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With Christmas and New Year around, festive spirit is in the air and my guest for this week is a charming couple – the Khannas – Tarun and Smriti. The dashing Tarun was recently appreciated as Raavan in Devon ka Dev-Mahadev on Life OK is now slated to play a rustic guy with negative shades in Colors’ new show Rangrasiya; his wife and actress Smriti was the docile daughter in Ghar ki Lakshmi-Betiyaan and the fiery Durga on Zee TV.
It was really nice of Tarun, who is in the midst of hectic shooting schedules, to take time out for me and drive all the way from his sets on Mira Road to Bandra where Dhanraj restaurant owned by Vishesh Shah is located. As we waited for the versatile actors to join us, I headed to taste the scrumptious starters of Seasame Toast and crunchy Chinese Bhel with Kiwi Blush. Both scored high on taste and presentation. Dhanraj serves Indian, Chinese with a dash of Continental like Nachos, Pizza, Jalapeno Poppers and sandwiches.
This is a pure vegetarian joint and I was a bit skeptic knowing Tarun is a true blue Punju but fortunately they both turned out to be vegetarians. It turned to be the most informative evening as I discovered to my pleasant surprise that Tarun is very well-informed, knowledgeable and it was enriching to exchange notes on varied topics ranging from mythology to politics and more.
Another interesting thing I noticed was the little bump which Smriti sported through a sexy black dress…. Yes she is on the family way and the glow on her face added to her already gorgeous self. She admitted to not being much of a foodie and was ok with hubby dear’s food orders. I found her just nibbling on the tasty dishes.
The most appealing thing was when I realised the macho actor is an epicure and well-versed with all Indian and global cuisines. Since we were already running behind time (it was almost 10pm when the actors reached the venue) Tarun decided to go straight with the main course. I completely left it to him to order the dishes and he did come up with a few classic ones like Methi Malai Mutter, Corn Capcisum Masala. The former was creamy and tasty. Tarun wanted something spicy and the captain suggested Veg Angaray that did justice to Tarun’s palate with a glass of Mojitho. Bread basket of Pudina Kulcha, Makai Roti, Ajwaini Paratha and cheese garlic naans made to the table and our conversations veered from one subject to another. He is all geared to essay a rustic Rajasthani outlaw, “I belong to a rural khandhani family who has been ousted by political game plans. I am a law unto myself and spew rustic language.” He even mouthed Rajasthani style dialogues for us…check out the video for that.
It was a revelation when Tarun said that he is the only actor who has played Ram as well as Raavan (in different shows obviously). He is a treasure trove of knowledge on mythology, socio-politics, books on social relevance and what not. And when the consummate actor is offered a role, he delves deep into it researching his way through the topic. He makes no bones about his revulsion for religion, “I believe in God but not in these religious fundamentalists.”
It was a huge thumbs up from all of us and especially coming from gourmet Tarun Khanna, who thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the delicious food and prompt service at Dhanraj, the place is worth visiting.
Time was short and topics to discuss and dissect were galore. Indulging in three-in-one kulfis and with promises of meeting once again over dinner, we bid adieu. I wish Smriti a safe delivery and a bonny baby to the handsome couple!
Rapid Fire Qs with Tarun & Smriti
Foodie? Fave cuisine….. junk food you can’t resist…
Tarun: Absolutely! I love food and all cuisines. Chaats are irresistible.
Smriti: Not a foodie at all. I like Paani Puris among junk foods.
T: I simply can’t resist sweets…I love them all.
S: Nothing in particular.
Your pet peeve…
T: Religious fundamentalists.
S: Fake people.
The pick-up line you used for Smriti…
T: Face thoda sa right kijiye to Sania Mirza lagti ho, thoda sa left kijiye to Monica lagti ho…
The number of times you both call each other in between shoots…
T & S: At least seven to eight times.
A rumour about you…
T: During my modeling days, people used to think that I am gay.
A reality show you would like to take part in…
T: Bigg Boss.
S: Nach Baliye.
Success to you is….
T: Aamir Khan.
S: Deepika Padukone.
An actor you idolise….
T: Dilip Kumar.
S: Amitabh Bachchan.
A die hard habit….
S: Speaking very fast.
A habit/s you wish to kick…
T: Sweet-tooth and road rage.
S: I think too much (brooding).
T: Minimum 2 hours of working out and controlled eating.
S: Nothing right now (she is on the family way).
S: Watching TV.
Your idea of fun…
T: Adventure sports.
S: Partying and dancing.
Your dream destination…..
T: Taj Mahal in Agra (disappointed, coming from a Delhi boy).
One thing few people know about you…
T: I hate all religions…they are just money-making rackets.
S: I write poems.