Among my many grievances about India’s (lack of) addresses, it has always struck me as particularly bizarre that rickshaw drivers won’t know basic street names but can accurately point out the home of every Bollywood star.
Instead of saying, “I need to go to Bandstand”, you can just say “Shahrukh Khan’s house.”
It’s uncanny – If you get into a rickshaw armed only with a street name, you’ll never get where you’re going; but if you’re going somewhere near a Bollywood star’s home, you’re sure to find your way.
It’s especially true in my little suburb of Bandra. In recent years it has become well known as a Bollywood stomping ground and every day there’s some new story about someone moving out here. It reminds me of how whenever any movie star moves out to Brooklyn there suddenly becomes a lot of press about how Brooklyn is the new hip place to live – even though it’s clearly nothing new.
I mention all of this, because I have just discovered the root of the loud construction that began a few days ago- and while inconvenient, it may prove to be useful when I’m trying to direct people to my building.
After her daily rounds of gossip with the doorman and other people who work in the building, Nisha was very excited to inform me that a Bollywood ‘star’ and her athlete fiancé have purchased the entire fourth floor of our building (I’m not going to mention names since this blog is searchable and I don’t want to give out anyone’s home address…).
I, of course, being the silly white person that I am, had not heard of either of the people in question, but Nisha’s level of interest seemed to indicate that it was a big deal. She quickly rattled off all the movies the woman had starred in. So who was I to argue with that?
On the other hand, when I mentioned it to a friend here, he felt the fiancé was actually the bigger celebrity and that the starlet was “a-list; not A-list.” So who knows? Either way, it can’t hurt in a building that no one can ever find.
And if you’re really curious about who the couple is: don’t worry, I’m sure the rickshaw drivers will be able to tell you soon enough.