Friday, July 23, 2010

Once Upon a time with Shobhaa. Column- 6

"A Don by any other name...."
Let’s face it, Shakespeare can never be wrong. When he poetically stated, ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…’ he couldn’t possibly have imagined the impact of those few words on the world. Today, we happily misquote and misrepresent the Bard as and when it suits us.Like I am about to do right now! What is all the current fuss being made over the word ‘Don’? Call the man by any other name – social worker, do gooder, Robinhood, businessman,politician. It doesn’t change a thing. In today’s times, the word ‘Don’ has gone glam - and I shudder to say this – become almost respectable. I read a recent press report which said that newly formed gangs from Govandi were terrorising residents by imitating their favourite filmi dons, down to the stylized costumes and tapori dialogues. A case of life imitating art! Not that the elderly in Govandi are amused. Cases have been filed against four of these goons under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. Perhaps their families don’t think of their boys as badmaashes. Maybe they prefer to think of them as Boy Scouts on an adventure.
It is true that Bollywood has always had a strange fascination for members of the underworld.It is a love-hate relationship going back to the bad old days when the most important mehmaan at a mahurat was often a notorious gangster with a big stake in the movie.It was only after things soured and the love affair between the two ended abruptly, that the death threats and blackmail began in earnest. Audacious attacks on prominent Bollywood personalities, eventually led to the insane wall of tight security that protects present day megastars. But back then, it was a bloody free for all. One midnight call was all it took for Bollywood to pay up. Or else – goli maro bhejey mein.
Recreating the mesmerizing magic of that era is a huge thrill for any film maker. Who can resist picturising dramatic scenes between a sultry temptress in fishnet stockings and her tormentor in a gaudy shirt ? Or cinematically unraveling dirty deals between ruthless land sharks and venal politicos as they battle over India’s prime real estate - Mumbai? It was happening then. It is happening now. So what has really changed? I can understand Ekta Kapoor’s fascination for the ‘70s perfectly. After all, her father Jumping Jack Jeetendra( guess who coined that name?) was a big star at the time. And the ‘70s were a deliriously dangerous decade. Did she see something …. hear something… that aroused her creative curiosity as a child? And continues to haunt her till today?
Now that’s a story!! Must ask Ekta when I meet her next…
P.S. I read in a city tabloid this morning that Mastaan's 'adopted' son is planning to sue me for defaming his late father, Mumbai's great 'social worker', in my blog.
About the pictures. The one of me was clicked by Arundhati after I had waded through neck deep water and was getting ready to wade back to shore after a splendid lunch at 'Taprobane' ( travel writers justifiably go gaga over the uniqueness of the experience). The other pics are of the handsome and polite attendant posted outside one of the world's most artistic homestores called Paradise Road. He is wearing the store's trademark batik sarongs - aren't they gorgeous? The black-and-white bungalow you see was designed by Sri Lanka's legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa, and is now run by Shanth ( the undisputed emperor of style and elegance ) as a charming boutique hotel in Bentota. One of the other pics gives you an idea of just how much water visitors have to navigate to reach the island-hotel I'd mentioned earlier. There is also a pic of the Bodh tree in the temple complex I visited ( Arundhati and I watered it, as per tradition). And the last pic is of Shanth's courtyard - part of another Bawa property ( this is where the architect used to live). Shanth has changed it around and it now houses the smart Gallery Cafe and an art gallery\souvenir shop.
Guys.... I have more pics!! Should I keep them coming?
Am off to watch 'Khata Meetha'.
Am still reeling from 'Inception'. It has stolen all my dreams - past, present and future!! Spooky!


Anonymous said...

Never ending columns
The movie-SuperHit-SuperHit-SuperHit
Re.: pics
Yes, why not.
Promoting tourism is good.

Cool4u said...

I'd have never thought it was u in the pic. Hardly look ur age.

anamika said...

De ..u played with the pic can u be so hot man...

kakaka said...


