Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pining for Pune....

I had a much needed and entirely divine break in Pune - a city I am most partial to. The weather was glorious. Fluffy clouds against a startlingly blue sky. Light drizzle, a full moon - what more does anybody want over a relaxed weekend? Well - great food and extraordinary comfort help the cause. We stayed at a worldclass property - The Oakwood Linear at Mundhwa. Our perfectly appointed suite was just what we needed to unwind. The girls used the gym and pool. I restricted myself to the the super efficient 24 hour restaurant 'Senses', which sees the well-heeled of Pune, driving up in swanky cars ( Aston Martins, Lamourghinis, BMWs, Audis and Mercs by the dozen). The ladies who lunch clearly love the venue - I watched them trooping in clutching their Ferragamos and Birkins ( such an over rated 'It' Bag.... really!!). Later the same night, the bar was rocking till dawn with charged up football fans. The next night,we went back to our favourite place 'Stonewater Grill', across the road, where the executive chef Shailendra wowed us yet again with his culinary flair ( superb duck salad ). He has recently introduced 'Le Kebaberie' ( don't you just love the clever name?), with desi khanna. The biryani was perfectly cooked. But I preferred the kebabs grilled by the chefs at Oakwood in our private garden. What a splendid evening that turned out to be, with Varsha, Atul, Ranjanadevi , Resham, Sania - our fun Pune friends. The spanking new Westin gleaming wickedly in the near distance looked pretty deserted on a saturday night. We checked out 'Prego', the Italian restaurant at this property, and to our great disappointment, the only worthwhile item on the menu was a pizza ! Though in all fairness, the mushroom soup wasn't too bad. But to not serve a decent Pinot Grigio by the glass , is a trifle short sighted. Perhaps we can excuse the show- off hotel this time ( teething trouble?). Next time guys, get your act together. The prices are steep.... customers expect the best.
This appeared in Bombay Times yesterday.

How young is too young…?

Do you know how old Miley Cyrus is? Who Miley? What Miley? If that was your reaction, you effectively revealed your age.Millions of young people across the world adore Miley and are nuts about her professional persona ( Hannah Montana). Miley is all of 18 now, and was an international star at 12. Similarly, Justin Beiber, the mop haired 16- year- old pop star who is the music world’s current darling, has been spectacularly successful ever since he composed and sang his first song ( cleverly launched by him on the internet) which subsequently went on to break all sorts of records. Yup. They start that young these days. And if you think they are ridiculously underage, think about Michael Jackson at 5, performing like an absolute pro on stage and stunning the world. These may be exceptional talents. But even here on some of our better quality reality shows, one comes across scarily gifted kids who effortlessly blow the competition away.
A few weeks ago, I had two earnest visitors at home who were representatives of entertainment channels and were looking for people to plead their case. I told them they’d come to the wrong address and the meeting ended abruptly in under ten minutes. I have a problem with precocious children gyrating suggestively to adult songs. And I wonder about the kind of parents who encourage them. Amazing as it sounds, these child wonders from small town India, do not suffer from any kind of inferiority complex and frequently out perform city kids from more affluent homes. What on earth happens to these bachchas once the shows end and reality of a less glamourous kind kicks in? It’s a subject for a well- researched documentary, that’s for sure.
Bollywood runs on an entirely different track – nobody grows up! The heroes continue to play college boys even though they are well into their forties. And the heroines stay fixed at the magic number of 27 for at least twenty years. Then one fine day, they announce they are 30. And they remain 30 forever. Kangana claims she is 22, Anoushka claims something similar, as do Genelia , Katrina and Deepika. The numbers game gets interesting when these ladies start referring to others as their ‘seniors’ and attach a ‘Ji’ at the end of that person’s name. I am not sure whether colleagues address Lara as Lara or as Laraji. If it is the latter, Lara is in trouble.
It has been a dull week, movies-wise and otherwise. After the ‘Raavan’ debacle, industrywallas are looking nervously at forthcoming releases. All eyes are now on Imran Khan, who should really stop giving interviews. If he has been with the same gal for eight years, good for him. But why talk about it while promoting a frothy new romance with a dishy co-star that’s slated to hit the screens shortly? And then the lad makes it worse by showing off a platinum engagement ring like it’s a chastity belt or something. Really Pappu! Today’s guys should sit at Shammi Kapoor’s feet and take a few key lessons in wooing their leading ladies – on and off the screen. Nobody did it better than the ‘Yahoo’ man. Most of our present day heroes insist on flashing trophy wives who are as hot as their heroines . This is a seriously dumb move. They also insist on putting their babies on display, which further erodes female fantasies. Look at Akshay , Hritik, Arjun, Srk, even Saif. Come on guys – hide those gorgeous biwis and bachchas. Get smart! Look at Salman – hardum single and ready to mingle. Like George Clooney. And now along comes the news that Munnabhai is ready to become a real life dad again. Reports say his wife got a seriously huge solitaire for her efforts. But what should we give Sanjay for his?? How about some rest??


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Anonymous said...

special appearance
- Shobhaa De
on-screen - plzzzz

Delhi Goon said...

I dont think kids know what they are getting into these days. At such a young age they might end up burning up. Alas, parents expect so much, they start viewing their kids as 'gullucks' (piggy banks).

BTW what happened w/ Viveka was sad too. One can hide his/her age from the world but what about the self. Sooner or later you accept the fact and either fly or jump.

pmathur said...

