Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Diana Hayden & Kaizad Gustad

What is wrong with Diana Hayden? After staying away from mainstream Bolylwood, pursuing an acting course at RADA, she comes back home, tests the waters in Tehzeeb, and then goes on to act in Ab Bas. I haven't seen the film but according to the reviews I haven't missed anything. On top of that, she makes comments about how she's not happy with the publicity and that an emotional film has been depicted as a skin show. To make matters worse and to possibly alleviate her insecurity, she hopes to hog the limelight by saying that 50 per cent of men in India are characterless. Now that statement has of course landed her in a soup because a Delhi-based lawyer has sued her in court. Somehow, I didn't expect a Miss World like Hayden to get involved in something like this...
Reminds me, her one-time boyfriend Kaizad Gustad has resurfaced... documenting the ASEAN rally. He says the media made him a scapegoat in the Nadia Khan case. Why does everybody love to hate the media? Because the media points a mirror up at them? Anyway, he says the matter is subjudice and hence, his lips are sealed, but one day he will speak, and then there will be a lot to write about. He even hinted at a book. One autobiography that should be interesting to read. So if he continues on his roller-coaster adventure trip through life in the name of literary pursuit., I don't mind. As long as no one gets killed.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Writer's block

it's not coming to me these days... writing. Don't know why...

artists all

We are all artists. In our own right. I stumbled upon this realisation while sitting atop a rickety stool at Janpath watching a florist prepare a thousand rupee bouquet for me (don't ask for whom; official work). He measured each stem, shoved it into the sponge, then cocked his head to one side, saw the larger perspective (was the bouquet in balance, did the shape look right, was it tilting dangerously to one side) , trimmed the stem a litttle more, then gave it a slight nudge to get the angle right, and then moved on to the next stem. He repeated this exercise until he had placed all 60 odd stems in place, then proceeded to spray the flowers with water, added the extra greens and cellophaned the bouquet. He could have been an artist with a canvas and an easel. There was nothing about his style of working that suggested he was a florist instead of a celebrated painter at work. And then I thought; we are all artists. The gym instructor to whom you give charge of your body, which is a big, fat unstructured lump of fat, and which he/she literally sculpts like a sculpture until your'e looking like one of his/her creations; the actual sculptor who pretty much does the same, labouring over the mass of clay until it reaches a desired shape... The hairstylist who lifts and drops each strand, cutting, measuring and fashioning a style out of a mop. The makeup artist... there is some truth then, that each job can be as boring as you make it or as creative as you make it.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Telly and Movie Tamasha Nov 24

I have so many things to comment on today but the funniest thing I've read has been Gurinder Chadha telling Subhash K. Jha (in an interview posted on timesofindia.com) that critics in India have called the music in Bride and Prejudice cheesy. Just read what she says: "I think the Americans would get the point much more readily. In India some critics seem to be looking at a different picture. They think the music is cheesy. But that's how it was meant to be! I could've got Elton John to do the music. But I wanted Anu Malik."
Oh God! Now Anu Malik, the presiding head of the three-memeber jury for India Idol, is not going to be too pleased about this. Imagine you've shouted it out loud that you've done a cross-over film, and you even had a part in it which sadly was edited out, and then you hear that you were hired not for your outstanding work in films like Border, but alas, because your cheesy quotient is high!!
Secondly, Chadha is convinced her film will do better in the US where film-watching is a habit. However, she only needs to look at the play Bollywood Dreams which did far better in the UK than in the US. In the UK a lot of the jokes and digs, pretty much Bolly centric, were understood because the audiences have a fair appreciation of the Indian culture, however, in the US, not only did Meera Syal have to rework the script, the play itself got pretty bad reviews, so why in the world does Ms Chadha think her movie will fare better in the US? I don't know. Also, I haven't seen it yet, which is why I'm only commenting on her comments and not on the movie per se.

> Missed Koffee with Karan. Has anyone figured out when the rerun is? Going by Poonam Saxena's column in HT and the fact that the show made it to our lunchroom table (and I did not initiate the conversation), I'd say the show should do well. A great way to figure out how a show is going is to gauge the buzz around it. Forget TAM; if people ain't talking about it, it ain't happening. Which is why I think Zoom needs a rethink about its content. What it needs to do more of is the stuff others don't have access to. The Bombay Times 10th anniversary party for example; yeah sure, no one else can cover it in such detail (not even NDTV's Night Out) so why not capitalise on that kind of content. They also had a party in Page 3 where TV stars boogeyed the night away. nandu of Jassi fame was grroving on the dance floor with Pari; now sure that kind of stuff would make the channel stand out. I'm still watching Star One and continue to like Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Instant Kichadi etc, The Great Indian Comedy Tamasha etc.

