Friday, July 16, 2010

Once Upon a Time with Shobhaa...

This pic was taken in a small village between Colombo and Galle. We had stopped over for a brief halt as we had a lunch date in the village at the famous Beach House run by Geoffrey Dobbs. Our chopper pilot 'Top Gun' Ravi, landed on the edge of the sea, watched closely by these tough looking guys who softened when we requested them to pose for a photograph. This was just the beginning of an adventure that saw the Deccan Aviation chopper fly us through an electric storm with visibility levels dropping so dramatically, Ravi had to fly at a perilous 300 metres above sea level at one point and follow the headlights of cars in the far distance to get his bearings. But... we made it! And if someone were to ask whether I would do it again - the answer is a big 'yessss'. Provided Ravi ( he proudly told us he had flown two previous Presidents) is in command.
In case you want to see a pic of my current hero Ravi, raise your hands!!

“ Mein Chupp Rahoongi…..”

This is about a scoop that didn’t happen. Last week, I was slated to conduct a potentially sizzling interview with a light-eyed beauty who’d made huge waves years ago when she’d gate crashed the Bollywood party. She was a big name for a short while during that distant era when starlets were ‘discovered’ and not ‘manufactured’. After a dream launch in a big banner movie, the girl struggled to land a few roles, and soon faded from the scene. When she did resurface, it was in another avatar – a rather unappetizing one, at that. It was rumoured that Dawood had taken a fancy to her and she had decided to become one of his biwis. Heaven knows how true those rumours were, but the girl did do the vanishing act and everybody assumed she was leading a life of indolent luxury tucked away in either Dubai or Karachi. Since Bollywood really does not have time for has- beens , or ‘would-have-beens’, she was soon forgotten. There were a few unconfirmed sightings, but by then nobody was interested in her.

Well, trust Ekta Kapoor to make it her mission to track her down. Ekta’s sleuths managed to locate the elusive woman in her suburban Mumbai flat, where she lives in anonymity and oblivion. Her new life was certainly a far, far cry from the one she had known, albeit briefly, as Bollywood’s darling.She was surprised anybody could be interested in her now. Well, Ekta and I certainly were! When I received a call from Ekta to ask whether I would interview the person, I was at a remotely located boutique hotel in the heart of Galle ( Sri Lanka). The phone connection wasn’t great, but the excitement levels certainly were. I had dozens of tantalizing questions I wanted answers to, as I geared up for the chat which was scheduled for later in the day. Just our luck that when the appointed hour arrived, I was in the middle of a slushy paddy field dealing with an unexpected thunder storm that had broken out ,ruining effective communication. We decided to speak later…. I was dying to ask about her life as Dawood’s wife. And what she thought of innocent faced Prachi Desai playing a mobster’s girlfriend in the movie. I wanted to know whether Imran Hashmi was the right choice and whether she approved of his sharply styled 70’s look. Most importantly, had she ever met Hajibhai when she was with Dawood? Alas, the Rain and Communications Gods decided otherwise. Perhaps, she herself had second thoughts?
But I am a bloodhound at heart. I have not given up the chase.
Watch this space…


Anonymous said...

*hand raised*

sonal said...

ehy i dont know about the others, but u and ure daughter sure made a pretty pair in Columbo.U are a fashionista, hot at 60! How u do it amazes me!!
By the way read a report about Sonam kapoor making up with u.I say thaTS GOOD!Watched her film IHLS today. Quite liked it. She looks swell and so does her cute co-star!Watchable sweet film!

Vivek Nanda said...

Yes, I raise my hand for Ravi :)
Of course, I'm waiting for the interview now..hope it happens soon.

goodluck said...

One totally heroine oriented movie with Raj Kapoor is worth than umpteen forgettable flicks by more successful heroines. Ram Teri Ganga Maili is totally Mandakini's film and she looked great and acted great under Raj Kapoor's direction. Bollywood could not exploit such a talent properly. And the music is as fresh as the himalayan snows.

Divya Virmani said...

eagerly waiting for the interview and the other spicey details. Btw, one cannot guess your age after looking at this pic. Complete fashion Diva even at the age of 60. Hats off Mrs. De!!!

You and your daugther Arundhati make a stunning pair...

अल्पना वर्मा said...

My experience says srilankan people are generally very very cool ,helping and always smiling.
yes, want to see picture of your current hero 'Ravi'.

rishi851 said...

This is way OT-
I am a fan of your pen and have avidly read your entries in the national dailies since the early 90s.
I recently started reading your blog and enjoy it for the most part-You are an interesting individual with an insight better developed than most(Always knew this)

Anyways so I was going through your previous entires and I came across a blog from 2009.There was one sentence that had me begging for a literal translation
"(forgotten how many extra ‘g’s’ or ‘n’s’ there are in the title)"
Can you please elaborate on what those 2 words are-I just need to be clear on certain issues, that's all

I'll check this space again in 2 days.

ashu said...

waiting for that interview mam ...hope you get some great of luck.......

Another Kiran In NYC said...

ofcourse the hand is raised!

Mandakini... why was'nt someone looking out for this lovely if unsophisticated and gauche small town girl while she was making achaar out of her image and career? I guess once she had bared her breasts under a waterfall, there was nothing more for Raj Kapoor to "reveal" in any more movies and therefore no need to protect her and make sure she lands on her feet. I guess our moms are always right... dont give all of yourself the first time out.

Did you stay at Tintagel? The lovliest hotel there is.

And why didnt you finish the story of Haji and Kushti queen? Not fair!

And when you do speak with the light eyed one, we want to know What actually happened, not so much if Imran Hasmi smirks right or Prachi Desai looks right. Frankly more interested in the real Dons rather than the celluloid ones.

sidhu said...

u rock babe!! even at 60,u r as sizzling as shakira! wonder y u didnt take up acting seriously........

Latha said...

@Divya..'Hats off Mrs. De!!!' I know 'no pun intented'.
Hats make her look much younger.

RAJ47 said...

Hi Shobhaa,
Both hands raised.
During the time when these rumors were rife she was in Bangalore and I believe she (also) married a Tibetan from Dharamsala once these rumors subsided.

Harman said...

..nice pictures...and definately my hand is raised!

Buzzintown Blogger said...

Would eagerly wait for that interview - ageless beauty!!!! You can give even youngsters a stiff competition. How do you manage to do this? Why don't you write a book about your best kept beauty secrets?

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thank you for the beautiful writing..

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