By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Chandan is a theatre in Juhu, Mumbai, known to cater to a hardcore masala audience.
Therefore when on Saturday the Raanjhanaa stars decided to pay this revered relic of entertainment a visit to check out the public’s reaction first-hand, all hell broke loose.
A member of the entourage that accompanied the two actors said, “Aanand (the film’s director Aanand L Rai) sent the two stars ahead and decided to join them later. Big mistake. Left to themselves Sonam and Dhanush, who had no idea of the kind of audience that frequents Chandan, found themselves suddenly surrounded by scores of eager fans desirous of shaking their hands and getting pictures.”
There were cries of ‘Kundan’ and ‘Zoya’ all across the theatre.
Says the eyewitness, “No one was watching the film any more. They went wild over Sonam and Dhanush. While Dhanush is no stranger to single-screen frenzy, as in the South it’s common-occurrence for superstars to encounter mob audiences, Sonam was completely taken aback by her first exposure to the masala masses.”
Says director Aanand Rai, “I let Sonam and Dhanush go ahead of me. I wanted them to enjoy the moment.I knew Dhanush is accustomed to fan frenzy. But Sonam’s fans have so far been the more upmarket controlled and restrained moviegoers, the kind who would rather smile at a star rather than scream on seeing her. This was the first time she got a first-hand dose of full-on fan adulation .At Chandan they don’t hold back when they love you.”
Says Sonam, “We got mobbed at Chandan. I didn’t expect such enthusiasm. It was sobering.”