OUTLOOK Monday 26 March, 2018
Rolling Up The Hills

Throwing in one’s hat on to the political roulette table is all very well, till the enormity of the decision sinks in like a tonne. It sent Rajnikanth on a two-week spiritual trip to the Himalayas, to an ashram in Rishikesh, for a quietening spell of meditation. No tricks there, Thalaivar!

So, What Happened?

She’s slipped again. That would be Hillary Clinton, sliding and slithering during her descent down the stairs in Mandu’s Jahaj Mahal palace. This is after last October’s nasty, toe-breaking fall in London while promoting her book, What Happened, which is an explanation of her befuddling loss to Donald Trump in 2016. This private visit to India also squeezed in a lecture on the book.

Slash Not Our Kitty

The randomness in which social media bestows a month’s superstardom on people is a wondrous thing to behold. Like South Korean pop songs/dance videos that involve little song and dance.... The latest addition is samurai Kyutaro, from the Japanese movie Neko Zamurai. Hired by a rival, dog-loving gang, he is tasked to kill a rival’s cat, but refuses after meeting the fluffy blob. Now that’s the cutest you’d let a warrior be.

Stars Needn’t Speak Much

The history of Bollywood is, partially, the history of actors in the throes of passion being interrupted rudely by custom-made prudery. Amir dealt an early blow to fortress scissors with that indelible kiss in QSQT. In freer times now, the actor met reporters on an airport on his 53rd birthday. Near at hand was wife Kiran Rao. The men with pens badgered on; Amir concentrated on the one important thing.

Don’t Let The Scoundrels Off

The subject of trolls (subject of our cover story too, in case you’re reading this from the end) works Shibani Dandekar up no end. The actress-host is herself  a victim (just imagine losers who can’t take a photo like this in robust humour), believes in the good cheer soc­ial media is capable of and is taking action. She’s hosting  Troll Police, a TV show that aims to bring  celebrities and  their trolls face to face.

RIP Maestro

From classic age stars like Garbo and Marlene Dietrich to golden age divas like Liz Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly and, unforgettably, Audrey Hepburn, Hubert de Givenchy had them hankering for his royal raiments. As pathbre­a­king as Coco Chanel and as han­dsome as Bond, his clothes “moved with a woman’s body”. Jackie Kennedy would have concurred, had you asked her.

This Too Happened

Though he’s not contemplating legal action, British artist Anish Kapoor has come down hard on the National Rifle Association for using his work in a promotional video. Kapoor abhors the “nightmarish, intolerant, divisive vision” of the NRA, which used his Cloud Gate sculpture from Chicago in a video.

  • NEWS

  • Chinese audiences’ app­etite for Bollywood drama rages unabated. The latest one to have the Peking boys sta­m­pede into the theatres and Shanghai’s dames squeal in pleasant fright is Sriram Raghavan’s suspense thriller Andha Dhun (marketed also as Piano Player, shades of Truffaut crime caper here) starring Ayushmann and Radhika. Rs 219 crore in two weeks is a handily handsome strike rate. Long live our ‘soft power’.
  • CSK Watch In this glad season for the Chennai Super Kings, ace atta­cking spinner Imran Tahir has been a sight to behold—his tight-fisted, spread-armed sprint after a wicket popular as ever on and off the field. After another easy win, skipper Dhoni dared Tahir’s son for a race. We don’t know who won, but it dissolved into a softly-softly celebration. Can Uncle Cool do it like Dad? We doubt it.
  • A midfield sultan meets a ruling badshah on the sidelines of an amphitheatre. That would be Shahrukh’s London meeting with Arse­nal’s central scimitar, Mesut Ozil. After damning the hypocrisy in German mult­i­­cultur­ism, Ozil is in a smoother space. SRK, who is huge in Turkey,  where Ozil’s roots lie, got a (rather formal) welcome in Hindi too.
  • The Lok Sabha elections draw near, so does the biopic of the country’s prime minister. Perfectly timed its rele­ase might be, but PM Narendra Modi has  earned the ire of lyricist Javed Akhtar—he was wrongly credited for work in a project he wasn’t involved in. Then there’s scepticism about how good a likeness is a shapely Vivek Oberoi for our most prominent politician. Ah, but just go in for the old-­fashioned songs: Ye desh nahin mitne dunga, sings a pat­riotic Modi in the film.


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