Meet the miracle woman behind major turnaround in the lives of some of Bollywood’s biggest stars. She has Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Preity Zinta and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ear. These, and dozens of other celebrities, routinely consult Neeta Sinha to enhance what she calls “positive energies” of their home and office spaces. Bollywood’s favourite Vaastu consultant – or as she puts it, “astroarchitect” – Neeta Sinha made the Bachchans change their bungalow name from the original Mansa to Jalsa and the rest, as Neeta smiles, “is history.” Jalsa, today, is the most-visited celebrity home in Mumbai, a place of worship for the Big B devotees. In a chat with Masala! Neeta demystifies home truths of the rich and famous, and her suggested remedies that have transformed spaces and destinies alike.
AMITABH BACHCHAN’S MANSA TURNS JALSA
It was Shweta Bachchan who sent Neeta to her dad. “It was 1998,” recalls Neeta. “Mr Bachchan was going through a difficult time. To convince him was a big thing because he, at that time, it seemed was done with religious beliefs and all kinds of occult practices.” But Shweta pushed him and Neeta has been on Bachchan’s speed dial since. Besides suggesting the name Jalsa for their Juhu mansion, she also helped the Bachchans during poet and patriarch Harivanshrai Bachchan’s bad health. “I improved Harivanshrai’s corner, for better energy,” she says. Incidentally, the name Mansa was given by Harivanshrai in honour of a family guru. “Mansa was a nice name,” admits Neeta. “Just that it didn’t suit the place. So, I suggested something with the letter ‘J.’ Even for Shah Rukh Khan’s home, I simply suggested ‘M’ and they named it Mannat. The same goes for Red Chillies.” Neeta says
NEGATIVE ENERGIES IN PREITY ZINTA’S APARTMENT
According to Neeta, the dimpled Kings XI Punjab co-owner was in a rough patch, both personally and professionally. While her Mumbai apartment was full of “negative energies”, the T20 controversies were refusing to die down. That’s when the actress turned to Neeta. “She came to me months before her marriage,” Neeta says. After her failed relationship with Ness Wadia, Preity tied the knot with her American beau Gene Goodenough. “We made slight changes to her flat and look at her now, she’s all settled,” Neeta beams.
TWINKLE KHANNA’S VAASTU-APPROVED WRITING DESK
Bollywood buffs know that Akshay Kumar’s real name is Rajiv Bhatia. So, Neeta suggested the PadMan star to buy his Juhu apartment under his real name. She also advised Twinkle Khanna on how and where to set up her study desk before writing. “Today, she’s a successful author, and she’s always in the news – but rarely for wrong reasons,” laughs Neeta.
A fixture on any Sanjay Leela Bhansali sets, Neeta has collaborated with the director from Devdas onwards. It was Neeta’s close friend Kirron Kher who introduced the two. “Though Bhansali designs his sets meticulously he always asks us which direction the hero should enter the frame or this is where Deepika (Padukone) will stand.” Neeta was called on Devdas after there was a fire on the sets and other tragedies. “Aishwarya (Rai) used to fall ill every time she came on the sets. We fixed that,” Neeta says. The Padmaavat incidents of vandalisation and Bhansali’s assault occurred in Jaipur and Kolhapur. “We worked on the Mumbai sets and nothing happened,” Neeta says.
Neeta is friends with the Kher family. Whether it is their home or Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares acting school, Neeta is the first to be consulted. “I have helped them personally, too, since they are like family,” says Neeta, adding that she removed the obstacles during their professional critical points like National awards and during the release of important films
NEETA’S SIMPLE TIPS FOR NEW HOME BUYERS
• Don’t make structural changes when simple objects-based changes can do
• Create harmony by adding colours, plants, mirrors and moving object
• Water energy: Keep it in the right place
• Pick the right name that will go with the home
• Don’t believe the myth that South entry is bad or T junction is bad. Give me the most inauspicious space and I can balance it