Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year


Wishing All my Friends

Peace - in the centre of the photo is the Jain Tirthankara, Shantinath or Lord of Peace

Prosperity - to the right is the Goddess Laxmi

Wisdom - to the left in the Goddess Saraswati

Happy New Year!

Lots of love
Ratna

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Christmas Truce

It was December 24th, 1914. Christmas Eve.
Across hundreds of miles in Ypres in Belgium, the Germans troops lay in their trenches and within shouting distance, was the enemy – the Allied soldiers made up of the French, Belgian, British and the Canadian.
Already, the toll of this trench war had mounted to about a million men, frozen bodies strewn between the trenches.
Suddenly, the strangest thing began to happen. The German soldiers began to place lighted candles on the Christmas trees that they had in their trenches and singing Christmas carols. Seeing this, the Allied soldiers began to sing too and shout Christmas greetings across the trenches to the Germans.
What followed was perhaps one of the strangest and the most beautiful events in the history of war ….and peace. The shooting stopped and unarmed soldiers came out of the trenches on both sides to shake hands, salutes and even gifts….
It continued into Christmas day and the peace was so “scary” that the commanding officers on both sides threatened the “peace-mongers” with court martial …..but no one seemed to care!
And the carol that probably set off the whole event?
“Silent Night, Holy Night”.
I found this story while surfing YouTube for recordings of this composition…..which is when I stumbled on a recording of Walter Cronkite narrating the story as he hosts the Mormon’s Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas concert. As Cronkite points out, it’s extraordinary how almost 100 years later, this still holds so much meaning – that we humans never learn, not even from the lessons history puts in front of us and that peace is always possible, even in the most impossible circumstances.
I also found on a rendering of this incredible composition by none other than the greta Mahila Jackson. The two versions are radically different but no matter how many times I hear this music, no matter who sings it or performs it, it always makes my hair stand on end and at the same time fills my heart with a peace so beautiful it make me want to weep.
I am giving below the links to both the recordings – please, please do listen.






So, I know I am a day late but methinks its never to late to be wishing that this peace will fill all your hearts, my dear friends, and also the hearts of the people that are right now filled with so much hate and fear!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Rough Guide to Terror Tourism

