Televisionpoint.com Special by Anu Ranjan Like the moneyminded moguls at the BCCI, the super-smart sleuths at the CBI too need to seriously mull over launching a TV channel of their own... given that each matter, each dilemma and each crisis in our country ends up entrusted to the CBI.
Agreed that's predominantly all we see on TV nowadays, it might not be such a bad idea... From train accidents to plane purchases, from tapping phones to faking stamp paper, from stealing silage to stealing flood relief funds, from the escalating population of cows to the diminishing population of tigers, from selling the Taj corridor to buying the Centaur hotels, from Azharrudin to Jadeja's mother-in-law, from Bofors to Tehelka, from the supposed raavan Modi to the alleged chaara chor Laloo, from Tata's VSNL to Mukesh or Anil Ambani's Reliance Infocom... it's never-ending... phew! And another idea..., since it's always about who and what makes history in our country, about conflict, about exploration and investigation, about espionage, wildlife (both in the forests and on our streets)... the CBI could even call the channel something like "National Discovery"... Fodder for thought, huh...!?!
CHEERFUL CHANTS And moving on to one that just about escaped the investigative agency's net... Like Palmolive, Kapil Dev da jawaab nahin... from cricketer to TV chat show host to book author to now the "captain" of an NGO called Khushii, which cares for street children in the capital... the jaat bhai recently organized "Shaam-E-Sarhad," an evening of soulful sufi music, proceeds from which all went towards the splendid cause... the kids khushii.
Held at The Ashok Hotel in New Delhi, it was mostly an extraordinary affair both in appearance and essence, courtesy the unwavering and immense support that the event (and noble cause) received (and continues to receive) from the uncrowned queen of our beautifully-slim and healthy-world Vandana Luthra. Her behind-thescenes raja babu Mukesh Luthra deserves much credit too, for many jobs very well done! Kudos to the couple! The event featured popular desi one-song-wonder Rabbi Shergill, and two young pardesi maestros Shafqat Ali and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
The two musicians from sarhad paar were pretty good and winched up the audience mood to emotionally elevated levels, which the rock `n' roll sardar with a single strum of his electric guitar managed to bring crashing down! Plant Rabbi in a college campus with an eighteen-something audience and he's great too, but regrettably he couldn't have been more of a oddball that evening.
And, the capital's literati and glitterati showed up in its entirety... present at this recital were some of Delhi's finest curls and curves. This elite collection included Delhi's CM Sheila Dixit, Priyanka and Robert Vadra, former model Feroze Gujral, debonair MP Jay Panda, adman Suhel Seth, designer Ravi Bajaj, singer Jassi, and comedian Shekhar Suman.
LIVE LIFE KINGSIZE To coincide with the birthday of his eklauta beta Siddharth Mallya and also to notionally pass the baton on to his heir apparent, the maharaja of good times Vijay Mallya recently launched Kingfisher Airlines -- at a red and white, mid-summer night ball, attended by the country's Who's Who! The ultimate desi A-list was there -- honorable ministers Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sunil Dutt, a former CM Faroque Abdullah, sport star Ravi Shastri, silver screen's Shilpa Shetty, chubby Raveena Tandon with hubby Anil Thadani, Jackie Shroff and VJ Sophie, industrialist Gautam Singhania and scores of others.
The setting being al fresco; an Air India maintenance shed, all the free Kingfisher beer in the world didn't aid keeping the heat off. To top that, the inauguration ritual started two hours behind schedule because every minister invited to the dais to speak a few words, spoke a thousand! When the clock struck 12, the unveiling gave way to a brandspanking-new Airbus, titivated by a row of exquisite airhostesses, all sexed up in the corporate red hot and white livery! Post this presentation, the carnival moved to the Intercontinental Grand hotel and festivities continued till sunrise!
DOUBLE CENTURY Star One's The Great Indian Comedy Show has also hit a century! Their 100 fun-filled chapters featuring take-offs on other shows and personalities were enjoyable, but sadly I can't say the same about their celebratory bash! Bad girl Shwetta Keswani was there, confused as usual! First she wears this blouse with a "highwaisted" neckline, then with some navlakha-type haar she frantically tries to conceal the very same assets she was trying to reveal in the first place!
Comedians and namesakes Gaurav Kapoor and Gaurav Gera were there too... having a blast, mostly at each other's expense! Maninee De who plays hostess on the show, arrived escorted by her other half Mihir. Hero Vinay didn't only show up! And, straight from The Cartoon Network arrived Shekhar Suman -- all togged up in a black and white costume, with shoes and eyeglasses to match... chasme baddoor! Unfortunately, like his jokes, the attire didn't interest anybody either!
