The red carpet had been rolled out at Lamcy Plaza. Huge hoardings had been set up, the music was blaring and the ambiance was pretty festive. It was a perfect 'wait for the celebrity moment' except that the celeb was nowhere in sight. "Minissha has been delayed, she will be here in just a while," we were told. Well, that's not news for anyone on the Bollywood beat as t'towners – whatever be their stature and standing in the industry - as a rule, never arrive on time.
Thankfully, Minissha is not exactly Shah Rukh Khan (who does complete justice to his superstar status by being at least three hours late at every event). So as we waited for her to enter the mall and head to the Damas store on the first floor, we were entertained by music from her films. 'Ahista Ahista' (Bachna Ae Haseeno) being played over and over again.
Far more entertaining than the music was the chatter among curious onlookers and shoppers. 'Is she a big star?' 'Do all Bollywood events start late?' 'Is she a good actress' were some of the questions being asked. 'No', 'Yes' and 'Pretty good' were our answers. There was even an unintentionally funny moment when someone's arrival caused a bit of a flutter among the scribes and crowd. Assuming it was the star, they all rushed to the door only to be encountered by a startled shopper.
Finally, a very reasonable 45 minutes later, Minissha arrived in style, welcomed by the organizers. It looked like she had put her 2011 controversies – the customs fiasco post Cannes Film Festival, the failure of her films and the fallout with her director friend Sagar Bellary – well behind her.
Pretty and charming as ever in a short dress and jacket, she looked a bit like an excited school girl. As with all events concerning Bollywood stars, suddenly the buzz grew as kids and their mothers with shopping bags fished out their mobile phones to click their 'I too met a celebrity' moment.
Minissha seemed to enjoy the attention before she was taken to the swish store and shown the stunning Diwali collection on display. "I love jewellery, but I go for very simple, classy stuff in gold or white gold," she said.
Dubai, it seemed, held a special place for her. "I come here very often, I love the shopping," she told us. In fact, shopping was very much on her mind as she intended to head straight to the malls after she finished her duties at the Damas store which included meeting fans, checking out the new pieces and even handing out goody bags to winners of a contest. She played the part perfectly, interacting with everyone, charming those around and making fans feel special.
Another 45 minutes of meet and greet Dubaiites and her jaunt came to an end; it was time for her to rush back to Mumbai. We hope she got a chance to shop at The Dubai Mall as she had planned to!