Beauty and the Beast

Bollywood does it again. No, no it isn’t another Shahrukh Khan blockbuster nor is it another Sanjey Leela Bhansali masterpiece featuring Aishwariya Rai. This time, it concerns the one time Miss World cum actress Priyanka Chopra.

So what about her? News on the grapevine is she’s all set to hop, skip and jump across the pond to the grand ol’ US of A. But unlike her colleagues she’s not out to star in a remake of Pink Panther part II or provide the exotic flavour to a Jane Austen novel or even play a colonial role in some Attenborough docu-film. And neither is she due to pull a Kylie Minogue a la cameo role in some ‘filum’.

And that’s another childhood memory crushed under the implacable corporate heel.

Priyanka Chopra is set to release her first English language music album. But that’s not the point. The juicy bit is she’s to be managed by the same man who is behind the one and only, Lady Gaga. Yep, you read it right – Lay-dee Ga-ga.

Now for those who love Lady Gaga (such as myself) this is very exciting. After all, I grew up in an era where the music scene was dominated by boy bands including Take That, Backstreet boys, Boyzone and 911. Thank god for the likes of The Verve and Oasis who provided some respite from the bubblegum and fluffy worlds of pop music which churned out unforgettable cheesy hits – “Mysterious girl” anyone?

Entering the Noughties, music became a tad repetitive with the same formulas being applied to each and every song. Until Lady Gaga came along. Her music is a fusion of everything cool. Glam rock that reeks of Bowie, burlesque that could give Dita Von Teese a run for her money and dance music that puts Girls Aloud to shame, Lady Gaga’s sound was a fresh of breath air. Add to that her outlandishly creative outfits and unbelievable shows, she didn’t just push the envelope but actually wasn’t afraid to shred it to pieces.

GAAH!! What is it? Kill it quick before it breeds!

(All you haters out there may not like what she’s all about but that’s simply because your creativity is limited to the end of your nose. Besides in 2010 April, Gaga was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year and you weren’t so hold back the criticism.)

And now one avid fan here hopes Priyanka Chopra will do something as groundbreaking as Lady Gaga. The start doesn’t sound so promising at the moment since she’s due to release her album via a media and entertainment company, that goes by the very original name of “Desi Hits!”. But here’s hoping that she’ll be as successful and entertaining as Gaga.

What I find fascinating, as a Pakistani, is how keen Bollywood actors are to make their debut in LA. Where our industry Lollywood is lauded as a national joke – and why not, after all we have great comics like Rangeela – it seems our nation isn’t even willing to encourage any of our actors to cross the border (see Veena Malik) let alone the great pond in between Asia and America.

We’re a possessive lot you see.

The concept is simple but one that is beyond Bollywood. Why send your most beautiful actresses, only for them to make money for the kuffar goras? Why not keep them in your home country much like Pakistan and let them make money for themselves and for the Pakistani industry? It’s a matter of national pride and no one knows more about that than Pakistan, given how unified we are.

Besides can you really trust men who have created churail like creatures like Lady Gaga? I mean who on earth is going to want her as a bahu? The last thing you need is for some Pakistani actress’s life (read: potential to snare a husband) to get ruined in the name of singing songs, pushing creativity to exhilarating heights and oh, heaven forbid, make a name for themselves as international stars. If Junaid Jamshed didn’t do it, then no daughter of this soil will do so!

In fact they all need to grow beards too… we’ve been too easy on the ingrates!

After all look what happened the last time one of our ‘betis’, Veena Malik, tried to do that. She returned from her stint in an Indian reality show as a badtameez larki because she dared to speak against a mullah who, of course as a far more holy soul, had every divine right to chide her for her behaviour.

And lets not even talk about Meera – the poor darling of our society who crossed the border only to return having been exploited as a sex symbol rather than taken seriously as an actress by the Indian film industry. Lollywood sure treats her better, no?

In such a wild, harsh world then it only makes sense to not to send out the best much like Priyanka Chopra. Instead we’ll try to play the upper hand and show the world what morals and enlightenment is all about by sending the most pious and holy of all to such behooda western countries – which is why Farhat Hashmi lives in Canada and Altaf Hussain is in London.

Bollwood can continue to send its beauties. We’re quite happy to send our beasts.

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Categories: Celebrities, Movies & TV

Author:Mehr F Husain

Mehr F Husain was Features Editor of The Friday Times. She lives out of a suitcase.

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