Monday, 23 April 2007
Almost always, Amitabh Bachchan is a picture of dignity and correctness. Whatever faults one may find in him (especially his relations with badland bhaiyyas), you have to admit the man is all class. Which is why his media-blackout policy for the big fat family wedding surprises me. Bachchan has done enough time in the industry to know that Bollywood stars cannot cut the world out when there’s a marriage, especially not when the alliance is between the nation’s top stars. He would have known all along there would be hundreds of photographers surrounding Prateeksha and Jalsa, and that’s exactly what’s happened. So why did he allow this cat and mouse game to go on, completely beats me.
Sold out the shaadi?
Which is the reason why a popular theory doing the rounds is that Big B has sold the rights for the wedding to an international celeb mag, or a television network. When examined logically, this makes sense, this would explain all the hush-hush and locked iron doors, and image-busting Volvo buses. And if indeed this is the case, then I don’t understand why the mega star isn’t announcing that to the public… once we know the pics have been sold to another media brand, most of us will back off from desperate photography, and wait for the real stuff to appear. My own hunch though is that Bachchan might not have sold his son’s biggest day, the entire clan appears too conservative and superstitious to do things like that. And if my reading is right, I cannot fathom this privacy nonsense, it’s Ash’s wedding for god’s sakes, we WOULD be interested. If Abhishek had married a Dippanita whatever, the entire media would have been outside Alistair Pereira’s door today.
The ugly skirmish
And so, the inevitable happened; blood on the lawns of Prateeksha. And I neither blame the photographers (it’s their job to shoot exclusive pictures), and nor do I blame the black cats (they are paid to act before they think, they are edgy kind of guys, and a situation of a hundred photographers surrounding Abhiash would have been against orders from the top). Although Bachchan has graciously apologised, he must accept that the fault lies with his crazy blackout policy, it was a time bomb waiting to explode. All he had to do is what Rahul Dravid did on his wedding day: finish the ceremony in private, and then emerge from the house so that the photographers are awarded with their Kodak moment. And all would have gone home happy.
It’s possible one of the manglik-reversing sadhus commanded the blackout happens, then things make enormous sense, of course. Good luck, Abhiash.
Saturday, 14 April 2007
Drunk driver-cum-killer Alistair Pareira’s acquittal on charges of culpable homicide (click here for story) should provide great relief to many of us who drive drunk. The news that you can run over and kill seven people and yet be let off lightly makes me want to order another double patiala peg for the road. (Salman Khan might have thrown a wild bash in celebration… his own drunken driving case in which one person died is still stuck in the trial courts, and poor Salmanbhai killed just one chap!) Obviously, some serious money exchanged hands, and the evidence was sabotaged. After all, what’s the cost of lives of migrant labourers from Karnataka and Andhra in a city like Bombay? Zilch. That’s a no-brainer, the truth that the nation’s law enforcement machinery operates on the principle of different strokes for different folks.
However, what I don’t understand is this: why don’t they make amendments in the law, and make every death caused by drunk drivers tantamount to culpable homicide, without exception? Would that not prove to be enough of a deterrent for drunken drivers? And that sort of an amendment is badly needed in a city that’s full-on with people sleeping/squatting in the city’s patli gallies… in fact, pretty much every street in the city is a patli galli today, thanks to unplanned development and monumental migration from other states into the city. It is also a fact that a whole number of people drive drunk on our roads, and accidents are inevitable.
Sadly, that amendment ain’t gonna happen in a great hurry. Not at least till some big neta’s family members get run over by a drunk Alistair Pareira. Until now, only the zero-value people have been mowed down.
Till then, let’s hit the roads, bottoms up! Cheers!
Saturday, 7 April 2007
Although I have pretty much dumped cricket from my life, the backroom twists and turns excite me no end. Like all religious Indians, I have been carefully following the Greg Chappell versus The Great Indian team nautanki, with a good deal of interest. And the reason is: the current situation in the Indian cricket is ditto what happens in the corporate world.
A kick-arse, professional, unbiased, results-driven leader joins a large existing company. A company that is packed with executives who live on their past glories, suits who are long past their sell-by date. The new CEO’s mission is to turn this ‘living in the past’ company into an aggressive, cutting edge, today’s organisation. And to make the seniors managers accountable for their performance. So he comes in and puts his plans into execution.
However, the managers, who, despite not delivering results in the market place are heavily paid and toasted in the social circuit, start to feel insecure by the CEO’s dramatic changes and cut-throat style of functioning. They feel threatened and see the possibility of changes at the top level. At the same time, they have become too old and slothful to learn new tricks. So they do the only thing they know best in order to save their own skins: they get together and politick against the new boss. They unleash rumours into the boardroom that the man is not a people’s person, that he’s going around destroying morale in the office. That since he’s an outsider, the chap doesn’t understand local markets and working conditions. And that he’s cut-off from the core group and is inapproachable. They even use emotional speeches to grain brownie points with the shareholders. These slimy execs understand their only chance to make these ploys work is to hunt as a herd, and they go all out in a ‘huddle’ to save their jobs.
And because of all these political machinations and power games, the distracted company turns up with even more dismal results than the past, and the new CEO is left with no option but to put in his papers.
Which is why I am not at all surprised Chappell has booked himself a one-way ticket on Quantas. And I will be even more surprised if a single senior Indian player gets sacked. I have seen the same scenario played out in many organisations. I am sure you have too. And maybe even participated in it.