All about living in this crazy, wonderful city called Bombay

October 28, 2003

There are so many monotonous things that we depend upon for our daily sanity...for example, when you switch on the TV, you expect it to show up all channels; when you log on to your internet connection, you expect it to log on; when you try to send emails, you expect them to go through; when you try to take a call on the cell phone or send an SMS, you expect to get through...lately all these systems seem to be malfunctioning for me, and the end result is a terribly uncomfortable sense of disorientation and a strange kind of depressive lethargy...HELP!

October 26, 2003

Diwali was yesterday, but Bombay's fireworks frenzy is yet to die out. While I am not to fond of bursting firecrackers myself, I just love watching the sparkling lights from afar. And the view from my study window is amazing at the moment...all those huge, dazzling displays lighting up the sky at Marine Drive and Nariman Point and beyond. Trust the Indians to transform the darkest night of the year into one of infinite lights!

There is something so beautiful about our traditions and heritage. Did the Diwali pooja yesterday and went to the temple today, and it felt so good, so calming and rejuvenating.

Also did something really gutsy yesterday...and still have stomach cramps thinking about it. Have been working up the courage to do this for three years now!! Feels good to confront my fears and move ahead!

Diwali symbolizes the beginning of a New Year for us. I have a feeling that this is going to be a momentous year for me. Lots of changes and major life decisions lined up for the next 365 days. Am excited and scared at the same time about all this!! Good or bad...time will tell...

October 25, 2003

Am in the middle of doing a story on the history of the Sari for a US-based fashion magazine. The sari is seriously one of the most sensuous garments known to mankind and I feel really proud to have it as part of my heritage, even though I end up wearing it only on special occassions. There is something so luxurious and exotic about this attire. Reminds me of what Kiron Kher once told me, and she should know because she has some of the most gorgeous saris I have ever seen in Bombay!

Kiron Kher on Indian Saris:

Sensuous silks, sheer chiffons, soft muslins, diaphanous organzas or gossamer nets. Woven, printed, embroidered or plain in six sexy yards, translating into the most beautiful garment in the world…the saree.

One of the most wonderful things about being an Indian woman is that we have a wealth of shringar to adorn ourselves with. Where else in the world can you wear bindis, bangles, parandis, exotic ornaments and sarees? The magical saree is our own heritage, and we can wear it legitimately.

My love affair with the saree started when I was a child. I would watch my mother dressing up to go to a party with fascinated eyes. I remember her zari-bordered georgettes and printed French chiffons. Come winter and silks would come tumbling out from the suitcases, and the sarees would be spread on durries to soak in the sun. I longed to grow up and swathe myself in the myriad hues glittering in the afternoon light. Finally, when I turned sixteen, I got to wear my first saree. Since then it has remained a passion. As I grew up and travelled across our country, I learned a lot about the saree.

Kanjeeverams, woven in the temple town of Kanchipuram near Madras, are my favourites for winter eveningwear. The silk is heavier and stronger than other sarees and has solid brocaded borders that are pure gold. The traditional style pallav and borders contrast in colour to the main field of the saree and usually have deep rich jewel tones.

Legend has it that the Dhakai mulmuls once used to be so fine that an entire saree could easily pass through a finger ring. These Bengal handlooms, along with the Tangail sarees, are unbeatable for summer wear. They usually use sindoor-red, green, blue, black or purple colours to weave designs on the border and buttis on the main body of the saree, the latter having an off-white or cream background.

Benarasi sarees also use heavy gold and silver brocades. Their jaamevaar weaves and tanchoi satins are exquisite and make elegant winter wear and their heavy jaal and butti brocades are a must for every bride’s trousseau.

The Patola from Patan in Gujarat, woven in the double ikkat style is probably the most complicated of all textile designs in the world. Using a unique tie and weave method, it has a tremendous richness in colour. A single saree can take up to six months to make and prices range upto two lakh per saree.

