Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bum Deal....

I wrote this for the Bombay Times....was away when it got published.

What a bummer!!

Something snapped inside my head when I read Kareena Kapoor’s recent quote , “ Saifu is ecstatic I got my butt back,” on the front page of BT. The picture accompanying her interview was apt - a great shot of the actress looking suitably luscious with her new butt sticking out provocatively. Reading through the rest of the text, I found myself frowning furiously and going tut tut. I am not a tut tut kind of person generally. So what was it about Bebo’s butt interview that got me? I think I know. It sounded immature and cheap. Kareena is not some hard up starlet, and she doesn’t need this kind of silly publicity. Right now, she’s on top of her game and her imaging has been expertly handled so far. By going into intimate revelations about her boyfriend’s sexual preferences for certain body parts of hers, I think she eroded that gilt edged positioning. These are such personal matters. She is Saif’s lady love. He adores her, she adores him vaghera,vaghera. Well… good for them. But to reduce their passionate love story to a kahani about her pumped up backside, and how attractive it is to her lover, is really pretty crass. The guy has teenage, school going children, and comes from an educated, cultured family. We know he’s besotted – but this was a real bummer ( pardon the pun – or don’t).
Strange how a single quote can sometimes undo a carefully built up image. We live in exceedingly open times, and most of our stars have reached the stage where they don’t bother to play that idiotic ‘We’re just good friends’ game. Even so, I can’t ever imagine Aishwarya Rai gushing, “ Oh… Abhi adores my bum.” They are married and in an even stronger position to make such comments. Bebo is genuinely naïve and outspoken….paradoxically, her spontaneity is also a part of her charm. But this time she was ill advised, and maybe she regrets the corny interview in retrospect.It would be interesting to find out what the Chhotey Nawab thought of Kareena’s confession. One thing’s for sure – that’s the end of the Size Zero obsession in Bollywood and beyond. It’s official – kareena’s got her butt back. And her boyfriend loves it, okay??


Those of us who’d met Kamala Das during her Mumbai stint and got to read about her passing away in Pune recently, must have shed at least a few tears for her rather unsung exit from the world. She was an extraordinary woman, far ahead of her time – bold, forthright and attractive in her own way. In Mumbai, she had countless admirers of both sexes who flocked to her sprawling apartment near Mantralaya for weekend poetry reading salons, over which Kamala presided like an empress, with fawning acolytes hanging on to her every word.I hope she is doing just that in heavens and captivating the gods.
The same week saw the death of Monica Choudhary, Chitra Singh’s troubled daughter, who was found hanging in her bedroom by her older son. I remember Monica as an exceptionally attractive model with her mother’s exquisitely chiseled features. There was a haunting sense of loneliness about her, and she always remained aloof from the modeling fraternity. My heart goes out to Chitra. There can be no worse fate than losing ones child. And Chitra has lost two of hers – both under tragic circumstances. First, Vivek who was killed in a car crash. And now, Monica. I hope music soothes Chitra’s soul in her hour of grief and she doesn’t turn her back on it permanently. Our prayers are with you…


" Moving out of Poverty - Success from the Bottom Up," is the title of Deepa Narayan's book. It is based on comparitive research across more than 500 communities in 15 countries. Impressive. Narayan was a senior adviser to the World Bank who had initiated the Voices of the Poor project. In Mumbai to promote the book at the American Centre ( along with the Asia Society ) a panel discussion had been organised on the issues raised by the 400 page volume. It was described as a Power Panel of Women. I don't know what I was doing on it in that case! There were just the three of us, Naina Kidwai ( HSBC honcho.... or should that be honchi?), Deepa Narayan and the moderator, Anand Giridhardas ( International Herald Tribune dude). Blame it on jet lag ( I'd arrived, sleep deprived , from Singapore , a couple of hours earlier). But I just couldn't bear the supercilious nature of the discussion. I found it offensive , shallow and self- serving. I guess that must have come through in my comments. Good. I certainly hope it did. There's a blurb on top of the book's cover written by Bill Clinton who calls the project an 'important resource for everyone working to alleviate poverty." I found that precious. I'm sure thousands of dollars have been spent on putting this book together . It will be read and discussed by rich people at posh seminars that deconstruct poor people. There is something wonky about such an enterprise. The same funds could educate several underprivileged kids across the world. But then, who would attend the seminars???


gb said...

i find that u generally discuss individuals in your blog which does not make good reading and also not proper. u should take a leaf from Mr.Amitabh Bachan whose blogs are different. He connects himself seriously with his EFs(extended family) and generally talks about himself and his feelings towards EFs. He writes regularly to remain in touch with his EFs even in his busiest schedule. I am fan of yours and love your writings and wait eagerly for new posts but i find mr.bachan more sincere,thoughtful and attached to his EFs.

Bindu Nayar said...

Kamala mom always spoke about Madhavikutty..thats how she was known to us..Madhavikutty had a special place in our house...converting to islam from a conservative nair family would have been some bold called me from NJ rather upset when she heard the news of Madhavikutty's demise....may her soul rest in peace..

lemme not talk about Kareena...sometimes i ponder...she talks so arbit and she educated enough ? or just been running around saying am size zero..

The abstract scientist said...

Hello mam,
First of all thank you for readingt my blog regularly. I hope you like it.

Empty vessels make noise.Like wise bumless creatures go about talking about their bums. Idiots.

