When Ingrid met Boman

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Recently, Boman Irani told the world on Twitter, “Ingrid Zellner a German twitter friend and big fan of our films decided to visit India. My 1st meeting with a tweeter friend. It was super. She does not understand hindi but watches every hindi film and is an encyclopedia. Looking for some dvd’s for her that she could not source.”

Well, it was also my first meeting with Boman Irani, and it was completely unplanned. I had flown to Bombay from Germany to meet friends. As we were talking about Facebook and our various friends there, I also mentioned Bomanji with whom I’m sharing a really good FB relationship (and same on Twitter). My friend asked me whether I was to meet Boman during my stay in India, and I said, no, I didn’t even tell him I was going to India. My friend suggested I should at least let him know that I was in town, and so I sent a Facebook message to Boman giving him my and my host’s mobile numbers.

Next morning, we were just visiting Banganga mandhir, Bomanji actually called us and asked whether we could be at the MTV studios between 2 and 2:30 pm; he would have some time for me between some interviews he was to give for promoting his next release Well Done Abba. Of course we changed our plans at once and drove to the studios at 2 pm. Arriving there, we saw him standing outside the building, talking to some people. When I approached him, he spotted me and came up to me, beaming and hugging me… It was such a warm welcome, I instantly felt home and like being with a friend I’ve known my entire life.

He took me to a room in the studios, offered me water, chai and some food, and then we chatted away about everything and anything. He was curious to know why I was so fond of Hindi films. We also talked about his career as a stage actor before he joined films. We discussed our favorite films and it amazed him to hear that I have nearly 500 Hindi films on DVD, the oldest ones from the 40’s. Discussing films with Bomanji is pure joy.

Finally he was called to the sets for his next interview with Minishha Lamba and Sameer Dattani, and he took me to the sets where I was allowed to sit next to the producer and watch the proceedings which was a very interesting experience for me. Afterward, I wanted to take my leave when he suddenly asked whether I had a camera and wanted to take some pics. Actually I hadn’t given a thought to this; it had been such an informal and cordial meeting that asking for pics or autographs hadn’t even come to my mind. But okay, now I got my camera, we took two pics, and then we hugged once again and took farewell.

I’ve got to know Boman Irani exactly the way he appears on Facebook and Twitter – warmhearted, embracing, loveable and absolutely down to earth. I genuinely hope we will stay in touch because he’s one of the nicest men I ever met in my life. My heartfelt thanks to you, Bomanji – and all the best, Abba!

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