London Diaries

Well, I haven’t ‘officially’ declared yet that I am on a break. But it already seems a long time since I last posted something. Life has been crazy and that isn’t really an excuse which I am trying to cook up. But, more on that some other time. 

This guest post by the ‘Amir Khan of blogging community’ couldn’t have come at a better time. Though we discussed the idea weeks back, our perfectionist seemed to be busy juggling so many other bloggers, watching re-runs of Himmatwala and attempting to put Mrs Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at shame by hitting the gym and shaping up before she does. Busy or not, he detests promotional blogger-meets but always turns up for a rowdy meet-up with a few awesome fellow bloggers. Those of us who have had a chance to meet him feel elated and special. Afterall it is only a handful of bloggers who have really ‘met’  the man himself. It was love at first sight when I first landed on his blog which is a crazy joy-ride and I seriously can’t get enough. I can safely say that he gave satire a new meaning and I am not being sarcastic here. 

This post comes at a perfect time because, as of now I just can’t make my way with words. Friends, like angels have a way of silently helping us when we don’t even know we need help. Blogger and dost Rickie Khosla of Who Cares What I Think  fame came to aid and helped me much more than he knows he did. May it be the following blog post, or the innumerous tips, or the most thoughtful gift  ( which was something I intended to buy but kept putting off for the lack of time), I can’t thank him enough for being the saviour. 🙂

Here is what he got me! Now, don’t be jealous and start reading!


















Akanksha Dureja’s London Diary
Newbury, West Berkshire, UK
Sunday evening
It was 8 pm and Akanksha decided to tuck in early that Sunday evening. It had been a thoroughly disappointing weekend. The news that Shah Rukh Khan was going to be at Trafalgar Square filming for the new Karan Johar movie had turned out to be a hoax. Akanksha had waited all day at the world famous tourist hotspot braving the London drizzle in her favourite orange-coloured Aricent raincoat, but there had been no sign of SRK or anyone even remotely like him. Moreover, Akanksha’s big dream, of being in a large crowd gathered to watch SRK film live and then be spotted by him and be offered the lead role opposite him by the man himself, had been dashed when she read about the story of his new film in Stardust.

You see, the buzz around Khan-Johar’s latest was very strong because it promised to be unlike anything either had done before. This new lavish production had SRK playing a rich, young, successful theatre artist named Raj who is in search of his muse for a new musical drama show. When his hunt across the length and breadth of India returns nothing better than an excessively ‘bubbly’ Anushka Sharma, a disappointed Raj decides to do what all disappointed theatre artists do – he starts a blog. Very soon, he finds a loyal audience who like and comment on all his blog posts. One day, while mindlessly sending network requests to other bloggers on IndiBlogger, he virtually ‘meets’ a woman named SIM-RAM, a tech blogger with 253 followers – which is a huge number. Reading her wonderfully crafted reviews of apps, smartphones, Microsoft, Samsung and HP products, Raj realizes that SIM-RAM is the muse he has been waiting for all his life. He reaches out to her on Facebook and the two start an online relationship. However, the relationship is complicated, for she never ever attends IndiBlogger meets – after all, how else are two bloggers in love supposed to ever meet in person if not at IndiBlogger meets? SIM-RAM claims that she doesn’t attend them because of her inherent shyness, though other tech and non-tech bloggers think that she is just a mighty snob (some even meanly label her as a female version of Aamir Khan). Anyway, soon Raj realizes that his Heer has not been attending IndiBlogger meets because she doesn’t even live in India, she lives in England! So, off he goes to London, where the two love birds decide to meet at Big Ben at the stroke of 12 midnight on World Bloggers Day. As the big clock strikes the 12th clang, a figure slowly emerges from the fog, and as Raj strains to finally meet the person he has longed for, he is astonished by what he sees…
 Ding dong, the door bell rang momentarily, breaking Akanksha’s romantic SRK reverie. ‘Uff!’ she said angrily as she got out of bed. She hurriedly wore her favourite hawai chappals that she had bought from Karol Bagh shopping with her best friends Priyanka Dey, Gv Sparx, Ashima Saini and Naina Madan just days before she left India. ‘Who could it be at this hour?’ she wondered as she unlatched the door of her stylish 1BHK flat. At her doorstep stood a woman so familiar that her presence shocked Akanksha no end.
 Every Sunday evening, Betty would clamber over her Triumph Bonneville motorcycle and ride out of London for a long excursion. It was her favourite time of the week – to switch off her mind from all the worries of her life, family and career – and just race her bike on the empty motorway. The Biker Chick put on her earphones and set her iPod to the greatest hits of Pink Floyd and sped off, headbanging and singing along the song ‘Comfortably Numb’. The hot rod was thundering at ridiculously unlawful speeds for almost an hour before its engine suddenly sputtered several times and eventually stalled, just as Betty prudently drove the dying bike into the closest apartment complex parking lot. She got off the machine and kicked the front tyre with a loud ‘Fuck you, you piece of shit! Next time, I am getting a Harley!’ Once her anger had dissipated a bit, she took off her Hard Rock Mettalica leather overalls, helmet and bandana, and her aviator frames, to reveal the attire that she was wearing underneath – a pink floral dress and a woolly cardigan. She completed the look with a matching pink hat and grandmotherly specs. She checked her look in the bike’s rearview mirror once, and then walked up to the ground floor apartment and rang the doorbell.
  
