Sunday, December 9, 2012

Decoding Charm





I often hear Blackberry-punching, pen-wielding women swoon over the likes of George Clooney, Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and Shashi Tharoor. More recently, women at blogger meets have been ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ over the charming Chef Vikas Khanna. When this Khanna dude won the title of ‘New York’s Hottest Chef’ he said, “Cooking makes a man sexy. A guy who cooks can take care of his women.”
I don’t agree though.  In that case, my local halwai would be a chick magnet.  

I am no expert at decoding charm, but dig deeper and the mysteries of charm lie elsewhere. Don’t confuse raw sex appeal (deodorant advertisement types) with sophisticated urban charm. While appearance, wealth and success matter, I feel, urban women are floored by intellect, humility, eloquence and a dash of humor.
And is it a co-incidence that all the above men are clean shaven? Well, an unkempt man can be a turn-off for anyone.

“When Shah Rukh looks at you with those deep brown eyes, you don’t have a hope in hell,” confides a friend. I am no Shah Rukh fan.  But glimpses of his quips make for compelling listening. He is not the distant ‘No Comments’ guy. Ask him the most irritating question and he is ready with a spontaneous repartee. On one occasion, when Vir Sanghvi irked him by questioning his sexuality, he said, “I don’t know why Vir asks me that. Perhaps if I had said yes, he would have asked me out on a date.”
I remember viewing an old interview of Shah Rukh with the intimidating Tim Sebastian of the BBC. Holding forte, SRK emerged a winner with his irrepressible wit and sharp intellect. I was more floored by his brains than I was irked by his no-brainer Ra-One. No wonder he received an award for not spreading his arms, but for intellectual merit at Marrakech International Film Festival.
Though I don’t think much of SRK as an actor (apart from Chak De and Swades), he scores points on my ‘Likometer’ because of his respectful attitude and protective nature towards women. He has the knack of making women feel special. When a pesky reporter asked Katrina the done to death question of choosing between Salman and SRK, the lady was in a fix. Trust SRK to chime in with, “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday -Salman and Thursday, Friday, Saturday -Shahrukh.” 


Among the 'Khans', while  Aamir is the most versatile , he is a prisoner of his perfectionist image. He is  diplomatic and distant when it comes to a one-on-one.  And Salman is handsome in a classic sort of way but his humor does nothing for me (I do not speak for all). Wit of the kind Salman displays borders on the crass.  His towel enabled pelvic thrusts and fart jokes  are more for the frontbenchers.
With oodles of urban charm, Ranbir Kapoor is another charmer.  Women of all ages love him for his modest approachable persona. I once saw him at an airport. The guy was exuding an air of comfort balanced exactly with what was going around him. Sometimes shy sometimes naughty, but always refreshingly humble. And don’t we love that?

Finally we have Shashi Tharoor - the thinking woman’s man. Barring the suave Sachin Pilot (a lady doctor friend who met him at Medanta swears by his charm) or a dour Omar, who remains distant, no one in politics can come close to Tharoor's spontaneous eloquence . And he is a writer to boot. The smile is enticing too! He smiles as if he is keeping a delicious secret. When he recently professed that his wife is ‘priceless’, he went up a notch higher on the charismatic ladder. His opponents in the BJP can call him  'Love Guru' but its better to smile and be candid than flare nostrils and sulk 24/7.  

Chances are that many will not agree with my ‘comprehensive research’. But fikar not, since we are all wired differently, it’s best to be the way we are. Cosmetic changes do more harm than good. And what is the point? A man could be charming to one and not to others. 

‘All men need to do is flash a smile at a woman to get her to do his bidding,’ says today’s newspaper.
Easy?
The smile needs to be warm, respectful, and earnest. There is a fine line between cheesy and charming. A cheesy grin can make one look like Shakti Kapoor, not Ranbir Kapoor.

Picture Courtesy Google Images and Twitter

61 comments:

  1. Alka that was quite a research on men on the roll, but why sound apologetic if you like some of them! This post is after all about liking such men:)

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    1. On a personal note, I have a soft corner for Tharoor.

      Delete
  2. Alka,
    I think this knowledge comes in phases. There is a time when external appearance is the top priority. With experience, we realise that that should be at the bottom of the list or somewhere in the middle. A brainless handsome partner is more of a burden.
    I agree with you about SRK. I am not a fan but I love the way he handles situations and his interviews are a treat to read.

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    1. True. Perhaps I am at a stage when I can sit back and reflect.

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  3. brilliant, and totally apt... intellect is the biggest turn on!

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  4. Wait.....I am tempting to put my enlarged Picture here.
    Wait

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    1. Ha, ha..Sir, you are writer. And that too a published one.

      Delete
  5. I am turned on by good looks (what's new) and an easygoing sense of humor, followed by wit and simplicity. I love a good conversation as well. But, I know of many women who get turned on by the gifts their man can give them much more than intellect :). I think it is a misconception that most women like intellect. Most men and women still are attracted mostly by good looks and money. Most of the else they can do without :). And, no one is likely to say how shallow they are when they talk to others. In these matters, I have long stopped believing what people say to the face. I completely agree about your observations on SRK. I adore Aamir the person more for what he does and for what he thinks. Among the heroines, I think Priyanka can articulate her thoughts well and has some grey matter. Look at Katrina and Kareena's interviews, I mean what do they have apart from looks and success?

