Rahul Gandhi at the Congress plenary session mouths a few platitudes and has the whole of the nation (or that’s what the Press wants us to believe) hanging on to every word that emanates from his golden-spoon holding pearl-shaped lips. Congress sycophants beg, plead and cajole Rahul to wield the Anduril Sword and take over from Denethor aka Manmohan Singh, the Queen-appointed Satrap but Rahul, in all humility that supposedly reminds us of his father, refuses to take the offer and instead vows to keep on working as an ordinary Congress worker.
Hell he even sits among the sweaty unwashed Congress cadres as a sign of humility despite repeated entreaties to sit on the throne on the main podium.
I don’t know about you but I am impressed. And jealous. Dammit I wish I had as my family heirloom the undisputed leadership of a national party. And PhDs to keep my seat warm till I “grow up” and a thousand (make it hundred thousand) countrymen prepared to fall at my feet. Not to speak of getting a membership in a club under the “eminent person category” in a snap whereas it takes normal aristrocratic millionaires about 30 years.
Reasons for eminence? Somewhere mixed in my DNA is the DNA of a guy who was one among many who negotiated our freedom.
But I am being unfair to Rahul Gandhi. After all, it’s not that you need “qualifications” to be a politician—-compared to some barely literate people who call themselves MPs, Rahul can read/write and possibly do arithmetic, he looks good in a galabandh, he has not murdered anyone (not that we know of it in any case) and is smart enough never to be caught in a sting operation. Which coming to think of it is what makes him such a good candidate to be a politician—the rich heritage of obfuscating corruption that is his by inheritance.
Remember Bofors? The scandal where noone got caught but everyone knew whose pockets got lined? And boy did VP Singh and the BJP try to dig some dirt—any dirt that could pass off as proof…..but nothing. Circumstantial evidence–plenty. Real evidence—none.
Now that’s pure pedigree class—-not the Khush Hua variety where they proposition women with lewd lines and bargain for a few thousands. That kind of behavior is why Kushwaha is a member of the “Four Friends Boys Club” which does SantoshiMa Pooja while Rahul Gandhi is a member of the Gymkhana.
So yes on second thoughts let me change what I said at the start about Rahul Gandhi being someone who has been foisted on the country on account of his parentage only. (after all this is about politicians so I am allowed to contradict myself) I think Rahul Gandhi does have the requisite”qualifications” to be the leader of free India because it is only because of his pedigree that he has the ideal mix of presentable looks, perfunctory education, rehearsed homilies, family recipes of vanishing currency bills without a trace and a capacity for vacuous verboseness.
Basically, the ideal CV for a someone whose adult life will be spent in saying “Yeh Banana Hain Woh Banana Hain”.
So yes, I do have some nice words for Rajiv. But absolutely none for the worst example of nepotism I see around me—-Uday Chopra. A balding, steroided muscle-bound creep who has the single most moronic grin in the industry after Sanjay Kapoor symbolizes much of what is wrong with the Indian polity and the entertainment industry—a 24 carat lump of talent-dung passing off as an achiever purely on the strength of his last name.
Hold on you say. He is not the only star son out there—–and there are several who can justifiably be said to be the same. But for them the market forces hold sway—being the sons/daughters of actors they can be “launched” with much fanfare but have to ultimately make it on their own (Remember for every Hrittik Roshan, there is one Puru Rajkumar).
However this Uday Chopra is a class on his own just because his dad Yash Chopra runs the most powerful movie production house in India (Yashraj films), has an amazing network of distributors, a snazzy ability to package age-old wine in new eye-pleasing bottles and an acute premonition of what will work and what wont (Okay even he makes mistakes but not as often as everyone else).
This hold his family exerts over the industry puts Uday in an unique position—you want to make a movie under Yashraj banner? Sure. Just cast my son. And the full infrastructure of the production house is behind you.
