Imran Khan

HE’S only heard about a fan following, he says. Imran Khan, nephew of Aamir Khan, grandson of Nasir Hussain, the new chocolate boy, says his life is perfectly calm. “I keep hearing about this female fan following in interviews, but I haven’t found it yet. My life has been fairly calm,” he says, sounding slightly surprised. “Four, maybe five, people have recognized me. When I came to Delhi recently, one girl recognized me at the airport and took my autograph, but apart from that, it’s been quiet.”

But that tag. Apart from the other similarities between him and Aamir, how does he respond to that common tag? “What tag? Interfering?” he asks. No — ‘chocolate boy’. “Oh… Well, I’ve never really thought about myself like that,” he says, again sounding perplexed. It’s seems that this 25-year-old looker is going to be all business, just like his uncle. To prevent that, we ask him about his girlfriend. “Of course I’m seeing someone. Her name is Avantika and I’ve been seeing her for six years. We met at a mutual friend’s place.” And is she, as is rumored, Ranbir Kapoor’s ex? “They were at school together and dated then... they must’ve been 13 or 14,” he says. And she’s a model, right? “No, actually. She’s in a film production company. She’s been in the business for two years.” Has she seen Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na, Imran’s debut? “She’s seen it many times — through the first cut, and the second, and so on,” he says. What does she think of him? “I’ll just quote her. She said, ‘I can’t be objective about you. I’m being honest — I’m just like, Oh, it’s you, it’s you!’’’ he says.

Matter-of-fact just about sums up Imran. Whether it’s filmmaking — which he’s studied at LA — or his unit, or his uncle’s pranks (“He’s quite the prankster. All the pranks he plays on the sets have been tested on me first. I’m quite the long-suffering nephew.”) or the new breed of cinema in India, Imran is uniformly polite, intelligent, honest and matter-offact. Much has been written about him and Aamir, in particular — the similarities that they share in their looks, in the fact that their uncles have launched them (“Very poetic”) — but they also seem to share their cinematic sensibilities. Imran counts TZP and RDB among his favourite films. “I strongly feel that cinema should be commercial. I don’t want to make a film that only I would be watching alone in a theatre. And Aamir also feels the same way. RDB was a crazy concept, but it worked at the BO. Before Lagaan, everybody told us that it was crazy and that Aamir shouldn’t sink any more money into it. But it worked too,” he says.


More than ‘good friends’

IMRAN KHAN is everywhere because of his debut, the fact that he’s Aamir Khan’s nephew and his relationship with his long-time girlfriend. And instead of using the usual “We’re just good friends” line, he acknowledges the relationship with a straightforward, “I’ve been seeing someone for six years. Her name is Avantika.” At one time, a premarital relationship could jeopardize the career of a debutant; not anymore. Imran says he’d rather be open about his relationship with Avantika because, “I’ve been brought up to respect women, so it would be disrespectful to lie about Avantika. If I denied it, it would make my parents ashamed,” he told BT. This seems to be the way most B-Town couples are going. Bipasha Basu has had high-profile relationships with ex Dino Morea and current beau John Abraham. Ayesha Takia makes no bones about dating restaurateur Farhan Azmi. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor hold hands, hug and coochie-coo in public. Kareena handled her previous relationship with Shahid Kapoor with equal candour as did Saif with Roza Catalano. Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia even co-own an IPL team.

Abhiash, however, seem to be an exception. When reports of their relationship surfaced in 2006, the Bachchan clan, headed by Pa, denied it. So it was ‘odd’ when the couple went from being “just co-stars” to engaged at the New York premiere of Guru. It doesn’t seem to matter now since they’re married and everywhere.

It’s cool for celebs to be open about their relationships….

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