Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Sense of Rumour

I, Kakisi, hereby solemnly deny in public interest that erstwhile beauty queen and worthwhile Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai visited me at my East Delhi flat yesterday evening.

What was the hurry to offer this denial, you may ask. My dear reader, this statement has become imperative after the spate of rumours going around about people spotting Aishwarya Rai at places like Roswell and Islamabad.

By the way Islamabad is in Pakistan, a nation just recovering from Laloo’s sense of humour, and currently gripped by a strong sense of rumour.

My dear reader, my hurry is because of Hari, Rai’s secretary who shares my surname. I wanted to deny any meeting with Aishwarya Rai before Hari Singh confirms it. That’s if he finds time from denying.

He has just denied that Rai ever visited Pakistan. “She never visited Pakistan nor does she plan to do so in the near future,” Singh told reporters in Mumbai today. He is saying Pakistani newspapers are making a pahaad (mountain) out of a rai (mustard seed).

Pakistani newspaper The News reported yesterday that Ms Rai was on a quiet vacation in Islamabad recently. And I quote The News: “The intellectual student of yesterday who has blossomed into a fine actress today was in the city for three days on a hush-hush trip… Her politician host is said to have taken care of his guest generously.”

It’s no secret that being secretary to a star is more difficult a job than that of a secret agent. You have to keep denying everything that’s reported. Like Hari Singh confirmed Aishwarya as the next James Bond love interest in the next 007 film. The studio, which makes Bond films, denied they ever thought of Aishwarya Rai.

Aishwarya Rai always denied the reports that Salman beat her up, gave her a black eye. When Salman denied all this, Aishwarya confirmed. If a newspaper reports that Hari Singh indeed is Ms Rai’s secretary, Hari will deny it.

He’s paid to do that. Rai is queen of hearts, he’s jack of the trade, which mostly comprises denying. The trade is based in Mumbai, a city once known for its textile mills. Today it’s famous for its rumour mills.

Lahore in Pakistan has similar mills. According to them if Pakistani janata were asked to choose between Kashmir and Aishwarya, all but one would vote for Aishwarya. Because only one person wants Kashmir and that’s whoever is ruling the country.

The people want Bollywood to meet Lollywood. They want Madhuri, Shah Rukh, Kajol and Amitabh Bachchan to visit them. They want to watch Bollywood films and not feel guilty of violating the law that bans them. They want Aishwarya Rai and they will have her. Even if it’s just in their dreams. Or rumours.

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