Thursday, October 30, 2008

Apres Diwali

So much wonderful stuff happened over the all too short Diwali break, starting with the launch of my cd and music video.It was brief and very sweet, with a gracious speech by the chief guest Nita Ambani, dressed in flattering lilac. I felt like a rockstar (naaaah! just kidding! Swear! ), and found it hard to contain my excitement. To my absolute delight, young Neal Adhikari, the composer, performed live and totally unplugged, with his Guruji, Shri Shantanu Bandopadhya, representing the Bishnupur Gharana. It was a charming interlude, made even sweeter when Neal shyly confessed he had composed the song especially for me! "Without her, there is no sunshine in Indian Literature," he told the press. And my heart soared. Pardon me for dwelling on this, but I don't launch music videos every day
! It was a very special moment ... and where else but in this special space can I indulge myself??
Right after that, I jumped into a speed boat from the Gateway of India, and zipped across the dark waters to our other home in Alibag, feeling like a James Bond vamp.It is the best way to travel the 14 nautical miles, with salt spray on the lips and wild hair whipping the face.
Once home, we shifted gear and opened vintage bubbly. The children were looking wonderful. My son Aditya was off to play poker with his buddies, but I had the girls captive ! We went to our small screening room to watch the song sequences from our favourite Bollywood films, staring with "Bobby." Dinner was disgustingly late ( 1.30 a.m.), but we were satiated by then. All that foie gras.... and rocquefort.... come on... puran polis had to wait. By the time we got to Madhuri and 'Maar Dala', I was ready to perform a mujra by the pool myself!!
The next day was far more sober and solemn, with utney and sugandhi tel ritual baths, Diwali faraal and a vegetarian al fresco lunch ubder the palm trees. But wait.... this was the puran poli discovery of all times. I crumbled mine into chilled, spicey kokum (aam sole) coconut curry and believe me, it was bliss. Try it. The puran of the poli effortlessly merged into the pale purple coconut curry, with hints of crushed garlic, and garnished with chopped coriander for additional flavour! Ooooof. Kya baat hai. The mahurat for Lakshmi puja only began at 8pm (enough time to squeeze in a late afternoon snooze). By puja time, we were dressed in our traditional finery - the girls were toasted a warm honey brown after cavorting in the jacuzzi. But they looked just fabulous when they climbed out of their bikinis and into colourful ghagras for the aarti.
Aaaaah. If only Diwali came around more frequently. No..... that would prove fatal for our waistlines. Oh... it was the first Diwali for the two handsome boys on the farm - Schumi and Kaiser, my husband's pet Weimaranas. I am happy to report, they coped just fine!!


•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

he was so right are the sunshine of indian literature.

glad to see u had a great time...
u forgot to mention how many kilos u gained.. ;D

Anonymous said...

Hi shobhaa,I hope you were wearing the tilak or the bindi on your face. Hindu customs tradtion,On the Auspicious day of diwali.And during the pooja time and for the aarti.

Warm regards,

Anonymous said...

Sweets !!! Sweets !!! Sweets !!!
Still too many inside the fridge. I am leaving to have one more...

K said...

I must say, I was hugely disappointed watching your interview with Karan Thapar online. Lets start from where you ended and take the discussion from there.

The quintessential answer "I am an Indian first and last" would have surely won my heart had you not appeared so torn between regional politics and national sentiments throughout the preceding Q/A.

Shobhaa, I agreed with your condoning of Raj’s means to achieve the end. But I was not fully convinced either when you argued your support for "that end" in the name of better job/economic prospects for the who?..the Mumbaikars - the term which you yourself denied to be recognized with in the end.

The contradictions were super apparent. First, the disadvantaged "Mumbaikars" versus the privileged "Indian" you. If you truly believed in being an Indian first and last, then what is this fight and solidarity for the Mumbaikars that you appeared to present throughout the session? Going by that argument, all in the city were Indians and all should be allowed to one, speak/write/communicate in the language of their choice and two, fight it out equally in the job market.

Second, you repeatedly had your facts wrong. Calcutta certainly does not speak/write Bengali alone. You need to live in Bengal to breathe the richness of its multiple cultures – Gujaratis, Marwaris, Sindhis, Punjabis et. al. All speaking their own language, all speaking Hindi when communicating with people from other communities and none being forced to learn or speak Bengali.

Third, it would have been nicer if you had considered Bombay (I prefer to call it that) as a world city and not just a State capital. I think this is where all hell breaks lose. Being a world city, Bombay has always been a magnet and drawn people from different spheres for the promise of better urban living. Being a world city it has always enjoyed a sense of freedom and choice that some other cities may not have had. And being a world city it has always established multiple connections both internally and with other global cities.

How can there be then this insecure fight for the right of the Mumbaikars in a city which is worldlier than any other Indian metro? I would argue, that Bombay is and has always been the city which has embraced the individual and allowed him/her to grow and develop without force/coercion. It is super tragic when you mistake the essence of a global city and try and superimpose on it regional/provincial ideas of rights and wrongs.

Let the city breathe. Finally, your interview certainly did not paint the image of the city as one where the aspirational India (your mantra) could dwell.

Pardon me that this comment comes at a time when you are all super celebratory.

Asha said...

Hi Shobhaa,

Good to see your blog, which I found by accident. I love reading your columns, so I am sure your blog will be a good read. Will find time and go through it.

Congratulations for your music video.


Hello shobhaa,
well i m very happy to read ur blog, actually before that, i hav to wait for alternate sunday for ur Articles on Time of India, but now i m lucky to hav ur blog....

I m also writing my blog and some of the articles n always tried to write like, Insha-Allah will write one day.
bye n take care ofurself
with lots of luv,
Farhan khan

*Aham* said...

Chak De...

Mujra on the pool... (im trying to imagine)hahaha...

I am telling you De, patent this idea...
sachiii... koi bollywood director will chori it otherwise...


*Aham* said...

acha, now about K thappar... this time thoda different views I have... Bombay is no calcutta or Madras or delhi... if its truly cosmopolitan, its bombay. Theres absolutely no scope for any analogy.

So forcing marathi down the throats of Bombayites, i consider, is incorrect.

Yes this doesnt give mayaless wati and others from other parts of the country to mouth slogans that indicate that they are going to capture mumbai...

we need to take a sane legal route to prohibit any local uprising of antagonistic nature.

Btw, De, you look Ekdam Rapchik in the modern sexy banjaaran look in BT and the Karan Thapar show... same dress... guess you shot back-to-back... ???

Double Seven said...

Dear K-
Right on man! Such an in-depth critique man that actually makes a lot of sense to me.

I think De was just being diplomatic when she said that she is an Indian first and last.
Actually what I think is that she is more of a Bombayite than even a Mumbaikar first and last!
Her attempt of being impartial to any particular category of people was unsuccessful; other Bombayites could smell something cooking that time. lol.

Calcutta does have a lot of diversity I agree with you 'K'- but a person who's now living in the biggest melting pot of that in the whole wide world would hardly consider anything else beneath Bombay as being as diverse no?
No city in the world could actually beat Bombay in terms of people from different religion, ethnicity, language barriers, (not nationalities- NY beats us in that by a fairly wide margin) living together in peace (Err..?) and harmony (again err..?) . :)



TT said...

hey...u need to put some family make it more interesting...would love to see who the gals look like....their pretty mom or dad.

Double Seven said...

That is SUCH a perverted thought!


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