The not so bold & beautiful

Steve Waugh... runs by the Bangladesh ton. — Pic. REUTERS-

IS Sunil Gavaskar not on recent espnstar record as commentating, when Sachin passed his 31st Test hundred, that the Bonzer Fellow could finish with 50 such tons for India?

IS Sunil Gavaskar not on recent espnstar record as commentating, when Sachin passed his 31st Test hundred, that the Bonzer Fellow could finish with 50 such tons for India? Likewise, Sunny did espnstar anticipate that Steve, if he stayed on as Kangaroo skip, would approach his own milestone of 34 Test hundreds with seasoned savvy. As Steve Waugh (100 not out) helped himself to a Sachin matching 31st Test hundred vs Bangable Bangladesh, the not so bold knock was a throwback to Graham Yallop's Lambs To The Slaughter. An excellent host Bangladesh has traditionally been. Darwin or lose, the Dhaka Establishment justly insist that the game still is the Runa Laila style of draw in Bangladesh.

To the game with the telegenic name, if only Bangladesh could bring some of Runa Laila's Damadam Mast Qualandar flair! Bangla Runa was sheer Dhake Ki Malmal as she wanted me to stay put in the recording cubicle, where it was Laila Singing Kishore Kumar. Her insistence came as I pointed out something tuneful to her. In S.D. Burman's Kishore Kumar rendered Funtoosh heart holder, Dukhii man mere, Runa had tended, almost KK reproductively, to sound somewhat maudlin in the Kis ke aage rona roiy part. Upon being told this, Runa asked me to just remain seated where I was. And nod mood assent if she got it right next time out. And there was Runa, instantly getting Kishore Kumar in just the SD shade that punchline musically demanded. If Runa Laila, based in Dhaka, could be on song so swiftly in faraway Bombay, what in jannat's name is stopping her Bangladesh from finding its feet in international cricket? Runa Laila wowed our TV like no "live'' performer did before her — Bolo bolo Kaana bolo chhaliya. It is high time Bangladesh displayed some of Runa's spot win-over attitude centrestage in world cricket.

Like Runa then, Mandira now just refuses to go away. Is it a sheer coincidence that Mandira left her KSBKBT home ground almost during the STAR PARIVAAR night seeing Urvashi Dholakia KZK "vampeak'' (as her Saut rival) with that razzledazzle show? If the KSBKBT serial couldn't fetch Mandira that prestige Saut award after the way the spotlight was on her during the World Cup, where really was this bathtub slippery soap taking her? Still take with a grain of Tata Namak the submission by Mandira that she came out of KSBKBT by mutual accord. Because (pointed out Mandira) her character had not acquired the contours she had been led to make believe it would! Truth to tell they went out of the way to remould our Mandira character. Following the "Advantage Mandira'' ground situation prevailing after the World Cup. But Mandira's showing in KSBKBT still looked a major-major comedown. After this Sardarni had built a 46% "Sardarniche'' all her own. Evidently just nothing could be a big enough platform for Mandira — after the sex symbolic status the World Cup had so diaphanously bestowed upon her. To this extent, spot on is Mandira in reasoning, by implication, that she had outlived the KSBKBT level of projection.

Mandira might still be busy as a bumblebee with off screen engagements after she held all India captive as just the Limb Loosener the aam viewer ordered. But the point is — what's there now in her kitty? Mandira (with Divya Dutta) has just walked out of Amol Shetge's Sambhav. If Mandira is playing the main role now in any film, it is in Raj Kaushal's Shaadi Ka Laddoo. A mouthful Mandira should logically be expecting from reviewers here, after the way hub Raj Kaushal's Pyaar Mein Kabhie Kabhie bombed. No Bombshell Of The Big Screen, our Bedi Babe. Mandira argues that she still has quite a lot on her South African plate. She talks of extraaa innings as her oncoming Sony show that would be retracing — in old Charu hat company — India's passage to the World Cup finals. Who in the world is interested now?

Mandira next is the Movie Jockey in SonyMax's extraaa shots, doling out trivia about the cinema in India. This merely makes Mandira a "Sorry For The Break'' add-on to the Real Big Screen Show on the Little Screen. Mandira talks of getting back into theatre via Raell Padamsee's Laughing Wild. This is good as far as Cathedral Schooling goes. Yet it fetches fulfilment of a kind far removed from the Mandirapturous aura the World Cup brought Bedi as Sony Pari. Endorsements Mandira has in plenty, Fair & Lovely are the big bucks going here, good luck to her. There is Mandira's Mid Day column in which she is already finding the going tough. Mandira here clearly feels inhibited by having compulsively to relate to the game of cricket — week in week out. As she so tries to connect, the feeling readers get is that Mandira should have acquired a little more World Cup ammunition really to get fired up about cricket as a column.

The Mandira dilemma then is the World Cup itself. In the event's wake, she's grown so large as life (in the public eye) that event management is a problem for Mandira now. In an endeavour to flesh out her exclusive World Cuppa persona, one expected a teleserial or two to be daisy freshly written for Mandira. This just didn't happen. The Go Go Girl With The Come Hither Eyes was Mandira, perched atop the World Cup. From such a visual peak, there could perhaps only be a fall. The thud of it all is what Mandira is traumatisingly feeling right now.