My personal gossip news vine is Shirin- a beautician who comes by once a month, to help satisfy my compulsive vain urges. The fact that she is also a favourite with other filmi folk lends to the credibility of spicy tidbits interspersed with her routine, which she offers most willingly, free of cost. Mostly its a monologue..me with my eyes closed, trying earnestly to relax away my blues while she chatters away undeterred..Responsiveness is not a criteria she bothers herself much with…and neither is she impressed with subtle piquant wit. I often sense the similarity with the Vijay-Basanti (Sholay) catatonic syndrome.. y’know what I mean.
I have been out for a good coupla weeks, is all I had to inform her by way of an opening statement. ‘Oh!!..so you dont know what happened at the Ash-Abhi wedding?” She asked with genuine astonishment. I had left the same day, I informed casually, not willing to invite a blow by blow account I suspect I had . She shook her head in disbelief. After having made quick arrangements of dipping my feet into the basin, readying her tools for the pedicure, placing the napkin neatly around , she began, without any further delay or inducement.
The industry she informed is boiling over with rage and insult at having been shunned off the invitee list. It was a well advertised fact by then that the wedding was to be a smallish affair attended by the close and personal family and friends. I had known of the fact that the number was a concise 300 or so.. which by any standards is a rather tiny aggregate. So what was the fuss about , I asked disconnectedly.
Shirin seemed aghast at my nonchalance..She almost stopped cuticl-ing..with me fervently twiddling my little toesy to draw her attention. But no..she looked back accusedly and continued.. “Imagine not calling Shahrukh ..and what of Prakash Mehra.. the man gave AB his break.. and also Ramesh Sippy..and neighbours like Dharmendra and Shatrughan Sinha..He ignored them as well..”
But its his sons wedding and he has a right to decide the guest list..I argued. Shirin obviously by now had decided not to pay attention to the blasphemy. She continued agitatedly..” And you know what.. He sent them all a box of Mithai..which the whole industry has returned!!” At this I opened my eyes ..taking this as a cue she carried on with ” Prakash Mehra came on T.V. and declared that he can send another 200 such boxes of Mithai to AB and he does not need it.. all the others have returned it as well.. SRK and all”.. I knew I could safely divide her talks by half at least…as far as proportion to truth vs gossip was concerned.
However, ..did they really send back the mithai box?! How Appalling! I mean why be such spoil sports? The guy was having a celebration at his bungalow which could not have accomodated more than the said number. Also he is known to be a private person. Why give out such blatant inimical vibes at such an auspicious moment of his life? Frankly I felt it was in poor taste that the industry, if it is so, decided to make known their displeasure, thus.
To know that the world knows is always cause for major annoyance. The fraternity is reacting to the public acknowledgement of their conspicuous absence. Its akin to being rebuked in full media and public glare. But this was one occasion in which they could have taken solace in numbers.There were more rejects than invitees.. so why fret?
AB is being increasingly accused of getting rough around the edges and adopting a high and mighty air post the success of ‘Guru’. This rather rebellious non conformation to Bollywood dictats has added fuel to the already raging fire. Although Ajay Devgan and Kajol, behaved much the same way at their wedding.. closed affair.. 50 people..only family..not even Rani Mukherji, first cousin. Nobody really threw a fit then..it was dismissed as ‘personal choice’. Why had this excuse/logicality not been applicable for the Bachchans?
I doubt if Amitabh Bachchan would have chosen to behave in such a petulant manner had he been the recipient or rather non-recipient of an invitation. This is not to imply that he is saintly or benign. On the contrary, AB is known to have an elephantine memory and never forgives. But undoubtedly to make a public display of his grouse would not have been a choice worth reckoning.
And aah Shirin.. I made this known to her in as passionate a tone I could summon. She’d realised by now that I was incensed and also that she was totally in disagreement. She fumed silently.. my poor toes bore the brunt as also my aching muscles ( bout of extra brisk walk and weights at the gym) I had never ever received such a vigorous foot massage. By now there was deathly silence.
She continued to complete her routine.. there was Peace finally..for me.. In fact she had to awaken me after the body massage..By then I dreamfully had visited the ..you know who ..Bachchans..sat through a tete a tete with Jaya complaining of the ‘rude industrywallahs’..and her rights to acknowledge and dismiss the presence of who she wished at the wedding of her only son..
Shirins sullen face brought me back to ground zero.. I gave her an extra tip.. and a hug.. as well as a recommendation.. She meant no harm.. poor girl.. She was responding at the level of the ego..which is only fair.. I told her so. .and tried to soften by suggesting that life is too short to expect ..give..openly for the sheer joy of it..unconditionally . Now Ab hasn’t invited me.. but do you detect even a whiff of a complaint? Au contraire!
For those hugely fascinated with the romance of their wedding..alongside please find the vodpod..