The business of being ‘slumdogs’….
No more money for Rubina. No car for Azhar. Danny Boyle has spoken. This time, it is final. He is not open to further negotiations. And the two slumdog kids can take a walk.
‘Danny Uncle’ has made it clear that his settlement terms are linked to the kids attending school on a regular basis – bunking classes (as Rubina and Azhar have been doing) means giving up the extra dosh. All this is sound, sensible stuff, coming from a person who has been pretty fair and generous. The scarey part is how such young children are being tutored to ask for more… and more. Assuming it is their greedy family members briefing them to make unreasonable demands and extort as much as they can from Danny, what sort of a nasty effect will such a venal attitude have on the bachchas later? Their lives have been touched and transformed in ways that are complex and daunting. For better or worse, they will never ever be able to adjust to their old, shabby existence of drudgery and abject poverty. But that still does not mean Danny owes them anything more than has been offered. A 25 lakhs flat for Rubina is, by any standards, a pretty good deal. But now her family has upped the demand to a 40 lakhs apartment. Tomorrow they could ask for 1 crore. Where does it stop? Azhar insists he wants a ‘small car’ because he is suddenly ‘scared’ to travel by auto rickshaw! This is not about whether Danny can afford to finance these fresh demands. It is about greed and exploitation. Such a pity that the children are being dragged through this unfortunate mess. Well…. the buck stops here, says Boyle. Go back to school, say his trustees. Or risk losing the promised bonanza. My guess is that the families of the kids will try their best to squeeze every extra rupee out of the two golden geese – education be damned. In which case, they’ll end up losing it all – the money, home or the chance to work with Boyle again.
I must pump Arjun Rampal’s hand the next time I meet him. By speaking up about the fiasco at Rohit Bal’s fashion show in Delhi, he has opened a can of worms. About time someone had the guts to point out just how hideously commercial the fashion scenario has become of late. This whole business of getting Bollywood showstoppers initially started as a gimmick. Designers who had a good relationship with star clients, got their buddies to walk the ramp for them, knowing their presence would generate great press. This progressed to the stars plugging their favourite designers and getting them hired for their movies. What followed was minor and major stars asking for big , fat fees to walk. Sensing the potential of such an arrangement, everybody jumped into the fray. The publicity generated was worth the money spent. Stars realized very quickly that by strutting across the catwalk for two minutes, they could pocket a cool 30 lakhs or more AND make it to the front pages of most dailies, plus hog tv prime time, too. Soon fat cat producers bought into the game and started to use this platform for promoting their forthcoming films. Big money was offered to designers\sponsors to hire a star jodi and derive extra mileage for an unreleased film. This cosy arrangement was working well - till Arjun broke the bhanda, after he and Dino were unceremoniously dumped at the last minute, with Katrina and Ranbir hotstepping it, instead. We are also equally sick of seeing Bollywood stars on the covers of fashion magazines , which somehow make them look ridiculous and unattractive by styling them in an exaggerated way that strips them of their personality completely. Editors claim they are helpless – issues featuring movie stars outsell issues featuring professional models, ten to one! Maybe. But frankly, if readers want to see Bollywood stars on the covers of glossies, they can pick up any one of the countless fanzines. It really is time for fashion to reclaim fashion. And do so on its own terms.
Oh dear, Oh dear.... I fear I made myself MOST unpopular with a group of high school and college students who were running a mock United Nations event at Jaihind College. I bet they wished they'd never invited me! Well.... they had.... so there I was at their concluding function at which prizes were to be given and speeches made. Since I'd been told about their newsletter called 'The Ugly Truth', I asked for copies . Big mistake!! Had someone informed me it was not a newsletter per se, but an irreverent, daily scandal sheet meant strictly for the delegates, I would have saved my fire. But the kind of cheap comments and blatantly sexist remarks I read, made me see red.... and blue.... and purple. I let fly.... especially since most of the cracks were aimed at a guy called Bucky. He was mercilessly mocked for being gay or 'swinging both ways'! I flew to the defence of Bucky....gays the world over, and was frothing at the mouth, berating the editors for being homophobic etc. Guess what?? Right after I'd finished my tongue lashing, some 'delegates' came upto me to say it was really okay to crack those jokes, and that Bucky LOVED the attention. Ooooops! One guy explained in all seriousness, " Gays are totally cool with it. It's like Blacks in America calling one another 'nigger'. It's just a joke - no offence."
I want to ask you blogdosts out there if this is really so ????? Did I miss something??????????