Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Khaana for thought....

Anyone recognise the sculpture / sculptor? I was entranced when I came across it in a private garden ( London).
Am posting 3 columns that appeared last week.... will be travelling again tomorrow. Bear with me...

                                    Food for Thought…
The luscious Nigella Lawson is by far the yummiest chef  on television. She has a vast global following  of slurping fans who find her far more delicious than anything she tosses up. If chops are to be licked in appreciation, you can be sure they are n’t   just the  lamb ones she’s so expertly grilling!Her show, tantalizingly titled ‘Nigella Bites’ has often been called ‘food porn’. And yet – or maybe because of – these very seductive attributes, Nigella’s 10 year marriage to a megalomaniac ad man / art collector called Charles Saatchi (70) is over. The blood thirsty British tabloid press has been salivating over the story with the sort of mouth watering  interest one reserves for juicy steaks. It all started with a row in a restaurant with Saatchi being caught on camera gripping Nigella’s neck. Even though the lady was clearly distraught and in tears, Saatchi claimed the next week that it was nothing more than a playful scrap. Obviously, this was one game Nigella was not up for. She walked out of the Saatchi home, while Saatchi tried weakly and stupidly to make light of the shocking incident.The sordid details are still emerging, But Saatchi has beaten his estranged wife to the draw and filed for divorce before she could. His explanations for doing so reveal the sort of man  he is. Faced with charges of spousal abuse and assault by the media, he claimed he was miffed and ‘disappointed’ by Nigella’s refusal to defend him publicly and tell the world he was not a violent man!This added still more insult to the injury. Outrage piled up on outrage as Saatchi continued to brazen it out, while Nigella chose discretion over sensationalism. All this drama led to fresh and furious debates on domestic abuse, with activists trying to co-opt Nigella and make her the face of the issue most women are ‘too embarrassed’ to go public with.The final straw was when  Saatchi went back to the same restaurant ( Scott’s) in Mayfair, this time with one of Nigella’s gal pals. This time,he kept his hands to himself as he dined with literary editor Susanna Gross. Tabloids commented tartly that  Nigella (53) was being treated like “ a piece of art that has lost its value, and needs to be moved out of the warehouse.” A cruel, sexist and nasty comment that once again shows the pathetic standards society adopts when it comes to wronged women.
Nigella has painstakingly created a powerful brand for herself that has very little to do with being Mrs. Saatchi. Chances are , far many more people across the world know who Nigella Lawson is and admire her skills as a TV host, than know the despicable Charles Saatchi. And yet, she has become the ‘poor thing’ – an object of pity. A discarded and dumped wife. All this, even after Saatchi’s beastly attack on her! That is seriously perverse.And very unexpected. Nigella was positioned as the ultimate Domestic Goddess by the same media that is now stomping all over her. Saatchi hasn’t wasted a moment in sending out a strong message that there is no going back. The marriage is finito. He has hired Helen Ward, a top divorce lawyer to  make sure Nigella will not be able to grab  his considerable fortune (120 million pounds) without a tough legal battle. She, the aggrieved party in this case, will be humiliated and diminished, while he will continue to attack her with the ferocity of a Rottweiler. Even if Nigella does go ahead with her planned expose, Saatchi has already wreaked enough emotional havoc on his former wife to break her completely. The damage has been done. And he knows it. Nigella’s success as a celebrity tv host rested on her wholesome  family image. She was seen as the perfect wife   - as accomplished in the kitchen as she was in the boudoir . Her voluptuous curves ,saucy expressions and a script laden with naughty double entendres had made her a drool worthy sex symbol, who frequently featured on  lists of the ‘World’s Hottest Women’. Now that the fat is in the fire, how Nigella copes is going to determine her future, her tv ratings, her career and… well, her everything, really. As for Saatchi, he’ll have a vacant slot in his warehouse… another empty space to fill on his walls. There will be no dearth of pricy, posh and pretty  women more than eager to hang themselves for him!!

Poor Nigella – someone forgot to tell her. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen!

