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Tender mercies

entertainment Updated: Dec 25, 2008 10:51 IST
Ashok Rai
Ashok Rai
Hindustan Times
Tender mercies

Once upon a time..stop, cut, cut, cut..sure there was a time when a Ruby Myers would assign herself the screen name of Sulochana.. and there were Jennies and Josephines who clicked high heels in the movie dance revues.. anonymously.. but today, there’s no need for anyone to seek the subterfuge of pseudonyms. Screen sobriquets. Or also-

John Abraham and Genelia D’Souza have not altered or abbreviated their names, because whether you’re a Khan, Kumar or Kenny, it doesn’t matter who you are — Amar, Akbar or Anthony —as long as you have what it takes to become a screen factor.

Of course, you have to know every family in show biz or outside to find out how the Christmas spirit affects them specifically.

Kareena and Karisma Kapoor have always believed in church prayers. The turkey fiesta served by Neetu-Rishi Kapoor is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And Dimple Kapadia gets the best plum cakes in town, home baked by a Mrs Pinto. And no, she won’t reveal the address or phone number of Mrs Pinto.

Sombre mood
This year, it’s not the best of times to remind Dimple Kapadia of the Yuletide spirit. There’s an illness in the family, she’s at hospital, a regular Florence Nightingale. It’s not the best of times for revelry either —26/11 can never be forgiven or forgotten for generations to come.

It’s the time to perhaps just drop by a friend’s or two, perhaps at Arjun-Mehr Rampal’s to partake of the quiet family cheer.

That wonderful feeling Or it’s the time to be at home, perhaps re-watching It’s a Wonderful Life, the James Stewart black-and-white movie of yore, that has never been equalled for its feel-wonderful quality.

Or perhaps Little Women for that Christmassy feeling of staying indoors and watching imaginary snowflakes fall on the landscape of the mind. Oddly enough, no movie on Santa Claus, animated or ‘live’ action, has remained unforgettable. Finally this year, Four Christmasses is rocking at the global box office.

All in the family
Christmas in Bollywood is unthinkable without thinking of Helen Richardson aka just Helen. She’s a devoted churchgoer and a believer in welcoming the Yuletide spirit with cut-outs of Sir Santa, a magnificently decorated tree and the sound of carols (outside her apartment or on the CD player).

She’s in this with a big Bandra gang of friends — there for her since the last five decades and vice versa — and in the evening miyan Salim Khan and extended family get into the plum-cake-and-wine spirit.

Actually, that’s the image — Helen and a secular family of sons and daughters, grandchildren — which you want to recall this X’mas. Cherish that image, pour yourself a glass of sherry (or a shandy) and say hallelujah, thank you lord, for your tender mercies.