Has Fardeen found love in Mumtaz’s daughter?

The smoke in the nightclub saw to it that vision was blurred. It was past the magical midnight hour, when Cinderella left her Prince Charming. It was then that the couple stepped into the nightclub. It was after the strike of two that two silhouettes entered the revelry zone and headed straight for the dance floor, but not before they had made almost all heads turn. No small wonder, since the duo were coke-bloke Fardeen Khan, and heiress Tanya Madhwani, better known as spunky actress Mumtaz’s progeny. The pirouetting duo hit the dance floor and made the most of the last slow dancing numbers that played.

Fardeen was only following dad’s precedent when he was trying to make Tanya comfortable in alien India. Several summers ago, dad Feroz and Mumtaz had been quite the two to tango. So much so that they had been dubbed one of the most successful pairs of the seventies. That was no Apradh. Many decades and a whole century later, Feroz Khan, who had repeatedly failed in his attempts to launch (Prem Aggan) and re-launch (Janasheen) his son Fardeen, was stumped by the audience’s rejection of his saga of sultry and mindless sex. Banking on their penchant for dynasties, he pulled out this rabbit from under his cowboy hat. He began work on a project starring Fardeen and Mumtaz's beti Tanya.

Mumtaz, post her humble beginnings, had worked her way to the top league in tinsel-world. Thereafter, she had the idyllic situation when Mr. Moneybags, Mayur Madhwani of international business fame, proposed to her. The perky nosed Mumu was quick to say her "I do’s", and before she could have said Khilona, she was a mother of two baby girls. Movies, one would have thought, would be the last profession on these girls’ minds, but Tanya’s return to Mumbai proves that the greasepaint in her genes beckons her. Those in the know, insist that dad Mayur is radically against this career move. However, his currently estranged relations with wife Mumtaz don’t give him much say in the matter.

We must mention at this point, that this is not the first turn that Mumu’s munni had tried, taking a shot at the make-believe. About three years ago, word had gotten round that, Tanya was looking for a dream across 70 mm. She had been considered seriously for Salman Khan’s home production, the debut vehicle of Hello Brother Sohail’s Maine Dil Tujhko Diya. But Ms. Madhwani was rejected on the basis of her heavy accent, which apparently made her Hindi sound more like Spanish. Tanya’s loss was Sameera’s gain and she came to be a Musafir in the Bollywood sojourn.

Albeit, Tanya did not allow her dreams to be aborted in that flash. She decided to hitch her wagon onto the starry constellation and moved to Mumbai, bag and baggage. Diction classes did top her to-do list. But the poor little rich girl was not likely to lose out on her social life. Before she could say Aamchi Mumbai, she found broad shoulders to lean on. She had found a boyfriend in the scion of a construction empire. Something to build a story foundation we suppose. And the couple had been inseparable.

So, when did Fardeen join this straight line to make it a triangle, you ask. Well, it so happened that Tanya’s boyfriend got awfully caught up in business. Feroz Khan had officially spoken to Mumtaz, and Tanya had been signed for F.K. International’s next production. Feroz Khan wanted Fardeen and Tanya to get to know each other before he zoomed straight to the shooting. Besides, Fardeen had often met Tanya as a child.

To give a lowdown on the Kambakht Ishq exponent, after his high profile relationship and low profile split with Ruheen Jaiswal, he had been single and not really ready to mingle. Besides an odd Riya Sen, his name had not really been mentioned in the same breath as any other lady. So it was unusual to see Fardeen stepping out alone with a date. Though everyone around is willing to bet their last dime and vouch that what happened that night was a one-off instant. And that Tanya is not going to give up on her steady beau.

There are die-hard romantics like me who believe what we saw on the dance floor was more than just close dancing. It was chemistry. So the onus clearly lies with the twosome whether they will limit their Prem Aggan from nightclub to the big screen. Or, can we look forward to another Bollywood love story that does not have a bitter ending?

· Stardust, September, 2004


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