Televisionpoint.com Special by Anu Ranjan If it's not cricket then it's cricket controversies, our country sure thrives on them! But I am yet to get over the smug attitude of our captain, Saurav Da! Yes, he's feeling vindicated in the media and the public glare but how does he face himself in the mirror every morning? He has to know he's outlived his utility, He has to know he's not superior enough to occupy that hot seat any longer, He has to know he's encroaching on what truly belongs to some worthy other who has it in him to perform for a team and a nation when required and to inspire, guide and lead a squad as is mandatory.
The nation is not dim-witted, we all know he's there courtesy his sugar daddy, Jagmohan Dalmiya and that's all! And, talking of Jagmohan Dalmiya, really somebody has got to get that man out of the BCCI, his clever and calculating ways to stay in control of the board, the wealth, the sponsors, the telecasters and the team have unfortunately rubbed on to many naive persons along the way. Consequently and in the long run the boys in blue perform shabbily, lose face and suffer, the exhilaration and the joy of the game for cricket-lovers of this nation is killed, the pride of patriots is destroyed. If Mr Dalmiya desires to captain the ship, he's obliged to take the responsibility for this wretched state of cricket-affairs too... He's the one who should resign first. Maybe he needs to spend some time introspecting... He can do that while he has breakfast at Saurav's restaurant, or while having lunch at Sehwag's eatery, followed by dinner perhaps at Tendulkar's bistro. If he's still unable to grasp what he's made of the game, maybe a head massage at Harbhajan's beauty salon is in order. If still confused, some lessons at Saurav's Cricket Academy should do the trick, After all this, anyone with half a brain will have a handle on the damage that's been done!
PHANTOM OF THE OSCARS Heard about India's entry to the Oscars this year...? If not, let me enlighten you... It's the Shah Rukh Khan starring Paheli. Surprised? No! Well, neither am I. If Madhur Bhandarkar's Page 3 could win the National Award for best movie this year why can't Paheli seek nomination by the Oscars? Don't get me wrong, I love Shah Rukh Khan. I was even very excited when Aamir Khan's Lagaan was selected last year and I truly hope my favourite Salman Khan's next movie makes it to the Oscars in subsequent years... Only thing is that if India genuinely wants to triumph at the awards, they need to pick a movie that the audiences have chosen, not something (or someone) the selection committee loves. The fact that Black didn't get selected, those guys at the Oscars have been there and done that with movies like Black a zillion times, we would have only ended up being accused of plagiarism. A movie like Iqbal, for instance, would have been a fantastic choice... A touching film, Indian in every sense and above all marvellously uncomplicated! But then again, who listens to me!?!
WHO'S THAT GUY? He's tall, dark (with blonde streaks), and definitely very handsome...! His name is Pinto Ahluwalia and he's allegedly an actor from Canada who's here to check out the Bollywood landscape. Born in the US to Sikh parents, this bloke is the ultimate ABCD, as in American born confused desi! He's a compulsive party animal, thriving wheeler-dealer and obviously an extraordinary networker too... On his last trip here he was spotted in the capital socialising on separate occasions with Parmeshwar Godrej and Ramona Garware, Hotmail Sabeer Bhatia, Delhi-based industrialist Samir Thapar, MP Sukhbir Badal and actor Sanjay Dutt... He and Sanju baba apparently went on a wild-hunt safari to Africa together too! His current trip to our motherland saw him having a ball in Mumbai, in the coveted company of desperate housewives Sundari Khan, Neelu Merchant and two Pakistani actresses... with whom this pretty boy partied all-night-long, literally, just him and them from 9 pm till 7 am I'm told! A day before his soiree with the ladies he was spotted at the Zoom Party with Mr Mumbai Marathon Anil Singh and some ex-Ms India 2002! A few days later he was seen near about the Bombay Times party accompanying some of Mumbai hoity-toity P3P. That same morning, he was also witnessed participating in the 5th. Annual Celebrity Rugby Match at the Bombay Gymkhana along with apne local high fliers such as Gautam Singhania, Dino Morea, Charu Sharma, Javed Jaffrey and Kishen Kumar. The two rugby teams were captained by Rahul Bose and Ashok Kurien, and match referee was Pramod Khanna, as in brother of Vinod Khanna. And last but definitely not the least, this fellow was very recently allegedly spotted dirt biking in Delhi with hotelier Rajeev Khanna, Rahul Gandhi and Omar Abdullah. Hello..!? The boy is positively a hotshot, some Bollywood biggie better sign him up and take full advantage of his conspicuous popularity promptly!
TRANQUIL TIMES Popular for roles as Neena in the show Millee and Madhavi in Dil Kya Chahta Hai, fashion designer turned actress Shonali Malhotra Sonii celebrated her janamdin recently, at a birthday bash thrown by her fantastic hubby and super suburban socialite Ashish Soni. The party was at the Mainland China restaurant in Mumbai... a wonderful ambience with us all enveloped by this beautiful red glow, warm candlelight reflecting off the red decor and red flowers placed all over the restaurant. As usual I was the first to arrive... honestly, I must vary that trend! Any how, soon enough there arrived the stud-muffin Vikas Bhalla, a vegetarian for the day! Following was a stylish entry made by Kunal Goswami, and for a change he was accompanied by his better half, thank heavens! Others at the do were Sudhanshu and Mona Pandey, Sanjay B. Jhumani, Samir Soni and Rahul "top security" Nanda was mercifully well dressed in a shirt and tie that evening, and not his trademark sleeveless tank top! In that soothing setting while Shonali peacefully sliced the scrumptious Ferra Roche cake; few others shook a leg to wonderful beats, another lot chitchatted away, non-stop in a corner and the rest lost themselves in the multitude of amazing Chinese nibbles and munchies being served.
IN DENIAL Kamiya Buniyaad Malhotra hosted a soiree recently, in honour of her own birthday, and for reasons known only to her, she refused to admit it as her birthday! Nonetheless everybody carried gifts and sang for her too! Of those that attended this bash were the back-in-BJP-action Bihari Babu Shatrughan Sinha and his wife Poonam and bosom-buddy Shashi Ranjan. Anju Mahendru was there too all sleepy-eyed and tired from the thought of a 7 am shoot the next morning. Tinnu Anand and wife Pushy who's a great dancer and who taught us all some superb dance steps that night. Especially helpful were those dancing tips for Rohit and Mansi Roy who currently also host Nach Baliye, the mega-prize money dance contest show starting anon on Star One.
Actress Rekha's favourite designer Mohini was there too, arriving straight from work in the most multicoloured outfit I've ever seen! Ramesh Sippy and Kiran came too, also straight from work... They curled up cosily on a comfy sofa! Gosh, most Mumbaikars I know it seems work almost round the clock, round the year... and still have the energy to party at the end of every single day. Anyhow, Kamiya treated all her guests to a delicious feast from her very own restaurant Hungama... so all ate, drank and made merry till it was truly no longer her birthday.
Before I sign off for the week, I must voice immense ill feeling at the way Amar Singh and his partner Jaya Pradha kept those poor school kids waiting for them, standing in the sun for hours, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Such thoughtlessness should never be repeated, even inadvertently. And, while we're on the topic of being thoughtless, how many more train accidents would have to take place before Laloo Prasad Yadav digs his head into the sand... If nothing else, he should at least quit as minister of railways, no? On those cheerless notes, I must seek your leave... until next time, goodbye, khudaa haafiz, salaam-namaste and rukaawat ke liye khed hai...!
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