If there’s one Indian-American accent that has gone down remarkably smoothly in the celebrity presenter/ announcer circuit, it’s that purveyed by Priyanka Chopra. After a successful outing with the Oscar nominations (with husband Nick Jonas), she was a presenter, among several, at the BAFTAs, in London’s Royal Albert Hall the other night. For the red carpet ceremony, she was a sight to behold: the high-waisted trousers with pleats and billows are common enough, but the piece de resistance was the crimson jacket with floral embroidery. Its inverted plunge and a peek at that low-hanging necklace would, we imagine, be the envy of many dazzling women of the night. Add to it the meticulous coiffure and the misty expression. Nick was there too, in a sharp Armani, but we chose to keep our frames tight, and appreciate your approving nod.
A greater kerfuffle has not ever befallen a beauty pageant. The scene is the Mrs Sri Lanka contest, where Pushpika de Silva takes the crown and, flanked by the two runners-up, the three ladies—all gowned and nosegayed—pose for the cameras. It’s then that the previous year’s winner and the current Mrs World, Caroline Jurie, steps in. Taking charge, she announces that since Pushpika is a ‘divorcee’, she can’t win, as per rules. Then she proceeds to remove the tiara from the poor girl’s head—the procedure takes a good 15 seconds—and places it on the first runner-up. Bedlam breaks out. Our photo captures the moment: Pushpika paralysed in dismay, while the would-be recipient, torn between horror and hilarity, covers her mouth. The off-stage drama? The ‘badly injured’ P proves that she’s only separated, and gets her headgear back. Sour Caroline is stripped of her title, is briefly jailed and then bailed. Mystery: Who broke the dressing room mirrors?
A lighter, spiffier A.R. Rahman cuts an indisputable dash in his latest photos like this one: cool shades, slip-ons and a tolerably checked jacket (the trousers are another matter). But the heart of India’s top pop music export to the West hangs heavy with various ‘misconceptions’ swirling about him. Much of it is about the fact that since he’s broken into Hollywood, Rahman has no time for Indian movies. Piffle, says the man, pained by the dastardly insinuation. Most disconcertingly for him, a lot of people seem to opt a medley of composers for a specific movie, not considering the services of our homely Mozart. Maybe Rahman will answer those forked-tongued serpents with the music from the soon-to-be-released, multi- lingual (Hindi, Telugu, Tamil) 99 Songs—a movie he has co-written and produced too.
It’s the sheer variety of seascapes that the blessed island nation of Maldives offers that strains the mind: sultry, fresh stretches of surf and sand at daybreak; picturesque piers at mid-day and shades of a classic English seaside resort under laden skies. Needless to say, each of those dreamily presented scenarios was the backcloth for a diva on a demonstrative vacation. For Janhvi Kapoor—her metallic blue swimsuit a mirror for the exquisite light on play—we have a sprinkle of fluffy, cottoned clouds, a sliding sun and the open sea beyond. “Iridescence”, writes Janhvi pithily, hereby earning our esteem with the mot juste.