Simi Garewal wearing blue, yellow, light pink, black, purple and even red? Hard to believe but true! The actor- turned-TV host, known for focusing the camera on other celebrities in her show Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, is now the focus of her website simigarewal.com. She’s been busy uploading her life on the WWW and her ‘baby’ has received almost three million hits in the three months since it launched and continues to garner at least 35,000 to 50,000 hits per day. “I expected to get 2 or 3 lakh hits in total. I never thought it would go into millions!” she says, when we meet her at her house on a Sunday.
The website is an extension of the lady herself — elegant, soft-spoken and informative. There are some outstanding highlights: the length of the videos — full one-on-one’s of the famous people she has interviewed, and the interesting interactions she has with her ‘frenz’.
“Rendezvous is getting huge hits! Saif-Amrita received the maximum — 3,28,340 in three months, the Bachchans — 2,06,686. Other popular videos are the episodes featuring Kamal and Sarika Hassan, Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, and Govinda and Sunita. The viewer comments are worth reading.
Surprisingly the largest chunk of the visitors to my site are from the US, followed by India, UK, Canada and Australia. And some of the visitors are from places I haven’t even heard of,” she laughs.
Usually preferring to let others steal the limelight, Simi has for the first time revealed a personal account of her many loves and her marriage through photographs. “I have never interacted with my fans before, except in passing or through letters. This is the first time we are both getting to know each other really. I have laid out my life for fans on my website, so they can know me as a person. Now I feel I also know many of them personally. I try and reply every three days to the online letters. No one else has my password! Each word on the website is mine,” she says.
Among the videos she has uploaded, the documentaries on Rajiv Gandhi and Raj Kapoor stand out for their uniqueness. These were seen by an entirely different generation on Doordarshan in the ’80s and ’90s and have not been aired on TV since then.
Then, not to be missed are the two interviews of Rekha from two different eras. Simi had interviewed her in 1984 for the inaugural episode of her pioneering television show ‘It’s a Woman’s World’. Rekha, in her pre-diva avatar, appears spontaneous and eager to talk about herself. Twenty years later, in the ‘Rendezvous’ episode, Rekha has changed. The exuberant star has become ‘The Rekha’, the diva we know today. When Simi shows Rekha the ‘It’s a Woman’s World’ clip, her reaction is worth seeing.
The most noteworthy aspects are the photos/footage of Simi when she sported hues other than white in her wardrobe. For this generation that has not seen these defining moments of television culture in India and Simi in the pre-white era, it’s definitely worth a watch.
The actor is excited about the future. “There will be beauty and fitness tips and maybe some special recipes. I am also working with You Tube to have a live discussion with nine or 10 people in a session every few months.”
P.S.: She adds: “I couldn’t wear white on ‘It’s a Woman’s World’ as we shot in Hi-Band — and white was hard to photograph!”