Beautiful family portrait .... I fell in love with the baby... she had the softest, prettiest hands! And that's us at the Opera in Monte Carlo.....
Am off to Chennai tomorrow.
Back in this space on Tuesday....you can safely lie that you missed me!
This appeared in the Mumbai Mirror....
What’s age got to do with it….?
Take Tina Turner. Ageless. I was thinking of her and other amazing ladies closer to home. Asha Bhonsle, for example. Ageless, again. Both are class acts. Still hitting those high notes, personally and professionally. Tina has her great legs and trendy wigs.Asha, her girlish smile and diamond brooches . It isn’t about just the voice. Or even an awesome stage presence (formidable!). It is about attitude and genuine sex appeal. Last week, over a long and nostalgia-driven, wine- fuelled dinner in Alibag, my girl friend and I were discussing a touchy topic - age and the issues surrounding it. We talked about botox, ceramic teeth, hair extensions, boob jobs, face lifts and assorted ‘problems’ women of a certain vintage are wasting their time and pots of money on. Wasting!! Age is age. Accept it. The moment you start battling those lines and extra cellulite, all you are doing is making your favourite cosmetic surgeon richer. Eventually, everything collapses – the fixed up boobs, cheeks, eyes, smile, butt – everything. Then what? My friend laughed as she recalled her own mother’s crass and cruel comment when she was a teenager - “ You are rather ugly, my dear, but don’t worry, you have a lot of sex appeal. And sex appeal never fades, no matter what your age…” Today, my friend who is sixty plus can still rock that chiffon saree! She was born ‘hot’.
But not every woman is born either ‘hot’ or good looking. What happens then? Why, women turn invisible! Unless, of course they are public figures and former actresses like Waheeda Rehman. Ask any young person to name a woman who has aged gracefully and chances are it will be Waheeda. It used to be Gayatri Devi till pretty recently. What do these two ladies have in common? Here’s a check list : Well- coiffed grey hair, beautiful sarees, barely any make up, modest, elbow length cholis, discreet pearls and ear tops, an innate sense of style combined with dignity, and of course the elegance and grace one associates with classic, God- given beauty. Beyond these obvious attributes, it is also their quiet acceptance of time’s ravaging effects , that sets them apart. Neither of them ever tried to look younger. And that was/is their biggest USP. Society is less forgiving when it comes to women and age, especially when women refuse to go down without a fight. Every city has its parade of older women who battle age with everything their means can command. Mumbai has its share of high maintainence, over the hill prima donnas and divas, who continue to wear clothes so short and so tight, they often spend an entire evening unable to either sit down or exhale.There are also the desperate Page 3 perennials whose sole objective in life is to get featured on society pages. Even their dermatologists have given up on them. Poor ladies. And then they get it tight in the media when the fashion police attack them in those wonderfully witty columns. This is rather unfair. But who says life and fashion are fair?
When it comes to men, society watchers pick on poor Dev Anand who remained Peter Pan till the very end of his life. They point to Dilip Kumar and exclaim, “Look at him!” Sure. There is a moral in there. Lesson number one for all those forty-plus society swans in bandage dresses that barely cover their butts, is to ease up on the tarty-trampy look, at least while in India. That is, if they care about what people are saying in the first place. Lesson number two : stay out of the closets of bratty teens and leave those Lady Gaga numbers to… err… Lady Gaga. Lesson number three: this is the really tough one – try smiling. In order to crack that smile, turn your back on botox. If you must colour your hair, keep it as close to your original hair colour as possible. Bottle blonds are so yesterday. As are those vampire-style coloured lenses….. flush them down fast! And if you find your face and body parts collapsing one by one, go into hiding for a few months.Keep your fingers crossed. Think about it : Would you rather be addressed as ‘Aunty’ at a traffic signal …. or called ‘Ms. Trampy’ behind your back?
As for me, I want to be Geetu Raheja. Smoking hot and fabulously grey!