Monday, June 02, 2008

Purely archival. In anticipation of certain arrivals.

Now that the Mankars from New Jersey are coming to visit us – Aditi will arrive on Saturday, 7 June; Ashu the following Saturday; Avantika and Nandini, Saturday following that – I serendipitously found an old piece I had written about their Kunuchacha on 5 March 2005 in my now defunct Hindustan Times column, column. I thought I would put it here in anticipation of the girls’ arrival. Read on.

Kunal, Avantika's – or Tika's as the "spunky monkey" likes to call herself these days – and Aditi's uncle won the Filmfare Best Director Award for HumTum on Saturday, February 26, 2005. February 26 also happened to be Tika's twelfth birthday. Kunal proved second time lucky on that very day. HumTum was his second directorial venture, you see, after Muzse Shaadi Karogi. We were all rooting for him, of course. He was telling Ashu and Ujwal and his mother Yash just a couple of evenings before the awards night that there was simply no chance of his winning. Maybe, that was his way of mentally preparing for the unknown. Do your best and be ready for the worst.

From what I've seen of him, I've always found him to be a cool, no-nonsense sort of a guy. Ashu was telling me that despite shooting his movies at exotic locations abroad, he never overruns his budget. When he received the Scene of the Year Award, Sonali Bendre mistook him for Kunal Das Gupta. Maybe he looked more a denizen of Bhadra Lok to her than the Mumbai-born Punjab-da-puttar that he is, a Kohli.

This, I reckon, is a symptom of how low profile he is. (For instance, Saturday's Bombay Times covered all the leading contenders but somehow overlooked him.) I'm sure Kunal will go places and – what's even more important – handle success humbly and diplomatically like the cool dude that he is. He has a good sense of humour, which gives him a sense of proportion too. And, he isn't the least bit hypocritical unlike most of Bollywood. Here at you'll find a bit about Kunal's next project.

P.S.: Kunal’s new movie, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, is due for an early release, I understand. He has smartly put an article on Wikipedia already . I’m sure he will be using all the social networks as well.