Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuff times need Tuff people...

The Tuff Shoes Comedy Show has finally ended … or am I speaking too soon?? When Madhu Sapre called last week, minutes after walking out of the court, a free woman after 13 long years, I wanted to hug her instantly. She, along with Milind Soman and others, had been embroiled in a pretty meaningless court case that had dragged on and on and on. Most people had forgotten all about the ‘obscene’ ad, featuring the then top model duo, clad in nothing else but their own skins. Oh yes, there was a strategically placed and very photogenic python , cleverly wrapped around the two buck naked bodies, just about covering their modesty and making sure the provocative, suggestive visual stayed this side of the law and revealed nothing. For its time, it was a really bold ad, but for all the fuss surrounding it, I thought it was pretty tame and innocuous. If anything, it showed two athletic bodies in the prime of their lives, promoting a pair of sneakers ( yes, the shoes also featured in the ad , though I doubt anyone noticed them). It was a pretty striking effort, in the same way as the ‘Kurbaan’ poster featuring Saif and Kareena, is striking, but not vulgar. In both, it’s the suggested nudity that titillates the imagination rather than a blatant show of body parts. And yet, much after Tuff Shoes shut down and disappeared from the market, the court case continued for over a decade. A couple of people involved in the case, even died in the interim, others had moved on. Madhu herself had to fly down from Italy for the hearings or face an arrest warrant ( she definitely didn’t want that to damage her status or her passport ). Milind had to make sure he was around, even if nobody else showed up. Adjournments followed adjournments… the usual story of our judicial system. Till last week when the farce ended and all the accused were acquitted. These are the sort of meaningless cases that clog our courts, and involve time, expense and nuisance value. Everybody knows the outcome, and yet, parties refuse to settle and move on.
Milind called a little later to give me the ‘good news’ and we both laughed over the craziness of it all. Remember, this ad was shot before ‘photo-shop’ took over the business. There was pressure on Milind and Madhu by one of the other accused, to lie in court and say they were wearing skin- toned body suits, and that the pictures had been retouched later in the studios. In other words, to claim they were not naked during the shoot! Both refused, preferring to stick to the truth and fight it out, no matter how long it took, and how hellishly inconvenient it was. Well, they richly deserve to enjoy their ‘freedom from hypocrisy’ now. Thirteen has proved to be their lucky number and tuff times are clearly behind these two hotties. I wonder what happened to that gorgeous python and whether he too was issued summons to appear in court to defend himself??
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Admirers and fans of ‘Shantaram’ Gregory Roberts must have been pretty shocked by his outrageous remarks on Arnab Goswami’s special report on 26\11 last week. Roberts sounded unlike himself when he meandered off the topic and the specific question he was asked, and chose to deliver a sermon on extending a hand of friendship to Pakistan. That comment came across as pretty insensitive, given the sentiment on that sad anniversary, when India was mourning those who had died at the hands of Pakistan sponsored terrorists, one of whom, Kasab, is in jail here. Roberts, who is seen as a pretty smart cookie, and fawned over by socialites of all hues during his frequent visits to Mumbai, may find himself in quite a tight spot the next time he comes to the city that inspired him to write his marvelous book.Mumbaikars aren’t mean or vindictive generally, but this time, Roberts may have pushed his luck, especially that one remark where he implicated the Indian army in terrorist activity ! A desi person making such a preposterous charge would be tried for treason. Watch out, Roberts….
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So.... 'Sandhya's Secret' will soon be out. But I did extensive press yesterday and was vastly encouraged by the response. I'm off to Australia tomorrow. Really looking forward to reconnecting with an all time favourite destination. The last time I visited was to attend the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. I remember the event vividly... and am holding my breath for ours!
This time Down Under , I'm keen to discover for myself what the hungama over the attacks on Indian students is all about. Am hoping to meet some of the victims, as also members of the desi press. But more importantly, I want to decode the Aussie version. Surely there is another story.... a different perspective?? Watch this space.
Oh... while I was celebrating the arrival of the first copy of 'S's Secret' with two of my children and a girl friend at Hotel President next door, I thought we were entering the world's highest security zone!! The place was bristling with cops, armoured vehicles and other fierce symbols of 'protection'. It all made sense when one of the cops present told me all this sho-sha was for the cricketers staying there! Long live our cricketers!

19 comments:

pissed with politics!! said...

visit this controversial blog http://dareindianpolitics.blogspot.com/ please comment if you have the time

Rajesh said...

Case against Madhu Sapre for the obscene ad is justified or not is different question...
But the defenitely the ad was obscene....

Keyur Doshi said...

nice article

Teju said...

ho porn queen, quit writing.. i think press n media people shoud be fogged fr giving you your 2 min fame. yu r the ugliest. cheap.

Reflections said...

Congrats abt the book and have a good trip:-))!!!!

mahatru said...

In India justice takes so much time that either the culprit or the witness will pass away...thank God finally the verdict was delivered. Congrats Madhu n Millind...."honesty is the best policy"
Donno when verdict for "KASAB" WILL BE DELIVERED....:(

Many Congrats Shobhaji for your new book. Will definitely buy as soon as it hits the stands....
Wish you a happy n safe journey!!!

Regards
entertainment events in Pune
entertainment events in Hyderabad
entertainment events in Mumbai

Vinay. said...

um... it took 13 years for the courts to see the naked truth. congrats on your new book and all the best. have a nice trip.

pissed with politics!! said...

dareindianpolitics.blogspot.com if you have the guts check this blog out!!

Sameer said...

