Katching Up With Koffee: Janhvi and Arjun, Get Ready to Want to Give Them Both a Big Hug!

Oh my, that was a tearjerker!  And not in a forced obvious way, but just because it’s so sad, and so happy at the same time.  And I am so glad Karan eased them through it and now the first interview is done and they have it behind them.

This is one that you really need the backstory to understand, because Karan doesn’t fill it in and just expects you to know.  Boney Kapoor had a young arranged marriage to Mona Kapoor.  They had two kids, Arjun and Anshula.  Years later, he fell in love with gorgeous most-famous-actress-in-Indian-history Sridevi.  He left his wife and married her and had two children, daughters Janhvi and Khushi.  Mona and her two kids stayed with Boney’s parents and family and had their own lives.  Boney and Sridevi and their two kids had their life.  Arjun grew up and planned to be an actor, and just before his first film came out, Mona died of cancer.  And years after that, almost exactly ten years later, Janhvi prepared for her first film to come out and her mother Sridevi suddenly died.  The two sets of siblings, Khushi and Janhvi and Arjun and Anshula, had never been photographed together, barely knew each other.  But starting with the funeral and continuing straight on to today, suddenly Arjun and Anshula were just sort of around their teenage sisters.  No one fully understood what had happened or was happening, and now we are on Koffee with Karan with Janhvi and Arjun to get a glimpse of what happened between these siblings.

And the answer is, a lot of sadness and a lot of love is what is happening between them.  There were so many moments that I just kind of wanted to cry, when Janhvi would get a frozen look on her face and fiddle with her hands and just generally seem sad and then Arjun would make her laugh.  So touching!  So sweet!  So sad.

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(See how she’s smiling at her big brother?)

 

We start with something not sad, or at least not sad in the same way, Karan coming out with an Ascot!  An ASCOT!!!!  At first I thought it was just another open collar shirt, but then I looked closer and it was definitely a separate piece of fabric all folded up.  Oh Karan!

His intro is kind of bland, just about his weight problems and dieting and then seguing into Arjun’s weight issues.  In retrospect I am grateful for it because there is so much emotion coming, it’s nice to have a lowkey opening.  And then Janhvi (the subtitles called her “Janhvi” so I am going with that spelling) and Arjun come out and it immediately gets emotional.

Janhvi is wearing a pretty pink lace dress, very innocent.  Arjun is wearing a nice standard suit, nothing remarkable except for a fancy jeweled snake looking pin.  He brings her out holding her hand, not like holding hands, but like he is escorting her.  And then he gets her settled on the couch before going the long way round to sit down himself.  The clothing is telling a story, she is young and fragile and he is touch and adult.  But their behavior is supporting that, it’s maybe not just a story but the way they actually are.

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In the first little exchange I still thought Janhvi might be faking.  She talks about dreaming of being on Koffee, having to answer a rapid fire question like “marry-hookup-kill” and Karan asks her the question, and she responds with “what does hookup mean?”  And then when Arjun reminds her that all the options Karan gave her are his friends so she can’t kill them, she opts to marry them all and then stops herself and says she just doesn’t know.  It is so ridiculously innocent, a little girl who doesn’t even have a firm grasp on what “hookup” is and is embarrassed when she realizes she jokingly said she would marry 3 guys.  It feels like it can’t be true, no one can be THAT innocent.

Karan lets that be, lets her possibly fake innocent answers stand, and then switches to a new topic, brings up very gently that this has been a hard and strange year for them both, especially Janhvi.  Nods towards her mother’s death and towards hire debut, and towards this new closeness with Arjun without turning it into a direct question.  And Janhvi kind of fails at answer.  Says this is what she always wanted, she feels enveloped in love, but it isn’t clear if she means love from the film industry and audience in general because she always wanted to act, or love from Arjun and Anshula (who Karan mentioned in his question) because she always wanted a family.

After Janhvi kind of grinds to a halt, Arjun takes over and gives a sincere answer in a calm voice, no fake dramatics about it.  I felt bad about Karan bringing this all out, and then I remembered that Karan was the one who Janhvi called to come be with her when she had no one else.  I am sure this was done with love and caring, wanting to give them a chance to tell their story in the safest place possible and get it over with once and for all.  But it’s really hard to watch, Arjun is telling a sad story, and the whole time Janhvi has a fixed look on her face very carefully not looking at anything in that way that you do when you are trying not to cry.  She just feels sooooooooooo young and alone and sad.  Even the way she sits, she doesn’t sit gracefully, she doesn’t pay attention to what she is doing all the time, she isn’t a practiced professional public figure, she is just a little girl struggling to put on a brave face and letting it slip a few times.

Arjun is not that, Arjun is very calm and clear about what he wants to say.  He doesn’t try to define exactly what he is to Janhvi now or what he was in the past, he just talks about how he feels and why he is sitting with her now.  He says it was an impulse of pure honesty, just what felt right.  That he wanted to be there for his father.  That he and Anshula were in that same place and needed more people with them and he didn’t want anyone else to feel that way.  And that his mother would have wanted them to do it, would have told them “of course, go to your father”.  That’s the sort of general statement of his emotions, this confused feeling that he had to be there for them because his mother would want it, because they needed people (and having been there himself he knew how much they needed people), because he owed it to his father.  But then he gets specific and says that was his first impulse, but he knew he could do nothing without Anshula by his side.  So he called her up at 2 or 3am, when they first heard the news and told her, and the first thing she said was “where are the girls?” so he knew she felt the same way.

