Thursday, August 23, 2012

The un-Saif decision

SSSK is sittin' in a tree

Sayesha Smitten Showbiz Kitten is perched on a tree outside Saif Ali Khan's house, furiously taking notes on her notepad. He is having a discussion with his wedding planner when a furious Kareena walks in.

Kareena - Saif! Yeh shaadi nahin ho sakti!

Saif - Huh? Kyun itna ghisa-pita dialogue bol rahi ho?

Kareena - Dialogue nahin, sach hai. I can't get married to you.

Saif - WHAT?! Why not??

Kareena - Uhhh... I think... uhhh... that you're not mature enough...

Saif - *I* am not mature enough? I am forty-frickin'-two. I have been married once. I have two kids. Hello, maturity??

Kareena - No, I mean... you are... uhhh... always making juvenile remarks.

Saif - What? That's not true! Ok, give me an example.

Kareena - Fine. Every time you see Shahid, you look up at the sky and say "Mausam kharab hai." Can you stop doing that? Bahut cheap lagta hai!

Saif - Well, I'm not the only one taking pot shots at the competitor's flops. He does it too! He said to me that we had zero onscreen chemistry in Agent Vinod and to get the chemistry in, we should remake it and call it Reagent Vinod!

Kareena (rolls her eyes) - Gawwwwd! SAIF!!! Don't you see it?? That's why I broke up with him! Can you please behave your age at least??

Saif - Ok fine, I will. But tell me the real reason why you want to call off the wedding. Aakhir kyun??

Kareena - Kyunki... Kyunki... Main Heroine hoon!

Saif - Toh? Main bhi toh hero hoon!

Kareena - No, I mean I'm playing the title role in the movie Heroine. It's going to be a big hit and I will become a bigger heroine than ever before. Everyone will want to sign me! But if I get married, that will be the end of my movie career!

Saif - What?? What nonsense theory is that?

Kareena - It's true! Hero ke baad Jackie Shroff became an even bigger hero. Hero no. 1 ke baad Govinda became an even bigger hero! Heroine ke baad I'll also become an even bigger heroine.

Saif - That's rubbish. Coolie no. 1 ke baad Govinda became an even bigger coolie kya? (guffaws at his own joke)

Kareena (irritated) - Offo! You know what I mean, Saif!

Saif - No, I don't! All preparations are done and now you want to back out? Let me call Karisma Di, she will talk sense into your head!

Kareena walks off in a huff.

Very soon, a whole bunch of actresses turn up at Kareena's house, armed with banners that say, "Kareena, tum shaadi karo, hum tumhaare saath hain!" They enter Saif's living room and wait around for Kareena.

SSSK quickly climbs down and enters the room along with the crowd. She is thrilled to find Sunny Leone in a corner of the room. She needs to verify some stuff.

SSSK - Sunny, hi! So is it true that you asked Pooja Bhatt for your male co-actors' health certificates to prove that they had no STDs before starting to shoot for Jism 2?

Sunny - Haanji.

SSSK - And then what happened?

Sunny - Well, Pooja said that things work differently in this industry, and that it would all be just acting. I wouldn't actually need to DO anything that would... ummm... warrant a certificate.

SSSK - Oh ok. And how did your co-actors react to that?

Sunny - Woh dono boley, "DAMN YOU, POOJA."

SSSK - I see, I see. I also see that your Hindi is getting better. So what brings you here?

Sunny (starts off speaking in Hindi and then gives up midway) - Main yahan aayi haigi kyunki... main cause ke towards solidarity dikhaani hai. After all, I'm like the only Bollywood heroine who made her debut AFTER she was married, yeah?

SSSK - Hmmm... I never thought of that... But then, your first film Jism 2 was a miserable flop. How will that help convince Kareena that married heroines can also have hit movies?

Sunny - Errr... uhhh... I have other offers. I am sure they will be superhits.

SSSK - Achha what other offers do you have?

Sunny - Erm, Mithunda has cast me in a movie that will launch his son Mimoh...

SSSK - Erm, didn't Mithunda like already launch him twice, once as Mimoh and once as Mahakshay?

Twinkle Khanna (suddenly appears, speaks and disappears) - Maha Akshay. Oh please. Like that would make him a bigger superstar than my Akshay...

Sunny - Maybe third time lucky haiga?

SSSK - Hmmm, maybe. So what's the movie called?

Sunny - Finding Mimoh.

SSSK is not sure if she wants to laugh or cry so she pretends to have spotted someone and excuses herself. She wanders off and bumps into someone she doesn't recognise.

SSSK - Hi, I'm SSSK. Reporter. You are...?

