On September 15th, the bollytastic duo Raj&Pablo of BBC Asian Network’s Love Bollywood sat down for a special on stage interview with Aamir Khan titled In Conversation with Aamir Khan. The actor is in the UK promoting Peepli [Live], which opens this Friday. Our writer Amrita Tanna was there and gives us a first hand report of the fabulous event.
When one thinks of Raj&Pablo, the words witty, fun and entertainment galore come to mind. When one thinks of Aamir Khan, one thinks of perfectionism, poise and must-see Indian cinema. Bring the two entities together and what do you get? Enthralling and articulate conversation. This, coupled with enthusiastic audience participation was unforgettable viewing… and I had the privilege of witnessing it all in person.
As the dynamic duo came onto the stage, the theatre was filled with cheers and applause. Chic and stylish as ever, the pair thanked the audience for such an overwhelming welcome and emphasised that the event was about the audience interacting with Khan. After a brief introduction, the audio trailer of Aamir Khan produced Peepli [Live] was played. Following this, the two introduced the Khan with the Midas touch onto the stage.
Khan walked onto the stage with yet more cheering and waved to the crowds awaiting him. Dressed in a Burgundy shirt and jeans, it seemed this “In conversation” was to be a hugely informal affair. His relaxed style was somewhat charming and made me think that this is actually just a normal man within the acting profession. It was surreal sitting in front of such a cinematic great who has been a part of some of the hugest movies in Indian cinema over recent years.
When asked about whom he would say his favourite “Khan” was, the actor-cum-producer gave a fairly safe response in stating it would have to be Yusuf Khan. Raj confirmed soon after, the name, of course, referred to the yesteryear actor Mr Dilip Kumar. I’ve got to admit, I half-expected his answer to be his nephew Imran Khan — would that have been seen as loyalty… or nepotism? Well, this Khan chose not to get so controversial, and rightly so!
The “idiot” — a title affirmed by 3 Idiots, of course — had flown into London straight from the Toronto Film Festival where his wife’s film Dhobi Gaat had been showcased. He revealed that when he fell for Kiran Rao, he was totally oblivious to her writing talents, “I knew she was a nice person because that’s what made me fall for her but I didn’t know how talented she was”. At this point, he was asked whether this hidden talent of hers made him love her more. He chose not to answer that question but instead talked about how she insisted on giving him a screen test for his role in her film.
As the questions kept coming, it seems this audience had caught Khan totally unaware as he was taking a few moments to really think before answering some of the questions. Not only did he answer, he also sang and it really was special moment to hear an actor of his calibre sing his favourite song at the request of a fan.
As the show came to an end, the trio was showered with cheering and applause yet again. As they stood for photos and with the cameras clicking away, Khan was still answering questions being asked by those who were in the audience. A truly memorable experience with the man with the Midas Touch… and Peepli [Live] is sure to strike gold yet again.
You can hear the show on Love Bollywood on the BBC Asian Network on 25th September 9am-12pm. Also keep your eyes peeled on www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork for a video of the whole conversation.
Photos courtesy BBC Asian Network