Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fully bogus...

True, there is no 'printed invitation' for the Puri book launch. The invitation came to me via Mita Kapoor, a good friend from Jaipur, who said she is Nandita's literary agent and wanted me to attend the function. The venue mentioned was the Grand Maratha. That's a mere detail.
Frankly, this whole 'public spat' in print between Om and Nandita is beginning to read like the other, equally sensationalistic stunt staged by Malaika Arora and her husband Arbaz, which talked about their 'separation'. That had turned out to be a poorly scripted p.r. strategy to promote a product they were endorsing as a couple. The idea was for Arbaz to 'propose' to his wife on stage and remarry her. Well, it backfired on both. And Malaika's assignments swiftly dried up.
Loss of credibility comes with a huge price tag.
I have all the respect in the world for Om. I remember being on a London-Mumbai flight with him a few years ago, and was most impressed by his modesty and genuine passion for his craft. It would be a great pity if he has indeed gone along with this strategy to promote his wife's book. Om's admirers will not think less of him for those early sexapades, whether with maids or co-stars. But they will feel letdown if his 'rage and shock' at the contents of the book turn out to be marketing gimmicks and nothing more.
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I am really sick and tired of 'explaining' my position vis- a -vis Raj Thackeray. Let me state it flatly and for the last time right here : I am NOT his supporter. I do NOT endorse his methods. And I WILL condemn his party's thinking and actions whenever required. What took place in the Maharashtra assembly was a well thought out plan that made headlines for both - Abu Azmi and Raj. Both must be laughing all the way to the bank at having manipulated the media so smoothly. I said so on 'Times Now' the same night . But... and this is an important 'but' - equally,I will NOT be bullied and pushed into condemning Raj (or anybody else) at each and every stage, and for each and everything , just to 'satisfy' various pressure groups who have their own twisted agendas. As a consistently independent, liberal voice, I will continue to speak my mind, regardless of reactions from various interested parties determined to give a perverse interpretation to every utterance and column. From the word go, my position has been very clear - whether it involves Mayawati, Raj or Narendra Modi. These are the players - they are here to stay. This is what they stand for. This is who they are. These are their words. And these, their actions. Deal with it. I see it as my job to document change as it happens. And write about people who drive that change. Period.Unless we acknowledge what is happening around us in a democracy, how can we address issues related to such phenomena?? Even to deal effectively with ones worst enemy, it is important to understand his\her psyche first. To blank such a person out, is to run away from reality. Plus, it serves no purpose. Today, it is Raj. Tomorrow, it could be someone else. Another bete noire. Another monster. What will we do with such a person? Wish him\her away ? Or ask ourselves why such a person has come up in the first place? What is it about our politics that gives birth and legitimacy to individuals who challenge all that civil society stands for? We must speak up. Silence is not the solution.

30 comments:

Vishal Pore said...

I am sure if all the wives from bollywood, write their respective 'husbands' biography, it would be pandemonium for sure :)

gaelikaa said...

As a publicity stunt, it is too cheap. If that is what it is. In very poor taste.

As for politicians, it is better not to react too soon. The media has been manipulated enough, I think.

Anup Talwalkar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cmpershad said...

"I see it as my job to document change as it happens."

Rightly said. A chroniclers duty is to record the things and it is for the posterity to judge the happenings.

mahatru said...

Can't imagine that a veteran actor like Om Puri can go to this extent :(

Its not his age to get involved in such scandals moreover when there is a live example of Malliaka n Arbaz..

Regarding political issues that is not my cup of tea....

Regards
entertainment events in New Delhi
entertainment events in Pune
entertainment events in Hyderabad

Chandni.. said...

I never knew about Arbaz and malaika. This is new to me. Is it really true.. Or is it once again a publicity gimmick. Won't be surprised if it is latter... (Sigh)

Gulshan said...

Hi Shobha,

Thanks for listening to the comments and respecting Om Puri and giving him credibility. I am no die hard fan of his but still believe in him as an actor; have seen him in few plays (awesome)

Love you

Gulshan

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

Whatever mistakes that Om Puri might have made in his life and career, marrying the woman he did seems to have turned out to be the greatest one, unless he is just as greedy as you have suggested.

Any product that sells well does so because there is demand for it in the market. So appears to be the case for hate-based politics in India.

Peter Williams Amalraj said...

another publicity stunt ???

Phew.. God save !!

angel eyes said...

Hi Shobha,

Like your stand on your writing and speaking up your mind. Keep it up. We need more ppl like you... you have many silent admirer..

*Aham* said...

People often think that change is something that could be achieved by hyperventilating activists or politicians.

The seed of change is in a dialogue. And thats what you do... initiate a dialogue.