“Ram Gopal Varma ki yahi kamayee
Do sarkar banaye, ek girayee.” On SMS


Bungee jumping. Paragliding. Skateboarding.
I mean – yawn.
Because on December 1st, as I watched our dear Chief Minister tour the ravaged interiors of the hotel Taj and Trident, I knew it was time to make way for the hottest, hippest way to take a break, let your hair down, tune out, switch off.
Terror tourism.
Now I don’t know about you fellas but my motto is - “be prepared”. So, I write this in preparedness for the outside chance that someone amongst us might just get as lucky as aapro Vilasji did to tour the latest terror hotspot. I also write this in preparedness for the even more outside chance that a certain male relative of a certain gent who was once known as Maharashtra’s Remote Control might be reading this. For tips and tippanis for his very own impending terror tour. Which should be happening anytime now?
So, without further shilly-shallying or beating around the bush, let me begin.
First and foremost, this is an extreme sport, not for the lily-livered, the yellow-bellied, the milksops, the pusillanimous chickens. For example, right now, there is a huge misconception doing the rounds that the brave hearts of the Mumbai terror attacks were the NSG commandos, the hotel staff of the Taj and the Trident, the cops etc. etc. What a crock.
Because the bravest of them all was our beloved CM-saheb, strolling so courageously through that ghastly burnt-out shell of the Taj. With nary a thought for the extreme danger that he was putting himself in. After all, any minute, his beautiful white neta-in-mourning kurta could’ve been picked off and blackened by one of those deadly soot-covered walls. Or lurking around the corner could be a deathly bullet hole waiting to ruin his manicure. And we shudder to think what terrible fate awaited his freshly dyed-for-the-telly, carefully coifed hair in the hands of that terrifying rubble-dust.)
In other words, be a terror tourist only if you have the guts for it. And only a few very, very brave people do.
Second of all, if you are one of those me-alone-communing-with-nature kind of people, then it’s best to give this a skip because terror tourism is a group activity, best enjoyed in the company of friends and relatives. And that could include your third grandson’s personal potty-trainer, your fourth second cousin’s ex-wife’s current mother-in-law, your pooch’s psychiatrist, your dhokla-khandvi chef and your dhobi’s donkey.
Not to mention your friendly neighbourhood film director.
I know what you are thinking. You can see how a rousing round of bullet-hole-spotting and musical bloodstains in company of kith and kin help to unwind, unclench those teeth, relax that sphincter and generally aid world peace.
But the film director?
Ah.
How else could he get people to forget that he made a film called “Ram Gopal Varma’s Aag”?
Third of all, it’s very important to have a tour guide at all times After all, you need as much to be able to tell the blue-bottled fly from the blue-bottomed baboon as you do to differentiate rubble from rabri (no relation to Laloo) and charred ballroom from charred toast. (Ideally, the guide should be the cop who held the terrorists at bay for eight hours before the commandos turned up. Adds globs of “realism” to the enchilada.) The important thing though, while listening to the guide, is to constantly make hissing noises and scrunch up your face in expressions of horrified commiseration. (Don’t worry if it looks more as if you’ve just smelt some very nasty navel jam - you can take tips from your actor son before your next trip.)
Fourth of all, the walk. (I’m sorry, fellas. We do plan to get cable cars and limos very soon, but right now, you’ll have to do it all on foot.) It’s very, very important how you walk through the…shall we call it “terror sanctuary”? What you need is a measured slow amble, all the while sticking out your well-toned, six-paunch, spelling out a pleasant post-beer-‘n-biryani perambulation with wifey on Marine Drive. This will serve two purposes. It will make your bowels move. And it will terrify the terrorists. How, we can’t say exactly as yet, but it will.
(We are thinking of asking future terror tourists to whistle as they walk to make the terrorists even more terrified, but that will be only allowed in a more advanced version.)
I could go on, but for the moment this much will suffice for you to go off and practice your terror tourist moves.
Which leaves two things
First the tricky question that’s trembling on everybody’s lips.
Will one get to see live dead bodies? Or at least a few body parts? After all, after a point, how terrifying can a few mounds of blackened rubble and a few tons of broken glass be?
Er.
Lemme put it this way. Terror tourism is taking its first baby steps. (Though with the kind of patronage it already getting, that baby is gonna grow up very fast into a full-blown adult.) So, for the moment, I’m afraid you’ll have to make to with bloodstains. Not much, I’ll admit, but it’s a start.
Finally, terror tourism is the sport of the future and for two reasons. We’ve already covered one - the strike-terror-in-the-hearts-of-those-naughty-terrorists bit. The other reason is that it’s a great stress buster, especially for high-powered folk like chief ministers. This was obvious when our beloved Deshmukhji faced the press the day after that epoch-making terror tour. Fresh as a daisy, not a furrow on brow or a bag under eye, unfazed by all those pesky journos bombarding him with silly questions like, “Do you take moral responsibility for these attacks?”
I mean, for crying out aloud.
Moral responsibility? (Or any other kind for that matter.)
Duh. Wot dat?

(After watching the footage of Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s terror tour, I thought that in terms of sheer shamelessness, callousness and crass insensitivity, nothing could beat it. But I was wrong. I underestimated our politicians. This morning’s newspaper said that according the said Chief Minister, the television footage of his visit was provided to the news channels by the government. Meaning him. Of course it was.
Did we not tell you how terrifying that walk was?)

