I have been inspired to write this by the column that Shobha De (then Kilachand) used to write for a film rag, more than a few years ago.
I recall that the column used to be accompanied by a sketch of a cat holding a cigarette, placed in a holder, in one of its paws. This piece has nothing to do with smoking, which I am strongly against, in any case, and I am more inclined towards dogs than cats, though it is not that I dislike cats.
It just so happened that Bollywood actresses and sisters, Karishma (or Karisma, as numerologists have advised her to call herself) Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor were on a chat show hosted by Karan Johar on television, on sunday evening. Shahid Kapoor was there too. Shahid, incidentally, is not a brother or cousin to Karishma and Kareena and is, in fact, Kareena's boy-friend.
The chat in the show mostly revolved around Shahid and Kareena's relationship. The three guests talked about how it has stood the test of time over the past three years or so, how Shahid and Kareena are perfectly compatible with each other, how the relationship has the blessings of elder sister Karishma (whom Shahid admitted to being quite scared of!), how Kareena has given up eating meat and become more spiritual for the sake of Shahid, how infidelity has never been an issue between them and how glad Kareena would be to cheat on Shahid, if Leonardo DiCaprio were to proposition her.
Interestingly, Shahid appeared flustered for a good part of the show.
One of the questions that KJ asked the Kapoor sisters was about their nick-names. Karishma is also known as Lolo and Kareena as Bebo (pronounciated, these days, as 'Babe-O'). When asked as to where they got their nicknames from, they replied that these had been given to them by their mother, the former Bollywood actress, Babita. Kareena, very helpfully, volunteered the information that her elder sister had been nick-named after the Western actress, Gina Lollobrigida and that, therefore, her nick-name had to be just as stylish. Thus, according to her, Bebo was arrived at.
A little bird tells me, however, that the nick-names were given to the girls by their paternal grand-father i.e. the legendary actor, director and producer, Raj Kapoor. The nick-names, it also tells me, have been derived from Punjabi, which was the language of their forefathers. Lolo means a girl who is a bit silly and not very worldly-wise, whereas Bebo (pronounciated as 'Beebo', in Punjabi) means a girl who is very organised and well-disciplined.
Strange are the ways of the world!