One of my favourites in heavy sarees is the Paithani from Maharashtra. The most exclusive paithanis are woven in Paithan, a small taluka on the banks of the Godavari near Aurangabad. It has its origins in the tapestry weaves of Central Asia. The Rig Veda mentions a golden woven fabric and Greek records talk about gorgeous Paithani fabrics. The Peshwas had a special love for Paithanis. The Nizam of Hyderabad made several trips to Paithan and his daughter-in-law Niloufer, introduced several new motifs to the border and pallav designs. The favourite motif used during the Maratha period was a kind of flower called the asavali. Real zari is used for brocade work. The traditional colours used are red, pink, black, yellow, purple, peacock blue and a greenish-red combination. The shot effect with two-tone colours is exquisite and gives great depth to the silk. The original Paithani colour is kusumbi-purple with a green border. The brocade pallav and border take on a bejewelled appearance. The best Paithanis are available in boutiques owned by ladies who are designing and working directly with the weavers.

The soft coloured Chanderis in muslin or silk from Madhya Pradesh, the Maheshwaris introduced by the Holkar royal family also from Madhya Pradesh, the Bandhinis of Kutch and Rajasthan, the ikkats of Orissa and Pochampalli in Andhra Pradesh, the Baluchari and Gorod from Bengal…the list is endless.

Sadly, today’s urban Indian women seem to be moving away from the saree towards more westernised and (dare I say) asexual clothes. Younger girls are into faded jeans. Older women mistakenly feel that a saree ages them and prefer to wear trousers or skirts. The result is obvious at most parties. You get a roomful of black trousers and shirts. Dull, boring and jaded.

The saree can be the most versatile dress of all. There can be nothing more dramatic, elegant, understated or sexy…whatever the statement you want to make, there is a saree available for every occasion. The world is waking up to the workmanship of India. We have master weavers and craftsmen. But only if we wear the saree will we be able to keep the market alive and ensure that the craftsmen can earn their livelihood. We must not let these artisans disappear. It is easy to take our heritage for granted and scoff at centuries of artistic evolution. Let us enjoy our Indianness and revel in its luxury. Do we need a Madonna to make the bindi into a fashion statement?

Read the entire transcript in India Today Plus (November, 2003)
Its Diwali, finally, and it means tons of sweets and chocolates, colorful candles, dressing up, dazzling fireworks, sumptuous dinners with kachoris and aloo ka sabzi and lots 'n lots of fun with family and friends!

Being a totally Arya Samaaji family, our Diwali pooja is really simple. Its just us immediate family members around a rangoli bordering Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi, followed by mom reading out Satyanarayanji ji katha. There is something so heart-warmingly wonderful about this simple ritual. There are no priests, no middlemen so to say, or lavish gold coins and diamond ornaments or the other superficial trappings that so many other families get caught in. This is the way I like it! Of course, I do love the dressing up part...the bangles, saris, bindis, mehndi...and the twinkling lights that my brother strings over the staircase and windows, and the candles and all that...but the wonderful part of Arya Samaj is that it allows you to do things your way, on your own terms, without imposing rigid and tedious rules and regulations for everything. What matters, in the end, is your devotion to God and not the way you choose to express it!

This Diwali is going to mark a lot of new beginnings in my life. Primary among them is my mom's shifting to Bombay. Am going to be staying with her after more than three years. And its been a long three years! Have really missed her...and am looking forward to making up for all that lost time now!

You have a great Diwali!

October 23, 2003

Zakia Shakir, a well known photographer who has shot some of the best landscapes and portraits in the country recently spend some time in the US at one of the most prestigious photography schools in the world, The ICP - the International Centre of Photography, New York.

She has shot several advertising and editorial features before her stint at the ICP, New York and on her return a number of magazine covers too. She would be opening her own studio shortly at Versova.

An exclusive preview of her work, with a display of over 30 of her photographs, including exotic shots of models and some of her best personal work will be on display at Caliente, Mumbai, on the 30th of Oct from 8.30 pm onwards. Among those displayed will be exclusive pics of Vijay Amritraj, Amitabh Bachchan, Sheetal Mallar, Cleo Isaacs, Aditi Govitrikar Nina Manuel and others.

Mezzo Mezzo Creates a Little Apulia In Mumbai

One of Italy’s best-kept secrets is out! From a little town on Italy’s South East Coast (the heel of the Italy’s boot shape), comes authentic Italian food brought to Mezzo Mezzo, the Italian restaurant of JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai, by Guest Chef Tommaso. He and renowned Resident Chef Danio Galli will be pooling their considerable resources to produce a feast worthy of the gods from the 20th of October to the 2nd of November 2003.