> We really are spoiled for choice these days. While I missed Koffee with Karan (fri evening 10 pm star world) and Style Mantra (Malaika interviews Kareena on Sahara One Sat or Sun afternoon sometime), I did see Powerr Trip (not a spelling mistake; that's how it's spelt) with Shobhaa De on Sahara One on Sunday afternoon. The guest was Kumarmangalam Birla and the episode was very interesting, particularly in the light of recent developments in the Ambani's personal domain. De managed to get Birla to talk about his upbringing in one of India's biggest industrial houses, his relationship with GD Birla, his granddad (who named him) and that he wouldn't like to send his kids to the family-owned school because they would get preferential treatment. He also said he doesn't subscribe to the open-door policy at work because it completely derails his agenda for the day and it has not hign to do with him being unapproachable etc. Good watch.

> Which reminds me, why have filmmakers become so scared of controversy. There's a fantastic subject for a movie just waiting to be explored. The Ambani family saga. It has everyhting. A patriarch who has literally risen from the ashes, attained unbelievavble heights; two sons, one marries a 'power-hungry' woman who knows her midn and the other a rich, pretty filmstar. And finally the brothers are warring. and if I'm not wrong Anil could well pull a Shashi kapoor and say 'mere paas maa hain'. Ok maybe this is an exaggeration but I see a movie script waiting to be written. Same for the Sahara pariwar saga. A potential blockbuster but filmmakers would not dare to take such chances. Sad, when we've had movies like Aandhi (apparently based on Indira Gandhi's life) and Silsila (AB, Rekha and Jaya) so many years ago.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Telly Tamasha some more

Die hard me found some highlights of the Koffee with Karan interview. Read this.

Also have you heard the big, big news of the day? Sujal (Rajeev Khandelwal) apparently has walked out of Kahiin To Hoga (not stormed out; he will wait till his character is brought to its logical end). Now what does that mean???

Oh and by the way I really like the graphics and packaging for Star One, the orange, yellow and red colours and the logo. Very young, very energy, very vibrant. Appealing.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Whatever

Wanted to add to the Dhoom blog. Another buzzword that's being tried by Indiatimes is 'Whatever'. The campaign just doesn't cut it. I mean, 'things you care about, things you don't...' like I just don't get it. Adding that 'whatever' at the end is NOT going to suddenly open the floodgates and get all the 18 to 25-year-olds hooked to the site or portal, 'whatever' it is. But you know why 'whatever' has become such a popular term? It's a politer way of saying 'shut up' or 'I don't agree with you' or just leave me alone' or 'can we change the topic'. But whereas those are 'closed' statements, 'whatever' is an open-ended statement -- credit all this new learning on open-ended and closed questions and statements to a telephone training workshop I attended --leaving the listener to interpret it in their own way. So someone asks you to dinner and you don't want to go. Answer: whatever. So someone asks you a question that's uncomfortable and you don't like how the conversation's going. Just say 'whatever'. Next questions. Repeat answer. Wham! the topic will change. Guaranteed. The other 'whatever' connection is Channel [V]. If I'm not wrong, Channel [V] had or has a show called Whatever Things. Anyone remember it?
Also coming up: Channel [V]'s Super Singer, if I'm not wrong. It's been running these teasers with 'gates open December 3', 'only 2 days to go' etc and of course the buzzword Kal Ho Naa Ho in the background.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Telly Tamasha - Nov 19, 04

