Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Very Own Brand of Yellow Journalism

Darn, I wrote an entire post on gossip and speculation and didn't actually offer any juicy stories? Quelle horreur! Ok, here's something I picked up in the most unexpected manner and setting - and odd that I should be the recipient given that I'm usually rather disinterested in the subject.

A couple of months ago, I attended the birthday party of a friend of mine, where I met a former classmate of his and we hit it off instantly. She was an incredibly smart African girl K who had grown up in the US and then worked in England for a very large global conglomerate.

When I told her that I was from India, she told me all about her company's business interests in India that required her to live in Bombay for two months at the city's poshest hotel. There she lived in style, dining at the hotel's very fine restaurants and hanging out at the bar with fellow expats.

At some point, the discussion moved to the question of Indian attitudes to skin colour and she told me of how in a beauty parlour in Bombay, the beautician had promised to make her "whiter" with all their super elaborate and expensive facial treatments.

K: "But I'm black"

Beautician: "But dear, you don't have to be" (!!!!)

And so it went everywhere, where people explicitly tried to convince her how much better life would be if only she was "whiter". We spent the next ten minutes commiserating over how ridiculous and stupid Indian beauty ideals were (the kind of noses that would make an Iranian girl save up for plastic surgery are celebrated in India).

It was made worse, she said, when a blonde blue-eyed friend of hers landed in India to spend a week and then wherever they went, her friend was the centre of attention and she was completely ignored (despite the fact that she's a very attractive girl).

K: "Oh, and, and I have to tell you this!"

TM: "What?"

K: "My friend got propositioned by an Indian celebrity"

TM: "Who?"

K: "Some cricket player, some really big star"

TM: "Umm..what did he look like?"

K: "You know, can't remember - apparently he had received some award like Cricketer of the Millenium or something"

TM: "So how did this happen?"

Apparently, K and her friend had returned to the hotel from a night out when they saw some commotion in the lobby and some photographers chasing a guy. When they asked someone, he informed them that the centre of attraction was a famous cricketer. They being completely oblivious of cricket or the Indian celebrity scene headed straight for the elevator. After they had stepped in, suddenly the cricketer and his two bodyguards stepped into the same elevator.

And then, the cricketer turns to the blonde girl and tells her how attractive she is and how happy he would be if she visits him in his room. The girl refuses, saying she's leaving India early next morning but the man is persistent. After finding out that she's from England, he begs her for her number, saying he travels to England often and would look her up there. The girl ignores him some more. However, when the elevator stopped at her floor, the two bodyguards stood in their way to prevent K and the girl from getting off the elevator.

The girl gives the cricketer her number to get rid of him and he promises he'll meet up with her in England (well, the smart cookie gave him her ex-boyfriend's number!). And then they just laughed all the way to their room and never saw or heard from the man again.

TM: "So do you absolutely not remember how he looks like?"

K: "Honestly, it was a while ago, so not really"

TM: "Well, was he tall, or rather short" (TM has zeroed in on one suspect and waits for confirmation)

K: "Not very tall, but don't think he was very short either"

TM: "Well, did he have a rather feminine voice"

K: (her eyes light up) "Yes, yes! That's correct!"

TM: "Good lord, the man's married with kids!"

K: "Apparently that didn't stop him from hitting up my friend"

Edit to add: I just realized that I forgot to add that this actually took place in Delhi, where K had travelled to for a week with her friend. The hotel in Delhi where they stayed is part of the same group that ran their Bombay hotel.


Blogger Chan said...

Well, you never know for sure with men, but I find it really hard to believe that it could be our Little Master (going by the feminine voice, but he is short, isn't he? So i'm not sure who your guess is). The Cricketer of the Millenium of course was Kapil Dev. Could he be?

7:17 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...


10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Is that really Sachin then? I wonder how he manages to have such a clean image then :o

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sachin??? No, no, no! that can't be!!!!!!!!!!!! ganguly may be? or sreesanth? short fair and feminine voice...

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, i got carried away by the cricketer thing, i originally wanted to comment about the whole skin color thing in India. most abominable! and the saloon women with their "whitening" creams - f-ing irritating . grah

5:20 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Chan: Honestly, I have no idea. I guess I could possibly show K a picture at some point and ask her to identify the man in question.

TR: Innit :)?

Lekhni: I ain't saying sweets. But it seems so very likely.

Almostgrownup: Hmm....possible. As I said, perhaps I'd have to do a picture test with K. And you're so right about all those parlour auntyjies and their horrors.

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