All four images are from Jaipur. The ones on top are with Rajmata Padmini Devi. She had graciously invited me to lunch at her residence - the magnificent City Palace. I was completely disarmed by her innate simplicity and quiet grace. The others in the picture are Sunanda Tharoor and Hemali Sodhi. The beautiful boy dancing in the courtyard of the Palace Cafe speaks a lilting version of English, Italian, French and German. The cops in the last picture were there to thwart protests in the wake of the Asish Nandy controversy. As you can tell, it's a pretty motley crowd of hired 'protestors''.
Oh.... for all those who want to know about our strange footwear in the earlier post, it's a disposable covering that one wears in order to protect the pristine marble of the Taj.
This appeared in Mumbai Mirror.....
Who wants to be Mrs.Salman Rushdie…?
So…. who wants to be the next Mrs. Rushdie? Dumb question! Do I see quite a few raised hands out there?Yup. I do, indeed.Across the world and certainly here in India, there are any number of gorgeous young things who’d love to be Salman’s missus number five. Paradox or what? Let’s take a good look at Salman, ladies. Let’s try and figure out what makes him so damn irresistible to women. It can’t be his looks (Salman is the first person to laugh about those). It isn’t about his money. I don’t know his net worth, and I am pretty sure he has done well for himself. But, let’s face it, Warren Buffet he ain’t.He is not even a Ruia or Dhoot. He is well…. Salman Rushdie. All hooded eyes and sardonic smiles. A man who has a way with words and women. That’s quite a feat. Words… that’s easy, he is a brilliant writer. No debate. Women? Oh oh…. different story. Rushdie at 65 is hot! Madly hot. Sure, he is seriously out of shape ( gymming is for wimps, not geniuses – got that?) But he is also seriously irresistible. Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie ( knighted in 2008), serial husband, is also the original Cerebral Sizzler. Best served garma garam.
I watched him gamely go through the mandatory motions while promoting his movie ( make no mistake - ‘Midnight’s Children’ is unambiguously Rushdie’s film). I figured he was trying to keep himself awake and amused as he repeated a spiel that by now must be coming out of his ears. This is the least fun part of any creative endeavour – the hard sell and road show. Salman must be well aware of the boring drill which involves flogging the poor chap from city to city, country to country. He is the movie’s brand identity and trump card . No Salman. No interest. The book is 32- years- old. The original Midnight’s Children who so loved the book, are now paunchy, complacent, middle aged grandpas and grandmas. The current generation of readers ( I am told they do exist!) has moved on to ‘higher ground’ ( Salman’s favourite phrase). Grey matter is restricted to appreciating fifty shades of that depressing colour. And yet! There he was, sportingly playing to the galleries, those observant hooded eyes checking out the fawning crowd invited to the Little Theatre by Anil Dharker. As if on cue, he performed his set piece, chortling at an anecdote here, an off the cuff joke there. Dead pan humour and wry wit, perfectly in place. Wait a minute – I got it! The key to Salman’s spectacular success with the ladies is definitely linked to this one trait - his awesome sense of humour. Bas. You may say there are so many funny guys floating around. Do women necessarily want to bed and wed them? Naaaah! But just look at Salman’s enviable track record. Forget Johnny Depp ( Salman’s joke about him is brilliant). It is our Salman who’s the asli super stud. The man who makes women weak with desire. But… desire for what? His fame? Umm. There are countless men a hundred times more famous.His brain? Well, a good brain is attractive. But … I guess that’s not the only part of a man’s anatomy women seek under the sheets. Could it be his bad boy reputation? That’s a turn on, for sure. Most good girls are absolute suckers when it comes to naughty guys. But then, going by just that, there should be a long queue of lusting ladies lining up outside Arthur Road jail.
The last time I met the Rushdie was at a small dinner in Mumbai when the luscious Padma Lakshmi was not yet his missus. Forget her eyes, she could barely keep her hands off him! She kept gushing, “I don’t see enough of my boy friend.” Salman seemed pleased to bask in her adulation while she draped herself all over him and posed for photographs. Padma is an ex-missus now. And Salman is single. Very single. At this stage in his life, I am guessing he is ready to try anything… or anyone. What does he have to lose? With his devilish charm and devastating wit, Salman may just make it to the list of the world’s most eligible bachelors. Never mind the girth. He is the Jack Nicholson of the literary world. At once magnetic and entirely impossible. Women just lurveee that! More fool them.