                                             Gangsters can buy anyone or anything… but love…
It’s hard to associate the word ‘romance’ with our Bhais. But even the most hardened Bhais  sometimes lose their heart and fall crazily in love. Dig a bit and what do you find under that rough and tough exterior? A mushy, sentimental dil that longs for the pyaar of a good woman. Sounds insane, but it is true. Once a Bhai  believes he has ‘made it’,   there’s just one thing he yearns for – love - and a woman to call his own. Not just any woman, mind you. But someone ethereally beautiful. Pure and virginal, innocent and untouched. Like a heavenly ‘Pari’. Soft, loyal, giving, alluring, aloof, unattainable…. and therefore impossibly sexy! The Bhai knows he can purchase any woman he fancies. But that’s not what he wants.His ambitions have grown and he goes out on a limb to capture the woman’s heart after he has acquired her body.The Bhai starts desiring a real relationship. A ‘normal’ domestic life. He dreams about wooing his fantasy girl, winning her love and living happily ever after.   The world is his playground at this point. But the Bhai is lonely. He trusts nobody. And nobody trusts him. In such a desolate scenario, he hopes to find  a bedmate and confidante. An ally and lover.  That stereotype rarely changes.
 Think of our desi  girls who attracted bad boys. Girls like Mandakini, Mamta Kulkarni, Monica Bedi. All three happened to be good looking  starlets who fell for dangerous men, and lived to tell the tale. There is a common narrative that links these doomed love stories. The trajectory of the affairs is similar. So is the profile of the molls. Most of the ladies who tantalised, enticed and enchanted these dreaded men were failed actresses in search of that one big break. Catching the fancy of a don was seen as a ticket to instant fame and big time. All the baddie had to do to impress his woman was make that one chilling call to a producer– and the movie was hers.Of course, the girl had to be blindingly beautiful ( at least in the eyes of the Bhai). She also needed to possess certain attributes -  light eyes, fair skin, and dangerous curves. Having such a trophy mistress was every Bhai’s ultimate dream.  
 The nightmare generally began when a hardened Bhai made the mistake of falling in love.For the girl… and those around her, it often became a living hell. Particularly if the poor girl was in love with another man . Bhais don’t believe in sharing. The man had to go.  A woman needed guts to resist the  amorous attention of a Bhai. Especially a besotted, obsessive Bhai. A man  ready to kill or be killed for her. Here’s an oft repeated question - what do women see in dangerous men? The obvious answer is - ‘danger’. A certain type of woman finds danger most erotic. Danger becomes her aphrodisiac. Danger turns her on. And risk replaces responsibility. Once a woman tastes blood ( literally!), everything else appears too tame, too dull. Men can sense that in a woman . Especially men who live dangerously themselves. It’s a deadly combination when two such people connect. Their volatile relationship  fuels violence…violence fuels passion. They fight, make up, make love, break up.  Insecurity, uncertainty and suspicion  add  exciting dimensions to this combustible love cocktail.It’s a sure fire formula for emotional atyachar. And yet this roller coaster ride continues , till the relationship hits that final roadblock. That’s when those deadly shots ring out.When a Bhai’s bullets fly, there’s no knowing who’ll take the hit.  And that is the asli thrill! Unfortunately,there are rarely any happy endings for these deadly love stories.

                               How chicks should deal with nasty rumours….
The best thing for any smart Munni to do when she is ‘badnaam’, is to ignore those who are trashing her. But most Munnis do exactly the opposite.They fall for the bait.They go into defensive mode….explain,complain,apologise,confront,froth at the mouth And attract more trouble. On the other hand, Munnas deal with trouble of this kind far more directly. They slug it out. Either verbally or physically. I was a reluctant witness to a fiery sms war of words recently. Two angry birds were crazily at it – you said this, no I didn’t, yes, you did, I was told by five common friends, what lies, how could you….after all these many years,  why do you believe those people, they are just jealous, you know that lot, they have nothing better to do, yes, I know, but that still doesn’t mean you should talk loosely about me and whatever happened with my ex, listen, I don’t even know your ex, plus, I don’t care. Well, if you didn’t care why would you get involved and bad mouth me , arrey… I just told you I didn’t bad mouth you, whatever, why don’t you trust me, I used to trust you , which is why I am asking, listen this is getting ridiculous, we should sort it out face to face, but I am travelling, let’s do it when you get back, okay, but I want you to know how hurt I felt when I was told what you’d said about me….” Total waste of time!
One tedious and pointless hour later, the mood was down and so was the phone battery. Nothing had been resolved. The wound remained raw… and now there was the emphatic denial to deal with. I thought it best not to intervene. I had spotted steam emerging from the ears… the breathing was seriously heavy, and there was the persistent tap-tap-tap of restless fingers on the table in front of us. Oh dear! All this physical and mental distress over some random bitching? Rumours should be dismissed sans acknowledgment.That’s how they die the fastest death. Learn a thing or two from our politicians. The shrewdest of the lot shrug off the worst allegations without bothering to respond. The matter dies within the week. End of the story. Most top stars follow the same principle and stay well above those rumour mills grinding away non-stop, churning out one masala story after another.It is the celebs that succumb and launch into extended , elaborate and entirely unnecessary justifications who land in the biggest mess when the same stories come back to haunt them as facts. And for heaven’s sake, never make that dumb mistake of publicly declaring the worst showbiz cliché of all time : “We are just good friends!” You are so not, you idiots! Besides, who cares?
 Of course, young girls are far more vulnerable to getting hurt when nasty stories about their escapades do the round. Guys generally shrug off  the dirt that is flying around and nothing sticks. But, as anxious mothers never fail to remind daughters - you lose your reputation just once. And it needn’t be about boy- trouble , it could be much worse. Working women have it tougher still, especially if there’s someone out there waiting to harrow you. Fixing a female colleague by floating icky stuff about her is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Most victims of office slander find it difficult to confront bullies, male or female. So, they shut up and put up. Some feel martyred. Others, shamed. The few who decide to fight back, often regret the decision later. The ones who win this war are the ones who wait. Waiting requires patience. And wisdom. The young generally lack both – poor things are waiting for life to happen… to take off. But if they can indeed find that forbearance, they will see rumours and taunts for what they are – arrows aimed by the insecure at those they secretly want to be. Take those rumours as compliments, smile and walk away…I received a clever , little image the other day, which I promptly posted. It read : Tigers do not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.Amen to that!


