02 March, 2021

A Star's Trek...

She comes to Mumbai in search of tinsel town fame. But Shruti discovers struggle, the sea and much more.

A Star's Trek...
On a Friday, when the weatherman had forecast cloudy skies, a little star made a jaunty appearance. Screeching her way to fame in a yellow-top metered taxi, she excitedly hollered at the cop who barricaded her entry: I am the heroine of the film being premiered.

A quick look at the posters generated a ripple of activity.She was recognised and let through. She had arrived. It was her moment of glory, her fling with fame, a moment when she could claim her place in the firmament. This was more than the JVG washing powder ad she had started out with, much more than the Johnson & Johnson’s ‘No more tears’ campaign. Amrish Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak, names which float in some astral space, had descended for one who could be a rising star.

Her own ascension-of which the trudge up 72 stairs to her fourth-floor flat in a suburban housing society is the easiest-had already begun in July 1996, when she and husband Alok first arrived in Mumbai. "That was the first phase of my life in Bollywood," she recounts. "One of little work and less money."


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