Monday, June 1, 2009

Farah Khan

Today Shubhra was not in the office (her mother was in Mumbai for the weekend), so Samar Khan (her boss) took me to a meeting. This meeting happened to be with Farah Khan at her house about the show I just went to yesterday! So awesome. Samar had me essentially be his assistant, so I sat there quietly and took notes while Samar, Farah and her assistant discussed who else they wanted on the show.

Apparently Aamir Khan is out because a) he is a perfectionist and does not do talk shows b) he is stuck up and thinks that it is beneath him and c) he and SRK hate each other, and will do nothing associated with the other. I don’t know about the middle reason, but he is notorious for not doing publicity and the two actors do hate each other, so it seems like a fairly valid assumption to say that Aamir Khan will not be on Tere Mere Beech Mein.

It was really cool to listen to people in the media industry talk about actors, and I actually surprised myself with how many names I recognized (people as high up as they are use first names only, so it was rather like hearing people talking about George, Brad, Leo, Denzel – that kind of thing). The show is not a straight up talk show like Ellen or the Tonight show – it has a set topic and then they pick an actor or two who fit the topic of the week. For instance, yesterday’s show was about ‘hen-pecked husbands’, which I assume SRK supposedly is. They are looking to get Salman Khan (I know, seriously, everyone in Bollywood has the last name Khan) and his mother to do a ‘mama’s boy’ episode, and stuff like that.

Just watching the working dynamic was really cool, as they threw ideas back and forth at each other. Something else that struck me, and I doubt that it was just for my benefit, was the fact that they spoke almost exclusively in English. It is obvious that, in India, the more educated the person, the better their English, but even at the shoot yesterday the majority of the interview was in Hindi. I really don’t know the reason for their using English, not that I minded, since it let me understand the conversation.

Also, her kids are freaking adorable. They are about one and a half now (I think they were born last February) and they all came toddling in at one point, each with their own nanny and Farah, who is normally quite a bear of a woman, pulled them all onto her lap and sang them Ringa, Ringa from Slumdog Millionaire.

After the meeting Samar and I went back to Whistling Woods and I sat in on his lecture (he teaches there in addition to about a million other things) about the start of the television Industry in India. I took notes on that, so I won’t bother to write them here, but suffice it to say he is a very good teacher, and I wish he taught at Newhouse.

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