Blogdosts, sorry about my absence. Since I don't possess a Blackberry ( only pimps and courier service delivery boys need one), I stay pretty unconnected when I travel. Have been doing a lot of that last week - Delhi and Hyderabad over four days.... and may need to repack that Samsonite yet again.
This was my first hand experience of the really, really swanky lifestyle of Dilli's billionaire 'farmers' who own as many Ferraris as tractors! Those amazing 'farm houses' are more like Italian pallazzos - decadent and gorgeous. How the super rich suffer! I agreed to be designer Ritu Beri's 'show stopper' at the ongoing fashion week - which must qualify as a fashion first ( am I the world's oldest show stopper on the cat walk - do check , guys). Did I enjoy myself? Hell, ya! Fashion is fun - don't take it or yourself too seriously!
Dr. Raghu Ram from Hyderabad may be equally wealthy, but his lifestyle is somewhat more restrained! With four FRCS degrees to his name ( yes, you got that right - FOUR!), the good doc left a cushy life behind in Edinburgh, to come home and set up a unique initiative for women suffering from breast cancer. This was after his mother Ushalakshmi was diagnosed with the disease a few years earlier. Since that turning point, 'Raghu' as he is popularly called, has made it his life's mission to generate awareness for the second biggest killer in the world. Every minute, a woman dies of breast cancer somewhere - that's a pretty chilling statistic. I was there to support this worthy cause and spread the word - early detection saves lives.
Between the event and interviews, I did make the time for the best biryani on earth, to say nothing of the mirchi ka salan. No matter what chefs across India claim about their version of Hyderabad's signature dish, it has to be eaten in Charminar City for the real gourmet experience. Everything else is synthetic - like the people of Delhi!
This appeared in Bombay Times yesterday and has elicited lots of wicked laughter!
Never a dull moment in Mumbai…..
Really…. this infuriating, frustrating and stinking megapolis drives you insane! But we , who live in this hell hole, can’t get enough of it! Call us Masochistic Mumbaikars…. but this city has an insidious way of crawling under ones skin… and staying there. Take a look at the past week’s happenings – action replay all the way. We have a miffed author ( Rohinton Mistry ), advising young Aditya Thackeray to read Tagore. Why Tagore and not Mein Kampf? We discover the Vice Chancellor of the Mumbai University has bluffed about his academic credentials. Terrorist Kasab goes on a spitting spree….nobody ducks. Kalmadi continues to waddle around claiming he was too ‘busy’ to attend the P.M.s felicitation function for medal winners. Sangeeta Jindal ( described as an ‘activist’ - that’s a hoot!), waltzes through Immigration and Custom’s with a crore of serious jools she ‘forgets’ to declare. Oh well… what’s a few solitaires here and there? Bebo and Saif offend presswallas by turning up two hours late at a promotional event. Mumbai traffic gets the rap for that one. Abha Singh, General Post Office Director, discovers a 200 year-old secret tunnel under the heritage structure. Wonder who played hide-and-seek in it? Balasaheb threatens a Burqa ban. Ouch! Robert Vadra boasts he can win any poll in India but prefers to sell brassware abroad. A historic movie studio ( Kamalistan) gets sold for a pittance. The lovely ladies of cricket ( Shilpa and Preity) refuse to hang up their gloves, insisting owning a cricket team is a passion and not a profession. Mallika hisses and hisses but the naagin finds no takers. Her fans prefer her kissing to her hissing, clearly. Niranjan Hiranandani says the CBI has victimized him. P.F. (poor fellow, not Provident Fund). Bipasha Basu confesses she weighs 58 kilos but was willing to don a 50 kilo outfit ( for 50 lakhs???). Ali Zafar, the hottie from across the border boasts he was going to make a rock star of his co-star Katrina Kaif. Err…. wasn’t she made one by someone else? The Ladies who Lunch, continue lunching and munching without ever gaining a microgram . Yes, even at some outrageously over priced restaurants featuring a great chef at an even greater price (cheaper by far to fly to London and sample his cuisine at his signature joint). Ekta Kapoor sort of announces her intention to find a suitable boy (NOW!!!) by turning up in semi-bridal gear at a soiree.Akshay and Twinkle make it known they won’t be hosting their Diwali taash party this year ( leaving all those who had spent hours and zillions on their taash outfit, feeling really dumb). But there is hope – Jumping Jack and wife will probably go ahead with theirs.Fresh forensic evidence found under Viveka Babajee’s nails suggests she had gotten into a violent fight before she died. But who’s saying it was with boy friend Gautam Vohra? Definitely not Gautam Vohra himself. Babies ( male , of course) continue to disappear ( a few reappeared as well) and the cops remain clueless ( what else is new?). And Arnab Goswami single handedly demolishes all arguments on every conceivable issue on his nightly panel. India shuddered and shook.
Now for the big news : Bombay Times turns sixteen over the Halloween weekend and every witch in town is getting that broom ready to zoom into the Taj and create havoc. Fortunately, most invitees, especially the society ladies, won’t have to try too hard. They look and behave the part perfectly. As for costumes, darling…. why not raid your own horrific wardrobes and scare the day lights out of the unwary?? Trick or treat, anybody??