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That’s the bit that makes me cry, Anshula waking up out of a sound sleep to learn her estranged stepmother has died and immediately leaping to “where are the girls?”  And it just continues sad from there.  Karan acknowledges that Arjun and Janhvi have an extra bond, because Arjun also lost his mother before his film released and Arjun saying how, because of that, he has probably talked more to Janhvi than Khushi, given her advice and helped her with trolls and stuff.  And he says how he is so sorry he couldn’t be there for the trailer release, he was stuck filming in London, and he actually seems sorry, not like guilty but like he wanted to be there more than anything because she needed him.  And this whole time poor Janhvi is sitting there with a terrible fixed smile and unfocused eyes, with her little hands in fists and it just hurts SO MUCH to watch her.

Thank goodness, Karan leaps off from discussion of the expectations on Janhvi for her debut because of her mother to talking about how he was a big Sridevi fan himself, he used to sing and dance to “Kehte Nahin” alone in his room.  And right away Janhvi relaxes and her whole body loosens up and she focuses in on Karan and starts to laugh.  Karan does a lot of silly stories and jokes on this show, but at least this time (and come to think of it, probably most times) it is because he is trying to make his guests laugh and forget about things, give them a little break.  It works, Janhvi gets that horrible stressed look off her face and starts seeming human again.

Karan moves them on to happy topics, talking about how all the siblings are on a WhatsApp group together now, “Papa’s kids”.  Clearly it’s something Karan worked out with them in advance and knew to ask about.  It’s cute, both Janhvi and Arjun get excited to talk about how Boney is the most active, always sharing photos of himself young and making jokes like “look for something like this in a boyfriend” and then showing a photo of himself with an afro and bellbottoms, or saying he was always the most attractive brother and Anil had nothing on him.  And then Arjun kind of brings it around, Karan points out it’s interesting that Boney is trying so hard on this new technology and Arjun says he is trying so hard, he was never really there and now he is, he has gone through so much and he is trying, “It’s a lot more than it was 6 months ago, Karan”.  And then I start to cry again thinking about this poor older guy who always let his wife handle the childrearing trying to be funny and jokey and friendly with his kids while his own heart is broken, setting up this WhatsApp group to bring together the two sides of his family and keep them equal.

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And then, finally, Karan releases us from this torment and brings it around to lighter topics.  Starting with asking Janhvi if she is dating Ishaan to which she says “what does dating mean?”  This sounds so stupid and fake, but really, watching this girl on the show, it doesn’t feel fake.  It feels like a 21 year old who was very sheltered and very young and doesn’t know how to be in the world yet and isn’t trying to be cute or “be” anything, just is exactly that innocent.  Arjun teases her about how Ishaan always seems to be kind of around, and she says that of course he is, he is a friend. Arjun teases about how he was jumping off a building for her, she says earnestly that he was just showing her a stunt.  Arjun is nice about it, doesn’t try to come off the protective big brother, but still teases her gently a little bit and makes her smile.

And then it’s Arjun’s turn, Karan asks him flat out if he is single, and he says “No, I’m not single” and Janhvi gets this great surprised-happy-excited look an goes “oooooh!” And starts saying she had no idea, what is this?  And oh, Janhvi!!!!  I’m in America and I knew Arjun and Malaika Arora Khan were together since before her divorce.  But poor sweet little Janhvi, I am sure her mother didn’t let her read or believe any gossip, and I am sure his long-term casual relationship with a divorcee is something Arjun isn’t telling her either.  And I am wondering if her little brain will break when she learns the sister-in-law she might get is not the one she is picturing.  Or if she is so innocent that she will just accept without thinking about it.

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And then Arjun breaks my heart again when he explains that he feels different now because in the past few months he has learned what it is to have a family, finally feels like he has a family.  Knows the importance of that foundation.  And now I can picture poor lonely Arjun and Anshula feeling adrift in the world for so long that they didn’t even remember what it was like to not feel that way.  But, Arjun says, now that he has a family everything is different and he is “open to marriage”.

Karan then surprises Arjun by asking “are you into men?”  And then explains by pulling up some instagram comments he made “marry me!” to both Karan and Badshah.  Janhvi is fascinated and cracking up and watching Arjun to see what he will say.  And oh my gosh, so young looking!  She’s laughing a dorky laugh and leaning on the couch in an ungraceful way and fiddling with her dress, this is not a practiced person pretending surprise or excitement or anything, this is a little sister sincerely surprised by something with her big brother and fascinated to see what he will say next.

It just gets more cute-sad when Karan brings out Arjun’s oldest friend from college to tell stories.  They call him “chach”, after “chachu” which is a nickname Anil gave him because he was always calling Anil “chachu” (uncle) and Anil hated it so he started calling him “uncle” back.  Plus, he was such a serious little boy (poor serious little Arjun with his parents’ broken marriage and his broken heart!  And now he has to sit on the couch with the result of that marriage in order to protect her from her own broken heart).  The friend tells a few stories, about how Arjun wear basketball shorts to college and would fake an asthma attack to get out of tests, and Janhvi gets SO EXCITED to discover she actually knows some of these stories.  She’s so cute about it, but it’s so sad because the excitement comes from her desperately grasping for anything she can use to cobble together the bond she so very much needs right now.

