World Exclusive by Devansh Patel
The beautiful and the innocent have no enemy but time. Minissha Lamba decided the time. “You have to see me walk. So be at the Grand Hyatt at 2pm”, said the gorgeous lady who was to be a show stopper at yesterday's Lakme India Fashion Week. Day one of the biggest fashion spectacle which celebrated it's tenth year, show 2 of designer Archana Kocchar saw Minissha open the show in the most stunning red gown that had a dramatic ghagra splashed with a profusion of roses which were lit with neon lights, and there she walked as if she had never walked before, there she looked all rosy presenting you with that era of innocence which set the mood for a glamorous evening just waiting round the corner at Del Italia in Juhu. As I always say – The innocent are so few that two of them seldom meet, but when they do meet, their victims lie strewn all around. But before I met the luscious Lamba at the LFW, I had something else planned for the lady a couple of days back. Flashback please.
Travelling by a luxury sedan for a date with someone special sets a tone of class and sophistication. I mean, it was my fifth date in the last five months, with the two of my last dates at the Indigo Cafe. Really felt like a brand ambassador. For that, I could've travelled in one anyway. But my busy, hot and humid schedule dampened my spirits. Not that Mini was to come in a one big fat stretched Limo. Hang on...she could've though. She's more than just an ambassador. Anyway, let me introduce you to my date of the day – I love to call her Mini, for the world outside, she is Minissha Lamba. It's been a strange trip for her it seems. Coming from a highly intellectual background, she might have expected to lead an academic life. Instead, much to her bewilderment and horror, she was seized upon by Bollywood and thrust into the limelight as the latest teen sex symbol. I hate to use this word 'sex symbol', so not symbolic for me. But if there is another way to describe this sexy blandly urbane lady, please feel free to post your comments below.
At precisely 3pm from the Film City, I send her a text message:
“Hi Mini, I've left Film City and will reach Indigo by 4. That fine with you lovey dovey?”
The alert from the other end came in a second:
“Just to be safe, let's make it 4.30. Running a bit late on my current appointment”
I love to get the convo going and thus sent her another beep:
“Make sure you have time to relax busy girl. Cool it down at Indigo”
Pat comes the reply:
“Exactly...coffee to get me going for the next half of the day”.
4.30pm and my car headed towards Indigo. Almost a hundred meters away till I read something on my mobile – Message from Minissha Lamba, which read:
“Will be delayed by fifteen mins baba...just got done”.
Punctuality is what describes me. But when at 4.46, I reached the destination Indigo, Mini calls me: “Where are you?
I reply: “Just parking the car, see you in a second. What about you?”
Mini: “I am inside the cafe. Look who's late”
My mind couldn't think of anything better than the cult cliched dialogue from the 80's – Yeh sun ne se pehle main mar kyun nahin gaya.
In walks me dressed in my most comfy jeans and a pink tee with a chequered scarf adoring my neck....and there she was sitting peacefully, in her own sweet serenity. I come close to her, make eye contact and a warm hug made things much more relaxed...finally.
I'm sure all this sounds more like a screenplay, with the camera on the trolley taking a full 360 degree capturing the mood, the essence and the intensity in Mini's eyes in a soft focus and me standing in a blurred out pink as I play a second fiddle here. Now if that's the case, here's the script:
ML: “Hey, how you doing?”
DP: “Not so perfect. Late by a minute and a half”
We look at each other for a good few seconds as if we had forgotten our lines. I went colour blind but Mini could see many colours.
ML: “That's a nice pink I've seen in ages. It looks good on you”
DP: “Thank you Mini, but I'm straight”
ML: (smiles) “I mean, there aren't so many who can carry the pink so well”
DP: “I know I can because I'm slim”
ML: “Yeah, but you don't have to be macho to make pink look cool”
DP: “You're right. I don't have to put on the meat”
ML: “And why do you wear a scarf on a hot summer day?”
DP: “To protect my neck from being burnt. You see, you girls are lucky to have long hair not exposed to the sun. This is my way to stay cool”.
ML: “Very interesting. I couldn't have figured that out”
The attendant comes with the orange coloured menu. Thought it could've been indigo. What to order was the next big question.
DP: “So what's the speciality here Mini?”
ML: “I thought you've been here for quite a few dates”
Ooops...bad homework. That made me look like a fool upfront but I pulled it off somehow.
DP: “Yes I have but every time I've visited this place, either it's the coffee or the juice”
ML: “Got it. I'll order a coffee. I've recently started my daily dose of caffeine intakes”
When you see Minissha Lamba’s svelte physique, you’d never imagine she loves regular coffee. To be precise, a moccachino. Does she even have a trainer, I ask myself. The attendant arrives with his pad and a pen.
ML: “Could you get me something that'll wake me up please? I'll have a nice caramel coffee”
Attendant: “Try Moccachino ma'am”
ML: “Alright but make sure it's got some chocolate flakes added in it”
DP: “And I'll have something that can make me mad”
ML: “What's that?
DP: “I'll have a nice extra hot black coffee please”
ML: “Why don't you have something to eat Dev”
DP: “I'm keeping it slim now-a-days”
ML: “Then order yourself a salad or something”
DP: “I'm fine love, trust me”
The attendant leaves.
DP: “So tell me what's happening with you after Abba Ka Kuan?
ML: “Not signed any film as of now”
DP: “Ok. And how's Abba doing”
ML: “Boman is a darling. I think he is in town”
DP: “It's been ages I've met him”.
My eyes spot the lovely big copper coloured Armani leather watch Mini was wearing but what I didn't spot was that she had her eyes on mine too.
DP: “You an Armani person?”
ML: “Not really but I noticed your Armani dial and it's similar to mine. I like Earth colours and that's why I like this watch”
DP: “So if I open your wardrobe, I'm sure to find green, brown, grey, blue?”
