Friday, September 4, 2009


Ten long years have passed since Devdas Mukherjee left the shores of his motherland for England, and today he is returning home after a brief stint at Oxford University. His childhood playmate Parvati is thrilled to hear of his return; finally he will see how she has grown into a beautiful flower since he last saw her. Her mother, Shumitra, with her long hair shining in excitement, eagerly looks out the window. Says she, “Methinks I will get Paro and Deva married pronto! Shotti!”

Paro, hearing this, lowers her eyes in shyness, her lashes flickering with pleasure.

At Zamindar Narayan Mukherjee’s house, Devdas’s mother Kaushalya is waiting with her puja thali for her beloved son to arrive. But no! He has gone to Paro’s place to take a look at the stained-glass windows that adorn her house. “Sacrilege!” she screams, and flings the puja thali in despair.

Devdas meanwhile has reached Paro’s house. With all the passion of a young lover, he seeks to embrace Paro, but how can he, when a fly is infesting the air with its pestilential presence, and trying to sit on her skin? He takes Paro to task.
“Paro, I like not those other living things that try to touch you”, says he ardently.

“Ish! Go then, for I will show my face only when the moon comes!” says Paro.

Shumitra hears this exchange, and vows, “tonight I will ask Kaushalya and seal this love between Devdas and Paro. Ish! But before that I must do the dance of death, so that Kaushalya will just not be able to refuse!”

That night, after performing the dance of death, when only Kaushalya is alive and standing, Shumitra proposes the marriage of Devdas and Paro. Kaushalya, for the second time, flings the puja thali, and says “Never! Never will my Deva be married off in a household that has less stained-glass than us!”

Shumitra is stupefied, her great teeth are quivering in anger, but gathering her senses, she retorts, “Catastrophe! Cataclysm! Kaushalya, you know not what you say. But I vow to you, that in seven days from now, I will get Paro married into a much richer household, that has not stained-glass, no, but Saint Gobain Glass. Ha!”

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Things you’ll never hear them say

Some things you’ll never hear our celebrities say:

Shah Rukh Khan, on winning the Best Actor award:
I humbly declare that I alone do not deserve this coveted award. Considering the brilliance and talent of the other actors nominated along with me, I feel compelled to share this award with them. This one is for you, guys.

Kareena Kapoor
I know that I am not drop-dead gorgeous. In fact I frequently look at the mirror and say to myself, “How dare you look so pitiful?” I don’t even dance too well and my directors are often forced to re-shoot some scenes. I have failed so many times on the first take.

Salman Khan
I would like to clear this misconception that I love Aishwarya – I do not. Any affection I have for her is of a friendly nature. I never pursued her with the hope of winning her love, and I certainly never subjected her to any physical abuse. Only once I had slapped her (though not very hard) when she steadfastly refused to hand over to me the last remaining bottle of whiskey in the house. She said that if she gave it to me I would drink it and then promptly run over it while driving. What Nonsense! When she knows I don’t care for anything but big bucks!

Sabeer Bhatia (remember him?)
Aishwarya? I don’t want to marry Aishwarya. Why do you think I would want to? Just because of what you media people write? I have no such feelings for her.
By the way, you don’t happen to have her hotmail id do you?

Aamir Khan, on winning a Best Actor award sponsored by any film magazine
I am delighted to accept this [Film Magazine] Best Actor award. I am a regular reader of [Film Magazine] and today I wish to salute them in their single-minded devotion to spreading malicious gossip to all the remote corners of India.

Bipasha Basu/Dino Morea/ Diya Mirza/Arjun Rampal
Yes, I agree that models cannot act. In fact I believe it is time we accepted this fact and tried to improve our acting skills, as we cannot be expected to ride on our sex symbol status forever.

Dr. Sriram Nene
Over the last few months, I have consciously taken the effort to spare some time and have finally finished watching all of Madhuri’s films. And I must say I give her credit for the quality of her acting and exposure, er, composure.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali
I truly apologise to all those who feel offended in any way at my interpretation of the Sarat Chandra Chatterjee classic Devdas. Having devoted much thought to the matter, I now realize that my film focused excessively on the opulence and grandeur, rather than on the essence of the novel.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Almost achieved simply by chatting with one of my favourite writers ever – Alexander McCall Smith.