Anita Jeyan said...

Wow ! Tigers do not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep! This is the best line !
Yeah that the tigresses become sheepish when rumors float around is true. Tigers actually handle it better.

Liked the one about Bhai. Again, excellent observation about danger! I dint know that Monica , Mamta etc were victims to this though.

Anonymous said...


Good, chatty Page 3 stuff - all the 3 write-ups, I would say.

I will parody one of my gurus in the field of writing - the eternal Behram Contractor to comment on these.

Here goes:

Round And About

On yet another eve of yet another Shobhaa De trip to wherever, I provide some insights, some observations and a few general points of view on her column - all my own work:

If Mr Saatchi ha done all those bad things to his woman, one has to really feel sad for Mrs Saatchi.

As usual the matter came up for discussion at the breakfast table.

"If someone had tried to do what had been done to Nigella, I would have had the guy's guts for garters," the wife said.

"I wouldn't dare to be the bad guy at home ... not in the Mr Saatchi mould. Anyway, you are physically, mentally and ... in all other respects, stronger than me. In short, you are the real man of the home," I said.

"Flattery will not get you anywhere and don't get long in the tooth in front of the children," the wife commented, smiled coyly and continued to eat her Masala omelette.

"Ms De has paid too much attention on the social life of Mrs Saatchi. This sort of obfuscates the real issue of practicing cruelty against women, children or old people at home," my son Derek said picking up a few of the Paavs to go with his sunny-side-up half-boiled egg.

"You are far off the mark, bro," my other son Darryl said. "Obviously, Nigella seems to be a rolly-polly female version of the Australian cricketer Keith Stackpole. Mr Saatchi must have got tired of her and wanted to get rid of the female. So, the so-called well behaved heel, showed his true colours - to his own advantage - made himself look like the British version of a villain character played by Anupam Kher in that move with the 1-2-3 song and got rid of her. Sooner or later, Mr Saatchi will buy everyone off and get the bad press stopped and unless Mrs Saatchi does a modern-day female of Count of Monte Christo, she will only be left with the tsk, tsk, tsk!" Darryl added as she sipped orange juice.

"What is more, Mrs Saatchi was well past the sell-by-date. Mr Saatchi is a businessman and will obviously look for newer, better looking and best-selling model commodity than Mrs Saatchi to wear on his arms," Derek said.

"Better drill some sense into the kids," I informed the wife. "They seem to be commodifying women!" I carefully said.

"Don't lecture me, Behram," came the wife's stentorian voice. "I know how to bring up the children. Now you behave yourself, leave for work on time, get the salary cover and bring it back home without opening it unlike last time when you stole Rs.5 for your wretched Charminar cigarettes! From your account with the grocer, get the month's supplies - and be well on time for my evening cooking. If you get any bright ideas about jettisoning me just because I work in the kitchen, you have to reckon with my wildly swinging rolling pin. Call that Shobhaa woman and tell her that this was my reaction. And add I expect her to put in her next column! Off you go to work!


Trigger Happy said...

Dear Shobha,

i have read the coverage for Nigella'a case in UK media. You will be glad to know that they have seen through Mr Saatchi's ruse to vilify her and commend her on her dignified silence.

Anonymous said...

Here is something in support of freedom of expression - so admirably defended by Shobhaa and so shamefully offended by the political goons of Mumbai!


Unknown said...

Please write something about Durga Shakti Nagpal. I wish Jaya Bachchan who belongs to SP party drills some sense into them. Hope Bachchan blogs about this matter as he is always talking about his Satyagraha film and also about how one should fight injustice.

Ravi Patel said...

Shooooobha Bbbbbennnn, now what have you done Motiben, you have offended your own people. But hey, well done and stand by your comment. Don't give in to these morons. Satire is beyond these mados. I grant you every single right to express yourself that I can have for myself, not one less. Bravo to our Marathi Rani Ki Jhansi, oops! correction, Jhansi Ki Rani ( see what Pappu does to me ).
By the way, I saw you on NDTV today being interviewed by that odious, jaundiced lump Burkha Dutt, who was feigning outrage at the whole thing but cleverly ( oh really! ) edited out the most offensive comment directed at you,the one by her party man Nitesh Rane. Such are the ways of the Radia Brigade!

