Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vidya Balan's slip is showing.... again!!

Oh-oh, the Balan girl has done it again!Vidya just can't seem to get it right. This time it's the cover of 'Savvy' which features Vidya in yet another disastrous garment with her bra straps in full view. Does the actress not own a strapless one? Has she never heard of certain basics like not weraing beige lingerie inside a black strappy number? Why doesn't the lassie just hire a stylist in order to avoid frequent and embarrassing fashion faux pas? We were together at a function in Delhi last year, and I found her to be an intelligent, well- mannered, likeable young woman. We didn't discuss fashion, but we did talk of other less mundane things.Vidya is appealingly non-filmi... almost 'normal'.Somehow, she has not been able to transcend her spectacular debut performance in 'Parineeta'. The more she tries to compete with younger sirens and sport sexy western wear, the worse she looks.But the bra shot takes the cake.It is just sooooo careless and clumsy. And on the cover, at that! Tch, tch, Andrea.
On a completely different plane, I am not convinced the Queer Zaadi march was the best idea. The media treated it as a tamasha, with most reports sneering at the campiness of it all. Yes, it is a small beginning. But an appropriate one?? Laxmi, the Hijra is likely to become the Poster Person for the movement, now that Salman Rushdie has made her the focus of his AIDS essay. Good for Laxmi. But what happens to the anonymous Gay looking for nothing more than the right to lead his\her life in peace??
Talking of rights, my old school friend Shabana Azmi has spoken to Karan Thapar about her difficulty in finding a flat in Mumbai because she is a Muslim. While I can understand her pain, I also want her to know I was chased out of Bhendi Bazaar, nearly spat upon, hissed at and told to get lost. Why? Because I was wearing a saree and sporting a bindi. Didn't realise that was a crime these days? It was a nasty experience, particularly since it is an area I have been frequenting over the years and always considered my backyard.I can tell you I am in no hurry to go back there. It has been made abundantly clear that certain communities are no longer welcome. I am equally hurt, bewildered,anguished and disturbed. I thought this was my city, too. All of it. Not just pockets.Shabana and Saif are not isolated victims, or hand picked targets. I want them to know the discrimination goes both ways. And is a sad comment on how polarised we really are.Why go all the way to Jammu & Kashmir? Try walking through Null Bazaar.... if you dare.


Anonymous said...

Saif was a victim of exactly what? Misplacing his hairbrush and having to wear a bandana on his bad hair days? REALLY!

Folks like Shabana Azmi and Saif have no idea what real discrimination is. I would take all this "futile apartment hunting by a prominent Muslim" with a huge bori (not bohri) of salt. They need to eat from the Thaals of very ordinary working class hindus and muslims to understand the socio economic causes of this visceral hatred. There is a reason for it that is completely and conviniently being ignored for political purposes.

She probably didnt get the aparments because the landlords just didnt like her undirected jhandaa baazi or probably didnt want the apartment to be decorated in her neo-ethnic style.... ok thats just my being snide. I get that way sometimes. The woman is very innapropriately and equal opportunity impolite for no reason at all. That does little for her causes or getting people to even listen to her. Her husband however must be given some points for being able to his point across very succintly.

She may want to have securalism at the forefront of her conciousness (I will give her that) but all this cynical playing of the Muslim card when it comes to speaking to the press, is cynical at best.

As for Saif, he is just decoration. Pretty decoration. His lips are moving but I'm not hearing what hes saying. He actually stopped me in my tracks on Bond Street many moons ago. I had no idea who he was, but he was lovely. Yes, he was! Oh lord, here I am a thinking, professional woman mooning over a boy toy!

As for Vidya Balan, thank goodness shes showing her bra straps. She makes me feel better about myself. Atleast my bra straps are tucked away and my hair is brushed. I feel ten feet tall now.

She is talented I am sure, but she needs to rethink and replot her career and quickly! She needs a stylist and a publicist and a good agent (secty they call them I think) pronto.

Another Kiran in NYC

kaleidoscope said...

Of late I am seeing a slight disconnect between the title of your blog posts and their actual content. Each of your more recent blog post is a composite of short urban stories, yet their titles tend to be focused only on those that may garner the greatest attention (perhaps). It's like a good book but a bad cover.

Now that you offer your readers the option of reacting to any or all of the included stories, let me comment on two that are of grave concern to me as well.