I posted the question as ‘Jayita, Mumbai’. Yes I know that’s not my name. It is my sister’s name, and I asked it on her behalf, she being a top psychiatrist and all. I posed my own question as well, as myself and not masquerading as female relatives, but the same query was in the minds of approximately 1500 other fans. The question was – when is the next in the von Igelfield trilogy coming out? Fans breathless with eager anticipation will be pleased to know that Mr. McCall Smith is hard at work on it.

Read the transcript to learn more about him, his writing process (a whopping 1000 words per hour!) and, in a staggering expose, he revealed what JLB stood for in Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ban Crying on Reality Shows!

Can I file a PIL to ban excessive tear-duct action on reality TV shows? Every episode, especially the elimination ones, centre around one principle concept – tears. On regular days, contestants are crying because they remember poignant moments in their life thus far. But elimination days are special. Three types of ‘tear shedding’ occur on these occasions:

  • Eliminated contestant weeping copious amounts for obvious reasons. To further their weeping, a screen in the background keeps displaying images of their life before the contest and even during it, when they had made lifelong friends (ya right!) out of their co-participants.
  • Fellow contestants sobbing at the departure of the eliminated one, when in their minds they’re actually thinking, ‘Thank God! If she’d stuck out one week longer I’d be in the doldrums!’
  • MC’s bawling their eyes out because of the eliminations (witness Mandira Bedi at Indian Idol). This has no rhyme or reason, despite hosts like Mandira claiming to share a great rapport with the eliminated contestant.

Pop quiz: which of the three do you think happened on Bigg Boss 2 last Friday night? That’s right, all of the above. Rahul Mahajan gets to keep the love triangle with Monica Bedi and Payal Rohatgi going for a few more weeks, either until they reach some conclusion or until one of them is voted out. Rakhi Vijayan can meanwhile stay home and reflect on whether the amount of rouge she applied for her last episode was a necessary touch or not. And Shilpa Shetty can return to her wardrobe to choose yet another saree that reveals several yards of her admirable waist.

Bigg Boss airs on the new Colors channel. The best part about watching the entire hour-long show was seeing the promos of a new show called Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena starring, ahem, Wasim Akram and Sushmita Sen. Don’t care about Sush much, but will watch the show just to drool over Mr. Akram.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This is your life

A couple of months back, I walked into the British Library and to my utter amazement, discovered a whole set of good books to take home, among them John O’Farrell’s This is your life. I had read his ‘I blame the scapegoats’, a collection of essays, and found them hilarious, so I had high expectations of this book. And did he deliver!

This is your life is the story of Jimmy Conway, who dreams of becoming a celebrity. He’s working on a screenplay, the only problem is – he hasn’t got past the first page! A chance encounter with Britain’s top TV star Billy Scrivens makes him sought after in his own circle of friends and family. But when Billy dies, Jimmy is invited to comment on his death. And so begins his foray into the world of stardom. He becomes famous as a standup comic who ‘won’t do television’ by faking newspaper reviews and articles of himself. Soon he plunges deeper into the quagmire of lies and is rewarded for it by winning a ‘Best Standup Comic – Newcomer’ award.

Eventually he is invited to perform at a major event that is broadcast live to TV audiences all over Britain, and has two thousand people in attendance at the show. Does Jimmy get through this? Read the book to find out!

The book has so many laugh-out-loud lines I lost count after the first read. But here’s a sample to get you going:

Her face had so many piercings that passing ships lost track of true magnetic north.

Jimmy’s mother asks him ,’and how is your part-time teaching job?’ in a tone as if she was asking him the question ‘How is your homosexual Iraqi boyfriend?’ or ‘How are things in the world of pre-school heroin dealing?’

How does one fake their way through heart surgery?
‘Let’s move that grisly lump over here.’
‘But that’s the heart, doctor.’
‘Blimey, it doesn’t look like that on the Valentine cards, does it?’

Since global warming Eskimos now have twenty different words for water.

Remember to pick up this book the next time you see it in the library!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hello World!

Typically the first ever program a techie writes when learning a new technology is one that simply prints out the words ‘Hello World’ on the screen. It’s been many years since I wrote one of those, but now I can at least claim to have written one for my blog.

Welcome here. Enjoy your stay.