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In the same way Janhvi’s friend (Rajkumar Santoshi’s daughter) tells two stories about her and Janhvi asks if she can explain after she finishes exactly what she was talking about.  And then explains them, not to Karan or to the camera but to Arjun.  Because she wants him to know the truth about even these silly little stories between her and her friends.  And she is so happy telling him the stories, about how “Momma” would buy her fish from the market and feed it to her, and he listens so nicely and laughs at all the right moments.

And, Rapid Fire!!!

Arjun is good at rapid fire, but the first answer that really stood out for me was when Karan asked if he woke up from a coma after 20 years, what would be his first question: “Where’s Anshula?”  UGH!  These poor kids!  These poor little kids who had to cling together through everything and now are trying to help two other little kids so it isn’t as hard for them.

And then on to less sad things, Karan asks who Arjun would ask for relationship advice, and Arjun says none of his friends, they all give terrible advice and then remembers when he asked Ranbir for advice and broke up with the girl the next day.  He tells the story very well, Ranbir and he standing on a balcony and Ranbir being very “Imtiaz Ali” about it and saying “just let it go”, so he broke up with her and then regretted it a week later and now he doesn’t ask for advice any more.

There weren’t any other cute stories in the answers, just moderately interesting stuff, Karan asked if Arjun would ask Rhea or Sonam for fashion advice and he immediately says “Rhea, even Sonam asks her”.  Which is cute to me that they know each other so well.  And Karan asks if he would go to Anil or Sanjay for family advice and Arjun says he doesn’t even think Anil knows all the knows of everyone in the family, so Sanjay.  Which makes Janhvi laugh in a way that reads (to me) as “ha-ha, I know the in jokes now, I know about Anil uncle not knowing names and my brother and I can joke about it together!”

Oh, and Karan tries something moderately tricky by asking who Arjun would take to do a sexy song in a film and Arjun neatly handles it by calmly picking Malaika and then pointing out that she started it all with “Chaiyya Chaiyya”.  Nothing left for Karan to leap on, no slips of the tongue or lack of explanation.  Not that I think Karan would leap, I think he is happy enough with the earlier admission that Arjun is seeing someone, doesn’t need anything else.

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(I am firmly pro-Malaika/Arjun by the way.)

And then it’s Janhvi’s turn!  And her answers are interesting, not clever or funny, but interesting.

For one thing, very southern!  Karan asks her what male actor she would want to wake up as and she picks Vijay Devarakonda and then she would cast herself opposite him.  Karan feels the need to explain to the audience who Vijay Devarakonda is, and identifies him as “sexy” which Janhvi clarifies to “talented”.  I mean, she’s right, if you are looking at the Telugu industry Vijay Devarakonda is the best right now and would be very good for her to act opposite.  But surprising that she picked someone so unknown to the Hindi audience that would watch this show.  It comes up again when Karan asks who she would want to be her roommate and she picks Deepika, so they could listen to South Indian music together.  I don’t know why I find this so unexpected, her mother is from the south and lived there most of her life, of course Janhvi would be raised watching Telugu films as much as Hindi.  But it still surprises me.  And is a reminder of another thing she has lost with her mother, that connection to the southern heritage.

Beyond that, her answers that I picked out are just more of the same “oh wow, she really is just a little girl” stuff.  Karan asks what she does when she finds someone hot, and she says she daydreams about their wedding and pretends not to know his name in real life.  Which is basically what a 13 year old girl would do, she isn’t dreaming about sex and she isn’t flirting, she is far far earlier than all of that still.  And when asked who her crush is from a movie, she immediately tries to remember the name of the hero from Tangled.  Which, to be fair, is a wonderful movie.  I love it myself, and the hero is very crush-worthy.  But it is also a Disney cartoon, and she isn’t joking or acting embarrassed about crushing on a cartoon, it seems completely normal to her.  Oh sweetie!  You are 21, you aren’t supposed to be watching cartoons and dreaming about weddings any more!  Or at least, you aren’t supposed to think that is normal any more.

And then it gets a bit odd for the last bit, Arjun fakes a fuss over losing Rapid Fire and at first isn’t willing to pick up the hamper and bring it to Janhvi until Karan really presses him to do it (because Karan’s back is out and the hamper is too heavy).  And then they move on to the buzzer game and Arjun makes another fuss because Karan slanted all the questions to Janhvi and it’s kind of too far?  Janhvi is laughing the whole time, but Karan seems to sincerely be trying to get Arjun to keep playing instead of just walking off.  So maybe it’s just a big show for his sister and Karan isn’t in on it?  Or it’s for the cameras and it didn’t work as well as it could have?

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The really interesting bit comes with the phone a friend section, Janhvi calls Anshula and puts her on speaker and while she is trying to figure out what is happening Arjun is saying from one end that he won’t come home ever again if she helps Janhvi and Janhvi is begging her to just say it so she can win the point.  Arjun keeps her talking and trying to figure out what is happening long enough to get Boney on the phone and win.  It’s another part that Janhvi is laughing but I can’t tell if Arjun is sincere or just trying to make her laugh.  And I know when Janhvi loses that she is sincerely upset, her smile flickers a little.  And then Arjun ends up giving her the “present” reward for the game along with the hamper and she smiles again.

 

Poor little Janhvi.  Who hasn’t really grown up yet and now maybe never will after this shock.  And poor Arjun, who keeps having to grow up too fast.  I can’t wait until it is ten years later and they come on the show like Sara and Saif, still trying hard to bridge gaps but with history behind them now, instead of blindly fumbling and making it up as they go along.

