Rendezvous with Simi Garewal has been an important part of your life if you grew up a movie buff in India. Simi Garewal, sitting in a corner, clad in white, oozing elegance and asking all the right questions – it was a major mood.
She had people from different walks of life – from politicians like Jayalalithaa and Maneka Gandhi to Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and even Kiran Bedi.
The celebs would often get comfortable enough to discuss the worst moments of their lives, spill their secrets and do all that, in the safe space that Simi created for them. Damn, that woman is good.
There were no inhibitions on the show. Remember when Rekha shared the way she fell in love with Amitabh Bachchan and how she decided she did not want to have children.
And Saif and Amrita spilled their love story on national television, even the spicy details, because that was the magic of Simi.
It had a lot to do with the fact that she did not judge the celebrities for the lives they lived, being one herself. And she wasn’t here for the gossip, looking at you Karan Johar. She just wanted a conversation where everyone felt respected and heard, and went beyond who they are sleeping with, dating and fighting with at the moment.
Even in the awkward silences, these celebrities shared their personal lives, knowing that Simi didn’t come from a place of bitterness, instead she would always be empathetic.
Even Rajmata of Jaipur, Gayatri Devi spoke about being to Tihar jail on Rendezvous with Simi Garewal.
The way Simi threaded questions together made all the difference, especially since she knew her guests personally, which helped conversations flow a certain way. She was already privy to information and managed to get it out of them on national television. Now, that’s an art. Proving you didn’t have to sensationalise things to open a window into the private lives of the famous.
People were given a chance to explain themselves and talk about their darkest moments, and many broke down crying on the show, connecting to Simi and feeling comfortable enough to share this side with her.
Unlike today, where everything is done for TRPs and celebs are treated like public property, constantly poked and probed for gossip, from being asked about their sex life to crassly questioned about their relationships. Rendezvous with Simi Garewal was the last good talk show we had the chance of experiencing, and the industry would be a better place if we had it now.