(Published in the December 2008 issue of Man's World magazine

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

An Unideal Husband

Has anyone noticed that by the mere shifting of the letter “i” by just two places, “marital” becomes “martial”?
And my point is?
That even though we may have invented it, what most of us know about hacking it in a marriage would fit into a thimble with room left over for the Taj Mahal. Yet we view the prospect of being married with the same twitchy excitement that the average Hindi film producer does his forthcoming film. Which is - who cares if there’s one failing every minute, we can’t wait to take the plunge because something tells us (the darling way he burps after biryani, maybe?) that not only is this for keeps, not only will we be putting away slices of our golden anniversary cake for the diamond one but that …what was that again?…ah yes, that we’re going to die in each other’s arms.
Only to discover four hours later that….

I know, I know. Sigh.

So, naturally, like aforementioned film producer, we’re constantly on the lookout for the magic formula, the foolproof plan and we don’t really care if it comes from the numerologist who told you to spell your name Bunshawli or the massage-wali bai.

Or, for that matter, a recent op-ed by Maureen Dowd, in the New York Times titled “An Ideal Husband”.
Ooh, I thought.
If one of America’s most respected newspapers allows one of its most toasted columnists to set aside more weighty matters of state and dwell on matrimony, there must be a very good reason. (Maureen herself has never been married and has written a book titled “Are Men Necessary”.)
Apparently there was. While the divorce rate – unlike the price of crude - was holding steady at 50%, the recent rash of celebrity Prince Charmings turning out to be Royal Toads of the Blood compelled the need for some urgent introspection on the subject.
I mean, we look to celebrities only for one thing - to assure us that a happily-ever-after definitely lurks somewhere behind that sunset. So, when Christie Brinkley discovers that her baa-lamb No. 4 has a 3000$-per-month-internet-porn habit and an 18-year old piece of fancy, naturally it’s time for us to gaze moodily at ye olde navel and ponder – have we forgotten how to tell good husband material from garden manure?
I was worried for Maureen. Who was she going to consult on the matter? Oprah? Ellen Degeneres? Hilary Clinton? Or closer home, Mayawati? Well, she did the only sensible thing that there was do and sought the advice of a man who, more than anyone else, should know. A 79 year-old Roman Catholic priest.
And?
I’m sorry to say, folks – nothing that we didn’t already know.
I mean, of course he has to make us laugh. And have charming relatives. (Or at least a mother who isn’t Godzilla in drag.) And has had her apron strings/saree pallu snipped along with his umbilical cord. And is as good with money (earning it) as he is in bed. And remembers birthdays, knows what colour ecru is, the difference between a bad mood and PMT, and that roses are good but diamonds are better. And doesn’t order his underwear from the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.
But where on God’s Earth are we going to find it all – and in one man? (Why do you think Draupadi tanked up on five?) Subhiksha? On the buy-six-get-one free-shelf? Anyway, even if he did exist (and I’m told there have been the odd sighting or two), he’d probably be out hunting for the Ideal Wife. Which briefly is - cooks like mother, makes love like - how the hell should I know, you filthy man? And looks like a million bucks without spending a single one.
So, I thought to meself - why I can’t have a go at this? I mean, what does a 79-year-old celibate man know about an ideal husband that I – who’s never been married since age three - don’t.
So, here goes.
First of all, don’t look too hard.
In fact, always keep your eyes slightly screwed up so that he’s a constant blur. (Will come handy later, because after a few years of marriage, apparently, everything is a blur.)
Ask him questions like if you were to choose between knitting socks for my mother’s pom and surfing porn sites on the Net, what would you choose? (Stick your fingers into your ears and sing a Himesh Reshamiya song loudly while he answers. That’s good practice for post-marital arguments. And post-coital snoring.)

Check his bank balance. I’m not specifying the lower limit because there’s no saying how low some women will sink but if it’s anything upwards a million euros, marry him even if he has breath that could double up as anaesthesia.

Don’t worry too much about his mother. You can always feed her poisoned mysore pak.

Unless you are Madonna or J.K. Rowling, never sign a pre-nup. Look how far it got Heather Mills.

