Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan being escorted at the NCB office after a medical check-up in Mumbai, on 7 October 202
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan being escorted at the NCB office after a medical check-up in Mumbai, on 7 October 2021 | ANI photo
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Mumbai is such a Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander kind of khatarnak city. We have been playing Squid Game in this manic metropolis for decades! Since Mumbai has zero time for losers and has been worshipping winners forever, it is hardly surprising that at the moment, Sameer Wankhede (no relation to the stadium), the high- profile NCB Mumbai Zonal Director, is being looked at with undisguised derision for being short-sighted enough to think he’d win the war he has waged against the indomitable King Khan. What was he even thinking? Bhai… aapki auquaat hi kya hai? Please socho.

Back to the ‘Jo Jeeta…’ theory. On Monday night, I was at a trendy new Japanese bistro. It’s a daring venture that hopes to dethrone a goliath in the restaurant space – Morimoto’s iconic ‘Wasabi’, located in the even more iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, less than a couple of kilometres away. The brash new eatery has managed to lure one of the young Wasabi chefs and is jauntily starting ‘Wakai’ with an uncomfortably similar menu – but with more gooey mayo on the signature dishes. I enjoyed the food, the buzz and the décor. The vibe was hip and uber-cool, what with a Manga-inspired interior, and real wasabi root being grated into the Japanese soy sauce? Nicccce, na?

Will ‘Wasabi’ get hilaoed by ‘Wakai’? Can anybody hilao King Khan?


Also read: Shah Rukh Khan is playing most difficult role – a good parent and impeccable public figure


Aryan in Mumbai chatter…

Aryan’s father has hired the services of the best (and priciest) lawyer in the land – the mighty Mukul Rohatgi, who will no doubt, go to court all guns firing. On Tuesday, the psychological advantage was with Team Aryan as Sameer Wankhede faced his bosses in Delhi, possibly to answer a few key questions about the bribery charges brought against him. As we know, a psychological advantage often wins important matches. Baba… I’m not saying anything … read what cricket experts are writing about India’s zabardast loss to Pakistan in Dubai. You can blame the dew… but, boley toh, our boys kind of blew it and underperformed — hota hai!

As always, I was happily overhearing the lively chatter around me at ‘Wakai’. Interestingly, the Japanese word ‘Wakai’ translates to ‘immature’ or ‘young’. In keeping with the jawani-diwaani image of the place, other tables were dotted with smashing looking SoBo bachchaa log with kaafi paisa, going by what they were ordering. Some of the girls were clad in alarmingly short and tight dresses, which exposed innerwear. I was caught staring, and my children were deeply embarrassed. Showing my age — yes! I was told the whole idea is to display inner wear and not cross the legs when seated. Oooops. I felt deeply apologetic for taking up the average age in the bistro by fifty years and bringing disgrace to the ‘cool’ quotient. In a desperate attempt to salvage what remained of my tattered self-worth, I timorously asked the DJ if what he had played earlier was the haunting theme from one of my favourite movies, Merry Xmas, Mr Lawrence, a 1983 war drama starring David Bowie. Indeed it was, I was told by a pretty lady with masses of Taapsee Pannu curls framing her face. She mustn’t have been born at the time! I left the restaurant with a bit of my dignity restored.


Also read: SRK wished his grown-up kids would believe in fairy tales again. Aryan needs one now


…and the sympathy for superstar’s son

Scraps of the conversations I had shamelessly eavesdropped, came back to me in the car heading home: “Why is everybody being so meeeeeean to Aryan, ya? Come on… as if he’s the only dude doing stuff.” Everyone at the table was in agreement that “Aryan was being victimised and it just wasn’t fair! As if it’s all his fault for being SRK’s son, ya…”. After a thoughtful pause, an Ananya Pandey lookalike added, “Imagine… I hear he was starved in that dirty jail and managed to survive on just biscuits. How could he eat daal chawal like other prisoners? Soooooo sad, ya.” Suddenly, the truffle lobster I was about to bite into, lost some of its allure and taste.

Nawab Malik’s outstanding sleuthing skills are being widely lauded! Pakda! Now that an extortion angle has entered the narrative, things are getting murkier and murkier. However, let’s give the last word to Sameer Wankhede’s current wife, Marathi actress Kranti Redkar, who spiritedly defended her husband by declaring to the press, “I know my husband.” Errrrr…. So does the rest of India, now.

Sigh…If only that ganja Gosavi had not clicked the selfie! See! This is what a selfie obsession can do! Think before you click. That celebrity in the same frame could be your nemesis.

It must be really, really hard being Aryan Khan. I mean that in all sincerity. Nobody has a clue about his actual life. But everybody has an opinion. My guess is Aryan Khan will walk out a stronger man. King Khan will also retain his crown — and endorsements. There will be diyas and lights illuminating Mannat this Diwali.

The author is a columnist, social commentator, journalist and opinion-shaper. She has written 20 books. She tweets @DeShobhaa. Views are personal.

(Edited by Anurag Chaubey)

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