Keeping up with Alia Bhatt

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The young face of an alternate Bollywood, she is hard to pin down these days. When we finally do, it turns into a conversation on Gully Boy, trolls and Hollywood
At 25, Alia Bhatt is living the dream. With multiple box-office hits and critical successes behind her, she has three diverse releases this year: Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, Abhishek Verman’s Kalank and Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra.

A couple of weeks ago, I’d seen her sharing the stage with some of Mumbai’s finest hip-hop artistes, at Gully Boy’s music launch, before an electrified 10,000-strong audience. This week, an interaction with her has me going on what seems like a wild goose chase, from Prabhadevi to Goregaon’s Westin hotel and finally to Film City, to the sets of The Kapil Sharma Show.

At the Gully Boy concert, she’d formed an instant connect with the crowd, addressing them in Mumbai’s patois — Hindi laced with street slang. With Kapil Sharma, she was disarming, joking with the host about a possible ‘Funny Boy’ sequel. In contrast, Westin’s modern glass-metal architecture, where the planned press interaction was to happen, preclude any possibility of warmth and intimacy. As the minutes excruciatingly turn into hours, I wonder if I’m waiting for Alia or Godot? They say the measure of a Bollywood actor’s stardom is directly proportional to how long s/he makes you wait. At this point, her star power is approaching its pinnacle.

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