Have never understood the compulsion to attach the 'Ji' at the end of a name. And when you do this in English language it's all the more funny. E.g. this lady RJ who wanted to pay her respects to Asha Bhonsle by addressing her as "Asha Bhonsle Ji" Oh come on ! Understand this that without the 'Ji' there 's no disrepect....
Which reminds me - of this typical punjabi style of paying respect to an elder. About a person younger to you you will say (for e.g.) "I will speak to him". About an elder person you will say "I will speak to them" quite a literal translation from the Hindi which would be "Main unse baat karooga"

About a person junior to you, you will say "He has told me" About a person senior to you, you will say "They have told me" (you're still talking about just one person).

C'mon guys - take the 'Rapidex English speaking course" for God's sake...

avidblogger said...

Loved the last part of your article. Really cool. The one thing i like about celebrities in the west is that they are not afraid to tell all..including their age. In fact, quite often they're seen and heard celebrating their ages gracefully. Everyone is referred to by first names and there's no "ji" concept.Maybe our Indian actors and actresses should learn from them

Anil Kumar said...

So you finally got the picture after reading on this blog how our TV media is indulging kids as young as 7-8 years old to do dirty dancing and showing their undies to opposite sex of same age and their parents feeling like top of Everest.
I went to a Delhi park last week and a group of people who were taking morning walk were telling kids from playing the game of cricket as the park is not a playground. And suddenly an OLD man with his punjaabi accent told them bluntly...Don't play this game...this game has become a KANJAR's game. And I was wondering how Kanjar's have invaded this country with overflow of money...be it cricket...newsmedia...TV media...working environment in call centres...dance programs involving kids....Kanjar hi Kanjar everywhere...

Divya Virmani said...

I live in US only and Miley Cyrus was extremely popular a while back. Girls of 5 yrs of age were wearing/singing/talking/dancing Miley Miley... It was ridiculous to see how parents let their kids get influenced by such ruthless characters on TV. And a little later everyone found out the nude photoshoot of Miley and the worst part was that her dad was right there, explaining her how to pose. How cheap one can get? Parental supervision doesnt exist anymore. Even Disney channel is filled w/ nudity, sex, sluts and wat not?

Latha said...

@ Divya Virmani, if Miley Cyrus's dad was right there explaining to her how to pose for 'nude' photographs, isn't that parental supervision ? haha..
@ Shobhaa De, I luv Hannah Montana. Even while opening your page, I was humming, 'Hey
Get up
Get loud
Start pumpin' up the party now.
I can't stop singing dat !

Christine said...

Hi Shobhaa, I enjoy reading your blog and have been a fan of your work for years now :)
I live in Chicago and laste evning, came across this article in the online Mid - day site, which left me sick. This little 5 yr old girl in Delhi, hasn't just been brutally raped, but her private parts have been severely damaged as well. Her dad's a plumber and they are finding it tough to pay up the hospital bill. The story is heart wrenching, to say the least.. I know, one does get immune to these, however, this poor baby is going through hell and I am hoping we can help her, in whichever way we can.. http://www.mid-day.com/news/2010/jun/280610-5-year-old-raped-southeast-Delhi-sexual-assault.htm
Thanks to your network and connections, if you can do anything, I'm sure her family will bless you multi fold. I'd be happy to donate funds as well. Please help!

goodluck said...

TV channels are quite unscrupulous making kids do such stupid adult dances. Colors started this trend recently and Sony's boogie woogie started it years back. Most of the parents are undereducated and want quick fame and money through their kids. And what is that kid Saloni doing anchoring shows and spewing adult dialogues? Is it entertainment? I will rather watch saas bahu dramas than these sickening kid reality shows.Government should step in banning these shows. This is more injurious than even smoking.

krutika said...

well she is worth more than shahrukh khan and if she keeps going at this rate she will be owrht more....and look what they said about britney, that she will disappear after she hits a certain age..but she is still on top after all this.
the difference between hollywood and bollywood is that miley does not have to forever stay young..they will accept her even whe she is old...eg Madonna, brtiney, jennifer aniston.
but unfortunately our ladies dont have tht choice. and to be very honest with you...salman and saif need to paly their age..tht botox is not working. these guys need to stop being delusional about their age....and i am the only one who is sick of watching these old guys over and over again it is so predictable and boring. All the different characters shahrukh plays ends up being the same for me. none of his roles after darr, ddlj have been memorable..tht guys needs a break.

*Aham* said...

Chak De. :)

Sahi Mein Ghee.... Le Kebaberie' i agree.. what a super sexy name. ekdam mast.
Miley Cyrus Mera Tumhara. Our chokris of the tinsel town are sometimes more funnier than cyrus- ask them their age and they will fume with rage. I remember vidya maami telling snow-white simi garewal on Rendezvous politely refusing to answer a question regarding her age. Kangana claiming to be 22 is not surprising... she might be referring to her mental age, she might have added some 10 years to that in error.

Lara... she could be called - paaji... i mean.. sometimes she looks like "mard taange waala" from patiala.

Immy Immy Immy Aaaja. Aaja Aaaja... Bollywood needs Immy, now more than ever.

though by the promos i feel we should rename the film - I hate Sonam Kapoor.

Immy is a dish. Agdi Tavtaveeth... but minus his bush. He needs to be gifted tweezers.

O! shammi.. he was such a class. and the raw sexyness that Shashi brought to the frame... WOW. I feel ranbhir will get there. the real "maal" that he is...

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