Apulia is a food and wine lover’s paradise. One reason is that the fresh produce is of such high quality. In fact, many of the basic elements of the Italian kitchen originate from Apulia – a huge proportion of Italy’s fish is caught off the extensive Apulian coast. 70% of the country’s olive oil is produced here and the region provides 80% of Europe’s pasta. Just to give you that uncompromisingly pure Apulia feeling, Chef Tommaso brings his ingredients all the way from the little town itself.

Vegetarians will be pleasantly surprised with Antipasti Vegetariani, pure vegetarian specialities like Bruschetta del Tavoliere delle Puglie con pomodorini secchi (Bruschetta from Puglia’s Tavoliere with sun dried tomatoes) or Frittelle Di Ricotta Ed Alghe Marine Con Pomodorini Del "Salento" Marinati All'origano (Deep-fried Ricotta cheese balls and seaweed served with cherry tomato marinated with dry oregano).

But non-vegetarians certainly need not feel ignored what with Calzone alla Barese con la ricotta forte, Manzo e cicoria (Calzone Barese style with strong ricotta cheese, beef and, yes, chicory!) or Polpo Al Forno Con Le Patate E Zucchine Al Profumo Di Menta (Baked octopus with potato and zucchini in mint flavour). For gourmets, there’s also a truffle menu. Round it all off with a dessert of Dita Degli Apostoli Farcitio Con Ricotta, Pasta Di Mandorle, Cannella E Frutta Candita Con Salsa Al Caramello ("Apostle fingers" filled with ricotta cheese and almond paste in cinnamon flavour and caramel sauce). Then wash it down with a wide selection of Italian wines, grappas and digestives.

Mezzo Mezzo is located on the lobby level of JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai. The interactive open kitchen at Mezzo Mezzo allows one to view the chefs at work, where jars of pickled items such as sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and artichokes take prominence. The restaurant’s gild rimmed mirror dominated bar offers a wide selection of wines by the glass, and an extensive selection of cocktails. The bar area of the restaurant is used as a pre-dinner drinks or coffee and drinks bar after dinner. Fresh flower arrangements mainly in monotone or duo tones complement the settings. Mezzo Mezzo is currently open for dinner from Tuesday to Sunday from 6.30 p.m. till midnight and serves brunch on Sundays from 12 noon till 3:30 pm.

October 19, 2003

Mumbai Never Lets Down Its Loyalists: Gerson da Cunha

Everyone has loyalties, like the devotion to one’s local variety of mango (eg Apoos Pyrie vs Dussehri). Close after mangoes on the loyalty scale would come ardor for one’s city. Mumbai, like its mangoes, never lets down its loyalists.

There is something oddly appropriate about the shape of this island in the glance of a map. It looks like a hand extended in greeting, or help. It’s symbolic of the way the city is.

Mumbai is its people. It is the city’s people, generation after generation, who have caused a glittering metropolis to rise where seven lumpy islands had dozed before, amid drying fishnets and bombil. Here, in an abandoned Government House, the plague vaccine was given to the world – needing of course a prior outbreak of the bubonic variety. The silver lining was the package of urban improvements that followed, first as therapy then taking graceful form as broad avenues and causeways, some conceived as cross-island ventilation against noxious vapors, setbacks from them, parks, gardens and vistas.

The city’s Indo-Saracenic public buildings live haughtily on, from the High Court and University to two great railway termini and a museum, not so much edifices as imperial fanfares. Here, too, stands a treasure of Art Deco buildings, second in number and scale only to Miami, which together with the city’s colonial past constitute a unique corner of world heritage.

Modern art in India was born in the Progressive Artists’ Group on Rampart Row, the street connecting "Kala Ghoda," – a square with Edward VII as Prince of Wales rampant on a leaping steed, all in bronze – to Lion’s Gate, the main entry into the dockyard of the home port of India’s Navy.

The mind was encouraged to flower here, some in ways that history records: the birth of atomic research and space science in the land. In humbler ways, too, minds were nurtured in classrooms and lecture halls. Mumbai’s robust cosmopolitanism is unusual, with its happy babble of Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil, Konkani and 14 other languages with their own schools here, to say nothing of the French and German medium schools.

Two of Mumbai’s greatest riches are the magic of the sea and the monsoons. Visitors from the Gulf and Arab countries still come to marvel at torrential downpours and the violet clouds of the season. These are the same mild, moist breezes that through history have blown trade here, to and from Africa and the Gulf. Greeks and Arabs came and went, sheltering among islands that its fisher folk called "Mumbadevi," after their kindly Mother Goddess. The Portuguese came and gave away, in a style we understand as dowry.

In the hands of the bridegroom’s nation, the city corrupted from "Mumbadevi" to "Bombay." Later, there would be other, less innocent corruptions. Today, politics trails "Mumbai" not "Bombay" in its wake. The city’s human energy and the power stroke of its thought have made this the country’s commercial and financial capital. Its very riches and success have crafted its problems.

The hand-shaped island has welcomed all, some would say too many for an infrastructure born in the horse-drawn tramcar and the delicate bronze-held gaslight lit by a marathon runner with a pole bouncing on his shoulder. But from the strangulating streets and illegal constructions on the gold of a slipper island, from the Irani shops with bent wood chairs and marble-topped tables serving buns and butter sprinkled with sugar; from the flamboyant dons whose dreams are a clutter of Bollywood maidens jostling RDX and extortion, from here rises a thunder of crowds cheering their Tendulkars’, as they had their Merchants’ and Mankads’ in an earlier time.

Read the entire transcript in India Today Plus (November, 2003)

October 17, 2003

Kamasutra Night at Rock Bottom!

Tomorrow night, Saturday, October 18, 2003, 9.00 p.m. onwards Bacardi will transform Rock Bottom, Mumbai city’s new 7000 sq ft nightclub at the Ramee Guestline into an avant garde interpretation of the wonderful world of Kamasutra.

The night promise’s to be a sensual ravagement with elements of design that reek of elegance. Kamasutra, as we all know, is the Hindu treatise on the art of love which emerged somewhere between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, but it is more famous for the big picture discussions of women’s rights, courtship and the place of erotic pleasure in modern life.

However, Bacardi’s idea is to create a theme night that has room for aesthetic visual stimulation; a night that is remembered as a vicarious experience of the beauty of what the Kamasutra really stands for, certainly not it’s derogatory connotation.

Bacardi’s Kamasutra Night is very much open to the city’s movers and shakers, but the VIP lounge will be reserved for Barcardi’s guests.
ok! ok! I know that it's against every rule in web designing to have white text against a black background...but I think this combo looks really jazzy, so that's how it's gonna be :)
I am so extremely frustrated...feel like killing somebody! More specifically, feel like killing my cable operator -- Jhunjhunwalla who owns Microvision, which supplies cable TV and broadband to Walkeshwar and Malabar Hill Areas.

The guy has been harassing us no end. He has some problem with the previous inhabitants of this flat (who, incidentally, left 18 months back), and the housing society, and has consequently switched off my cable TV connection. So, haven't been able to see any TV for the last whole week! And only when the TV is not there do you realize how much you depend on it to refresh you or cool you down after a tough day!

Besides this, the employees of Microvision definitely deserve the World's Rudest and Most Unhelpful Staff award. Not only are they adept at shirking responsibility, they have taken to shouting abuses at my father and me, and anyone else from our office who tries to sort out the issue!

Besides this, their broadband connections remain disfunctional for at least 6-10 days every month, when asked for explanation or repairs, the typical answer is that this is India, and this is just the way things are. Thats what happens when there is any company has the monopoly over a service. If you know of any cable operator out there who services Walkeshwar, please let me know ASAP!

Till then, I am going to be catching up on my daily soaps at the gym :(

October 14, 2003

On Wednesday, October 15, 2003, from 7.00 to 9.00 p.m., Popley & Sons will launch their exclusive boutique Popley La Classique of premium international brands in
India like Rado, Tissot, Omega, Tag Heuer, Longines, Raymond Weil, Dior, Ronco, Nakshatra, Albor, Solitaires, etc.

The evening, accompanied by fine wine and cheese, will see the unveiling of Designer RHEA NASTA’s nouveau range with Wine Coloured Gems.

Models adorned with Rhea’s designs will adopt mannequin poses at the entrance of the boutique. There will also be four of Rhea’s designers sketching exclusive pieces of jewellery for the guests using gemstones.

The service at the Popley La Classique section of their boutique on Turner Road aims to match world-class standards of service expected of the sophisticated jet-set who
would normally hop on to a flight to do their high-end jewellery & accessory shopping.
For those who’ve been pining for their regular sweet tooth fix, there could be no better news than the fact that JW Marriott's Bombay Baking Co. is back in action and it’s better than you could ever imagine!

