Trains and Bollywood go hand-in-hand. But Pakistani pop star and actor Ali Zafar had adifferent kind of experience on what is often called Mumbai’s lifeline.
The story goes like this: Ali, along with his London Paris New York co-star Aditi Rao Hydari, was performing at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival on Friday. And immediately after his live act, he was supposed to reach an award function. But Ali was running a bit late. So after his performance, instead of getting into his car, he surprised everyone by suggesting that he would travel by local train.
“He knew that reaching Andheri would be very difficult by car. So, he boarded a train from Churchgate station,” says a team member.
And to make sure his train journey went off smoothly, Ali also arranged for a monkey cap and shawl to hide his face. “He knew that if someone recognised him, it would lead to problems, since he was traveling sans security. And thanks to the train trip, he reached in time,” says the insider.Interestingly, Aditi too travelled in the same train. “While Ali was in the first class compartment, Aditi got into the ladies’ compartment with a team member. She also requested for a shawl to cover up,” says the insider.
When contacted, Ali says: “I don’t know why, but I just instinctively decided to travel in the local train and experience this side of Mumbai. Since my friends had warned of huge crowds during rush hour, I was forced to hide my face.
But it was fun travelling by train. It felt real and helped me connect with the city’s energy. I would love to do it again.”Ali and Aditi are paired opposite each other in the film, which is directorial debut.