Saturday, April 29, 2006

Photography not allowed

I stay in Navi Mumbai (the satellite city of Mumbai – the commercial capital of India) which is fast turning into a city of malls. Some small. Some huge. Some ugly. And some insipid. And all of which will be operational in a few months time.

Of the ones that are already in existence the one that is frequented the most is the Centre One mall near Vashi Railway station.

It is a smallish one (as compared to malls in Gurgaon or so my friends inform me) but the food plaza on the top floor has become a hang out joint for teens and others like me who are young at heart. All very nice and neat and occasionally populated by pretty young things.

But I have a small little grouse. It is the fact that near the entrance to the mall is a forbidding notice that says “Photography not allowed”. Why is that so?

I can understand this notice in top secret Indian military installations. (I mean why would I want to make it easy for the enemy to get pictures of our secrets? Let them at least take the trouble of buying bottles of Scotch)

I can understand why this notice makes sense on Railway platforms in India. (I mean why would I want the rest of the world to know how terrible these things really look like?)

But why no photography in a mall? And one that is doing so well. And one that looks quite nice? I have no answers. Maybe you guys can supply me with one.

Oh! By the way, my photograph featured in this article was taken at this mall. ;-)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Wardrobe Malfunction & Pramod Navalkar

I genuinely did not want to write about the wardrobe malfunction at the Lakme Fashion Week held last week. I thought a Tits & Bum show at a Fashion Show was bit too trivial an issue to be addressed here.

But hey! What do I know of issues that are important and those that are not?

I now, in all humility, acknowledge that the "T & B" show is a matter that is important enough to be brought up in the Maharashtra State Legislative Council; it is a matter for two police probes to be instituted and for concerned politicians to express their anguish and more.

Mr. Pramod Navalkar, the senior Shiv Sena politician from Mumbai, is rightly livid at the shoddy "investigative" work done by the Mumbai Police on this issue. Totally dissatisfied with the inefficient Mumbai cops he has set down his parameters for a thorough probe.
I reproduce below, with pride, some of the investigative techniques that he would want to use and some intellectually penetrating observations that he has made. And being an unabashed admirer of the man I have added my own comments too.

Here we go:

Seize the dresses Carol Gracias and Gauhar Khan wore. Check the hooks and the zips to see if they were correctly attached.
That sounds good sir. But I hope you meant that you would seize the offending dresses that are now on the rack and not the ones Carol and Gauhar might be wearing at that moment. Not that you do not have the right to do so. Of course you do. Anything in the interest of Indian morality.
Oh! By the way I strongly suspect that the stunning babe who stays next door might just have a wardrobe malfunction one of these days. I think I will go over this evening and check on her clothes. See, sir I am such a devoted follower.

I would view with great suspicion the calm and composed reaction of both Carol and Gauhar in handling the embarrassing situation. Looks like they were trained for the situation.Poor Mr. Navalkar, didn't you know that a week before the LFW Carol and Gauhar were practicing the same maneouvre? I should have tipped you off then and you could have zipped in and saved the world from the catastrophe that unfolded. Sorry sir, will be more vigilant next time.

People are going ga-ga over the way they handled the situation -- how Carol graciously held the dress together and completed the walk. I would have liked them to just slump down in shame, abort the walk and rush backstage. This is what I would expect from an Indian woman.
How wonderfully right Mr. Navalkar. I too like my women to slump down in shame at almost every turn. That is what an Indian woman is good enough for anyway. I am also appalled at the sheer chutzpah that these shameless models exhibited. To top it all they did not even cringe for a second at this monstrosity. This is Kaliyug Mr.Navalkar, absolute Kaliyug. There is nothing that right thinking people like you and I can do.

Now that you have brought up this issue I want to warn you that a lot of people will attack you. They will view this issue of grave national importance as something of no consequence at all and will bring up a few other pesky issues. They might also ask you for your reactions to them. Being your ardent supporter I have put down a few questions and also your possible reactions. I hope they are in order.

What about farmer's suicides in Maharashtra?
Well! They happen. All who are born have to die one day. Don't they?

What about Mumbai losing its position as the Urbs prima of the country?
Well! What did you idiots, the citizens of Mumbai, expect? That it would be the number one city for ever? Hah!

What is your reaction to the chaos on the roads of Mumbai?
Hmm! Hota hai, hota hai.

The huge budgetary deficit?
Huh!!! Budget??? What's that?

The skin show at The Lakme India Fashion Show? (This question might also be asked just to confuse you)
Oh! My God. Such a serious issue. One that concerns the zeitgeist of our proud nation.

Right on Mr. Navalkar grope your way to the bottom of this issue. Hum aapke saath hain.