 

Anyway, that’s how I saw it.  What do you think, was it all an act?  Does Arjun not really care about her and is Janhvi just putting on the little girl persona?

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58 thoughts on “Katching Up With Koffee: Janhvi and Arjun, Get Ready to Want to Give Them Both a Big Hug!

  1. Jhanvi was definitely faking her innocence. Arjun indicated it himself after she claimed not to know what hook-ups are. He said “Poo bani Parvati” meaning that she (like Poo from K3G) is pretending to be Parvati (Hindu goddess, the name would indicate someone traditional/religious/old-fashioned). I don’t blame her though. I feel like it’s the default pretense a 21 year old girl would have to adopt with an older brother in his mid-30s and her boss in his mid-40s. She is very very young compared to them and it would be so uncomfortable discussing certain topics with them.

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    • It reminds me of the SRK/Alia episode last year when SRK was visibly cringing when Karan was asking Alia about her sex life. It’s just not comfortable for both sides.

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    • That’s what impressed me so much about Sara’s interview, she was on with her Dad and she was preparing for a launch as a young actress. But she didn’t try to play the game of over innocence, or over glamour. She had one serious boyfriend, she knew about dating and her father knew she dated, but she wasn’t having dozens of men fall at her feet or anything.

      It’s a really hard balance, not being too innocent or too experienced in how you present yourself as a starlet.

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  2. Many MANY people online were saying how the entire episode seemed so fake with them both clearly hating each other.
    Idk. Step Siblings are so much harder to bond esp in this case when the mother raised them respectively while the father figure was just there. I legit screamed when she said Vijay’s name; very honest. This indicates she is interested to do South movies.
    She also picked Varun for her next wanna be co star.
    Doesn’t she have a boyfriend in the US? She posts pics about him buying her flowers for her debut release. Having done plastic surgery at such an early age, living in the US, makes it so hard to believe she sheltered to know about basic interactions like hook-up. The questions about Ishaan are definitely promo based.
    The last bit was super sad. Janhnvi was super upset that Anshusla wouldn’t say 5 words to help her win but Arjun giving her the gift was super sweet.
    Janhnvi was on the verge of tears during so many instances but one thing that stuck out to the most when they were talking about Khushi being Daddy’s girl and Janhnvi expression definitely putting herself as a Mommy’s girl. I really hope the future finds her well.
    Do you really think Arjun being a HUGE bhai fan will willingly date Salman’s ex-sister in law? Does he have the guts?
    Even if they marry, he will not the wedding of the century like the other celebrity weddings as arjun is younger than Malaika. So doesnt Karan dancing at his wedding lead that he isnt dating Malaika?
    Also weddings: why have receptions instead of having a wedding like what sonam did? Why the whole wedding in a foreign country and receptions for rest?

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    • I’m always nervous of these kind of rumors. We don’t know for sure that she has an American boyfriend or anything, could be any number of things really happening.

      I don’t know what was happening with that last bit. We’ve been seeing it all season with people being confused by the phone calls and struggling to catch up, and from what Arjun said she was home asleep and would have been even more confused. I agree that Janhvi was upset but I’m not sure why. Maybe it was just seeing Arjun and Anshula’s bond reminded her of what they had and she felt left out? And then it was compounded by Arjun calling Boney?

      I missed the implication of Khushi being a daddy’s girl, but I bet you are right. It also fits with what Arjun was saying about how he has spent more time with Janhvi since the death, if she was the one who was more kind of left out there alone. All those moments when Janhvi was so visibly close to tears are what makes me think that maybe she wasn’t faking her extreme innocence, if she wasn’t able to hide her tears in those moments.

      I’ve been hearing Arjun-Malaika rumors since forever, and it hasn’t seemed to affect his relationships with anyone in the industry so far. I would love it if they get married with the happy blessings of everyone involved, maybe not a big blow out wedding, but a nice small one that included her ex and his family would be really nice.

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      • Sridevi did an interview not too long before she passed away where she said Jhanvi is definitely a mommy’s girl while Khushi is not. She mentioned that Jhanvi is very obedient and will do whatever you tell her and will not even question it. She said she’s very childlike and won’t even sleep if Sri doesn’t tuck her in. Kind of weird for someone that old but I guess it proves that she was every sheltered. Sridevi also said Khushi is very different and does whatever she wants and you don’t have to worry about her but that Jhavni is fragile.

        Arjun and Maliaka have been making public appearances together now, holding hands, letting cuddly pics from parties leak out and such. The Kapoor family, Sonam and Sanjay Kapoor especially, seemed welcoming. There are also pics of the couple hanging out with Seema Khan, her ex-sister-in-law. I’m guess things are fine and accepted on both sides particularly because Arbaaz has also moved on and has a new girlfriend.

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        • See, that kind of thing, Sridevi saying she still tucked Janhvi in to bed, makes me think that maybe Janhvi is just that innocent. Certainly being launched by Karan could have kept her innocent even after being in films.

          My impression is that Malaika and Arbaaz had a “good” divorce, as much as that can be. It was a slow calm separation and then a smooth divorce. If Arjun was well after it all calmed down, I could believe there were no hard feelings. Especially since Malaika and Arbaaz are still co-parents.

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        • Well, I don’t know if that is exactly “official”, but definitely feels like they are moving out of the “must be super super secret” zone. I’ve been hearing the rumors for years now, but there were never any photos. Which makes me think it is something that everyone kind of knew but they were careful not to ever be seen in public. But it’s been a few months now that they have just been going all over the place letting photos sneak out! Definitely feels like opening shots of an official announcement.

