Vantage point

Monday, March 07, 2005

Something about Shobha De

Here's something funny about Shobha De and her husband, Dilip De.

This happened back in the days when she was Shobha Rajadhyaksha, and had just met Dilip De. Dilip De was a famous industrialist, and had some kids from his previous wife. Shobha herself had just been divorced from her first husband, and had kids from him too. At this time, she had already made a name for herself, first as a model, and then as the editor of nari Hira's brainchild - Stardust magazine.

Shobha was one of the most famous ladies in Bombay and Dilip De was a prize catch with truckloads of money from his shipping business.

Dilip saw Shobha and fell in love with her. After some days of wooing, she fell for him as well. For Shobha, he was a great catch indeed. Her first marriage had been a failure because the hubby was a complete loser. With Dilip, things could not go wrong. even if he eventually proved to be disappointing in other departments, his money and status was going to stay.

Shobha was thrilled she had found the ideal mr moneybags. Dilip was thrilled he had found a trophy wife who could pretend to be intelligent.

But common friends always knew that the gainer in the relationship was Shobha Rajadhyaksha. Dilip could find many such trophy wives, but Shobha, given her reputation, would find it tough to get such a great husband.

Shobha herself knew how lucky she was. She often expressed the same to her friends. The courtship was going well and a date for the wedding fixed.

Then disaster struck!!!

Dilip De was kidnapped!!!!!

One evening, as the shipping magnate was stepping off his luxury launch on to Gateway of India, four masked men in a black fiat swooped on him, and carried him away.

There was panic in the De household. Shobha could not stop crying. Life was going so well. Why did this have to happen?

No one knew who the kidnappers were. Some rumours blamed an israeli gang, others said it was a jealous Greek tycoon who was behind it. For many days, no communication for ransom was received. Everyone was confused. Rumours were rife that the kidnappers were negotiating directly with the Indian government, and that their demands were not monetary.

Shobha was crestfallen. Her knight-in-shining-limo had been stolen from her, and there seemed to be no way she could get him back. Her friends stayed with Shobha night and day to make sure that she didn't take any drastic steps.

Days went by, with no word about Dilip De. Shobha had almost given up on his return. the press forgot the story, and the public too lost interest. It seemed like Shobha's perfect man had been snatched from her by destiny and faceless international criminals.

Then, three months after the kidnapping, a black fiat was seen speeding towards Gateway of India. It stopped, and out fell a tired and bruised Dilip De. The staff of the Taj Hotel recognised him and contacted the authorities. Dilip De was shaken, bruised, but unhurt.

Shobha was asleep when this news broke in the media. Her friends rushed over to her house with champagne, flowers, and chocolates. They knew she will be thrilled at Dilip's return.

They also got a special banner made, and stood outside her house. Shobha opened the door, and her friends unfurled the banner, uncorked champagne, and shouted out the very words that were written on the banner in bold cursive red letters -