1700 sq. ft of pure indulgence, the new look BBC is a vibrant, stylish place with an open style servery kitchen and an exciting & creative menu. Where else in the city can you sample delectable hot-from-the-oven goodies baked by the hour, scrumptilicious chocolates, fresh salads, exotic food items like imported cheeses and wines or select flowers, while your mind travels into far away lands through the extensive range of books or, for the technically inclined, the Internet?

Allow the warmth of blueberry muffins and freshly brewed coffee to envelop you and to gently lull you into generously taking an assortment of mouth-watering delicacies or even flowers for your loved ones. The icing on the cake – you can afford to be generous what with BBC’s five star quality, variety and service at unbelievably affordable prices! Baked goods start at only Rs. 17/-. But a warning for the newly initiated from pastry Chef Ronald – some of this stuff is just too good to give away!

The BBC is open seven days a week from 7am to 9pm.

Wednesday Nights at Enigma!

You always thought the party never ends in Bombay. But now it’s starting earlier than ever before! From October 15th onwards, weekends will be longer than ever for party people. Enigma, at JW Marriot, will throw its doors open on Wednesdays as well!

And how does one start these Wicked Wednesdays? Errrrr...... of course! With a party to beat all parties! Catch Enigma’s famous resident DJ, DJ Aqeel along with DJ Ryan Beck and DJ Girish in action. That is, if you’re not too busy rubbing shoulders with a regular bevy of stars from Bollywood, television and the fashion world who have made Enigma their second home.

Enigma is spread over an area of 4200 square feet with a great dance floor, a stylish lounging area, and two bars. The music is mostly retro, popular Hindi tracks and remixes played by DJ Aqeel. It serves the wildest cocktails by Ryan, Enigma’s cool flaring bartender. The d├ęcor which has been designed by Hirsch Bedner and Associates from San Francisco features wooden flooring, a seating area with rich red, purple & orange curtains, sumptuous sofas and a stage for performances.

Finally, party people, a good reason to say Thank God it’s Wednesday!

October 13, 2003

Sachin Tendulkar's Foodie Cravings...

I am a big eater and I love seafood. I am very passionate about good food, and also enjoy a spot of cooking. Though I travel so often and get to eat different types of food, I really miss the simple, home-cooked Maharashtrian khaana when I am on tour.

A personal favorite is the Bommaloe Macchi, or Bombay Duck, a small fish native to the Mumbai area. A fact that surprises quite a few people is that Bombay Duck is not really a duck, but actually a dried, salted fish. I love its pungency – it is a little spicy and salty – and it can be eaten as a crispy deep-fried starter or as an accompaniment to a curry dish, as it can be served both fried and broiled. I also have a weakness for Goan-style crab.

Other than that, when I am in Mumbai I love going to the Thai Pavilion at the Taj President Hotel, the Golden Dragon and the Regent for its Chinese food. Now, of course, a favorite haunt is going to be Tendulkar’s – not only because it is my restaurant, but also because it has a handpicked selection of my favorite dishes from around the world.

The best Maharashtrian food in town, however, continues to be exclusively and indisputably available at a small apartment in Bandra – in my mother’s kitchen! And that is impossible to replicate anywhere else in the world.

Read the complete transcript in India Today Plus (November, 2003)

October 10, 2003

I was going to tell you all about Lush, the hottest new party place at Phoenix Mills, but realized that nobody could tell it better than Pooja Bedi in her new column in Mid Day.

Meanwhile, let me brief you on the Mocha Backpacker's Club, started last month, an interactive platform on backpacking info, experiences and advice. The Club meets on the last Sunday of every month at 12 pm to help backpackers with info about organising a trip. Every meet focusses on one destination, and you get to know about everything from travel arrangements to buying the right gear to managing within limited budgets and so on. Usually, there are guest speakers -- celebrity, experts or otherwise -- who have travelled extensively and independently.

You will have to pay a one-time membership fee of Rs 500 to become a member of this club, which also gets you discounts on travel equipment like sleeping bags along with special offers on air tickets, travel arrangements, and Lonely Planet guidebooks.
Am putting together a page devoted to rare pix of old Bombay. You are so not going to believe what the Fort area looked like, or how green and isolated Malabar Hill was! Keep watching this space for linking to the pix site...should have it up an running by Monday!

