Meera Jee is without a doubt the undisputed Queen of Lollywood. Though Meera hasn’t had any filmy appearances in recent times, she has often dominated headlines, sometimes for all the wrong reasons. But that hasn’t stopped her from expressing herself and this is perhaps the single most reason why I’m such a fan of hers.
Meera’s much-awaited comeback film Baaji released the past weekend and I jumped at the first opportunity to watch it. As I sat through the film, I couldn’t help but connect the Meera onscreen to the Meera I had grown to know over the course of the past 3 months.
Let’s rewind to March 2019. I had just joined The Current and we were making a list of people we can interview. I had previously briefly spoken to Meera about her various plans and met her at the Lux Style Awards. On every occasion, Meera had been forthcoming, friendly and cooperative, contrary to what I heard about her superstar behaviour, so I added her to our list of interviewees. Her onscreen character, Shameera, was a reflection of this. Shameera was also someone with a big and open heart.
March 7 2019
I gave Meera Jee a call and to my surprise, she picked up the phone on the first bell. I introduced myself and expressed my desire to interview her. She told me that I will have to come and meet her at her parlour within half an hour because she wants to meet me before she can commit to an interview.
Thirty minutes later, I was sitting in the parlour’s lobby waiting for Meera to get free. The wait lasted for more than an hour before someone finally came and escorted me to the makeup room where Meera was getting ready. She was on the phone when I entered. Her superstar persona could be felt everywhere and she gestured me to sit on the seat next to her’s. As soon as her phone call ended, she turned to me and asked me what exactly I wanted. I rattled off, explaining to her the interview we want to do with her before she dramatically cut me off with the wave of a hand and told me to first tell her about myself.
After satisfying her questions, I once again started talking about the interview when the phone interrupted us again. Khair by then Meera was ready and she decided that we should move the meeting to her house.
Ignoring all warning bells in my head, and the fact that it was a close friend’s mehndi that day, I followed Meera to her house, where I stayed for more than 2 hours. Out of those 2 hours, a little more than one was spent waiting for her to get free. When we finally got down to talking about the interview, it was almost 8′ o clock. Meera wanted me to run through the questions with her and design the interview so we can shoot it in one go. Meera and I discussed everything down to the smallest of detail and she was good with everything but when I asked her for a date, she said she will discuss with her manager and let me know. All good. I left her house feeling proud of myself for scoring an interview with the one and only Meera.
The next few days were spent trying to get a follow-up from her but with little success. By then Baaji had also been announced, so I was sure that I’ll be able to get an interview. Little did I know.
In a miraculous twist of faith, we were able to get through to Meera and she asked us to come over and discuss the interview with her and finalise a date. Once again, I went over to her house where we spent 2 hours discussing the interview. Once again, Meera didn’t give us a date and told us that her manager will be in touch.
The next week and weeks to come were spent constantly trying to get in touch with Meera. She continued to remain unavailable. It turned out that she had gone to the United States for a visit. Meera sent me pictures from her trip and told me that she’ll give me an interview once she’s back. She also asked me if I could go over to her house and get her phone fixed for her.
Baaji’s trailer releases and promotions begin in full swing. I reach out to the PR team of Baaji and ask them to set up an interview with the cast of the film.
Baaji’s team lands in Lahore and the movie’s PR representative invites us to the hotel, where the team is staying, for a media interaction between 5 and 8 pm. At 6.45pm we reach the hotel only to find out that the media interaction has ended and that there has been a change of plans so the team will now be leaving for a mall visit. This totally puts me off because I had come with everything ready and no one had informed me that the scheduled has been changed. I get into an argument with the PR representative who kept insisting that I came late and that I should have asked her before coming. Ridiculous right? It’s not like I was late or anything. But what can one do?
Meera Jee is seated in the hotel’s restaurant and I walk up to her hoping that maybe she’ll be more accommodating. Nishoo Jee and Meera’s manager are also sitting on the table with us. After we exchange pleasantries, Meera tells me that she’s exhausted since she hasn’t eaten food all day and that I should ask the director to line up something later at night. I have no problems with that so I agree and we move on to having a conversation about her film and how tiring promotions can be.
Meera then tells the PR lady, who’s also in the background, to line up an interview. She curtly informs me that the cast of Baaji has back-to-back mall visits that day and that they will give me an interview when they return from Dubai. Talk about being a total let down. Uss point tak bilkul bas hogayi and I was so upset that I have no words for it.
Uskay baad, cast Dubai say jakar wapas bhi aagayi aur film bhi release hogayi magar mujhe interview nai mila.
As I sat through the film, it felt almost unreal watching Meera on screen. The woman who I had been chasing for the past three months was right in front of me and every movement of hers, every word she spoke was so real that in a few scenes I almost felt I was sitting with her. Kudos to Meera for giving a flawless and natural performance. As someone who enjoys over the top drama, I absolutely loved the film.
The film’s storyline was not the most original, but it was captivating. Each scene flowed into the next and there was no part of the film which felt dragged. It might have been Saqib Malik’s debut film but his years of experience shone through in every scene. The shots and the aesthetics were beautifully done. The hair, wardrobe and makeup team deserve a special round of applause. The leading ladies look absolutely gorgeous in every scene.
Each actor nailed their roles but Meera stole the spotlight. The film was made for her, or rather she was made for this film. Whichever way she likes. Meera is proof that no matter how many faces come and go, she will be evergreen. Like her character in the film says, “Love me or hate me, but you can never replace me.”
Watch the video of me chasing Meera here: