x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Desi Girl: Reading the doodles of Prachi and Abhishek

Bollywood stars get bored too - and when they do, they doodle like the rest of us. And this press conference I snuck up to the table after it had finished to see what those doodles were.

This past weekend the stars of Bol Bachchan were in town. One of the reasons I love attending these promotional visits is to see what these icons look like in person. The camera has a way of adding inches horizontally and vertically - not to mention those crazy Bollywood avatars - and it's always interesting to see what they actually look like.

Abhishek Bachchan and Asin Thottumkal were no real surprises. They carried their stunning good looks with perfect poise.

It was Ajay Devgn who was the shocker. I've always put him in the John Travolta/Nicholas Cage category: great actor, but not particularly pretty. At least not in the conventional way. Meeting him in person changed my "if he's good enough for his wife Kajol, he's good enough for me" approach to him. I don't know if it was his strong but silent charisma, or the way he holds your gaze during a conversation, or his low baritone as he speaks … whatever it was, I saw it and I must say, bravo Kajol, good catch!

Another big surprise was Prachi Desai. The teeny-tiny starlet came teetering in on mile-high heels, though she still looked tiny, specially next to the towering Abhishek. She looked so cute and so minuscule that I just wanted to put her in my lap and feed her sweets.

But boy, does the girl know how to work the camera! She had the photographers mesmerised throughout the press conference. What caught my eye in between her poses (that alternated from coy to seductive) was that her hand never stopped moving. She was constantly doodling something on the piece of paper in front of her. And she wasn't the only one: Abhishek was doing it, too. She with a dainty right hand and he with a brawny left one … they just kept doodling.

I was possessed by an overwhelming urge to see what they were doodling. Of course, I realise that just like us regular folks, stars probably get bored during press conferences and doodle, but do they scribble grocery lists, their names or the words "This is so boring ... zzzzzz!" or do they have something more profound, more celebrity-like, to say? Doodles are said to give an insight into the doodler's psyche. What secrets about Prachi and Abhishek lay revealed by their scribbles?

With the press conference over, the crowd followed the stars as they descended from the stage and towards the exit. That was my cue. I stealthily made my way towards the stage, inched inconspicuously towards the head table and discreetly tore the doodled pieces of paper off the hotel-branded notepads.

While waiting for my one-on-one interview slot with the stars, I took stock of the doodles. I'm no psychologist, but I have my own layman's interpretation of them: Prachi, it would seem, still feels like an outsider, trying to fit in. She's emulating what she sees around her. Abhishek, despite being the huge star that he is, doesn't always put himself first. Of everyone from the Bol Bachchan team there that day, it's Ajay whom he looks up to the most.

This is just my own layman's interpretation of the doodles. Regardless of the merit of my deductions, I now have two pieces of paper which must be of some value to someone out there. Any takers?

View the doodles on our Arts&Life blog at www.thenational.ae/scene-heard