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Preity Zinta Friends Forever



The  first time that  I met  Preity Zinta, I was  accompanied by Karan Johar to  lunch where she joined at us at the Olive. I remember I  was  a wearing  a hideous yellow teeshirt and Karan couldn’t stop rolling his  eyes about my sartorial bankruptcy. “What  would Preity think?” he warned me.I think  he  was teasing.

 As it turned out Preity , otherwise most  fashion conscious, didn’t think anything about my teeshirt(which I’ve preserved over the years to remind myself of  how badly I  dress). We hit it off instantly .We  knew each other  over the phone  from the time when Preity was dating Marc Robinson(okay,  I admit I had  to google his name to remember ).

 I remember  I was impressed  by her  during my first(telephonic) interview because she  referred to herself as  an ‘actor’ , not ‘actress’. I hadn’t heard  that from anyone before. Not even ShabanaAzmi.

 Over the years we’ve remained friends, though never crossing lines. There is always a boundary, albeit a  pleasant one  at  that. Once Preity shocked me by telling me that  a very  major  female actor whom I  was taken up with, had complained to the owner  of  a publishing group about an  article by me.

Preity’s words  still ring in my ears.  “Write a thousand pro pieces. But if you write one  anti  piece  you become  their enemy.”

She  is  right.  Today that actress  whom I  couldn’t stop  raving about,  doesn’t even acknowledge  me. Preity and I still friends. Just before  the pandemic I got  a message  from her in LA  saying she’s coming to Patna for an event.

“The  event is a bahana. I’m coming to Patna  to see you,” she chuckled as  only Preity can. True to her word , she tore through her tight 8-hour schedule in Patna  to  come home for much, much  to the annoyance  of the events  organizers. She  was with us at home for  almost two hours.We gossiped and bitched  about the whole world. 

Preity is  a talker. She loves to talk. But she’s also a caring loving friend . When she has news about  herself she calls  and gives it off the record.  I recall her distressed call and my shocked  response when that  incident  at the stadium with  industrial tycoon had happened. Preity  didn’t cry. She  believes in making her enemies  cry.

 She is one  of  my rare  relationships in the entertainment  industry which  never soured . It couldn’t. The line between the personal and the professional  is gently but sharply drawn.

 I want Preity to know  that I  value our 20-year association.  She had once told me, “If there are only ten  people at my wedding you would be one  of them.”  That  didn’t happen. But I want her to know that the offer should stand closed. I  want  her marriage to be  for keeps. And that’s Goodenough for me. Sorry, Preity, couldn’t resist that!!!

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