Im happy that your reactions are very situation based. Being your blogdost for more than a year now, i can understand that you are no "Loyalist" to any human brand.

Fair enough!!! People change, so how can our views on them be stagnant. They also should change in sync.


Your opinion matters because you dont have fixed views about anything.

That's Brand Shobhaa De for me: Brazen, Raw and most importantly NOW!


***********************************

There are many theories doing its rounds. Some of them so funny that you will die of laughter.

Mostly people try to make a politician of you, by equating your heartfelt opinion about something or someone as a "political ploy"...

***********************************

At times, you view might not be the world view... but that doesn't take away your right to express your view.

***********************************


I should admit... I wish to read the Bhel Puri of Om Puri's life.

I personally feel his interactions with his costars like smita patil, naseer, rekha etc would make much better read than some silly Bai Controversy.

yes, its a blot that will not be erased from our memories that easily. We are the land of kamasutra... We may forget the matters of the heart, but will not that easily forget matters of the off track hormones.

Balvinder Singh said...

The Thakereys (first Bal and now Raj) have been arguing that speaking of Marathi language in Bombay will result in uplift of Marathi Manoos. I just fail to understand that how the forcing of a local language on all and sundry will result in uplift of the local community.

Punjab is full of Bhayyas from Bihar who are doing all sorts of sundry jobs right from tilling the land to driving auto and cycle rickshaws. The Punjabi community has never felt threatened by their presence and is rather happy getting the helping hand from them.

As far as the language is concerned every Bihari Bhayya who has lived in Punjab for more than a year can be heard speaking broken Punjabi. The bhayya Punjabi (language) has become a dialect in itself.

A community which is hard working and has rich culture does not need to be afraid of outside influence but rather colours the outsiders in its own hue.

In one of the shopping malls at Oxford Street in London i was pleasantly surprised to hear the Punjabi pop number playing on their public music system.


In my opinion Thakereys need to work towards making their local culture and language popular so that others adopt it with love not hate.

CHOTU said...

d biggest strength under these circumstances,we should not retaliate as azmi did as we know nature of raj thakerey and it will not change so y to protest?????

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Global warming???

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Hahahaha "nandita called herself a journalist". Tu na Shobhaa... clever chapptterrach ahey :)

I was intrigued enough to go the Tehelka website and read the excerpt. If what I read is really an excerpt from this book, Nandita needs to go back to school and re-learn the basics of language and writing. Very sophomoric effort complete with poor punctuation and grammatical errors. It reads like a 13 year old's essay.

Hopefully, the entire book reads a little better than this excerpt.

If this is a publicity stunt, Om must be a Mahatma who is completely devoted to his wife. He doesent need this for his own professional career. On the other hand his wife needs this and more to jumpstart her career. Besides only a Mahatma can do anything at all for this level of writing.

Yes, I would read a book Om's life. He is a great actor who has achieved more than most others in Bollywood. His personal life is but part of the man that he is. I think all readers who are interested in seeing what makes this man tick, will take the Buas and Devis and Laxmis and Malas and Nanditas and whoever else in Om's life... as people who mattered and influenced where he and his career went. However is only this chapter/excerpt worth all this hoopla? Nah... not by any stretch of imagination.

I would like to see the list of acknowledgements in this book.I wonder exactly who she spoke to and whose permission she sought before she wrote about them in such intimate and sensationalist terms. All the Devis and Santis and Laxmis got the short end of Nandita's stick. Om may or may not have slept with some of them, but Nandita's words certainly screwed them.

Nirbhay said...

Dear Shobha ,
I quote "Today, it is Raj. Tomorrow, it could be someone else. Another bete noire. Another monster"
!!!Another Monster !!! Is that coming from an journalist.

In democracy you cannot restrict the movement of people by any classification.People move to places where there are job oppurtinities.States responsibility is to create jobs and law and order for public sector to open up new oppurtinities.(remember chandra babu).The northern belt(to be politically correct) is not bothered by civic duties and is more in erecting statues(mayawati).The effect of this is, in Maharashtra, more people fight for limited resources and friction is created. Simple ecomomics 101
This is happenning all over the world .In US the target is Latino's , Indians in Australia& Britan and Bhayyas in India(not just Mumbai but in Bangalore,Manipur).It is economics and has to do with human struggle and not attitude.

I also heard big talks about comparing Raj to Taliban.I have travelled all over India and seen how people treat women on busses(groping,lewid taunts) especially in the northern belt and Delhi.

There are definate economic reasons for which People of Maharashtra has given Raj 12 seats, respect that.

Abhi said...

Thank you, for your reply. I agree with your statement about the rise of Raj or Mayawati or an Aazmi, and the need to look deeper to find the underlying issues.

NIM said...

