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.