Bend it like Beckham, once again!

There is not an iota of age on Victoria’s face, nor a ripple of cellulite on her arms. Her dress looks as though she was born wearing it… she was not called Posh Spice for nothing!

Duck everyone — it’s a Beckham around the bend once more! Only this time the Beckham who is “bending it” is Victoria, and she’s doing it not with football but with fabric. The diva swished back into London with her backless gown and deliciously tanned visage, a cuddly Harper Seven (her daughter sounds like a fizzy drink!) probably clutched under one arm and a (very, very) expensive handbag on the other, to grab the top prize for the best designer brand at the British fashion awards this week. While the rest of the Spice Girls have vanished into the woodwork, Ms Beckham ploughs on, blazing new trails and creating a streak of envy among less-yummy mummies cradling paunches and love handles while Victoria remains eternally slim and svelte.

This woman has worked hard on her husband, her career and her figure and it shows. There is not an iota of age on her chiselled face, nor a ripple of cellulite on her sculpted arms. And even her dress looks as though she was born wearing it… she was not called Posh Spice for nothing! Something in the way her nose tilted upwards should have warned everyone who sniffed at her. And now she has proved her talent in a very competitive field.
Her fashion award is well deserved because Victoria has often been praised for her elegant line worn by many celebrities. No doubt personal promotional gambits do have a little bit to do with it, as the Beckham name is a marketing guru’s dream come true, but Ms Beckham has been slogging away, for years. That’s why, perhaps, the 37-year-old was reduced to tears when she stepped up to get the award from fellow designer, and reportedly bosom buddy, Marc Jacobs. She apologised for crying but said that the award was for her kids — something they could use for “show-and-tell” sessions!
One has to admire her determination. It would have been easy for her to subside into becoming The Beckham Bride, but it is widely acknowledged that she has contributed a great deal towards keeping the Beckham brand alive.
Her husband, however, was not there to revel in Victoria’s moment of triumph. He was in Jakarta, playing football. According to reports, he did not tweet, but praised his designer wife on his Facebook page, stating that he and the boys (their daughter Harper Seven might be still too young to appreciate her mother’s creative genius!) were incredibly proud of Victoria. “It’s amazing what she has achieved tonight… it’s very special…” wrote an overwhelmed David.
The tearful Victoria Beckham returned the compliment from London, stating in her speech that “without David I wouldn’t have had the courage to do what I am doing.”
Aaaaaah... Isn’t that sweet?

Meanwhile, another British woman was in the news. This was no designer, though she did have designs on the UK once upon a time: Margaret Thatcher. Even though everyone knows Ms Thatcher is suffering from dementia (I have often felt it a surreal experience, having seen her a few times in the House of Lords, walking in as impeccable as ever, with not a hair out of place), she still commands a huge fan following. Perhaps it is to do with the fact that her father was a grocer — we are all suckers for feel-good success stories. Thus, The Iron Lady, a film on Ms Thatcher with Meryl Streep in the lead role, is receiving rave reviews. Ms Streep has just won the New York Film Critics Circle’s best actress award for it, a good omen for the film at the Oscars.
Even though many close to Ms Thatcher say that she will never watch the film, as she does not watch anything biographical, it will be quite a coincidence if this film does well while the Conservatives are in power in the UK. While it is doubtful if Prime Minister David Cameron or any of his colleagues could have managed to convince the stroppy New York Film Critics Circle that they must vote for it, it seems that her children are not too pleased with the film’s plot. However, they have not tried to stop The Iron Lady’s release or to ban it, which would have undoubtedly happened in India if this were a controversial film on an Indian woman politician who, incidentally, shared some remarkable traits with Maggie.

It is rare that a religious event manages to draw the Indian and Pakistani communities together, even in the UK. But the arrival of Bhai Ghulam Muhammad Chand from Pakistan to sing at various Sikh functions around the UK created a piquant and poignant situation. Bhai Chand belongs to the family of rababis descended from Bhai Mardana who used to play the flute and sing with Guru Nanak. After the Partition of India, however, Bhai Chand’s family moved to Pakistan.
He persisted at keeping alive the traditional style of singing, even though at one stage he took a slight detour into dramatics and wanted to be an actor. But having now been invited here by a group of Sikh musicians and historians, and working with the UK Punjab Heritage Association, his presence made the Sikh diaspora aware once again of the traditions that they sometimes tend to lose touch with. The good thing is that, thanks to the Internet, even those who could not attend Bhai Chand’s performances have been able to watch him on YouTube, and the borders between India and Pakistan (at least in the UK) definitely appeared to melt away temporarily. Bhai Mardana would have been pleased.

The writer can be contacted at kishwardesai@yahoo.com

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