Monday, February 2, 2009

Singapore Fling.... the saga continues

First the bad news... I watched the promos of  Pink Panther-2, and was disappointed to note our lovely Ash was totally marginalised in the trailer. There was no mention of her , and she was shown in one scene lasting a few micro seconds, as part of a group. Unfair!!
 The film I'd gone to watch DEVOUR was Bride Wars which I loved. I absolutely adore Anne Hathaway and she was just amazing in the 'dance off' scene with Kate Hudson. The movie is unabashedly a chick flick, so I was glad to have watched it by myself. Bitchy, witty, bang on - every detail in place.
This expedition was followed by dinner in the red light area of Singapore - yup - it exists. Gehylang is as seedy as Foras Road in Mumbai, and the sex workers represent the South East Asian melting pot - with girls from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, strutting their stuff cheek by jowl with the local Malay and Chinese. The pimps here look less menacing  as compared to their desi counterparts.Oh - the food  was outstanding, especially the steamed garupa. The place is called 'No Signboard Seafood', and is featured on most travel guides as Singapore's 'best kept secret'! Ha!!! 
The rent- by -the- hour hotels near the restaurant had charming names like 'Fragrance Hotel'. Not exactly the Raffles or The Peninsula , but neon- lit and functional.
 Met Jayapriya and Priya, both of them are literary agents based in Singapore whose agency is called Jacaranda. They are always on the lookout for fresh young authors. So.... if any of you guys think you have it in you - google the ladies. The author I'm rooting for at present is Abha Deweswar. She has just published her second novel called Family Values. Lives half the year in Paris, and is hugely talented. Read her. 
Got to run. Dinner at Jumbo, East Coast Park. Review tomorrow.


Balvinder Balli said...

Shobhaa, thanks for taking us along on your sujourns,

I think unless we indians feed the firangi world with the dishes that they associate India with , like slums, snake charmers, Gandhi and Taj etc, they won't even bother about our existance.

I think Ashwarya's only qualification for figuring in the hollywood moveis must be her blue eyes.

Piper .. said...

I cant for the life of me fathom the reason for Aishwarya`s appearance(albeit for a micro second!) in the movie! Dont you think she`s a credit card version of a human being(read plastic) - blue eyes or not? Infact, I`m shocked and ashamed as an Indian to acknowledge the recipients of this year`s Padma Shri Awards. Its supposed to be the highest civilian honor of the country!What a farce this is!

Anonymous said...

Why do Indian people take pleasure in tearing each other down? I saw PP2 at a preview and Aishwarya is one of the main characters. She is on screen for more than half of the movie.

For the people complaining about Aishwarya receiving the Padma award, where is the outrage when others like SRK, Helen, Akshay and Madhuri receive the same award?

Why is no one complaining about Freida Pinto hogging the limelight for her 10 minute appearance in Slumdogs? She is not even effective in the role. The younger actresses put her to shame. But I forget its okay because the movie is winning awards. Hypocrites.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Hahaha Piper... I love, I love. Credit card version of a human being. This must be used elsewhere with your permission!

Hmmmmm @ Aishwarya Rai(Bahu) and Padma Shri. She dosent have a vast distinguished body of work, and has done nothing important either artistically or in the public service category, so just hmmmmmmm. Its not like she has even delivered the biggest money grossing hits that you can make yourself deaf and blind to lack of cinematic presence. My hmmmmmmm is really long and loud on this one.

Cant really agree with the Akshay Kumar thing either but his saving grace is his total sum of monster money maker hits... if that is even a criteria.

Why am I imagining our friend Shri-Nestled-in-the-Bosom-of-Bahu-ke-Bapu-Shifty-Amar-Singh doing the "Padmasan" in the corridors of power (padmasan as one daily so eloquently put it) for Bahu? Something about possibly getting Bahu to either contest next time or to campaign for his party this time. After all in political terms the title of Padmashri sounds so much better than present title of Plastic... nahi? Perhaps it is Shri-Shifty's attempt at a thankyou to Bahu-Ke-Bapu for all the introductions to everyone that Shri-opportunistic-Shifty has been able to latch onto. Perhaps this is the first installment of a retirement plan for Bahu when she decides to stay home with the Bacchhan ke Bacche.

Or else it is a very dim "Ministry of Prevention of Vice and propogation of Culture", that suggested who got the padmas in filmdom. Kind of hurts the significance of those who have a vast distinguished body of work to deserve the Padmas. Some bureaucrats' head needs to roll for signing the suggestions.

Though I daresay Bahu might turn the tables on Shri-Shifty. She is afterall learning at the feet of the master -- Bahu-ke-bapu.

Whaaaaat to do about my suspicious mind? I am like this ooooonly! Hee hee.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Anonymous@10.51 pm.

If you take artistic merit out of the equation and just go by the quantity of work, or even just go by the basest standards of... how much money the body of work grossed, and how many people got gainful employment due to the success of that body of work, I could certainly justify SRK or Madhuri and Helen getting the award. Akshay too for that matter. Not happy about it, but its not completely out of the realm of possibility.

Bahu.. not so much. Body of work.. not too vast yet. Sum total of money spinners... not quite there yet. Disguished work... not quite quantifiable yet. Not at all. Loreal sponsored visits to cannes and being the required gender, age and eyecandy standards to make the cannes jury is really not distinguished. Please, hollywood knows that and I daresay Bollywood knows that too (but just wont say it).

