A bagful of woes

HISTORY IS full of the queens, princesses, First Ladies and consorts of powerful leaders, who have displayed a penchant for the fine things of life.



By (People Watch)

Published: Sat 18 Aug 2012, 5:39 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:51 AM

Marie Antoinette’s excesses and extravaganza are well known and so are the in-your-face lifestyles of spouses of some modern leaders of state. Many times, the commissions of their spouses have led to the exit of their spouses, from their leadership positions.

Philipine’s much-maligned First Lady, Imelda Marcos had hundreds of pairs of shoes made by luxury brands including Ferragamo and Chanel, often touring different parts of the world to pick up these shoes for her wardrobe. It is a well-known fact also that her husband was forced into exile after they flaunted their lifestyles in the face of an impoverished nation who responded by showing the regime the door.

The latest to join the list of women with high taste and aspirations seems to be Ri Sol-Ju, North Korea’s brand new first lady, who is displaying a penchant for luxury goods. The young woman, who made waves by appearing alongside the country’s new leader Kim Jong-Un, was recently announced to be his wife. Even as the country digested that news, the young, very westernised lady always in smart threads, set off a controversy last week when she accompanied her husband for an entertainment event by female army personnel, flaunting an expensive Dior bag.

While there is little chance of any murmur of protest within the severely regimented people of the country, newspapers across the world have been quick to point out the irony of the fact that Dior bag accessorising the First Lady was many times more expensive than the income of an average wage earner in the country.

North Korea has been beset by a series of natural disasters since the 1990s including a famine that killed thousands of people. With the country not exactly in favour with the developed, rich, western countries, there is an all- round dearth of most essentials in the country and some estimate that some three million people will need food aid from international agencies in this year alone. For the First Lady to be flaunting her luxury accessory, costing around cost 1.8 million won, is in poor taste, even though many media watchers are saying that her style of dressing, when the rest of the population dress in ordinary, mandatory Mao outfits, could be a sign of impending winds of change.

Cricketing dreams

NOW THAT they have established themselves as the fastest people in the world, the Jaimcan duo of Usain Bolt and running partner Yohan Blake have decided it is time to follow their other passion, cricket. We don’t know if it was a cleverly orchestrated strategy but almost as soon as their supremacy and their coveted medals were in the bag, first Blake and then Bolt, went to town announcing their deepest dream of playing professional cricket.

The young Blake, the upstart who at one point in this year threatened to dethrone his country man Bolt, as the fastest guy on earth, was at his brattish best last week, announcing he is faster than most Indian bowlers and that he would be a great addition to the Indian Premier League team. Blake, who has been watching and playing cricket since his childhood, has plans to visit Bangalore and Mumbai where he will check out the teams and said he is also fond of Capt Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings and Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders.

We don’t know if it is the folly of his youth or a rare self-confidence but Blake has announced that he is confident he can bowl out cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar, if given a chance.

Blake’s senior and master on the tracks, Usain Bolt, meanwhile, is being courted by former cricketer Shane Warner, for his team in Australia. Warner, who also plays cricket when he is not courting lady love Liz Hurley, is believed to have asked Bolt if he was serious about playing cricket. And when the man replied in the affirmative, it was exciting enough news for Hollywood star, Russel Crowe to tweet: “Usain Bolt playing cricket for the Melbourne Stars?? @warne888 how amazing would that be?

We think so too. Will any of the Indian team owners bite the bait? Lets wait and watch.

An artic adventure

THIS IS good news for those who adore the exploits of the pipe-smoking British detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend, the lovable Dr. Watson. The writer of the Sherlock Holmes series, Arthur Conan Dolyle, will soon hit bookstores when the British library publishes an account of his adventures in the Artic, written when he was a mere boy of 20.

Doyle was a struggling young doctor who took up a job as a surgeon on board an Artic whaler, sometime just before 1880. Out of that emerged a riveting account of his adventures and experiences on the whaler name Hope. The young man’s work became valuable after he hit pay-dirt with the Sherlock Holmes series but it remained unavailable to his fans for over a century till the British Library finally decided to publish it.

Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure, will be available in a facsimile edition which will give fans a peek into the story as written by Doyle, with sketches , photos and a riveting account of his journey.

Conan Doyle’s biographers Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Starshower have co-edited the volume which will also feature several of his related stories and magazine articles. The edition will be launched in end-September.

We can’t wait to get our hands on this one…

Two to tango

THIS FORMER couple’s on—again, off-again relationships with other people has hogged much newsprint but it looks like finally, both of them are ready to settle down with their new partners.

Former spouses Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt have found love elsewhere. He with his glamorous bad-girl and good mother lady , Angelina Jolie and she , after a series of rumoured romances, now seems to be heading for a serious relationship with French actor, Justin Theroux.

While the last few days have seen rumours of the twosome’s split hogging the headlines, the Theroux’s publicist announced that the two were, in fact, engaged to be married, after the Friends actor accepted his proposal, made on his birthday.

Meanwhile, Aniston’s former husband Brad Pitt is all set to get hitched to long-time lover and the other half of the Brangelina power couple, this weekend, reportedly in the French village in which they live. The couple have matching tablet cut diamond rings from Asprey & Garrard worth 50,000 pounds each to exchange their vows. The rings, incidentally, have their vows engraved in such a way that it is not seen to the naked eye.

The Aniston-Theroux couple have sealed their love over a $22 million mansion in Los Angeles.

Now that all pieces of the puzzle are falling in place, we are hoping both find peace in their new lives.

—sudhamenon2006@gmail.com


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