Saturday, May 19, 2007

First they stood together on the stage ..

Then he turned to the crowds and shouted : No condom no sex

The crowd clapped and cheered.

Then he turned towards the lady and saluted her .. thus;

And thus;

And the crowds they roared and cheered.

That would have been the end of the matter, but the Aids Awareness event for Truckers in Delhi was a well covered event. With two celebrities like Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty on stage, there was ample video, still and press coverage. The news channels went berserk relaying the ‘kissing clip’ again and again. One guy got so mad (in far away Jaipur) that he file a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) and got an arrest warrant out for Richard Gere. But then, Richard Gere isnt an Indian Citizen. Now the matter has gone sub-judice and next hearing is on 26th May. Indian citizens may be keep their TVs switched off against an onslaught of the ‘kissing clip’ once again. Curious NRI’s may search the You Tube for the same. There are plenty of zealous souls out there helping the world know what Shilpa and Gere did.

Gere is in India so very often. He is a disciple of Dalai Lama and forever zooming down to Dharamsala. Then he spends ample time in Mumbai’s socialite circles helping their various causes, attending dinners et all. Pinkbee thinks he should be well aware of the Indian aversion to PDA. (public display of affection- for the uninitiated) Upon being introduced, there are women who will look stonily at the profferred hand and say ‘namaste’ with folded hands instead. This happens in several Barjatya movies too. Young people are supposed to dip down and touch your feet instead of shaking hands. But then, Sigh, this is Pinkbee’s middle class world. In the higher socities people peck at cheeks all the time, and which Socialite would scorn a peck on the cheek by an International Star?

Maybe Gere wanted to give a live demo of ‘No condom no sex’ when he spotted Shilpa by his side, and teach his audience how to go ‘thus far and no further’. His motivation is a mystery to Pinkbee and she wishes the matter would go away. Alas, Shilpa pops up again and says – Gere calls me at least once a day and sometimes twice too inquire about my welfare. He is concerned and wants to know if I am coping well with all the adverse publicity. He is a gentleman, if not an officer. India gets a regressive image abroad by all this tut-tuts Shilpa. But the regressive crowds are here : they are burning effigies and photographs.


They want their share of the publicity pie. They are not bothered about India’s image abroad.

The hoi polloi (like yours truly) say, we are not like that, we don’t think there is any harm in that kiss. The media is trying to milk TRPs, The PIL guy is looking for publicity, the effigy burning crowds are looking for publicity, Shilpa and Gere are getting publicity. The truckers have had their fun. Let it RIP