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  3. I don’t think it was an act as much as anything public is true. Arjun has spoken very articulately and sadly about how hard it was to lose his mother. If anyone would understand what his sisters are going through it is him and his sisters. He didn’t falsely talk about how hard it was for Boney because I am sure he isn’t thinking about that. He wants to be there for “the girls” in a way no one was for him (including his father). And if I may play ‘arm chair psychologist’ for a minute, there is the fact that as a kid Arjun must have ‘wished’ for Sridevi’s death as kids do with perceived enemies but never expect it to come true. It is truly terrible when in does. Of course, not is not the whole thing, but it must be in there somewhere. I started to cry when he said that he knew his mother would have said, “Go to your father.” It is similar to Amrita dressing Sara for her father’s wedding to Kareena. Mona and Amrita are heroes. I hope we can all have that kind of grace for our children’s sake even when the father’s have behaved badly. Though it was in another episode, I was struck by the fact that Karan said to Saif, “the night you were thrown out of the house.” While Saif was not carrying on with Kareena, he must have done something terrible for Amrita to throw him out. Anyway, this was a lovely and touching episode.

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    • What I found really remarkable from Arjun was his indication that he and Anshula had a horrible time and he wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Like you said, he must have wished for Sridevi’s death or somehow just disappearing from their lives when he was a child. Not to mention that Janhvi in particular, her conception was the reason his parents’ marriage ended (more or less), he must have hated her for years. And more recently, it would just be human for him looking at his sisters and seeing their happiness with both parents and thinking about how unfair it was that he and Anshula were all alone while they still had their mother. And then it happened and he could have thought “we survived it, they can too”, but instead he found himself instead thinking “no one should have to go through what we went through”. I don’t know if he even consciously knows he described it this way, but he pictured his mother telling him “go to your father”, but the instinct to take care of the girls came straight from him and Anshula, it wasn’t anything they were doing for their father or that their mother would have asked for, it was just something they needed to do.

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    • Saif was having an affair with an Italian woman named Rosa during his marriage. During the Temptations concert tour, Priety Zinta mentioned once in a behind the scenes video about how Saif had suddenly started talking in an Italian accent and nobody could figure out why. After the separation from Amrita, he moved in with Rosa for a while.

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    • And then quickly learned how foolish that is! Although, if I secretly wanted to break up with my girlfriend, Ranbir is the person I would ask for advice. Just like if you want to be convinced to wear something ridiculous, you ask Karan. Or if you want to be convinced to spend a lot of money on clothes, you ask Sonam. You know?

      On Sun, Nov 25, 2018 at 8:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I was trying to figure out who the girlfriend was he broke up with…I’m thinking it was Sonakshi. And Arjun said he regretted it, I think. I really do like him and Malaika together but I do think he and Sonakshi just look right together. Oh well.

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        • I was going through the same thought process. It could also have been some not-famous person we never heard about, someone between Sonakshi and Malaika.

          On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 11:02 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I mostly remember Rosa because, like “Gadar ek Prem Katha” or “Hero love story of a spy” or “shakti the power”, I could never just say “Rosa”. I got so conditioned by the articles about her that I couldn’t just say “Rosa”, I always had to say “Rosa-Saif’s-Italian-Girlfriend” like it was all one word.

      On Sun, Nov 25, 2018 at 9:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Ok, I want Arjun to be happy and in a relationship. But, if I’m remembering correctly, Malaika performed at a pro-Trump fundraiser for desis in New Jersey or New York before the 2016 election and I’ll never forgive her. The man just tear gassed infants in Mexico. There should be a limit to whom entertainers will take money from.

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      • Yep, I knew about it at the time and have remembered full details until now. It’s a mix, Prabhudeva is fairly conservative back in India but Shahid and Malaika definitely are not. Which makes me think it was just a job for them, they didn’t consider the politics. They were paid to show up at an event, something they are constantly paid to do and they don’t have as much choice about it as they could. If the sponsors are wealthy and connected (which they were) to say “no” would be to risk offending them and getting some powerful punishment for it. Don’t necessarily think of it as an endorsement so much as them being victims of the same kind of powerful petty people you would think would be Republicans. What really stood out for me with the list of performers is that all of them (except arguably Shahid) were at the exact level that would make it very hard for them to say “no” to these kinds of powerful figures. This happens constantly in Indian politics, strings are pulled and people are blackmailed and they end up seeming to endorse people because they have no other choice. I assume the same kind of pressure was applied in this case. And even so it definitely was NOT an endorsement, any more than the waiters at the catering company endorsed the Republicans, it was simply a job they were hired to do and had to do.

        I also remember when I saw Salman live and the promoter turned it into a political event for our Republican governor. Salman is definitely not pro-Republican, he was the only star to tweet out an endorsement for Hillary. But the promoter is and just went ahead and flipped the event without bothering to ask permission. I’ve avoided the major Independence Day celebrations in the local suburbs for the past few years, despite them having major headliners like Mika Singh appearing at no charge, because it’s organized by a desi Republican organization and they shove in politics on top of Indian patriotism. The Indian entertainers, they are the bait in the trap to get us in the door, but they have no agency in this.

        On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 6:44 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I was about to say something similar. The stars were just hired. Indian politics is chaotic enough without getting embroiled in US stuff. I wondered about the sponsorship of various concerts. I’m going to look into it before I attend any in the future.

