Dear Sonam Kapoor,Wishing You A Terrific Married Life Ahead

I can’t believe Sonam  is  actually getting married. When I first saw her  she was  a little  more than a child  on  the sets  of  Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s  Black, bustling around trying to make  herself useful.Dressed in  a suitably…umm…black Salwar-Kameez she was every inch the functional assistant on the set.

Clearly she was  enjoying the part, though an edge of nervous anxiety was evident.

Shouting across the  room to ask a slightly noisy junior artiste to calm down or running across to give the director his tea, she was touchingly eager  to make  herself useful. Sanjay and I would look at each other and smile at her enthusiasm.

During breaks she would run  to the film’s leading lady Rani for some girlie gossip. Rani was Sonam’s  father Anil Kapoor’s heroine and  though there was  some gossip about them  I saw no awkwardness between the two girls as they shared breaktime chana and tea. Rani asked me  to  join in.

 The second time when I  met Sonam she was my friend Sanjay Bhansali’s heroine. Both Ranbir and Sonam came to the Taj Lands End with Sanjay to meet me , my daughter , my niece and  nephew. Sonam was  warm  but not excessively so. She was  vibrant and childlike. In her enthusiasm , she had dropped one  of  her ear rings in  our hotel room.

At dinner Ranbir was given the   chore of ordering food . He ordered  enough food for a famished battalion  at the  war front.Lots of wastage .Sonam preferred  to just chat and be  nice to the children.When it comes to being friendly and reaching  out she remains naturally gregarious, like her father(and unlike her  brother).

A   day  before the  premiere  of Saawariya we were all at a  Chinese restaurant in  Mumbai  celebrating my daughter’s birthday.Sonam was  the only one thoughtful enough to  bring her a  present.

Most importantly unlike  her co-star Ranbir Kapoor  in Saawariya she  kept her relations with me  going   over the years.

 Doing Saawariya was  not easy for Sonam. She had to  work hard to get her lines and scenes right.I remember sitting  and watching for hours while she tried to  master a few steps for a song. Ranbir had  got them right in  the  first take.Sonam was struggling with her steps.She was  close to  tears .We  sat watching  in misery.Adding to my woe was the  fact  that Sonam’s  sister Rhea insisted on calling me  ‘Uncle’

Eventually there came  a point in the shooting when  Sanjay was  ready to shut down the film. His sister Bela and  I had to intervene.

Finally after Saawariya released Sonam was compared with the legendary Waheeda Rehman.

But more than any predecessor I think Sonam  is her own  person. Self-willed and extremely conscious of  her image as a fashionista, she doesn’t take her life in the movies to be  her raison d’etre.  Over the  years  she has  learnt to  take her acting career seriously.

 I think Neerja was a turning-point in Sonam’s career. Veere Di Wedding which comes just after Sonam di Wedding would amplify her  keen desire to  remain an active  actress after marriage. Nothing will change  for Sonam after marriage. She will continue  to be the fashion queen, albeit one whose husband will be cheering for her as she walks  the  ramp in every  fashion pageant  held in Paris and  Pathankot.

I can only wish  a blissful wedded life for Sonam. She  deserves

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