Thursday, February 22, 2007

How the Abhishek-Aishwarya wedding may save the Ridley Turtle

Question : - How many times can you run the same 15 second post-engagement footage of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai before the dumb-sucker audience figures out that there isn’t anymore? Nobody has been able to answer that question as yet, but whoever does will inherit the Earth, not to mention the entire Imelda Marcos shoe collection.

Phew. I tell you, the timing couldn’t have been better. I mean, when the tickertape running at the bottom of the screen of your favourite news channel screams, “Just in - 40-year-old woman molested on Antop Hill!”, we know we’ve begun to scrape the bottom of the dog-licks-man news stories barrel. (They were seriously thinking of throwing another prince down a tube well, this time a real one. But real princes are hard to come by these days – at least ones that will fit into a tube well - and the original prince-down-the-tube now probably charges 4 million rupees for every tumble.) But we’re now safely home and dry, thanks to Shilpa Shetty’s thoughtful housemates on Big Brother who came up with those lovely racist remarks.

(We’re hoping Prince Philip will chip in and do his bit for the cause…)

And of course, there is the Marriage of the Millennium.
(Whoever just asked, “who’s getting married?”, has to immediately stop reading this and drum themselves out of known human civilization. Which we all know stretches across the length and breadth of one Page Three.)
Now some celebrities are so sweet and considerate. For example, when they hook up, it’s always sparing a thought for the hard lives of Page Three writers. So everyone knows that Tom hooked up with Katie just so that we could call them Tomkat. And Brad with Angelina which so seamlessly became Brangelina.

But there are others that just don’t care. Like what on earth are we going to do with “Aishwarya” and “Abhishek”? “Abhiwarya”? That sounds like Shakuni’s sidekick and till Copplola makes Mahabharat, we aren’t going there as yet. Or “Aishek”? Puhleez. That’s more like the name of a milkshake that you’d get in Outer Gummidipundi. I mean, these bachcha-log should’ve learned a thing or two from Papa Bachchan. See how nicely he slipped into “Abby Baby”, then so thoughtfully named his son Abhishek so that the little tyke could be Abby’s Baby. And now that the baby is all grown up and ready to have his own babies, he is Abby Baby, mark II.

But what on earth are we going to do with “Aishwarya” and “Abhishek”? It’s enough to make one tear out one’s hair weave in despair...

Anyway, till someone comes up with something better, we will just have to sprain our tongues and make do with “Abhiwarya”. Besides, we have no time to waste because there is so much to be done. Again, the considerate celebs would have given us at least three months to get this shaadi-show on the road.

Wait a minute, isn’t what the Bachchans and the Rais are supposed to do? No, you silly, naïve thing, you. They have to just organize the wedding.

We – as in the Page Three public - are the ones that have to do all the real hard work. For example, we have to get together all the experts who will spend every waking minute from now till the wedding (and if we are lucky, till the first Abhiwarya baby), on every available public forum (barring the inside of public toilets), predicting, analyzing, forecasting, estimating.

For example, they will tell us the political implications of who is given the prestigious job of designing the presiding pundit’s gamcha. And would it topple the UPA government if it is picked out in Swarovski crystal coconuts instead of zardosi zucchinis? And if the colour of the pagdis worn by the baratis is the same shade as the flag of the Communist Party of India, would that mean that it is now cozying up to Bade Bhaiyya? (Mulayam Singh to you.)

Experts, national, international even extra-terrtrial( for after all this is a marriage made in heaven), will tell us what will happen to next years’ rabi crop if the nail polish of the hairdresser doing Aish’s chachi’s best friend’s hair does not match the epaulettes of the trumpet players in the baraati’s band.
(They are having a raja-ki-aayegi-baraat band and everything? Ooooooh…isn’t that just darling!
Er, we don’t know but our experts are already on job predicting the possibility)

And even as we speak, meteorologists and weather expert are setting up special satellite-powered weather bureaus to tell us the likelihood of the colour of the skies on the wedding day matching Aish’s eyes….
There will be live, round-the-clock debates on all kinds of things. Whether Karan Johar’s driver will attend if Shahrukh Khan’s cook isn’t invited and how that will impact the size of David Beckham’s er, annual fee with LA Galaxy. And what will happen to the Sensex (not to mention Monica Lewinsky’s chances of getting a job on Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign team) if Mukesh’s manicurist and Anil’s numerologist are housed in the same floor of the chateau.
(Mukesh is invited?! Really?!!
Er, we don’t know but our experts are…..
And the wedding’s at a chateau?! Ooooh…the same one as Laxmi Mittals’ daughter?! Dunno but once again, our experts…).
The breaking news just in is that there may be a terrorist plot to have Karisma Kapoor’s daughter’s nanny share the same maalishwaali (masseur) with Shweta Bachcchan-Nanda’s daughter’s governess. But since these are unconfirmed reports, we will keep you updated on that story.

We are trying to invite Miss Manners and Martha Stewart to debate on how many times the guests should change their underarm deodorant during the pheras and whether that will be any different from the number of times they should change their underwear during the wedding ceremony.
(Why? Dunno but our experts….)

We will try to predict whether 100 will be number of varieties of kebabs served at the reception or the pieces in the orchestra playing at the pre-wedding, post pre-nuptial- agreement- signing- cocktails. And whether the entrée at the mehendi dinner for the guests’ pooches will be oysters on ice or lobster Thermidor.
(Dogs can eat oysters? Dunno but our experts…..) Incidentally, a debate is already raging about whether the mehendi will have 289 ingredients according to the secret 547-year old recipe or 547 ingredients according to the 289-year old recipe
And that’s only the tip of the tip of iceberg lettuce salad...
Did someone ask, “what about the actual coverage of the wedding?
Well, let me answer it like this. There are two reasons why we need to know all this.
Firstly because an event of such earth-shaking proportion cannot but effect all the things I have already mentioned plus global warming, the size of the next Miss Universe’s breasts, Oprah’s net worth, the sex life of the fruit bats, whether by “WMD”, Bush was referring to the Big Mac, the outcome of the World Cup, the design of the next Play station, the chances of finding the yeti in Lower Parel Basin and also determine which will collapse first – Michael Jackson’s nose or Donald Trump’s marriage.

Dunno really but don’t worry because we are having a whole other 37 panels of experts to tell us….

The other reason is that when the wedding day actually arrives, hopefully we will all be so exhausted and sick to the gills reading writing, watching, debating, speculating and generally gnashing our teeth about the whole thing that nobody will really care how many magazines and newspapers and internet sites will be circulating the same 3 and a quarter pictures and how many times all the news channels are replaying the same 8.35 seconds footage which could well be the footage of the wedding of Ram Khilona and Chameli for all that you can make out of it.

Which leaves us with one last question. Am I invited? In reply, I narrate an anecdote about the delightfully irrepressible Art Buchwald who died recently and left a hole in the stratosphere of the world’s greatest humourists more dangerous as the one in the ozone. On the eve of what was billed as the biggest wedding of the previous millennium, i.e. the marriage of the breathtakingly gorgeous Princess of Hollywood, Grace Kelly to Monaco's Prince Rainier, Buchwald wrote that the only reason he wasn't invited was because of a 500-year old feud between the Buchwald family and the Grimaldi dynasty! In Buchwald’s case, his invitation from the prince was hand-delivered the next day.
I'm still waiting for mine.....