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          • They probably didn’t even know much about American politics. I wouldn’t expect them to be that aware of what’s going on in other countries. People have a limited amount of time and it’s not possible to know everything.

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        • Boney left it to TWO different wives to do all the heavy lifting. Now, that’s not so unusual….but….it puts in contrast the current and not so current crop of Dads who would not be in this boat if Gd forbid anything happened. The older group: Saif, Shah Rukh, Akshay all know what is going on in their kids lives. Maybe with the exception of Ajay…I also suspect Shah Rukh wouldn’t know what to tell the kitchen to do, but he wouldn’t need to. Shahid and Rajkummar et.al seem to be more hands on as well.

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          • Ajay is a great Dad, it’s one of the things I like best about him. He takes Nyssa and Yug to work with him a lot, many cute photos.

            I was thinking about that contrast as well. Part of it is what kind of a life you want for your family. Mona and Sridevi were 100% stay at home mothers. They disappeared into the house and their children. Which meant Boney had to run around by himself doing the things that supported the family and kind of keeping them away from it all. And that also meant he just couldn’t be there. Someone here said that it was well-known that Sridevi and the girls moved to America (Houston I think?) when they were in their teens. Which was good for them, they could grow up away from everything and just be normal, plus get some international polish and experience and so on. But it meant Boney had to stay in India to keep connected and working, and could only see them when he flew in and out. Compared with, say, Shahid and Mira or Shahrukh and Gauri. They have embraced their star wife status and found a way to make their own place in the industry which lets the kids be more integrated into their father’s lives as well.

            There was a story I read years ago about Ayushmann right when Dum Lage Ke Haisha came out. At that point at least, he said his wife and kids were still in Delhi, he was working in Bombay trying to get his career going and he saw them maybe once a month. I assume now either he is commuting to Delhi more often, or he has moved them down to Bombay. But if something had happened to his wife at that point, his kids would only know him as the strange man that visited once a month.

            It gets back to the whole “householder” concept of life, a male householder’s job is to “take care” of the household. And if you are lucky that means a job that lets you come home every night. But if you aren’t, you may hardly see or know your kids. It’s not limited to celebrities either, I was shocked when I started hearing about how the Dubai-Kerala worker exchange usually worked, a man would go to Dubai (or where ever) and stay there for years while his family remained in Kerala. And that was normal, for the husband to be gone for years at a time while his kids grew up without him.

            Anyway, I appreciate that Boney is stepping up now because, if he wanted, he could still avoid stepping up. That is, there would be no social pressure on him necessarily, he could just point out that he is still working and supporting the family and seeing the kids when he goes in and out of the house and that’s more than most fathers do. But he apparently has seen the gap in his children’s lives and is trying to fill it as best he can even though it is something he has never tried to do before.

            On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 9:46 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, Salman is one of those guys who has been abusive to women (and other people), but doesn’t seem to be a misogynist. He is very supportive of working women and women in general. And he is also the Khan most identified with the Muslim lower classes. He got tricked into seeming to endorse the BJP a few times and I imagine that really burned (politicians showing up and forcing a photo op unless he actually shoved them away, kind of similar to how he got tricked into seeming to endorse my deadbeat governor), so the one time he could reach out and make a difference without worrying about political punishment he did. I imagine it was a matter of one of his friends or followers or a fan asking him to do it and telling him why he should and him impulsively just putting out the tweet because it was the right thing.

            He’s done that before, one of the things I most resented on his behalf was the movie Sarbjit. It was an Aish star vehicle based on a true story, she played the struggling farm woman trying to get her brother back from false imprisonment in Pakistan (he had accidentally wandered over the border while herding sheep). And what the movie did not include is that in real life, the woman reached out to Salman through social media and he became her advocate, the reason her story even reached the media and became noticed. But that doesn’t fit with the “suffering poverty” story the filmmakers wanted to tell, or the persona Salman has, so they cut the whole thing. Making the whole film inaccurate just because they didn’t want to give Salman credit for doing anything right.

            On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 10:03 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I find it hard to believe he was tricked by the BJP into anything. Political parties in India are extremely powerful and can have real world consequences when you support or oppose them, unlike in the US where a Meryl Streep can speak out without worries. Most stars try to balance both big parties and show some support at various times for each one to try to remain above the fray.

            Salman has been seen meeting up with Modi and flying kites with him and has stumped for BJP candidates in the past. Salim Khan also periodically releases articles about his support for the BJP.

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          • The kite flying in particular is one were I read a detailed analysis of it. Classic politician move, Salman met with him because he was the governor of the state and Salman was filming there, the usual formal noncommittal balanced between both parties way. And then separately he planned to go kite flying and Modi popped up and was just there. Short of shoving him aside, Salman was stuck. And the photos went out making it look like they were the best of friends. Salman I think did try to issue a very gentle clarification, just saying that he was “Surprised” when the governor joined him or something like that, but the photos were out there and the damage done.

            That of course is separate from the actual stumping for candidates where I feel like it is more about the personal connections with the candidate than the political party, I think most of the stars have supported candidates and issues across party lines depending on the person, right?

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  5. Loved Arjun Kapoor’s candidnes. All credits to him & his sister for letting bygones be and turning around a really miserable situation that they found themselves & the girls into something heartwarming. His choice of Malaika as the partner who will probably help him along in the situation of taking care of three young girls also makes sense.She’s older,more world wisely & would be more like someone to look up to than indulge in a girly competition for Arjun’s attentions.

