Hrithik and Kajol launch dolls at harrods

Published On: 2012-12-02

Author: Faud Omar

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Hrithik and Kajol launch miniature dolls amongst great fanfare

By: Faud Omar

Date: September 18, 2006


At 0758 I am polishing off a piece of toast when I receive the message I’ve been waiting for: ‘All people in cars en route to hotel’ it reads, indicating that the manic day that lies ahead has begun. Today is the day that Indian cinema invades the most British of department stores and arrives in true royal regalia.


Two hours later I’m greeted by Shameen Jivraj, the brainchild behind Bollywood Legends, a brand and innovative new range of dolls based on leading actors from Indian cinema, that is causing a stir in the toy industry. Wearing a pink jacket, beige skirt and looking radiant with glee, she gives me a warm hug as we stride to the hotel where India’s leading actor is at. He arrived this morning and is leaving this evening, so has flown in just for the launch of the Bollywood Legends dolls and will be accompanied by an actress who is as popular as he is, in India and overseas.


As we ring the bell for Suite 521, Shameen takes a deep breath and looks at me, smiling. “It’s a big day and I just want everything to go perfectly,” she says with a slightly worried look in her eyes.


Today is the historic launch of the dolls in London at Harrods Toy Kingdom, which has been transformed into a Bollywood Haven for one day only. The actors are here to directly introduce the dolls to their fans and thank them for coming by signing as many dolls as they can within the time allocated.


“Hey!” says a familiar voice that is always upbeat, positive and a delight to hear. Hrithik Roshan is India’s leading actor who has recently starred in the blockbuster Krrish, which marked the on-screen arrival of India’s first superhero, and has notched up an enviable variety of roles within the short span of six years which has covered his debut to meteoric rise. His name alone causes swoons from the faint-hearted and he is a hard-working, dedicated actor whose only competition is himself in his last film.


“It’s so good to see you again,” he says enveloping me in the bear hug that he’s always ready to give, no matter how tired or burnt out he is. “Shameen – you’re looking great!” he says as he shifts focus on the woman who has had an incredible journey herself which culminates in this day when her dream becomes a reality.


Despite a long flight and a gruelling shooting schedule, Hrithik looks fresh dressed in a white tee shirt and denims, with brown boots that creep out from beneath his jeans like welcoming snakes. He may not have come out of a Western, but he’s certainly conquered the East and West and proved he’s the lone cowboy who can ride into town and leave with everyone’s hearts. He has been working for 22 hours straight before taking his flight to London where he is completely busy for the 14 hours that he’s here for, and for him work typically includes a rigorous dance schedule, rehearsals, photo sessions and acting while trying to work out in between it all. He tells me of how excited he is about ‘Dhoom 2’ because of how hard everyone’s working to make it look so aesthetically perfect, and also how tired he is from the flight and punishing schedule.


I smile and put my hand on his shoulder, telling him “pain is momentary, film is forever,” to which he smiles and shoots back a look that says ‘yeah I know, who’s complaining? I was just telling you!’


Shameen goes through some last minute details and then before we know it we’re in the lobby watching Kajol walk out of the elevator like the sunshine itself has taken form and is edging towards us, with stars on each side to boot. Draped in a sunflower yellow sari and with silver pearl earrings embracing each ear, she quite simply looks stunning. Her eyes sparkling brighter than the earrings that dance to either side of her, I can honestly say she has never looked as good as she does today and the hotel staff agree as they can’t take their eyes off her. As she greets Shameen, she smiles, lighting up the whole of the area around her and for a moment everyone is dazzled by her beauty yet trying to concentrate on where they need to be. The decision to lead Kajol outside first helps as the rest of us manage to compose ourselves and before long we’re on our way to Trevor Square where a horse and carriage await to take the two icons to the entrance of Harrods in true traditional English style.


Travelling ahead, I am taken aback by the number of people who are waiting outside Harrods, hoping to get a view of their favourite stars when they arrive. Moments later they are being brought into the VIP area which is now completely surrounded by photographers, press, fans and shoppers, all of whom are clambering to catch a glimpse of the two stars.