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    1. As Amit says, this knowledge comes in phases.two decades ago I had different views. But for most money, success and looks are the basic per-requisites.

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  6. Although I hardly watch Bollywood films (no snob value, I promise!), I used to be a Shahrukh fan. However, for some reason, I find him coming across as being insincere of late. Aamir is just too contrived for me. Salman seems the most sincere of the lot at present, to me at least. Perhaps it's a sign that I'm getting crass in my old age? ;) Enjoyed your observations all the same, Alka.

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    1. Good good, you made Salaman's day.

      Salman is honest but after the Somy Ali episode( he poured a cold drink on her head) and the Ash issue, I am not sure he respects women.

      Delete
  7. Good looks coupled with sense of humor and intellect is what interests me! But have seen women falling for men with money and general good appearance. I like SRK for his wit and comes across as a man of principles! Salman is too crass! Interesting post with wonderful observations... LOL @ local halwai... :D

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    1. :)
      On a personal note I like Ranbir (cute) and Tharoor.

      Delete
  8. Nice one Alka. Any day it is intelligence that charms me. And, of course the smile. BTW I love Salman. SRK...find him a bit too arrogant these days. For your information...no one is humble in the film industry, not even Ranbir.

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    1. We all have different likes..I find Ranbir very cute. And unassuming too.

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  9. A sharp, sparkling assessment on what makes men appealing. I am a slave to witty eloquence. But what works for me, may not work for others.

    But I know for a fact, that for most of us, good looks are secondary. It's what resides within that matters the most.

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    1. True. If looks were important most male models would be ruling the roost.

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  10. nice ..I dint know abt this guy nor did any of our friends ..may be ..we like bobby flay .or dint pay attention to our indian chef ..but for me more then looks .. words speak louder then personality .. jus like karan johan ,,I despise him.. SRK has lot of attitude ..his personality and style says all
    Salman is all time Hot and loved by all ages..same as ranbir!
    this Khanna guy looks handsome .. will check
    thanks for sharing!
    :) tc

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    1. Khanna guy is hosting the Indian season of Masterchef and was a hit at the Bangalore Blogger meet.

      Delete
  11. nice examples.. Even as a guy, I would agree : Using ur examples, the qualities I would expect to be able to charm women are those who exhibit a sense of old school charm ( Dravid ), wit ( Shahrukh ), intelligence ( Tharoor ), Naughtiness ( Ranbir ) or else pure looks ( Hrithik, Salman ).
    Having some without the other factors can be a total waste .. ask Dino Morea :D

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    1. Lol..I cant stop smiling. No offense to him but Dino is a perfect example of a dud....oops dude.

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  12. That was quite a researched piece, Alka. For me none of these, but the one and only Sean Connery! No one to beat him, even at his age :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Since we are wired differently, we have different likes. On a personal note, I like Tharoor.

      Delete
  13. True, we are all wired differently. Yet, I couldn't have agreed more with your analysis. SRK sucks at acting but he is every bit what you said he is. Yes, Amir is a cold and calculating protagonist of the story. I am a fan of Shashi Tharoor too. But I can not stand towel-molesting Mr Odious either. Hey, I digressed big time!

    Wit, humour and compassion are a vanishing bunch of traits from both male and female of the race. You will love them, wherever you run into them.

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    1. Both Ranbir and Salman have molested the towel in different ways. I guess you are referring to the latter here. Cant stand him either.

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  14. hhhmmmmm...quite interesting facts there....and now i am looking for some intellect into me :P

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    1. You are a writer and a perfect family man....and that charming enough.

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  15. I loved your analysis :P . With age, our perception change. Looks will take a back seat slowly, the attention being paid to other aspects.it's 100% true that women whose husbands cook well are just as not lucky as everyone thinks :) Mine doesn't though..

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    1. And mine has no sense of humour:(.
      But his smile makes up for the lack of wit.

      Delete
  16. Now I am wondering whether Shakti Kapoor has a female fan following...

    Ma'm,
    I do not know if many would agree with what you have said. Not many care for wits, or the lack of it. How else would you explain our population :) People still come out teary eyed from those SRK movies and watch it again the next weekend.

    Not many would appreciate Tharoor's remark. I know a few who didn't.

    But while we talk of humour or wit, it is important to spell out the pre-requisites. These days, people do underscore the role of humour in conversations. And this is a wonderful departure from the SRK's teary eyed monologues which inspired kids from my generation. But the wit, which you and others of the level of your understanding appreciate, is not about the Santa-jokes, or the Rajnikanth-jokes.

    So what I say is this: the very basis of genuine humour is knowledge. If you do not know something in entirety, you can not make fun of it. Like if I do not know the political history of India, I am not fit to comment on the wrongs Cong is doing these days. But since this requires quite a bit of effort from our side, not many are willing to engage in that.

    Result: SRK rules.

    PS- I know the post was about charm and drifted off. But I find charm inextricably linked to sense of humour...so thought why not target that.

