Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Meltdown in Mumbai??? You must be joking!!

Here's the good\bad news..... I am off again. Dubai beckons. Yup, after you read my column later, you'll figure. But I am keen to go back and swoon over the musical fountains at the foot of the Burg Khalifa and eat a scrumptious Thai meal at 'Mango'. However, it is hard to disconnect from my current Paris mode ( Paris is such an addictive city!), but I must, if I am to enjoy Dubai fully , and on its own terms.


Before that, a date with the lovely Aishwarya Rai Bachchan awaits. Each time I saw her on billboards in Paris ( Longines ), especially a huge one at Gare de Lyon, my heart filled with pride. She is exceptional. And exceptionally special. As one of her directors accurately stated, "Aishwarya is bigger than any of her movies." That's stardom. Mega stardom.


A sweet and simple phone call from a lady called Shobha Rao, brought a big smile to my face. She has been a 'phone friend' for years. This time, she was on the line just to say she'd completed a 3- day course in self awareness and acknowledged my contribution to her life!!!! Frankly, I was taken off guard and a little embarrassed. She added, "You have influenced so many lives without even knowing it." Now.... it was my turn to blush!!! As I am doing right now!!

More from or after Dubai.... au revoir.

This appeared in Bombay Times yesterday...


The malls are alive…. with the sound of silence. I am talking about the township- sized malls of Dubai. In particular, the super fabulous Dubai Mall, which needs a mini train to get around its vast ( but empty spaces). Even the fish in that monumental aquarium look weary and bored, posing for stray tourists who walk in to gawk.I can safely bet on this – Mumbaikars are splurging more than all those label addicts in Shopoholics Anonymous, also known as Dubai. In fact, no visitor to Mumbai would believe India is still pulling out of the global meltdown and coming to terms with a fresh economic order. Pranabda’s budget may have brought a little cheer, plus spared us the much feared (and definitely anticipated) pain. But going by Mumbai’s mad buying spree and the non-stop partying mode everybody seems to be in, the funniest topic by far to raise with anybody, is about the recession and ummmm …. aaah…. the economic meltdown. Most Mumbaikars look bewildered when people ask them about belt tightening exercises and other equally boring subjects. Event organizers eagerly tell you about their fresh multiple, multi crore bookings running into the end of the year and beyond. New restaurants are opening practically every second week, and as for the fashion frat – come on, when did they ever complain about a slowdown?
The glam of the IPL continues to draw mobs and throngs. One would have imagined the big romance with cricket in this avatar was waning in the third season. Absolutely not! From fashion week to IPL parties in one smooth move, is the way to go in Mad Bad Mumbai. Bollywood is in euphoric spirits as well, with the success of ‘3 Idiots’ and a couple of other genuine hits. Anil Ambani’s ambitious plans have also sent out an aggressive message to moviewallas on both sides of the Atlantic - all those hungry people looking for mega deals. Who does that leave out? Travel agents report healthy bookings this summer… and beyond. Real estate is set to boom once more, and it’s great to monitor prices that are crawling up after hitting rock bottom. Nobody but nobody is looking back at last year or moaning and groaning about spiraling prices. Does that also hold for the rest of India?
I must confess to feelings of smugness as I drove around Dubai, checking out familiar malls and meeting old friends. Doom and gloom. That’s the current story there. But all is not lost. The spectacular World Cup ( racing’s biggest event) is round the corner. And Sheikh Mohammed has sent out lavish invitations to 500 celebrities across the globe. Dubai is bound to put up a magnificent show that is designed to send out a strong message to investors that ‘aal eeez well’ in the desert kingdom. And may it truly be so. We need a strong, moderate , reasonably independent and cosmopolitan emirate in the region. And Dubai has been just that for decades . The stronger our ties, the better for both nations. But at least as of now, India doesn’t have to feel like a desperately poor country cousin. I for one, can’t wait for Dubai to get its glitter and groove back.


Anonymous said...

Few add life into life And one of them is Shobhaa.

Sudeep said...

City life seems to have regained the old momentum. But spiraling prices do put the common man in trouble. And many say, there's a huge inflation is on the cards. That will make things worse.

Dreamcatcher said...

proud to be a mumbaikar...not so much abt IPL...even lesser abt d parties folloowin it...but hey...can you c me complaining?..:)

Unknown said...

Wish i too cud see Dubai n Burj Khalifaa some day.......bahaut sun liya uske bare mein!!!

