In October, beginning with Asha Parekh on October 2 and JP Dutta on October 3, many of my closest friends in the industry are turning a year younger.
Here’s my list of birthday wishes for all those dear friends who celebrate their birthday this month.
I wish that smile on her face, which never vanishes, to remain where it is. Pushing 70, Ashaji remains active and happy with whatever she gets into. Bring on the cake, and forget that ache.
Simply, or not so simply, stunning! At 60, Rekha looks half her age. The tight wrinkleless close-ups of her face in Goutam Ghose’s Yatra have elicited oohs and aahs all over again. Rekha is no stranger to hearing gasps whenever she passes by. In fact, I bet when she was born, the doctor and the nurse gasped. Even when she’s 90, Rekha will remain a diva. What can I wish for her? She has it all. And she says she wants nothing except peace and happiness. Love can take a walk.
And finally, Amitji. Every year, he decides not to celebrate. Every year, his friends and family decide otherwise. What can I wish for him except peace of mind and freedom from the 1001 commitments that his so-called friends and his ostensible well-wishers put him through? If you really care for India’s highest icon’s well-being, then please stop inviting him to cut ribbons and release books which no one reads.
The third diva to have her birthday in October, Simi, dear Sims, is a very very close friend. In fact, so close is she to me that I don’t even think of her as part of the film industry. When she recently cut her hair short, I was devastated. So, my wish for Sims is to see her long trademark tresses to return, and all the ghastly spoofs of her rendezvous to disappear.
My Rakhi sister…and I do mean rakhi sister and not Rakhi her sister-in-law, ha ha. I’ve known Raveena for more years than can be counted on the fingers. Quite untameable and thoroughly bindaas, this sister of mine. When she finally tied the knot two years ago, I had hoped she had made the right choice. Today when I see her with her little daughter and son, I’ve my reply. So what do I wish for Raveena-behn? Marital bliss for Raveena.
What better gift for the movie moghul than the success of his daughter Nidhi’s debut film? JP Saab had a tense birthday, made pleasurable by the presence of the people he loves the best, namely wife Bindiya and their two daughters. “These are the only women in the world who can bully me,” he says about his two daughters. May they continue to bully India’s most feared filmmaker.
She laughs about getting old. But where, Hemaji, are the wrinkles? Would she care to share the secret for eternal youth with her admirers (myself included)? “Nothing. Eating and sleeping well. And lots and lots of Bharatnatyam.” My birthday wish for this down-to-earth diva? A production house that would enable her to make a film where Hema will direct, Esha will act and Ahana will assist. “Bas, I don’t want anything else,” Hema sighs. Have the Gods ever said no to Bollywood’s only female superstar?