From cryogenic ice tubs to cool down after rigorous work out sessions to sugar-free, diary free, gluten-free desserts – We asked the paparazzi to lead us to where the stars hang out.
From the nation’s obsession with Taimur Ali Khan – who is arguably more popular on the internet than his celebrity parents – to breaking images of Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone walking hand-in-hand out of the airport – admit it, you can’t do without your daily Bollywood fix. Enter the paparazzi, a culture than has been around in India for over 25 years now. These photographers feed on the voyeuristic nature of a Bollywood-obsessed country and the immediacy that social media provides, as they trawl the streets of Mumbai day in and day out capturing candid pictures of the stars.
The paparazzi now have Instagram accounts of their own with tens of thousand followers tracking their every update. On an average, photographer Viral Bhayani with over seven hundred thousand followers uploads 35-40 posts every day. These are gathered by sending his team of photographers out to roam the streets of Mumbai on their scooters, following celebrity cars parked outside gyms, restaurants and production houses. With time, these photographers have developed a schedule of sorts of where the stars hang out. We asked them to lead us to the top celebrity hot spots.
1. Reset Gym
This gym in suburban Mumbai boasts of celebrity clientele like Ranveer Singh, Tiger Shroff, Jahnvi Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor among others who diligently utilise the space’s sprawling functional training lawn which has a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. If that wasn’t fancy enough, it is the cryogenic post work out ice tub in the changing rooms that are a real draw for Deepika Padukone and Jacqueline Fernandez who we hear come there just to cool down!
2. Body Sculptor
Another gym made popular by Shah Rukh Khan, Body Sculptor is owned and run by celebrity fitness expert Prashant Sawant. While Khan now gyms in the comfort of his home, Sawant trains Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Bachchan, Kartik Aaryan and Alia Bhatt at his swanky space. A single work out session here will set you back by Rs 2,500. An added benefit though is the attached Lean Kitchen run by Sawant’s wife Maya that dishes up healthy treats for his clients.
3. Farmer’s Café
A tiny little hole in the wall, Farmer’s Café is now a paparazzi hot spot with the likes of Katrina Kaif, Janhvi Kapoor, Sunny Leone and Fatima Sana Sheikh frequenting it ever so often. With just six tiny tables to seat its customers you’d wonder why the stars scurry there. Well, your answer could lie in the delicious gluten-free, sugar free and vegan desserts it offers.
Celebrity chef Kelvin Cheung’s Bastian seafood restaurant has been a popular Bollywood hot spot since it opened doors in 2016. It has everyone from Alia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoor, Jahnvi Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor singing its praise. If your hoping to have some filmwallahs for company the next time you head out for a meal, the Bastian Sunday brunch could be your best bet.
5. Kareena Kapoor Khan’s house and gym
Believe it not, Kareena Kapoor Khan’s daily routine is now a paparazzi beat in itself! Most photogs begin their day at her building, Fortune Heights, in Bandra from where they trail her to her gym or yoga session, as she obliges them with photos. This is followed by operation Taimur Ali Khan. The toddler is believed to visit his grandmother at 5 PM daily, with his nurses and driver in tow. It is from here that Taimur swings in the balcony while the world (quite literally) watches on.
6. PVR Cinema, Juhu
Another sure shot hub for the paparazzi to earn their daily bread and butter is the PVR movie theatre in Juhu. From film premieres to actors stepping out to catch a late night flick, to even rare spottings of Aditya Chopra every other weekend; it’s all happening at PVR in suburban Mumbai.
7. International and Domestic Airport
It’s no wonder that actors and their stylists work overtime to get just the right ‘airport look.’ Jet lag and red-eye flights be damned, you are at the mercy of the photographers the minute you step out or into the airport terminal. So sure are the stars of the omnipresent cameras waiting outside that Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli and more recently, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone walked out hand-in-hand, using the photographers on airport duty to make their relationship status official to their fans.