It used to be that every American had a personal story about where they were when they found out that John F. Kennedy was shot, but slowly over time, every single person who was alive in 1963 died and was replaced by cooler, hotter people on razor scooters, and now all of those people have iPads and stories about where they were on 9/11. Same diff, LOL. My favorite thing about people’s 9/11 stories is hearing them! 3,000 people died, but tell me more about you. Anyway, Salman Rushdie (1947-1964) has a new memoir out, and Eater has collected 11 facts about Padma from the book that we didn’t know before. This is great because it’s important to put personal information and anecdotes into your wedding vows to make them more touching. Also now we FINALLY get to know where Padma was on 9/11:

On September 11th, Rushdie was in Houston on a book tour. Air travel was a standstill, but he reached out to her:: “He called Padma in Los Angeles to say he was coming to see her. She said she was doing a lingerie shoot.”

Hahaha. Sure. It’s not like Padma could have done anything about 9/11 from Los Angeles. She’s not Gwyneth Paltrow, who saved a life in New York by barely not hitting a woman with her SUV, but would have saved a life anywhere by not hitting a woman with her SUV. American hero. Besides, we already know that 9/11 is Mark Wahlberg’s fault. (Thanks for nothing, dude!) It’s just funny to imagine Padma at the inevitable “Sharing of the Personal 9/11 Stories” that happens at the occasional dinner party or whatever. She either has to grandiosely explain that doing the lingerie shoot was her own attempt at “returning life to some kind of normalcy,” or she has to talk about how the photo shoot was eventually canceled, and she probably inserts some kind of harmless “at my insistence, of course” lie to make herself look better (as if that’s possible!). OR, being the media savvy, ultra-sexy professional that she is, she tactfully omits the lingerie shoot altogether, which is wise, and talks about being glued to her television for three days straight “just like everyone else,” but even then, you know in her head all she can remember is her 9/11 lingerie shoot. One tear rolls down her perfect cheek. And I wipe it away. Because we are man and wife.

Comments (31)
  1. I can only assume that Gabe already knew this since he luuuuuuuurves her, and is just pretending to find this out now so we are not jealous of his Padma Lakshmi inside scoop.

  2. I’ll need to see these lingerie photos to verify her whereabouts.

  3. Why did she dip her entire hand into the chocolate? If she wanted to taste it she could have used the spoon, or a finger at worst. There was clearly a lot of chocolate in whatever chocolate receptacle she was stirring with that spoon, and now it’s all ruined because someone dipped her entire hand into it. Perhaps Padma should stick to lingerie shoots and leave chocolate stirring to the professionals.

  4. Are we sure she wasn’t in that classroom Bush was reading kid’s books to?

  5. Pose, pose, pose. Never forget, never forget, never forget.

  6. Of course I had to Google Tom Colicchio 9/11. I HAD TO, GUYS! So, anyway, this (from

    Optimistic Attitude of Tom Colicchio

    Tom Colicchio is married to Ms Silverbush who is a filmmaker. Their marriage was scheduled five days after 9/11 attacks. In the first hours of the attack they were in dilemma whether to carry on the event but still they fought with it and carried on very well. And shortly after the September 11 attacks Tom Colicchio was part of a volunteer army serving food to rescue workers at Ground Zero.

  7. “Padma, please pack your lingerie and go.” – David LaChapelle, September 11, 2001.

  8. Are we making fun of Padma Lakshmi because Salman Rushdie wrote about her in his latest, longest, self-aggrandizement?

    • How about… who is Salman Rushdie and why should I care about him? (Serious question, actually.)

      • - He wrote some genuinely beautiful books. Like, more than one Very Important, Very Good book. One of the beautiful books caused him to go into hiding after death threats/fatwas were thrown his way from all over the Muslim world. (Please note that he has also written some Very Blaaaaaah, This is Awful books. Especially recently.)
        - He is not very pretty to look at, but the very pretty lady above was married to him for a while.

      • He is a magical realist writer who made it big with other magic realist writers of the time, see Gabriel Garcia Marquez, then wrote one book that upset fundamentalist Muslims, fatwa was put out on him by some cleric(s) and there was a bounty. Big time news and celebrity resulted, his free speech defended by a bunch of British writers and he has martryed himself about it ever since, even though no one has cared about the fatwa for ages.

    • Thank you. I mean, WAS SHE DOING HER JOB AS A MODEL JUST LIKE RUSHDIE WAS DOING HIS AS AN AUTHOR? I like how Rushdie gets to be a gross old man who marries a beautiful young woman, and then he gets to turn around and talk about how awful SHE was.

