Thursday, March 3, 2011


Came across this fun picture shot in the croc park ( Australia) last year, when I was looking for some other images for a piece I am writing. It cheered me up immensely! Not that I am looking for extra cheer - I have been feeling euphoric since yesterday. Life transforming experiences do that to people. Let me just say - I am in such a state - transformed! I rushed to catch the evening aarti on Maha Shivratri (yesterday), at the Shiv temple in Colaba, and was delighted to see Dilip Maharaj, the chief pujari , conducting it with characteristic grace and devotion. There was much to thank God for.... yesterday in particular... and always.
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Today, I am breaking my standard 'no lunch' rule to meet the devilish Anthony Spaeth ( a good friend, who is based in Seoul, where he edits the main English daily). He is back in Mumbai after 11 long years and cannot believe the dramatic changes his keen journalistic eye has been taking in. Why did I refer to him as a 'devil'? Well, many moons ago he was the writer assigned by TIME magazine to profile me. And he was the culprit who coined that annoying, nonsensical 'Jackie Collins of India' tag, which has become an albatross around my neck since! Perhaps, I should even the score with Tony and take him to a real dump for lunch. Punishment enough? I don't think so. Your verdict, guys???
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This appeared in Bombay Times on monday......

Fringe Benefits!

The ‘fringe’ routinely has its moments as a style statement… I guess, it’s enjoying that moment now.Especially in Bollywood. The only actress who had dared to sport a fringe in the old days was Sadhana ( recently embroiled in an ugly property dispute). I recall taking a scissor to my own hair after watching one of her films and cutting an uneven, untidy fringe. It looked awful! And my parents were exceedingly cross with me.Perhaps Sadhana herself was taking a cue from the gamine Audrey Hepburn, who wore her fringe most elegantly. It kissed her forehead and high-lighted her expressive eyes perfectly. All these images flashed past me as I greeted Urmilla Matondkar at Nari Hira’s lively party to mark 40 years of the iconic film magazine he started ( a game changer that altered not just film journalism, but mainstream journalism as well). It took me a minute to recognize the super svelte Urmilla who’d just done it – cut a lush fringe! As she put it, “ I was tired of people obsessing over my hair. Bored with the look… and ready to move on.” I have always believed Urmilla has not received due acknowledgment as an actress – she is not just good, she is very good! And smart! Years ago, both of us were speakers at a hard core Maharashtrian rally, and I recall being struck by how articulately and intelligently she expressed her thoughts. She reached out effortlessly to a huge gathering and pressed all the right buttons when she made an impromptu speech that reflected her concerns. Urmilla would make an effective parliamentarian if she ever decides to take the plunge into politics. Till then , we can watch her fringed avatar as a judge on a reality show. The girl can walk the talk, and shake a leg with the best of them. What more does the audience want??
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Today is D-Day… or rather, B-Day. And Nana Chudasama will be hosting an adda as usual at his Marine Drive office. Attendance at his Budget adda is by invitation only, and it sees an interesting gathering of ‘men with opinions’. Women are not welcome! Well, they are not exactly barred from this elite club, but the macho men prefer to crunch numbers and analyse the budget over beer, bhel puri and bawdy jokes. Mumbaikars of a certain vintage will remember the scintillating deconstruction of the blessed Budget by the legendary Nani Palkhiwalla ( the grounds of the CCI Club overflowed with his fans seeking instant gyaan). Believe me, such was the power and prestige value of Nani’s extempore and erudite analysis ( strictly no notes ), that Mumbai’s best and brightest would start arriving hours in advance to grab vantage seats on the lawns. From Nani’s address to Nana’s adda – Mumbai has its own unique way of reacting to the annual trauma also known as the Budget.
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Mamatadi’s railway budget made sense – literally and otherwise – only to co-Bongs. The rest of us needed translators and interpreters, or at any rate, a ticker or sub-titles would have made it possible to understand what the lady was saying with such josh. Experts on television made it easier for the aam aadmi by providing highlights and bullets. In short, Mamatadi used the opportunity to spell out her own agenda. By all means, go ahead and become the next C.M. of West Bengal….but, don’t shortchange the rest of India for your personal ambitions!

25 comments:

SEPO said...

the pic is super fun ma'am

and i totally agree with the fact that urmila has not achieved what she should have!

Radhika Gupta said...

why not oblige your friend Tony with a similar kind of a tag??? tit for tat!!

Capt. Ajit Vadakayil said...

yeah-- we all know nana chudasama , the guy who loves to be in the limelight --

and how he tried to pass off his banner tweets for 30 years as india's opinion--

and his great love for india's overrated barefoot artist in hermes suits--

punch in MODERN ABSTRACT ART AND PICASSO VADAKAYIL, in google , to find out how mediocre men scratched each other's backs, and rode piggy back, to padma shrees and fame --

cmpershad said...

Nice picture... but who is real and who is statue :)

Appu said...

ROFL
- dil to bachcha hai ji?

Tsomo85 said...

Someone looks like she will live a long and healthy life. More power to you. Yeah Urmila always been under rated. Some of her films were excellent & I watch those over and over again and never get tired of it. Media people gives too much attention to Deepika and etc who has very little talent/looks yet huge shinning affairs smoking all over.

Neera said...

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Capt. Ajit Vadakayil said...

all MF Hussain lovers, who call him angel on TV--

punch in I AM A PROUD HINDU VADAKAYIL in google search.

after that pl go ahead and still love him!!

be my guest!!

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*Aham* said...

O! u bet.

urmila is someone who not only has grace and poise, she is someone who makes a big impression with the junta and elite - quietly and nicely and quite nicely.

even her entry in bollywood and her strategy is bang on. remember the Masoom days and then how she reentered the cinema with a "narsimha" where she was sati savitri in western outfit... and then she came out to be the slutty savitri... in hai raama of Rangeela.

whats wonderful is her intent.. her choice... her choice of waiting for the right film to finally Bare It All... and surprise the world with her oomph.


***********************************

o.. i so hate men who are overtly obsessed with the big 'B's - i mean not the budget but Booze and Boobs. the reason for the meeting - the other B - budget... will be kicked and roughed up under the high voltage libido of the drunken men. aiyooooo.

i wouldnt be surprised if they have a post discussion Item number by Malaika Arora.

what they dont understand is that... what robin william says...

god gave man a brain and a penis and just enough blood to run one at a time



***********************************

Bong Connection...

O how much i adore mamatadi.. rather every railway minister. they look like straight from a david dhavan flick. From Lalu to Mamata... they just have to open their mouth to cause laughter attacks.

in years to come, the railway ministry would have its own stand up comedy show.

what to say...

with all ministers singing

"Apna Sapna Money Money"

india just has many sting bees and no honey... .

*Aham* said...

and what a picture.. ! wow. evem if one of those putlaas were alive.. they would have done kathakali in happiness with such a beauty posing with them..

Ponds Cold Cream is blessed! :)

Vaibhav Varun said...

A blasting article indeed...!!!
I agree with you.
Pls. visit my blog
www.meetingwiththoughts.blogspot.com

- Vaibhav Varun
- Student (Class 9)

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sibi said...

Happy that Indian rail fares kept the same for last 3 years. Similarly, the quality, safety and security offered by Indian railways should not be kept the same. Railways should improve the quality of service!

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Appu said...

Ooops...
I wish a bathroom within trains.
Till-date I can't bath if long journey.

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Hope Didi wins this year so that we can have a new begining

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