Shobhaa De


Shobhaa De

Amit Bhai’s flop show

Thank God I had the good sense to keep my mouth shut and not greet the second most important man in the country (a position that was held for years by Dileep Padgaonkar when he was the editor of a major newspaper with a cheery, “Kem Chho, Amit Bhai?”

Time for our report card

Narendra Modi’s report card right now is looking pretty theek thaak — even impressive — compelling critics to concede the Prime Minister has passed his crucial 100 days in office with straight “As”. Nationwide polls have endorsed most of his initiatives and the overall mood in the country is as upbeat as the Sensex.

The booing brigade

As the old saying goes, “Can you say ‘boo’ to a goose?” Well, in India, we don’t waste our precious time booing geese. We reserve our boos for chief ministers. Each time the Prime Minister steps out to attend important functions in states that are still hanging on to their own non-BJP leaders (with time bombs ticking away), the crowds make sure nobody but Narendra Modi is heard.

Padmas up for sale

A pushy, young politician once asked me in all seriousness whether I would like a Padma Shri. Of course, he misread the disbelief written all over my face for some other emotion. Perhaps, he expected me to faint or keel over with joy. I did one better and asked straight up if he could “arrange” it for me. My voice and expression were deadpan.

It happens only in India

Let’s be super generous! Let’s be fair to Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare and give him the benefit of the doubt. He claims he didn’t know the name or religious identity of the man into whose protesting mouth he shoved a chapatti. Does that matter?

A seven-month itch

Relax folks. Arun Jaitley’s Budget (it’s best described as a seven-month itch), is not transformational. Nor is it radical. Thank God! It is… it is “theek thaak” and reflects a level of sobriety and sober thinking that euphoric India can do with right now.

O for optimism

Okay, here’s a chhota sa clarification for the innocents and prudes out there who are reading this: Bluntly put, the Big “O” stands for “Orgasm”. And unlike Diego Maradona who gushed, “To beat Brazil in the final, in their own country, would be an orgasm”, this column is not about football.

Modi & the Delhi game

Narendra Modi, our 15th Prime Mini-ster, and the second one from the state of Gujarat (after Morarji Desai), looked uncharacteristically sombre and out of his depth when he arrived for the historic swearing-in ceremony in the forecourt of the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 26.

Rahul Baba and the Chaalis Chor

Oh, how I love this lad! Rahul Baba has given India a brand new narrative overnight! Forget Alibaba, we now have our own fable titled “Rahul Baba and the Chaalis Chor.”

Silencing the rationalist

Certain “dastardly deeds” (how our netas love these two words!) are just more “dastardly” than others. The cold-blooded, pre-meditated daylight murder of a legend called Narendra Dabholkar was one of them.

Kashmir’s history is dotted with natural calamities and man-made disasters. And over the centuries the people of Jammu and Kashmir have perfected the art of rising from the ashes. They have seen famines and epidemics, floods and earthquakes, blazes and mayhem, organised violence and massacres, forced and voluntary migrations, incarcerations and worse.