Star of the week: Raveena Tandon
On Tuesday, one of my oldest friends in the film industry, Raveen Tandon, turned a year older.
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
A true-blue emotional, extroverted, possessive and impulsive Scorpio, Raveena finally found love and happiness this year with the well-known Mumbai distributor Anil Thadani.
For a long time I thought this adopted sister of mine was unlucky in love. Guys drooled over her. But she just couldn't find the perfect match.
At times the lack of emotional sustenance would get to her. "I guess the right person will happen when he happens. You can't push it. If you do, you end up marrying the wrong man."
And she would point out the marriages of compromised inconvenience in the film industry...her colleagues who quickly married the first man who proposed before they missed the bus.
"I can't do that. It has to be the real thing for me. Find a match for your sister," she would squeal half-jokingly.
I remember once trying to send her on a blind date with an actor who was in awe of her. Raveena took along a dress designer friend of hers. The three of them whooped up till the wee hours at a pub. The next morning she nearly choked on her laughter.
"There you were trying to match-make for me while I was trying to put him on to my friend," she laughed.
When Raveena laughs, you can hear her voice at the other end of town. Her extreme pleasure in the humorous side of life is equalled by her emotional insecurity - a typical Scorpio trait and one that cost her plenty in terms of emotional discontent.
But Raveena is never one to sit and weep. A more spirited girl would be hard to find in the film industry. Funk and spunk aren't fashion statements for her. Raveena thrives on these qualities. Her insecurities as an individual and an artiste have never bogged her down.
But they made her "one of the guys". Too emotional to be anyone's fool, Raveena simply turned her co-stars into buddies rather than lovers. Sanjay Dutt, Govinda, Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty...almost all the big guns of Bollywood are her bosom buddies.
This gives her a kind of bird's eye view of who's doing what to whom.
Once out of the blue an actor with whom she did a series of films called her up. For a minute she pursed her lips and then she sighed, "Ah, he called me for a sympathetic shoulder because he must have got a kick in the butt from..."
And she mentioned a leading actress' name. I was shocked because at that point of time there was not murmur of an affair between those two.
Raveena doesn't hesitate in spilling the beans, not to her close friends. Her frankness always delights me. And I'm much comforted to see that marriage and impending motherhood haven't changed her one bit.
She still remains totally hassle-free and completely unaware of the stares that accompany her every move.
She can be an awfully affectionate bully. I remember her showing me around her striking new penthouse apartment. Every brick and artefact paid for by her own hard-earned money, she was a house-proud lady.
"And this is where you'll stay from now on whenever you come to Mumbai," she said pointing to the swanky guest room.
Not too many of my friends from the film industry would make such a generous offer. But that's Raveena for you. All heart...and impulsive to the core!
I remember after the premiere of Kamal Haasan's "Abhay" at a multiplex, all of us proceeded for dinner. No one was eating much. There was loud conversation across the table, Raveena being the loudest of them all. Suddenly in the middle of the meal, she got a call.
"I'll be right back," Raveena announced to me in a whisper, and she left. She returned a good half an hour later, looking extremely happy with life.
"That was my buddy John Abraham. He took me for a spin on his new motorbike," she leaned over and whispered happily.
There have been times when Raveena has touched rock bottom emotionally and professionally. But she has bounced right back. Never as career-oriented as her colleague Karisma Kapoor, Raveena always wanted to be a wife and a mother, more than anything else.
"Being an object of desire and all that jazz is all very fine. But I've seen how happy my mother is with my father. I want that for myself."
Today she has got what she most wanted. Her two adopted daughters are grownup young women with lives of their own. Raveena needed to move into the marital mode at this juncture in her life.
"Career wise, I've done it all. I don't think there's anything more to do. Being a wife gives me so much peace from within. I think this is what I always wanted. And now there's motherhood. I couldn't have asked for more," she sighs...And then chuckles hard, Raveena style.