Bollywood's rising stars Sonam Kapoor and Imran Khan Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News

Shirt? Pressed and inoffensive. Smile? Dazzling (ish) Hair? Like a J-pop Z-lister on his worst ever day. In other words, just the look I was going for.

Everything was in place for my big date. After all, it's not every day you score lunch with an up and coming Bollywood starlet.

I'll confess, my cursory Bollywood knowledge had my colleagues cursing me as I probed them for pre-date tidbits about the fragrant Sonam Kapoor.

I knew nothing about her other than she had starred in Delhi-6 and had a very famous father. So wanting to come ready to impress, I fell back on my old friend Wikipedia.


As I made small talk about her upbringing and education and complimented her on her disarmingly striking looks and her fabulous Vivienne Westwood dress I tried to steer the conversation towards her time in east London (the entry said she was a famous alumni of East London University).

Great move, especially as she gleefully informed me "wikipedia is wrong" and she has in fact not studied there. Whoops. Next question please.

As the waiters milled around, I quickly moved the conversation on to shopping, something close to both of our hearts.

It was at that moment that we started to click, and when the positively Amazonian Kapoor (well 5ft 9 is tall to me, and by the way she says she gets her height and piercing eyes from an Afghan ancestry) told me her beaus didn't need to be taller than her because "there's something rock ‘n' roll about having shorter boyfriends" as we literally looked eye to eye when she was wearing flat shoes my hopes were raised further.

Swapping tips on the best places to buy vintage clothes and bags in London and Edinburgh, I could sense this was a real passion. Perhaps this was my way into her heart.

She wasn't an untouchable goddess, she was just a woman (even if she is very beautiful). And not just that. She's an old-fashioned romantic. She's a candles and flowers kind of girl who loves to get to know someone before embarking on romantic voyages. She's the kind of girl who loves Hepburn movies (she listed Breakfast at Tiffany's as one of her favourites) and enigmatic leading men.

And despite being thrown into the deep end with me, Sonam was the antithesis of cold and stiff, coming across as warm and engaging.

See how the date with Imran Khan panned out

She is quite clearly very beautiful, but it is mixed with wit, sophistication and more than a spoonful of intelligence. Not only that but Kapoor possesses a willingness to discuss any subject as well as a great deal of patience to humour my limp attempts at charm.

Laughing when I told her I'd seen Kites (she must have read my review in tabloid! recently), discussing her weight problem during her teen years and not recoiling in horror when I asked for her opinion of my shoes.

However she did seem all too willing to slap me in the face when asked to for the cameras.

The conversation moved on again to dream dates and disasters. Both of her stories were better than mine. Her best date saw someone flying from Mumbai to Delhi just to take her to dinner and fly back again, to be followed up with a vintage gift from Chanel, while the disaster involved seafood, allergies and a serious case of puffy face.

But as well as I thought things were going, disaster was just around the corner.

Kapoor isn't dating at the moment because of her busy work schedule. She doesn't believe in long distance relationships so romance isn't on the cards at this time. Any rumours to the contrary are just that.

Reeling from the shock realisation that a middle-aged journalist in Dubai might not be her dream man, I asked her whether she is usually the dumper or the dumpee?

A dumb move, as Kapoor decided to impart her wisdom on me one more time.

"Always start by saying something nice, be positive," she said, before following up with "you look a bit like Keanu Reeves, which is a good thing."

My mind was racing. What's coming next I thought.

"But I can't be with you. It's not going to work. It's not you, it's me"

My worst fears came true. Not only was I dumped by this Bollywood beauty, I was given the elbow using the most time-tested line in history.

It's safe to say I didn't lean in for the kiss at the end. But I am planning my move to Mumbai…

Date highlights:

  • High point of the date: Being told I look like Keanu Reeves, "which is a good thing", according to Sonam.
  • Low point of the date: About 20 seconds later with the "it's not me it's you line" as she let me down gently.
  • Moment of most hope: Bonding over the best places to shop for vintage clothes in London and Edinburgh.

Sonam Kapoor speaks:

  • Kapoor's top turn-ons: Intelligence, drive and ambition and being well-read.
  • Kapoor's top turn-offs: Poor hygiene, a me-myself-and-I type of guy and bad shoes.
  • Kapoor's dream date: A cross between Johnny Depp and Leonardo Di Caprio.