Yups Aish is larger than her movies!!

IPL 3 Schedule Calendar

Harish said...

not many people could influence lives positively, without even making an attempt. It is just your nature.

Ekdam fataaka type nature.

Agdi tavtaveeth.

for her you are a "fone-a-friend" wala lifeline.. and for me it is "blog-a-friend" yaa.. "email-a-friend" wala option.. you are superfast, personal, friendly.. and prompt... needless to say. LOVE YOU Blog-Dost.


Ash.. walllah. i know she is a dream and an international name. Post her marriage to the tree, woh publicity ke jhaad pe chad gayi hai. She is the inverse of teh famous saying "aasmaan se gira, khajoor mein atkaa",,,, she is "khajoor se chipka fir aasmaan pe giraa" she is falling in new skies every now and then.


aiyyo.. ipl is so pheeka without the fakeiplplayer.. We have no dildo's and appamms doing their rounds in the internet stands.


you should read the FINE PRINT during ipl matches.. it reads "to contact cheerleaders Dial Xyz ...

i wonder if i can be a cheerleader... and make a lot of paisaas that way.. but ki karaaa...
Boys are always the neglected lot... huhhh..

Pem said...

Why are you meeting Aishwarya? How did it go? Big fan of hers.

Ankush Naik said...

Enjoy in Dubai Ms De. It's a beautiful place. I stay in Bahrain & feel you should visit Bahrain too which is about an hour's flight from Dubai.

Unknown said...

good to see u acknowledge Ashs stardom.A lot of folks enjoy pulling her. U too have been critical of her in the past.Beleive me she is huge and very real too!Eye blinding beauty andd loveable too!

Nalini Hebbar said...

I have read your books and your articles in the week and elsewhere...really wonderful...tradition Indian values + fiery hard hitting...a heady it

Anonymous said...

kudos Mrs. De u really have a aura around u which makes folks get influenced by u...
and as far as Dubai is concerned
"everything z gonna be allrite"

Latha said...

You want to swoon over the musical fountains of 'Burj Khalifa' ? What are they compared to our own Mysore Brindavan gardens' musical fountains ? Absolutely nothing in colours, vivacity, the music & the audience' enthusiasm.
Just copy & paste the fol: url of the YouTube video (Dhoom machale),
in your browser, 'enter' & watch to understand what I mean. I'm proud to be in Karnataka.
Nothing has changed much in the backward villages since the 'Uttara khanda' was added to the Ramayana which was not in 'Valmiki's version. 'Manu' is nothing but the collective Psyche of men who have feudalistic views.
Listen to our modern Manu Mulayam Singh Yadav..."Men will blow whistles at those ladies who come to the Parliament." for which Renuka Chowdhury has promptly retorted "Nobody can stop women from whistling". Mulayam further says 'only if your daughter or wife are in politics you'll know what I mean.' Incidentally his DIL is in politics. Lalu's wife was the CM of Bihar when he was in jail. We have a loooooong way to go dahlings....looong way.
While I'm typing this, the news is that a Samajwadi Party MLA is absconding after he has been booked for setting a woman on fire, a widow with whom he had an illicit liaison. And we are jubilant that we have passed the women's reservation bill, a bitter pill much to the consternation of some men. That's what we are. We take the good, bad & ugly in one swoop.
Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani.....

Unknown said...

u r right about Aish. She is really exceptionally special in Bollywood.She has both brain and beauty which is not common.
Some days back there was debate on "sex and spirituality" on TV channel which was anchored by Prabu Chawla. Baba Ram dev was also a participant and gave his valuable views on the topic. I was missing u from that panel. U should also have been there to air your views. Anyway, for your fans and readers u write your views on the topic in your blog. u r expert in this regard.


Hi Shobha,
just one of the many many people who loves the way you write.You are an exceptional lady leading an exceptional life..Keep it going!

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Love your writings. very interesting.

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Would await the best of appreciation / critisim.

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Anonymous said...

please, mz de, don't leave mumbai even for a day! something hits the fan as soon as you do. now, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, media messages, all are suspect. the pogroms are back! well, Mr Bachhan forgot that a poet from his land has said, "chalti chakki dekh ke, diya kabira roye, dui paatan ke beech mein, saabat bacha na koi". so, carry on bjp and cong!

Sidhusaaheb said...

Long live the 'parallel economy' that is comprised of those who don't pay taxes!