Tuesday, February 05, 2008

An attraction named Mumbai

I waited for the question and it came, sprayed with the requisite dash of wonderment. From India? Bombay, I said, and sat back smugly in my mind waiting for the Pavlovian effect that I knew this association with Shangri-La would awaken in the veins of young male Pakistanis who have never visited this burdened, heroic city except via their dreams and the 70 mm screen.

If I had said Mars or New York or London I would have lost my audience right away. But I had said Bombay. Bling Bling. Within minutes of being asked whether or not I had met various filmstars and being told that he was the proud owner of a bottle of Shah Rukh perfume, Fawad stuttered out a proposition. It wasn't a marriage proposal, but it was as suicidal. Would I join him, his cousins and friends in the stands to see for myself, first-hand, how much Pakistanis love Indians?

-- Nina Martyris from 'Cricketing Ties'

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