Outstanding Women

The Quiet Rebel

Former Miss World and actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on achieving and holding onto stardom — on her terms  

Longines Ambassador of Elegance, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan sporting the Longines Saint-Imier Collection

It’s quarter past three in the afternoon and we are asking for directions to New India Co-op Housing Society, in Juhu. Damn it, Google Maps can’t pinpoint the exact location. We ask a couple of pedestrians who seem clueless. We approach a security guard outside a building, but he has no idea either. Out of sheer desperation, my editor gets off the car and displays the SMS to the guard, who nearly admonishes us…“Yeh toh Janak likha hai…Amitabh Bachchan ka bangla dhoond rahen hain aap?” As both of us burst laughing for the next few minutes at our stupidity of going around a landmark in circles, our car stops and we stare at a large majestic wooden door that every Bollywood fan in the country would dream of getting past through. A security guard pops the oft-repeated ‘Kisko milna hai?’ question. Eventually, he opens the door and leads us through a brightly lit, opulent verandah.