Bollywood columnist Devansh Patel shares a date with the delectable Minissha Lamba in Mumbai.
THE beautiful and the innocent have no enemy but time. Minissha Lamba decided the time. "You have to see me walk, so be at the Grand Hyatt at 2pm," said the gorgeous lady who was to be a showstopper at Lakme India Fashion Week (LFW).
Friday was day one of the biggest fashion spectacle, which celebrated its 10th year and saw Minissha open designer Archana Kocchar's second show in a stunning red gown, which had a dramatic ghagra splashed with a profusion of roses lit with neon lights.
She looked all rosy, presenting an era of innocence that set the mood for a glamorous evening just waiting round the corner at Del Italia in Juhu.
But before I met the luscious Ms Lamba at the LFW, I had something else planned for the lady a couple of days earlier, when she was my 'date' for a day.
I love to call her Mini but for the world outside she is Minissha Lamba.
It's been a strange trip for her, it seems. Coming from a highly intellectual background, she might have expected to lead an academic life. Instead, much to her horror and bewilderment, she was spotted by Bollywood and thrust into the limelight as the latest teen sex symbol.
I must say, I hate to use this word 'sex symbol' - it's not symbolic for me.
At precisely 3pm from the Film City, I send her a text message: "Hi Mini. I've left Film City and will reach Indigo bar by 4pm. That fine with you, lovey dovey?"
The alert from the other end came in a second: "Just to be safe, let's
make it 4.30pm. Running a bit late on my current appointment."
I love to get the conversation going and thus sent her another beep: "Make sure you have time to relax, busy girl. Cool it down at Indigo."
Back comes the reply: "Exactly Coffee to get me going for the next half of the day."
It is 4.30pm and my car is headed towards Indigo. I'm almost 100 metres away when I read something on my mobile - a message from Minissha Lamba, which reads: "Will be delayed by 15 mins baba just got done."
Punctuality is what describes me. But when I reached the destination at 4.46pm, Mini calls me to ask: "Where are you?"
I reply: "Just parking the car, see you in a second. What about you?"
Mini: "I am inside the café. Look who's late."
My mind couldn't think of anything better than the cult clichéd dialogue from the 1980s - "Yeh sun ne se pehle main mar kyun nahin gaya."
In I walk, dressed in my most comfy jeans and a pink T-shirt, with a chequered scarf adorning my neck, and there she was sitting peacefully, in her own sweet serenity. I come close to her, make eye contact and a warm hug made things much more relaxed finally.
I'm sure all this sounds more like a screenplay, with the camera on the trolley taking a full 360-degree to capture the mood, the essence and the intensity in Mini's eyes in a soft focus, and me standing in blurred-out pink as I play second fiddle here. Now, if that's the case, here's the script.
ML: Hey, how you doing?
DP: Not so perfect. Late by a minute and a half.
The attendant comes with the orange-coloured menu - thought it could've been indigo.
DP: What's the speciality here, Mini? ML: I thought you'd have been here for quite a few dates.
DP: Yes I have but every time I've visited this place, either it's the coffee or the juice.
ML: Got it. I'll order a coffee. I've recently started my daily dose of caffeine intakes.
When you see Minissha Lambaís svelte physique, you'd never imagine she loves regular coffee. To be precise, a moccachino. Does she have a trainer, I ask myself. The attendant arrives, she orders a moccachino with chocolate flakes and I choose a black coffee.
DP: So tell me what's happening with you after Abba Ka Kuan?
ML: Not signed any film as of now. DP: Ok. And how's Abba doing.
ML: Boman is a darling. I think he is in town.
DP: It's been ages since I've met him.
My eyes spot the big, coppercoloured, Armani leather watch Mini is wearing but what I didn't spot was that she had her eyes on mine too.
DP: You an Armani person?
ML: Not really but I noticed your Armani dial and it's similar to mine. I like Earth colours and that's why I like this watch.
DP: So if I open your wardrobe, I'm sure to find green, brown, grey, blue? ML: Kind of. But I am seasonal. One
time I wear shades of blue, sometimes you'll see me in shades of red, etc.
DP: Yeah. The last time I saw you, you were in red from top to toe.
ML: Yes, that was our first meeting during my Kidnap days.
DP: I liked your exclusive photo shoot which you did for Bollywood Hungama.
ML: Thank you. But I am always confused as to how these things fall in place.
DP: Don't task your mind love.
ML: (smiles) So how's work going? DP: I am loving it. Feel like working 24/7. Busy with my newspapers in London and loyal as always to Bollywood Hungama. I heard you too wanted to become a journalist, right? ML: I wanted to become a war journo who would cover the real things, everything real and as it happens.
DP: You aren't from any army background right?
ML: Nope. I've seen a lot of India because my father was a hotelier.
DP: So that doesn't make you a Mumbaiker then.
ML: I'm just a three-and-a-half year old girl in Mumbai.
DP: So what have you still got to see in this beautiful city?
ML: Except Versova, where I live, I haven't seen much of anything.
At 5.15pm Mini's mobile rings. She talks for a few minutes.
DP: Please let me know when you want to go. I'm sure nothing was that urgent ML: It was just a friend. But I've got to reach Juhu at 6pm for one last meeting I've got scheduled.
DP: So what else is happening? I'm sure the industry is going to see dark
days with this whole strike of the multiplexes.
ML: To each their own. I'm sure everyone has got their own viewpoints on this. But we have to have a common ground for a mutual agreement on an issue like this.
Mini has nearly finished her coffee. But here's what was really delicious. She takes a spoon kept alongside her cup, swirls it inside the cup and gets the sticky chocolate residue to tickle her taste buds. That could've been a well-shot scene.
The time was 5.40pm so she had to leave for her appointment as promised. As I get up to be a gentleman, Mini walks past me looking lovely dressed in her jeans, a cute casual top and sunglasses, she pauses and calls her driver. I too call mine.
Her Accord arrives. My Corolla doesn't. I call again only to find he had parked far away. Mini's professionalism comes into play - she waits until my car arrives. She pauses.
"You remind me of someone. You resemble Farhan in the way you talk and dress," she says.
That makes Minissha Lamba the seventh person to tell me that. I will take it up with Farhan the next time I bump into him! I wasn't embarrassed by the compliment but by her waiting for my car to arrive so she could depart.
"You need to go Mini, please leave, I'll be fine," I say.
A warm hug and a promise that we'll hook up at the Grand Hyatt made us cheer up while we parted ways.
Thank you Mini for being who you are - simply irresistible!