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Actor RAHUL KHANNA charms ANUSHKA SHARMA into pulling off a Bollywood-style jewel heist — a little birdie told us everything
@AnushkaSharma01: Have you arrived? I got a message that you needed to speak to me.
@R_Khanna: Just checked in! Took what felt like an hour to get to my room. These corridors are literally miles long.
@AnushkaSharma01: Ha! The downside of staying at a palace. But it’s so beautiful! I’m in the Maharani Suite. You?
@R_Khanna: Across the crystal fountain from you, in the Maharaja Suite.
@AnushkaSharma01: We have to be downstairs in an hour. All set?
@R_Khanna: Just waiting for the valet to steam my tux.
@AnushkaSharma01: You know, I only agreed to perform because they told me you were hosting the event.
@R_Khanna: Right! It’s the biggest jewellery show in India in years. I suspect it was the baubles, not my presence, that convinced you.
@AnushkaSharma01: Yes, those too. Saw some of the pieces. DROOL! Anyway, what have you been working on?
@R_Khanna: I’ve been busy with my side business.
@AnushkaSharma01: Side business?
@R_Khanna: We shouldn’t be discussing this on a public timeline. DM?
RK: So, it’s sort of like… fund-raising. I acquire valuable items and convert them into resources for some of my favourite charities.
AS: Amazing! Why have I never heard of this fund-raising business of yours?
RK: I try to keep it low-key. My donors are not necessarily aware that they’re contributing.
AS: Meaning? You make it sound like you’re some sort of thief!
RK: Such an ugly word. I prefer ‘re-distributor of wealth’.
AS: You’re serious? What kind of things do you ‘acquire’?
RK: Art, antiques… jewels.
AS: OMG! You’re working today!
RK: That’s what I wanted to speak to you about. I need your help. You’re going to be wearing a necklace from the maharaja’s collection…
AS: Yes. I haven’t seen it yet, though.
RK: Well, perhaps you don’t know this, but set in the necklace is the Jahan-e-Noor diamond.
AS: What is that?
RK: Have you heard of the Koh-i-Noor? When they were cutting the Jahan-e-Noor, they made the Koh-i-Noor out of one of the pieces they chipped off.
AS: You’ve got to be kidding! How big is this thing?
RK: It’s 553 brilliant, flawless carats.
RK: It belonged to the current maharaja’s ancestors. Shah Jahan had tried to procure it for Mumtaz Mahal but failed.
RK: Eventually he had to settle for the Koh-i-Noor. Rumour has it that the Taj Mahal was more about assuaging that shame.
RK: The necklace hasn’t been seen in public since 1865. It’s virtually impossible to find any documentation of it.
RK: I asked to come see it last week so I could properly describe it in my script for the show.
RK: So this is where you come in.
AS: *All ears*
RK: I secretly took some pictures and had @FarahKhanAli make an identical replica for me.
RK: You’ll have the replica hidden in your underclothes. There’s a confetti explosion and a blackout at the end of your act, right?
RK: That’s when you’ll do the switch. After the show, we keep the original, and the replica goes into the vault.
RK: Up for it? It’s for a great cause.
AS: Sure! But there’s a slight problem.
AS: ... I’m not going to be wearing any underclothes.
RK: Miss Sharma, I had no idea you were that kind of girl.
AS: Stop that! It’s just that nothing
ruins a beautiful outfit like VPL.
ruins a beautiful outfit like VPL.
RK: Your lack of a girdle could pose something of a hurdle.
AS: I have another suggestion. Just before the end of my number, I pull you on stage to dance with me.
AS: You can make the switcheroo yourself during the blackout.
RK: Me? Dance?
AS: Leave that to me. I can make anyone dance! I’ll have them play ‘Rang-Rang’ from your film Bollywood/Hollywood. I love that song!
RK: Sigh. All right.
AS: But what’s in it for me?
RK: I could cut you in for a share.
AS: And the necklace?
RK: I have a buyer lined up in Brazil. The money’s already in escrow.
AS: And all the proceeds have to go to charity?
RK: We can retain a service fee…
AS: Now you’re talking! I’ve been trying to raise some seed money for a Madhumati remake I want to produce.
AS: I’ve wanted to talk to you about coming on board. Would you be interested in Dilip Saab’s role?
RK: Hell, yeah! I love Ghatak!
AS: Can’t wait to tell you about it. So, what are you going to do with your share of the $$?
RK: I have my eye on a newly-restored 1972 Triumph Spitfire MkIV.
AS: Very nice! When do you leave for Brazil?
RK: Right after the show. I have a chartered Twin Beech waiting. I think it’s important to do things in style, don’t you?
AS: Feeling left out… Can I come, too?
RK: I had a feeling you might ask. There’s an empty seat next to mine for you all the way to São Paulo.
AS: Very smooth! But why on earth are we discussing this on Twitter when we’re across the hall from each other?
RK: Good point.
AS: I'm walking over right now.
AS: Was that the pop of champagne I just heard?