One, I share with you my skepticism around Parades – gay or straight. I think in today’s times, they have become more like dance brigades than movements of substance. Its one thing to say that noise brings attention, and another to actually use attention to impact positive change. How do we do that? The Indian freedom movements or for that matter the American women’s suffrage movements of the early 1900s did this through walks and picketing, which were forms of silent and more consistent protests than "one-time rainbow acts". The media simply loves the latter. And in the end, it is the "flaming fairies" that are made out to be the quintessential representatives of a community - which on the contrary is visibly no different from the any other. I think the problem lies with people who wear sexuality on their sleeves and this is also the raison d’etre for the common man’s perception of gays as "promiscuous beings incapable of true love". Gays in our country need to be a bit more circumspect. Why repeat the 1970s NYC scene all over again?

Two, being an urbanist myself I am quite perplexed by traces of polarization in Indian cities. Yet my optimism runs high and I would like to quote Charles Correa in the recently held conclave entitled "The Unstoppable Indians: Defining a New India". He said "(…) our cities are changing the nature of our society. Something as mundane as the BEST bus in Mumbai for example is able to do what both Lord Buddha did some 5000 years ago and Gandhi did some 70 years ago; and that is break the caste system without any polemics whatsoever. The fact that a barber and a brahmin sit next to each other on a bus gives me great hope". Perhaps, its time the new India thought beyond the caste and confronted religion-based politics and their impact on cities instead.


Kris Bass said...


I really shouldn't be commenting about Vidya Balan and her fashion sense for neither am I a woman or an educated admirer of feminine beauty. I came to know of her recently when one of our band members was 'alleged' to have a liking for her prowess. I wasn't sure about the comment's intent and for clearing the cloud, I watched Kismet Konnection. I have never seen a bollywood heroine dressed worser. I concluded that she had a body that simply fails to look good. After reading this post, I think it might be her 'sense' (lack-of) as well.

I attended the Queer Azaadi pride parade. It was a liberating experience for me. I was felt happy and proud and I felt like I was serving a cause by fighting for human rights of sexual minorities. The spirit was so high that I agreed to give interviews to newspapers and TV channels as suggested by the likes of Vikram (Doctor) and Nitin (Karani). I did my best to try and change the conviction of the press that the 'Queer' were also people with lives and ambition and hopes like 'normal' people. But I guess the media will always be covering the dance, glitter and glamour of Lakshmi and Celina (Jaitley).

One of the issue that I was fighting for was the unreal discrimination given to me by societies when I went to get an apartment for me and my lover (who is a gora). Most of the societies wouldn't give an apartment for a single man. I had to tell them lies about me being married and I had to seek the help of one of my girlfriends, she pretending to be my wife. It is virtually impossible for a gay couple to get an apartment in a city like Mumbai. I happened to get an apartment only because of a friend's father who was supportive and let me stay in one of his flats.

Anonymous said...

Kush where I agree with you that once a year parades with huge media attention become nothing more than a circus. Yet, I guess its all about baby steps.

The Indian deeply ingrained cultural bias against nonconformity of any kind is the huge stumbling block. Given this circumstance, is the grass roots approach better... where human rights topics are discussed by every Kutty, Madan and Puri from Ichalkaraji to Kozhikode to Ropar and Dispur and the 800 thousand hamlets in India. From the ground up so to speak. Where every one gets representation. Right now for the most part the human rights movement, never mind the superspecialzation of Gay rights is represented by and seems to be about the educated urban person. Who actually speaks for the great (but seemingly invisible) unwashed masses?

This method will take forever but it will be a fundamental change.

The top down method works great occasionally to shock people into wakefullness. However in the Indian mileu it can rarely be efficient strategy for sea change.

Ramadoss can propose and repose repeals of a million acts, but he needs concrete political support that is sadly lacking.

On your quotes from Charles speech... another Jane Jacobs with indianised social commentary... BEST busses notwitstanding. But real sea change is yet to happen where it hurts the most. Amongst the great underemployed masses both in rural and urban India. The physicality has changed, the mind has not caught up yet. It will I hope one day in the distant future. People will carry the BEST bus mentality into thier homes. Right now economics does not require that.

Not that I have any objection to Charles stating his thoughts. Smart man, he taught me a lot... quite literally taught me the basics a long time ago. But kaafi simplistic no?

I shall be quiet now. Very quiet! Too much lazy Sunday afternoon navel gazing makes me snide.

I am really offtopic now. Nothing to do with the orginal blog post. I shall cease and dessist.

Another Kiran in NYC

Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

Gays will always be misrepresented because flaming queens that fits the image that they have created. It's not about rights or equality> For them it's about pandering to the lowest common denominator, aka The India TV effect.

And as for social acceptance, that ain't gona happen soon. In a country which looks down upon hormonal teenagers getting together for a cup of coffee or exchanging chocolates on valentines day, stuff like equality and freedom is the furthest thing in their mind. Most parents want their children to grow up and have more children. So acceptance is not going to happen in our lifetime.

