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Manguide 5: Bollywood Pin-Ups

And now that we know them by the cities they live in, the professions they pursue, the interests they devote their time to and the languages they speak, what’s left? The women they love of course! Here’s a look at what you can tell about a man by his favorite Bollywood pin-up.


Sushmita Sen: Isn’t it really obvious that is this a man who likes strong personality in his woman? I’m inclined to think that he’ll also be a shy sort, the still-waters-run-deep kind but also a tad laid back. He has no qualms in letting the woman run the show and what a good job she does of it, too!

 

Rani Mukherjee: She played a prostitute in a number of movies and yet she retains the image of a ‘good girl’. She was also the glam-ma’am who settled down to matrimony, motherhood and err..mortis. I’m hardly surprised that she’s one of India’s top actresses since she personifies the most common Indian male fantasy – the Barbie/Behenji. If the Munch girl is on his walls, you can be sure that Mr.Munchkin ain’t going to like your mini-skirts post marriage, even if he chases you only when you wear them!

Aishwarya Rai: I’m no fan of this green-eyed diva. But she sure is popular with the boys. This one appeals to the kind of man who wants a trophy partner, the kind that will be delighted to turn cartwheels for his marble princess but freezes when he realizes that she breathes, feels, talks and – horror of horrors – thinks too! Freeze in place and don’t even adjust your mascara till he’s out of the room, ladies. This man doesn’t believe that a real woman should perspire, shed hair or do anything that a marble statue wouldn’t.

Mallika Sherawat: Now I bet you won’t find too many men who admit to liking her. For that matter how many men actually admit to watching porn? You know I think the lady does have quite a nice face but well, who ever looks at her face? Watch for the dude whose eyes are permanently fixed a few inches beneath your chin. That’s not shyness, that’s a Sherawat fan. Quite likely he’s comparing you with her…down to the last millimeter. On the other hand, if he openly admits to liking her, he might be the ‘I do it differently’ sort. Fun boyfriend to have if you run with rebels. For all that though, a man’s basic instincts don’t change.

Kareena Kapoor: Now I don’t actually know a single man who professes an admiration for the Kapoor babe (except Saif and he doesn’t count since he doesn’t know me). And yet as reigning queen in Bollywood, she must have her share of hearts. I imagine she’s the kind that a lot of men fantasize about but won’t talk about it since they don’t think that she’ll ever ‘ghass-dalofy‘ them and what man would admit to that? The average Joe (or Janardhan, Jaani etc) who sniggers at the mention that he could have an eye on the firebrand is probably mixing some nervous laughter into that as well.

Bipasha Basu: This is one surprising one. A dusky woman who rules the roost in a country obsessed with fair skin. Raw sex appeal meets ubercool. But ooh, I’m nearly drooling. Hmm, what can I say about the man that likes her? They all do! If he doesn’t, assume he’s gay!

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Barbie With A Brain

When I first chanced upon the Agony Aunt section in HT Cafe, I had to smile when I saw who was solving problems for the lovelorn. Kim Sharma!! Kim Sharma?? What sort of advice could she possibly give anyone?

Then today I read an interview with her.

You seem to have a mind of your own, so why do you have this image of a bimbette?
You tell me! I’m sufficiently well read, I can conduct an intelligent conversation whenever I get an opportunity to discuss things beyond Bollywood.

Maybe it’s because of the way I look, my voice, the pout I was born with..

Read the rest of the interview here.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that her answers sounded plausible, coherent…and intelligent. And unpleasantly surprised to discover my own stereotyping habit.

My best friend, the last of the campus stunners has had her share of admiring hordes all through college and thereafter. A conversation that came to mind after I read the above interview,

So he asks me which college I went to and I tell him. And then he goes

You’re an engineer????!!!!

I mean why should it be so surprising?I suppose I’ve got ‘DUMB’ written all over my face?!

And I chuckled and told her that,

It isn’t that. Beauty equals stupidity for most people.

To be quite sure, I am one of those people. I’ve been around enough of bimbettes and ‘Him-bo’s to loathe the presence of anyone who spends too much time before a mirror. People who get a lot of attention in childhood and their teens on account of their looks don’t seem to find the need to grow a brain or even *shudder shudder*…a personality. The rest of us find ways to compete in the attention stakes with grades, a sense of humour, whackiness, style et cetera…

But I wonder if that’s entirely correct now. Especially with women. I’ve always thought that women were far more practical and ruthless than men. And a pretty woman is perfectly capable of utilizing her looks to get her way (oh, don’t we loathe that sort!!!).

On the other hand, what of the few that don’t exactly like it? I can’t imagine that it is very flattering to be thought of as dumb, even if half the world’s population lusts for you. I wonder how many people would associate Madhuri Dixit with microbiology (after a brief flirtation with the medical sciences)? And who cares or even knows about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan‘s architecture degree (These get only cursory mentions on Wikipedia. I remember them as random trivia from the Ms.World pageant and filmi-gupshup days).

barbie-with-a-brain.jpg

I suppose if they are really, really, really smart, they’ll let the world get away with underestimating them and not need validation. Barbie with a brain is probably too radical a concept for the world, after all.

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