Bollywood actors are the best politicians of the modern age, exceedingly well spoken and respectable. Or perhaps that’s the softball questions they get. What we get – in Sri Lanka at least – is programs like Koffee With Karan or India’s Most Desirable With Simi Garewal. Those industry insiders tease but never torture the actors and the real gossip is only alluded to with a scoff. I actually like watching the actors. It’s just that Simi Garewal is freaking me out.
Simi Garewal was a latter day star who transitioned into TV. She had an infamous show where she was surrounded by flowers and everything was over-exposed white. I remember that show mainly through its MTV parody. With India’s Most Desirable she still wears mostly white, but the set is a bit more expansive, if no less ridiculous.
The stage itself seems to rotate, with special areas for astrology and somewhat odd games. Then, in the course of programming, the stars are paraded in front of the audience for questions. Some of these questions are fawning, but some of the audience members are actually quite smart. This is interesting because Bollywood actors generally seem well-educated and well spoken. There are exceptions, but people like John Abraham and Ranbir Kapoor are actually quite smart. It is interesting watching them adapt to what the audience throws at them, even though it’s usually some variant of ‘can I get a hug’.
That’s all fine. It’s just Simi Garewal. She seems to have gotten younger in a rather tight and constrained sort of way. She was born in 1947, making her, well, 64. I guess it’s not that bad. It’s mainly her facial expressions that get me, their convivial like the gleam on a knife. Then she switches into this simpering ‘Kiki’ impression, pretending to be a clingy girlfriend. It’s excruciating.
Basically, she’s freaking me out even more than in Rendevous, which made me merely think that I had died and gone to some Hallmark heaven. India’s Most Desirable, on the other hand, makes me feel like I’m going to die, which is worse.