Saw Indian Idol last night. The stage rounds have started. Quite interesting. The first 10 of the shortlisted 30 came on stage. Transformed with the help of a stylist, vocie trained and modulated with the help of musician Raju Singh among others (he has done some 1000 jingles I'm sure apart from tunes for shows including Jassi) and confident courtesy the shortlisting. And the Bongs ruled. Someone explain to me: why are Bengalis so talented when it comes to the arts. Whether it's singing, dancing, creative arts, media, they're just there in huge numbers. Mastermind India: winner two years in a row, Bengalis. India's Child Genius: winner, East India (OK, he's not Bengali but Bihari). And yesterday Indian Idol, full of Bengalis, but the guy who took the cake was Devajit. He stammers while speaking but sings beautifully, but the reason he will stand out in my head is because he dared to challenge Farah Khan, one of the judges. She pointed out that when he sings a low not,e he goes so low you can't hear the word but Devajit, convinced that Farah knew nothing about music, not having had any training in it, told her off. I sing this low note at msuic functions, at college festivals, it's in D-Minor etc etc. Finally Farah gave up but the guy had made his point: perhaps the point that several have been pondering since the show got off the ground. What is a choreographer and one-film-old director doing as the judge for a music talent show?
PS: Sonu Nigam with hair straightened looks like Sanjay Dutt in Rudraksh. Read: atrocious.
PSS: Mini's got a sense of style and a certain charm but Aman Verma needs a stylist pretty bad. yesterday he wore black pin-stripe trousers with a brown crinkled shirt. maybe he wnated to match Mini's yellow crinkled skirt that she carried off rather well with a corset.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Dhoom

Dhoom. That's the new buzzword this year. A lot of our buzzwords trickle down from Hindi cinema and many of them are already in use, but not popular use. So while Bole To and Kal Ho Naa Ho courtesy Munnabhai MBBS and Kal Ho Naa Ho became the buzzwords last year, Dhoom is definitely the new catchphrase. LG has been running a Dhoom campaign, almost every radio station had a Diwali Dhoom macha de package and several other ads are talking about dhoom. ICICI has, in fact, gone a step ahead and adopted Hum Hain Na (from Main Hoon Na) as its new tagline. Keep a look out; it's very interesting to see how our vocabulary keeps changing and assimmilating new words and phrases, which are then later dropped like hot potatoes. In fcat, Reader's Digest I think had a list of all the famous words which became buzzwords in which year; last year it was sex up (courtesy the WMD dossier).

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Telly Tamasha Nov 17, 04

Star One sorry Starone sorry *ne (someone asked me if it was Star nee)
> The Sahara group has literally taken the Pepsi-Cola war to TV. First it 'stole' Star One's name and rechristened itself Sahara One from Sahara Manoranjan, then it won the court case when it was sued by Star, and of late I have noticed it even uses a very similar tagline as Starone (that's the way they are supposed to write it), so Sahara has 'Minute Ki Tuning Jamegi' while Star has 'Apni Tuning Jamegi'. Now, of course, it's the battle of content. While Sahara is looking slicker, I don't think too many more people are watching than were earlier. As for Star One, compared to Sahara and Zoom , it does have some watchable programmes. Family Business (a young guy realises, as his dad lies on the deathbed), that he is the scion of an empire that is spread across the underworld (Hades, wasn't it?). Then, there are short stories, a genre Zee, Star and Sony have experiemnted with in various avtars (the name Rishtey comes to mind). This allows the producers to hire good, talented actors for short periods of time, and to -- within a small cast, say three -- tell a good story. So Ek Black Coffee was about two good friends and an extra marital affair between one friend and the other's wife (sounds cheesy but wasn't told so). Instant Khich'a'di (notice the additional a) remains watchable, especially since the family is now raees (rich) and must learn the etiquette and mannerisms of the rich! Remix isn't half bad either though I don't know anyone who says 'D-uhh' as an actual response to a question. Now it isn't one of those channels you should especially tune into, but given your choices among other Hindi shows, it's one of those channels that you don't mind staying tuned into, for a while. I am still interested in seeing what they come up with. Another show I enjoyed was Sarabhai VS Sarabhai. Ratna Pathak Shah plays the sophisticated Mumbai socialite housewife and Satish Shah plays her henpecked husband. The battle lines are drawn between Mrs Sarabhai Senior and Mrs Sarabhai Junior (the younger one's name I forget, she she played Rahul's wife Simran in Sanjivani), with the daughter-in-law always accused of living by her middle class values. This episode was about a cricket match in Mumbai to which the dad-in-law and daughter-in-law wanted tickets but ma-in-law decided she can't bear the thought of middle-class daughter-in-law running like an excited fan into the stadium, and so, refused to organise tickets for her. In response, daughter-in-law organises golgappa eating competition and makes sure dad-in-law falls sick. The sets are also, for a change, very real, unlike the Balaji Rs 2.5 crore charades. They look like someone could actually live there. And the music too is very upmarket. Some shows are like He-Man are playing Britnmey Spears' Toxic in the background while others are playing Madonna! As for Sarabhai... guess sho directs it? Deven Bhojani, the very talented TV actor (played the servant in Dekh Bhai Dekh, and actor in many many shows after that). Two other shows I saw were The Great Indian Comedy Show (mixture of Movers & Shakers, but with different hosts, howevere the scriotwriters seem to be the same as Shekhar Suman's and also Kahaani Poori Filmi Hai, so it's a movie spoof sometimes and a a situation spoof sometimes. Yesterday they had Manini De (Pari in Jassi...) with wires attached to her body. An Abhishek Bachchan lookalike administered an electric shock every few seconds and she moved her limbs in a weird and contorted way. Didn't make sense first, then they told us it was Naach, and suddenly Manini looked just like Antara Mali and she was hilarious.