    Fake or not, I can’t figure out where Karan & co is going with this virginal image for Janhvi in terms of establishing her as a desirable leading heroine in Hindi films. The way she’s presentated now,she can be someone’s innocent sister or daughter in some family dramas.Very adolescent,purity personified roles while Sara & Alia were established as young but desirable in their first films itself.Girls who don’t hold back from kissing or flaunting a bikini or being a young adult.Janhvi’s sheltered family background & her brother’s comment that ‘they are all my friends’ doesn’t help either. Who will be ready to kiss her without thinking about Boney Kapoor hovering over them?

    Seems like there’s a thought somewhere to have her do Telugu films where she can experiment safely ,learn the actual acting tropes from more experienced artists & film makers until she reaches a certain maturity. Sridevi’s daughter from Mumbai will be considered an exotic creature in South & is guranteed a star treatment which she may not get currently in Hindi where she’s one among many starlets banking on Karan.South is where she can get away with being the young,vulnareble love interests of angsty heroes.
    She may still do an odd Takht or some artsy Dharma film in between but I don’t see her as being a major heroine until Alia is ready to move to the next level(where Deepika is now) & Sarah hasn’t already filled the space already.

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    • What occurred to me watching her was that Arjun Reddy would have been the perfect heroine role for her. Someone who is supposed to be sweet and innocent and virginal. But then, that’s what made the film so radical and exciting, to have a heroine who didn’t fit in the standard boxes and still treat her like a real person. I don’t know if a role like that is going to come around again any time soon for anyone.

      For Janhvi’s own real life love story, there’s another way she is lost without her mother. Who could have supported and advised her through that difficult time and softened any interference from her brother or father. Although, maybe Anshula can fulfill that role. Or Malaika! If Arjun ends up marrying her.

      On Sun, Nov 25, 2018 at 11:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The thing I noticed about Sara in the new Kedarnath promos is that she’s actually comfortable with Hindi. It’s strange because everyone should be that good but aren’t nowadays. If the battle is with someone like Sara, Jhanvi is going to have a tough time because her Hindi is as bad as Katrina’s. I found her intolerable in Dhadak just because of how she was speaking.

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        • For Jhanvi at least, it could simply be that Hindi wasn’t the language her mother spoke most fluently. If Sridevi preferred Tamil or Telugu around the home, and Boney Hindi, then perhaps the family compromised on English. While Amrita and Saif would both share Hindi as a language. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Kareena and Saif speak English primarily. An odd result of the Amrita-Saif age difference, Amrita would have grown up back before English became so common for the middle-classes.

          Anyway, another reason to think Jhanvi might look for a southern career! If her mother raised her fluent in southern languages, perhaps she could be a whole different actress in the non-Hindi industries.

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          • The sad part about the middle and upper classes adopting English in India is that most of them are not that good at English either! They’re losing fluency in vernacular languages but the proficiency in English isn’t making up for it. It’s an odd place to be in.

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          • Really makes me notice people like Saif and Amitabh who learned English not just to get ahead in business but by studying Shakespeare and the classics and the true upper upper class British education tradition. They can actually say English dialogue like it is poetry, not like it is something to rattle off to the cab driver. As an English-only speaker. I love hearing them do English dialogue especially compared to others. Shahrukh also a little bit (probably because his theater group did a lot of English language plays) but not as much.

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          • Saif went to a British boarding school so it makes sense that his English is better than most. I suppose the next generation of BW will all have that fluency since most of them are also getting similar educations. Kids are Aryan and Suhana are spending a significant part of their lives in the UK and US. By the time someone like Aryan comes back, he will have been out of the country for 8-10 years.

            But ultimately, I have to wonder how the degradation of Hindi will help them when they’re all going to try to make a career in that industry? It’s just strange that there isn’t a focus on making sure they have good fluency in it. I wonder how they would even connect to the masses in India. How would you expect pampered rich kids who spent half their growing up years abroad to come back and connect with the average middle class they’re going to serve through their movies? I’ve always felt that it’s partly why guys like Saif and even Abhishek do not have a connect with the audience. Nobody relates to them and they relate to nobody. Their film choices also go astray because they don’t understand their own audience.

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          • I find it very annoying. Those kids know in advance they will be in the movies, and still some of them don’t even speak hindi properly (“you work in hindi movies, and you don’t speak hindi?” 😉 ), have terrible diction or are not good in dancing. In my opinion it’s disrespectful towards the audience.

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  6. Among all sad moments from this episode, what touched me the most was when Arjun talked about their whatsapp group and said Boney is learning to be a father now, at this age. So sad. This mean he had never been a good father, even before the divorce. . And other touching thing – Arjun found his place in the family only now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh and big yes for telugu movie with Jhanvi and Vijay Devarakonda. They are both so good looking! But I hate how Karan introduced Vijay – “he was in Arjun Reddy and now Shahid will be doing this role”. Who cares about Shahid now? We are talking about the actor, just show his handsome photo so people can see him, and maybe check him out. But I think a sentence without some nepotism name in it, is not a valid sentence for Karan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know, that part seemed fair to me. If people had heard about the Arjun Reddy remake, Shahid’s name would be the only one they would know. Also, oops, just remembered that Boney tried to buy the rights for Arjun to star and it was a whole Thing. So maybe that part was Karan trying to quickly explain the film to the audience and get past any possibility of awkwardness.

