Vinita Dawra Nangia says In an era that prides itself on ripping away dreamy veils to reveal ugly truths, a sense of mystique is a rare, undervalued commodity!

If most people were left gawking after actor Sonam Kapoor’s verbal ‘full monty’ recently at an event in the capital, it was certainly not in admiration! Some snickered, others turned up their noses, while yet more frowned in disapproval. Tsk, tsk, tutted the capital’s swish set, how can a well-brought up lady talk of unmentionables like saggy bums, cellulite and facial hair!

More to the point, how can an actor, who is by the nature of her profession a dream merchant, unpeel the glossy layers to reveal an ugly truth?! Let’s be honest, this is not about honest revelations;  it is more about shattering illusions! Tough to forgive someone who does that! One can never look at Sonam again without thinking of all that is hidden from view!

As it is, social media sites haven’t left much to the imagination. This is an era that has ripped away the aura of mystique, where very few see the advantage of maintaining an enigmatic image. You do not need to wonder anymore what celebrities are doing, with their obsessive compulsion to tweet minute-to-minute ideas and thoughts; gosh, even details of their illnesses and fears!

Compare this to the mysterious aura that surrounds stars of yesteryears, or even Rekha for that matter. A mistress of mystique, never has she stepped out to confirm or deny a rumour. She has been accused of many things but the lady has never reacted. In fact she has smartly teased rumour mongers further by well-executed, pre-meditated acts. Remember the time she stepped out in public with sindoor in her hair, giving rise to rumours that she had secretly married Big B? Or, another time when at an Awards Nite she hugged each member of the Bachchan family till she reached the man himself, who in panic staged a walk-out?

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was a truly enigmatic woman who despite living out a life in full public glare, was able to maintain her mystique. So is Sonia Gandhi; she leaves people with a sense of wonder and curiosity even in an era of totally intrusive and aggressive media coverage. To their credit, a few actors who keep a distant from tweets and tell-all interviews and so retain some enigma, are Aishwarya Rai, Ranbir Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif!

Those who know the art of dwelling long in public imagination and hearts, learn the art of keeping the veil in place; it is those who are desperate for any kind of attention, even if short-lived, that insist on tearing all veils down and executing regrettable full montys!

The incessant blows to imagination by hard-hitting reality make it impossible to indulge the ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ (S.T Coleridge’s term for suspending judgement on unreal elements in literature), which is so intrinsic to the true enjoyment of art —  be it fiction, films, theatre or painting and sculpture. It’s almost as if everybody has a compulsion to keep lifting the veil of imagination to let reality make its way through.

For instance, how can you possibly enjoy a television serial when there is a raging controversy on Facebook regarding  “double frames vs single frames” and body doubles?  When you are made to realize that the romantic lead has actually not shot a single scene together for weeks on end and what you are witnessing is actually a slick job by editors? When while watching a programme, facebook starts vibrating with protests about how the creative team has messed up and the real actor and the body double used for the same scene from different angles, are dressed differently?

You do not want to notice these things! I, for one, find it extremely irritating when people watching a movie keep critically pointing out the liberties the filmmaker has taken with reality. For heaven’s sake, he is supposed to do that in order to build a reality away from your actual world — a space where you can escape for some blissful moments! A space where you give in to a willing suspension of disbelief and allow yourself to believe all that the dream merchant wants you to believe.

Of course if you allow yourself to do so… And yes, with your permission, all you actors out there busy washing your dirty linen through tweets!

And yes, of course Ms Sonam Kapoor, once you are done telling us all about your bodily hair, insisting we count your moles and warts along with you and critically examine your “rolls of fat” while you confess that your “t*t and a*s are not very nice”!!!

After all that… please, please allow us to weave back together our web of shattered dreams once again…. Allow us to suspend disbelief!

Former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad receives an honorary doctorate from Prof Dr Sujin Jinahyon (left) of Thailand’s Naresuan University in Bangkok on January 27, 2012. — Reuters pic 

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Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the performance of the opposition in the states under their rule left much to be desired.
“They’ve already been given a lot of chances. A lot of unhappy things have happened in Penang, the same (is happening) in Selangor.
“They have been given the chance. What’s there left to try. If we allow the situation to deteriorate badly, it will be difficult to repair,” he told Bernama here.

He was queried on the opposition’s strategy of asking voters to give them just one chance to rule Malaysia and that they could be changed later if they failed to perform.
But eventually the ANWAR lost  patience with  UMNO. Najib was speaking about the Umno’s crony agenda. Not the Malay agenda. For those reasons we must do the exact opposite. Deny these so-called Malay leaders a chance to concentrate power. It’s power which they shall apply to the misfortune of the majority of Malays and to
To another question, Dr Mahathir, who was Malaysia’s prime minister for 22 years until 2003, said the selection of winnable Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates for the next general election should take into consideration the views of the grassroots.
“If they don’t support the winnable candidates, the winnable candidates will not win,” Dr Mahathir pointed out.
He said that members of BN component parties should be willing to support the chosen candidates irrespective of who they were.
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Dr Mahathir also brushed aside claims that the Malaysian electoral process was unfair.
“In Malaysia, throughout our electoral history, there has never been a time the opposition did not win (any seats). They won to the point of capturing states.
“Many states have fallen into opposition hands. If there is manipulation, no way they can win,” he added.
We begin trumpeting the oft-repeated phrases of freedom and the greatness of our age-old civilization, patriotic values and the glory to the motherland. We speak about the lofty ideals of pluralism and freedom of expression and repeat ’Umno laying groundwork for Sex Video 2.0′Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia’s front-page report yesterday quoting one of the ‘Datuk T’ trio about a new sex video allegedly involving Anwar Ibrahim is yet another attempt to further tarnish the opposition leader’s reputation.   Despite being front-paged by Umno newspaper Utusan, the much-threatened Datuk T sex video sequel drew a big yawn, reflecting the low esteem the Malaysian public held for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s party which has been blamed for sinking the country into unprecedented depths of gutter politicking. …
“Basically, the game is up. Nobody is so stupid as to fall for it anymore. Malaysians have made up their minds how capable a PM Anwar will be and how capable a PM Najib has been. They will make their decision at the ballot box, and it will be in Anwar’s favor even if Datuk T screens a different sex video every night,” Batu MP Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
most Malay professionals would like to see the two go toe-to-toe on policy issues.
“There appears to be a change in what the people want. They want a new culture of debate rather than smear campaigns,” Merdeka Center director Ibrahim Suffian had said. 

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