Poonam - Hello?! I'm Poonam Pandey!

SSSK - OHHH! Our own OCS! Sorry, I didn't recognise you in all these clothes.

Poonam - Well, even I wanted to strip to show my support for Kareena, but then I thought shaadi-byaah ka maamla hai, toh thoda family-oriented hona chahiye... But yeh OCS kya hai? Outstandingly Courageous and Sexy?

SSSK - Errr... No, actually it's Obsessive Compulsive Stripper.

Poonam storms off.

SSSK looks around. Almost all the heroines are there - Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Vidya Balan, Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Sonakshi Sinha and Sonam Kapoor. Behind them is a fleet of married actresses - Karisma Kapoor walks in, accompanied by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Twinkle Khanna, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Lara Dutta, Raveena Tandon and Juhi Chawla.

Kareena enters and looks around in shock.

Kareena - Saif, what's this? Yeh sab kya ho raha hai?

Karisma - Bebo, I called everyone and asked them to come with me so they can convince you that your career won't be over because of marriage.

Kareena - Didi, please. Look at the married ones! They are already standing in the back row! Their careers are over!

Aishwarya - Excuse me? Heroine ki heroine ke liye I was the first choice.

Kareena (nastily) - But what happened? You got pregnant and then got fat and now... Do you know that you're now being referred to in the industry as Gol Bachchan?

Aishwarya - I'm trying, I'm trying! What can I do? I can't help it. I'm enjoying food. I mean hood. Ummm... Mother-hood to be precise.

Lara (bitchily) - Oh please, that's such a lame excuse. Look at me. (twirls to show off her figure)

Kareena - Yeah so you're married and you have a kid and you're thin again. But do you have any movies??

Lara - Ummm...

Kareena - I rest my case.

Karisma - Arre, actresses can make great comebacks after marriage.

Kareena - Didi, please. What happened to your own great comeback 'Dangerous Risk'? Lived up to its name, didn't it??

Karisma (turns red) - Ahem, you mean 'Dangerous Ishq'.

Kareena - Same difference! You would have enjoyed a longer career if you'd stayed unmarried. You know it.

Karisma (starting to get upset) - That is not true. My career was not short because of marriage. My career was short because... because I found out about eyebrow threading too late!! (bursts into tears)

Juhi - Hey, I did a lot of movies after I got married.

Kareena - But I don't wanna do bhabhi type roles!

Madhuri - Kareena, look at me. Married. Two kids. And I'm back in showbiz!

Kareena - Oh please. I don't want to be a judge on some random dance reality show.

The fleet of married heroines retreat, unable to convince Kareena. The front row steps up.

Priyanka - Kareena, it's different now. Married heroines can have hit movies. I mean, Kajol did Fanaa after she was married. It was a superhit.

Kareena - But that was an Aamir Khan movie! You can cast him opposite a pencil and it will be a hit.

Katrina - Come on now, you know that's not true. Give Kajol some credit.

Deepika - And now even almost-50 actresses are making a comeback. Look at Sridevi. Her upcoming English Vinglish looks all set to be a hit.

Kareena - Hmmm... that is true...

Sonam - Times are changing, Kareena. Talent is what matters now. Not marital status, or looks or body weight. I mean look at Sonakshi. She is a hit heroine even though she is totally F-A...

Sonakshi and Aishwarya - HEYYY!

Priyanka - Ok let's all be objective. The audience is different now. None of us is perfect and yet the audience loves us. I mean... Katrina - can't speak Hindi. Vidya - too aunty. Deepika - horrible accent. Anushka - stick-thin. Sonakshi - Fat. Sonam - Can't act. But the audience has accepted us. They LOVE you, Kareena. What makes you think they won't accept you after you're married?

The other actresses glare at Priyanka but nod hard at Kareena.

Kareena - You do have a point there...

Vidya - Also, we're all in our 30s. We all want to get married soon and yet continue working. Very soon all of us will be married. There won't be any unmarried good actress left so producers will HAVE to cast us! Isn't that right?

All actresses - YES!

Kareena - Is that true? You will all get married soon?

All actresses - YES!

Kareena (charged up) - Hmmm... You're right! High time we actresses also got the same treatment as the actors who are in their 40s and going strong. Fight's on, sistahs! And Saifu, so is the wedding. (smiles)

Saif beams, profusely thanks the crowd and walks off with Kareena.

The unmarried actresses high-five amongst themselves as they watch Saif and Kareena leave. Priyanka sums up their collective thought.

"Another one bites the dust. Iski halkat jawaani, aur uski second-hand jawani... Kareena ke career ka toh 'The end' ho gaya! Rejoice!"

