In China they do it with whiter detergent

When India TV announced another sting the film industry broke into a sweat. So many of them have skeletons in the cupboard. But then the channel says it has no intentions of wasting its expose opportunities on film stars.This time it was a scandal involving a cornea theft in a hospital.

Certainly beats pulling Shakti Kapoor‘s pants down, hands down. And then there was Prabhu Chawla doing what he‘s perennially good at. Pulling his interviewee‘s pants down on Aaj Tak‘s Seedhi Baat. But this time he got more than he had bargained for. If Chawla is aggressive with his guests, for once a guest decided to be super-aggressive.

Vivek Oberoi was feisty and unstoppable. Pre-empting his wily opponent‘s next move, Vivek went for the kill repeatedly. He manouvred his way out of the craggy corners and cutting edges, even pre-empting Chawla‘s questions on Aishwarya Rai by stating the obvious.

This is what I‘d call a conversation with claws. Karan Johar on MTV‘s Kutting With Karan looked discernibly uncomfortable. Cyrus Broacha and his boorish motor-mouthed colleagues should‘ve just put a brake on their aggressive and vulgar line of questioning. The diversions, if one may call them that, included a cretinous creature who repeatedly turned flatulent on camera.

We were supposed to fall off our chairs in glee. All we did was turn away in disgust. The pits was a hideously unfunny anchor dressed up in white doing a takeoff on the lovely and elegant Simi Garewal and her talk show.

To find ‘his‘ antics funny one has to be truly demented. And why take pot shots at Simi Garewal? She is and shall remain the acme of articulate star talk. When it comes to bringing the best out of celebrities there‘s absolutely no parallel to her professionalism and insight.

The other day I happened to catch Sunny Deol on Punjabi Etc where he told the starry-eyed anchor that his dad‘s film Sholay was "over-hyped".

Really? Well… shouldn‘t Mr Deol choose a more visible and attention-grabbing channel to make his historic declarations?

I switched to Zee‘s Piya Ka Ghar after a while only to see the lady in the wheel chair had changed from Suhasini Mulay to Bina. In all other details the soap remains infleixible. The protagonist Rimjhim now has a double role of mother and daughter. The last few episodes were spent celebrating the daughter‘s wedding. That meant everyone wore more lipstick and costume jewellery. In times of mourning the jewellery goes. The lipstick stays.

These rules are understandably applicable most fervently on Ekta Kapoor‘s serials. On Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki the daughter and mother wore an equal amount of lipstick (mauve) for their big confrontation scene last week after the bride vanished from the mandap leaving the scenario free for a lurching and heaving game of musical chairs.
But after another daughter of the house took the saat pheras with the waiting groom the absconding bride returned to whine, "You got someone else to sit in at the wedding. Now who leaves with the groom?"

Gawd, the dilemmas that these soaps create. We could write a whole thesis on why soap writers think like bulls in a china shop.

Speaking of China, Star News took us to Shanghai this week to compare the traffic of the city with that in Mumbai. Needless to say Mumbai was found to be lacking. The roads were bloodied with potholes in Mumbai and a business man grumbled about how he spent half his life on the road.

His counterpart in Shanghai couldn‘t grumble much because he didn‘t speak English. But he looked very comfortable in his taxi where the driver was put in a separate enclave. The upholstery in the taxi was white. "Not like the dirty taxis of Mumbai," sneered the Mumbai correspondent.

I know why Mumbai can‘t be Shanghai. The Chinese detergents wash whiter.
There was another, more interesting story on Star News this week on how our movies encourage rapists to do their dirty deed thinking they‘d finally win. We were shown clippings from two films Benaam Badshah and Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai where the rapist offers to marry the victim. According to experts on the show this is certainly not the way to tackle rape in our films.

I would go with that. I‘d also go with BBC‘s story on the night spots of Delhi. According to the story, until very recently it was Mumbai which was a ‘happening‘ place for night life. Suddenly Delhi too has a lot to offer for the young professionals who want to "work hard and party harder".

The life of the urban metro-sexual is always fascinating. On Sony‘s progressively watchable Rihaee we had a man who had been keeping a secret from his wife. That secret was another wife. The treatment of the story was fairly gripping, though bigamy is hardly as adventurous as the story made it to be. Nevertheless it‘s good to have a story that moved away from the rut, and that too with such a thud and whoosh.

Thud-and-whoosh is also the formula on Sahara‘s Kamini-Damini. The ungrateful family gets it comeuppance as Hema Malini tightens the reins on her callous kith and kin. The sons are quaking and the bahus are seething. Hema - God bless her enduring charisma - is simply smirking.

On MTV‘s The Big Picture all the members of the Kaal cast trooped in one after another with exciting anecdotes on their experience of shooting with tigers. A huge picture of a tiger was strategically placed in the background as veejay Sophia Haque did her ooh and aah number.

Maybe she was auditioning for Kaal 2.

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