I never really got into the whole Real Housewives of… thing. By the time I got around to starting yet another TV obsession for which I had absolutely no time, it had, like an overactive yeast infection, already sprouted more cities than Mariah Carey has toured with ‘All I Want for Christmas. It was just like CSI – another series I toyed with starting, but then realised I’d never have the range. I mean, how was I meant to keep up with which episode of which city I’d not watched?
And, as Saffy once pointed out, sometimes, in some episodes, these shows even crossed over!
“I don’t know how you keep up,” Amanda said at one stage. This was after Saffy had emerged from her bedroom one morning with bloodshot eyes after having stayed up till dawn to finish CSI: Las Vegas.
“At least, I think that’s what I was watching,” Saffy sighed, slumping into the chair and folding her head into her arms on the table. “I may have actually been watching CSI: NY! Who knows? Who cares?” she muttered and soon, she’d started snoring.
Which was kind of our collective mood a few nights ago when Sharyn forced us all to sit down to watch The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives.
“Seriously, why are…?” Saffy began, her bosom already inflated halfway to maximum volume.
“You must watch!” her best friend insisted. “Is so fun! Better than Real Housewife!”
“Would that be difficult?” murmured Amanda, Cultural Snob who’s officially only ever watched The Shahs of Sunset but is really a rabid closet fan of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Only Way is Essex.
“Trust me lah!”
Saffy sighed. “Well, you were right about bubble tea, Candy Crush, and Daniil Medvedev, so I guess I should give you the benefit of the doubt.”
Amanda rolled her eyes. “You don’t really think he’s hot, do you?”
“Shut and stay in your own lane, Manda!” Saffy sniffed. She waved a hand at Sharyn. “Okay, play, play!”
That happened at 8pm. By the time, 11pm rolled around, the world had three new converts to The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives.
Sharyn was smug. “You see lah. Don’t believe me!”
“I seriously need to be best friends with Neelam!” Amanda murmured as she scrolled through Instagram. “We’re practically twins!”
Saffy later cattily noted that the only things Amanda and Neelam Kothari Soni had in common were shiny bouncy hair, a posh Brit accent, and a passive aggressive attraction to fillers. “And nothing else!” she said firmly. “If anyone is going to be best friends with her, it should be me!”
“You already sound like Maheep,” I told her. “Imagine what will happen to you when you finish the season.”
Saffy paused. “Wait. Which one is Maheep?”
“Le Bal and Paris and Shanaya and Sanjay,” I said fluently. And added, “Slightly bitchy but in a friendly way.”
Saffy was impressed and flattered at the same time. “How do you remember all these names? I can’t keep up! They’re all just random letters to me!”
I turned pink. It’s not often I get thrown a compliment. “It’s from years of yoga. If you can remember aparna dhanurasana and uttan pristhasana, then Bhavna Pandey and Seema Khan are easy peasy!”
When Amanda told her friend Janet about her new obsession, Janet was skeptical. “But it’s just another trashy reality show about bored housewives!” she pointed out. She must have regretted saying that because Amanda then spent the next hour giving her a detailed list of why, despite its misleading title, The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives was actually a riveting snapshot of modern female empowerment.
“They are all professional women!” she said. “And just because they’ve put their careers on temporary hold doesn’t make them bored housewives! I think it’s what makes them so relatable!”
“Yes, I agree. They’re real, and not plastic and stretched like The Real Housewives of Honolulu!” Saffy said, who’s never really liked Janet and takes every chance she can to quietly throw shade.
Amanda frowned. “Wait. There’s a Real Housewives of Honolulu?”
Saffy, who’s always had a very relaxed relationship with facts, shrugged.
“I watched the first episode,” Janet revealed, “but I was so put off by the stupid ball in Paris. And did you see how they struggled with the escargots?”
“They’re slippery slimy snails, Janet,” Saffy said, no doubt wishing there’d been some way she could have rhymed ‘Janet’ with ‘snails’. “Anyone would struggle!”
Apparently Janet later pulled Amanda aside and asked if she’d done anything to offend Saffy.
“Why do you ask?”
“I can’t quite pin-point exactly what it is. It’s not quite the tone or even the words…but it’s something!”
I told Amanda that it’s an absolute crime that Netflix hasn’t yet made a reality show based on our lives. “There’s just so much material here!”