Aamir unleashe a clout-burst

In one fell swoop, Aamir Khan, past master at maximising whatever hand he has been dealt with, has not only etched his new ‘small’ film Peepli (live) in the audience’s consciousness, he has also managed to easily cut across camps and groups in the industry.

Eschewing the mandatory premiere, Aamir opted instead for several shows to which he invited the strangest collection of people associated with a star. How, for example, does one reconcile the presence of Kangna Ranaut, with whom he hasn’t ever worked, with that of Juhi Chawla, his one-time favourite heroine turned foe and Shah Rukh Khan’s best gal-cum-business partner turned friend.Or Raju Hirani, his director of 3 Idiots and the Bachchan parivar, none of who he has shared screen space with? If Karan Johar, another staunch SRK loyalist, was missing from the guest roster it was only because he is in London. But then, he had raised hopes of a collaboration between himself and the perfectionist actor by attending the music launch of Peepli (live).

This is a remarkable change from the one time anonymity seeking actor who would go to great lengths to preserve his personal space. Be it changing market conditions or a natural mellowing with age, but Aamir almost seems to now court the limelight.He has thrown several parties in recent times whether for Gustavo Santaolalla visiting music director of Dhobi Ghat which was graced by most of Bollywood or the music launch of Peepli (live).

A leading lady, who nurtures hopes of being cast opposite Aamir whenever he chooses to chalk out his acting plans says, “The guest list quite took my breath away and I realised why Aamir Khan has been listed as the most powerful man in Bollywood by Filmfare.Only someone like him could have got so many A-listers in one place to watch a film, if made by any other producer, would have remained, at best, a festival film.”An industry watcher marveled, “Aamir has always known how to promote a film and since Lagaan, when he got the whole country to watch cricket being played by men in dhotis, he has honed his expertise to a fine art.”Among Aamir’s guests were Deepika Padukone and Siddhartha Mallya, another surprise. Though Deepika has moved away from the SRK camp and has since worked with Ranbir Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar as well as Akshay Kumar, she has never been known to be close to Aamir. Likewise Priyanka Chopra.Of course Salman, who, people say, spends many nights with Aamir in each other’s homes, was an expected guest. As was Sachin Tendulkar, also a longtime friend of Aamir and Rani Mukerji, his close friend also a dear friend of SRK.If power comes from the company one keeps then Aamir has more than demonstrated his. Again and again.


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