Uday Chopra who? One of the granite-faced school-kids sprayed with carbide in Yashraj films’ “Mohabbatein” , Uday Chopra had “Made for Television and Game Show” written all over him. Except that he, like Rahul Gandhi, had pedigree. Under Papa’s watchful eye, Sanjay Gadvi (one of the horses in Yashraj’s stable) made “Mere Yaar Ke Shaadi Hain” with Uday Chopra essaying the role of Julia Roberts in “Best Friends Wedding”. Yes I know. Don’t even ask.
After that turkeyed at the BO, you would think that Uday Chopra would become a clapper-boy. No such luck ! Kunal Kohli’s venture under the Yashraj banner “Mujse Dosti Karoge”—-and guess who turned up in a “guest role” like a bad penny.
Uday then tried to go solo with “Charas” and “Supari”—both of which, in the lingo of Rahul Gandhi, lost its deposit at the box office.
Any other actor, after these debacles, would have gone on to play the role of a terrorist who gets bumped off in the first two reels (Puru Rajkumar) or gravitated towards Bhojpuri movies or gone onto twinkle-toed stardom in “Nach Baliye”. That is not if you were Uday Chopra.
Like a jock itch that refuses to go away, he was unleashed in 2003’s megahit Dhoom (Sanjay Gadvi) and delivered his first hit (if you go by the spiel Yash Chopra’s folks put in the trade papers). Of course in a movie which had Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, a lot of cool bikes and Rimi Sen’s Shikdhoom moves it could be argued, with justification, that even if Sanjay Kapoor had played Uday Chopra’s role,”Dhoom”‘s bottomline would have still stayed the same.
“Okay that’s it. No more people to take away Uday’s wooden thunder”—thundered Papa. “My beta wants to act like desi P Diddy—he wants to cavort with busty Babewatch rejects in the West. Now if I like a good papa don’t pay for his aiyashi, then who will? After all Raj Kapoor also gave Rajeev Kapoor some fun in “Ram Teri Ganga Maili”…too bad Raj-saheb died else I am sure he would have given Rajeev the same treatment I give my balding ladla.
So yes where was I ? Oh yes I have to make a movie around my son? Story? Arre ooh Arjun Sablok—-take the plot of “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, sex it up a bit, throw in some supposedly “hep dialogue”, introduce a new angle not explored before in Hindi movies i.e post-coital conversations and make a movie. But be careful, my son should get the best babes–okay? He has so much trouble in real life with the hairloss and all—-but this is , as they say, is his “baap ka duniya”. Capiche? ”
“Neil and Nikki”(2005) is made. For the first time, the heroine wears a bra for 70% of the screen time. Let me rephrase that—Tanisha wears just a bra in this movie ( No it’s not a stylish eetsy-bitsy dress—-it’s a bra you see in Walmarts. She wears just that —only for her that is outerwear).
[Author’s note: I intentionally say ” bra you see in Walmarts”. This wasnt even the Victoria’s Secret bras which are way more artistic. Or maybe I am wrong—Tanisha ruined whatever touched her.]
Uday Chopra is at his best (or worst) aping Shahrukh Khan and Tanisha is as soothing as someone rubbing a balloon with her nails.
The biggest tragedy? “Neil and Nikki” is a moderate hit—thanks to the legendary Yash Chopra marketing savvy which means there will be more of Uday Chopra in every home production. If it had been a monumental flop, maybe just maybe, Uday Chopra would have disappeared.
Just like the fact that the Congress needs to be totally decimated all over India in order for them to understand that the reason why they are not the Congress of the 50s is because they have been hijacked by a coterie of corrupt sycophants who have transformed the party from a movement of the people to a bunch of money-hungry asslickers who would like us to believe that the surname Gandhi is some kind of divine mandate to rule.
Alas none of the above is likely to happen—Yashraj will go on giving hits and the Congress will hang on . And we shall end up seeing a whole lot of Uday Chopra and Rahul Gandhi in the years to come.
[Update 1: This post gets mentioned in Mumbai Mirror, January 25 (print edition) as part of their “Blogger’s Park” section. ]