What about all the other stuff?
What other stuff?
Good human being, intelligent, showers every day, has same interests, not a habitual liar, cheat, etc., etc. And what about that t-shirt with “So I’m a Pedophile. So What!” printed on it?
Most importantly - what about love?
Hm.
Tell you what. Check his feet. If they aren’t pointed backwards, call the wedding planner.
If they are, remember the advice of an aunt that I never heeded - “You can always train him later, dear.”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Butterfly in Waiting




Night
I lie softly curled
In my mosquito-net cocoon
Watching
The shaman-witch wind
Weaving a shadow play
With the light from the street lamp
And the leaves of the parijata tree
On my soft cobwebbed walls

It’s an enthralling tale
Sung, not told
In voices that only I hear
Of how it will be
To have gaily painted wings
To flit and float
And sip from
Flowers
More gaily painted than me
And bask in the fame
Of a million delighted gasps,
“Oh, look, how pretty!”

I watch and listen
Enthralled

And think how much
I like it here
Close to the ground
After all, when I fall,
How far down will it be?
I like the way
It smells here
Of known darkness
I like that I am still
A possibility, a promise
Not a pretty fulfillment
Flying to my death

You could say
I’m not ready to be a butterfly
Just yet…

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Art of Having a Crush

“The Guide says that there is an art to flying,” said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and missing.” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Come to think of it, there is an art to everything. Pouring exactly 32.5 sips of tea into your teacup every morning. (Barring Sundays and Flashers Unite Day, when it is 37.8.) Pretending your head lice are dandruff flakes with legs. Picking your nose during your question and answer round in the Miss World contest in such a way that the judges believe that it is your goobers, not your breasts that will save the world. Etc. Etc.
And there is an art to having a crush.
Now the dictionary defines a crush as an intense but usually short-lived infatuation. But that’s a shallow definition, as if having a crush were like having a zit or a sandwich and it doesn’t to justice to a noble, ancient art, fraught with such subtle intricacies, not to mention intricate subtleties, that it deserves at least 10 volumes of the Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon. Which I am in the process of penning but till then, this little jotting will have to suffice.

BC (Before the Crush)
Before setting off to have a crush there’s a very important matter that you have to first sort out. And that is to make sure that you’re not Kareena Kapoor. Or Justin Timberlake. (Tick only one.) Nor have been ever listed as one of the World’s Ten Sexiest Warthogs. In other words, the number of people currently beating a path to your door (or website) on account of how hot and whatnot you are should be one less than that for a maggot. This instantly expands by nineteen million galaxies the universe from which you can choose the object of your crush (more on that later). Which can now be anyone from Laloo’s buffalo minder to the boiled potato masher at your favourite vada-pav stall, both of whom, we’ll have you know, are as crush-worthy as your next Kareena-come-latelys.

OOC (Object of Crush)
Having got that out of the way, let us now dwell on the tricky matter of choosing the Object of Crush, henceforth referred to as OOC. Now there have been instances of people having a lifelong crush on a slotted spoon, having taken the word “object” literally. But speaking from experience, people are better. (I once have a crush on a red pencil sharpener for about two weeks and it wasn’t much fun though I have to admit the “prup-prap” sound it made every time it sharpened made my superior gemellus tingle in the most gratifying fashion.)
What about animals, did someone ask? Hm. Well, there was one case of a crush on an amoeba but we’re still as hazy on the subject as the fetish wallahs are on having sex with a shoe horn.
The next and most important thing about your choice of OOC is that he/she (since we’ve now ruled out “it”) should be unattainable. And we don’t mean your everyday, garden variety of unattainable like buying up one floor of Antilla. (Those who are asking “Antilla who?” may immediately drum themselves off this planet.) We’re talking about unattainable that makes crossing the Atlantic on a rubber bath duckie seem like licking tomato ketchup.
Unattainabilty is critical because it’s like virtual sex - you’ll never get to know the more intimate details about your OOC. Spitting while eating boiled egg. Nymphomaniac vampire half-sister who visits every full moon. Barking in sleep. Passing garlic-scented wind during….well, never mind. Mother who’s just had a sex change and likes to discuss her (his?) post-operative plumbing during lunch.
We see you blanch. You’re thinking - Richard Gere and garlic-scented….?
Really?
Who knows me darlings, who knows. But more importantly, do we really want to know.
Also, hop off the beaten path, eschew the straight and narrow and venture to where few others have dared to go. So, while George Clooney is a good choice, George Bush is better. Similarly, Beyonce is sweet but Hilary Clinton is…well, you know. (You’d be surprised how many amongst us think that ice-queen-meets-AK-47-laugh is nothing less than a Playboy centre spread coated Viagra.) So are Prince Charles, aforementioned buffalo minder, Heather Mills, Michael Jackson’s children’s wet nurse, Osama’s third wife (not to be confused with Obama who has only one wife anyway), the man who left a crate of rotting Alphonsos at your door in 1993. Famous dead people are also a good bet, as long as the dead body has been disposed off. (I mean, we don’t want any talk of necrophilia muddying these sacred waters, do we now.) Which mean King Tut is off limits, Attila the Hun is not.

