If you are star struck like us and visit Mumbai, make a time to communicate with an auto or taxi driver. Invariably they have ekdum andar ki masala khabar (translate – inside Bollywood gossip) for you. We have met all sort of filmy drivers in Mumbai who worked as an electrician in Shahrukh Khan’s, a plumber in Salman khan house, a tea-boy at Ranbir Kapoor’s film unit during shoot of Rockstar, a cook in Ajay Devgan’s house and a guard at Amitabh Bachchan’s house in the past.
All these people are currently driving autos and taxis on the street of Juhu and Bandra. Don’t believe us, just take an auto between Juhu and Bandra and ask, “Bhai Saheb aapne kabhie Bollywood actor ko dekha hain?” (translate – brother, have you ever met any Bollywood actor?). Don’t be surprised when he replies, “Dekha kya madum, humhe unke saath kaam kiya hain.” (translate – Just seen? We have actually worked with them).
Auto-wallahs love bragging about their Bollywood experiences, they just need a willing audience. Recently, an auto-wallah who claimed to be Bachchan’s guard in the past bragged about how he quit his job when Jaya Bachchan shouted at him for allowing cars to be parked outside “Jalsa” (Bachchan mansion in Juhu). When he replied he could not have stopped cars from parking in a public street, he was reprimanded by Mrs. Bachchan… and thus he quit. “Hamare maan ko thes pahuchaya unhone” (She hurt my ego). He did not stop there. For the next 20 minutes he revealed about Jaya’s rocky marriage with Amitabh, the Amar Singh factor, and Amitabh’s undying love for Rekha. “Madam, saccha pyar life main ek baar hotah hain. Saheb ka pyar aaj kal ke pyar jaise nahi hain. Unka aur Rekha ji ke pyar dil se hain. Humne dekha hai unko milte.” (translate – Madam, true love happens only once in life. Saheb’s love is not like today’s love. His love for Rekha is from the heart. I have seen them meeting.”
Ridiculous gossip you might say…sure! After all who gives importance to phony stories – until we saw this viral picture of Amitabh and Rekha recently. What’s brewing between them, we honestly don’t care, the picture reminded us of our encounter with that auto-wallah, who was possibly not lying and giving us inside stories. So people trust us, Mumbai auto-wallahs are the main source of Bollywood’s entertaining stories!
Our Bollywood rendezvous with this auto-wallah did not end here. He suggested we go in front of “Jalsa” with him. “Who kalyug ke bhagwan hain. Every Sunday 6 pm ko darshan deteh hain.” (translate – Amitabh Bachchan is the modern day God. We mortals get to see him at 6:00 PM every Sunday). “Jalsa” meaning merry-making in Hindi / Urdu, stands true to its meaning. When we reached the “Jalsa” gates, there were nearly 200+ people standing outside that Sunday evening expecting to see the megastar. The road was blocked with people resulting in bad traffic jam (we wonder if a star can cause so much inconvenience to localities but again we guess God can do anything in his world). “Yeah toh har Sunday ki story hain madum” (translate – This is the story on every Sunday, madam).
Suddenly a guard came and announced that Saheb would not give darshan (translate – divine sighting) that evening. One lady literally cried, held the collar of the guard and demanded God’s presence. The others argued with the hapless guard that God would appear after an hour. We waited around with other zealous fans for about an hour before we gave up! Amitabh appeared or not, we do not know but we do recommend people to visit Jalsa at 6 PM every Sunday if you want to enjoy the tamasha. Who knows you will have a darshan of Amitabh Bachchan – Kalyug ke Bhagwan (translate – Modern God)!