        On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 3:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Yeah, Boney always sounded like he wasn’t a very involved parent in his children’s lives, their mothers made all the decisions and the day to day and he just flitted in and out. And now he is trying to do the day to day stuff he never did before. And again, it’s a chance for Arjun and Anshula to resent that he didn’t do it for them, that their mother’s death didn’t inspire this effort. But instead they are just being grateful that it is happening now and appreciating the effort.

      On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 3:47 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I suspect Anshula, while trying to be supportive and helpful has a different attitude than Arjun. First she is closer in age to the girls, so all the things she did NOT get from her father and because of the loss of her mother are closer to the bone for her. Here are these two pampered girls being showered with love. Who did that for Anshula? NO ONE. Arjun probably could not do it as well at the time of his mother’s death because he was hurting as well. He really has stepped up and Anshula will always have him. I loved that he said that after being ‘out’ for 20 years his first thought would be, “Where’s Anshula?”

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    • And then I could see that also being a source of pain for Janhvi during the phone-a-relative section. Anshula could (possibly) be jealous of how everyone stepped up and was there for Janhvi, but Janhvi could be jealous that Anshula and Arjun will always have a tighter bond than she will have with either of them, or with her own sister. Especially if Khushi was always closer to Boney. Now Arjun and Anshula are a team and Khushi and Boney are a team and Janhvi is out in the cold. That’s the thing with family, someone always has a closeness with someone else that you are jealous of, and that person is probably jealous of something you have.

      On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 9:09 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. While Arjun comes off very sorted in some ways, it’s sad that he’s gone in the same direction as his father and Sridevi. He had so much resentment for what they did but later on he had a hand in breaking up Malaika’s marriage. If you have a bad marriage, just get a divorce but having a long affair for years is terrible and must have had an effect on Malaika’s son the same way what Boney/Sri did impacted Arjun and his sister.
    Maybe the similar situation has helped Arjun to understand what his father and Sridevi did. It might be why he’s thawed partly towards the whole situation now.

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    • I don’t necessarily think Arjun broke up Malaika and Arbaaz’s marriage, there were rumors of problems for a long time before the separation, and rumors of Arjun and Malaika’s romance came after the separation. But you are right, it would still give Arjun a different perspective on his parents’ marriage, to see a couple of about the same age breaking up and see them as people struggling to do the right thing would help him see that his parents (and Sridevi) were just people struggling. And you know, Arbaaz and the Khan family would have that same lesson. Arbaaz’s parents’ break-up was by all accounts horrible and traumatic for the kids for years before it got better. I am sure that is part of the reason that Arbaaz and Malaika have had such a peaceful loving split, making sure their son doesn’t go through the same trauma Arbaaz did at that age. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is part of the reason the Khans have (seemingly) given their blessing to Arjun and Malaika, knowing that recriminations and anger punish the children more than anyone else.

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  9. Also, what do we know about the Sridevi/Dallas chapter? What did they do there? “when the girls were teenagers” is not so long ago and I’ve been seeing pics of them since I came on the scene 6 years ago. So they can’t have been there very long. It makes sense that Sridevi did such a good job in English Vinglish. She must have met women like that when she was there.

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    • From the picks I’ve seen, it was stuff like IFFA and so on. It would be possible for them to live in Dallas 12 to 19 and fly to India for FilmFare awards and IFFA and family weddings. One thing is for sure, you never saw the girls without both parents (especially their mother) with them. There was nothing like we have now with Ibrahim or Aryan or Suhana where they are just hanging out around Bombay without parental supervision. Which could be because they were very sheltered, or could be because they were very sheltered and also were only in Bombay for brief visits with their mother.

      On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 11:04 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Yes! He definitely has great presence, I noticed it even in this episode, even while Janhvi and Karan were talking I wanted to watch him.

      On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 11:45 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. Unpopular opinion – I thought this episode was awkward. A lot of it was probably scripted, (like the Vijay Dev bit, how random) but the last portion wasn’t scripted and it went south. Arjun was mostly nice, except for the end where he started to act really childish. I think the episode was too heavy for Jahnvi, Arjun was able to move on quickly from the emotional beats but Jahnvi looked pretty lost. She probably needed a lighter episode to start off. I don’t understand why people are making such a big deal, brothers can be mean and competitive sometimes.

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    • Of course if it had been a lighter episode, then Janhvi would have had people saying she was heartless and all that for bouncing back from losing her mother so fast

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      • But it didn’t like look like Arjun-Jahnvi were ready for such a heavy episode because they don’t look that close unlike say Shahid and Ishaan.

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        • This comment sent me down an interesting path. Arjun was ready in that he had no problem talking articulately about the situation. But he wasn’t ready in that he wasn’t close enough to Janhvi to be able to support her the way she needed to be supported. And Janhvi, I don’t think she is ready for anything, including getting up in the morning, without her mother.

          So probably a lighter show would have been less emotional for Janhvi, and would have let Arjun support her in a way he knew how. “Easier” for each of them, but in different ways.

          But I can see why they made this choice, thinking it is better to take the plunge and get it over with in the safest most secure environment than keep putting it off. Even if no one was ready.

          On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 10:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes!! I couldn’t articulate it as well but exactly this. I loved the Ishaan bits in the show hehe, was cute 🙂 I am really looking forward to Shahid-Ishaan. Their body language is so similar

            Liked by 1 person

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