The reason for such a divisive society n our country is that each community considers themselves oppressed. Everybody feels oppressed thanks to our politicians. Each pander to their set of voters making them believe crap like this. It's not just one party, it's all of them.

Ok, I'll go away now.

Arjun said...

Well... maybe.. the slip of the slip was planned... kinda what VANITY FAIR did for MILEY RAY CYRUS in the US of A.

In any case most of us associate VB with an awful dress sense.. she always wears stuff that makes her look HEAVY!

Arjun said...

... and yes .. racial segregation still exists... I was in aligarh on work... and it showed...
..wished those guys would come my way....

Harish said...

Dear De,

about vidya:
I saw her on the NDTV show,India's Future. She was asked about her education (she has earned an MA in sociology from St. Xavier’s) and the relevance of it. She very diligently spoke about how her education is helping her in her roles.

About the bra strap thing, I totally am with you. She definitely can afford a stylist. why doesnts he dress in sexy saris. Why does she want to always try to do something so so outlandish?

Regarding her roles, she needs to do, (at least once in a while) some 'woman of substance' roles and choose to act with older actors and not bachhas like shahid kapoor. (There was a rumor that she is acting with Ranbhir kapoor, {a mother/badi behen role... should be okie})

Regarding QueerZaadi:
De, yes, some people are loud and colorful about their sexuality. I don’t see any issue with that. The best thing about the QueerZaadi march was that there were so many people of different sexualities and no one had an issue with anyone. That’s nice, given the fact that I took a lot of time to attend Gay Bombay meets as I was scared of being spotted with Queeny Gays, though now, I care no hoods. I respect your concern for the gay community and appreciate the fact that you have given such a beautiful quote in today’s BT. Besides media (which definitely was one of our focus) it was the fact that we had an opportunity to realize that there are so many, so many like us. It was even more heartwarming to see many straight couples; friends come out and join in the march.

Regarding Shabana Azmi,

I did catch that show. And love the way your classmate expresses herself. She is truly fantastic. About the hindu-muslim issue. I work at Masjid and yes, I am aware of such untoward instances that happen. (ref bhendi bazaar episode)Though I have not experienced anything like that. I do fear that in the event of a Hindu Muslim spat, id be targeted. I don’t feel all people in any community are like that. Its one section of the society that tarnishes the whole segment. Shabana Azmi is more ‘hindu’stani than all hindus put together. Holi is celebrated by shabana and javed, though it’s a non Islamic ritual… and so is eid and Christmas. Their abode is called “Janki” kutir

sheetaldc said...

Hi, Logging on to this blog after eons.
two quick points:
Vidya Balan: Forget what she was thinking appearing like that on the cover, we have already written her off as a lame dress horse; but what pray tell were the photographer and stylist doing? I am presuming a magazine like Savvy hires professional to do the shoots...don't they use digital cameras where they can view the outcome?
with regards to Shabana Azmi,
I salute the woman for all she has achieved. I salute her acting abilities. But, I have to agree with some comments that Mr Javed and she appear rather condescending...i had the good fortune of seeing them live for Kaifi Aur Main and having gone on stage to meet them I came away disillusioned and they came away witha few fans less than they had started with that evening. I mean not even eye contact while scribbling their name on the am not particularly affected by her plight. But on a larger scale, it is a matter of concern, this polorized narrow outlook we seem to be carrying with us into the next generation...its sad and does not bode well, no matter how many buses and trains we alll sit next to each other on... hope an aamir or a rakeysh mehra can come up with an impactful movie on this burning issue in their trademark effective manner!

Anonymous said...

It is a her style statement and certainly she hasn't been caught with her slip showing. A top notch photographer like Subi Samuel would not allow his 'tacky' pictures to be released on covers of leading magazines. And, honestly speaking, let's just leave poor Vidya alone! It's become quite a fad to talk about her atrocious dress sense. Tch tch Shobhaa, you've joined the herd too!

Redeemer said...

Vidya's slip showing is not the poor girl's fault at all.
The entire 'team at work' during the photo shoot is to blame.
Worsestill, what on earth was the photographer doing? Did he not work on the image post the shoot?
Katrina's panty in Singh is Kinng (the scene where she is getting the tattoo in Egypt), Akshay Kumar's safety-pins on his shawl (in the 'panchayat' scene)....too too many bloopers....

I really wonder what do all those 'technicians' do on the set. Maybe they are too engrossed in the final product and profit that they forget the nuances. Tch tch.

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