Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Monsoon Weddings...!!

The monsoon arrived in Mumbai with more fanfare than usual - with a dramatic ( even scarey )thunder and lightning show. This morning I woke up to spectacular lashings of heavy rain against my windows.... and I wisely decided not to jump out of bed but snuggle into my Jaipur razai and make the most of the magical moment. I adore the monsoons in the city. I know, I know.... there will be howls of protest from those who say, " It's all very well for you.... when was the last time you waited for a bus with the water rising and swirling around your knees?' Fair question.
But please...let me romanticise my favourite season without having to offer apologies or explanations.
I noticed the number of weddings during this (to some) dismal season has gone up and most of my daughters' nubile girl friends are ready to tie the knot in the next few weeks. Here's to wet and wild nuptials and bheegi bheegi raatein.
Watched 'Gladiator -2' .... err, I mean 'Robinhood'. Russell Crowe and Robinhood??? Even Kevin Costner was better!!
This appeared in Bombay Times....

Secret Lives of Bollywood Stars…

There are hardly any secrets left in Bollywood these days – what a pity! Everything but everything is out there – what the stars don’t reveal themselves, their publicists do ( with the stars’ absolute compliance, of course). This is the Hollywood pattern, but comparatively new to India. Stars have minders who micro manage every tiny aspect of their lives. Based on that efficient handling ( sometimes mishandling , too!) of that precious notion called the ‘image’, stars negotiate fat endorsement deals. One small slip and poof! There go the millions. This is such a huge shift from the time our mega stars conducted their affairs chhupke chhupke and most liaisons took place in one or two hotels on Juhu beach.Oh…. how can I forget those steamy affairs on location shoots that rarely went beyond Ooty or Gulmarg ? Forget Mykanos and Marrakech, stars used to be overjoyed shooting at Lonavala or Khandala. Shielded from the prying eyes of the wicked film press and before the birth of that most intrusive weapon – Breaking News – our Bollywood wallahs were left to indulge their fancies in peace across assorted hill stations dotting India. Whispers about their link ups rarely traveled beyond the boundaries of the close showbiz community that defended and protected its own. Some of those juicy scoops would make even the most brazen contemporary romeos and romance raanis blush. Yup. They were that sizzling hot.
Such a pity the veil of secrecy and the thrill of uncovering clandestine jodis has been replaced by the new breed of bold players who really don’t bother to hide a thing – be it a married lover or a forbidden substance. What the world may not even want to know is right there - in your face and upfront. Blog it or Twitter it – but for God’s sake, don’t conceal it. That’s the mantra in a publicity driven industry where being in the news 24x7 is as crucial as delivering a mega hit on a friday. Chalo – so be it. Readers\viewers feed off the new khulam khula mood ruling in ‘show- all- biz’ and stars themselves are only too happy to receive reams and reams of revved up publicity, updated on an hourly basis.
Two outstanding Mumbaikars will be launching their books this week. Let start with our ‘Sheriff for Life” ( my fond nickname for him) Nana Chudasama whose book, ‘History on a Banner’ will hit the stores in grand style at an impressive function held inside the magnificent Convocation Hall. It has been organized by his proud family members, with wife Munira spearheading the initiative. Nana himself seems detached and amused… but that’s him. What’s all the fuss about? he must be wondering, even as his countless friends and admirers gear up to make sure the function is a huge success – what with L.K.Advani and Amitabh Bachchan doing the honours. Nana’s banners have become a weekly habit for the city… but more than that , his pithy messages remain a barometre for what citizens think and feel – from Sonia to ‘satta’. Soon, readers will be able to buy a piece of history for their bookshelves.
Then comes the launch of my favourite cousin Gautam Rajadhyaksha’s splendid book ‘Chehere’ ( the Marathi avatar of ‘Faces’) at the poshest hotel in Juhu. Yes, us thoroughly spoilt South Mumbaikars constantly crib about the distance and joke that we need to apply for visas when invited to the ‘burbs. I often exaggerate wildly and claim I have to pack enough food , water and a change of clothes before embarking on the long journey, besides leaving home on a Friday afternoon to make it for an event on Saturday night! But for Gautam, I would have gladly undertaken this tedious trip… had I not committed to a fund raiser in town earlier. Gautam remains supreme in what he does – other ‘fancier’ hot shot photographers have emerged during the past few years. But show me even one who makes a woman look more beautiful or a man more handsome. All this, without photo-shop, mind you! Gautam’s lens is pure magic. He has mastered lighting… but more than that, he has mastered human psychology. He captures the very essence of his subjects ….to be photographed by him is both an honour and a privilege, as most of Bollywood ( from current hottie Ranbir Kapoor to Evergreen Dev Anand) will readily confirm.
I am lucky – I can take full advantage of my relationship and bully him to photograph me each time I need a new portrait for a book jacket. Like I say about India’s best portraitist, “ He can make the backside of a B.E.S.T. bus look gorgeous!” Good luck, Gautam. Here’s to you and beauty.


