The good news reporter-part 2

So let me further illustrate my point about the INTENTION with which news is disseminated and its subsequent impact. Things become something else when used out of context or information is wrongly or only half put forward

On the 21st  of January 2007, i wrote a blog on called “art in a body part”  On the 27th of february 2007, based on what i had written in that blog  the following article appeared in the Bombay Times.

The consequences of that cheap  article by Gayatri Jayaraman i am still bearing today…with guys like Nikhil still asking me on my blog two and a half years later if i want them to pose nude for me…I still get several emails/calls etc etc about it.From models. model co-ordinators and every wannabe desperate to grab attention any which way.

 Here goes the two artcles…let me know what you make of it

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi – February 21, 2007
Yesterday I was invited on a chat on CNN-IBN to discuss the Lolita Syndrome in our society. The other distinguished guests on the panel were Amitabh Bachan, Ram Gopal Verma and Alyque Padamsee.
Mr Bachan and Mr. Verma for a large part stuck to talking only about the content of their film Nishabd which opens in the theatres next week sometime. It is the relationship that develops between an 18 year old girl and a 60 year old man. A very interesting story -history and life itself is full of such instances.They stuck entirely to promoting their film only & could not be drawn or provoked into anything further. Fair Enough.
What ensued from the chat though was very interesting, the questions that were thrown up, fascinating. One cannot make a moral judgement on any of it but here are some of the points to ponder that are still swishing about in my head
1. An 18 year year old girl may have the body of a woman but how much of the relationship that she gets into a conscious choice of a mature mind and how much of it is exploitation on the part of the male? Is it natural for her to feel this attraction towards an aging male and what is the socio enonomic psychological condition that brings it about?
2. If she is throwing herself at him –is it his moral responsibility to call up her mother and tell her to take her home? Or should he feel flattered and enjoy the attention? Legally she is a consenting adult after all…
3. The male female dynamic of predator and prey is obviously not an outdated concept, going by the magnitude of how often it happens all around us. The point is, is our assumption that the predator is male, and prey female outdated?
4. How come a relationship dictated by tradition and culture and religion gets sanction in society but one that emerges from supposedly free choice,( as in the case of an 18 year old girl falling for a 60 year old man) invites the wrath of the elders and the moral police?
5.How much of consciousness is really conscious? Are we really ever free of our conditiong and upbringing?
Etc etc
Then the discussion took a very interesting turn. The point came up of men being inspired by beautiful young women and how every man needed a muse…with the sterling example of a distinguished brilliant 93 year old Indian artist being inspired by the beauty of women…MF Husain. his name came up prominently in the discussion
So I am asking the following ….
Why is it always an extremely young woman… so is it all about sex then? If it is all about sex then what is the shame in admitting it? We are human beings after all… why be ashamed of something that is so intrinsic to our nature

Understood that we are genetically programmed for it –given that a young woman through centuries has been a symbol of fertility & so the man is automatically drawn towards the female that will bear him the healthiest children & so continuity of the species is ensured blah blah….

 The most beautiful woman will choose the strongest male and vice versa.But hasn’t medical science and technology changed all that? More and more women are having children in their forties and even fifties…the very definition of strenght and power has turned upside down…or has it? how long before our minds and our conditioning catch up with changes in our immediate physical environment?

I am a huge admirer of the expertise of the 93 year old artist who has the gall to admit that he is inspired by the beauty of women and is constantly looking for a new muse.

Women are clamouring to be his new muse-it gets front page headline attention in every newspaper and magazine in India. They are given the title of “true Indian beauty” :and “spirit of the Indian woman”
Everybody around is getting very happy, rich, and euphoric, having cracked the code to the beauty of the Indian woman

Being an artist myself I am all for artistic freedom and expression.
Anyone who has the courage to be true to his/her heart in my opinion is an artist of the highest form. I bow my head down and salute this honesty.
But as a woman and very Indian at that please don’t tell me that the pictures he paints are something I should be flattered by or aspire to.

An image of a female form that has scratch lines for features, no face, no expression at all. All that leaps out of the canvas with extraordinary vitality are the strong curve lines of breasts and well rounded seductive backsides. Sometimes there is the sari –the pleats often tucked deeply and strategically in warm cacooning crevices.

Therefore coming back to the discussion of the Lolita syndrome-I’m inclined to agree. Nothing has changed for centuries and it’s scary to think that it never might.

So I’m going to do something I’ve never done before.
Regardless of whether or not i really want to, or how i really feel about it, because the outcome may be worth it.

