Happy with the stars of ‘Happy New Year’

We found ourselves breaking bread (hot chappattis actually) with Shah Rukh Khan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah, the stars of Red Chillies Entertainment’s ‘Happy New Year’, and its director Farah Khan at Film City.

(Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Jackie Shroff, the film’s other stars, were not present that day).

We’d been meaning to drop in on the sets of HNY and say hello to Farah, easily one of the brightest and most likeable personalities in Bollywood (and certainly its funniest) and when we found ourselves in her ‘hood’ we took up her invitation for coffee.

What can we say about a film set that could conjure up its crazy, madcap, intense, highly charged, insular, wildly glamorous-and at the same time-tedious atmosphere? Ever since our first paying job as a ‘go-fer’ on the sets of the Indo-American film ‘Shalimar’, we have loved the sights, smells and sounds of a film set.

And that afternoon on the sets of HNY we were in hog heaven. There was SRK himself coiled like a loaded shotgun before his shot and then as relaxed and friendly as a newborn pup over lunch in Farah’s van.

Boman Irani, urbane and nonchalant, on the sets and then teasing and being teased by the rest of the crew about his ‘so-called’ sex-appeal: (“All grandmothers fall in love with him,” Farah laughed).

The hunky soft spoken Sonu Sood emerging from his shyness, as one got to know him better over daal and rice. And of course, Farah, sparkling, gracious, and refusing to take herself or any one else too seriously, her easy-going manner instantly spreading ripples of bonhomie and good cheer across the unit.

So what did we do for that hour ensconced in Farah’s van over lunch with SRK and the film’s other stars? We watched a schlock vintage Bollywood film together, we swapped gossip (film people love to gossip) we shared banter and stories, and hopes and dreams.

Shah Rukh spoke about his adulation of Michael Jackson (“The only star on whose death I cried.”), his thrill in his pre-film days of being mistaken for Kumar Gaurav (!), his admiration for the acting prowess of Balraj Sahni (our uncle) and Sanjeev Kumar, and his excitement that it would be his son AbRam’s first birthday the next day.

That’s how it went, our brief, but memorable, lunch with the unit of Happy New Year: lots of laughs, very oily comfort food and exposure to almost lethal levels of star charisma! Needless to say, we liked it very much!

Vivaan-Shah 28-Sonu-Sood
ViVaan Shah                                                                                         Sonu Sood
Boman Irani                                                                                                 Faraha Khan

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