Thursday, 21 May 2009

“I am still getting used to all this because in my hearts, I am still Jackky and not Jackky Bhagnani a star” - Jackky

By Devansh Patel

Kal Kissne Dekha in Ahmedabad

With a week to go for the mega release of Vashu Bhagnani's Kal Kisne Dekha, the hype surrounding the film is gaining significance every hour now. That's what I got to know when I was sitting at my residence in Ahmedabad. I call Jackky Bhagnani for an interview to be fixed this Sunday in Mumbai. He then tells me to call Rohan, the PR of Puja Films to arrange for one. All goes well. My next call to the delectable and the agreeable Vaishali Desai. No answer. After almost half an hour I see 'Vaishali Desai calling' on my I-Phone. She too agrees for an exclusive interview. But just before we disconnect Vaishali says, “I'm in Ahmedabad for the Kal Kissne Dekha concert.” I answer, “Me too. I've come to visit my parents.” She answers, “Why don't you come down this evening to Karnavati Club. I'll arrange for your backstage pass.” And there I was thinking that this was one of those things I had to do for some time.

No I did not grow up watching live concerts but along the line I became a huge fan watching it on the television. So last particular night, I was able to fulfil one of my dreams watching Jackky Bhagnani, Vaishali Desai and the evenings show stopper Kareena Kapoor set Ahmedabad temperatures soaring at the Karnavati Club. Ahmedabad witnessed its hottest day ever seeing Bebo, Jackky, Vaishali, Sunidhi and Sajid from Sajid Wajid fame perform on stage to promote Kal Kissne Dekha directed by Vivek Sharma. After their first super successful tour in Indore, the KKD team landed in Ahmedabad for their second leg of promotions with Kareena Kapoor as its surprise package. Indore saw Lara Dutta shake her leg with same energy and their third and final city Delhi will also witness yet another surprise starlet just before the release of the film.

An over packed house of more than 2,000 people graced the occasion only to see Kareena Kapoor but little did they know that both Jackky and Vaishali were going to surprise them all with their dance moves and how. The ever smiling Sophie Choudhary, the host for the evening dressed up in a green outfit looked mesmerising as she introduced before the crowd some of Puja Films greatest hits on the big screens. Next up saw Sajid Wajid's band perform on stage before the actual show kick-started. Sajid comes up on stage and sings 'Aaja Soniye' from Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, plays the dhol and then sings the title track of the film Partner. Sajid also sang KKD's 'Tere Bina Raazi Nahi' in front of packed audiences. So far so good but the crowd was waiting for something much bigger and better.

Jackky Bhagnani

Sophie introduces the birth of a super star in the making, the newest kid in Bollywood to take the industry by storm in his debut film and launched by his own father, the gifted producer Vashu Bhagnani. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Jackky Bhagnani as he arrives in true style with a red hooded top and a black vest. But before he took centre stage, I met the budding talent pumping iron in his cabin warming up and flexing his muscles minutes before he faces his soon to be fans. I start with his Indore experience. “It was rocking. There were seven thousand people, something which we didn't anticipate. I was really not expecting people to cheer for me honestly, but in the beginning it was all ok and when the show progressed, you have no idea the way the crowd screamed. There was a time when I was performing solo and I thought, is the cheer for me or for someone else. It was a nice experience”, informed Jackky. On his fans following so far he said, “There were these fifteen to eighteen year old girls who were screaming out in the front row seats telling me that they will watch Kal Kissne Dekha as many times as possible only because they like my dance. That was a great compliment and my first fan following. I was touched. I am still getting used to all this because in my hearts, I am still Jackky and not Jackky Bhagnani a star.” When I asked Jackky on what he thinks about his pumped up biceps which everyone backstage were talking about, he said, “It's great when people praise you for your hard work. Nothing better than that. There's this video of mine which I've uploaded on my blog. The theme is before and after. So when people saw the video their respect for me doubled up because of the progress I've made in the last two years. It's a nice feeling.” With three minutes remaining to go on to the stage, I ask Jaccky three questions, first on his comments about facing different crowd each time he performs. “A crowd is a crowd, Indore, Mumbai, Delhi or Ahmedabad. I want the whole country to like me and I have to adjust according to their taste.” And how much of Nihal Singh, his reel name in Kal Kissne Dekha, do we expect to see on stage, “Thirty percent because I will not be seen in my Nihal look as the stage shows are too glamorous. Actually this is just to show them that Nihal can look glamorous too.” And my last question before he does his filmy entry. The srtike may work in favour of you, don't you think so? He quotes, “I wouldn't say that the strike is good for us. In fact, it is not good for anyone. But if I can feed in the hunger, I'll be lucky and happy. Luckily, the whole association is supporting us from all the biggest directors, actors and producers. They are really treating me as a film industry's child more than Vashu Bhagnani's.”

