Can't get Cyrus's goat!
Indians need a dash of humour...Cyrus Barocha. Photo: R.V. Moorthy.
WE ALL feel awkward when somebody calls us by our pet name in public, and when one has bakra for a moniker, the embarrassment amounts to mortification, but in this case it explains what celebrity status is all about, and Cyrus Barocha - the bakra, who martyrs every day on MTV to rake in the riches - is not complaining. "I don't mind being called bakra in public, but sometimes people take it too far. Recently I ordered chicken in a hotel and they came up with a live hen. Now this is not on. All this has made me a nervous traveller," says Cyrus in the midst of a whirlwind trip to the Capital to participate in a celebrity quiz to promote BBC's new quiz show "University Challenge".
Cyrus credits himself for bringing two world powers closer to India. "I have named my son Mikhail to pocket the Russian support, and the U.S. was always an ally since I work with an American channel. And now with this quiz promotion, British support is not too far." He wants to see his son as the Prime Minister of India as he doesn't see anybody beyond Vajpayee with the capability to lead the country.
"Actually my choice was Rajesh Pilot, but he is no more, and of the current lot Vajpayee is the best."
But he feels that politicians in particular and Indians in general should learn to laugh at themselves. Except for Laloo, it has become quite dangerous to mock at our leaders. The chubby host, who started his career with the Naseeruddin Shah-starrer "Jalwa" laments that continuous travelling has turned all jalwa into a halwa, and he is thinking of approaching the cricket board to organise a benefit match in his aid for his contribution towards keeping the people in good humour.
Rushing to shoot a bakra episode, where he is expected to turn pregnant, Cyrus calls the Indo- Pakistan tension and U.S.-Iraq war as two extended Test matches that are not going to finish in the near future. "If Iraq and Pakistan had a "Loveline" segment, then the relations would not have taken such a precarious turn."
But for once he turns serious and agrees that some of the questions in this popular agony aunt show with Malaika are really silly. "There come some really stupid queries, which we don't take up, as we can't train you how to express yourself to the person you like."
Back to business, he terms "Khwahish" as his type of film but bemoans that Himanshu Malik has exposed more than Mallika. "I am waiting for its sequel to fulfil my wish." Hope Mallika will not disappoint him! Cyrus is refusing to make a foray into the celluloid world, as he is apprehensive that filmmakers instead of giving him a role might use his established image.
And to help him out there are two words, `no' and `sorry', which are his reliable partners ever since he tied the knot. "When wife questions your activities, first say no and if she repeats it, say sorry. Keep it simple."
The jester with an overgrown funny bone departs with an appeal to the fellow citizens: "Stop this assembly line production. We are already one billion, otherwise soon we have to start exporting."
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