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The warrior princess diaries - VII

So I finally met bar bewdi Bubblegum who is now in Singapore. She told me about a journal that her mom had kept documenting her childhood and how much she enjoys reading it. Talking to her inspired me all over again to record Xena's antics with more regularity so she can grow up and read all that she did as a baby. I also realised that the last princess diaries update had been in March - five months ago! Thanks to Facebook, I do have the records which I just need to compile for the blog.

  • As usual, let's get the hospital stuff out of the way first. Xena is still rejecting solids, and not gaining weight at all. She's probably at the 1st percentile and is going to slip off the charts if she doesn't start eating and gaining weight. We have been meeting her doctor and dietitian, but their plans will only work if the baby opens her mouth, isn't it? She's also started to reject milk, perhaps due to her molars which are sprouting like crazy. In fact, she's even lost a bit of weight. I keep trying out new things, and some days she eats 2 spoons and other days nothing at all. I have tried everything in the book and more. I can't even begin to describe the frustration that comes with trying all kinds of food and all kinds of strategies only to have your baby turn away her face the instance she sees any food approaching her. And yet, she puts all non-food into her mouth instantly. How she knows what is food and what is not is anyone's guess. I guess I just have to keep trying. For now, I think she's thriving purely on photosynthesis. 
  • Thankfully, she's doing all right with her milestones. She started walking at the expected time and babbles a lot. She can identify quite a few things - car, bus, ball, duck, dog, iPad, penguin, lion, snake, parrot, etc. No, I don't actually have snakes and penguins walking around in my house; these are her soft toys. Earlier, she'd point and say "Tah!" for 'car'. Also for 'cat'. And 'tree'. And 'sky'. And 'fan'. Yep, they were ALL "Tah!" She can't say the full words yet, but now she says 'baw' for 'ball', 'duh' for 'duck', and 'dodo' for 'dog'.
  • Viv comes home around 8 pm, and she's either sleeping or sleepy by then. However, the moment she hears the click of the main door unlocking, she immediately sits up and says, "Papa!" I am jealous. I never get that. She only uses "Mama" as a distress call. When Viv was in Papua New Guinea, she looked for him all the time and everywhere. She thought he was playing a prolonged game of hide-and-seek with her. One day, she even tried to look for him inside the fridge!
  • I took her to Hokey Pokey, an indoor playground for babies and kids, and she absolutely loved it. Here's a picture of her in the ball pool.

  • Viv has found a brilliant way to make her brush her teeth. He lets her brush his teeth, while he brushes hers. The first time I woke up to see that scene, I couldn't stop laughing.

  • She's super duper active and I have a tough time catching up with her. This video was taken just before she started walking. Within 2 minutes, she gets her toy car into two accidents, reads a book, crawls, cruises, claps, walks, babbles, tries to snatch away mamarazzi's camera, and oh, also indicates how tall her papa is.

  • She absolutely loves playing peek-a-boo with me using the curtain.

  • I'm now using all sorts of funny tactics to get her to eat. Since Viv and I are following the no-TV rule very strictly, I use other distractors. Once I got her to eat breakfast by showing her the same picture of Imran Khan in a Filmfare issue over and over again, and saying, "Look Xena, a baby! Oh look, another baby! Hey, yet another baby!" My apologies to Imran Khan and his family. Then there was this time I literally bribed her into having dinner. I gave her my wallet and with each note she pulled out, she ate a spoonful. But I soon ran out of cash, and asked her if she accepted credit cards, and she didn't. :/
  • Why do babies throw everything? Food, toys, everything. To give her credit, I must say that she has established that she is not TOTALLY heartless. Agreed, she is brutal and merciless with her toys, but she does say "Bye!" to their mutilated carcasses before flinging them out of her play yard.
  • Xena loves to mimic anything and everything. Here she is, mimicking my mom's fake coughing.

  • Xena thinks I'm a cool/hot (delete as appropriate) chick. I asked her "Where is the bird?" and she immediately pointed at me. But then she took her 'When in doubt, point at Mama' tactic too far. I didn't mind being a bird the first time, but I did draw the line at "Where is the cow?" :/
  • Xena loves to turn on switches, whether it's the one to summon the lift or the one that controls a light or a fan. She will insist that I lift her up to the level of the switchboard, and she will turn the switches on and off, all the while looking at the lights and fans to see what has changed because of her actions.
  • Here's a collage I made to showcase Xena's teeth - from zero to 7 (clockwise from top left).

Friday, August 03, 2012

The high flier

Here's the full account of Xena's first proper encounter with soap bubbles during her morning walk with papa and mama.