October 09, 2003

Writings on Mumbai

"While putting together an anthology such as this one is not rocket science, it tends to have its own challenges...Friends become repositories of wisdom and talk about the ancient hamam in South Bombay where you can still have a Turkish Bath...others suggest impossible photo-essays on the interiors of the Governor's bungalow or a dog's eye-view of the city. Everyone has a Bombay story, a Bombay they want represented. And everyone's Bombay is not the Bombay we thought we knew.

"When we started on this project, we were clear: we wanted to serve up the taste of the Lived Bombay rather than the more exotic flavors of the Visited Bombay. This is a vision of Bombay, stereoscopic, multiple, fuzzy, alienated, integrated, all of the above."

-- Excerpt from Bombay, Meri Jaan: Writings on Mumbai edited by Jerry Pinto and Naresh Fernandes, with poems and prose on the city by renown names like Nissim Ezekiel, Pico Iyer, Khushwant Singh, Rudyard Kipling, Salman Rushdie, Sunil Gavaskar, VS Naipaul, Busybee and so on and on and on.

Available in all bookstores for Rs. 395.

ME: Why did I not think of writing this book????? Sounds like it must have been fun to compile!

Anyway, am back to the drudgery of writing one of the most boring pieces that I have ever encountered in my journalistic capacity. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

October 08, 2003

Heard Nikita Nigam sing for the first time yesterday (that is Sonu Nigam's kid sis for the uninitiated)...charming voice capable of holding a very high pitch without sounding shrill, even though it lacks a little depth. But guess that shall come by with age. She looked pretty young -- a teenager, I would guess.

Sonu thats a different entity altogether. Somehow, am wondering why, I never really liked him much. But after seeing and hearing him live at the Toyota 1,00,000 Celebrations, have totally changed my mind. He was wonderful! Sings wonderfully, and works the crowd even more wonderfully! Definitety one to look out for!

(Incidentally, are you going for the Adnan Sami concert on Oct. 11?)

Yesterday was also the D'damas Signature Jewelry Collection launch at Taj Land's End, but more on that later. Gotta run now. You take care!

Sorry :(

Ok, I know that I have committed the worst sin in blogging...not updating (with anything substantial) for one whole week! Flimsy though the excuse is, deadlines on work assignments were just too killing to do anything else!But pls pls don't kill me yet! And don't stop watching this space either! Am back in action, and soon you shall also see a totally revamped site, hip 'n happening...just like Bombay ;)

October 06, 2003

The Invitation

Excerpted from The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

October 02, 2003

Thinking of watching Jogger's Park? Here are some things that you should keep in mind:

1. Do not watch it in the late night show, unless you are an insomniac desperate for a cure. In that case, it is likely to work better than the strongest sedative!

2. Watch it only till the interval if you want to go away with memories of a great movie. This movie has a beautiful concept, and would have been memorably brilliant if only it had ended at the interval. I think the problem is that while Bollywood has learnt to embrace serious and meaningful themes, most of the producers and directors still lack the maturity to escape the two-and-a-half-hour masala movie concept!

3. Get the CD -- the songs are brilliant! Especially Adnan Sami's soulful Ishq hota nahin sabhi ke liye....

4. If you are a guy, ignore all the above, 'coz you are most probably going to be too busy getting an eyeful of Perizaad to be much bothered by anything else anyway!

October 01, 2003

Karisma Kapoor finally got married yesterday, at RK Cottage in what seemed more like a Bollywood circus rather than a traditional ceremony. Surrounded by a "very small gathering" of only a 1000 people (??!!??), the bride was, it has to be said, quite resplendent in her pink lehenga. Except that it would have suited the occasion more if she had not spent more than three-quarters of the time waving to the cameras!

To the credit of both families, the reason behind the Abhishek Bachchan-Karisma Kapoor breakup has never been revealed. In a departure from Bollywood norms, both sides have kept absolutely mum about the whole issue...perhaps concepts like dignity and family pride are not yet completely extinct in the film industry!

And if the list of celeb attendees for the wedding was pretty impressive, the list of people who made it a point to stay away was no less weighty...Shahrukh Khan, Karan Johar, Ambanis', Amar Singh, Shweta Nanda (nee Bachchan), even the Sahara guys who are producing Karisma Kapoor's famed TV Serial...basically everybody who is close to the Bachchans was a no show!

Grand uncle Shammi Kapoor, meanwhile, is recuperating from a recent illness at Bombay's Breach Candy Hospital, and hence could not attend.