Come January each year and the poor Indian plebeians are swamped by a deluge of film awards of all shapes and sizes. Right from Filmfare, Screen, Lux, Zee, Sony, TV Guide, Star Dust and down to Sitara, Manmohak, Charlie, Pappu and their aunt, everyone has their own version of the “biggest and most coveted ever” film awards. Complete, of course, with glittering award functions where identical dance routines are performed to the exact same Bollywood hits.
Amidst all this glamorous vomit, one has to spare a thought for the poor film folks who had the misfortune to be part of successful films of the past year, and who must now bear the brunt of this overenthusiastic adulation. The same names are repeatedly nominated for these zillion awards. For each award function that they deign to attend, there are scores of others that they must find creative ways to wriggle out of.
Here is one such sad story.
We are at the Office of the Organizing Committee of the 2013 La Zawaab Awards, sponsored by the makers of Paan-e-Khaas Paan Masala and Khajana Boutique. The award ceremony is only two days away. The preparations are ongoing but decidedly not very well, going by what is overheard of a conversation between two of the main organizers.
This dialogue has been poorly translated from Gujarati to English.
Kokila Behn hangs up the phone dejectedly.
Ramess Bhai (Organizer No.1) : So who was it this time?
Kokila Behn (Organizer No.2) : Vidya Behen.
Ramess Bhai : Let me guess, she can’t make it either. What is her kahaani?
Kokila Behn : You are right, she can’t. But her reason sounds genuine.
Ramess Bhai : What is it?
Kokila Behn : She says she has put on too much weight. The saree she bought especially for our awards function has become too tight. She has nothing to wear now and so she can’t come. I feel too much bekdis with butter she is eating.
Ramess Bhai : Oh no! Can’t she get another saree? Like a XXL size or something?
Kokila Behn : I suggested the same. She said there isn’t enough time. She said her fashion designer Sabji Bhaaji was in Calcutta for Puja.
Ramess Bhai : Puja? Durga Puja? In January?
Kokila Behn : Maybe those Bengali lok do it twice a year? I have never been to Calcutta myself.
Ramess Bhai : Hmm…sounds like an excuse to me. And who is this designer Sabji Bhaaji?
Kokila Behn : Who knows. Aisa hi kuch bola usney. She said she only wears his clothes.
Ramess Bhai : Made up excuse! Like Kareena. Hers didn’t sound genuine either.
Kokila Behn : What did she say?
Ramess Bhai : Dandruff. She says she has too much dandruff and so can’t come.
Kokila Behn : Hah! Who can believe that? Isn’t she constantly applying Head and Shoulders?
Ramess Bhai : How people lie…
Kokila Behn : So, who are we left with?
Ramess Bhai : Well, so Priyanka is out because of she is preparing for Granny awards, and Kareena, and now Vidya. And Sridevi dropped out a week ago.
Kokila Behn : Arrey not ‘Granny’, ‘Grammy’! She only sings Engliss music now. And that Sridevi! I still don’t understand why she was speaking to us in Tamil! You remember when we took her call on speakerphone? I didn’t understand a word she was saying!
Ramess Bhai : Tamil? I thought she was speaking in Hindi!
Kokila Behn : No, it was definitely not Hindi. I think she was speaking in Tamil. Or maybe in Engliss…?
Ramess Bhai : Well, it was definitely not Engliss. Wouldn’t we have understood what she was saying if it was Engliss?
Kokila Behn : Yes, true…
Ramess Bhai : Anyhow, good that you had the foresight to pretend that the line was not clear and asked her to send us an SMS instead.
Kokila Behn : Which she promptly did. With a decline.
Ramess Bhai : How sad!
Kokila Behn : That leaves us with only Katrina Behen who is coming for the awards night.
Ramess Bhai : Which means our Best Actress award will have to go to her.
Kokila Behn : Such a pity.
Ramess Bhai : But what can we do? No option!
Kokila Behn : And on the men’s side?
Ramess Bhai : Well, there’s Akshay Kumar.
Kokila Behn : Arrey? What happened to Aamir Khan? I thought he was coming?
Ramess Bhai : He said he has to go to a village in Jharkhand that day. Or maybe he said Chhatisgarh? It wasn’t Bihar…No, definitely Uttarakhand…he said he was going to Uttarakhand. Or UP?
Kokila Behn : Oh saala! Why?
Ramess Bhai : To judge a kabaddi match! How the hell would I know?
Kokila Behn : You should have asked…
Ramess Bhai : And said what? Don’t go feed water to the poor suffering farmers of that village, come here instead because we want to give you a prize? Chee! Sounds cheap.
Kokila Behn : You know, he scares me.
Ramess Bhai : He scares me, too! In fact, he was so intense on the phone that the connection broke!
Kokila Behn : Wow!
Ramess Bhai : So the men are out as well – Salman Bhai – court case, Ranbir – because his mummy-papa said no, Ajay Devgn – because Yash Chopra’s accountant was attending the function…
Kokila Behn : And Shah Rukh because he wanted to host and perform.
Ramess Bhai : Too much, this man. Limelight Hogger kahin ka!
Kokila Behn : When we have already selected apna Paresh Bhai to host!
Ramess Bhai : Oh yaar…ab this Best Actor trophy will have to be given to Akshay Kumar!
Kokila Behn : We should have nominated Irrfan Khan when we had the chance.
Ramess Bhai : Hindsight 20:20 hai!
Kokila Behn : That makes Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar our award winners. The Best Actor and Actress in India.
Ramess Bhai : Well, certainly better than our choice of Best Director and Best Film.
Kokila Behn : That film wasn’t all that bad, was it?
Ramess Bhai : Well, what choice to we have now, anyway?
Kokila Behn : By the way, Karan has asked for 3 extra trophies besides his own – one each for his 3 stars. He wants them all to be in golden colour, with a platinum top and with diamond rivets going down each side.
Ramess Bhai : Gadhedo saala! Chalo, let’s talk to Mansukh Bhai in Surat then. Let’s see what trophies he comes up with.
Kokila Behn : Has anyone even confirmed that they are definitely attending?
Ramess Bhai : Yes, Zarina Wahab.
Kokila Behn : Ok good! At least the Lifetime Achievement award is all set then.