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??