Archive for June, 2014


When we stepped into the new millennium in the year 2000 things were changing at a rapid phase. Even the Hindi film industry was trying hard to move out of their comfort zone and present something new to the audience. But, the work of a Bollywood actress was still more or less very much the same; she was expected to mouth some romantic dialogues, run around the trees, shed some tears and get wet under a water fall.

A student of psychology, who had just appeared in a brief role opposite superstar Shahrukh Khan in Dil Se, had the backbone and conviction to consent for a role that talked about pre-marital pregnancy and the reaction of Indian society way back in 1999-2000. The film’s name was Kya Kehna. Yep. You got it right. It was none other than Priety Zinta. Her unprecedented fearless act was followed by playing a CBI officer in Sangarsh and then a prostitute in the official remake of Pretty Woman in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. When live-in relationships were still a taboo in India, she starred in Salaam Namaste and still maintained the earnestness. She chose only those roles that defied all old school thoughts related to a Hindi film “heroine”.

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Her every act proved that she is more than meet the eyes and her bubbly dimpled smile is just one of the many layers of her personality. However, her best act of courage—for which she was touted as the ‘only man in the industry’–was yet to come!

In the year 2001, Bharat Shah, financier of the film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, was arrested on the grounds of using money from Pakistan based gangster Chhota Shakeel for this particular film. Police succeeded in recording several telephonic conversations of Bharat Shah, Chhota Shakeel and the producer of the film Nasim Rizvi. During this time, the statements of many celebrities were documented saying that they received threatening calls from the underworld. These celebrities were Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Mahesh Manjrekar, Rakesh Roshan, Anees Bazmee, Priety Zinta, Harish Sughand, Ratan Jain, Sanjay Gupta, Ali Morani and Mohammed Morani.

Call it the love for their family or the reluctance to get into any tardy legal process, all the people mentioned above turned back to their statements. Except one! It was Priety Zinta. Unlike her colleagues and friends, she stood firm with her earlier statement of receiving threatening calls and maintained the same confidence in court. The actors we see bashing 50 goons at one go in movies distanced themselves from the truth when the time of interrogation came. True to her personality, the fearless blood in Zinta could not turn her hostile at any cost. In 2003, she received the Red and White bravery award for singlehandedly standing against the Mumbai underworld.

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I still remember cutting that newspaper article and sticking that in my personal notebook of “Inspirations” when I was in standard 10th. Following that incident whenever anyone asked me who do you idolize the most in life, I used to answer in a split-second that it has to be Priety Zinta. I think knowingly or unknowingly I have imbibed the boldness and straightforwardness from traces of her life activities. Apart from regularly writing about female infanticide and human trafficking in India, she also took the financial responsibility of 34 orphan girls from Rishikesh.

A lot of time has passed. From the reigning queen of Bollywood she became a business entrepreneur. Gradually she was forgotten. When she tried to make a comeback with Ishq in Paris, she decided to produce it herself. Not sure whether it was because of an outdated script or the lack of Zinta magnetism that led to its record-breaking debacle. It could not sustain even 3 days in theatres. Soon there were reports of her going bankrupt. But, those reports were refuted by her.

Cut to June 2014, Priety filed a police complaint against her business partner of Kings XI Punjab cricket team Ness Wadia -who also happens to be her former boyfriend. As per the FIR, it is alleged that he abused and molested her inside Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. It was indeed shocking and disturbing news.

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Coming something like this from an actress who had maintained so much dignity for 15 years was quite unsettling. But, what surfaced after that completely preposterous. Some sources close to Wadia clan started claiming that she is doing all that because she is “jealous” of the new relationship Ness is into. There was an outbreak of anti-Zinta tweets that majorly called it a publicity stunt to save her disappearing career. Some people even compared her to Rakhi Swant. If this was not enough then even country’s one of the most respected columnists Tavleen Singh is giving statements like:

“Shame on Preity Zinta for making a molestation out of a tiff between ex-lovers when little girls are raped and hanged for nothing.”

My heart aches to see that there is no appreciation and support for a woman who has never taken refuge in double standards. Someone whose decisions are an inspiration for many young girls can never resort to such cheap ploy for media hype. Her life is an open testimony that Priety Zinta is a name that has no qualms in calling a spade a spade. I am not sure what will come out of this legal altercation, but I just hope that people analyze things before passing out any judgement and do not classify all actresses as attention-seeking women, especially someone who has conducted all her life with honesty and courage.

I will end the article with some points of Priety Zinta’s public statement regarding this matter:

“I may not be super wealthy and powerful but I have truth by my side and I’ve worked very hard all my life and tried to earn respect for myself as a self made professional. It saddens me that no one at work or around ever stood up for me in the past when I was abused and insulted publicly. This time I was left with no option but to take this stern step as this incident happened in front of way too many people.

I humbly request the media and my supporters to pls focus on the issue and the incident that happened in Wankade and not turn this and me into a TV soap. This is not easy for me and my intention is not to harm anyone but simply to protect myself and to stand up for myself. I don’t want any sympathy from anyone but I will sincerely appreciate it if people do not try to take away my dignity in the process of my fight for respect at my workplace. I think after all these years I deserve it and I’m not asking for too much.”