Vaishali Desai
Now before my chat with Jackky, I first landed up meeting the lady who looked so elegant even in her western outfits. I see her walk graciously on the green grass waiting for her arrival. It almost looked as if it was all laid up for her. I quietly observer her talk to few people backstage. Then our eyes meet and like she did the first time we met in Film City last year, she professionally invited me in her set up room. The perfect first lady symptoms I should say! Vaishali's mother was a good company too as I ask her something which I couldn't resist. “Have you got the masala puri's for me today? I still remember the last time I had them on the sets in Film City.” “I'm sorry. But not today”, she informed me sweetly like all mom's do. Time for some quick Q's to Vaishali before she too makes her entry with her co-star. “How was your Indore experience?”, I ask her. Miss Desai answered, “People responded very well. It was my first time on stage. My dancing abilities isn't visible in the promos of the film. So here I was going full on with it. Thank God I remembered all my steps (laughs).” She talks of her Lara Dutta experience in Indore where the actress came in as a surprise performer. “Lara and I didn't interact too much backstage but people did fill up to watch her too. She was suppose to be here in Ahmedabad but the dates didn't work out. We performed together with Jackky in the last sequence of Kal Kissne Dekha's title song. I did meet Lara during my Miss India pageant but that's about it.” For some reason I wanted Vaishali to agree to what I was thinking. “You've got a bit of Kareena Kapoor in you. I mean you resemble her in the way she looks”, I tell her. “Vivek sir told me that I look a bit like Madhuri Dixit and Kareena Kapoor. One of my friend told me that I even resemble the yesteryear beauty Sadhana in one of the scenes from the film. So there is a lot to talk about here (laughs)”, she answers. With so many lookalikes added to her name, we wish she already has fans queueing up for autographs. “Yes, there was this sixty year old man who was standing since morning in the reception area of the hotel waiting for my autograph. That was sweet”, she claims. Vaishali then recalls her last Ahmedabad visit. “I came here for excursions as a kid and have visited Akshardham. I've done a lot of student ramp shows here during my early modelling career. I love drinking 'chaas' here. I am not too fond of Gujarati food though even though I am a Gujarati. In fact, this morning when I was invited to a Radio Station, they served me some 'sandwich dhoklas'. But I should say this, I love the Gujarati 'Khaman dhoklas'.

Kareena Kapoor

Her limo came in style and so did she. Dressed from top to toe in gold, Bebo looked at her glittery best. Kareena Kapoor arrived on time and surprisingly she did not enter her pre-prepared air conditioned room but instead sat outside her cabin in front of the big screen and watched Sunidhi Chauhan perform on 'Race Saason Ki' from Race. No wonder Bebo was tapping her feet. Though no one was allowed to come close to her or interview her, I was standing at an arms length from her quietly observing and listening to all what Bebo had to say. Jackky hurriedly comes out from his cabin to go and perform on his second act. He sees Kareena sitting in front of her. They greet each other with a warm hug and as Jackky was about to leave to go on to the stage, Kareena uttered those three golden words, “All the best”. That was much needed I tell you for this youngster. A sweet gesture from a sweetheart. The act gets over and I see Kareena get a bit emotional. She tries desperately to hide her tears but it didn't listen to anyone. It was no time for emotions now as it was Jackky Bhagnani versus Kareena Kapoor on stage. They both had to perform together for the first time ever. Bebo gets off her chair and tells Jackky to have one small rehearsal. Now check this one out. This was an all time exclusive for all backstage audience watching Kareena rehearsing her steps with Jackky along with the head dancers. The final call and off she goes. First she performs on the title track of Golmaal Returns and then one of her favourites 'It's Rocking' to be followed by her best 'Mauja Hi Mauja', and that's when Jackky enters with his black sports bike and both set the stage on fire in the hot and blistering summer of Gujarat. The Gujarati's sitting out there loved every bit of Golden Nites concert. I managed to ask a Gujarati couple, Anish and Fenam Bodawala on what they thought of the show. “Everything was good about it. Jackky we think was brilliant in his moves. Vaishali looks beautiful and is a good dnacer too. But the show stopper and the stealer was Kareena Kapoor. She was the fuel in the fire. No wonder we were sweating.” Fireworks display ended the starry night and the people of Ahmedabad wished all in their grand style a big 'Aavjo'
Some people are destined for greatness in all kinds of different areas. Vashu Bhagnani deserved and got a standing ovation for a Summer of '09. And now when I look back at the night gone by, I recall the lyrics – 'Oh when I look back now...that summer seemed to last forever...and if I had the choice...ya, I'd always wanna be there...those were the best days of my life'

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