This appeared in The South Asian Times on November 14th.
I've been completely out of the 'gossip news' circuit for a while now. No it isn't deliberate. It's more of a situational issue, one that I plan to correct before it's too late and I have morphed for good. In the meantime, thank god for well informed friends, one of who informed me this morning that Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty (actually corporate queen Shilpa Shetty better suits her these days considering the one-new-enterprise-a-month mission that she is on) is all set to tie the knot with London boy Raj Kundra. Another one falls pray to a married man, I concurred instantaneously. How many more actresses will follow suit and become another statistic I wondered. At least all of my favorites were going that route. Shabana Azmi, Hema Malini, Shridevi, Raveena Tandon, Karishma Kapoor; they all did it. Kareena is going down that path and now it's Shilpa! Where on earth have all the single, rich and handsome young men vanished?
It is not unusual for movies to be trend setters in India and often times awake a generation. Rang De Basanti was one of the esteemed ones. I wonder if 'What's Your Raashee' will meet similar fate. I will give it 2 stars one day when I'm feeling generous but the point is its old candy in a new wrapper. May be that's what the new generation can try out. It sounds absolutely insane but get this. If you are a nubile (I love that word, don't you?) woman or a just-about-eligible ('most eligible bachelor' is an illusion) man who's made mental peace with the notion of being married and wants to dive into it but is very very single, what is it gonna take? You'll dig out a potential partner from somewhere, date him/her for a few weeks, try to judge the hell out of him/her and countless evenings combined with way too much money later, you realize it wasn't meant to be. So optimistically you try it again. And again. And again. Ultimately it's mommy to the rescue.
With the ultra busy routines our generation is compelled to follow, what with the busy work schedules, evening MBA classes, near perfect gym routines and never enough time to hang out with pals, where is the time for poorly thought out and prolongated experiments? So unless you're a PhD who simply gets a kick out of experiments, here's the master plan. One week, meeting up with 12 potential partners (12 plus minus 5 is just fine!) and then a week to analyze. You know why it might work? Here's the logic. It's the difference between looking at one flavor of ice cream in isolation versus looking at a temptingly laid out gelato counter with a dozen flavors and then comparing them side by side. By the time you're on your third tasting, you will know what you don't like for sure. Few more careful observations and tastes and you might begin to realize what you do like. And by the time you're on your last, voila, you know the answer! Instead of that, if you try one flavor every 2 months, good luck remembering your likes and dislikes. Ultimately it’s the same process, only squeezed into a much shorter time frame. Plus it might give your buddies some fodder for entertainment. Two birds, one stone.
Don't buy my theory? Try it! If it doesn’t work, I’ll help you draft a mean letter to Ashutosh Gowarikar.