And Now, The Crush
Righty-ho. Unattainable, dream-the-impossible-wet-dream OOC selected. God in Heaven, coffee on boil, libido on roil. You can now get down to the actual business of having that crush. Which basically involves thinking of the OOC every waking moment (barring while shaving underarms and performing other ablutions that we can’t mention) and generally deteriorating into the most awful kind of drip. In other words, you have to pine and ache, hanker and crave, long for and lust after. You have to gnash teeth, tear hair and eat heart out. (All yours and mercifully, it’s all low cal AND organic.) And every now and then, you have to dissolve into a deliriously gibbering, slavering puddle of ecstatic saliva at what might be a glimpse of the right-hand corner of the hangnail on the left little toe of the OOC.
And you have to do this all the while making sure that the distance of sixty-three gadzillion light years of unattainabilty between you and your OOC has not lessened by a even single millimetre.
Naturally the question that springs to mind like a startled toast out of toaster is - but what if it does? You mean what if you suddenly find that you’ve just pipped Salman Khan to the sexiest-napoleon-with-hair-weave post and Katrina – whom you lusted after for so many long and hopeless moons – is giving you the eye, not to mention the once-over, laced with a couple of smouldery-over-the-bare-shouldery come-on-overs?
Well, remember the stroke-of-midnight trick in Cinderella when the coach goes back to being a pumpkin and the coachman to the dirty, two-timing, double-crossing, whisker-twitching rat that he always was?
It’s more or less the same thing with a crush.
Which is that without so much as a by-your-leave or a hey-ninny-no, it simply will vanish into the morning smog. (Or at the next traffic signal.) And the OOC will topple off the altar, shattering into sixty-three gadzillion pieces and then morph into an ordinary mortal of flesh, blood and gumboils that you can now proceed to have as bossa nova partner, running mate or to drape on your arm to the next Star Parivaar Awards.
But never ever again to be the OOC.

Finally, AD (Or What’s The Bleeding Point about the Whole Darn Thing)
I mean, that’s a bit like asking what’s the point about balloons at birthday parties. Or umbilical cords if it’s her apron strings that’s going to keep us attached to our dear mamas. Or the p in pneumonia if we aren’t going to pronounce it. These are the unquestionable essentials of life that don’t need silly, pointless things like points. (Which are mainly for fingers and the pervie-brain that designed the pointed bra.)
But since you’re asking, actually there is a point to having a crush. It’s a lesser known but well documented fact that the secret of the longevity of the centenarians in the Upper Silesia (no relation to Yash Chopra’s Silsila) is not bathing in the urine of the Caucasian tur but a lifelong, unwavering, passionate crush on the Abominable Snowman.
And that’s simply because a crush is cross between an emotional laxative and Oil of Olay.
Lemme explain.
See, basically life’s mainly a dreary drag, a grimy grind and the daily diet of the ho-hum and the humdrum clogs up the bowels of soul to ultimately give you the worldview and complexion of an ageing constipated eel. Having a crush evacuates and expels, it also opens up the pores, irrigates the pons (not what you are thinking but close), hydrates the appendix and generally gets what till now was a grudging, grumpy trickle splooshing in great, happy gushes through your tubes.
Leaving you with softer, younger-looking….um….er….well, certainly the bowels of your soul will look like that of a sprightly 17 year-old. We can’t guarantee anything else.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sheep’s Eyes and Baboon’s Bottoms – Reading the Signs.

