Monday, September 6, 2010

The Tribune-Chatterati-6th.Sep.10

'Aamir hits the nail on the head'

It is not unusual for ‘Aamir Khan to get enormous attention for his movies. But usually it is because he acts powerfully in them. But ‘Peepli Live’, the darling of the Chatterati class at the moment doesn’t have him in any role at all. In this case the medium and the message are truly his craft work even without any screen work. Because the message is about the sad state of the Indian State, Aamir had to show it to two people at the very top- the P.M and key opposition leader Advani. Both of them not only enjoyed the movie but ensured that their friends and family got the message alongside in separate and exclusive show. Aamir knows how to get the heart of the State when he wants to.

But the boldest move was Aamir’s special showing for media honcho’s, where the likes of Aroon Purie, Rajat Sharma, Rajdeep Sardesai and Deepak Chaurasia and politicians like Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid watched Aamir’s take on the silly state of Indian television news reporting. Aamir began the evening with telling his hand picked audience that since they probably would not want to talk to him afterwards he was speaking to them before. The audience watched with rapt attention, the tongue in cheek verging on cruel parody of the television channels obsession with chasing ‘live’ news. The cynical and mindless story of chasing of TRP’s must have made many in the audience squirm. But Aamir’s skill showed in his masterful blending of multiple realities into a canvas of social chaos. It must have thrilled the director that he got a standing ovation even though it was an audience that knew that it cover had been blown in full cinemascope splendor.

'Raising money for animals'

If the invitation card says “Kingfisher” everyone expects Vijay Mallya to be there. A fund raiser was organized by “Kingfisher” and “People for Animals” to raise money for needy animals. The evening was named “Fly a Carpet to Your Wall” where this gathering at The Lalit Hotel in Delhi got a lot of artists, designers and page 3 types to show their love for animals. PFA is run by Maneka Gandhi and her sister Ambika Shukla. The event saw journalist Nalini Singh, designer Ritu Kumar and actor Nasir Abdullah, but the title sponsor Vijay Mallya who I think a lot of people have come to see and meet was nowhere around. This was a limited collection of carpets choreographed by Sunil Sethi included works of renowned artists like Rohit Bal and Paresh Maity. These were hand woven carpets and the designs of these were unique. The money collected by this fund raising exhibition will be used for veterinary shelters for needy animals.

'Lots of drama in India Men's Week'

The India Men’s Week saw a lot of drama, makeovers and activity in the capital last week. As usual there were lots of delays and inconvenience. The designers had to play clever as men’s fashion is not broad spectrum with creativity here. Narendra Kumar’s presentation was an Indo-Japanese which was a tale of shadow warriors but luckily the clothes were fluid in form and the theme was warrior clothes. Samant Chauhan had edgy men’s wear and here he was inspired by the psychic killers and there were socks stitched with pants which according to the designer was the style of a particular killer who didn’t want to leave footprints. The famous Shantanu and Nikhil Mehra did not disappoint the crowds, the highlight here was cable knits used for jackets and there were knitted super fit churidars for men. Ashish Soni is always very practical and so more wearable and his school friend Robert Vadra was present too. But the master of ceremonies as usual was the one and only Rohit Bal. “Gudda” to his friends hired 11 buggies decorated them in his style and lined them alongside the porch of the hotel where show was being held. “Gudda” has always been a master of drama. This show was full of colour, ‘achkans’ for men were embroidered heavily with lots of ‘jhilmil’ and sarees and skirts worn by men. Pravesh (of the “Big Boss” fame) walked the ramp for “Gudda”. But the icing on the cake was that seeing the buggies a group of eunuchs turned up asking for money assuming it was a wedding party. Now was that for real or again stage managed, one wondered?

The Pioneer-Dilli-Billi-6th.Sep.10

'Is disaster looming ahead?'

It was an impressive show of determination, dignity and unity cutting across party lines by our M.P’s in their chorus that the Common Wealth Games must be a success. Even as the opposition leaders echoed that the Common Wealth Games must be a success, during the parliament session last week the corruption charges against the organizing committee were in full swing as the media blew the lid on preparations for it which were full of sleaze and money making and commission to friends and family rather than fool proof arrangements for the participants and visitors.

One thought that roping in the Oscar winner A.R. Rehman for a song would put at least some life and encourage many at last. One can always be positive when A.R. Rehman’s name is mentioned, but one feels led down even here. Is it that all these scandals did not encourage A.R. Rehman’s lyrics, or was Kalmadi not a good enough inspiration for Rehman, or was the simple South Indian just too disgusted with the stories on the Common Wealth Games but as he was committed he had to come up with something and this was the best he could do, to fulfill his commitment. As if this song of Rehman was not a dampener enough the “dengue” has scared the visitors who were thinking of coming to the capital for these games. The little bookings that were done are being cancelled. The foreigners are thinking twice about coming after the rise in dengue cases in Delhi. The Health Minister has blamed the rise on the digging all over the city for the spread of this.

The Prime Minister has taken a personal interest in the preparations along with the Sports Minister now. It has become a matter of pride for the Nation to make sure that the games go well. After having spent thousands of crores in the pre-arrangements in the last eight years it is a shame that at the fag end when all venues should have been ready and athletes practicing, there is nothing that is completed. The only thing that seems to have happened is that the personal bank accounts of the people involved in these games must have become heavier. People have lost faith that the clumsy and corrupt will be punished as the corrupt are still grinning from ear to ear. With the leaders taking a personal interest now we do hope so that we are not shamed world over. But if these games were no inspiration to a lyricist like A.R. Rehman to come up with a swinging tone what can we expect from our athletes who have not had a single day of practice in the stadium? In London where the Olympics are taking place in 2012 the venues are all ready and their athletes are practicing day and night? Will they not do better than the other participants then? Here in India the caterers are still clueless, the swimming pool is out of proportion, the shooting range is not to any specification and the roads are full of debris. The phrase of ‘Sab Chalta Hai’ seems to be the catch phrase of the moment.