‘In­tim­i­dat­ing’,

Stardust (English) - - NEETA'S NATTER -

they note. ‘Real’, she re­torts. It takes less than a minute for the ver­dict to tip on her side. Many a prose has been ded­i­cated to her per­sona, few earnest, most fickle. But it is tough not to. Try as you may, it is not hu­manly pos­si­ble to re­tract some­thing so ob­vi­ous. Even now, this jour­nal­ist couldn’t help but make a fee­ble ref­er­ence to her looks within the first few lines of the ar­ti­cle. But that is what we are try­ing to shed. What is Aish­warya with­out be­ing the Aish­warya? Framed por­traits right from the days of yore, grace the walls of the Bachchan of­fice prop­erty, Janak as we en­ter. The con­fer­ence room faces a quiet lane in Juhu, and in the midst helpers usher peo­ple in and out, when the hus­tle-bus­tle out­side grew louder. The first time I met her, she en­ters in a jiffy - in a pink top and track pants with de­mure black over­alls cov­er­ing her arms. The last time I saw her, she was in pink again, a few ki­los lighter, and in the process, look­ing much younger. But what bound both the in­stances to­gether was the mo­ment Aish­warya en­tered the room - her smiles reached those eyes, arms wel­comed a warm hug and pre­con­ceived men­tal bar­ri­ers were promptly wasted. The first time, ice, in­hi­bi­tions and a for­mal­i­ties were bro­ken when she whisked out her phone and showed her daugh­ter Aarad­hya’s pic­tures to my col­league. Sim­i­larly, in the sec­ond, when she sternly asked the host to hold the stage while she per­son­ally hugged and greeted her friend at the event.“When Aish­warya Rai Bachchan asks you to wait, you wait,” the host an­nounced, rather un­nec­es­sar­ily. In real, Aish­warya Rai Bachchan makes up for all the time you spent wait­ing. Her an­swers are elab­o­rate, and give out much more than you asked. She will not sur­ren­der to your pre-con­ceived no­tions, and if you care­fully read her in­ter­views, more of­ten than not, she is the one lead­ing it. But at the same time, Aish­warya will never let you down with lack­adaisi­cal one-line an­swers - a prac­tice poor Bol­ly­wood re­porters have now come to terms with - or let you go with­out at least an of­fer of a bev­er­age to drink, an­other cour­tesy most jour­nal­ists have given up on. But then Aish­warya may not have bit what the re­porters wanted, con­sid­er­ing we hardly read scan­dalous quotes at­trib­uted to the ac­tor. Well played, in­deed. But then this has been her stance for a while now. Not be­ing

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