There are times when I feel I need not keep a secret diary. For these days, I have no secrets. A couple of days back, I gave 43 interviews to the media and was groggy by the time it was all over. Oh god, the questions were so repetitive. Every TV channel, every talk show, wants Vidya to discuss the Dirty Picture. From VB, I’m now DP.
Yes, there is one topic which I want to discuss in my secret diary. I have often mentioned how my parents always encouraged me in my career. But it was not the same with many family seniors, the ‘pattis’ (grannies), ‘mamis’, ‘chittis’ and ‘athais’ (aunts of various hues). The Palakkadu Brahmin community to which I belong is quite orthodox and was rather taken aback. (They are more accustomed to normal Tamil movies, watching overweight heroines with thunder thighs romping around.)
Alamelu patti fixed me with a withering look and snapped, “What is this sexuality you are talking about?” Well, I had explained this in hundreds of interviews but try doing the same to a 76-year-old rolling her rudraksha mala.
Of course, all of them watched Dirty Picture but reactions differed. I was told many of the seniors immediately went to the bathroom to have a long purification bath! Some even visited the nearby Subramania Swamy temple for a special puja. “When there are hundreds of better themes, why do something like Dirty Picture?” I was often asked. “Make producers interested in movies like Krishna Vijayam, Sati Savitri and Sita Kalyanam. They will bring you greater glory than Dirty Picture.”
It’s rather frightening how people linked you with the movie roles. The seniors first watched Dirty Picture and then Kahaani where I play a pregnant woman. After watching me waddle along on the screen, some of the mamis muttered, “Look, this is what happens when you do films like Dirty Picture. You can’t be careful all the time.” A lot of people spotted a heavily pregnant Vidya Balan all over the nation. Yes, it was me promoting Kahaani. I believe in such innovative promotions but there can be problems too. One of my favourite directors offered me a role based on the life of Hollywood’s Gypsy Rose Lee, the most well known striptease artist of her time. Wonderfully challenging assignment but with hardly any role for costume designers. How do I promote this film and how much should I strip in the promotional campaign? I have to decide on this soon.
But there are compensations. Do you know Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences is planning to give me a PhD in sexuality. A faculty member suggested that to promote sexuality I do an ad on the topic, playing Archimedes (why presume it was a man) jumping out of the bathtub nude having discovered the laws of gravity or something like that. Sounds exciting, but what will the pattis and chittis say?
The Mumbai-based satirist is the creator of ‘Trishanku’
E-mail your secret diarist: vgangadhar70 AT gmail.com
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
or maybe VB could star in a bio-pic based on the life and times of our own desi streaker Protima Bedi?
It is a well kept secret by women, but they have more sexual partners than men. Males overstate their sexual partners by a factor of 3, while fmales understate their sexual exploits by a factor of 3.
sarcastic fit to palghat brahmis who take pleasure
in telling such about others. neat not dirty
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