> Zoom, on the other hand, does not pique my interest at all. Mirchi Top 20 with Yana doing a Helen, a Parveen, a Zeenat is not very exciting and Dangerous, the 'sex' show with Kamal and Samir is the pits. Rather have a show like Friends or Sex And The City where 'sex' is a part of the story and the episodes (as it is in daily life) instead of having a talk show on it (much like MTV Loveline with Cyrus and Malaika), especially a talk show that desperately needs to get its content right. In one section called Sex Files, they bust myths. What was the myth last night? If your partner has sex with an ex flame, it is assumed that the flame is the seducer. This is a myth (clap, clap, clap). It is in fact the ex flame who is single and in all likelihood your partner is the one who has done the seducing.
In which world is this a myth and this answer myth busting? I thought this is what a myth busting session should sound like:
Q. Can I get pregnant by kissing?
A. No. This is a myth. You can't get pregnant by kissing someone.

God, will someone explain to the producer of the show that in relationships (such as the one described above, there can be no rules and myths and fixed norms).

> I don't know what it is about radio, but I like men's voices more than women's voices. Maybe our voices are more shrill and shreak-y and we giggle more, I don't know. But I do know that of the prime time slots, only one is done by a woman. Mirchi has Nitin in the morning and Pallavi in the evening (she's the one); Radio City had Kritika in the morning; she's been replaced by Pratap and there's Mantra in the evening, he replaced Sameep but that was a guy so it's status quo, and red FM has Vijay in the morning and Sachin in the evening. Now I would assume that Delhi has more male drivers and they would prefer a female voice on the radio but obviously this doesn't hold true. Men are obviously more popular as RJs. My favourite: Nitin. Second best: Sachin. Vijay is too old and preachy, especially in his tone and style, but guess they need a Yuri type DJ too, for the older lot. But if you're driving between 8-10, tune into 102.6 AIR FM. They have some of the best English DJs, who talk to you like regular people, they way DJs should. In fcat, AIR can easily splash an ad campaign and cash in on its USP of being the only radio station to play English music.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Telly Tamasha Nov 9, 2004

> Saw a really nice ad the other day but mistook it for an ad for a diamond; instead it was for SBI Insurance. But hey you diamond dudes, listen up for this fantastic tag line you can grab.
An elderly woman is at her sewing machine. Her husband walks up to her and shows her a newspaper ad:
Husband: 'Is this what you keep secretly admiring?'
Wife: (takes a look) "Ya"
Husband takes out a box that looks like a ring box and says 'see, I got it for you. It's a special occasion for people like you and me who love each other. I think they call it Valentine's Day.'
Wife takes a look at the ring and says: 'Are you mad, it must be expensive, why did you buy it, go return it. At this age where am I going to wear jewellery?'
Husband: Why, how does the diamond know how old you are?" (makes her put it on). the rest is about how money should not come between love. So go for insurance.

To me the last line (arrey, heera ko kya pata tumhari umar kya hai) is such a big, huge, potent idea that diamond sellers should immediately latch on to. I know my grandmom has put all her jewellery away in a packet and given it to me for safekeeping. I know a lot of women get on in years and then start putting away their jewellery because they don't feel right in being 'dolled up'. "It's not our age to dress up anymore" is the common refrain. So here's a brilliant chance to reposition mindsets. The diamond doesn't know how old the wearer is, neither does its brightness diminish if the wearer is 20 or 90, and it still achieves the same result whatevere age you may be. Till now, a lot of ads in India have been focused on the 'you don't have to wait for marriage or a husband to get your first diamond, buy it with your own salary etc it's now affordable'. Also, I think it's time to now go for the other end of the spectrum, the post 60 who have also stopped buying diamonds. With precisely this plank.

