Because I’m such a big fan of hers, she gave me her phone number and email ID. Actually, ‘such a big fan’ is a bit of an understatement, I’m her biggest-ever fan. The title bestowed upon says so. I won the ‘Kareena Ka Sabse Bada Fan’ contest, after all.

It was a contest organised by a TV channel, my wife entered me in. I’ve followed Kareena Kapoor’s movie career right from her first film, Refugee. I really started liking her after Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, fell in even more love with her after Jab We Met.

It’s been the kind of fixation that die-hard fans often have for celebrities. My laptop screensaver is a collection of her photographs; I’ve nearly a thousand of them. Every time her movie comes out, I make it a point to watch it within the first couple of days. It’s safe to say that I love Kareena.

I love my wife too, more than I love Kareena. A tad more. And she knows it, my wife, that is. Kareena found out when I won the contest. My entry into it was supposed to be a fun thing, neither my wife, nor I, expected me to win. But I did, and won myself a dinner date with her.

That was when she gave me her phone number and email ID. We got along really well. We talked about a whole lot of things. Her life, my life, her Saif, my wife. She told me about the movies she was shooting for, I told her about the stories I published on my blog. She said she’d read my stories every Saturday, I told her I’d watch her movies every Friday. I told her we went to school together when I lived in Mumbai. We were in the same class, and we fought a lot. I told her a couple of incidents from our school life that I remembered; we had a hearty laugh over them.

The dinner was great; both of us had a really good time. I know I did, I know she did as well because it was Kareena who brought up the idea of exchanging numbers to keep in touch. So we kept in touch. My wife and I met her couple of times more when we were in Mumbai. We couldn’t talk much on the phone because of her busy schedules, but we exchanged texts and emails often. She read a few of my stories too. I, of course, watched all of her movies that came out.

And then, earlier today, she called me up. It was quite a shocker, seeing her name flash on my phone screen. She said she wanted to meet, she was in Ahmadabad. She asked me if I had the time. Did I have the time to meet Kareena Kapoor? Rhetoric, isn’t it?

I had told her a couple of times that I loved her Chammak Challo look. I mean, who didn’t, right? Even people who weren’t her fans would find her hot in that red saree. People like me, who were hardcore fans, were expected to go gaga over her in that song. And we did. But what I didn’t expect was her to be dressed up in that very saree, nose ring, bangles, et al, when I caught up with her in her hotel suite.

Mouth open, metaphorically speaking, I walked in and took up a position on the couch. Kareena stood by the window, the curtains were drawn, and as I looked up at her, my mouth refused to close, metaphorically speaking, again. My eyes were boring a hole into her belly button when she told me she was going to break up with Saif. Metaphorically speaking, my mouth was open, but that drew open my eyes in real.

When I asked her why, she didn’t say anything. She walked over to the couch and sat down beside me. Now, this made me extremely uncomfortable. It’s not because she’s pretty as hell — I can handle pretty women, my wife’s extremely gorgeous — but because this was getting awkward. No man can sit comfortably with Kareena Kapoor sitting beside him, let alone with her dressed in the Chammak Challo ensemble.

I asked her why she was going to break up with Saif, again. Things were going well with him, I knew. She’d found someone else, she said. I was afraid to ask who. But, of course, I had to. Was he another actor? Someone else she had worked with? Did she meet someone in Venice where she’d been shooting recently? I had questions galore; she didn’t have many answers though.

Finally, after a lot of prodding and probing, she told me who she had fallen for. That would be me. Shocked, aren’t you? I know! Imagine the kind of shock I would have felt upon hearing Kareena tell me that she’d fallen for me. I would have been flabbergasted, flummoxed, and probably even traumatised. But, I wasn’t. I took it in my stride. For a moment, I expected it to be some kind of a prank. Maybe, an MTV Bakra kind of thing, or some such movie promotion stunt. But I didn’t think Kareena would do something like that to me. And even if she did, she didn’t need to be dressed up as Chammak Challo to do that.

This was real; Kareena Kapoor had fallen in love with me. Before I could comprehend the implications and complications of this situation, she asked me if I’d leave my wife to be with her. To her, that was probably a no-brainer. Here I was, her biggest fan, or so said a TV contest, an ardent watcher of her movies, and for the past few months, also a good friend. How could I say no to her? To her mind, I surely wouldn’t.

But, I did. It didn’t even take me a minute to ruminate the proposal thrown at me. An outright ‘no’ came out. I love Kareena, but I’m not in love with her. My wife is the woman I want to live my life with. Kareena and I could be just good friends, nothing else. I told her all of this, she listened to me, but she didn’t seem to be taking it well. It wasn’t what she’d expected. She probably expected me to jump up in glee, take her in my arms and kiss her. But that didn’t happen.

I got up from the couch when I saw the look of utter shock on her face. It was she who now had her mouth open, not speaking metaphorically. Kareena’s face was turning red, it wasn’t from the anger, it was from embarrassment. She placed her head in her hands; she looked like she might cry. But thankfully, before her tears came out, my eyes popped open and I sat up on my bed.