Vivek Oberoi

 omar

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a Bollywood freak.

Ever since I was young, I have watched Indian films on a weekly basis and have had a strong passion for Bollywood.

I’m also not embarrassed to admit that I wrote to Bipasha Basu and Rohit Roy on Facebook and was lucky enough to get short replies from both of them. Bipasha (I would like to think I’m on first name basis with her) even saw my profile picture, in which I was smoking, and replied “I’m sure you have heard of John Abraham’s “No Smoking” movie – you should learn something from him and also quit smoking!” I was thrilled. Rohit seemed like a very nice guy as well. He wrote back and told me that he is friends with Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood and has been to Pakistan several times. Ok fine, I’m not 100% sure it was really them, but I would like to think I received genuine messages.

I am such an avid fan that  when my friend Noor called to tell me that he had spotted Katrina Kaif at Selfridges last year, I jumped up, showered, changed and made my way  there, despite the fact that I had actually been in bed and half asleep.   Noor and I decided to start off on the ground floor and we each walked in different directions searching for our celebrity sighting. Finally, we met each other on the top floor and were both disappointed that neither of us had been able to spot her, so we decided to take a break at the Selfridges Cafe. As we began to walk there, I saw an absolutely stunning woman standing a few feet away and it turned out to be Katrina Kaif. Although Noor was too shy to go and say hello to her, I made my way over to her, albeit slightly trembling, muttered “I am a fan, please have a good time in London” and walked away. I felt like such an idiot.  Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you that I ran into John Abraham in Knightsbridge last week as well, where I was confident enough to say “Hey John”  which definitely caught him by surprise. Ha ha!

Anyway, about a year ago, I saw Vivek Oberoi’s profile on a friend’s friend list on Facebook. Of course, I had to message him immediately and introduce myself as a huge fan. For some reason, I feel it’s necessary to give positive feedback to these celebrities, as they are brought down by the media so much already.

Just to give you a quick brief even though I’m sure you all know already, Vivek Oberoi is a well-known Bollywood actor and the son of the legendary Suresh Oberoi and Yashodara. After graduating from Aditanar College and completing his masters from New York University, Vivek made his debut in Ram Gopal Varma’s film, Company. Although he has had many massive hits, some of my personal favorites include Company, Saathiya, Yuva, Kaal, Shootout at Lokhandwala and of course Omkara. Vivek has been fortunate enough to receive many awards, including best debut, best supporting actor, and best villain among others, which, in my opinion, are very well deserved.

Anyway, after my introductory e-mail, I got a reply from him immediately, in which he said that he had a deep connection with Pakistan as some of his family had ties over there and he seemed to be extremely familiar with Pakistani politics and culture as well.  Although I had my doubts and was not convinced it was really him, I went with the flow and replied to his message. He mentioned that he was in Philadelphia shooting for “Qurbaan”, which coincidentally turned out to be at the same time I was heading to New York for my brother’s birthday.  I told my brother and a few of my friends in New York that I had spoken to the famous Vivek Oberoi and that he seemed to be a very nice and genuine guy. They all hysterically laughed at me and made fun of me for the entire trip as they were convinced that he was a fake Vivek Oberoi who was pulling my leg and trying to make a fool out of me. Although I tried to prove them wrong by messaging Vivek on Facebook in hopes of a quick reply, he was extremely busy at the time with the shoot and we didn’t end up speaking during that trip

Last week, however, I got a text message saying “Hey, I’m in London and this is my global cellular number – Vivek Oberoi”. I stood in shock and didn’t know what to do,  so I called my brother who shouted at me and told me to grow up as someone  was obviously  pretending to be Vivek Oberoi and  was  probably going to murder me and dump my body in the back of a car. I literally hung up on him in anger and sent Vivek a reply saying “Welcome to London and get in touch if you’re free”.

Later that night, I met up with one of my closest friends from childhood after years and we ended up going to a club together. As we entered the club, we ran into a few of our other school friends who began shouting that Vivek Oberoi was there. I tried to look for  him  and was keeping my fingers crossed that it was the same Vivek  who  had texted  me  earlier, I couldn’t find him for  an hour and  and that point I decided to give up my search and continue to party  with my friends. A few minutes later, Vivek’s friend came up to me and said “he’s here now” so I turned around to say hello and surprisingly, he recognized me! We spoke for a long time and I was impressed with how humble, down to earth, genuine and nice he was considering that he’s one of the biggest Bollywood celebrities.

Over the next few days, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to hang out with Vivek and see him as a person rather than just a superstar.  We had some interesting discussions and I was impressed to learn more about his career, personal life, and future ambitions. The media tends to focus only the negatives when it comes to a celebrity so it was great to meet one in person. For example, you have probably not heard that Vivek sponsored an entire village during the tsunami.  While other Bollywood stars were leading their usual comfortable lives following the tsunami, Vivek Oberoi was one of the very few who deserted his usual comforts to go to Devinampattinam, a remote fishing hamlet ravaged by the killer waves that claimed more than 8,000 lives. As expected, Vivek was devastated and announced a rehabilitation project and began to house the survivors in temporary homes while promising them permanent housing as well. He gave them hope, which was backed up by boats, nets, schools, play grounds and community centers. Along with that, Vivek also took his passion to new heights with his support for an organization which promotes affordable art, saying that “it’s great to be associated with such a program as it promotes two things that are very dear to my heart – art and charity. I like to call it art for hearts, as part of the proceeds collected will be donated to Yashodhara Oberoi Foundation for the various causes it supports, from heart surgery for poor children to the empowerment of women”.

I have really enjoyed being able to experience such a unique opportunity and wish Vivek all the best with his releases later this year. Really looking forward to them!

