Shobhaa De


Shobhaa De

India’s Time complex

Pehley, let’s get a few things in perspective. Time magazine itself is on life support. Time was up for Time more than a decade ago. Just like all life drained out of the once iconic Life much earlier. The magazine business is like that — cyclical. Particularly in today’s zamana, in which every Internet user is a magazine in himself or herself.

Rajesh Khanna ki amar kahaani...

Rajesh Khanna’s life reads like a Greek tragedy. Some would say it was an act of abject cruelty on the part of ace director R. Balki to talk Rajesh Khanna into facing the cameras again after a break of a few decades only to make a mockery out of an icon who once ruled Bollywood.

Dibakar debunked

I couldn’t wait for a movie titled Shanghai to release in Mumbai — the mad metropolis that is waiting (according to a delusional ex-chief minister) to metamorphose into a Chinese city that is dirtier... and even more crowded.

Rapture in Eden

West Bengal’s chief minister is a total rockstar! Last week she established her credentials as an entertainer par excellence, even managing at times to overshadow Bollywood Badshah, Shah Rukh Khan.

Celebs and celeb-hood

What happened at the Wan-khede Stad-ium between Shah Rukh Khan, assorted officials, private bodyguards, cops, a 53-year-old security guard and a bunch of kids has been extensively covered across sever

Prince & the showgirls

Okay, so Prince Andrew is no Lauren-ce Olivier, and there wasn’t a Marilyn Monroe clone in sight, but the vilayati rajkumar does have an… ummm, reputation with the ladies. And Mumbai has countless fetching ladies. Perhaps he was smarting from the national capital’s response to his visit. Unkind Delhi journos (after being at the receiving end of a right royal snub), had described him as having the personality of a “travelling salesman”. But in Mumbai, the Queen of England’s colourful son (better known as Randy Andy), was treated to a super swish soiree in his honour, at which he happily mingled with glamorous stars from Bollywood and, of course, a few billionaires from the corporate world. From spending time with humble potters in Kumbharwadi to making the mandatory chakkar of Dharavi and staging a photo-op in full naval regalia while visiting the docks, our friendly prince had a packed schedule in aamchi Mumbai.

Murder on the menu

It doesn’t happen only in C-grade crime thrillers. It’s happening now! In a city nearest to you! Mumbai has beaten Delhi in a particularly macabre game.

‘Oh-man’ special

The serpentine expressways in Oman are something else. I commented on them as the swanky Chrysler pulled out from the airport and headed towards the magnificent Al-Bustan Palace Hotel.

Cuban delights

I live in Cuba. I’ll die in Cuba. I don’t know what freedom means…” Alexander, the burly tourist guide in Old Havana, sounded really angry as he sipped a Mojito (a delicious cocktail that was born in Cuba, along with the Pina Colada, Cuba Libre and Daiquiri) inside one of Hemingway’s favourite bars near the port. The only time he had been “allowed” to leave the country was during his military service (compulsory). As a crack Marine officer, he was privileged enough to visit a few countries in South America. And now, like many of his disgruntled countrymen, he is waiting for Fidel Castro to die. Sounds terrible, but it’s true.

Welcome to Karachi

Clearly, I am a fast learner. Minutes after walking out of the Karachi international airport, after a rather eventful Pakistan International Airlines flight from Mumbai (more about that later), I noticed the printed T-shirt of our baggage handler. Here’s what it said: “I am a bomb technician. If you see me run, try and keep up.” I swear this is true. I looked at my local minder nervously and gulped. She was sweetly saying, “Welcome to Karachi,” as she instructed an armed guard in the front seat of the car to make sure we arrived safely at our hotel.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.