Bye Chicago! Hello New York!!!
Blogdosts, it has been an exhilerating few days in what my daughter Arundhati tells me is called ' Chi Town'. It was my first time - and what a revelation it turned out to be. Nothing really prepares you for the stunning architecture - no wonder so many Hollywood movies are shot here. I felt like I was on a movie set, or in Gotham City! Combine that overwhelming feeling with meeting over 4,000 co-Maharashtrians in one go at the BMM convention! Let's call it a double whammy. I wasn't sure whether or not I'd feel swamped surrounded by so many Marathis , after being somewhat isolated from my own precious roots for so long! But guess what? I felt like I was in a warm and wonderful embrace... I experienced so much genuine love from total strangers! My own presentation was titled 'From Nauwarri to Armani' - the Maharshtrian women has come a long way! And indeed she has!! I met exceptional women like the dynamic Senator from Iowa, Swati Dandekar, who is someone you really don't want to mess with - the lady means business! The other invitees from Mumbai, apart from moi, were Shreyas Talpade, whose interaction with a huge and very supportive crowd was brilliant - spot on, spontaneous and entertaining, and Omi Vaidya. I watched an hour long documentary on Omi but couldn't stay for his session. Much as I loved him in '3 Idiots', this funny but self indulgent effort was 40 mins too long... more appropriate for his family and friends, as a fun road movie about Omi getting his break in Bollywood. Let me save the best for last - it was Ashok Hande's incredible dance show, which deserves to be on Broadway. Yup, it's that outstanding as a production, with the most energetic dancing and music, that leaves viewers breathless! And to think, his day job is that of a fruit vendor!! What an astonishing success story! As for his star Lavni dancer, she sizzles more than Munni, Jalebi, Sheila and the lot put together! Would love to know her name. She is a major phataka.... a real theekhi mirchi. Who wouldn't want to play Holi with this lady in that sexy blue choli???
Now.... before I miss my flight to New York, I'd better run. FAST!!!