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17 comments

  1. Mian Mithu · · Reply

    Art for the heart! What a great man. Awesome!

  2. I am the awful brother of this blogger that said its probably someone PRETENDING to be Vivek Oberoi…someone who will end up mugging and killing OUH and then dispose of his dead body in the Thames. I told OUH to make sure he meets the fake Vivek in a brightly lit public area to ensure his safety! Guess I was wrong.

  3. This has got to be the BEST story ever. The line that really cracked me up though when Bipasha told u to quit smoking and your reaction, instead of being shamed, was being THRILLED. hahahaha, I love it. It’s such an Omar reaction!

  4. sharmine · · Reply

    I love how u have written this omar. N I am also a bollywood freak as u know 🙂

  5. im so jealous of you.
    not just of the fact that you met and hung out with vivek oberoi…but im also jealous of your complete faith in celebrity profiles on line and your uninhibited efforts to get in touch with them.
    seriously…there is not a touch of sarcasm here.
    im friends with a director in India who(when i visit) at my slightest request can get me to meet anyone from SRK to Big B….but i’m just such a wuss about asking him.
    he lives in the flat below ash’s old flat and i remember when he was shooting a commercial for us, he kept getting text’s from ashwariya because he was missing her wedding because of our shoot.
    he did introduce me to Ramesh Sippy(director of Sholay) though.

  6. hahaha, I loved the story, you’re sooo passionate about Bollywood, hope you meet some celebs while you’re in Delhi!

  7. Zeeshaan · · Reply

    WOW! it always happens to you only~ how come u forgot to mention that you met preity zinta and abhishek in your office building shooting for jhoom barabar jhoom?

  8. NC, I actually mentioned to VO that I was goin to be in Delhi. Maybe I’ll try to squeeze in a day trip to Bombay too with the Bhoj if I stay an extra day. Let’s hope I get my visa first! Fingers crossed. I completely forgot about Abishek and Preeti but maybe that’s because I didnt get much besides a “hello, we are shooting and we cant ruin our make up so we cant shake your hand even” haha

  9. I would like a few facts “altered” lets start with you searching for him for an hour which WAS NOT TRUE I pointed out his friends ASAP. And where is my name in the whole story huh huh huh? 😛

  10. http://www.apunkachoice.com/scoop/bollywood/20021019-2.html

    It was like a scene from some movie when the ‘Road’ boy Vivek Oberoi showed true heroism and saved the life of the driver of a taxi that was crushed by a lorry in New Delhi.

    It was just another night for Vivek and his friends – Shaad Ali (who is also directing his Saathiya) and Sameer – until the trio took a turn past Hotel Le Meridien in their Ford Ikon. At a distance the three saw a Tata lorry ram into a Maruti van.

    The collision was so strong that the driver of the van Paras Ram got stuck in the crushed front portion of his Maruti van.

    To the bleeding driver’s horror, the driver of the lorry and the two passengers in his van fled the scene, leaving him in lurch. It was then apna Vivek jumped out of his car to rescue the severely wounded driver.

    And what Vivek did was nothing short of heroism. First he tried to pull open the door of the van, but only in vain as the door was badly jammed. Then, like a reel hero, Vivek smashed the glass window with his fist to reach the driver who was by now unconscious.

    Finally, the actor and his friends managed to get Paras Ram out of the badly rammed vehicle.

    After Vivek was sure that the 52-year-old driver of the van would be taken care of by the police, he made a swift departure from the spot without taking any credit for saving the man’s life.

    Now that’s what we call a Good Samaritan in the real life and not just on the reel!

  11. Omar you are the true star! Forget dancing on the tables at Tramps with VO, instead ask him for a part!!!
    Great great story and I am HIGHLY J! And just so I can add, not all Bollywood stars are nice. I saw Kareena and Saif having high tea in Claridges (by the way she is truly drop dead even without an ounce of makeup) and after fighting every urge in me and some very ‘strong’ advice by my colleagues at the bank, I still insisted on walking over and begging them for a pic (as I have loved Saif since his Oley Oley times)! And much to my horror and embarrassment (much more so bc my gora colleagues had already told me not to do the deed) I was told “umm we are having a private high tea!!!’ Recovering from the blow swiftly I retorted ‘ how private can you be at Claridges???’ and swiftly turned on my heel and walked back to my table!
    Moral of the story…VO is obviously king!

  12. Hana Javed · · Reply

    That’s awesome, OUH!! I loved him in yuva :).

  13. Omar, I LOVE Vivek! And have always termed him as one of my favourite bollywood actors instead of Shahrukh and the rest of the Khan clan. Watched an interview of his once and found him to be very intelligent and grounded. So happy that you got to meet and bond with him! I may not be as huge a bollywood fan as you and Sharmine, but a few years ago, i spent a record 6 hours searching for Sushmita Sen and Sanjay Dutt in Sawgrass Mall in Florida (which was meant to be the largest mall in America at the time) when I heard they were going there that day. I dragged my parents with me, and my dad broke his shoe with all that walking! Craziness in retrospect, but for Sushmita, I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

  14. This is my MOST fav ‘chasing’ story ever! I want to hear it in person and I want to hear that ‘awful’ brother tell his part!..i can literally hear him saying ‘are you joking’!!

    ps: are you stopping here?

  15. Jimmy Khan JJK · · Reply

    Err what the deuce you didnt say a word about this! For Gods sake in those 40 hours in ur car you could have mentioned something!

  16. There were too many other things to discuss and I didn’t know you were familiar with Bollywood so I didn’t bother with this story! ha ha.

  17. What a great article! Vivek was my first Bollywood ‘crush’. Must be the flowing hair. So wonderful you got to see such a down to earth side of such a huge star.

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