Fenil and Bollywood

Film critic turfed out of Kurbaan screening

Posted on: November 24, 2009

Socialite Kajal Anand allegedly asked film critic Khalid Mohamed to leave the theatre after he asked her to take a good look at herself in the mirror…

By Vishwas Kulkarni (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2009)


 


For the rarified select gathering, it was meant to be a cozy evening with close friends from the film fraternity to celebrate the release of Kurbaan last week. A special preview, hosted by socialite Kajal Anand, thus comprised the Who’s Who of tinsel town and the usual sprinkling of society divas and dudes.

But as the evening panned out, guests, comprising socialites and Bollywood movers and shakers, were shocked with what seemed to be a comedy of errors, gone horribly wrong.

Film critic Khalid Mohamed and socialite Kajal Anand had a very public falling-out at this private screening of the film starring Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan.

It all started like this: a socialite at the evening approached famed film critic Khalid Mohamed, but made the mistake of assuming him to be someone else. She then, on realising her faux pas, supposedly apologised for this. An eyewitness claims that Mohamed replied with, “You know, it’s alright. I don’t even care to know you, and I don’t even know who you are.” Realising that things were getting a little choppy on the guest-list front, Kajal Anand then walked up to the film critic, supposedly to ask him to let go and make peace.

But Anand caught Mohamed at a wrong time indeed; he then began directing his ire towards her, sources claim. And he certainly didn’t mince his words. “Have you seen yourself in the mirror lately? You are a fat hag! How do your friends even hang out with someone like you? Now I know that you’ll go later to Mannat and bitch  with the rest of that gang of yours. That’s all you’re famous for…” is what he is alleged to have told the socialite.

On hearing all this, Kajal Anand then asked Khalid Mohamed to leave. “Please leave this preview. You are never welcome again,” said she. An awkward ceasefire ensued, as both parties went back to their seats, but there was no missing the hushed silence of the collected crowd, who were still soaking in the slow-but-sure repercussions of what was a jarring end to a rather long-standing friendship.

Khalid Mohamed has been a famed film critic for almost 30 years. Kajal Anand is a well-known socialite who hobnobs with both, SoBo A-listers and eminent names from Bollywood aristocracy; it is a dexterity that makes her one of the more powerful society names in Bombay today.

Khalid Mohamed sat at his seat, fuming for some time. Then at the interval, he stormed out, something that nobody missed, given what had preceded this exit.

The incident has therefore sent shockwaves in the industry and society circles, even if not many are willing to comment on the melee, given the pedigree of both parties involved. Yet when contacted, Kajal herself did not deny the story. All she said was, “It is entirely your prerogative to do the story; I have no comments to offer on this incident.” When Khalid Mohamed was contacted about this fracas, he confirmed the story as well.

“No, it didn’t happen like you say it. The first preview for Kurbaan was a Mumbai Police screening which I had missed. The second one was hosted by Kajal Anand; here a girl walked up to me and mistook me for a furniture designer, introducing herself as Prerna Goel. This girl, Prerna Goel, was behaving very funnily. I even remember asking Kajal, ‘What sort of friends do you have?’ I don’t know why, but Kajal was behaving obnoxiously that day. She is a friend but she tends to be, at times, like this. I never told her, ‘You’re fat’. But I did say, ‘Look at yourself in the mirror.’ And I walked out in the interval with a friend who was accompanying me. At that moment, I remember Kajal standing with Yash Birla and a couple of other people,” said the film critic.

(With inputs by Vickey Lalwani)

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