“Biologically speaking, if something bites you it's more likely to be female.” Desmond Morris
“The power to charm the female has been in some instances more important than the power to conquer other males in battle.” Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man.

Saturday night.
You are single and so willing to mingle that it hurts but you know that tonight’s the night because you are one fourth Marilyn Monroe, one fourth Angelina Jolie, half a hank of Mallika Sherawat, whisked together and stir fried with a few pinches of Silk Smita.
(Yeah, the mirror. Well, you’ve politely asked it to shut up and go suck eggs with the Wicked Stepmother.)
Through the mists of cigarette smoke rolling over a sea of Margaritas, you spot him. George Clooney meets Akshay Khanna. Pure dishy-ness. On the rocks.
You give him the works. Zinging come hithers like flashes of liquid lightning from under thick, languorous lashes. (Okay, so they’re false but by the time he knows it will be too late.) Interspersed with smiles so mysteriously seductive that Jezebel would’ve slashed her wrists in jealous despair. All done while throwing your head back so that your hair cascades down your back in voluptuous eddies, showing off the long, lovely line of your neck.
(Shut up, mirror.)
Quick break, pretending to sip drink but actually checking cleavage as you think - should be reeling him in any moment now.
You wait.
Nothing.
Shocked, you peer across aforementioned Sea of M. No GC-met-AK, instead a Frankenstein-meets-pyorrehea is leering his way over to you. You now feel like one-fourth yesterday’s cat vomit, one-fourth today’s doggy poop, two bags of saggy, stale underwear stir-fried with….
I know.
But girls, do not despair.
Because the fault is not in your come-hithers, but in the men.
Apparently the poor dear baa-lambs can’t tell flirting from a boiled egg. So you can flash those come-hithers (and whatever else you’ve got to flash) as much as you want, you can wiggle all your wiggle-ables, you can giggle the sound that’s supposed to turns saints into helpless putty, sinning as if sinning is going out of style. But unless you’ve have also sprayed “Hey, you’re cute! Wanna….?” across your naked breasts in neon pink and have thrust them – jiggling - into his face, he probably thinks you’re asking if you can join his car pool.
Thus spake not I but the findings of a study just conducted by the University of Indiana.
Now, before we all skewer ourselves on our tail combs (not what you’re thinking), let’s take a few deep breaths and mull on the matter.
Maybe there is a reason why men are so confused.
Maybe it’s because in most other parts of the animal kingdom, it’s the males that do all the hard work. For one, it’s they that have to be pretty and titivate (again not what you’re thinking) - all those gaudy colours and stripes and horns and humps and antlers and shiny feathers. Whereas the women mostly slop around in nighties and no make-up. I mean, have you looked at a peahen lately and what do you think the lion gets to have the mane?
For another, the lads that have to do the impressing - flashing and prancing and singing and swelling up and puffing out and generally strutting their stuff while the ladies get to just sit back, languidly sip iced tea, check out the merchandise. And if something catches their eye, then they select. (“You. Yeah, you with the bright green feathers growing out of your butt…”) Naturally, if the bloke’s bump-‘n-grind is not up to snuff, he don’t get any tonight and if it is, he may even be rewarded by becoming a tasty post-coitus snack. Chomp, chomp. I tell ya girls, the women have it good in the jungle.
So, I’m thinking why should it be any different with our boys considering that the genetic distance separating us from the fruit flies is only some 43 and a half DNA helices or something. I mean the poor things have been asked to squash deep-seated primordial urges to paint and pout and flaunt their fishnet stockings. So, naturally they are confused when the women start doing what they should be.
In other words, fellas - there, there.
We understand. Kinda.
And come to think of it, we women shouldn’t really be complaining because there was one other very important finding that popped up in that research. Not only do men not get it when we make sheep’s eyes at them, they often also mistake mere chumminess for the glad eye. Which makes it all very simple now. All we have to do is just walk up to the he-who-we-lusteth-after, give him a sisterly peck on the cheek, maybe arm wrestle for a bit, rain a few hail-fellow-well-met slaps on the back and before we knows what, we’ll have him sucking our toes all night long.
Or whatever.
Incidentally, girls, while we’re on the subject, the next time you’re desperately dateless, you might want to try a fruit fly. I’m telling you, these chaps have got their romancing fundamentals down pat. The minute a male fly spots a prospective date, he wastes no time and starts tapping the lady’s abdomen with a foreleg. (The fruit fly equivalent of “haven’t we met before somewhere”.) If she’s interested (he’ll know when she doesn’t slap him and stops yawning and painting her nails), he serenades her by vibrating his wings. (I have it from the best authority that Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful tonight” is a hot favourite.) If she melts, he clinches the whole thingummybaba by licking her…er, well let’s just say that it’s an anatomical region that is a favourite hang out of male fruits flies.
The best part? The lucky (picky?) lil’ lady fruit flies reserve the right to refuse any suitor who do not perform all of the above and in the proper order. (No licking before serenading, no tapping before licking etc., etc.)
But back to humans…
And the question that trembles on our lips is - is it time?
Is it time to retire our Wonder bras? To pack up our Kissable Krimson lip glosses and stopper up our Chanel No.5’s? Is it really time to put away our secrets of lace and satin and silk, to undo the pouts in our lips and admonish our hips not to sway?
If it is, what a pity.
Because flirting is such a blast. We do it for the pure heck pleasure of it. It’s almost as good as shopping, often beats chocolate truffle cake by points. And some of us will tell you it’s even better than sex. (By the way, many a time, we aren’t all that interested in finding out whether you’re as much George-Clooney-meets-Akshaye-Khanna in bed as you look out of it.) And never mind those peacocks, we love dressing up and totting out our best gorgeous-creatures-made-for-love for all the world to see. Because nothing can describe the incredible rush of watching a man’s eyes mouthing the words, “Boy, you’re beautiful.”
Even if we are imagining it and you’re actually saying, “Yeah sure. There’s one seat vacant at the back.”