Descending from the carriage, Hrithik and Kajol are presented with welcoming garlands by two fans who have won a competition to meet their favourite stars and it is clear that they shine brightest when greeted by fans. They smile, wave, shake hands, sign autographs, pose for photographs all as they walk around to meet those who have waited to see their screen icons. If Tom Cruise is infamous for his long walkabouts where he greets fans, Indian cinema goes two steps better as these young stars do everything they can to ensure everyone in sight has a smile on their face.


After slowly going around the crowd, a bagpipe procession leads them through the store and up to the fourth floor where they are taken to the front of an already overcrowded Toy Kingdom. There they are welcomed warmly by a senior spokesperson from Harrods before they take the microphone themselves to tell the ecstatic and eager fans how pleased they were to be at Harrods for the event and to see so many people.


A signing session follows which is accompanied by pandemonium as fans scream, cheer and cry at the sight of their screen idols, with some being led outside for fresh air after having their breath taken away from being so close to the real life Bollywood legends. The dolls are studied just as much as the stars with shoppers buying handfuls and proudly showing them off. Hrithik and Kajol’s dolls disappear off shelves like lightning but fans leave saying they would have to return soon to complete the collection.


After the signing, it’s straight into press interviews where the two stars talk to no end about the dolls, the film industry and how unique an opportunity this product provides to take Bollywood into homes everywhere. They also speak about the day so far and how much they’re enjoying it, often describing it as surreal and a lot of fun.


At a packed press conference, Hrithik describes how he felt about his very own doll and the launch at Harrods. “There are some moments in life that only come once like looking into the eyes of your newborn child and seeing happiness and peace personified. Another is when you look into the eyes of your own doll!” he says causing the whole room to erupt in laughter.


“It’s indescribable because it’s strange and overwhelming and wonderful all at once. And it’s all thanks to Shameen’s dedication, love and astonishing inspiration.”


“It’s an honour to have your own doll,” adds Kajol. “When Shameen approached me it all seemed bizarre as I thought legends were supposed to be dead, so it feels strange to be called a Bollywood Legend, but is an experience in itself.”


When asked about the advent of film merchandising and why she agreed to be immortalised in plastic, Kajol responded: “We went with the dolls because it’s another way to connect with our fans. We have movies, ads and our interviews but the dolls are a personal thing you can take home.”


Shameen adds that she felt the dolls represented much more than a piece of movie merchandising. “My vision is to take children’s favourite Bollywood stars and give them their own replica of them. For them to re-enact scenes with the dolls from their favourite movies, to become their friends, share secrets with them and do all the things you would with normal dolls. I hope it’ll be a magical experience for them.”


When Hrithik is asked if he felt the doll resembled him, his eyes widen as he replies “definitely! It’s a mini-me!”.


With the press conference wrapped up, Kajol heads back to the hotel to rest after two full days of promotion, and Hrithik begins preparing for his flight back which is just a few hours away. The event has been hectic and generated excitement and frenzy leaving many fans overjoyed as they met their screen idols then got to take home their own miniature version. Two of Indian cinema’s brightest stars came to London for one day only and stopped traffic, arrived in style, left an indelible mark and made history. After the event, echoes of cheering fans calling out to their idols still rings through the Toy Kingdom despite the stage now being empty and the area reserved for welcoming the icons being just another corner overlooking the department. The magic of Bollywood came, saw and conquered today and the ultimate memento of the glitz, glamour and hard work is on toy shelves everywhere. Take the magic home, re-create your favourite moments from the big screen and create new ones that are special to you: the Bollywood Legends have arrived and are about to change the world (and toy industry) forever.




Kajol and Hrithik together

Source: Indiafm

Date: September 18, 2006



Kajol and Hrithik are together. No, not for a film but for the promotion of their newly launched doll. A few days ago we had mentioned of Bollywood actors who can now enter your households in the form of dolls. Well the two stars were promoting the same doll in London.


Hrithik and Kajol were welcomed in a London departmental store with much fanfare. They had a royal welcome with Scottish Bagpipers welcoming them. Huge number of fans welcomed them as all of them wanted to have a glimpse of their favorite stars. Well after seeing them together promoting their respective dolls, fans can now hope to see them together in a film soon.


Kajol and Hrithik were together for Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham though they were not cast opposite each other.