells, I online-stalked, caught those BlingMan KJo’s Koffee innerviews, and even saw the David Letterman show completely marvelling at your razor-sharp smarts, deadpan wit and those quick wisecracks as you delivered your punches oh so smoothly!
How nicely you walked that thin rope between unabashed arrogance and aspirational chutzpah!
I nodded grudgingly, you were Khantistically, a cut above the rest!
I even chuckled when the supposed one-woman-man succumbed to the charms of an erstwhile Ms World and rocked his home and hearth. Ahh, The alpha lover did finally develop chinks in his shiny armour! More like Keeping with the Jonases huh?! But then I let this tidbit of your life be the grist for gossip mills.
Like a fine wine, you got better as you aged whereas my Kamar became a 9’X9′ Kamra and my dark circles became bigger than my friend circles.
Being a star has its privileges, right?
And then a crisis of humungous nature hit your home and showed us how human you truly were!
They say the true strength of character comes to the fore in times of difficulty.
No matter what one’s belief system is, one could not but marvel over the absolute decency and fortitude with which you faced your problem which must have shaken the very core of Mannat- a situation which no parent ever wants to be in –
Not one acrimonious word uttered or no diatribe indulged in.
Your grace under fire, your raw courage, your steadfastness and not wilting under intense public gaze, could melt anyone’s heart.
Really a class act!
No matter where one’s fandom lies, if one saw the clip of you visiting your son in jail, the sheer dignity would have one converted to ‘being yours’!
As an Indian Amma, for whose cubs she will fight the world fiercely, this was the clincher.
I am not going to quibble about how watching your Raj or Rahul today, will make us cringe
Because once upon a time, smile we did, fall in love we did and happy we felt!
So I am calling a truce.
Henceforth I shall write bordering on mushy pieces.
Provided, you will act your age, grow love handles and go grey, stop cradle snatching!
Heck, who are we kidding?
You do you and I do I!
Anupama Jain is the author of:
* ’Kings Saviours & Scoundrels -Timeless Tales from Katha Sarita Sagara’, listed as one of the best books of 2022 by @Wordsopedia. Rooted in the traditional storytelling of Indian legends, warriors, read more...
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