The Saawariya kids fool around uninhibitedly. Here’s Ranbir and Sonam – without restraint.
It’s a perfect setting for meeting two excitable kids: Ranbir Kapoor’s super untidy room, with every closet pulled open, clothes hanging out, clothes on the bed, books and files covering every inch of table space. The only method showing in this madness is a giant poster of Saawariya, occupying pride of place in the centre of the room. Ranbir and Sonam Kapoor flop down here, in a state of extreme exhilaration. (The two will make their debut in Sanjay Bhansali’s Saawariya this Diwali.)
They’re 20-somethings, and evidently don’t believe in restraint. “Hell, I gave a TV interview where I said that my sister believes the sun shines from my nether regions,” laughs Sonam. “They will edit it, won’t they?” Chances are slim, you reply. Which draws whoops of laughter. “At least I didn’t say a#*e!”
Is this pressure talking, or joy? “No, Ranbir has truckloads of pressure on him, I don’t have that much pressure,” she replies cheerfully.
But she too has a lineage to live up to, with Anil Kapoor as father. “I don’t have to live up to anything as much as Ranbir. He has the whole Raj Kapoor banner to hold up,” she insists.
Ranbir, who so far has been watching his childhood friend-cum-co-star, comes to life. “Hey, why are you pressurising me so much?” he asks indignantly.
Is it the kind of pressure that leads to sleepless nights? “No, we sleep a lot,” says Sonam. Ranbir objects again. “That’s going to sound terrible in print. You better rephrase it.” Objection sustained. But Sonam is too busy laughing to rephrase anything.
The relationship between the two is obvious. Ranbir is the voice of reason and calm. Sonam is the voice of impulse and emotion. Ranbir listens, Sonam talks. Ranbir thinks a thousand times before acting, Sonam reacts without thinking.
“Sonam is a drama queen, she’s the modern-day Meena Kumari,” grins Ranbir, striking a dramatic pose. “Every day I used to go to the sets and wonder about the next episode of Sonam’s drama.”
“How can you be so cool and collected?” asks Sonam ruefully.
“Try procrastinating when it comes to reacting, and you’ll get there!” jokes Ranbir. “But it’s okay. I like the honesty.” He turns to you, remembering a third presence in the room. “She’s exactly like she is, no pretences. She’s like this alone, with close friends, with a hundred people around and before the media.”
Why doesn’t Ranbir try to express himself emotionally and dramatically, for once? And what better thing to do this with, than Saawariya? “Oh, I feel very strongly about Saawariya,” says Ranbir obligingly. “The day the music of Saawariya released, my water broke.”
“You mean you cried?” asks Sonam curiously.
“No, I mean my other water broke, like a pregnant woman’s water breaks during childbirth,” he replies, dead earnest.
Sonam shrieks with laughter at Ranbir’s attempt to be dramatic. “Don’t write that, please don’t write that,” she pleads. “He didn’t say it. I apologise on his behalf.”
Okay, let’s have a second attempt to be dramatic. How does he feel now that the shoot of Saawariya is over? “I feel like a father feels giving away his daughter in marriage,” says Ranbir. Sonam bubbles over again. So, it’s proved. Ranbir is hopeless at being either emotional or dramatic, off screen. He should stick to calm rationality.
The kids aren’t allowed to say much about their film. “Which is good, otherwise Sonam would narrate the entire script to you right now,” says Ranbir. “Ask her about a book – she’ll tell you the entire story. Then she’ll move on to another book and narrate the entire story of that too.”
So, which book is Sonam reading now? “I’m reading Inside The Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia. It’s about Osama Bin Laden, written by Carmen Bin Laden, Osama’s sister-in-law. She is a Swiss-Iranian raised in Geneva, and married one of Osama’s brothers in the US. Later she moved to Saudi Arabia and was appalled by the so-called suffocating culture there. Later her marriage broke up and she took refuge in Switzerland. Then…”
“Saw what I meant?” asks Ranbir, smugly, cutting her off.
In contrast to Sonam, does he find it difficult to talk, especially while giving interviews? “Oh, I can talk about cooking now, the amount I’ve spoken in the last few days, since we started promoting the film,” he says.
Ranbir points out that it’s strange that two individuals should be standing at exactly the same point in life now – Sonam and he – with the same hopes and same fears. This Diwali will be ‘different’ for the two 20-somethings, with their debut. “Yeah, it will,” says Sonam, and then goes off track again. “Hey we’re having my brother’s party on the 10th, you must come,” she tells Ranbir.
“This is not the time to invite me for a party,” chides Ranbir. “You’re giving an interview.”
The enthusiasm is fantastic. But, God forbid, what if Saawariya doesn’t do well? For the first time, there’s a moment of deathly silence and the two look at each other.
Then they break the silence. “It will do well,” says Ranbir.
“We’re young and optimistic. It will do well,” says Sonam.