Journalist: And what about romance in your own life?
Rani Mukherjee: It's not something that I'm waiting for with bated breath. It'll only happen when it has to, I think things like these are pre-destined. Infact, I want to only focus on my work right now. But am not averse or closed to the idea of falling in love. But, I'm not going to say no to love just because I'm busy with my career. No way.
The post might seem unduely vicious to some. But I could not resist the urge to tear out, the above section of an interview of a hindi film actress, with my bare fingers while reading it. Ruminating of the use one can make of it, I was reminded of the various ways one could interpret it.
At the outset it would be express to remind that this is a typical answer provided by 'single' hindi movie actresses to prying movie journalists. Movie journalism in India is of a particularly vicarious sorts centered around discussions of ego clashes and alleged relationships. On the flip, it would be an equally difficult task to design artistic questions for most of our mainstream actors and some have reportedly been offended at these rare instances.
The actress in question is said to be ruling the marquee in terms of big production movies and is a regular in the saccharine-tear jearker format that have come to hegemonise hindi films. If memory serves me right, I am not aware of any durable past relationships, real or imagined for this woman (Rani's first movie was in 1997 and she hit big in 1998). The only exception was during the Abhishek-Aishwarya wedding, when some suggested that it was Rani who was billed to be the Bachchan bride at one point of time.
Rani comes from a film family and such a background imposes its limitations on her personal conduct while it does provide its benefits. However, what is stark is the emasculation that an actress suffers in being 'virginal' for apperances and therefore discreet. For a more indiscreet and abiding example one can always refer to the trajectory of Manisha Koirala's career. Though one can always argue that things have changed now for Hindi film actresses.
This brings me to the other point about the star system and the insecurity that it breeds considering that our film industry is hinged around a group of select stars. It is a necessary prerequisite that the stars stay in the good books of journalists sharing a symbiotic relationship with them. In such circumstances, the stars have to tolerate the stupidity of cinema journalists and such questions. And so keep a stock of polite superficialities ready to deflect attention to protect their personal trials and tribulations in that path of love/companionship already fraught with enough dangers on its own without the microscopic lense of the insensitive paparrazi analysing every gesture. Finally, I sometimes think about a possible arranged match for these Indian actresses who do not find their own partners. The lives of yester-years film actresses is not very exciting in this regard.
Chandigarh: Chinese-made idols of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism, sports a Chinese look with slanted eyes and Mongoloid features. "Guru Nanak is made to look more like a lama," said a Sikh wryly. After the Chinese-made kirpans (daggers) nearly wiped out local manufacturers it is the turn of Guru Nanak Dev's idols. The figurines, which have been in the market for some time, are available for Rs 100-150. They are popular gift items. Taking note of 'deviance' in the idols with "Chinese characteristics", the Sikh Community has declared the practice of keeping idols as "sacrilegious" and directed Sikhs to refrain from buying them. The order ostensibly stems from the fact that idol worship is banned in Sikhism.