Shobhaa De


Shobhaa De

A bleeding nation

Yup. It happened. The 19th terror attack on the capital in 15 years. So far, the body count is 13 dead and 90 injured. By the time someone takes the trouble to total it all up, India will have moved on (24 hours later, most people already have), and those who don’t live in Delhi will shrug and talk about “intelligence failure”, “security lapses”, “crisis in leadership”. Out-of-work movie stars will tweet away, offering prayers and condolences, and television anchors with grim faces will attempt to grill the usual suspects, embarrass a few and reprimand the rest.

India needs Anna. Alive.

At the time of writing (11th day of the famous fast), Anna Hazare is still alive. That statement sounds crass… crude… shocking. It is meant to. I think we have all lost the plot. And in the cacophony of all the noises and voices, we have conveniently overlooked the one person who is at the centre of it all — Mr Hazare.

Why terrorists bleed Mumbai

Horror of horrors! Mumbaikars actually stayed away from work the morning after the latest bomb blasts. Yup, those devastating ones on Wednesday that ripped out the city’s gut. In case you are saying, “Oh really? How come? We always thought nothing stopped the people of Mumbai from going to work… not even bomb blasts,” you’d be spot on. Nothing does!

Mr PM, buck doesn’t stop here

Oh Oh — sizzling tennis over our PM’s tepid talk show? Ummm… no contest. Tennis has dum. Tennis is about pure, unadulterated testosterone when two beefcakes in shorts sweat it out on a packed Centre Court. How can poor Manmohanji compete with those hunks for eyeballs?

Nudist cyclists and a funeral

My biggest regret is the book that never got written! Husain saab and I had been discussing it for over a decade. In fact, it had become something of a joke between us — “Husain’s Women”. On June 6, just two days before he galloped off into the great beyond, astride one of his signature stallions, M.F. Husain turned to me as I was saying goodbye and declared, “Let’s do it… I’m ready for the book”.

Bankers or bonkers?

There was a time, long, long ago, when my parents were naïve enough to go in search of a suitable boy for their youngest daughter (me!). First preference? A Saraswat Brahmin, Indian Administrative Service officer. Second? A Saraswat Brahmin doctor or engineer. There was no third option. Clearly, their misguided attempts failed totally.

The private lives of rascalams

Bobbitt all these rascalams, I say! Too many of them floating around the world doing bad-bad things to good-good women. Look at that fellow Dominique Strauss-Kahn (does he waltz, or what?). Can’t keep his business inside his pants! Aiyoooo! So much shame he is bringing to his family… all his wives and children.

In Pak, kahani abhi baaki hai...

How I love that line: “It’s a go!” said US President Barack Obama. And they went! It is so quintessentially American. So cowboy! On Friday, April 29, 2011, the mighty President of the United States of America ordered the historic raid that killed one of the most dreaded men who ever lived — Osama bin Laden.

Paani puri politics

Hey bhagwan! Now street snacks are being targeted in Mumbai. Suddenly paani puri (gol guppas to you) — one of Mumbai’s all-time favourite munchies — has been declared a health hazard, and paani puri vendors are being chased out by the newly-minted, over zealous health police of this totally unhealthy metropolis.

If I were Dhoni’s Mummyji

India’s biggest superstar ever, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD), is 10 years younger than my older son, and almost the same age as one of my daughters. The thought that I could easily be his mother is seriously scary. Why scary? Because, I am certain, I wouldn’t know how to handle it. Look at the guy — just look at him. Is he for real? He’s so wise, so cool, so mature and so damn successful. And he’s all of 29. What did his mother eat when she was carrying this boy in her womb? What were her thoughts?

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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.