Think yourself…..is she really asking for too much?

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Disclaimer: All pictures used are a result of Google search.

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I am not sure how much my readers missed me, but I missed writing on this place and interacting with you all a lot in the past two weeks. So, yes I am back after having a passionate love affair with Goa for almost a week. For some it would be a place for nomadic gypsy people; for some it would be a site for heritage houses; for some it would be about getting immersed in archaic church culture; for some it would be a place for unlimited booze and night life; for some it would be about meeting with new people, especially firangis; for some it would just be about a relaxing time with your friends or family.

No matter with what expectations you step on the land of GOA, one truth will seemingly come in the forefront that its effect works on you in a mysterious way! I had been planning this trip for many months, but I guess things appear superior when they happen spontaneously. GOA worked for me in a miraculous way. However, if I have to sum up its exuberant effect in an article then I will discuss the best places (out of all) I visited there and the feelings associated with it.

  1. Cafe Mambo

On our very first night in Goa, we went to Cafe Mambo that is situated in Tito’s Lane in Calangute. It is considered one of hottest nightspots here. After making our entry, sights like people sitting in a bar counter and having tequila shots in a row, group of friends cheering for them, couple dancing crazily on dance floor till the wee hours, girls unabashedly grooving to the beats of electrifying beats seemed straight out of a movie. The feeling of unrestraint was superseding everything. I was bit apprehensive at first, but the whole ambience of the club and the feeling of reunion with your friends were so overwhelming that my foot started tapping despite having a body burning with fever. I am not sure whether we had any rhythm or not, but we danced…danced…and danced….and I knew that the Goan feeling has already started penetrating our souls.

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  1. Palolem and Colva beach

Next morning, we headed towards Palolem beach that is located in extreme south Goa. It was around 90kms from our hotel in Calangute, but its white sand and isolated status lured us to its shore anyhow. It is one of those few beaches in Goa that is still untouched with the regular visits of fishermen’s or tourists. And this is why when you dig your toes in the white sand and spread your arms to feel the fresh air, a sensation of tranquillity envelops you. Your inner self looms larger than your corporate image at that instant. After some heartfelt and warm conversation with each other, we moved to our next destination Colva beach.

Colva beach is also located in south Goa. Apart from beer and vodka, the most easily available alcoholic beverage here is Cashew feni. After our lunch session, we seated ourselves in a beach shack and enjoyed all our time till the sunset. The comforting and complacent feeling cannot be explained in words. So, I will leave that for you to experience yourself.

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  1. Deltin Royal Casino

Perhaps this was the night that gave us the feeling of an achievement more than anything else. Walking into one of the most luxurious casinos in India, playing and winning was a different high. It was a high of self-reliance. The international casino games or unlimited beverages are not the only things that bind you there. Seeing people making and losing lump sum money in just few seconds truly justified the adage that “life is a gamble”. When we entered the casino we didn’t have any iota of knowledge about these games, but by the time we came out were well-aware of one game i.e. Roulette. We may or may not get to play in future, but at least we learned something new and absorbed a new world of unlimited money even though just for a night.

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  1. Sunset cruise

This one hour cruise ride was also something that we will cherish all our lives. From Mandovi Bridge we were taken to a lovely ride that allowed us to get a grand view of most of the landmarks of Goa. The cruise had a bar and snack counter for serving the guests with scrumptious items. The ride started with a welcome dance that gave us an insight into goan folk dance. After some colourful and exciting dance items, the host of the evening urged all the couples, single girls and boys to come to the dance floor and rock it like there is no tomorrow. Needless to say, we couldn’t let this opportunity go easily. It felt as if we were deserted in the middle of ocean and had no worry to go back. This is the emotion we all want to experience at least once in our lifetime.

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  1. Reunion

No, don’t get it wrong. It is not the name of a place, but it is the best place I have visited in recent times. Just imagine what I would have done if I was sitting in Cafe Mambo alone with a drink in my hand. What I would have done if I was walking alone towards the beach shacks. What I would have done folding my hands in a church and looking back to see there was no one waiting for me. What I would have done with my nervous mind in Deltin Royal Casino if I had no one to hold my hands. The sunset cruise would not have hold any denotation if I did not have anyone to look and smile idiotically. I wouldn’t even have dared to go for a jet ski ride if I didn’t have some reliable people boosting my confidence. And, is the Dil Chahta Hai Pose at Chapora fort really possible alone?

Yes, it’s the company of my friends that made all the difference. Meeting your closest people, doing whatever coming into your mind and pushing all the societal worries to one corner is something precious. And no matter what happens in future, it’s a path I will like to walk on again.

The places will keep changing, but the love for friends, love for travelling, love for freedom, love for exploration, and majorly love for yourself will always stay. Cheers to GOA!!!!

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Disclaimer: This time all the pictures belong to me and I have full copyright over them 😉 😛