Wednesday, November 01, 2006

In today's papers: The Rai-sing and other stories

From a special supplement on Aishwarya Rai, titled “Beyond the Beauty”, by The Times of India:
What is most commendable is that despite critical criticism from her critics (sic) for her much over and under acting (sic), she overcomes all to still find herself on [American] national television…
[They’re right, you know. I’m probably one of those “critically critical critics” (ref. this post) and I do feel quite “overcome” now.]

From the same supplement:
What also makes Aishwarya stand out among her peers in Bollywood is that in her interview with Oprah Winfrey, she made no bones that characterises a new entrant in Hollywood, especially from this part of the world.
[Maybe it’s all the mythology I’ve been reading, but “made no bones” makes me think of Indra slaying Vritra with a weapon fashioned from the bones of the rishi Dadhichi. What does it say about me, I wonder, that I read the ToI in the morning and the sacred Puranas at night?]

Still on Aishwarya, this time from the column Mandira Bedi has been writing for Hindustan Times during the cricket series. Apparently, Ms Rai dropped in at the studio to chat with Mandira and Charu Sharma a few days ago. Mandira writes:
After much urging, we prompted speechless Charu to ask her how it felt to be among the most beautiful women in the world. The credit was attributed to her fans, as she commented on how people’s love is truly very humbling.
[“Humbling”? Shouldn’t that be “beautifying”? But really, if she’s as witty as the ToI supplement made her out to be, she should have answered Charu thus: “Oh, it feels alright. But you tell me, how does it feel to be the most half-witted sports anchor in the world?”]
“Indian culture does not allow women heroism,” says an insider.
[From Delhi Times front page. Don’t ask.]

And this from a ToI story about Ram Gopal Varma having cast Nisha Kothari as Basanti in his Sholay remake (though Basanti will now be called Ghungroo):
Giving a peek into the Ghungroo character, he adds, “She likes you to believe she’s a man. But inside she is all woman.”
[They could have removed the word “character” from the above sentence, methinks, without much affecting its tone.]
In the original Sholay, the characters of Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan never came face to face. But in “Ram Gopal Varma ke Sholay”, Varma will get his two heroines to have an interface (sic).
[I mean, really, how difficult can it be to just say “the two heroines will be together onscreen” or “they will share a couple of scenes”? As Amit points out, this sort of purplocity requires more effort than good writing does.]


  1. You need to get rid of the nasty habit of sprinkling such a substantial fraction of your quotations with “(sic)”'s. The smug one-upmanship doesn't do your image too much good.

  2. Aishwarya Rai is a seasoned actress and does justice to whatever roles she takes. She has been a darling of Media since Cannes. Good press does help, surely. What Say?

  3. Aishwarya Rai is just great.

  4. Hilarious. Including the three previous comments :)

    More seriously, don't these newspaper people have some inhouse training programs for young recruits. I don't know, but I am sure these are very young people who write this kind of thing. Also if you leave out the big cities and select schools the state of english language education is so abysmal in most of the places that it is no surprise that people can't write a single page composition without resorting to brianless cliches and sentence constructions even when they are out of college.

    you are from newspaper world too, you have never met people who write these things? who are these people?

  5. Hi I just put up a similar post yesterday :-)


  6. Donnie: I have an "image"? Yay. What's it like?

  7. What's with the attitude, surd? Since when have bloggers from Delhi, of all godforsaken places, become experts on language?

  8. Anonymous: hee hee, congrats, you've definitely made it to the longlist for my Most Entertaining Comments of 2006. (Here's the 2005 list btw, just so you know what standards I expect.)

  9. Come on, people, if someone calls themselves a journalist and publishes in a national paper, the least we can expect is good grammar, good English and a minimum of editorial intervention. So, I'm with Jai on taking them to the cleaners since these people get paid to do a good job and they are failing. Btw, where are the editors?? How doe these things get through??

  10. Er.. that should have been "do" and not "doe" ;)

  11. Jai should be able to enlighten us how these errors, palmed off as typos or printer's devil, get into the published word. He has worked for a national business daily. Frankly, those were not errors; they were plain bad English. But then does anybody seriously expect TOI to write English -- unless it is a lifted piece (see an old post on TOI's movie critic in this blog)

  12. Hoo...and then the Hindu gives us loyalists this. How did this man get this job?