> During random surfing, I find myself getting horribly confused between Star One, Sahara One and Zoom. I'm not myopic or hypermetropic or whatever it was and I can differentiate their logos thank you; it's just that the content of their programming is so similar. Stupid shows for god knows what age group residing in which city? Or maybe I'm just older and above their target age group. Which means whoever is readint this blog will totally identify with what I'm saying. A friend smsed me the other day to ask what CID was (read his blog on it) and why he thought it was a ridiculous show. Told him it's one of Sony's longest-running successful shows and the idea for Sony's other similar show called Saakshi (something like Alias the Jennifer Garner one on AXN) probably came from this. And now, Star One has launched Special Squad. All of you who got glued to TV way back in the NYPD Blue days should see it, bet it's a lift. That also reminds me, Star One has named so many of its shows in English; it probably thinks that helps in the relatability factor to young Indians. So you have Special Squad, Family Business (The Godfather meets Karishma meets C grade underworld Bollywood flick), Hotel Kingston, Guns and Roses and the worst of the least, He Man (a datign show where women get to hoot and vote for their He Man from a group of seven-eight sad men doing The Full Monty meets the Indian Idol on stage. They sing, they dance, they even do aerobics onstage (some women may want to know, after all, how athletic they are) and the show is hosted by Shekhar Suman and Shwetha Menon both of whom are just horrible. To add to the kewl factor, Suman goes to the female DJ on the console and attempts to gyrate in rhythm a la MTV Grind. I almost threw up. As far as Star One goes, I am placing my bets on Instant Khichdi (a remodelled version of Khichdi with the same cast; a show I would recommend for its superb acting and high quality writing) and on Sarabhai vs Sarabhai (a bit like Tu Tu Main Main). You know whay I think these shows will do well? Both have good seasoned actors. While Khichdi has Supriya pathak and the rest of the cast, Sarabhai has Satish Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah (no, not Satish's wife but Naseer's wife and Supriya's sister) and reminds me a bit of the days of Yeh Jo hai Zindagi and Rajni and so on.

> Zoom has totally zipped, sapped and zoomed itself off my remote. Absolutely no reason tow atch it except for Kamal Sidhu, just to see what she's picked up in her sabbatical.

Secrets

In my book, there are two kinds of secrets. One is the never-to-be-told secret, the kind that you bury in the recesses of your heart and never ever fish out (a close married friend tells you she got up close and personal with someone other than her husband and is deeply regretting it). That goes into the first category, not even to be shared with your significant other. In fact you should almost forget you ever heard any such thing unless the friend brings it up. But the second variety is the more, interesting, the more fun secret. Primarily because this secret is to ultimately be shared -- with maybe one person, a small group, or the world at large -- and the thrill of waiting to share it is quite exciting. It may be the decision to get married or the news that you've found someone special, or a new job or any such thing. So you're driving someone somewhere and suddenly you break into this smile, and she asks you, 'hey what's with you?' and all you can do is smile some more, as you imagine the shock, surprise, horror, awe with which she will react. In fact, you can walk around in this temporary self-induced state of euphoria for many days; it's like walking on air. Every time you pass someone, say at the office you're soon going to quit, you think, 'and what will he say', and you preempt their reactions and their words of wisdom. And it's a thrill. Like foreplay. Sometimes even more exciting than the real thing. Because many a times the reactions and the responses do not live up to your expectations and it leaves you feeling quite like a deflated balloon. But the phase prior to the act of telling, that's the fun part. So the next time you're pregnant with some news and you're dying to shout it out from the rooftops, hold your horses and savour those moments of famous last words, knowing smiles and peals of secret laughter in your heart.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Comments and observations of the day

Lots today really, so here I go.

> Designer Ravi Bajaj has for the first time appeared in his own ad. It says 'God makes Men, I make Gentlemen'. Attitude... and it works. Fashion designers like Rohit Bal, Rina Dhaka, Ritu Beri and Manish Arora have distinct personalities, views, comments and would work very well as ambassadors for their own outfits and accessories. Then why have they shied away from appearing in their ads? Don't singers appear in their music videos all the time? A new trend emerging here...