ML: “Kind of. But I am seasonal. One time I wear shades of blue, sometimes you'll see me shades of red, etc”
DP: “Yeah. The last time I saw you, you were adored in red from top to toe”
ML: “Yes, that was our first meet during my Kidnap days”
DP: “What make is your mobile?”
ML: “It's Nokia. But I'm now planning to buy a Blackberry. All my friends use that. Is it a nice choice? And which one do you use?
DP: “I've got my I-phone but the Blackberry is a smart choice. Make sure you go for the Storm, the latest one from the range of Blackberry”.
Our coffee arrives. A frothy one for Mini and a filtered black one for me. Both of us cheer our white cups to our friendship. The talk continues...
DP: “I liked your exclusive photo shoot which you did for Bollywood Hungama”
ML: “Thank you. But I am always confused as to how these things fall in place”
DP: “Don't task your mind love”
ML: (smiles) “So how's work going?”
DP: “I am loving it. Feel like working 24/7. Busy with my newspapers in London and loyal as always to Bollywood Hungama”
ML: “That's very good”
DP: “I heard you too wanted to become a journalist, right?”
ML: “I wanted to become a War journo who would cover the real things, everything real and as it happens. It's challenging”.
DP: “You aren't from any army background right?”
ML: “Nope. I've seen a lot of India because my father was a hotelier”
DP: “So that doesn't make you a Mumbaiker then”
ML: “I'm just a three and a half year old girl in Mumbai”
DP: “So what have you still got to see in this beautiful city?”
ML: “Except Versova, where I live, I haven't seen much of anything” (smiles)
At 5.15pm Mini's mobile rings. She talks for a few minutes.
DP: “Please let me know when you want to go. I'm sure nothing was that urgent”
ML: “It was just a friend. But I've got to reach Juhu at 6pm for one last meeting I've got scheduled”
DP: “That's going to take ten minutes from where we are in Andheri”
ML: “Not with a traffic like in Mumbai”
DP: “You bet. But we still have twenty minutes to kill. That's fine with you right?”
ML: “Of course yes”
DP: “So what else is happening? I'm sure the industry is going to see it's dark days with this whole strike thing of the multiplexes”
ML: “To each their own. I'm sure everyone has got their own view points on this. But we have to have a common ground for a mutual agreement on an issue like this”.
The coffee in Mini's cup is almost over. But here's what was really delicious. She took a spoon kept along side her cup, swirls it inside the cup and gets the sticky chocolate residue to tickle her taste buds. That could've been a well shot scene.
DP: “That's sweet Mini. Tell me something, do you have a low sugar problem?”
ML: “No but I have a low blood pressure sometimes. Did you enjoy your coffee?”
DP: “I loved it. It's the first time I'm having a black filtered coffee in Indigo. Can't get real than this”
ML: “What do you mean?”
DP: “Filter coffee is better than the processed ones you get in glass jars. These are coffee beans crushed to the core, packed and sealed. I'm missing Starbucks”
ML: “I've heard it's soon coming to Mumbai”
DP: “That's good. Costa needs some competition”
ML: “Yeah, but Barista and Cafe Coffee Day too serves you some good coffee”
DP: “Ok. Now tell me when are we shooting your video for the Elections and the Earth Day?”
ML: “Why don't you come with your guys to the Hyatt on the 27th March. I am a show stopper for the day. We can do it in the lobby once I'm over”
ML: “But why are you just coming to shoot your video, you have to come to see me walk too”
DP: “And who's going to arrange for my passes?”
ML: “Don't be silly. You're coming with me backstage”
DP: “Now that's getting me excited”
ML: “I'm sure if you have your Press card, you'll be alright anyway”
DP: “You bet! I struggled getting into the Film City today”
ML: “Show me your Press card Dev”
DP: “You must be joking. You'll die seeing my five year old picture. I'm not showing you”
ML: “Shut up. Just show me your card”
That could've ended my date in a spur of a moment. I take my wallet out, then slowly take my Press card out. Mini grabs it. Has a good close look at it and utters:
ML:“You look good here. What's wrong with the pic?”
DP: “It's a five year old pic Mini. Come May this year, I'll be getting old. You should look at some of my better pics like the ones on Facebook”
The attendant comes and clears our cups and Mini again humbly asks me to have something again. So sweet of her. She then looks at the time. The time was right. 5.40pm. She had to leave for her appointment as promised. Not a right time to part though. But our convo could've never ended. Mini takes her sun glasses out and pop comes my branded talk, “Ok, let me guess what make are they. Armani? Guess? Gucci? Givenchy? Versace?” All my brand guessing was a waste. The clever than me Mini reverts, “It's Bvlgari”. So as I get up and be a perfect gentleman by allowing Mini to walk past me as a perfect lady dressed in her jeans a cute casual white sleevless top with her glairs on, she takes a pause, calls her driver. I too call mine. Her Accord arrives. My Corolla doesn't. I call him again only to figure out that he had parked it a bit far off. The professionalism in Mini comes into act. She waits for me till my car arrives. She again takes a pause. And that was killing me softly. I could see it coming. She said, “You remind me of someone”. I got it. She continues in the same breath, “You resemble so much like Farhan in the way you talk and dress”. That made Minissha Lamba the seventh person to make me realise that. Will have to seriously take this up with Farhan the next time I bump into him. I wasn't embarrassed on the compliment but more on her waiting for my car to arrive so she could depart. I put my foot down. “You need to go Mini, please leave, I'll be fine”. A warm hug and a promise that we'll hook up on the 27th March at the Grand Hyatt made us cheer up while we parted ways. Thank you Mini for being who you are - simply irresistible!