You look great in this pic. I genuinely like tis piC of you. The color looks great on you too. If thts a towel and not your dress..then i would say buy something in orange cuz its a nice color on you.

Unknown said...

great! the pics u post r great! even women seem to envy u! hmmmmm.
let the adopted son sue u.are u afraid? then dont worry! have a blast!

Unknown said...

is it you who coined jumping jack!!!!!

everybody is speaking good abt the movie inception, like to know what u think of it...hopefully you will drop a piece on it

Pooja Rathore said...

pics are really good ..keep them coming..
Hope this will be of some help to you .I found this in one of my astro book.
Number 7( as you are 7 jan born)
january, feb,july,and August of every year are the months when most ill health symptoms - mental or physical - sickness or accident - will strike the number 7 person , brought on by negative emotional attitudes, depression, tension, anxiety or overwork ,. 7 people should practice remaning serene as these months approach . After a while , practice makes perfect and you'll be able to greatly dilute or even negate the tendency toward illness or accident at these times . The practice of serenity should begin a month before each month given.

Divya (Virmani) Chadda said...

As always great article. And for the pics, I'm speechless! You look no where near your age...

So, what do you do to maintain such nice figure? Wana share your secret diet plan in the next blog? :P

RAJ47 said...

Hi Shobhaa,
Is that gorgeous and beautiful woman you?
Is that really you?
The towel too doesn't......
What a pose. Arundhati has got a great sense of timing.
The other pics are also very beautiful including the pretty little girl.
Whats on your right arm? The first character is clear Mu=Ma, whats the second character?

Anonymous said...

Why do you bother writing a blog?? You get no more than 20/30 comments. Clearly no one reads your blog.

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Latha said...

Congrats for surviving 'Inception'. You deserve a 'Khatta Meetha' after that.
All the pics were good. Thanx for the 'Bodhi tree'. Nice camera work. Good light & colours.
Is that the hotel you stayed in ? The 'island hotel' is too good. The black & white bungalow & the courtyard look like typical Kerala stuctures, what with the tiles, pillars, flower thalis....makes me nostalgic.
Your pics are improving day by day.

Theyoginme said...

wonderful pics.. keep them coming.. and lets hear more about your experience during and after inception...

wise donkey said...

perhaps you could have verified that sachin's opus won't have his blood..

on don, well its not just the films what glorify the bad. just see how many ads, make it ok to be bad:) especially when it comes to kids.

Nalini Hebbar said...

'Bollywood has always had a strange fascination for members of the underworld'...that's becoz it's their can't demean the hand that pays!

Radhika Gupta said...

Hi shobhaa,
the pics are really beautiful n u look great...n a nice article as usual...

Neha said...

Awesome pictures as always! Keep them coming.
Btw, really want to know who coined that term 'jumping jack'!
And how did you find Inception? My friends who watched it slept through the movie, so I haven't taken chances yet. As for KHatta meetha, you surely won't be impressed (if I know that from your reviews). Priyadarshan got confused whether he wants to make a comedy or a flick on corruption and ended up with neither! Nevertheless, will wait for your words on that. And yes, Tere Bin Laden was a cute one...loved the song 'ullu ka pattha'!

Buzzintown Blogger said...

Fantabulous pictures!!!! Lucky girl visiting such beautiful places :)

Tasteless Khatta Meetha
Inception movie review
First Look of Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey

Unknown said...

The pic is amazing!
I clicked on it and saw it on the full should think of a career in films...even if it is as the hero's mother!
You will give the heroine a run for her money...
Beauty with brains?Lethal combination.

Unknown said...

Don't you consider Sharad Pawar, Digvijay Singh, Manish Tiwari, Amar Singh, Suresh Kalmadi & Prakash Karat as TRAITORS?? While CBI is after Narendra Modi in the Sohrabuddin case, it does not have any guts to quiz Sharad Pawar's role in Mumbai Blasts.

Anonymous said...

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