> India Today has done a story on the death of the disco, only I fear, they've woken up about eight months late. Not only was this story discussed at length at my previous office, someone at Gateway even did it a good year ago if I'm not wrong.

> The failure (or success) of Bride & Prejudice notwithstanding, Bollywood has quickly jumped on to the classic bandwagon and now remakes of Jane Eyre, Gone With The Wind and Wuthering Heights are all in the pipeline. As if Lalita Bakshi wasn't bad enough. Listen to the names: hilarious.
Wuthering Heights: Ajay Devgan as Hari (Heathcliff) and Zinta as both the Sanjanas (Catherine).
Jane Eyre: Ajay Devgan as Ravindra (Rochester) and Gracy Singh as Jaya (Jane).
Gone With The Wind: Sushmita Sen as Sheetal (Scarlett O'Hara), John Abraham as Rajiv (Rhett Butler), Tabu as Malini (Melanie) Abhishek Bachchan as Ashish (Ashley).
Classics tend to lenbd themselves tp remaking because of the universality of its appeal in terms of story. It cuts across countries, eras and people. But why does Bollywood wake up and see the light only when someone from anotehr country does something. Next we know, Mira Nair or Deepa Mehta will make a smash hit of a Premchand story and then Bollywood will suddenly take to the libraries to fish out short stories and novellas to remake.

> Yeh Meri Life Hai on Sony is doing something quite clever. On the show yesterday, a cop's phone rang and guess what ringtome it was: the Yeh Meri Life Hai soundtrack! I also saw Indian Idol and yesterday's episode was quite good. Though I feel they really rushed from the phase of wittling down 129 candidates to 76 (we only heard maybe one or two per group sing) the rest was great. In fact we really felt bad for the sweeper, Raju, who said he ahd never slept in an AC room therefore caught a bad throat. I don't know if they selected him for the next round or not!

> The K-serials are going from bad to worse. Nothing else to say.


