Monday, February 23, 2009

Our Rah-Rah man!

So, we've lived through the biggest anti- anti-climax of the year, definitely bigger than when George W. Bush flew away from the White House in that chopper, without any shoes being rocket-launched from American porches at the departing bird. Though that is not to say that he didn't get the bird from all those on the ground and glued to their TV screens, who let out huge sighs of relief. Apparently, taken as a whole, they were loud and loaded enough to power our next mission to the moon!

More on that some other day. For now, its on to what is probably going to be the ass-saver of the day for the Indian media, most of whom had written their own scripts and acceptance speeches way before we grabbed all that gold, and by "we", I mean "we", Brit claims be damned.

What if Vikas Swarup had not writen that book? What if Loveleen Tandan had cast Johnny Lever as a "naye zamaane ke jailer" instead of the brilliant and suitably sardonic Irrfan Khan, or that eternally bugging Aditya Narain as senior Salim, or (heaven forbid!) Amitabh Bachchan as himself? What if Anu Malik had crooned a "baarish" number in his desperately smoky voice, set to a hat ke maha-'original' score, with Pinto and Patel getting jiggy with it at the suitably grand Grand Central or Paddington tube station? Actually, what if there was no Bollywood at all? And, WHAT IF there were no (at least a fraction of a billion?) Indians glued to their screens to boost the TRPs of a show that saw its lowest audience ever last year!

The strains of Jai Ho! are echoing through the entire floor I work on from countless TV screens tuned into a myriad channels and my brain's about to short-wire. How we hop skip and jump from event to event with matching anthems. If Chak De was the clarion call at the Olympics, and Singh is Kinng captured the short-lived triumph of a smiling, V-flashing Man-Mohan after he won/lost a few hearts with the nuke deal and the trust vote, Jai Ho! is our war cry as we get set to invade Hollywood.

Oh, I'm definitely proud of AR Rahman and all that, but he has set abysmal standards as far as acceptance speeches go... indirectly proportional to the magic of his music. I mean, Resul Pookutty is my man! Sweet little thing. He probably had less reason to rehearse his speech but definitely more passion than Rahman, who was a poor match for the elegance of his sherwani. And of course, there was Sean "almost-PC" Penn, and Danny "Pooh" Boyle, and Robert "I so still love you" De Niro with his crackling introduction of Penn's gay gambit for yet another Oscar.

I had some to drink last night so missed the early morning red carpet stuff and barely caught a bleary-eyed glimpse of Mrs. Mummyji Rahman. Cho chweet, bringing mummy to the Oscars and all that, nah? By the by, has Piranha Pinto let go of Poodle Patel's arm since the Globes or not? Oh, of course, she must have... for she was a presenter too!

And with kitschy pink ghagra cholis in the backdrop, and Rahman exhorting us all to soar, was it any surprise that poor futuristic Wall-E got trapped in Bolly-in-the-hood while his mushy anthem got lost in the cacophony of desi fushion cheer? And now I'm entering the ramble-strip of all blog posts... enough said. More when I recover from the shock of this anti-climactic, oh-my-Gawd-we so-believe-it orgy of celebration. Clap ya' hand over ya' mouth in shock and awe, y'all, and talk about dedicating your life to world peace... we won!

Jai Ho and Rah-Rah man!!!!

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