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Off with their faces!

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Andrew W. Lyngdoh   |     |   Published 02.01.05, 12:00 AM

Last night I dreamt I went to see Amitabh Bachchan again. And the night before that. Hardly surprising. During both days, he had dictated what I should eat, drink, wear, write with, invest in, apply on my hair, and medicate myself with. And then, this morning, he woke me up to the glories of a herb tonic. Frankly, my dear, I?ve had enough.

But they tell me there?s no end to my bad dreams. If all goes well (for them) now I hear vada pav-merchants in Mumbai will ring in the new year by getting the 62-year-old to endorse their bastardised (alu tikia sandwiched in bread) product.

What?s with people who lay themselves so thin on the ground?

And then, just look at Mamata Banerjee. (Not that you have a choice.) Isn?t it enough that I have to bump into her at every street corner, must the persecution continue with exhibitions of her drawings? All right, everyone acknowledges that she is an astute politician and also, maybe, a leading scholar of an institution in the West that nobody can recall the name of, but the stuff she puts on paper, you tell me, is it art?

Actually, there?s quite a list of faces which, if I have to see them again in this happy new year, I will promptly barf.

Number three ? although, as judges in beauty competitions always say, it?s a difficult choice ? would be Britney Spears. I don?t care if Google says her name figured most frequently on their search site this year. As if an earthful of retards can convince me that getting remarried, suffering a knee injury or walking into a public lav barefoot is anything to stop and stare about. They do not in the least represent to me the Zeitgeist of 2004. At least, when Janet Jackson did her thing, there was a point to it, if you know what I mean.

Who?s next? Navjot Singh Sidhu, that?s who?s next. May he have a long life ? but must we endure his observations on it? ?Problems are like children,? he once said in the middle of a match apropos of nothing, ?they can only grow?. Not cricket, Sidhu, not cricket. Do go away.

And, do shut up, Zahira Sheikh. No one asked you to talk, to begin with. And at the rate you?re going, I wouldn?t trust you with telling me the right time of day. First you?ll say it?s midnight. Then you?ll say you hadn?t noticed. Then you?ll tell everybody I pointed a gun at your head because I wanted your watch in the first place.

As for you, Pepsi old thing, thanks for putting old Cal on the fashion map with the Sabyasachi Mukherjee stamp (although I do have an argument with the outfit a model was sashaying about in at the Lakme show in Mumbai which made her look like she?d escaped from the labour room minutes before delivery. Also, I wouldn?t often go partying wearing oversize oven mitts. My hostess might find that kind of rude ? or an unkind comment on the dinner). But do resist the urge to relate your biodata to every importunate hack. Okay, we know you dressed up your sisters? dolls. Got it first time. But the second, the tenth, the zillionth? Pure overkill. Or OTT, as they say in your industry.

But wait a minute. A thought (unusually) strikes me. Isn?t the press responsible for my pain? In short, isn?t it chaps like me who are to blame? (See pic for irrefutable evidence.) I photograph them, I interview them, I print story after story about them ? and then I complain I?m seeing too much of them?

Oops, mea culpa. In a word, sorry.

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