Friday, February 29, 2008

CrazyKiya Re....or Heroes I'd write Letters in Blood to


What would you say are the chances of women writing thousands of these letters to a short, stubby man with pimples and a haircut that looks as if it is from New Paramount Haircutting Saloon?

My point is this. We ladies are a picky lot. After all, there’s blood involved here. So, you may be the greatest superstar, an acting legend; your films may have raked in gadzillions, declared as immortal classics, your waxwork might be rubbing bottoms with Cary Grant’s at Madame Tussauds. But if you don’t make our hearts (and other regions too) throb, go boompity-boom and dhak-dhak, if the knees ain’t turning to delicious moony mush, if you don’t start a conflagration in our sweet, womanly jigars that would light a million beedis, if there isn’t a sudden and insane urge to rush into our boudoirs (yes, we all have one) and slip into something more comfortable at the mere sight of you, then sirjee, we ain’t wasting a drop - forget blood, not even drool.

Also, beefcake palls after the first two nibbles…

Now I’m not one of these khoon-bhari-khat (KBK) types.
(For one, e-mail doesn’t fell any trees. For another, I can’t stand the sight of blood.)
But if I were, there is only one man to top my list.
Vinod Khanna.
Even now, pushing sixty-two, on the wrong side of burly, thinning hair et al. They say that if he hadn’t suddenly taken “sanyas” in 1982 at the peak of his success, Amitabh Bachchan would’ve had serious competition for the post of Uberstar. Well, I for one am glad he did because otherwise, I’d be writing so many of dem damn letters - all the way from Reshma Aur Shera to Leela and Risk - that I’d have needed blood transfusions by now…

And his most gasp-‘n-reach-for-my-khoon-bhari-pen moment?

