India’s Most Desirable Recap: Deepika Padukone
Two episodes in, and the purpose of Simi Garewal’s new show is now clear: it’s a damage control platform for stars who shot themselves in the foot during Koffee With Karan. During the first episode, Ranbir Kapoor scrambled to refute his philandering, Lothario-like ways by trying to—and admirably succeeding—to appear like a mamma’s boy (if anything, it highlighted to superb effect what can happen when Indian mothers let their sons think the solar system shines out of their backsides). In the second episode, Kapoor’s ex, Deepika Padukone also seemed to forget that she’d spent most of her time on KJo’s couch hinting that Kapoor was a, well, Lothario. Instead, Padukone, newly reformed and knighted by the all-white ageless wonder as India’s most desirable, was on model behavior. But did it work? Or was this just more PR spin and bad acting? In our weekly recaps of IMD, we rate Simi and her B’wood buds on the cringe scale, with 10 being run-for-cover and 1 being safe-to-watch.
The Tattoo That Won’t Go Away
Padukone is either going to have to remove the RK tattoo or insert an additional one explaining that the first one ain’t never going away. It took Simi all of five minutes to broach the topic, saying quaintly that it took Padukone “modernity” to speak out about her relationship and tattoo. “I’m past it and we’re very very good friends,” Padukone said poker-faced, adding that “he’s always been there for me”. We’re guessing the guests themselves don’t watch IMD, otherwise Padukone would have known that Kapoor indicated just the opposite on last week’s episode, saying he wished she had spoken to him rather than airing their dirty linen in public. Even Simi wasn’t buying it, and kept pushing her to clarify whose decision it had been to get a tattoo (“we discussed it but it was my decision”) and what she thought of it being a permanent reminder. “I haven’t thought about it at all,” Padukone said, in the first but not the last
lie self-delusion of the episode. The perils of having a teen audience, of course, is that they have attention spans of fruit flies and are likely to repeat the same questions. And sure enough, during question and answer round, one girl asked her what she’d do with the tattoo. “Keep it,” said Padukone stone facedly with a fake smile that would have done any Stepford wife proud.
No One Will Ever Know If Ranbir Kapoor Cheated
As with KJo, Simi’s questions seemed to follow a clear pattern: the closer a “family friend”, the less intrusive/nosy/annoying the questions were. So whereas Kapoor got off with just a question or two about Padukone and their break-up, Padukone had to spend at least 50 per cent of the episode refuting or explaining issues directly and indirectly related to her ex. “I’m a very giving person in a relationship,” Padukone said demurely in her best Mother Teresa impression. “I don’t expect anything in return, but I do expect them to appreciate what they have.” The obtuse references to Kapoor continued when Garewal asked her what she would not put up with in a relationship. “Infidelity,” she said, without missing a beat and clarifying pointedly that the infidelity didn’t have to be physical (Kapoor, for his part, said physical infidelity was worse than being emotionally unfaithful and hinted that it was not possible to stay completely true in mind). By the time the question-and-answer session rolled around, you knew there was going to be some kid, most likely a boy, who wanted to know why the two broke up. “Where do you think it went wrong?” one guy asked Padukone, all Oprah-like. “We’re two completely different people,” she replied, hoping perhaps not for the first time, that it was case closed.
Here’s Something Bollywood Can Teach Politicians
The art of obfuscating. Padukone ably displayed her ability to speak in such convoluted double-speak that she’d do well to join politics after her days as an actress are numbered. She parried on the issue of her rumored relationship with Sid Mallya, hinting, then taking back, then re-hinting with so much innuendo that by the end of it, no one had any idea if she was meant to be clarifying or denying the rumour. “You know him more than I do,” Padukone told Simi when she asked her to describe Mallya. “But I’m not in a relationship with him,” Simi shot back, a statement that Padukone didn’t deny.
“It’s too early to say or define it,” she said instead, but then quickly agreed with Simi when she pointed out that Padukone had admitted that she wasn’t into casual dating. “Would you like it to happen?” Simi asked, “Would you like there to be sparks?” to which Padukone said annoyingly “Who’s saying there are sparks now?” before adding “He’s very attractive and good looking so why not?” And in the event this wasn’t enough wooliness to throw everyone off, promos for next week’s episode with Sid Mallya showed him saying that he did date other women, and that he didn’t make apologies for the playboy lifestyle he’s lived. That’s right, lived, as in past tense.
The Science of Astrology Depends on a Good Internet Connection
By now, we can safely assume that, like the thunder soundtrack and the weird sexual moaning sounds at the beginning, the tarot card reader is going to be a regrettable regular feature of the show. If you had any reason to doubt the efficacy of astrology as a science before this, rest assured you’d come away a cynic after. Among the “prophecies” in store for Deepika: she’d get a lot of fame and wealth, she had a lot of “positive things” happening in her life; and had a “special friend”. We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that the tarot card reader was not in fact a hermit who had spent the last five years in a Himalayan hamlet with no access to television or the Internet, and thus no knowledge that Padukone was a successful, young Bollywood actress. “It’s bang on,” Padukone said with such genuine wonderment, that we’d be apt to rate her one of the best actresses of her generation based just on that reaction. The astrologer also pointed out that Padukone’s future husband (it would be a love match, wouldn’t you know) was someone she already knew, a “balanced, wealthy and highly educated” man who would “adore the floor you walk on”. “Your prayers,” the astrologer added grandly, “will be answered in love,” making us realise that when it comes to predicting the future, it really could just be about tone of voice.
Simi Garewal: 6/10
Deepika Padukone: 5/10
• India’s Most Desirable Recap: Ranbir Kapoor