An obituary

Have you ever felt numb? Really numb. Like when someone close to you dies. Numb enough to not cry, numb enough to just go about the rituals that follow without batting an eyelid, like it’s just part of life? Have you tried to justify their passing away with phrases like 'He/she was so old; they were suffering; it was for the better. This is certainly the most dignified way to die.” And then when others are making a public display of grief, have you crept away to maybe the kitchen pretending to help yourself to a glass of water, and thought - 'Is this really me? Have I become so heartless, cold, does anything not affect me anymore? Where are my tears? Have I lost sight of my emotions? Who am I becoming?'
I have. I'm sure we all have.
The last time I remember this happened to me was when my dog Goofy died. Non-animal lovers may probably roll their eyes and think: 'Oh my God was she going on about an animal?' but to those who are extremely close to their four-legged pets, the death of an animal is an excruciating phase. And amazingly you go through the same set of emotions, excuses, thought process when you lose someone, a human, but do not dismiss the grief at the passing away of a pet.
Goofy was my 13-year-old apso. Now 13 years multiplied by 7 means he was actually 91 years old, which is old and he was unwell, and he was suffering. But that didn't kill him. He gave up. That killed him. Goofy was always one of those ultra hairy lhasa apsos who attracted ticks like honey attracts bees. It was almost routine. But let me just go back to when he came into our lives.
My dad flew him to Delhi in 1991 - he paid Rs 25 for his air ticket - bundled up in a basket, a little ball of white fur. I was still at boarding by my sister tells me he was adorable. Apparently my dad came up to them and just handed them the basket, no mention of a pup inside, and went back to get his luggage off the conveyor belt. Suddenly something started moving in the basket and to my mom and sister's utter delight, it was Goofy, named by my sister after the Mickey Mouse character. He really was goofy, would sleep all day, bark at family, and graciously lick the feet of carpenters, contractors, plumbers and all other unwanted people. Instead of being a guard dog, my dad would joke, it was he who needed guarding. So if, for example, we were all huddled in the bedroom and then got up to move to the dining room for dinner, the minute Goofy realised he was alone in the room, he would quickly come out looking and then settle down where ever we were seated.
Any attempts to match make failed, as a result of which, Goofy remained a bachelor. Not celibate of course, but he did not sire any children - none that we know of. Then, when he was around two-three he started getting these massive tick attacks, and the poor guy would suffer matted hair, ticks, and then a loss of identity when we would be forced to shave off all his hair in peak summer. He would look around embarrassed as if he were nude, and hide till some hair grew back, before he continued with his evening walks. He was also very prone to getting maggots (I don't want to get into it); suffice to say every summer was pure torture. But every year, I would take him to either the vet hospital at Moti Bagh or to a vet nearby and he would be quite unwell, but somehow, the guy would pull through. [Once my mom and I were at a temple and she told me later that she wanted to pray to make him die, to ease his pain, until of course she heard my praying for his well-being (the only reason I perhaps went to the temple). Anyhow, the prayers probably worked.] Gaping wounds, tick infested, he would still summon up the strength to bounce right back. And my sister and I would spend every morning pulling out his ticks, combing his hair, giving him a bath... Sometimes if we pulled the comb a little hard, he would growl, snap and run away but never bite.
Then I got married and moved away, and saw him less and less. But once I moved back, my parents had to move out, and he came to live with me at my in-laws house, full time. In two weeks, I almost forgot whose dog he was. Always faithful to the hand that feeds it, dogs change loyalties very quickly. So suddenly, my dad-in-law was his best friend; Papa would feed him biscuits, make him sleep in his room and talk to him like he was human. When I entered the house, Goofy couldn't care less. He was happily asleep by my dad's bedside. He also made friends with my husband's apso, Snowy. The two were old, frail and reacted to each other like a brother and sister who have got so used to each other's gout and arthritis... who don't communicate but just need each other there.
Then sometime last year, Snowy died. I thought Goofy looked a little down and out but soon he was back to his Garfield-ish lazy self. But early this year, he too began to venture out less and less. He would just sit in one place, forsake food (an old habit so I didn't worry too much about it), but then when he stopped drinking water, I knew the time had come. Snowy had a tumor and when we had suggested she be put to sleep, my husband reacted very badly. He was waiting for her to die. And she did.
With Goofy too, it was something like that. It sounds horrible but anyone who's been in a similar situation would understand. I was waiting for him to die. Almost wishing and willing for him to die. I think I couldn't deal with the guilt anymoreI . I just didn't have the time and the inclination and the patience to care for him like I did; and I could not see him suffer and debilitate in front of my eyes. And when he died, in his sleep, I was honestly relieved. And as I waited for my husband to come back home so we could go bury him (he's right outside my house wall), I walked into the kitchen, pretending to help myself to a glass of water, and I asked myself those very questions.
I still haven't found the answers.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Telly Tamasha Nov 3, 2004

What this really means is that I just have a few minutes so though a couple of blogs have made their way into my head, I don't have the time to write them properly, and I will wait till tomorrow or day after when I have the time. As of now, a small Telly Tamasha blog.

Radio
> Red FM has altered its tagline from Asli masti to Asli Radio. Now of course there's no way of knowing but I can hazard a guess, and my guess is Red FM, asli masti was not connecting as a radio brand. Maybe FM wasn't a strong enough indicator that the medium was radio while competitors are much clearer in their communications. Radio Mirchi, it's hot and Radio City. Maybe the India Today group should have stuck to their old name, Radio Today.

Kamal's back
> Kamal Sidhu, yes the curly-haired former VJ, who disappeared (as has Laila Rouass) is back on Zoom, on a show called Dangerous, where they apparently discuss sex. Of course it doens't say so very clearly, but the ads and colourful, sexy hoardings more than communicate that.

TV in the print
> Outlook's recent issue (Nov 8, 2004) has done a story on TV stars coming of age. I haven't read it yet, but an initial glimpse showed that in female popular TV stars Jassi, Tulsi, Nandini, Dr Simran and Prerna find a mention and Sakshi tanwar (parvati), one of the pillars of kahaani, and personally one of Ekta Kapoor's favourite stars, finds mention as a 'Others to look out for.' Are they kidding? She's been on air for some three-four years and is a huge star in her own right. Definitely cannot be clubbed in the same league with Mallika and Pari in Jassi...

Advertising
> Why is Airtel's latest camapign (lost in the jungle... wherever you go our network won't let you down) seem like an imitation of Hutch's pug ads where the core message is 'wherever you go our network follows'. In fact the message is so clearly embedded in my head as Hutch's message that when I saw the Airtel ad, I was just wondering why they need to go after the same message.