Manjiri Kale said...

Dear MA De, Happy monsoon,

The monsoon is also coming in our sangli city. I am in office, but I confused about this sweet atmosphere, because all my pendig works are completede and my boss is out of station,

Office madhye basayacha kantala aala aahe, sagle jan relax mood madhye aahet, mast aalyacha chaha & kandabhaji khaychi ichha hote aahe....

karan a said...

Today morning I welcomed the morning the way you did... an extended thought...just messages a friend, would be late to the office...and I enjoyed good one 90 mins of extra sleep... a pleasant morning of a wonderful season. :)

The first book sounds interesting!

numerounity said...

Yup. I hope it rains this weekend:)

numerounity said...

True that there is no privacy these days and stars vying for one with cliche like- sigh, I cant eat bhelpuri at chowpatty is such a, right-cliche! Whenever there is a movie to be released, the story of affairs between the lead pair is so much in circulation. But post release, they r lost.

Some ppl make hay with their breakups. "milenge-melange" from Boney kapoor' camp promises to be one! Gosh its so sickening:)

Pushkar said...

Dear Shobhaa

I just came across your comments about Art of Living : Shri Shri Ravi Shankar.

Before commenting or writing or criticizing about A person/Organization, A person of your level should do extensive literature survey/experimentation along with proper validation and understanding. The larger person more detailed study has to be done on that.
I am sure you might have done few things on that part,

I think there is some confusion/error in your thought/conception/presumption process/data/study about him.

Please verify/counter check and do the needful.

Vaudeville of exhilaration said...

That "I know I know" part is so much like me..In my recent post I have given that kind of an expression..What can I say about the rains. For people like us who have to go to work everyday, rain and good weather is a horribly tantalizing thing.Though we want to stay back on bed,we really cant..Anyways, for me they are lovely as long as I dont have to step out on the streets in the rain..

vicious said...

the monsoons have come to kolkata as well .. but the clouds sometimes elude us 4 a day and are back again to drench us with the pours !
it was nice reading ur take on the mumbai monsoons !

ms said...

ahem, mz de! the monsoons have wandered across the nation and now are in the south east. pliss, mumbaikers, one drizzle doesn't make it a monsoon. i was just wondering: have our stars become more discreet or are they too lazy to frolic? where are the days of garamdharam chasing devyani chaubal down the street? kaka khanna juggling anjumahendru, la tagore and good ole mumu in between shootings. now we have a damp squib of a mori-romance, and a complete yellowout (blackout is for news channels, yellowout for the kind of journalism the stars keep screaming about!!) of all romances! everyone is much married (srk's hausfrau tweets have driven me almost insane) and bo-o-oring! never mind. if the good times don't last, the bad times will also pass!

miss. american pie said...

hello maam,

I am Tashi Vaid a student from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Juhu . We are organizing a cultural fest called UMANG from the 19th to the 21st of august. I'd be honored if you could respond to this , so that i can brief you about an event we are organizing related to literature in person.

email id:

Theyoginme said...

You romanticize rain, while some of us who live in the constant light rain state of oregon wish for the sun ...though there is something to be said about the monsoons..yesterday's rare torrential downpour here reminded me of mumbai..except it was 55F.

Sidhusaaheb said...

Just 'let it all hang out' like Bipasha Basu...huh?


Eidothia said...

I am still wondering about the point of this whole post. Just when I was expecting you to drop in some juicy gossip ur article ends. And then ur post again jumps somewhere where I cant make a head or tail of!
But hope better things are coming up!

rose said...

does shobhaa de represent the elite culture or popoular culture in her novels?is ter any diff btwn the two?pls reply to

james said...

Shobha, Now, singing the praises of the monsoon, but... not that long ago in your Times of India column a couple of years ago you were expressing the opposite, how much you dislike the monsoon. Have you forgotten? Well, I guess you do describe yourself as unpredictable! James

reetu said...

juvenile posts, shobhaaji!!! Pls come out of your south mumbai cocoon!!!

NAT said...


No rain, no water in the taps at home for Mumbaites.

We should be happy that the rain, besides giving us our water supply for the whole year, also cleans up Mumbai, which would have otherwise been as good as a sty.


संदीप विजंता said...

दो पंक्तियों की तो बात थी लिख देती थोड़ा उन मुफ़लिसों पर जिनके लिए मुम्बई का मानसून परेशानी बन कर आता है। खैर आपका और आपके ब्लॉग का मिजाज़ कुछ और हो सकता है।
आपने अपने ब्लॉग का जिक्र बीबीसी को दिए एक इंटरव्यू में किया था । इसलिए यहां आना हुआ।

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ameya said...

Where is the Sex and The City - 2 review ?

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Sameer said...

Glad you wrote abt. Gautamji's book launch...I am dying to get my hands on Chehare....have some kaanda bhaji (pakodaas) aaNi garamaa- garam chahaa in this rain...:)


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