With Baaghi 3 out in theatres, tabloids are abuzz with stories on how Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor had a crush on each other in school and how the two best friends of bollywood have given everyone some serious BFF goals. But, is it too good to be true? Is there more than meets the eye?
I’m the last person you should be asking that to,” Tiger Shroff responds rather tamely to my question on how to understand the nuances of being friends with women. What prompted me to ask this was how Shraddha Kapoor, in my exclusive chat with her the day before, had described Tiger as a master of the art — perhaps, of simply being himself around women. “When we were shooting for Dus Bahaane, he kept asking if I wanted to rest because I was dancing in heels,” she’d said when I asked about their chemistry off the screen. What had also led to this was my assignment of finding out how modern bollywood friendships work. The Baaghi 3 co-stars grew up attending common birthday parties together, went to school together and nursed crushes on each other but never confessed — my editorial team was pretty convinced the missing pieces to this story would give us BFF goals.
I’d gone through seven pages of Google results all of which were trying hard to drive home the same narrative I was asked to find missing parts to — what makes Bollywood’s latest BFFs tick? It piqued my curiosity because it all seemed too good to be true. As I spoke with the two though, the Sharmaji Ka Ladka standards set by Tiger & Shraddha’s friendship unfolded in a rather familiar tale of celebrity friendships, with little parallels to our everyday ones.
Sure, they have known each other across two decades now but the lack of ‘something’ kind of dampens the larger than life facade there is to their friendship. Don’t get me wrong; their stories have a fair share of resemblance to how one would remember interacting with the school/college senior they had a crush on. “We’d, like, say hi to each other. We didn’t hang out with each other but there were brief interactions in the corridor,” Shraddha recalls an all-too-familiar past.
When Tiger and Shraddha met again for the first time since school, it was on the sets of Baaghi 1, and they just hit it off — I mean just like that. And literally, that’s it — they have amazing things to say about each other’s work ethic, of how they make each other feel comfortable, but they don’t share feedback on each others’ work or embarrassing secrets unlike how my friends would know about the time I took a leak at Marine Drive right into the ocean or how much I dislike the way they’ve written their resume for a work application.
Compared to Tiger’s one-word “No” when I ask him about giving constructive criticism to Shraddha and a “Some, I’m sure” to if they share any secrets with each other, Shraddha’s replies are a bit more candid. “I share a lot of things with him, he knows a lot about me,” she speaks of him as a confidante and with admiration, adding, “he doesn’t need any feedback from me.”