MUMBAI — On May 12, Disney UTV hosted a joint success bash for their trio of hits “The Jungle Book,” “Baaghi” and “Captain America.” Director Sabbir Khan of “Baaghi” had promised this reporter an invitation whenever a celebration happened. So I was keenly disappointed that he had not kept his word.
But Khan is not a man of empty promises. I duly received an invite for the success party of the film — that is, of only “Baaghi," held at Korner House in Bandra. The invite began with the words, “Special times need to be celebrated with special friends!!!” Khan is the son of veteran songwriter Noor Dewasi, whose arguably best-known song is (from the 1968 Manmohan Desai hit “Kismet”) “Aao Huzoor Tumko Sitaron Mein Le Chaloon (Come let me take you to the stars).”
And that’s where I seemed to have landed — amidst an incredible lineup of the cream of the Hindi film industry, as one of the less-than-a-handful of media persons within the venue, while a flood of paparazzi thronged the entrance.
The guest list was led by Salman Khan, who was expected late, and came in around 1 a.m., about 20 minutes after I left! Of course, the film’s team was represented by producers Sajid Nadiadwala and Siddharth Roy Kapur, Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor, composers Meet Bros., singer Armaan Malik and Sudheer Babu (the villain).
Here is the guest list wherein, since the restobar was lit up very sparsely, I have missed out on a few names: Varun Dhawan, Jackie and Ayesha Shroff with their daughter Krishna Shroff, Sanjay and Manyata Dutt, Suniel and Mana Shetty with Athiya Shetty, Bobby Deol, Shahid Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Tabu, Tanishaa, Pooja Bhatt, Shivangi and Shakti Kapoor (Shraddha Kapoor’s parents) with their son Siddhanth Kapoor, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Riteish Deshmukh, Arbaaz Khan, Boman Irani, Aditya Roy Kapur, Farhan Akhtar, Poonam Dhillon, Chunkey Pandey, Sanjay Kapoor, Randeep Hooda, Rajesh and Neelima Khattar, Daboo and Jyothi Malik, writer-director Farhad, Sooraj Pancholi, Subhash Ghai, Sajid Khan, Farah Khan, Anna Singh, Rajkumar Santoshi, Remo D’Souza, Bhushan and Divya Khosla Kumar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Mohit and Urvashi Sharma Suri and more.
The informal bash took off well after 10 p.m. and went on till the wee hours.
Deserving every bit of praise for their progenies’ success were Tiger Shroff's parents, Jackie and Ayesha Shroff; Armaan and Amaal Mallik's parents, Daboo and Jyothi Malik; and they were visibly ecstatic. Boman Irani was clearly one of the most popular guests, with everyone greeting him, chatting him up and clicking pictures with him. While chatting with him, when this reporter casually told Sajid Khan that Irani was the first individual I had met in the industry about whom no one spoke anything but good after the late Mohammed Rafi, Sajid Khan pounced on Rafi’s name and quizzed the actor on the singer’s last film!
Tiger Shroff recollected that I had predicted a hit for his film, while dad Jackie Shroff refused to leave my hand for over two minutes after I told him that Tiger Shroff would go very far also because of Jackie Shroff s goodwill. Shivangi Kapoor corrected me when I asked her why she had acted in just one film, which I slipped and mentioned wrongly. “It was the 1981 'Kismat' starring Mithun-da!” she told me.
Sudheer Babu laughed when I asked him which Hindi films he would be doing next, as he could not possibly be a part of “Baaghi 2,” which has been announced, as he has been killed by the hero here. “Let’s see what I get now!” he said.
Director Sabbir Khan enquired why I was merely having a drink or two and “not getting drunk!” When I asked him if Akshay Kumar, his first hero, was coming, he replied, “You know that he goes to bed at 8:30 and wakes up around four in the morning! In fact, even Tiger Shroff has a similar discipline. He wanted to be off early, but stayed back only because this was his film’s party!”
In every way, it was an evening to remember.