You may be surprised but professionally it has actually been a good time for me. I don’t mean to gloat but I was informed this morning that I'd been elevated from Manager (Dishes) to VP (Cobwebs). I was apparently moving up the ladder. (I still had dish duty, of course. This was an addition to my portfolio.)
One of the perks, I was told, was rampant, unsupervised browsing time — between 2 AM and 5 AM.
After placing a plastic flower at the photo of Disha Patani (my aradhya devata) in our puja room as an offering for the good tidings, I did what any god-fearing man would do when there is a global pandemic knocking on his door and death staring him in the face: I began checking out what our beloved celebrities were saying.
The first video I saw was of the selfless Katrina Kaif. Washing her own dishes! She was, as she put it, “All dooyin’ our part, jus’ all dooyin’ our part’ for the nation”. Whatta gal, I say. If Katrina was doing the dishes, it meant that she had cooked, right? And if she had cooked, there would be recipes by her, too, right?
Wrong. There was a besan laddu one by Malaika Arora, but who needed that.
Two hours, two hours, I tell you. And nary a link of Katrina’s recipe for Afghan jalebi. Can you believe it? If any of our readers have access to this recipe, kindly forward links to my editor asap. Who will forward it to me after checking its authenticity.
Not too long after, I came across a video that could be only be called the motherlode. For it had, gasp, Bachchan, Mohanlal, Chiranjeevi, Shiva Rajkumar, Ranbir Kapoor — you name them — all together! All telling us to stay at home.
Anyway, the beauty of the video was how all the lovely folks involved wrote, produced, directed and starred in this effort without ever leaving their homes. Whoa. If they could do their jobs without leaving their homes, so could I. Unless, of course, the liquor store opened up and they wanted their cobwebs cleaned. In which case, I’d have to leave home. For the nation, obviously.
Then it got me thinking. What about the hair-and-makeup guys, the lights-and-camera guys and the sound guy of this touching project on not touching? They didn't leave home either?
Or is it that all of them have these guys as permanent, live-in help? Just like us normal folk do. I, for instance, have my wigmaker in the outhouse. He shares it with my hitman.
Or is it uncouth of me to talk of such things? And spoil the beauty of the message by being a big old spoilsport?
Then there was Hemaji’s message. I do so love Hemaji. A couple of months ago, she brought up the burning issue of how the monkeys of Mathura (no, that’s not the title of a new book by Amish) were demanding kachoris, samosas and Frooti. And how the government ought to grow fruit orchards for them. Today, it is a different matter, of course. It is the husbands of Mathura who are demanding samosas and kachoris. Her new message, however, was that she trusted wonly Kent. Which meant that I did, too.
I can’t leave out PC, can I? I saw her latest one, where she recommends a mask made of curd (she says yoghurt, obviously), honey and egg to promote lustrous locks like hers. What’s the point of a lockdown if you can’t have lustrous locks, right? So I made the mask double-quick in the dead of the night. But there was a minor deviation in the plan. I was made to eat it for breakfast.
But I must confess I was a tad disappointed by the video posted by my favourite director, S.S. Rajamouli. It has him sweeping and mopping his house, posing with a broom and being a #realman. It’s all very sweet, no doubt. But, c’mon, sir, that’s Basu Chatterjee-Amol Palekar territory. The least we fans expect from you is the sweeping and swabbing of all of Mahishmati. Single-handed. Riding a flowy-maned stallion. To a rousing score. As elephants trumpet, charging bulls freeze in their tracks and computer-generated junior artists watch awestruck.