On board with the Khans

Updated: 19 January, 2016 12:58 IST | Malavika Sangghvi |

Passengers on a recent flight back from Zurich were thrilled to see that they were sharing the plane with none other than Aamir Khan

Passengers on a recent flight back from Zurich were thrilled to see that they were sharing the plane with none other than Aamir Khan. Seated in the first row of First Class, the star and his wife were the cynosure of all eyes. Apparently the star couple spent the entire journey quietly, while their exuberant son ran up and down the aisles with another kid.

“The Khans were travelling with an entourage,” said the source. “An enormous body guard, their child’s maid, a female secretary, all sat behind in economy.” Did the rest of the passengers clamour around him for selfies and autographs?

Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan
Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan

“No, not at all. The couple was left alone and they slept most of the time. Khan is too civilised to demand attention or VIP treatment of course,” said the source, “But we did notice his staff were allowed all the way to the plane’s door to welcome him when we landed and that a golf cart was especially reserved for him and his entourage to ferry them to the immigration queue. Still, compared to other stars I’ve flown with - he was relatively much better behaved.”

Shobhana Samarth’s genes
“Everybody in the Samarth family knew that he would amount to something. After all, his mother Shobhana Samarth was a celebrated actress, and his sisters Nutan and Tanuja, went on to follow in their mother’s renowned footsteps, while his third sister Chatura became a successful artist,” said a source.

Jaideep Samarth, Shobhana Samarth and Nutan
Jaideep Samarth, Shobhana Samarth and Nutan

“But it was Jaideep who hit the international scene in his own right. Handsome enough to be offered leading roles, he joined Ogilvy & Mather in 1975 instead, working his way to the top until his departure in 1990.” And as this Samarth is holding his first exhibition of photographs this month at Delhi’s Habitat Centre, friends who know him expect that it’s only the start of another successful career.

Chatura and Tanuja
Chatura and Tanuja

So where did photography come into all this? “As a child, Jaideep would watch his mother and sisters on movie sets. What imprinted itself on his mind was the power of images, and their power not only to touch people’s lives but also to change them for the better,” said the source.

Happy birthday Irrfan
We rarely have fan girl moments, but a few months ago to our great embarrassment, we found ourselves gushing at the sight of Indian actor Irrfan, as we both awaited our cars after a dinner at Antilia.

Irrfan (circled) with his family and below
Irrfan (circled) with his family and below

Irrfan is an unlikely person to have a crush on, given that he does not have chocolate boy hero looks, but ever since we saw his formidable acting in Lunchbox and then in Life of Pi, we have been smitten.

Irrfan (circled) with his family and below

And so, in an unabashed fan girl moment, we bring you a rare childhood photograph of the star whose birthday falls today. Taken at what looks like a family picnic, he’s the one on the extreme left, lying on the ground with his sister and brother with his hand on the radio, displaying every sign of his future epic swag.

Happy birthday Irrfan, this one’s especially for you!

Mumbai’s savoire faire
Sometimes the depth of savoire faire displayed by Mumbai society takes one’s breath away. Take the case of this leading industrialist, scion of one of Mumbai’s foremost business clans.

Even while his elder brother has been known to lead a somewhat colourful personal life, giving rise to all kinds of stories about his fondness for the fair sex, this ‘happily’ married gent has managed to retain his squeaky clean reputation regardless.

Now it turns out that his spotless image has been won through years of astute conduct. “For almost three decades he’s been having an affair with a married woman. It began with their meeting early morning for a walk,” our Oolong tea-favouring SoBo hostess friend enlightened us.

“But over the years he has conducted the affair with so much dignity that even though every one concerned is aware of it, including the two cuckolded spouses – no one has created any fuss, allowing the two to travel abroad on holidays together etc. In fact it’s almost as though it’s earned its sanction and respectability thanks to its longevity and commitment.”

She sighed wistfully. “Wish more men conducted their affairs with as much dignity. Makes every thing so … so civilised Na?” she said, adding, “ Boy, jara hot water jaldi lao please.”

Remembering Tiger Pataudi
“I’ve heard... time heals but the heart clings to memories.” It was Saba Sultan, attractive daughter of the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, reminiscing about her dashing father on a social network site. Sultan who is Delhi-based and the only Khan progeny to opt out of films, spoke for all bereaved children when she said, “Time heals but the head can’t reason...time passes but I miss you deeply still.”

MAK ‘Tiger’ Pataudi and Saba Sultan
MAK ‘Tiger’ Pataudi and Saba Sultan

Pataudi and his wife the very glamorous Sharmila Tagore, had been neighbours of ours when they’d lived in Mumbai, and we called Sultan to commiserate with her loss. Tiger, as he was called, had been a larger than life figure, captaining the Indian cricket team, overcoming a debilitating handicap, the result of an accident that had left him blind in one eye and marrying the top actress of his time.

“So what then is healed? For no one can replace the void you’ve left behind. Love you always,” wrote his doting daughter five years after the passing away of her dashing dad. It’s true, the only real immortality we achieve is in the hearts of our loved ones.

First Published: 07 January, 2016 06:03 IST

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