Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Into the public eye

When an injury to Wayne Rooney’s metatarsal before the World Cup crushed the nation's hopes of winning the ultimate prize in soccer, one commentator aptly described it as “the most talked-about metatarsal in the world”. Which makes me think about how different body parts have been catapulted into the public glare by famous influential people. And that it would be a good waste of time, space and effort to list down the prominent ones. So here goes. As expected, sportspersons dominate the list, but the interesting ones are really the rest. Interestingly, most of them have been famous not for their functionality, but for their absence! For the sake of my orthodox audience, with some notable exceptions, I wont touch upon (uh huh) the controversial parts.

I'm all ears!: Has to be Mike Tyson, and his appetite for Evander Holyfield’s auditory organs, which he politely indicated on the 28th of June, 1997 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Tyson for a narrative). And, ooh, how can we forget the greatest William Shakespeare and his immortalization of the ear in Julius Caeser’s most famous quote: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears”

Headstrong: Indian mythology digs me out of a helpless situation in this case- surely has to be Ravana with his ten heads! The mention of the villainous name takes us back to those wonderful days when we were made to believe that Sundays were holidays because Ramayan was aired on TV- aah, those super cool arrow-fights in space…(And credit also to the amazingly imaginative Douglas Adams for his multi-headed character Zaphod Beeblebrox, the President of the Universe…)

Letting your hair down: The late Persis Khambatta, arguably India’s most international actress created quite a buzz when she decided to shave her head for the role that she would always be remembered for- Ilia in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. And on the other side of the coin, David Beckham taught us how to make a fashion statement out of a coiffeur- his most famous being the Mohawk one (want one yourself? http://www.thehairstyler.com/celebrity_hairstyle.asp?name=David+Beckham). Not a surprise, actually, because it runs in his family- his mom is a hairdresser.

Looking down our noses: A pity I can’t include animals, because who can forget our favourite reindeer Rudolph (not that we know many…). And Kate Moss’s nose couldn’t escape the eyes of nosey Brit papparazzi as it was splashed all over UK tabloids, full of cocaine.

The eye of the beholder: Considered by many as Aishwarya Rai's best asset, the eyes have been intricably linked to beauty through history. Be it Mona Lisa's eyes that could be interpreted to show a thousand different emotions, to that haunting green eyes of that Afghani girl on the National Geographic award-winning cover, they have always had us captivated.

A Shoulder to cry on (or, about): Undoubtedly Sachin Tendulkar's, in more ways than one. Earlier a silent hero for balancing a billion-odd people’s hopes for fifteen years, it has recently gained considerable notoriety for not performing at its best (What else do you expect!). Well hes back- Sachin, make us proud all over again!

The hand that rocks the cradle: The "hand of God"- Diego Maradona's term for his daring sleight of hand in that quarter final of the '86 WC. Five minutes later he scored the goal which was to be voted as the best ever WC goal, wiggling through 5 English defenders to score with a stylish finish. Two contrasting sides of the same legend.

A finger on the pulse of the nation: In the finance world, has to be the fat finger syndrome and its latest victim- an unnamed trader at Mizuho who sold 600,000 shares of a firm for 1 yen when he actually wanted to sell 1 share for 600,000!! Cricket had its own share too- that umpire (cant recollect who) who raised it involuntarily in response to an appeal and then hoped it would vanish somewhere- ultimately deciding to call the batsman back.

Chest (male): A few examples in tennis come to my mind here. Agassi's made quite a few headlines when he proudly displayed a shaved one in Wimbledon. And Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi used theirs as a motivational tool by thumped against each others' after every point during their wonderful run at the top of doubles' tennis.

Can't stomach the fact: Probably the English cricket team, for a simultaneous strike by their stomachs before the Test series in India. But nothing compared to the commotion that Ronaldo's stomach caused when it had fits in that fateful WC final- the mystery still remains, though Ronaldo got ample opportunities to bury his ghosts.

Pelvis Risley: Madhuri Dixit’s the name, as far as India is concerned atleast! Each time the organ moved, thousands of hearts in India skipped a beat. Talk about magic.

Hip-hop: Shakira Shakira! they don’t lie, as she crooned in her latest oooh-so-sexy song.

Foot the bill: No one but George Bush. Time and afain he has able demonstrated how to put it into his mouth. Some skills there!

Watch your back(side): Ogled at since time immemorial, the derriere has been the object of man’s base-est instinct. But Jennifer Lopez (singer-cum-model-cum-actress-cum-dancer-cum-fashion designer, and consistently atrocious in everything she does), catapulted it into fame by putting her money where her backside is- she reportedly insured it for a billion dollars in 1999. Debate still exists over the issue- JLo herself refuses to shred some light (http://urbanlegends.about.com/cs/celebrities/a/jennifer_lopez.htm ). And if its true, I wonder who was the insurer- the deal could be quite significant for their bottom-line.