Hope you are having a great week.

Shwetha said...

I LOVE it when you get the bolly-pen of yours and call a spade a spade :) No one does it better, and you completely speak out what millions of us were thinking. Your non-bolly blogs unless they are about a specific restaurant/ store/ book review are kind of (sorry to say, a bit blah) because either you are praising writers you move with or some woman of the hour, which only a few of us can relate to.

Here is to more blog-woods!

le embrouille blogueur said...

Shobha...I have grown up reading your write ups and on this day I posting a comment on your blog (so I hope)..thanks to blogosphere.Could not stop myself from commenting on one of the comments on this post about AB's blog.Comparing his with yours will be an apple and orange duel.He is not writer. In my opinion - he likes the subtle publicity that has slipped into the lives of thousands via his blog.But then that is a different story.Anyways, just wanted to wish you luck on future endeavors.Keep the good stuff coming.You have fans who admire your "keep it real" attitude.

kala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kala said...

There is a world of difference between Ash and Kareena but many like spontaneous Kareena more.
Chitra is not alone losing children. All have their own coping mechanisms and when one cant cope, they join their children. The worst nightmare of a parent is losing (somehow men cope better most of the time) her child. How empty life seems after that terrible loss? But there are brave women who survive and even become stronger mentally.

Jogeshwar said...

The statement made by Kareena, I think this shows it's about lust not love.

P said...

that comment on same 'mulah' could have been used to educate/help the deprived ones makes sense to a point. but i guess unless the rich or the government (not much differentiation there) take notice and fathom the realities of poverty.... (Assuming that's what the book is about) and be motivated to bring about a change... there isn't much hope! so may be...just may be this book will give birth to one lone individual who will make a difference! either way the rich will find a way of entertaining themselves... this way one of them could possibly turn around and bring about a change.

Riaz-NJ said...

Deepa Narayan's "Moving out of Poverty - Success from the Bottom Up" will sure move Deepa from POVERTY!!

Surayya/Kamala Das is INDEED a great loss!!! any Bahutantrika members here ???!!!

Nandini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nandini said...

In my book, neither Kareena nor Ash fit the bill, as ambassadors for any public forum.
I can only appreciate the fact that both have the knack of presenting their personal & professional conduct as challenges only they could have faced,.....why,..everyone else seems to be living a life of perpetual certainty.

It's important that someone burst their bubble, ...sooner the better...they seem to be living on an imaginary cloud all the time.
We have better ambassadors.

What's the audience like for Deepa Narayan's book? I find it extremely hilarious that one writes a book, & then there is a panel discussion within your own social circles. It nevertheless generates a debate, of course, but to what use?

Balvinder Singh said...

If a lady has to announce in public that her husband or her boyfriend likes so and so part of her body then it means that there is something wrong with their relationship.

But then why should we all bother about that ??

sudo.inttelecual said...


Sanam Dhanani said...

I´m so glad you wrote about this! I agree completely.. when i read the article.. my first thought was wtf.. is she for real.. Bollywood stars going over the top..

vanita said...

Surprised u found the picture accompannying the "BUTT" story in your words"a great shot looking suitably luscious".
To me it seemed gross, unflattering,abnormally jutted butted almost like Pan the Goat God with a hint of two goat legs about to appear!!!

The Panorama said...

Nice post. Sad to hear about Kamla Das passing away. The bit about Kareena had me laughing. You sounded like a school teacher teaching two impudent kids manners. Fun to read:)

Another Kiran In NYC said...

I am not sure why whatever Kareena said would upset you. Given the fact that her career is showbiz and that showbiz needs press and publicity to thrive... never mind how "refined" one is supposed to be, I cant fault her for using it to her advantage. There is a certain amount of shamelessness and blurring of lines of personal space and vanity involved when you have to capitalise on your image to make a living. So why not? And who is to say how "refined" some one is in thier daily life? I personally dont think either Saif or Kareena are particularly refined. Its all relative... as is the ideal size of buttocks.... and perhaps her relatives dont really care about refinement or buttocks anyway:)

Kamla Das wrote with a certain unschooled rawness that was very appealing to me. She also added enough color to what the public saw of her private life, to keep us interested. By design or due to artlessness? I do not know. But she kept me entertained and thinking by turns. That is always a good thing in my book.

A pity the "Voices of the poor" panel was selfserving and shallow... your words. However if no one spoke about the subject at hand, there will be no change. Someone, somewhere was speaking of the scourge of poverty in however rarified an atmosphere. Atleast until we have a "slumdog millionaire" version of Deepa Narayan's scholarly book... to make more people speak/think/act on the implications of poverty.

Tripura said...

get your facts right kareena never said that saif adores hr butt. all she said was i am glab i got my butt back and saiff's happy i no longer look like a hanger. being such a senior columnist how could you misread an article where kareena's quotes were very clear. i guess some personal grudge against the actress. anyways we prefer an honest, up front girl like kareena over fake, manipulative and power lusty aishwarya rai.

Sen said...

Your tale of Kareena.s butt got me curiously googling to see what I could see, and this is what I got

Which I found even more hilarious then
the original butt tale.

Farishta said...

A nice read Ms.De.
I loved the part about Kamala Das. May her soul rest in peace.
And about Kareena, I remember reading the quote, and feeling almost the same thing as you. It was indeed quite silly of her.

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