Firstly, the whole husband-wife drama over the launch of a biography is really a cheap publicity stunt...if that's what it is. And if it is not a stunt then it will only be fair to also be known about the aftermath of their relationship...

Secondly, you r completely right about the new generation politics thats being played by Raj,Aazmi,etc.
These guys only need a reason to be on breaking news by making the common people(like the marathi manoos) their scapegoat... Just like shiv sena tried to get into the limelight as soon as MNS were done with their goal of the week.

introspection said...

It's so like you Shobhaa - to make a U turn. You run Nandita (and Om) down in the last post and then go right ahead and praise him to the skies. Well, every one knows what a great actor OM is: no two ways on that.

I maintain: the way you write is your USP, not WHAT you write, coz on most occasions you contradict your own writings, at other times you do the diplomatic talking. But at all times you write beautifully. I will always maintain that.
Also your forte is to stir controversies, and then watch from far. I am fine with it and so are many of your readers, I am sure. So keep going.

Mehr said...

Hi Shobha....

Didnt hear any comment from you on "Paa",hope u saw the trailor...

Just another Indian said...

well ...to add to this ..view of a non maharashtrian who has been in Bombay for the last 11 years ....

i feel it is all so very trivial to fight and exchange blows about language, cultural pride and worst of all Mumbai / Bombay nomenclature.

MNS should justify its name of becoming the Sena (Party) which pioneers the much required Navnirman (Development) of Maharshtra rather than getting stuck in all these trivialities..

till then they are not Maharashtra Navnirma Sena..... They are the Maha Nalayak Sena ... just like all other parties in this state

also check out
http://indtoday.blogspot.com/2009/11/social-networking-actual-vs-virtual.html

pooja raathore said...

Whatever you have written or spoken with regard to Raj Thackrey you have supported his legitimate causes and shunned him when he was wrong ( his wrong methods ). I believe you must express . silence is definetely no solution.In my opinion (so far from whatever i have read from your columns or heard from you with regard to various personalities,events, situations etc) you come across someone who knows her job ,simple and straightforward.

Anubha Shrivastava said...

heyy....very true......It is indeed a publicity stunt or whatever they may say!!Heard in the news that Om Puri has apologized!!great anticipation!!

Nirbhay said...

@Shobhaa De
Calling names to Political Parties/Netas as is just the great escapism like the movies we makes.
Nobody in the branches of government is doing their jobs.
I bet very few indians know what are the resonsibilities of State government V/s Federal Government.
Talking about jobs,standard of livings(read water ,electricity) and law and order is not escapism.This are responsibilities of state government and raj is promoting that.
60 years of "hame dhekana hai" has just created expatriates like me nothing else.

Alex Engwete said...

Some lady is called Malaika in India? Is she Muslim? In Swahili, an African language which is my mother tongue and that draws parts of its lexicon from Arabic, "malaika" means "angel." Does it have the same meaning in any of the Indian languages?

Abby said...

Raj is indeed demonising Mumbai!! Till last year i was hell bent to pursue my higher studies in Mumbai but now I have dismissed the idea and have shifted to New Delhi which doesnt practise provincialism and regionalism. I really dont understand as to why this bete' noire is smudging the reputation of Mumbai!!Thousands of students like me would have followed suit. Aint the proponents and supporters of Mumbai and Maharasthra as a whole (like you) doing anything in this regard?? And what all the Marathi Manoos are doing out there?? They must immediately take a stand and act against all this. Raj assumes that as long as his people( of course marathi manoos) are silent about all his "tamaasha" he can go ahead with it. Its high time that the whole Mumbai voice its concerns over this issue.The day this happens I'll bet that from the followimg days he will be like a scalded cat!!

kala said...

Dear Shobhaa, questions raised by anyone of us is the stand taken by you atleast on national issues like integrity of our nation.

LTTE was given such a long rope, yet Prabhakaran became a monster swallowing his own tamilian children in the process.

Bhindranwale became a terror and Operation Bluestar was needed to cleanse Punjab. In the process 1984 riots took place and we have lost a prime minister as well.

Ironically, both organisations received some support from the congress government in the initial stages.

If we want reasons against every violent incident, it means that we are justifying violence as a means of solving our problems. There are hundreds of grievances and if everyone takes to violence, it will lead to lawlessness and anarchy. There is a due process of law as well as legislation.

Thus the answer to such things should be a firm Yes or a firm No. It does not mean that we are wishing away the problems. It is that we are wishing away the violence and along with it the violent language.

Mukesh Bhatia said...

Hey Shobha!!

Ur coming very clear on Raj & Azmi issue is warmly welcome. You rightly said that u document the change & its the public at large to understand & judge.
Bout Om & Nandita Puri, its a shame. It unfortunately take the respect we have for a veteran like Om Puri.

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