“Oh Hello, dear!” said Betty as a pretty Indian girl opened the door. She could see that the girl was too dumbstruck to speak. Betty had that effect on people.
“Who….How…?!” was all that Akanksha was able to muster.
“Yes, dear, it is me. You can call me Aunty. And no, no need to bow in front of me!”
“What…Why…?!”
“It’s my fucking motorcycle, dear! It just died on me and I am stranded. And, I am too old to figure out how these shit-pieces that you young folks call cellphones work – I am 87, after all! Can I make a call from your Vodafone landline?”
“Errm…yes…sure,” Akanksha said, as she allowed the genteel looking old lady with an incongruously foul mouth enter her apartment and use the phone.
After she had done a lot of yelling and cussing on the phone, the visitor was proud to report to the host that help was on its way from a nearby palace. The ladies looked at each other – they had around ten minutes to kill.
“Lovely place you have here, dear,” the old lady said. “And it smells lovely – have you been cooking?”
“Yes…errm…Aunty! I just made some Rajma-Chawal, I mean Kidney Beans and Rice. Would you like some?”
“Oh sure, I love Indian food!” said the visitor, suddenly quite excited.
For the next couple of hours, the women had rajma-chawal (using their hands, no less), followed by a few rounds of more knick knacks such as Parle G biscuits, Haldiram Aloo Bhujia and Hamdard Khus sharbat. Akanksha told her visitor endless stories about her life and time in Kanpur and Delhi, and how she had been settling in her newly adopted country . The elderly lady heard every word in rapt attention.
“Oh dear, just look at the time!” the visitor said finally. “I have made Peter wait for over two hours now!” she added, alluding to her waiting chauffeur. Sure enough, Peter had been patiently waiting outside in the largest Rolls Royce ever built.  
“You can’t go just yet, Aunty! How about a round of Maggi before you leave? It’ll take just 2 minutes!”
Later, on her way back to Buckingham Palace, Betty picked up the gold ornamented car phone and dialed a number. When the connection established, she spoke excitedly, “Hello, yes, Charles, it’s mummy. Listen, I don’t think we need to worry about Harry any more. I have found just the most perfect girl in the world for him!”
  
At 3 am that night, Akanksha was woken by an urgent Whatsapp from her friend Mayuri Chaoji in Mumbai. Mayuri had just found out from insider sources at Mannat that SRK’s Trafalgar Square shoot had been moved to Monday.
Obviously after getting the message, there was no way Akanksha was able to sleep any more that night. She shot off an email to her boss declaring that she was too sick to come to work on Monday. Then, she went to her walk-in closet to choose the clothes she was going to wear for the shooting.
 Trafalgar Square, London
Monday afternoon
SRK pretend-strummed the guitar and mouthed the words to the new international hit song called ‘Bhalla’, which was a paean to his favourite Delhi food – Dahi Bhalley. There were at least a thousand Bollywood fans watching and waving photos of their favourite film star as the shooting took place. Akanksha had the best location – right in front of where SRK sat with his guitar – owing to the fact that she had taken the first train to get into London Town that morning.
About half way through the shooting schedule, at around 1.30 pm, the song’s choreographer walked up to Akanksha and said, “Hi, I am Farah Khan! Karan and Shah Rukh would like to have a word with you. Can you please come with me to Shah Rukh’s trailer over there?” she said, pointing to a large vanity van on the left. Akanksha was too surprised to speak, and followed the woman quietly. Inside the trailer sat SRK and K-Jo, who both got up as Akanksha stepped in.
“Hi, I am Shah Rukh!”
“And I am Karan!”
“I am Akanksha…”
A few polite ‘Nice to meet yous’ were exchanged.
After some small talk about the London weather, Gauri and the kids, Yash uncle, Mumbai and IT, Karan came to the point.
“So, look, we have searched high and low for the right person for the female lead of this movie – we want an beautiful yet down-to-earth Indian girl living in England, who knows technology and loves blogging. Plus, she should be someone whose heart goes aflutter at the mere mention of Raj. When Shah Rukh saw you in the crowd, he instantly said – ‘THAT’s my SIM-RAM!’”
“So, basically, what I am trying to say is – Would you like to be our SIM-RAM?”
“But I thought your storyline was something else? In fact, I read in all the magazines that SIM-RAM was going to be played by…”, Akanksha said, quite surprised at what she had just heard.
“No, no, we scrapped the original plan,” Karan cut in quickly.
“The thing is – we want you. We want only YOU,” SRK added.
“Would you come work for us? Maybe we can work out the modalities over dinner today?” Karan offered.
“Oh, I am sorry, I can’t make it today. I have been invited to the Buckingham Palace for dinner tonight by aunty, errm, I mean the Queen,” said Akanksha apologetically.
The two men looked at each other, a bit surprised, but mainly, crestfallen.
“But, I am free tomorrow. How about dinner then?” Akanksha said after a brief pause, instantly causing their spirits to rise again.
In her delight, Farah got up and did the Jumping Japang step that marks an IPL sixer.
Mumbai, India
Monday evening
John Abraham’s iPhone beeped the arrival of an email as he finished his 950th push up. He picked up the phone. It was a message from Karan Johar. It read –  
My dear Jo-Jo,
I am sorry to say that we have decided to take a different direction with the story of “Kal Bhi Toh Kahin Thodi Khushi Ho”. You will no longer be playing the role of SIM-RAM (original name in the film – Ram Singh). I understand that it would have been a ‘hat-ke’ story idea to have a man who keeps his identify hidden and pretends to be a pretty blogger girl. After all, what better way to get hundreds of tech enthusiasts and IT nerds to follow your blog, right? However, we conducted an opinion poll through Blog Adda WOW series where this storyline was shot down by almost everyone.
So, we have now decided to have a newcomer actress play the role of SIM-RAM. In fact, we have found just the perfect girl for the role in London today!
No hard feelings, I am sure. Our Dostana is still secure!
Meet you for coffee when I am back,
Karan

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