Subhash Ghai hasn’t been called the Showman for nothing. On his 65th birthday on Saturday evening Ghai pulled off what the original Showman Raj Kapoor had done in Mera Naam Joker. In the declining year of his long and chequered career Ghai invited all the actors from all his films beginning with Kalicharan and concluding with Black and White and Yuvraaj in 2008.
From the newbies like Katrina Kaif and Zayed Khan (Yuvraj) to the more senior stalwarts like Rishi Kapoor, Tina Ambani (Karz) and Reena Roy (Kalicharan), they were all expected to make the evening memorable for the filmmaker.
The breathtaking guest list that was expected to be seen at the Hyatt read like the who’s who of the Mumbai entertainment industry. From Ghai’s close friend and adopted family members Shatrughan Sinha and Punam to foe-turned-friend Salman Khan, Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor to Vivek Mushran and Apoorva Agnihotri and Anurag Sinha….all the successful and not-so-successful Ghai heroes were expected to be present at an evening of nostalgia and retrospection.
Then of course there was the gallery of Ghai’s heroines from Manisha Kaoirala and Mahima Chowdhary to the more recent discoveries Isha Shravani and Aditi Sharma, the ladies were all expected to be present.
Ghai had sent out personal hand-written letters to ALL the invitees, a la Raj Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker. Two of the most significant Ghai heroines Meenakshi Sheshadri and Madhuri Dixit couldn’t make it as they live abroad.
Said Ghai on the morning of the big bash, “But it wasn’t about the stars. It was about my emotional tie with the people I worked with. Ideally I’d want all my actors and technicians to be there. I’ve invited everyone not to show off and talk about my films, but to share a quiet evening with the people who contributed to my life.”
Coincidentally (one would hope) Shilpa Shetty decided to get engaged on Saturday at her fiancé Raj Kundra’s residence, the same evening when Subhash Ghai planned the biggest bash of his evening inviting the A (Anil Kapoor) to Z (Zayed Khan) of the film industry to share his moment of glory.
Guests common to both the functions were put into a quandary, specially so since the timing for both the events was the same.
Adnan Sami who was invited to both the functions intended to attend both. “I can’t miss Subhashji’s function. I’m not only an artiste associated with his cinema I’m also a part of Mumbai’s entertainment industry. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures of the Indian entertainment industry. At the same time it is the most important day of Shilpa’s life. So I’ll scamper from the one to another.”
Another actor however had no intention of extending such generosity over his time. “Who is the more glamorous and happening host of the evening? Who wants to watch an over-the-hill filmmaker preening over his past glory?”
— By Subhash K Jha