Suniel Shetty's company that's hosting Akon's 3-day trip to India has been thrown into a tizzy. Disregarding the tight minute-by-minute schedule Akon wants to meet his pal Shah Rukh Khan.
Not only that. On the rapper's insistence, the venue for Akon's birthday party on the night of 15th April has been shifted from Mumbai to Pune to avoid a bottleneck of guests from Mumbai and Bollywood who would insist on being at the most happening bash this weekend.
On his first, concert tour in India Akon has made a very special request to his organizers. He wants to taste the special cuisine in every city that he visits, namely Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. The request that has been conveyed belatedly to the organizers has sent them scurrying into every city's menu-card looking for the food that Akon and his entourage can have without getting a spice-attack.
Also, at the last minute, Akon has requested the organizers to give him time to visit Shah Rukh Khan. That one, say Akon's harried hosts, is tougher than arranging the precise city-to-city cuisine, since Akon's schedules from the time he lands at the Mumbai airport on Thursday-Friday 1 am to the time he leaves on Monday, had been worked out into water-tight compartments.
Sujit Jain, MD, Netsurf Entertainment who are hosting Akon, admits Akon has asked for time to meet Shah Rukh Khan. "Of course, Akon will meet Shah Rukh. We've worked the meeting into Akon's schedule after he hands over a cheque on Thursday morning to needy children in Mumbai."
After his meeting with Shah Rukh, Akon will head for Pune for his very private birthday bash and an intimate 45-minute concert attended by no more than 1200 people.
Says Jain, "That again is a massive problem. As soon as it became known in Pune that Akon would be performing we had requests for tickets that ran into unbelievable numbers. But we can only accommodate 1000-1200 people at the Pune concert."
No concert by an international artiste of Akon's stature has ever been held in Pune.
In fact, Akon who has come to India earlier has never done public concerts. At the Gurgaon concert on Saturday, two amateur musicians chosen through a contest on Akon's website Hit Lab will open Akon's concert.
After the small performance in Pune on Friday night followed by his birthday bash which he has asked to be very small and private, Akon goes for the Gurgaon concert where the organizers want to celebrate his birthday on stage during the performance.
There is only one problem. No changes or additions in the Akon's schedule are allowed.
Laughs Jain, "No birthday surprises. Otherwise they'll backfire in our faces. We have planned a birthday celebration on stage in Gurgaon. But we've to run it through his people. Every step in his itinerary is inked and monitored. And the slightest change or addition has to be notified."
On Sunday May 17, Akon performs in Bangalore and then returns to the US on Monday morning. But not before watching his co-host Suniel Shetty's latest release Thank You.
Says a source, "Akon wants to watch at least one film of Suniel. He has heard good things about Suniel in Thank You. Akon's hosts will show him at least portions of the film."
But it's the food that's causing the organizers major heartburn. Since Akon and his wife are major foodies, his request to arrange the special food in each town has Suniel Shetty and his partner Sujit Jain running from pillar to post getting the right items from the menu in place.
Burp re burp.