Anil Kumar said...

No comments on Durga Shakti and Akhilesh CHUTTAD Yadav yet?

People in UP believe that these Mulayam/akhilesh and their whole kunba is not Yadav and they actually have muslim ancestors.

Some people say that they let their Yadav girls sleep with mulla's to keep muslim vote bank.

Jaya Bhaduri Bachhan - Do you have anything to say ?? I remember you were crying once in Rajya Sabha over woman's issue but decided to stay mum on this issue...Have you also become chameleon like UP political class???

Shame on you and Sonia who chose to keep their mouth shut and fail to rise for brave woman called Durga.

This sure is jamana of Bollywood sluts and political chuttad class. Honesty is repeatedly raped in this country and these bastards choose to keep quiet.

Will you say something Ms De?

Unknown said...

Jayabhaduri has to cry. Just before tragedy strike an honest officer.The Bachchans are very selective when to cry and when to keep mum.

Daniel. I said...

Do I read between the lines? Yup. Love the subtle retaliation! :)

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Shobhaa, you keep our spirits alive. Kudos! And hence, posted the following post on my blog.

'Freedom of expression given, if it's in accord with our dear netas'

It’s altogether a different feeling to stalk back certain moments when one realises the harsh, yet real face of certain ‘supposed’ freedoms which we as citizens of India are given. I stalked back certain moments from my school and college days. I remembered studying books which elegantly, like a long stream, listed the freedoms the citizens of India had. It felt liberating to read the words ‘democratic’; it felt exhilarating to know that I along with my batchmates had the ‘Freedom of Expression’ sans any fears attached; it felt wonderful to know that four whole articles in our honourable Constitution were dedicated for this very Freedom of Expression. But that’s all what it was and it is! Just a few words embedded in various sheets of paper. I think the editor who edited those sheets forgot to add a single line ‘if it’s in accord with our dear netas’ after editing the Freedom of Expression paragraph. Or maybe it was just one of our dear netas who ordered him not to tell the writer to add it.

"Maharashtra and Mumbai??? Why not? Mumbai has always fancied itself as an independent entity, anyway. This game has countless possibilities."
- Writer Shobhaa De’s Tweet- the tweet that brought several realities to the forefront.

It’s just an expression (that too satirical) consisting of 20 words (that too on Twitter). But expressing 20 words is baap re baap, isn’t it dear netaji?

And we don’t understand or need humour, isn’t it netaji?

And how can we use the term ‘game’. It is a question of the land, and crores of emotions attached to it, isn’t it netaji?

And how can Mumbai obtain a separate stance, isn’t it netaji?

Well netaji, I along with millions of others already know that you can’t take satire or humour in good spirit. Fair enough, but what exactly happened to the Democracy status? Where exactly did our freedom of speech and expression (which our Constitution clearly states) evaporate?

We can’t use satire. We can’t use words like ‘game’. We can’t express our views, and even while tweeting on Twitter or posting on Facebook we need to spend hours to analyse our tweets and posts, ensure that it is in accord with every neta party (and maybe even send it to your office to get your approval) and receive an approval/ rejection receipt maybe after a year (considering the reputation with regard to time management you guys have). Oh, and we should also know that if it isn’t in accord with your terms and conditions, we should totally expect personal remarks, protests in our compounds and threats.

But dear netaji, I on behalf of the youngsters of this nation must tell you that you have very well, in absolutely life-like picture quality, explained to us a side of the word ‘opportunist’. Against all odds, if one of us bravely decides to express his or her view, you-the dear netaji sees a great opportunity to tweak the interpretation to maximise the vote bank and suddenly express boundless and elevated love for your constituency (strictly through words).

So now I’m left with a hazy understanding of this concept ‘Freedom of Expression as practised in India’. Until an actual amendment is made in our rule book or a restriction is added under the prevailing heads, I’ll continue to go ahead with the one currently stated in our Constitution; even if our dear netas lack humour, find expressions offensive or pricking! And I’m sure there are several other youngsters who would do the same to keep democracy alive.

Click> Publish


The Decent Stalker

Jogeshwar said...

Just wanted to share an article I read
A Paradise for Those Who Take Offense
Published: January 30, 2013

Simply Indian Tax said...

Very True...

Waiting requires patience. And wisdom. The young generally lack both – poor things are waiting for life to happen… to take off.


Subir said...

I have found another good website for India based travel pictures. The website is historikindia.com. They are strted their journey. But having good issue.

Anonymous said...

Amazing stuff

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