Well, I’m going to skip the obvious one - which is the kissing scene in Dayavan because according to me, there’s almost no one who can fill a uniform quite so, er shall we say, satisfactorily as Vinod Khanna. (I take a moment to compose myself and wait for knees to solidify.) So, for me, it’s Achanak (the entire film) and of course, the scene in Amar Akbar Anthony when he and Amitabh Bachchan meet for the first time. When Khanna starts unbuttoning his shirt and growls, “Dekhte hai tum main kitna dum!“? …..

Oh my goodness gracious me.
(I take 5 minutes to compose myself.) Did I say “uniform”? Make that dhoti, lungi, shorts jeans, tuxedo, bath towel, bandit jewellery, shorts, Rupa baniyan…. Oh, the heck with it. The man would make lace garters look like regulation jock wear. Not to mention orange caftans with rudraksh malas. On any other man - even Vincent Chase - you’ll bust your boob job laughing. On Vinod Khanna? I need a whole week off to compose myself…..
(Vinod Khanna’s other KBK films - Mere Apne, Hera Pheri, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Shaque, Rihaee and Imthihan)

And coming a very close second to the Sexy Sanyasi (thank you Devyani, for this and so many other delightful handles) is Jackie Shroff.
Even now; fifty, silly pudding-basin hair-weave et al.
And I don’t care how many of you jeered, “wooden! Wooden!”. And it’s not what you are thinking though how many men do we know who can make a bandhini dupatta look as macho as …well, as Vinod Khanna in an orange caftan?
You see, it’s like those liqueur filled chocs. What separates mere beefcake from a prime cut of KBK is a soft, delicious, heady centre that makes every woman feel that she is this maddeningly irresistible goddess-sex-kitten-houri….. and reach feverishly for her trusty blood-dipped-nib. And we always know. With just one bite…er, I mean one look into the fella’s eyes and by the feeling of a 60-piece orchestra playing somewhere our nether lumbar regions.
And our Jaggu Dada has that stuff by bucketfuls. Just watch him in Parinda, Gardish, Aina, Kaash, Saudagar (to name only a few) and even as the utterly ch-se-chunky-hunky “Chunnilal” in Devdas, even though he ch-se-hammed it to the hilt.
But the highest point of our Shroff‘s KBT-ness was (and is) as the swoon-a-licious “Raj Kamal” in Rangeela and what on earth was that Urmila thinking?! I mean, Aamir was cute but if I wanted cute, I’d get myself a Care Bear.
That’s just Jackie on screen. Off screen? The man should ring a warning bell or something five minutes before walking into the room. Because when he does, there isn‘t be a dry female ...er saliva gland inside a 10 mile-radius.
Sigh.
Now I know I said “list”, but I’ll have to stop here because after Vinod Khanna and Jackie Shroff, I‘m almost clean out of blood and what’s left I have to save for the man who really did get KBK’s by the sackfuls. Sada Jatin-Kaka a.k.a Rajesh Khanna. Pimply, yes. Stubby, short body, yes. Haircut from New Paramount Haircutting Saloon, most definitely. Guru kurtas, retch-yetch-yes. But the eyes, oh the eyes. Look into them and you feel you are drowning into a tub…no make that a jacuzzi full of that soft, delicious, heady stuff that makes you feel that you are this maddeningly…..you get my drift. Baharon ke Sapne, Aradhana, Khamoshi, Kati Patang, Amar Prem, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Daag, Aap ki Kasam, …. so please don’t ask me to pick the most KBK of this lot because ….
Oh wait a minute.
There is one - Aavishkaar. For weeks, nay months afterwards, there was nothing I wanted more than be “Mansi”, married to “Amar” and live in a house outside which a lamp glowed this message of conjugal bliss - “Ghar Mansi Amar ka”.
And I can’t think why I didn’t dash off a KBT…