I’m going pick a male muse to paint –aged between 18 and 25 -someone young , beautiful, strong, muscular full of yearning, hope, ambition intelligence and faith.

I’m sure I’ll find many volunteers-after all if we are both lucky, with blessings from the cosmos,we could make headline news in India and laugh our way to the banks for a long time . He could also win the auspicious title of “Spirit of Indian Male hood” or “Masculine Beauty of India”etc

Then I’m going to proceed to obliterate his face, his expressions his soul his heart and brain with smugdelines on canvas. I learnt this very effective smudge technique in an art class in New York. Everything will be a blur-like coming from far away.
The only thing I will highlight in bold are the strong V lines of his taut torso and his private parts. These private parts will leap out of the canvas and smack you in the face like a loud clanging bell. Oooh La la…

Flattered Dude? You could be a star!

Based on the above blog the following article appeared on the 27th of February 2007 in the Bombay times. It was subequently picked up by almost every other publication in and outside of India


Gayatri Jayaraman, TNN 27 February 2007, 08:19pm IST

WANTED – HOT MEN! Suchitra Krishnamoorthi is calling for hot-bodied young men to pose nude for her at her studio in Juhu (TOI Photo)

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi is looking for hot-bodied, young men to pose nude for her canvas.

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi is calling for hot-bodied young men to pose nude for her at her studio in Juhu: “I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. The outcome may be worth it. I’m going to pick a male muse to paint — someone between 18 and 25 — who is young, beautiful, strong, muscular, full of yearning, hope, ambition, intelligence and faith.

I’m sure I’ll find many volunteers. And if we are both lucky, with blessings from the cosmos, we could make headlines and laugh our way to the bank! I intend to obliterate his face, his expressions, his soul, his heart and brain, with smudge lines on canvas. The only thing I will highlight in bold are the strong ‘V’ lines of his taut torso and private parts. These will leap out of the canvas and smack you in the face like a loud clanging bell. Oooh la la…”

Life, among other things, has lent Suchitra a sense of humour, and her tongue is firmly in her cheek on this one. Why is she doing this? “Well,” said Suchitra, “It started when someone I knew casually called me up and asked if they can stop by my studio to be painted in the nude. I was shocked and felt very betrayed — if they were strangers, it wouldn’t feel like ‘Is this how you have perceived me all this while?’ Disgusting!”

But as she pondered it, Suchitra said, the artist in her took over. “I asked myself why is it that when women get treated as sex objects, there’s always a reasoning and logical dimension given to it. So as an artist, I decided to reverse the roles and asked how men would feel if I made them sex kittens?”

Have perceptions of her changed after her divorce? “Yes, a little bit. Today, if an Alyque Padamsee can ask me: ‘So, do many men hit on you?’ — which he wouldn’t have dared do when I was married. But I don’t believe the world is full of such men. On the whole it’s a nice place, and I’m pretty insulated — I go to my studio and paint. I have my daughter. I live a full life. So no, I’m not at all fearful of it at all.”

Thirteen years after Suchitra played the coquettish Anna opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na, the actor who had put her career on hold to become director Shekhar Kapur’s wife, has post-divorce taken on the role of Amitabh Bachchan’s wife in Ram Gopal Varma’s remake of the classic Sholay. “My character is not evil. I play a pretty much spaced-out housewife in the film. It’s quite interesting actually,” she said.

I never issued a clarification to that article. Even though the paper did have the goodness to ask me to  if i wanted to. But i didnt…Because it was so cheap- it was hilarious…Not worth my time. I found it below my dignity to respond and so validate that piece of junk in any way

Because I understood the intentions of that particular journalist and ignored it. She was looking for a headline making story at any cost, for which she blatantly ignored the overall picture or the context  in which I had written that article “art in a body part” in the first place. It was a misrepresentation of facts for her journalistic greed for which i was merely a bakra…a scapegoat…a guinea pig

And so  the first seeds of what would eventually turn into a book called “The Good News Reporter” were sown.

16 thoughts on “The good news reporter-part 2”

  1. I remember this scandal

    Never knew it was from a blog you wrote… shameful.

    why didnt you just sue the newspaper?

  2. Suchitra-ji,

    There are some things not worth bothering about. Pray to God that Ms. GJ has now got a respectful job or vocation where she can do work with more dignity.

    Your fans will not get fooled.
    I’m a proud owner of the “Alone in the Crowd”, 2005. Waiting for another such masterpiece.


