Our fascination (read love bordering slight obsession) with The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives shows no signs of waning. Maheep Kapoor’s candour and propensity for dropping F-bombs, Seema Khan’s lack of filter, Bhavana Pandey’s catty side which occasionally peeps through her cool as a cucumber façade and Neelam Kothari Soni’s prim and proper demeanour…we enjoyed it all. However, what took this reality series a few notches above others (we’re looking at you Indian Matchmaking) was the cameos by the who’s who of Bollywood. Here are some of our favourite.
Ah, KJo (pictured above). Whenever we see Johar on-screen, we wonder if he’s capable of being anything but the host of the popular and controversial chat show, Koffee with Karan. It seems as if the director, writer, host and occasional actor, who is also the producer of this show, goes out of his way to play up that character for the cameras. Catty, condescending and the catalyst for drama, Johar loves playing armchair therapist and we see plenty of that when he joins our fabulous foursome for lunch at Ministry of Crab in Mumbai and then for drinks at Doha. He knows exactly how to needle them, coax them to bare their insecurities and prime them up for verbal fights with each other.
Maheep Kapoor refers to her nephew actor Arjun Kapoor as one of her favourite people on this planet. And when you see the comfortable relationship they share, you understand why. The two meet when Maheep is troubled over daughter Shanaya being trolled over her debutante appearance at Le Bal held in Paris. Arjun gives her refreshing advice on the lines of how once you’re a public figure you have to be okay with the good, bad and ugly that comes with the fame. He then goes on to reveal how Maheep is probably the biggest “jasoos” in Juhu and spies on her neighbours with her two sets of binoculars. He then adds that Maheep ensured that the Kapoor khandaan attended the Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wedding by spying on the festivities from the Kapoor terrace. He then grills Maheep’s younger son about his ambitions of being an actor and gently chides him over his inability to speak Hindi.
Arjun Kapoor’s current paramour Malaika Arora also makes an appearance to promote her studio Diva Yoga. Malaika used to be married to Salman’s brother Arbaaz. Seema is married to his youngest brother Sohail but the two are separated. It’s heartening to see that sisters-in-law still share a great bond and rapport. Malaika does her best to encourage Seema to enjoy yoga wholeheartedly while the latter continues to goof around saying the only asana she loves is shavasana (same, Seema, same). After Malaika is done making us feel envious of her age-defying body, she imparts some gyaan to Seema on the lines of how she needs to work on herself and her eponymous apparel brand and not just focus on her children all the time. We love women who support women, and Malaika definitely gets a thumbs up from us.
We’re pretty sure Raveena Tandon and Malaika are drinking the same age-defying elixir of life because what else can explain how flawless Tandon looks! She catches up with Neelam (the two have been good friends since they acted together in movies during the ’90s) over a cooking date at Foodhall, Mumbai. Except that they indulge in more gossip and less cooking. The star-struck instructor is more than happy to do all the work for them as the ladies imitate Saif Ali Khan, talk about Neelam’s comeback (as in should she make one or not), how different Bollywood is today and their kids. All we got from this date is that whenever we start ageing, we want it to be just like Neelam and Raveena.
The czarina of television, the wearer of multiple rings and the maker and breaker of TV careers – Ekta Kapoor. Neelam, whose main story track throughout the series is whether she ought to make her comeback to Bollywood or television, seeks Kapoor’s advice. Ekta tells her in no uncertain terms that television has evolved exponentially and while she doesn’t need to necessarily audition because her track record speaks for herself, she may have to. Then, she goes on to flummox Neelam by offering her a part in her upcoming drama which is about two women falling in love. And while Neelam gives her the diplomatic “I’ll think about it” answer, she personally feels there’s no way she could convincingly portray a woman in love with another woman or kiss another lady.
Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan
As Maheep put it, “When it comes to Bollywood wives, Gauri is the OG.” The series concludes with a grand party hosted by the Khans at Gauri’s design studio where being invited is an honour. SRK is at his charming, most articulate and witty best. He goes out of his way to compliment the foursome on their two-decade-long friendship, the way they have raised their children and the support system they are for their husbands. Gauri is completely at ease with them because these are women she chills with on a regular basis. That they are a part of her inner circle is very obvious from the way she ribs them regarding their fashion choices and the way they exchange anecdotes.