Anyone who knows me knows I am not really a huge fan of Bollywood. I have however found that living in India you kind of absorb information about Bollywood almost subliminally. My parents on the other hand are huge Bollywood fans, and have a rather large collection of Hindi films back home in Australia. So it came as a surprise to both them and me to discover recently that not only did I know who Shah Rukh Khan was, but that I also knew where he lived!
Living in Bandra, I also happen to live in close proximity to many famous Bollywood stars and personalities. I actually didn’t know quite how close until I took my parents on a tour of Bollywood homes in Bandra. The tour is an audio one created by Audio Compass. It was suggested to me by a friend, if you are interested too you can download it here.
Starting at Mehboob studios, the tour took us through the homes of current stars, like Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, and some older ones that I hadn’t heard of like Rekha. My father however knew everyone on the tour and told me stories and gossip about each of them as we walked. It was actually quite a bit of fun. We even passed Sachin Tendulkar’s house (not quite Bollywood but pretty much Indian royalty anyway), I can’t believe I have passed his house countless times and had no idea.
The one Bollywood star that fascinates me the most on the tour is Salman Khan. Located near Bandra Bandstand, I walk past his house every single day. Without fail, anytime after about midday there are at least 50 boys from adolescence into their late 20’s standing outside his house, watching, waiting and hoping to catch a glimpse of him. In any other country, it would be teenage girls pining after their hero, but not here in India. I personally don’t see the attraction to Salman Khan, but evidently I need to be an adolescent boy to truly get it.
I actually really loved taking the Bollywood tour because it gave me an insight into something my parents love. Walking through the streets of Bandra, I discovered some beautiful new parts of this suburb I have lived in for a year and had a sneak peak into the lives of the rich and famous. My parents loved it so much we actually did the tour twice. Once on foot, and the second time in an auto just to take another look and see some places we had missed the first time. I think our auto driver thought we were crazy, but hey we had fun!
And what was the most interesting thing I discovered on this tour…. apparently I may or may not live on the same block as some members of Bollywood royalty, now I keep my eyes peeled whenever I leave home just in case I catch a glimpse of them too.