Remember the contoversial musical that was called 'Oh Calcutta" and featured frontal nudity for the first time at the hallowed Westend ? Well.... each time I visit my sasural I'm reminded of that electrifying theatre experience, which was considered soooo avant garde and shocking when it debuted a few decades ago. Today, nobody blinks at a show of ANYTHING! But Kolkata itself remains strangely caught in a coy and languid time warp, which could be termed charming were it not as frustrating.
I plan to see lots of movies this week, including Rituparno's 'The Last Lear.' I told Ritu when I met him on the set of his talk show 'Ghosh & Company' last week that the posters of 'Lear..'were up and I thought he had cast Muzzaffir Ali in the title role.Ritu giggled naughtily and said, "Oh my God! So...you saw the resemblance!" Apparently, Ritu had sent a reference pic of Muzzaffir Ali to Amitabh Bachchan , for the Big B to get an idea of the character, especially the long hair Ritu wanted for the role. Mr. B had the wig styled exactly as per the photograph of Muzzaffir - and voila! the character of the Shakespearean thespian was born.
I also want to see 'A Wednesday', since it features two of our most competent character actors, Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. Next on the list is 'Mamma Mia' for the second time. The first was far too lonely an experience in distant Stuttgart, minus my beloved bachchas. This time I plan to take the lot along. It also happens to be Aditya's birthday eve, and how better to usher it in than with a delightful, heart warming, entirely enchanting, exceedingly sentimental movie like this one?? I remember watching the musical on Broadway with my sister Mandakini who lives in New York. Both of us were crying, laughing, hugging and singing along... bonding wonderfully and feeling so connected. Perhaps for the last time...I really miss her and those rare moments we shared. The terrific meals we savoured. My first taste of a Cosmo was thanks to her, and that was much, much before it became the 'It' cocktail for worldly women. This was in the lobby bar of the Plaza on Fifth Avenue,before Donald Trump acquired the historic hotel and it still retained its slightly tattered old world glory. What a great time we'd had that night recalling forgotten family jokes with fondness and nostalgia. I was pretty tipsy as we jumped into a cab, three Cosmos later. She tucked me into a comfy bed in her apartment... and made fragrant tea (Darjeeling) for me the next morning. We chatted as only sisters do... or can. What a distant memory.... but still so poignant, precious and sweet. May Ganpati bless Mandakini. That is my fervent and sincers wish.