|At the screening in Sirifort Audi|
He stood, tall, prim and proper, noticeable in the crowd, from about twenty feet afar, in his grey blazer, as if just out of a Raymond's Complete Man ad, with the stylist behind meticulously giving final touches to his hair. I moved closer to get a better view. His handlebar moustache and beard, (the look for his upcoming film Ram Leela), smartly covered the unappealing contours of his face.
The corridor, that led to Boardroom 201, (at Sheraton Hotel, Saket) was abuzz with people from the media, the event organizers and the general public which had managed to sneak in to catch a glimpse of Ranvir Singh. He was there to promote Lootera, along with director Vikramaditya Motwane and producer Ekta Kapoor.
Two super-energetic 50-something ladies rushed up to him, to wish him luck for the film, even as the organizers scurried about to make sure everything was in place. Ranvir smilingly bent to touch one of the ladies' feet and thanked her. The gesture seemed more for the cameras.
Ranvir is visibly not the most good looking faces around, but was a delicious mix of charm and confidence. The 3-film old had no arrogance of a star. But his body language and demeanor sure lent him the aura of a star.
In the next few minutes, the public was politely asked to vacate the area for the media conference to begin. About 15 news and entertainment channels with their cameras and paraphernalia surrounded Ranvir and Vikram for over an hour with all sorts of questions. Most, unarguably rubbish. I pitied the two for the questions they braved. And they did it all with a smile -- Ranvir in a sing-song mood, and director Vikram in his low-key, shy yet welcoming way. At one moment, Ranvir was sober and quiet. In another, he was playful and jolly. It was tough to tell who the real Ranvir was. But most times, he remained super charged and enthusiastic, keeping all entertained with his antics and banter.
He would occasionally start singing a random number from his film or just joke around with the reporters. Read my interview with Ranveer Singh and Vikramaditya Motwane here.
I wanted to take a quick picture before we wound up. Just as I was about to hand over my iPad to the girl who stood close, to click us, Ranvir shot me a quizzical look, "Umm.. lets do this ourselves. Just flip this around," pointing to the little icon in the corner of the device. Not like I wasn't aware my iPad had a two-way camera, Ranvir :p I didn't want a close-up. Anyway. He clicked and while he did so, didn't shy away from complimenting me "You're ammmazingly pretty." I didn't see that one coming. Guess he was just making sure I didn't give him bad press :p
By 5:30 pm, we wrapped up the media interaction. I now looked forward to the screening of the film, which was to begin in about an hour at the Sirifort Auditorium.
Just before the screening, Ranvir, Vikram and Ekta made a quick appearance on the stage before a 3000-odd enthusiastic audience. The public waved and whistled. After their quick speeches, came the compeer's last announcement. It's Ranvir's birthday tomorrow, stressing every syllable. The crowd cheered louder, screaming birthday wishes. He waved back and in SRK style, gave away bouquets to the audiences, one by one. The auditorium roared. The noise went notches up. He had four in hand. One by one, the girls, obviously caught most of them! ;-)
He handed me the last... The advantage of sitting in the front row and the fact that we'd been clicking away pictures only an hour before!