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   In Malavika Sanghvi's ‘Bombay Times'... (July 31, 1996)

In Malavika Sanghvi's ‘Bombay Times', I keep seeing though not reading, this series on couple taking each other out to lunch. For instance, this morning, it is Atul Kasbekar and Sheetal Mallar at Baba Ling's Pavilion. And whenever I see it, I wonder, if I am asked, then who will I take to lunch and where. Not that will be ever asked, this series is for minor celebrities, however…

I would select Maneka Gandhi. But she is a vegetarian, and not just any old vegetarian, she eats half cooked French beans, and raw carrots and drinks juice of beetroot, and bean sprouts for dessert, and all the rest that make you live long and cancer-free and miserable. No, she would not do.

There is Meher Jesia. Whenever people talk of models, they talk of her, so she must be important. I have not met her, but I have seen her, and from what I have seen, she looks so thin that I do not think she eats at all. No, it would be a waste going for lunch with her, there would be nothing to eat.

Perhaps, Phoolan Devi would not be a bad choice. At least, I will have a lot to talk to her about and write about. But I do not know what it will do to my reputation to be seen sharing roti with Phoolan Devi. I mean, Bandit Queen is all right, it is even a little romantic and nobody would look down on that, but to be seen with a member of parliament. I mean, we all know what reputation they have these days.

Ruby Bhatia would be a good idea. Then again it may not. She is too restless, suddenly she may bounce into the kitchen, come out, sit at other people's tables, talk to strangers, ask me to sing. It would be too much of a hassle, I would nto be able to enjoy my lunch.

Priya Tendulkar is also a good idea, but it would be the same with her. Only, in her case, when she talks to strangers at all the neighbouring tables, it will not be on what is their favourite song, but what salaries they get, whether they are socialists, which trade unions they belong to.

Kiran Kher, Anupam Kher's wife, who would make a lovely photograph in one of her 500 gorgeous saris, would spend the entire lunch discussing my sex life, my libido, and why I have to refer to her as Anupam Kher's wife. No, that would not do also.

Meher Heroyce Moos, instead concentrating on Baba Ling's Peking Duck, and letting me concentrate also, would talk incessantly about the previous luncheons she has had and the future ones she is going to have. And why I have not been invited to such-and-such a lunch.

Bachi Karkaria would be a much better choice. Over lunch, she would talk about how the ‘Bombay Times' was when she was the editor and how it is how when Malavika Sanghvi is the when editor. Or course, I would not be able to tell her that I do not see the slightest difference between the two.

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