Akshaye Khanna has had a conservative image in the media. The reason why the audience warmed up to the intensely shy boy he played in the uber-cool ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ was because Akshaye was so convincingly real on screen. Sure a huge part of the credit goes to his mammoth talent, but the rest is Akshaye’s real life image, which is so close to the character he plays. Try tracing Akshaye’s career; you’ll notice there have been very few films where he’s played a swash-buckling Casanova unlike his namesake, the Kumar.
One could easily imagine him as the elusive complex lover who fails to express himself in the clichéd sense, but hardly the two-timer that are the Bollywood stereotypes. Akshaye’s led a painfully vegetarian existence. Unlike his contemporaries who change female companions as often as their underwear, Akshaye’s had only one name to flaunt, Tara Sharma, that too from a distant past. One relationship in a decade is as good or as rare an occurrence as a Halley’s Comet.
In such a vanilla situation as has been, even a passing interest in his ‘Naqab’ co-star, Urvashi Sharma screamed for ink space. It was possibly the first co-star in years that the otherwise reclusive Khanna made endless conversations. Naturally when Akshaye was bombarded with queries regarding the same, he thumbed them down as baseless rumours, out of pure habit. After all, he’s mastered the art of being tight lipped with years of practice.
Little did anyone anticipate however, with Urvashi as a catalyst, Akshaye marked a huge change or rather an upgrade in his love life. While he commented in various tabloid interviews how the woman of his dreams had yet to arrive, his search for her had already started, that too in full gear. Akshaye would hardly run out of work in the industry, not when he’s proved time and again that his is a talent unmatched (‘Gandhi-My father’ being a recent example), not to mention his saleability as a star with numerous hits to his credit. He’s also all set to start his own production house, which should set the moolah rolling. All that he had to do was spice up his personal life, and spice up he did.
It all started with his once upon a time lover. It’s probably erased from people’s memories, but Akshaye had a brief affair with the petite Riya Sen a long time ago. Their affections for each other blossomed on the sets of Khanna’s then in process, ad filmmaker Kailash Surendranath’s film. The film might’ve never seen the light of the day, but Akshaye and Riya ended up a happy couple, who perhaps dated each other for a while thereafter.
The details of their subsequent break-up are hazy. But it’s believed that Riya moved on to John Abraham, who was then just another popular model leaving Akshaye in his bachelor boat. It’s true when they say that sometimes people, no matter how mismatched, come back together for the sheer comfort of good times that have been in the past. Time heals any bitterness that might’ve been and Akshaye found himself gravitating towards Riya once again. Close friends of the couple confirm they are an item.
Confirming the news is a few spottings of the two stars dining in public. On her part, Riya is said to have pinned all hopes on this re-unison. Her close friends insist the Bong bombshell is in seventh heaven looking forward to every date with the dashing bachelor hoping this time it’s for keeps. Spreading yourself thin is better than placing all your eggs in one basket.
In times of speed dating and internet romances, one can never be too sure so as to be fixated on one romance. Akshaye was following the millennium rule. It was a London based model who he had met in the Queen’s kingdom that caught his fancy. The Brit model, Sera left our man of few words tongue-tied with her stunning beauty. But what really helped him warm up to her was her intelligence quotient.
Unlike models who carry the reputation of being no-brainers, this one was equipped with enough gray matter to keep Akshaye occupied in unending conversations. What started out as an uncomplicated friendship developed into a romance. There’s only so much of the long distance relationship that you can do without craving to spend each breathing hour with your lover. So the model on a whim landed on desi shores, aamchi Mumbai to live in with her man de jour and make up for lost time.
Sera surprisingly took well to the city, what with Akshaye for company. Shortly after the model moved back to London from her brief visit to India, she returned to the maximum city with ambitions of making it in the Indian fashion industry. Akshaye was naturally encouraging and is believed to have urged her to get her folio shot locally. He even introduced her to the industry’s who’s who to get her started. Akshaye’s keen interest in Sera’s career impressed her even further. While Sera’s merrily wearing her heart on her sleeve, there are rumours of Akshaye’s German conquest doing the rounds. Apparently the dimpled actor has some German girlfriend hidden somewhere.
For someone who’s been exclusively single for as long as one can remember, Akshaye’s quite the Casanova now. Only time will tell who he settles for eventually. Should we take hints from his recent tabloid quote that goes, “Gimme the desi maal” and assume it’ll be Riya to the finish line?
Or not? One thing we know for sure, Akshaye’s surely spoilt for choices here.
I am happy he is getting some action. I was worried he was getting a loner. Anyway, with some of the industry's most beautfiul women lattu over him, why does he bother with hand-me-downs like Riya Sen?
Thursday, January 17, 2008