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Last week Mulayam Singh Yadav was spotted at a Delhi jeweller's ordering a heavy emerald necklace for guess who? Laloo Yadav's daughter Misa, who's soon going to tie the knot with Mulayam's son. Seems like Papa Laloo has managed to convince his daughter that politics makes for a much better alliance than just love of the kind Misa had been nurturing for a local lad.
After Afreen, Afreen what? Is the peddler of towels, Lisa Ray, who sizzled on the desert sands for Nusrat Fateh Ali's music video, now turning columnist? Gushy about Goa and dilatory about diet, she's churning out lively copy. Among her latest is the one in which she discloses her beauty secrethow she blocked her dietary yo-yo syndrome by entering a Zone. The discipline challenged model recommends Dr Barry Sears' Mastering The Zone to boo away adipose. By following this tome you can eat your fill and still deal with yourself and the weighing scale the next morning. And surely, Dr Sears could not have asked for a better model for his wares.
On January 12, His Holiness the Dalai Lama formally announced 1999 as the Year of Compassion. Making the announcement from the picturesque Drepuling Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, he said that a sense of caring and concern for others are the pillars for the development of a happy and stable society.
The initiative for the Year of Compassion has been taken by the Karuna Foundation, a non-sectarian Buddhist organisation headed by Dr Kagyur Rinpoche. Set up in 1992 to further the Tibetan cause, the Foundation so far has been actively engaged in humanitarian work among the underprivileged in Delhi and other parts of the country. Forthcoming projects include an eye-care centre and Tibetan holistic centres in Delhi and Maharashtra. As part of the year-long celebrations, a fund-raising concert with popular Indipop stars will be held in Delhi on March 27.
The Foundation has taken great strides, more so due to the tireless efforts of Dr Rinpoche. Not many know that he was recognised by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of Kagyur Lama, who was reincarnated as the 13th Dalai Lama. Dr Rinpoche spent 20 years studying Buddhism at the Drepuling Monastery but renounced monkhood six years ago to marry actress Mandakini of Ram Teri Ganga Maili fame. The couple has a six-year-old son.
So what about her alleged links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim? I always denied any connections with him, shrugs the actress. Says she: I help my husband in his work now and and go wherever he goes. One last nugget: The Rinpoche is none other than the famed Murphy Baby of the '60s Murphy radio ads who was rumoured to have died mysteriously. The truth is that he was studying furiously to achieve his elevated status of today. Actor Deepak Parashar, who was also present at the monastery as chief guest, spent his time cooking two dozen ginger eggs, four kg of lemon chicken and chana-pulao. No one turned up for the dinner though!
From the civilised living rooms of New Delhi to the hurly-burly of Jharkhand politics, Jehanara Jaipal Singh is eminently qualified for both. But it's the Jharkhand movement that is the focus of her attention. Her late husband, Jaipal Singh, was the founder of the movement in the late '30s, in addition to captaining the Indian hockey team which won its first gold medal in Amsterdam in 1928. Now Jehanara, a three-time Rajya Sabha MP in her own right, says she's going back to Bihar to organise the movement. How will she succeed when others have failed? Her reply: You'll see the results.
Awards are now almost part and parcel of Mira Nair's repertoire. No surprise then, that her latest offering My Own Country is up for the Peabody Award For Excellence in Media Journalism. The film based on the Indian-born, Ethiopia-based Dr Abraham Verghese, is a moving story of Africa's battle with aids. Says Nair: The film is not a downer. It's a testimony to the human spirit. The Berlin Film Festival is the next stop. Come summer, she'll focus on her next project, The Woman Next Door, a romantic US $20 million plus tale of obsessive love about a couple who can't live with/without each other.