      • If it makes you feel better, very few people give a crap about Rushdie anymore. Seriously, massive reader over here (I get nervous if I don’t read a few hundred pages a week of something), and when one of my friends whose reading taste I have the most in common with and respect a lot told me he was reading Rushdie, my only response was, “Really?”

        • I haven’t read any Rushdie, and I consider that a hole that I should fill at some point. I actually own Midnight’s Children and Satanic Verses, and will probably read them. He kind of skeeves me out, but I do okay with Roth and all those Coetzee novels where old men use there positions of power to hook up with young women.

          • *their, ugh

          • Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Um. Sorry. Let me rephrase.

            Coetzee really shouldn’t be lumped in with Roth or that whole catagory. First, the man is asexual and without emotion and since he is far from the old skeevy man who uses power to hook up with young women, he is coming from a different perspective when it happens in Disgrace (which, admittedly, I haven’t read, but I have read five other). I mean, his is some of the most ethically demanding fiction I know…

          • Oh, yes, I don’t think Coetzee is skeevy, but his most prominent literary creation is the Dirty Old Man with Power Issues. He is one of my favorite authors, so I don’t have a problem with this, even though it gets a little repetitive. My favorite Coetzee, incidentally, is Elizabeth Costello, which does not fit this mold.

          • I do think that Coetzee is more critical of that Dirty Old Man trope, or at least that is how I read him. I am just too excited about a Coetzee discussion to be on my a-game. sorry guys.

          • Coetzee is absolutly critical of most things. He is really attuned to violations of power, and to all participations in them, probably most especially the acts of reading and writing and the culpability of those.

      • Not to deny that we for sure live in A Man’s World, but something creeps me out about presenting her as an innocent maiden being exploited. She had her own power (as an internationally famous person) and chose him, too. I get that there’s often a power differential in age, but it seems weird to assume that she didn’t have agency in their getting together?

        • That’s not so much my complain, though the conversation drifted towards more clear cut examples of that idea. Rushdie rubs me the wrong way, and what I’ve read of his autobiographyish deal, he doesn’t cast people in general in a positive light unless they are him or another one of his great defenders of free speech (and their right to be asses).

          Besides, he had a feud with Le Carre, so eff him.

  9. This past 9/11 I really took a serious cringe-ing to the constant stream of “NEVER FORGET NEVER FORGET NEVER FORGET.”

    Like, look assholes, obviously this was a shared tragic event that kind of traumatized us all, but unless you were IN NYC or had a family member or friend die in the attacks, like… shut up? And stop telling me not to forget it, because last time I checked, I CAN’T. Those images are pretty much stuck in my brain forever? I WISH I could forget, actually? Is that a bad thing?

    I don’t know why I chose this post to say all that, just… buh.

  10. Really? One of the most monumental moments in the history of the country for the last couple decades and people shouldn’t be allowed to talk about where they were/what they were doing? I mean, I wasn’t in NYC, had no family member or friend die…and yet I can tell you almost every detail of that day.

    Also, if my parents ever mention where they were when Armstrong landed on the moon or JFK was shot, I’m telling them to shut the fuck up.

    • Yeah, this post is pretty confusing. The factoid has clearly been plucked from some other context – it is actually super mundane so it can’t possibly be the point of what Salman was talking about. So I can’t see why Gabe thinks it’s funny or outrageous or whatever caused him to write 360 more words about it.

      You know what would be a good ironic 9/11 story, actually, would be someone who was on a serious drug and alcohol binge in, say, a Reno motel room, and flips on the TV several days after the fact, and can’t understand what he’s even seeing. And when it finally sinks in he feels guilty for being a waste of a human life, and he never shakes the feeling that somehow HE was responsible. In an effort to escape his former self he goes so far as to get a sex change, and tries to create an entirely new life in order to actually make a difference. And that person turns out to be….Pamela Geller.

      • I actually meant my comment as a reply to briadru4.

        BUT. Rushdie was actually using that as an example of how pointless and useless and terrible wife Padma was, so…

        • Well, I feel Briadru4 in the sense that I am still somewhat hurt and angry about 9/11 and bristle when I see sanctimonious bumper stickers etc. that say “never forget” as though I somehow don’t take it seriously enough. One suspects that these people are somehow getting off on a perverse enthusiasm for the attacks, like they are 9/11 fans or something.

          But yeah, this Padma/Salman story? Shruuuugggg.

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