All Right, I’m Done.

Image used for representation only.

Your columnist, ladies and gentlemen, is a middle-aged man.

For the last five years or so, I have lived in denial, and ignored the many hints the universe was sending me about my age. I ignored resolutely the fact that farms in the middle of the Sahara grow more crops than does my pate grow hair. China’s economy had a slower growth rate than did my waist. And a successful Friday evening is one on which I give out enough excuses in response to all invitations to step out for a drink to enable me to sink into a sofa and watch Netflix until late.

Late being 11 pm.

In spite of each of these indisputable indicators, I firmly continued to believe that being middle aged was something that happened to other people, and that I was still wet behind the ears, a relative spring chicken, and a youngster not just at heart, but also in body and mind.

Lately, however, my bubble has been pricked, and I see myself for what I truly am: a middle aged man. And I’m sorry to have to say this, Ms. Alia Bhatt, but you are to blame.

In order to explain, we must go back in time. Back to the time when a movie called Main Hoon Na was released, and yours truly went to watch it in a movie hall. Now, there is nothing particularly memorable about that movie. It was your typical Bollywood potboiler, forgotten just as soon as you stepped out of the theatre. Except for one rather important detail. Midway through that movie, the male protagonist, Shah Rukh Khan, sings a song in an attempt to woo the female protagonist, Sushmita Sen.

And Ms. Sen, for reasons unknown, decides to frolic underneath a waterfall in response. I may have the plotline jumbled up, but I neither know nor care. The important thing is that Ms. Sen was under the waterfall, and she seemed to be very happy about it. And the even more important thing was that I became positively ecstatic about it. What until then had been an average Bollywood flick was suddenly transformed into an epic must-watch movie. Lasers would have paled into insignificance when compared to the intensity with which my eyes latched on to events on the screen. Said events, alas, didn’t last long, and the movie returned to the standard Bollywood fare. But all these years later, the mind’s eye fondly recalls the waterfall and its inhabitant.

Now the reason I told you this little narrative is because I recently happened to see Ms. Bhatt on the television. And while she wasn’t cavorting under any waterfall, the scene was one that was designed to evoke much the same response that the undersigned had given so enthusiastically over a decade ago. And to put it mildly, Ms. Bhatt failed to evoke any such response. Far from it.

Put it this way: if I were to be on holiday in Goa, lounging around in a pool, and say, Katrina Kaif were to step into the pool, I’d want to call my buddies and talk about it. ASAP.

If, on the other hand, Ms. Bhatt were to step into that blasted pool, I’d want to call Mr. Mahesh Bhatt and ask him to chill, because I was around to take care of her. No worries.

I’d have told you more, but if you’ll excuse me. It’s time to walk down to the pharmacy and replenish my Milk of Magnesia bottle.




All views expressed in this column are the Authors. Images used are purely representative.

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni