OUTLOOK Monday 24 June, 2019
Princely Pause

Since the moment we set our eyes on him on that October evening in 2000, that cracklingly clean ‘plock’ of the ball on his bat, with the whistle-fresh swing and follow-­through, marvelled us. It was the same in Yuvraj Singh’s last inter­national inn­ings. Sandwitched within were six miraculous, now-mythical sixes in an over, the no less magical performances in the 2011 World Cup, and a great, big-hearted recovery from illness. You have a great life after retirement, Yuvi.

Make It To Ouagadougou, Miss Fleet-Foot?

Dropping in on North Korea, or Syria, or Sudan, or the Central African Republic for a merry jaunt can be pretty tricky. But American Lexie Alford, 21, wasn’t going to let a few strongmen deter her from fulfilling her ambition: to visit all 196 sovereign nations of the world. In the course of achieving that, she visited the pyramids and let out this move. The pharaohs would have been impressed.

Rafa, Dream Winner

When you keep on winning an event, piling on trophies—12 of them—an entire generation of people would mostly have seen you triumph. Well that’s Rafael Nadal, the French Open and an admiring horde of ballgirls. As Boris Becker put it, the genius triumvirate of Rafa, Federer and Djokovic has kept everyone from winning anything since 2017. Learn from them, ye hopeless young men.

We Cheer A Straight Pass

While being a proud German, midfield maestro Mesut Ozil wore his Islamic and Turkish identities on his calves, visited President Erdogan in sup­p­ort when the ‘free world’ was castigating him, then let go of all in disgust at the mou­nting criticism. When he married lov­­­ely Amine, an actress,  recently, the prez was best man.

Flimsy, Caution

This sheerest of marriages between a gown and a swimsuit caused Vietnamese model Ngoc Trinh, 29, endless trouble. While no one took much notice of the infe­licitous union at Cannes, a huge uproar back home caused the culture minister to term it “imp­roper and offensive”. Weirdly, a probe was launched to see if she violated decency laws 9,000 miles away. Poor Ngoc now faces a fine. We think the amount can be stumped up through a secret crowd funding.

This Too Happened

A probe by a UK-based daily has revealed the extent to which Russia is trying to exert control over Africa. It revealed that the Russians are building relations with existing rulers and grooming leaders in 13 countries in a bid to supplant the influence of old colonial powers like France, UK and Belgium.

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  • If you’d like to stitch together a Hollywood dream team, it has to have Marty, Bob and Sonny. The BFI London film festival saved its hushed breath for The Irishman—a gangster drama by the man who helped define the genre in Goodfellas and The Departed. Yet, in this autumnal light, Frank (De Niro) and Jimmy (Al Pacino) are just not snarling desperados, six-shooters at the ready. Time is also spent on sombre reflection—old reg­rets, moral reckonings and the one important thing that finally matters: mortality.
  • An evening in Paris is kinda incomplete without appreciating up-close those high-kicking cancan dancers in flesh-exposing ostrich feather costumes at Moulin Rouge. It’s a touristy tradition of 130 years, a milestone the cabaret reached this aut­umn. Enjoy the choreography and quaff your way through a bottle of champagne. 82 Boulevard de Clichy, Please
  • Kendall Jenner, Camila Morr­one, Scooter Braun, Kim Kard­ashian, Joan Smalls...that’s a guestlist straight out of a Craigslist of new-world cel­e­­bdom. Except the model and the real-life showgirl, we hadn’t heard of anyone (had you?). They banded together at the wedding ceremony of Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin in South Carolina. Don’t it look like they’re on a school trip?
  • His penchant for prancing about in outrageous clothes —the incessant, kitschy peacocking—might irritate you, but the one role tailormade for Ranveer Sinh’s exuberance was Gully Boy. Inspired by street rappers Divine and Naezy, Ranveer, his rapper team and Alia set Dharavi alight with their defiant poe­try. Acclaimed by all, it is now India’s official entry to the Oscars. We need them to break the fourth wall now.