I just spent a phenomenal evening at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai. Amidst some of the Indian film industry’s greatest living legends and a double helping of nostalgia. All because the original king of Bollywood, 91-year-old Dilip Kumar, launched his autobiography The Substance and The Shadow written by his close friend Uday Tara Nayar.
Here are just some of the amazing, heart-warming and nostalgic things that were said… in no particular order but with Bollywood nostalgia of epic proportions!
1. THE BIG B. (AND WHY TIMING IS KEY.)
Timing is everything. And since Amitabh Bachchan is supremely punctual (and I like to believe, so am I), I caught my fellow Allahabadi just as he was walking in! He later gave Allahabad a shout-out during his speech about Dilip saab and that put an extra large grin on my face!
2. THE LEGENDARY SOUNDTRACK.
The Bollywood tunes that were playing on loop from classic Dilip Kumar films had everyone tapping along to the beat on their knees. (Just as I’ve seen my mom do time and time again.) Dilip Kumar himself entered to the classic dil tadap tadap ke keh raha hai aa bhi ja from Madhumati which also felt like epic timing!
3. EVERGREEN BOLLYWOOD MELODIES, SERVED UP LIVE & UNPLUGGED!
Later we were treated to a medley of songs performed live by Shaan and Javed Ali.
In fact, their rendition of dil diya hai jaan bhi denge, ae watan tere liye made me immediately want to watch Karma (for the billionth time.)
Oh and when they sang a song from Saudaagar the whole movie started playing in my head – starting from ILU ILU *LOL*! But can you guess which song they sang? :)
4. A LOVE STORY THAT’S 4 DECADES NEW.
Saira Banu was beaming all night. The sparkle in her eye a testimony to their 46-year-old love story. In fact she’s the reason this launch happened at all, “I persuaded Dilip Kumar to narrate his story” she revealed. How awesome is that?!
5. THE CANDLE & THE LEGEND.
After lighting the auspicious lamp with Madhuri Dixit and Priyanka Chopra, Vyjayanthimala said a few words. My favourite part was when she jokingly admitted to being known as the “twinkle toes” of the film industry, since most of her roles involved more dancing and less dialogue!
She also recounted her experience of playing Chandramukhi to Dilip Kumar’s Devdas and being absolutely mesmerised by his performance, desperately nervous that she would forget her one major line! Aur mat peeyo Devdas. Itna zyaada bardaasht na kar sakoge.
6. CHANDRAMUKHI RELOADED
Another Chandramukhi, years later – Madhuri Dixit said she wished that she had been born in Dilip saab’s era of cinema so that she could have been cast opposite him as his heroine. She has that magical old-world charm doesn’t she? I could totally see her in his time too.
7. PC WRITES HISTORY.
Priyanka Chopra put it so beautifully herself saying, “jab bhi film industry ka itihaas likkha jaayega, Yusuf Saab ka naam pehle panne par hoga.” #Fact
8. MUMMY AMBANI LOVES PINK!
I discovered that Mummy Ambani is all about pink! I like her already :)
9. THERE’S A MOVIE IN HERE SOMEWHERE!
There was a brilliant 3D audio visual presentation about the making of this autobiography that just brought his entire career to life. And that’s how I discovered that Dilip Kumar is Lata Mangeshkar‘s rakhi brother, did you know that? Now I’m waiting for the full-length feature. Who would be able to play Dilip Saab is the question? Leave me your recommendations in the comments below, I’ll talk to Kjo :P
10. AAMIR KHAN KNOWS HIS HEROES.
Aamir Khan read aloud a poem by Prasoon Joshi. It was beautiful. The line that struck me was, woh aasma choona chahta tha, magar apni sharton par… Living life on your own terms is what true legendary is all about, don’t you think? He also said that he is Dilip Kumar’s biggest fan in the film industry, “aisa main maanta hoon!” With a cheeky grin. #Lovethat!
11. JAVED AKHTAR, THE LYRIC MASTER.
But the speech of the night, hands down goes to Javed Akhtar, who was so damn passionate and eloquent. I was too busy tweeting the things he said to even get his picture! So here you go.
In fact some of his comments were SO good I had to tag Farhan Akhtar to give him props for his pa!
12. A CLASSIC CASE OF TWITTER FRIENDSHIP!
I made a new old friend in @ZeeCinema on Twitter, who have so sweetly agreed to make me a list of 10 classic must-watch Bollywood movies to share with you soon, stay tuned!
13. DHARAM PAJI’S LEGENDARY BROMANCE.
And then Dharmendra got on stage and shared stories of their bromance that made everybody smile! He recounted the time he and Dilip Kumar became drinking buddies and exchanged stories till the wee hours of the morning, just like bros. How amazing would it have been to have been part of THAT crew, can you even imagine?
14. AMIT UNCLE.
Another living legend, Amitabh Bachchan (aka “Amit Uncle” to Kjo), had a brilliant assessment of Dilip Kumar’s acting prowess:
He said, “When you see a scene performed by Dilip Kumar you are convinced there is no alternate way to enact that scene.” #PureGenius #WhatACompliment
15. LEGENDARY MEMORIES.
The Big B went on to read a passage from the autobiography which recounted a pretty poignant moment at the start of Dilip Kumar’s career where he was asked to run. When he asked why he was running, he was told it was to save the heroine who is about to kill herself. Satisfied with this explanation he ran when the director yelled action, but ended up running faster than the new camera from Germany could capture and was told to “run for her life, but slower!” *LOL*
16. HOW MANY LEGENDS CAN YOU SEE?
And just before the event ended, Dilip Kumar was helped on stage by Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Aamir Khan. Have you ever seen so much Bollywood epic-ness on one stage together? (All we were missing was Shah Rukh Khan.)
PS. This was my view… (left of the camera crew!)
17. THE DELIGHTFUL MRS. KHAN.
On my way out, I heard Kiran Rao rocking some major Gujarati to whom I assumed were family in the filmy frat. The gist of what I gathered to be that she was being vegetarian tonight. :) She was also super sweet about posing for this picture, even with a plate in her hand!
Aamir Khan was also flitting around in the lobby for a while looking absolutely gorgeous even though he is super tiny – didjya know that? :P
Anu Malik meanwhile was less delighted to be clicked at the buffet, but posed for me regardless.
18. MY GIRL MANDIRA!
Mandira Bedi looked absolutely stunning in one of her own sari creations…
And got lots of compliments too! Remember when I got to walk the ramp for her? :)
19. THE B-TOWN BOYS.
I also bumped into Karan Johar and Riteish Deshmukh doing sporadic walking interviews on their way out. Ritesh was very warm and hugged me hello, I congratulated him on the “good news” and Karan Johar gave me his trademark Kjo grin!
Gotta love Bollywood right? That’s exactly why I stayed up tonight blogging this for you, so I wouldn’t forget a thing! More pictures and the night’s fashion decoded tomorrow on the blog. Love ya! xoxo