Delhi Diary – Star Gazing in Khan Market

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Khan Market

Spotting filmstar Dimple Kapadia in Bahrisons bookshop.

[Picture of Khan Market taken by Thomas Kappler; text by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Yes, it was her. Dimple Kapadia. As I stepped inside Khan Market’s Bahrisons bookshop, I saw her standing in front of the Lonely Planet shelf. Black top. Long black skirt. Auburn hair. Yes, she was Dimple.

Of course, it is normal to spot celebrities in Khan Market, Delhi’s uppity bazaar favored by the wealthy, the beautiful, and the influential. One evening in Khan Market’s Café Coffee Day outlet I had found myself sitting next to charismatic Kashmiri politician Omar Abduallah (I swear he looked at me for full 5 seconds). Few days later, I found myself standing alongside the plump Maharani of Gwalior, Madhavi Raje Scindia, as she picked People from the foreign magazines stall. (The Maharani asked her driver for the money!)

In Khan Market, I have also rubbed shoulders (well, almost) with classical singer Shubha Mudgal as she hurried past with her young husband (quite a mismatched couple in appearance). I have said hello to Manju Kapur while she autographed her newly-released novel Home in Bahrisons (she ties her saree a couple of inches off the floor). I have frequently seen Old Delhi MP Kapil Sibal buying books worth Rs. 6000 in this bookshop (he has an account here). But coming across these people never gave me thrill. They were typical Delhi VIPs – politicians, ex-kings, artists and writers.

But Dimple Kapadia was a film star from Bombay. Looking her age now (poor pet), it was still easy to imagine her as the same woman who once strutted her stuff in a red bikni in Bobby, 34 years ago (google YouTube). She was the glamor woman who appeared topless in Sagar. She was also the fiery cop of Zakhmi Aurat who avenged her rapists by bobbitising their penis. Dimple always oozed glamour but was also noted as somebody who could emote well. She was the fantasy of thinking man’s dirty dreams. She was Dimple Kapadia.

Pity the bookshop assistant. Since Mr. M Singh could not find the book she wanted (which book was she looking for anyway?), he promised to procure it the next day. Opening his notepad (as he always does), he asked for the lady’s mobile phone number. And Dimple Kapadia actually blurted it out loud (sorry, I’m not disclosing the number).

Now the unkind cut.

Mr. M Singh asked, “Madam, your name please”? A long pause. Perhaps I imagined there was a long pause. Dimple Kapadia, the estranged wife of superstar Rajesh Khanna, the ma-in-law of superstar Akshay Kumar, the sex symbol of the 80s, simply said “Ms. Kapadia” and left.