It's amazing how even the celebrities like Madhu and Milind had to go through 13 years of this trial. It is such a waste of taxpayer's money to have these meaningless cases go on for these many years. But I am glad Milind and Madhu stuck to the truth. I thought the ad was definitely bold for that time, but there was nothing obsene about it. It is such a irony that in India, the land of Kamasutra, we are so ashamed of showcasing our bodies in the most natural form. People need to know the difference between vulgarity and free expression of your identity (ehich includes your body as well)

Have fun in Aussie land. From what I heard it is very discriminating country when it comes to treating Indians. Would be very interested to hear your take on the same.

In my upcoming India trip I am planning to buy bunch of your books and hopefully Sandhya's secret will be out by then.

Nandinikakoti said...

Dear Shobha...
I would only speak about the court case for now I too have been in the same waters for almost 5 years.. through you I congratulate Milind and Madhu for their patience to go with the truth... waiting for mine to stop torturing me.. in fact I have written about my might here
http://nandinikakoti.blogspot.com/2009/10/inside-satyameva-jayate.html

cmpershad said...

`For its time, it was a really bold ad, but for all the fuss surrounding it, I thought it was pretty tame and innocuous'
Once upon a time the last page of Blitz was the craze of youth. Now, it looks tame and inoocuous:)
BONVOYAGE

Latha said...

For those who do not know what she's talking about just copy & paste the fol: link in your browser & click 'enter'.
http://photogallery.indiatimes.com/celebs/celeb-themes/most-scandalous-ads/Most-scandalous-ads/photo/4815390/Most-scandalous-ads.jpg
Ah yes, don't forget to click on the photo for a larger view of the 'pretty tame & innocuous' photo.
'But more importantly, I want to decode the Aussie version. Surely there is another story.... a different perspective??......
'A desi person making such a preposterous charge would be tried for treason. Watch out, Roberts….
Surely there is a contradiction between both the statements. Don't you think Shobhaaji ?

Alex Engwete said...

Bon voyage to Australia. And I'm certain you won't find a "different perspective" to the senseless attacks against Indian students, except mean and baseless racism and xenophobia...
As for your first topic of the naked beauties and the python, I'm often baffled by the prudishness and ultra-conservatism that a fast-developing and culturally-rich country such as India (prudishness often backed by draconian law) evinces. I recently read that a movie project about the idyll of Nehru and the wife of the British Governor General (I forgot her name and I don't know whether I got the official colonial title right) was canned by Indian censors just because the filmmakers couldn't portray Nehru as a human being who could've fallen in love with a British woman! In fact, the censors wanted the very word "love" redacted from the script! This is really a shame for such a great country as India...

drukmo said...

wow! I was in high school when that magazine came out and felt it was such a creative way to showcase the shoes! Never even thought that the case went on for 13 years, that is seriously taking ridiculous to new heights! A waste of tax payer's money as someone pointed out ...I mean what good did it do to anyone involved? This should be a case study of "when priorities go wrong". I can almost imagine George Orwell saying see I told you human beings are pathetic!

On Rani, I must say you are little harsh but right. Instead of focusing on her craft, she's out there trying to prove she's "hot" as if we don't know that already. Most B-wood actresses (if you can call them that) are eye candies and that's why she was able to start as a hindi film "heroine" in the first place but what set her apart was her skill as an actor. Maybe she's going through a premature midlife identity crisis. So freaking sad that it happens to the best of the women while men their father's age continue to hog the limelight in tight white pants.
Again from a tibetan fan :)

D said...

Hi Shobaa di, I was really happy to hear that you are coming to Asutralia....well I came here as a student 4 years back and now working as a tester. I don't if it's right to tell you, but you can contact me if you wish to know something about australia.....I am not that genuis or a great writer, but I do analyse a lot and may be my little knowledge can prove helpful in your research. My email add: dipti08@hotmail.com. Feel free to email me. We can also meet if you want.
Have a great trip.! :)

tanaya said...

do u actually read all the comments??!

*Aham* said...

the nangu pungu shoot was a wonderful idea... but wouldve not done any good for the brand... it was plain sensational and stupid.

I do feel that the advert was shot aesthetically. But i dont approve of the use of wild animals for any shoot.. be it Nagina, Haati Mere Saathi or Tuff.

Magar, agar someone had to be pulled up by the collar for then it should be the producer of the shoot... Most times our laws dont understand the process behind making the advert.

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Shantaram Author ki tohhhhhhhh... all senseless bolbachhan...

anyway... it makes no sence... he should just stick to his shantaram storytelling. Athithi devo bhava...

we respect you Robert... may your stay in india be nice... and warm... BTW, when are you leaving our country?

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I wonder if siddhi vinayak and mahalaxmi have so much security as much as our Cricketers get. and ofcourse.. sachin in india is the god of the masses...

i dont follow cricket and neither do i believe in making aam aadmi god... butttt...

here i have a sachin mantra....

ommm.. tasya sachin vareinyam... bhargooooo ho... batasyaa dheemahi... sachinam sixerram prachoodayaath!

Haddock said...

Oh yes I remember that ad and the controversy it created. But I though it was all sorted out.
Poor Sapre, not to be seen around now a days.

mormee said...

so according to you people should be tried for treason in this country if they confront brutality by the armed forces? and if yes, please explain why. Because they don't happen? Or because even if they happen the forces do such a good job of saving our skins that they should be ignored? If it's the second, then please respond to the fact that what happens to people and their psyche when their families and histories and freedom just like the victims of mumbai attacks are wiped out? Your baying for their blood is fine and right and unquestioned, while theirs terrorism? Justice for all, peace for all, objectivity, rationality, humanity and compassion cannot be dispensed or defined by the rich, powerful and those with voices according to who pleases them and who doesn't.