Fangirl moment with idol Alia Bhatt

RAVYA NANWANI

Dressed in a shimmery bronze-gold cape gown, Alia Bhatt strode purposefully towards the lift on Level 1 at the National Art Gallery on Sunday.

The Bollywood star was in Singapore to receive the prestigious Time 100 Impact Award. I saw her heading for the sixth floor Smoke & Mirrors restaurant overlooking the Padang, for the award ceremony.

Held for the first time in Singapore, the award recognises visionaries who have made an impact and moved their respective industries forward. It was organised in partnership with Economic Development Board and Singapore Tourism Board.

I was tipped off by my friend, an event planner associated with the awards ceremony, that Alia would arrive at the National Gallery at around 5.25pm.

I'm a die-hard fan of the actress and did not want to miss this opportunity, so I got there an hour early and stood strategically near the lift on Level 1.

Of course I was not alone. I stood with about 10 other fans and we screamed her name when we spotted her.

The 29-year-old brushed aside her bodyguard Yusuf Ibrahim and walked towards us with a loving smile. She chatted with us for about 10 minutes and indulged our requests for selfies and autographs.

I was over the moon when Alia and I shared a lighthearted conversation.

"Alia, I really liked Isha in Brahmastra (Bollywood movie released recently)."

She replied: "Oh, you did?"

"Yes, even with all the Shiva."

"Oh, yes. Shiva… Shiva… Shiva…"

As we both roared with laughter at her reply, I felt impressed that she got my dig at her.

In Brahmastra, her character Isha constantly mentions the name Shiva (Ranbir Singh's character) in the dialogues.

Ranbir is also Alia's husband in real life and she was relentlessly trolled for this after the release of the movie.

Alia is pregnant with their first child and the pregnancy glow was evident on her face. She carried her baby bump well in her ensemble and moved confidently towards the lift to make her way up to Smoke & Mirrors.

The Time awards presentation ceremony, I learnt later, went on for about two hours. I did not wait that long to see Alia again.

The VIPs proceeded to catch the Formula One race together after the ceremony but Alia gave it a miss.

She headed back to the Four Seasons Hotel, where all the Time guests were staying, and returned to Mumbai on Monday.

Alia received the Time 100 Impact award from Time's chief people officer Sue Suh.

The mum-to-be delivered an impressive speech about being vulnerable and accepting her flaws. She also gave a shout-out to her unborn baby, who "kicked relentlessly" during the entire speech.

From being "terrible at spelling" to having "no sense of geography", Alia shared it all - which I found to be really endearing.

Brahmastra was the latest Alia film that I watched and I enjoyed the visual effects and A-list cast.

Although Alia without a doubt did justice to her role in the movie, I felt that her capabilities were underutilised as the shooting was long drawn. She is definitely capable of much more.

Alia has evolved a lot in the past few years and delivered multiple hits, from Gangubai Kathiawadi and RRR to Darlings and, most recently, Brahmastra.

tabla@sph.com.sg

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