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Belonging to Starwood chain, Hotel Westin Mumbai Garden City in Goregoan happens to be my favorite haunt and this time it was to judge the fashion show and dance competition put up by the hotel’s diligent, hospitable and ever-smiling staff to celebrate their third anniversary day, a vision of AGM Anuraag Bhatnagar who always encourages and supports his staff. The Westin ballroom thronged with ecstatic associates who waited eagerly for the launch of RAW – Recharge at Work Next Gen HR. Graced by Dilip Puri, MD India and Regional VP South Asia of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the evening saw some energetic performances put up by the staff. I had with me the attractive television actor and Bharat Natyam dancer Aditi Sajwan as a co-judge who enjoyed watching the amateurs perform with conviction and also gracefully presented the awards to the winners.
After extending more than two hours of our presence to the celebrations, we were graciously invited to dine at their coffee shop called Seasonal Tastes as the place offers a sumptuous and elaborate spread of culinary delicacies in an eye-catching display, live counters and a feel-good ambiance. Aditi was thrilled by the view, of the serpentine traffic lights on the highway below, the restaurant perched on the 18th floor offered.
The actor who portrayed the loving Yashoda maiyya in the mythological serial Sri Krishna on Colors channel is a food lover and basically likes eating out. Presently seen as Natkhat Pari on Baal Veer on SAB TV and Piya Ka Ghar…on Sahara One, the beauty from Ghadwal (Dehradun) looked pretty in jeans and a bright red top, a deviation from her sari clad, demure roles on the screen. Demure she still is as she avers, “My mom has taught me to behave in a lady-like manner always. But on TV soaps the bahus are expected to be demure, submissive and treated as doormats.” She credits this trend to the TRP ratings as viewers who are mostly from non-metros identify with these characters. ‘I am grateful to have to got the role of Yashoda – a character which any actor would consider a blessing,” feels the pretty young woman.
As I took her around the elaborate buffet spread running over the length of the all-day dining at Westin and after I explained international food trends to her like Mexican nachos, tacos, sushi, thai curry, pita with humus and more, we finally settled for Indian cuisine. Starters - dhokla, patra, kachori and tandoori corn with chutneys and fresh lime juice set our conversation rolling. The superstitious babe refrains from revealing much about her love life which has seen ups and downs.
Aditi has acting in her blood for her father too is an actor. If you recollect watching her as the uppity and snooty bahu in Hamari Saas Leela, rest assured, in reality this friendly actor is far from the snob she portrayed. I have normally interacted with actors who don’t have time to watch their own shows on TV but Aditi was honest and candid to admit she watches most of them. She is called an ‘Encyclopedia’ of TV actors, “as I know who acted as what in which soap,” she admits. “And yes,” revealing her desire to participate in reality shows she says, “I love adventure sports, so Khatron Ke Khiladi is on my wish list also because I admire Akshay Kumar. Besides Jhalak Dhikhhla Jaa, I wouldn’t mind Bigg Boss of which I am an avid viewer.”
She is also into hosting corporate events which her sister follows as a profession. Aditi talks proudly of her brother who wants to be a football champ. The natkhat pari loves garlic bread and also tried the various cheeses and fresh veggies from the salad counter. Subz Biryani, Dal Makhani, Methi Paneer and Vilayati Subzi find their way into our plates while the actor simultaneously manages to pose for the camera.
The dessert counter with its innumerable sugary offerings - Mohantal, Rajbhog, Malai Laddoo, Praline cake, Mousse, Pudding, Kheer and ice creams temptingly took us on a sweet finale to this conversation with the sweeter Aditi.