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    Replies

    1. It is always interesting to hear informed views.

      Charm, I believe is more about distant admiration and not so much about physical attraction.
      :)

      Delete
  17. now i know why no one looks at me .. it has to be the charm .. how do i get to be beautiful ....

    I have no idea who shashi throor is am i missing something

    Bikram's

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    1. Shashi Tharoor is an elected MP, a former under secretary general of the United Nations and a prize winning author of 12 books. In 2006 he was India's candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as UNSG.

      Since intellect, humility, honesty and wit are essentials, I am sure women adore you Bikram. Add the charm of the uniform, and you can beat all the above men any day.

      Delete
  18. Lovely post :) I dont kno abt others bt I feel the same abt SRK , Shashi Tharroor and RK!! They r like greek gods (As no moustache :P ) OK may be am sounding high :D but they seem really intellectual
    Salman even with good looks cant charm me due to his unlaughable jokes. If u watch bigboss , I laugh very less no of times when he speaks and there is 0 intelligence in his humor (well in most of his).

    but ya we r grading them as they r famous figs...
    when it comes to ppl around strategies and calculations vary I suppose. hai na :)

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    1. True. But the essentials for commoners are not very different from celebrities. Success and looks become less important. It all boils down to 'dil ka mamla hai'.

      Delete
  19. Khan brigade ka charm..not for me.Agree that SRK entertains when he talks but he is no charmer on screen. Amir is too much into 'thinking',not natural at all. Salmaan and Sanjay dutt I choose to ignore completely. Vikas Khanna is man of the soil,unassuming,respectful,natural and he LISTENS,even to strangers.Charming in a cute sort of way..
    Looks do matter but they weigh nothing when pitted against wit and intellect.
    Almost every day you encounter beefy guys who twitch their pectorals thinking that their brain rests there.Ab kaun samjhaye...?
    Loved reading this Alka.

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    1. Dutt was never a charmer...he is dumb.

      Ab kaun samjhaye Sid Mallaya and Dino Morea jaise logon ko....

      Delete
  20. Alka,

    A must read for all those who think themselves to be God's gift to humanity. Well explained as to what makes on charming. Last line made difference clear.

    Take care

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  21. I quite like your analysis! I completely agree with SRK being witty and intelligent. I used to be a SRK fan now I am not the kind of fan I used to be. What do you think about Farhan Akhtar?

    Of the politicians, I really like Sachin Pilot. He talks really well!

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    1. Yep, Farhan fits the bill....

      Sachin Pilot is a charmer indeed. A bit distant though. Job compulsions.

      Delete
  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. Looks like we have the same taste in men. :) I don't know anything about Vikas Khanna, but I totally agree on everything else. :)

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    1. High Five!

      Even I was not aware of him Jyothi, until women bloggers started gushing about him. I guess he cast his charm at the Blore bloggers meet.

      Delete
  24. Your blogs make my day Alka Didi!!! Could'nt agree more on SRK, Ranbeer and Shashi Tharoor...I dont even watch Sharukh's movies, but if he is speaking in an interview, I don't miss it...he is so witty and intelligent! Ranbeer is very cute and Shashi Tharoor is an all time favourite!

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  25. yaayyyyyy...I never knew you read my posts. All the neck muscle strain is now worth it.

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  26. Super awesome post Alka. I loved it. And believe it or not most of the views you expressed also echo my innermost thoughts. I too have the same thoughts on SRK, Ranbir, Aamir, Salman and Shashi Tharoor. Are we soul sisters??

    Regarding Lynda's book. I will check with her and tell you when it will be available in India. Else we can get it from Amazon.

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    Replies
    1. Glad that we are on the same plane...Great minds think alike..ha ha :)
      Thanks Indeed.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pranjay,

      My email id is : alkagurha@gmail.com

      I visited your website and would love to contribute.
      Regards
      Alka

      Delete
  28. Darling Alka, I absofrigginlutely agree with your "Comprehensive Research". Rabir Kapoor's humility is so adorable. And Shashi Tharoor? Hell Yeah. And Sachin Pilot? I have had a crush on that guy since I was sixteen. What more can I say?



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  29. :)

    Glad that you echo my thoughts. Great minds think alike.Right?
    Sachin, I hear is an absolute charmer.

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  30. How come you missed out the Big B and that Hashmi guy? ;) enjoyed reading this, especially the bit about Salman's sense of humour...come to think of it, I think it is voice, intellect, attitude, sense of humour and then looks in my 'Like-o-meter'!

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    1. Big B is charm personified but the Hashmi guy is creepy.
      I guess we have similar Likometers.

      Delete
  31. I love Ranbir for the reasons you mentioned there. Yes, there is a thin line when it comes to showing emotions towards a females, if you cross it you end up being on the wrong side. I loved the way you described each of the males here but Mr Tharoor broke my heart when he married.

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    1. Yours too? Ahh Sunanda is surely the envy of several women here.

      Delete
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  33. You seem to have decoded men!! SRK scores amonsgt men too for he loves life...and women would ofcourse swoon over him, DDLJ remains the most romantic film ever made

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