From being crowned Miss World to receiving the Padma Shri to being immortalized in Madame Tussauds, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s life is filled with deserving accolades. But Ashwariya was a famed supermodel much before she bagged the Miss World title. It has been more than two decades and Ash is still going strong, never short of serving aces. She was visiting Dubai for the launch of the latest Longines collection and I got an opportunity to meet and talk to the superstar for exactly six unforgettable minutes.
Amongst many other things that impressed me about her, the very first was her punctuality. Sharp at 4 p.m. when she was expected to arrive, the security head notified the bouncers and the guards on the speakerphone of her arrival. The guards and bouncers were told to take their positions, the Brand Manager brushed up on his speech, final touches were done on the boutique and within moments an extremely elegant Aishwarya Rai Bachchan walked in with an unmatched grace and an unparalleled stride. The shutterbugs went crazy and the crowd that had gathered outside the venue started calling out her name hysterically. Ash connected with everyone with a flying kiss and a gentle namaste.
Later when I sat down to chat, I asked her if she believed in being ‘fashionably late’ as did so many stars these days. I have interviewed so many stars in Dubai and it was rare that anyone ever turned up on time.
“No, I don’t think that being late is considered fashionable anywhere,” she replied. “Believe me, if I am ever late, it is never planned or never intentional. Punctuality is always respected the world over. I have observed that over years. Punctuality has become more and more a challenge as we race with time. Every human, on a day to day basis, is overcommitted or is being consumed by so much happening around him, and then the traffic has now become the reality of the planet that we are living on. We must factor in all these realities to ensure that we are on time everywhere we are expected. I do that at least.”
Considering that the event was about the launch of the latest watch collection, I asked her what time has taught her in all these years.
“Time is extremely precious,” she reflected. “Treasure every second of this blessed life. Enjoy it as it is a gift. Give it to your full potential. As they say, time is a great healer too so as time goes by, also reflect if you are doing your best at that given moment.”