Saarrthi, Star Plus' soap also hosted a soiree recently, to toast its own knock of one hundred runs. The complete squad got together to cheer for this one... shaking legs non-stop to pulsating tunes, they kept the dance floor chock-full forever! Raja Choudhary was there minus his famous and significant half, Shweta Tiwari.
Unattended and under the influence, the boy had quite clearly lost his bearings... he strived to snuggle up with each and every person present, guys included! And, newest add-on Rajeev Paul was there with wife Delnaaz who chattered away, nineteen to the dozen! Trying to get a word in edgeways was Asif Shaikh. The threesome were roaring... dunno whether they were chitchatting, warring or just trying to be audible over that blasting music!
NOTORIOUSLY UN-COOL Sony TV recently held press conferences in Mumbai and Delhi to launch "Fame Gurukul" or what I believe should be called Indian Idol Part 1.5 ... Yet another singing-competition reality-show, basically intended to fill the buffer period between Indian Idol Part 1 and their next Indian Idol Part 2.
Sony's head honchos Tarun Katial and Tushar Shah were there. It was essentially a lacklustre, mind-numbing sermon about Sony's viewer ship, ratings, Indian Idol's TRP's, blah-blah-blah and then about how Fame Gurukul will be is "different." Sony's incommodious PR team kept itself busy steering the new judges Javed Akhtar, Ila Arun, Mandira Bedi and other panellists away from the press. On every occasion that a reporter was spotted in discussion with them, these PR machhars would appear out of nowhere, gheraao the poor journalist and deviously take them away saying "Sweetie, he has to give another interview naa..." Hello? Who defined their scope of work? And, if that was it, why call a press conference then?
AND, TV ROCKS! Pehle chote nawaab Saif Ali Khan, phir rangeeli Urmila Matondkar aur ab it's sexy bomb Mallika Sherawat who has found it necessary to rely upon the little screen for assistance in promoting her latest big screen venture Bachke Rehna Re Baba...
And, comic J.D. Majethia appears to be the bomb's newest fixation... first she did a cameo role in his Sarabhai vs Sarabhai (Star One) and thereafter she did a mini thing on JD's other show Batliwalla, House No. 43 (Sony).
Up until now most got pleasure from the ease with which the allegedly small town girl has put on show her sex-appeal, but in the company of these little screen jokers I wonder how many will get turned on by her wit (or the lack of it) -- the box office will tell I'm sure, so let's wait and watch!
IN GOOD COMPANY Ms Sherawat reminds me of something rather interesting I recently real ized... Maybe they should amend the lyrics of that song "Bombay se aayaa mera dost" to "Yari Road se aaya mera dost..." or else, like Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, maybe they should rename Yari Road in Versova, Mumbai to something like Bollywood Blvd.
Why? I don't think anybody's become conscious of this yet, but Yari Road (considered to be the boonies in the back of beyond) has the following list of stars residing on it -- and these are just the names that come to mind instantaneously... Starting with my immediate neighbours, there's Mallika Sherawat, who with her regular 500 crunches is an inspiration to every single person in our gym! This is probably the reason why my husband Shashi Ranjan suddenly has muscles bulging like Popeye! Monsoon Wedding hottie Praveen Dabbas, the pretty sisters Deepanjali and Moyna (daughters of yesteryear star actress Indrani Mukherjee), and Panini, s/o Raj Kumar with his slim new bride Shruti also live here.
Looking out of my window, to the left is the home of Pankaj Kapur and Supriya Pathak. Living above them is cutie-pie Shahid Kapur (so you can understand which other sizzler must visit here all the time.) To my right lives Rani Mukherjee and then Bhumika Chawla. On the other side of the road is Mahima Chaudhry's residence. Below is Raj Kumar Santoshi's place. Then is Tanaz Currims soon to be moved into sasuraal. Mihir Mishra and Maninee Dey live a little further down the road. Hundred feet ahead of them is Manisha Koirala's stunning penthouse.
Sexy sisters Nigar and Gauhar Khan are a bit further up, followed by top of the pop stars Sonu Nigam and then Jatin (of Jatin-Lalit fame) with wife Kainaz. Finally comes the pad of P3P of the year Sandhya Mridul, who is the neighbour of Renuka Shahne and Ashutosh Rana, who are the padosis of Sameer Soni who is the 1116076909
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