Pune show

Published On: 2012-06-11

Author: unknown

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Pune show

Jehan Satarwala in Pune 

It was a mega show. 

The chief guest: today's megastar Hrithik Roshan. 

It was organised to raise funds for the Pune Police Research Centre, and was held at the Pune Police Grounds. 

I was the event organiser for the show, under the aegis of Jaws Productions. It took over two months of continuous follow-ups by the Police Commissioner of Pune, K K Kashyap, and the Police Commissioner of Bombay, Rakesh Maria to finally make it possible. 

D-day, November 1, was mind boggling. I have never seen such mass hysteria. 

The tiny little Pune airport was witness to over a thousand people who wanted to meet Hrithik. 

One man. So much hype. I don't get it. 

Then I met him. And I began to understand why. That aura, that mystery about him that so befits a superstar -- that is when I understood why he has such universal appeal. 

But he is very down-to-earth, relaxed about the hype that surrounds him. 

Deep inside, I am sure he is very amused and laughs at the world. 

At Pune airport. Within five minutes of Hrithik's arrival, I was fast on my way to losing my temper. 

His entourage included more than 350-odd policemen just for his security. And in all the chaos, his baggage was left behind at the airport. 

Hrithik? He was cool, calm and collected as he waited for his clothes to arrive. 

I suppose he is used to living a fishbowl existence. But even so, I asked him how he deals with it. He just looked at me and said, "I know the truth. And I take all this hysteria as a compliment." 

That one line said a lot about his confidence. 

No, he does not form a rapport very easily. But he will accord you respect. That shows his upbringing. 

Hrithik is very meticulous about the way he is presented. 

For that ten-minute appearance, he made us fax his speech two weeks in advance. 

The moment he got to Pune, he wanted to be briefed about every little thing. 

"Where do I enter?", "What are my lines?", "What is the schedule like?", "What is the timing" , and so on. 

He is very sharp. Hrithik is unhesitating in his suggestions -- if he feels something can be done better. 

In fact, he even checked minute details like his entry, exit, even having a chat with Sajid Khan, the emcee for the evening. 

He wanted to know, "What are your lines? What exactly will you say before I enter? Where will I have to stand? On your left or right?" 

His checklist was better than mine. 

The Hrithik Roshan who appeared on stage was every inch a superstar. 

He had the crowd at his fingertips -- blowing kisses, underlining the necessity of the Pune Police Reasearch Centre that he was there for. 
Amidst the fireworks, he said, "I could not celebrate Diwali this year. And I am glad to be sharing the fireworks with you. This is simply magnificent!" 

He was annoyed, though, when, after the fireworks, an overzealous backstage staffer sprayed the fire extinguisher all over him. What with the fireworks, he must have thought the stage had caught fire and that Hrithik was in danger. An irate Hrithik let off steam only when he got backstage! 

Meanwhile, the crowds were greedy. They wanted him to dance. Hrithik, for his part, was polite, but firm. He refused to do anything without practice. 

My previous show had Dilip Kumar and Nana Patekar as chief guests. The who's who from the industry seated in the audience and the crowd was well-behaved, placid. 

For Hrithik's show, there were no guarantees. 

Backstage, too, despite all possible security measures, there was chaos. The policemen who were supposed to be protecting him were totally star struck. 

For that matter, even Hans Raaj Hans and his troupe, who were performing immediately after Hrithik went offstage, stormed into Hrithik's green room to get pictures clicked. 

It was a nightmare to make sure nothing went wrong! 

But beneath all that superstardom, there is that young man who lets his guard down. 
Like when Hrithik happened to meet some of the dancers of choreographer Farah Khan's troupe in the elevator of Hotel Pride, where he was staying. As the elevator doors opened, there was a change in the quiet star. 

His face wore a delighted smile, he exchanged high-fives with the troupe, amidst wishes of Happy Diwali. 

It was a pleasure to watching that exchange. 

I asked Hrithik whether he was open to performing shows. He said he wouldn't do it without practice. 

But now I hear he is doing a show in Calcutta... 

At the end of the day, it was well worth the effort. We raised Rs 45 lakh from the show. 

Maybe it was not to the scale of the Rs 2 crore we collected from our earlier Sonu Nigam show, but it was definitely enough for the project to get underway. 

We had a turnover of 10,000 people. Tickets were priced at Rs 1,000 and Rs 500. 

But as an organiser, I would rather have Hrithik as a performer on stage. 

Just his presence on stage as a chief guest made all the effort worth its while. 

Jehan Satarwala spoke to Nidhi Taparia