Ignition. Juhi Chawla - femme fatale, filmstar, girl next door - in top
gear about her Range Rover. Joy Chaudhuri gets charmed by the lady with
the infectious laugh.
Range Rover is like a home on wheels."
The focus of cameraman Santosh Sivan was a red Santro. Or rather Shahrukh
and Juhi in the front seat of the car acting out some elaborate plot from
their latest blockbuster. Suddenly the sun decided to pack up, and I got
my ten minutes with the lady with the infectious laugh.
So is Juhi Chawla crazy about cars? Im not a guy, so Im
not crazy about them. But I do like to ride in a nice car - it feels more
So whats her idea of a nice car? My favourite is
a stately little Mercedes. No particular model, I like a little luxury kind
of a car.
Then why do you drive a Range Rover and not a Mercedes? It is more
Its big, its got a lot of space. I carry a number of things
in it; in fact, it looks like Im leaving town every morning with my
bag and baggage. There are a lot of things one needs for shooting, like
my make-up material. Besides, there are books and things, plus a nice box
with drinks. I also carry a little DVD player...so if I happen to be sitting
idle, I can just dish it out. My Range Rover is like a home on wheels.
travel up and down from town a lot. I live in town and my work is in Mumbais
suburbs. The social things I do also seem to be in the suburbs. I end up
spending around two-and-a-half hours in my car each day, so its nice
if its roomy and comfortable
Does she drive her Range Rover? Rarely. Ive driven it and its
amazing how light it is - its so easy to steer. Initially, the size
was overwhelming - you just have to get used to it. Its not a little
one, its big.
I dont drive every day. In Mumbais kind of traffic who
wants to go through the drudgery of driving? Its different on Sundays
- when the roads are clear, I like to get into the drivers seat.
on the pitfalls of Mumbai traffic, Juhi continues: We had a mishap
on Peddar Road once. The traffic was moving very slowly and we were driving
at around 20kph and a taxi rammed right into us. I was shaken and angry
at the drivers carelessness: Is something wrong with you? You
cant be so slow and not see the big little monstrosity in front of
you! Then I saw the damage. Everything on one side of his cab had
gone in - the headlamp, the bonnet, everything. The car was gone but the
only damage to our car was one cracked little light. It was then that I
realised the strength of my little car, that its very sturdy, very
strong - like a truck.
Little car! A Range Rover? Little seems to be her favourite
So is the Range Rover the preferred vehicle of filmstars since I spotted
her co-star Shahrukh Khan too in one as he drove into the gates of Mehboob
Yes, Shahrukh has a dark green one. Amongst the artistes, I dont
think anyone else has a Range Rover.
They have other types of big cars. Sunjay and some others have Toyota Landcruisers
and, I think, Raveena, Akshay and all have Mitsubishi Pajeros.
Who are the and all, I didnt ask? But the and all
that I did see was macho man Salman Khan who breezed, or rather screeched,
into Mehboob Studio behind the wheel of a green Beemer, splattering onlookers
I didnt want to get out of the cosy confines of Juhis make-up
van. But every movie has an ending. So one last question. Any dream cars?
A dream car? When I was younger, we dreamt about Ferraris. They look
so sleek and nice. But now Ive grown out of all that.
I was still reeling from Juhis effervescent charm as I walked back
towards my car. Guess who do I see? Mr Santro Khan himself, engrossed in
conversation with his lovely wife. Do I dare push my luck? Just think about
it, Shahrukh and Juhi talking about their Range Rovers. A double scoop.
But no cigar. Shahrukh will not play ball. Well, never mind, I can always
watch the Santro commercials.