Monday, November 7, 2011

The 5 Crore Man....

A big hug to our Blogdost, Harish Iyer (Aham) who has won the ndtv Zindagi Live Award for Social Service!! Applause! Applause! He richly deserves it! And one more hug for another Blogdost Aparna Velankar for conducting a superb 'In Conversation' at the 25th 'Parle Katta' on saturday. It was a really special evening spent with 500 pre-dominantly Maharashtrian residents of Vile Parle. Not only was the function (held in a large garden) exceedingly well organised, but the thoughtful snacks served ( delicious sabudana khichdi,spicy batata wada with sweet chutney and elaichi flavoured, home brewed coffee) rounded off an ideas-charged evening, made still more special thanks to a fragrant tokri of Champak blossoms given to me and Aparna. Wish more people would offer local seasonal flowers to guests instead of boring, commercial bouquets! Questions from the audience were challenging and lively. This is the kind of crowd nobody can fool. I was delighted to be a part of it. So, when Mark Tully ( I met him at the closing party for the just concluded Mumbai Lit Fest, aptly called Literature Live, and ably chaired by Anil Dharker) snarkily asked me whether I had accepted such an invitation in order to sell more books, I snapped back ( no regrets!) and told him where to get off. Really!Such a crass question!

This appeared in Bombay Times today...

The Five Crore Man..

Sushil Kumar from Bihar has joined the ranks of the ‘most-recognised’ celebrities in India after winning 5 crores on Amitabh Bachchan’s KBC. Excellent timing ( Diwali ) and superb marketing have propelled the young man from a life of total obscurity to an entirely different world under the spotlight. So far, Sushil Kumar remains delightfully underwhelmed by the attention and the moolah. I happened to share the same flight to Delhi last week, and have to confess I didn’t recognize the non-descript young man who was minding his own business and reading a Hindi newspaper. The story changed as soon as we landed. Several co-passengers gheraoed him , asking for autographs. He posed for pictures and chatted away without the slightest self-consciousness. Someone brought him over for an introduction and he disarmingly stated that since he didn’t speak any English, we’d have to converse in Hindi . He spoke sensibly and sincerely about his win, neither boasting nor underplaying its significance in his life. At the swanky New Delhi terminal, once again Sushil Kumar was enthusiastically mobbed by passengers and staff. The last I saw of him,he was in the middle of a large crowd getting clicked on several cell phones. He appeared cool and unfazed by all the attention. This is true celebrity.
Contrast Sushil Kumar’s attitude to that of nobodies parading as celebrities. Especially B- and C- grade Bollywood types who refuse to take their shades off inside the aircraft, and strut up and down the aisle strenuously trying to attract attention. It’s easy to spot these wannabes from a mile as they collar Page 3 photographers at splashy events and insist on being photographed with the Chief Guest. If a pesky kid is stupid enough to ask for an autograph, these delusional people display the worst attitude and a basic lack of good manners by playing hard to get. Quite forgetting that their 15 minutes of fame got over years ago. Perhaps a few months from now, not too many people will remember Sushil Kumar ( someone else may win 10 crores by then!). But chances are, it won’t matter to this down to earth man. He is clear about his objectives and wants to spend his win on educating his brothers and continuing his own education. Married less than six months ago, he smiles shyly when asked what he’d like to gift his wife. For now, Sushil Kumar is in a happy space, soberly enjoying his fame and good fortune . He isn’t likely to buy the latest designer shades to hide behind. Nor does one expect him to go for a fancy car. But while his moment of glory lasts, Sushil Kumar is all set to enjoy every minute of it! Good luck to the 5 Crore Man!
Driving back from Pune recently, I had to pinch myself several times. The skyline has changed so dramatically it’s possible to believe one is in some futuristic city. Those towers! The mad architecture that mimics the best and worst of Singapore or Dubai. The gigantic shopping complexes that cover several acres! Mumbai is beginning to look like a poor cousin of Vashi and Belapur! Some irony, that!
Happy Birthday Bombay Times! Those who made it to the Anniversary Mad Hatter’s Party confirm they had an absolute blast. Nothing less was expected. Get ready to devour Page 3 to Page 20 crammed with wall-to-wall coverage of the event that saw the city’s Most Terrific at their party best.


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Anonymous said...

Even SRK was not recognized by a security guard at posh delhi locality as per his published interview I read few days back.

Harish said...

awwww... thank you so much De. :)

i love you.

chotta correction though... it is the (CNN IBN/ IBN7/IBN lokmat) TV18 network ka award .. not NDTV.

aparna... :) the way to de's heart is through her stomach.

hai naa... de?


the best thing about sushil kumar was his heart full of gratitude. after every question, he would look at his parents, his family, he thanked his friend, his villager... was not shy to be in his own skin... he never tried behaving sophisticated. he was raw, he was untamed, he was fearless.... and the one thing that stands out - HE WAS GROUNDED.

it is the heart full of gratitude that won him 5 crores.


yesterday, i was at We The People, i was amazed at people mobbing vidya balan, abhay deol and mahesh bhatt for photographs and autographs...

vidya was earthy and suave, we have some family connection... and she was NOT like "I am a star of a different galaxy"... she greeted acknowledged and was mast

so was abhay deol.. mashaalaah.. boy next door types...

the rest of bollywood one-film-chick and dumb-dudes need to get their feet on ground, for that's where the skies fall.


ekta khetan said...

Stars first struggle to get notice...then behave so suave as if sunlight will hurt them.

A men who won 5 crore is ecstatic and may not bask in limelite now.,...let him win few more n see how dies it corrupts him.

Moreover, he must be shy n scared of unwanted eyes on his prize money- a la local goon etc..

Ashwini Sane said...

M'am,The interaction sounds really great! Am so glad you do these things.Congrats and Best wishes to Harish Iyer and Aparna Velankar.

Unknown said...

Im loving how all the people who actually need the kbc platform are benefiting from it this time around...they deserve an applause for providing such an opportunity to the people from villages and small cities. Knowledge=wealth afterall!

Kudos to Sushil Kumar and KBC...

चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

A man uplifted is a family uplifted. Hope he doesnt lose his sleep and brain.

Tsomo85 said...

Congratulation to the winner! Shobha De, how do you always manage to come across the achiever just like that? I mean seriously, who doesn't want to see the happy eyes of that genius soul in face to face? Wow! Thank you for sharing this with us! Always, enjoy your blog no matter what.


Desi Babu said...

Dear Mrs. De,

Finally, a post by you appreciating the "Desi Cool" trait! After Mr. Dhoni and Mr. Paanch Karor ka Pati , do you have any doubts left that Desis are cool?

BTW, I seemed to have missed a post by you talking about Saif Khan's "crowning". The hilarious incident made waves on Indian media, and I finally caught up with the circus a few days ago. We would have loved one of your sarcastic posts on the "birth" of a new "Nawab".

In case you missed it, I wrote my own take on it yesterday: Of Nawabs and Kebabs

Desi Babu

Pooja Rathore said...

congrats to Aham and Aparna.
i liked your post on sushil kumar the winner.

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julie said...

I like your views about those Page 3 b, c grade bollywood socialites types. Nice to know that insiders of the industry think the same as the average person. Love the part of them wearing sunglasses inside the aircraft. Sometimes i wondered if they sleep with it.

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