Its not about pulling people down but I would like the awards to mean something to the regular folks who strive everyday to be award worthy... never mind the past recipients who actually have something of substance to show for thier awards. Politically expedient or convinient award giving debases us all.

And why cant Frieda Pinto hog the limelight? She is in it for god's sake. Not Sharda,Padma or Fiza. Atleast Frieda is basking in it with grace. Whether she was good in a 25 minute screen presence role, is subjective. You disagree, I agree. I dont grudge her, any marketing opportunity at all. Maybe if Bahu lightened up and got a decent stylist, diction coach, humor monitor and learnt something about public speaking, stopped confusing being asked questions about nudity in films with cross examination by a Gynaecologist (her words, not mine... hehehe), and took the stick out of you know where, more power to her too to market herself. She hasnt, but Frieda has. Nuff said.

Sidhusaaheb said...

It is more than possible that Aishwarya Rai's role in the movie is as insignificant as her appearance in the trailer, I suppose.

Anne Hathaway has such amazingly beautiful eyes!


Vikram Hazra said...

Please get a Mac for yourself too; you'll really enjoy it :)

Vikram Hazra said...

PS: Plz do visit Dempsey Hill, the latest hangout place in S'pore. My favourite there is Jones the Grocer, though the Ben and Jerry cafe is v tempting too!
See how lah!

Biju Mathews said...

Give us more of Singapore please...

Keep blogging!

Anonymous said...

Ash is all too pretentious for my liking. I would have liked to see a more down-to-earth person in the comedic role.

Ash is gorgeous, hands down, I will admit. But she seems to lack humility (of course, I'm saying this only from the little that I know - interviews, movies, articles, and such.)

IT is not for talent or comedic ability that Ash was casted in this movie. Let's get real. Beauty and publicity. (mainly publicity.)

Looking forward to Steve Martin's performance...

Anonymous said...

@Kiran, body of work? Have you seen movies by Madhuri, Helen and Akshay? They are mainly crap. At least Aishwarya has some Tamil and Bengali classics to go with her good Hindi movies. If box office trumps all then just one of Aishwarya's English movies has earned more than everyone on that list.

Do you know anything about her charitable work that you can make a judgement?

People who judge others from the media are boneheaded. I see a lot of people hating on her just because of perception. But perception is not reality.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, I'm assuming that you are a close friend of Aishwarya's? Ready to substantiate your claims with more than your "perception" from the media? (which you previously claimed to not embody "reality") ?

Think twice before you call someone boneheaded. Because obviously, your perception is due to the few things that are written by this blog. Media. Again, not reality. As you previously mentioned...

Anonymous said...

so much tension. i'm going to put it out there - i didn't know about pink panther 2.

Piper .. said...

Anonymously I can spit venom on people and call them boneheads for being judgemental about celebrities without knowing them personally(?!!).But I wont do that.
I dont have to justify my dislike for Ash. The simple point I was trying to make is that I THINK she(and I mentioned her alone from amongst all the other recipients of the award, because Ms De mentioned her specifically in the post - PP2) is not deserving of the award. If this were a post on the said award, I would have made my dislike about the other recipients clear as well. Having said that, let me also add that I wouldnt do it Anonymously.

Nandini Rao said...

i will have to agree...i don't find many recipients deserving enough to have earned it...they rather must have bought it...

Nandini Rao

Anonymous said...

you may try to run away and you may hope that people will forget about that Devils' Advocate interview (
but that won't happen!
There are people in India who can think beyond such "weighty" issues as the relative merits/demerits of filmstars.

Unknown said...

I think that anonimus person who speak so much in favoure of ash is from her of agency !

Parag Mokashi said...

Shobhaa - if you get time try to visit Pulao Ubin. Very interesting place. I am a proper mumbaitte and been to Singapore for last 4 years and simply love staying, working and enjoying here

Harish said...

huh ho! lets see beyond slumdog na.. you anonymous slumdog haters are giving the movie too much publicity... Boyle would definitely be happy.

Regarding Bahu B, hollywood is intelligent to choose substance over style. Peela panther could do well even without our desi safeedi ki chamkaar Bahu B . previously Bahu B had been approached for Black... another colour title film... i wonder if she had done the movie with Pa B and had also done that scene where michelle kisses Pa B on the lips... it would have made an "India TV" controversy.

i have been to gahylang street... first thoughts were that this one was a gay brothel or so... there i met a lot of indians and srilankans.. apart from thai people... i believe the women in sex trade there are issued licences and have HIV certificates. I believe the women are not forced into prostitution there and the legality helps the police with access to information and inspection.

thanks de, for information about the literary agents. i am writing a kitaab and that kitaab will have one page for my lovely blogdosts... Ksh, anotehr kiran, you... and above all ek-ladki-anjani-si :)

Anonymous said...

thanks shobha..waiting for more...

kaleidoscope said...

*Aham*, your comment "India TV controversy" cracked me up. That was sarcasm at its best. I still can't stop laughing.

As for having one page for some of us, C'mon. We deserve some more coverage than just a page, dear! Just kidding! On a different note, I have a project in mind for both of us and I'll share that with you soon.

Finally, De. I agree, Anne Hathaway is beautiful. Her pencil thin lip-ends remind me of the character of "Joker" in Batman ('89) played brilliantly by Jack Nicholson.

As for the "Pink Panther". Well color "pink" and "controversy" go hand-in-hand don't they? If you know what I mean!