  3. in management they teach role reversal.
    it may be worth trying in art-painting-
    unless a beginning is made it is anybody’s guess
    where it will lead.If a grandma painter paints
    a 20 year old virile,handsome and what not man,
    whether the grandma can capture him in
    a virile state is a moot point!

  4. it is a good point you have raised

    i’m sure that journo gayatri whatever has got her due and is rotting in hell

  5. arvind

    you are the proud owner of alone in the crowd? I’m sorry i dont understand its relevance with this blogpost

  6. arvind must be referring to one of your paintings
    with that title.perhaps it reflects your true it correct Arvind?

  7. The journo never really spun tales here. What she said was factual. Its just the way it all was packaged, what was highlighted, what was repeated and what was omitted, that gave it a spin. All to cater to her readers ofcourse. Pen definitely is mightier , it can kill without anyone being wiser and even if one is, able to do nothing about it, not able to ‘prove’ anything. Things that go into that safe domain of ‘intention’.

    Aside from that, beauty of female form and just the form (devoid of soul, expressions) captivates all, irrespective of gender. The male form , now can that be called beautiful, aesthetic?? whichever angle, whichever part ?:-)

  8. About a month ago i saw you on Tv when you were accused wrongly of employing a minor in your house
    You said you dont know why and how you have been dragged into this but hope that something good will come out of it
    I found those words very inspirational
    I am glad you dealt with this painting nude men scandal in a creative and contructive way too…i look forward to reading your book

  9. Phew.
    Hats off for getting a book out of this.
    For perspective, for stepping back , for the larger picture.

    I would have raged.

  10. Venkat,
    Suchitra wouldn’t comment about such things for the fear of her head getting blown off 😉

    I do not know if its a mere coincidence that most book launches are accompanied always by some controversy especially the mediocre ones.

  11. Though I am not a regular reader of your blog, but I do go though, occasionally.

    This may sound little offensive to you.
    You tried to say men has a dimension to justify their sex drives and you may try experimenting it vice versa. But eventually you found that people took, your experimenting words, as part of their pleasure.
    I don’t meant to offend you here, rather showing the support of the world.

    The obvious question would had been the right solution.
    Ignorance, which females had been doing or a protest which mostly end up with nothing.

    I don’t have anything in concrete here to say.

  12. hi Suchitra,
    I only just saw this post as Ive not been in touch with you for quite a while. I would like to clarify one aspect that you have missed. I did read your original blog, but you seem to forget that I called you to say I read the post and would you like to do an article about it? You agreed and spoke to me extensively over the phone. the interview was based on our telecon and not on the blog post. This was shortly after I did the piece on your making a ‘comeback’ in Aag. In my 11 years of journalism i have never been accused of misquoting anyone nor do I have the intent to.
    The article was meant to be a light piece on art and appearing as it did in an entertainment supplement, Im sure not everyone who read it had the right perspective when they read it and abused that. I have also written extensively on art, and have a great rapport with people who do great works of nudes like Akbar Padamsee, and unfortunately, I did understand your point of view completely.
    After the article appeared I have spoken to you several times, even if only to say hi in person at events or over text for quotes. I think its unfair of you never to have brought up your displeasure if you felt any, because I am not aware that you called our editor at the time Gauri Sinh or that she ever offered to print an apology.
    If it has caused you pain, I do apologise because I hope you do realise I have always had great respect for you being a single mother and a writer myself, I do know how tough it is to keep doing that and face the world as an artist.
    It hurts me deeply that after being a fellow blogger on intent, you would think i would do something like this to hurt you and would not even take it up with me and go so far as to write a story based on it.
    Anyway, whats done is done, on both ends, but I do hope this clears this up and am glad that if the book helped you deal with it in a positive way then thats a plus from it.

  13. Suchitra,

    I just happened to read your blog and found this article.

    I can understand that you have felt hurt with some article in media. I will suggest that, your article was in the right spirit, so you need not worry about some stupid blog posts. Always to remember, we are in a developing country of 1.2 billion, so you will get some rubbish or garbage in blog posts and need not base your hurt from there. If you are true to yourself, and if there is only one appreciating your article, you have a reason to be happy.

    On other hand, I have been reading Gayatri Jayaraman’s articles on intent blog, she does not appear like the person who will manipulate the matter for cheap headlines, in any case she has commented here and apologized unconditionally , which speaks of her conscience.

    So please get over with this, you are a talent and will not be misunderstood for such things.

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