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|January 27, 2001||
'I am all of 31'
Subhash Ghai is known for his lavish, star-studded birthday bashes. But his birthday on January 24 saw the man going all corporate.
Present at the Poolside, Hotel Regent, Bombay, were Anil and Tina Ambani, in great spirits. Anil was, in fact, seen even backslapping and ribbing his friends, and laughing heartily. Later, the Reliance couple was visibly embarrassed as birthday boy Subhash called out their names on the mike soon after he had cut a huge white cake: "My dear friends, Tina and Anil, where are you? Come this side."
Also part of the bash was Srichand Hinduja, with his extremely elegent wife and petite daughter, Ambika (who, incidentally, is assisting Subhash Ghai in Yaadein)
When he was leaving, Srichand asked Jackie Shroff, "So, can my daughter become a director?"
Jackie, holding Ambika in a loving embrace, said, "Of course."
Corporate man Jeetendra, dapper as ever in a brown suit, raved about the songs of Vashu Bhagnani's Mujhe Kuch Kehnaa Hai: "They are lovely! But we might be biased," referring to the fact that his son, Tusshar is a hero in his film.
The Taurani brothers of Tips -- Kumar and Ramesh -- mingled with the crowd but in limit. By and large, they were to themselves, perhaps, discussing their recent IPO.
Hrithik Roshan and Suzanne Khan made a striking entry in black with their parents. In sharp contrast, Suzanne's parents -- Sanjay and Zarine Khan -- were dressed in white. Rakesh Roshan's father-in-law, J Om Prakash, shares his birthday with Ghai and the ever-thoughtful Ghai made a reference to the old man of cinema in his short speech which preceded the cake-cutting.
Srichand Hinduja was seen joking with Hrithik, "So, you create controversies wherever you go, eh?" referring to the latest South Africa controversy the heartthrob found himself in earlier during the month.
"I didn't even go to South Africa!" laughed Hrithik. Congratulations came Hrithik's way by the dozens - some for his marriage, others for winning the best actor and best newcomer at the Screen Videocon Awards.
Hrithik's heroine in Ghai's Yaadein, Kareena Kapoor, came in late and was received by Ghai with a warm, long hug.
Outside the party venue, Esha Deol, dressed in blue jeans and a matching jacket, waited patiently for Kareena. "We were all together," she told Sunita Anil Kapoor, "and we are waiting for Bebo to come out." Anil Kapoor was conspicuous by his absence because he was away in Madras, shooting for Nayak -- The Real Hero.
Sunita couldn't stop raving about the first song of Vashu's Om Jai Jagdish, which she had heard at the recording. "I've never attended any muhurats, launches or song recordings all of Anil's career. This is the first time I went for a film launch. And I must say, the song they recorded on the muhurat day was superb."
David Dhawan and his lovely wife, Lali, were their usual good humoured selves. And Shatrughan Sinha's wife, Shobha and son Kush were among the revellers who stayed on well past midnight.
When not speaking up people, Akshaye Khanna was seen puffing at his cigarettes. The actor is mighty pleased with the way Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai has shaped up. "Not because I'm in the film but it is genuinely lovely," he told a distributor, prodding him on to go ahead and buy the film's distribution rights to make a killing .
Rati Agnihotri, who plays an important role in Yaadein, was among the first to arrive with husband Anil Virwani, looking young and dashing. But the couple were also the first to leave. "We have a friend's wedding anniversary to attend. And they are not having any elaborate party, only the two of them and the two of us," cooed Rati as she made a hasty exit.
Singer Adnan Sami, Pradeep Guha of Times of India, Ravi Gupta, CEO of B4U and Satish Kaushik added glamour and glitz to the evening.
Incidentally, the birthday boy had a revelation of sorts, when he cut the cake, which had everybody in splits: "I've hidden my age for far too many years," he announced. "But let me reveal it today --- I am all of 31!"
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