Let’s not kid ourselves….
26\11 has come and gone. Three years have flown by. Nothing has changed. Nothing is likely to. Mumbai remains an attractive and easy target for just about any terrorist organization that wants to attack our city. It can happen again, even as I am keying in this column on the grisly third anniversary that shook the metropolis. Mumbai can never be the same again…. no matter what sort of a brave face we put on , which mask we wear, or how hard we try to convince ourselves that we have ‘moved on’. No, we haven’t. We can’t. Much as I would like to go back to what was described as a ‘normal’ pre-26/11 life, the truth of the matter is, that particular life has disappeared forever. Which is another reason why I refused to participate in panel discussions on various tv channels this year. Discussions that sound even more meaningless and hollow today than they did three years ago,in the horrifying aftermath of the attacks. The only people who genuinely suffered and continue to express their heart-breaking grief are those who lost their loved ones – their wounds may never heal.Sure, life will go on even for these families, but each anniversary will become yet another ghastly reminder of a tragedy that took away someone precious. Scanning those poignant ‘Remembrances’ in newspaper advertisements, made me indescribably sad. Juxtaposed with the poems and quotations from the Bhagwad Gita and other scriptures, were interviews with bureaucrats and ministers uttering the same , stale, tired , fake platitudes that fool no one. It was almost sickening to carry on reading all that nonsense about the great measures that are in place today and all the various ‘improvements’ initiated to safeguard the city against future attacks.We know this is misleading and false, amounting to nothing but political propaganda. But what is the average Mumbaikar supposed to do? Which is why, we fall back on the few consolations that make us feel a little better – at least temporarily. We lap up inane quotes from movie stars, models and assorted ‘celebrities’ whose bravado lacks conviction (“ We must stand together and show the terrorists we are one. They can’t defeat our spirit. Mumbai is the greatest city in the world. Love, not hate is the answer.”). Total rubbish! The only real voices expressing genuine anguish and pain,were those of the innocent children of our brave policemen. It is the families of the less fortunate victims who have to live with their loss for the rest of their lives. For the rest of us, 26/11 will soon get reduced to yet another ‘date’ that is marked on the calendar.Even the numbness will eventually wear off… we will soon stop caring at all. Those cop kids will grow up. Other survivors will cope the best they can. Perhaps a new Headley will emerge from the shadows.Ajmal Qasab will grow into middle age inside some prison, and nobody will remember or bother.What will never change is the shamelessness of the leaders we ourselves have elected and supported all along.Perhaps, that’s really all we deserve?
Monitoring Vidya (Ooh la la) Balan’s dramatic transformation ( all for the role, of course!), has been a fascinating exercise. The thing is, no matter what Vidya does, she can never be ‘dirty’. Her robust attempts at staying ‘in character’ (read: raunchy) before the launch of her ambitious film, are admirable. All those tacky sarees, cheap dance moves, even naughty, off-colour jokes during promotional interviews! My, my! Our ‘Parineeta’ is really gambling big with this one. Hats off to Vidya. I cannot imagine any other heroine attempting something as potentially dangerous to her image , no matter what the demands of the role. Even Kareena Kapoor didn’t take such daring chances during ‘Chameli’. Trust Vidya to go the extra mile. That’s what makes VB different.She’s ‘hot’. But sorry, she ain’t ‘dirty’. Or rather ‘dirty’ enough!
Desi Gurrlz , are you ready for the Desi Boyz?What a fun film!Totally nonsensical,illogical and worse.But Rocko and Hunter are gonna get you!I know of two Mumbai socialites who want to hire these stud muffins (John A and Akshay K) as ‘escorts’ at their 60th birthday bashes.Chitrangada smoulders… and how! Steals the show with her animated face and super-sexy body-lingo.Gigolos get their due, finally!