OUTLOOK Monday 08 July, 2019
House Full

Though the Trinamool cut a sorry figure, then took its rev­erses badly, our favourite MPs from Bengal—close pals  and actresses Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan, were unt­ouched by the sour petulance. Fresh from Nusrat’s wedding in Turkey, and so absent when other MPs took their oaths in Parliament, the duo did the needful later, not forgetting to use ‘Jai Bangla’. Didi is happy; can’t say we aren’t, too!

Second Take?

When A-list moviestars appear on TV, sure that their performance will capture that effortless cuteness on the big screen they took many takes to master, they run into trouble. Kareena appeared on stage as judge of a popular dance show, looked fetching in  yellow, jived with choreo­grapher Bosco Martis and rapper Raftaar. Then, she desc­en­­ded into the ord­­inary—mouthing tired dialogue, faking excitement (bad acting), spraying superlatives like cheap deo. Ah, practice makes perfect.

Marching Orders Given

It’s natural that a drill sergeant with a taste for terrifying young  cad­ets will be a fearsome sergeant intimidating batsmen before they schlep off to the pavilion after yet another meek snick off his bowling. Then, Sheldon Cottrell, West Indies’ fast bowler and proud member of the Jamaican army, launches into his wildly popular routine: three stiff, militarily perfect steps forward, a salute and hands and head thrown backwards in unbounded joy.

Boom To Bust: A Sad Tale

You’ll feel doubly depressed if you superimpose this tale of Boris Becker’s utter penury with those indelible, faded-colour images from Wimbledon, 1985: hands aloft, the quivering frame of a flaxen-­haired 17-year-old after he won the championship point. Becker, who was declared bankrupt, is now selling off his silverware: replica grand slam trophies, medals, clothing, watches, racquets, raise money that would keep him afloat. Fiscal prudence might not be Becker’s strongest serve, but can they not organise a charity match for him?

An Actress Prepares

It speaks for myopic, unprofessional casting dire­ctors i­n Bolly­wood that someone who looks as int­el­ligently del­ectable as Bidita Bag (Babumos­hai Bandook­baaz) was till recently refused roles on account of long-held biases against ex-models, non-native Hindi speakers and anyone not sporting a vacant prettiness. But her dark days might be over; Bidita shoots for a new film in Lucknow.

This Too Happened

The BBC’s Tonight with Vladmir Putin has a CGI generated version of the Russian supremo hosting a talk show where his guests are in on the gag as well. The show hasn’t quite captured the public imagination in Britain, with The Telegraph newspaper calling it an “unfunny, offensive mess”.

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  • Our nationalist cine workers associations have passed a diktat—anyone who dares to perform in Pakistan will be ostr­acised henceforth. Poor Mika Singh peddled his fare at a Pakistani wedding and was, consequently, banned from performing in India. Our steadfast protectors didn’t stop at this—Mika is in Salman’s entourage for a US tour, so they have theatened the superstar with a shut-out too if.... Appeal to our dearest Bhai: flex those muscles, do, and call these cowards out.
  • They might be exultantly posing around a broodingly resplendent red planet, but do you, pati­ent assessors of Bolly­woodian verisimilitude, see determind space scientists  in Sonakshi, Nithya Menen, Taapsee, Kirti Kulhari, Vidya and ‘mission director’ Akshay? Mission Mangal’s cast, who impersonate the ISRO team which sent Mangalyaan on its way, had better stick to the antakshari made pop­ular during its promotion. What next? Spuds growing on Akshay’s poop on Mars?
  • That England is an immigrant country is evident from its cricket and football teams, and prominent young people from all walks of life—from politicians to activists, from artistes to academics. Add beauty queens to that. At Miss England, is Bhasha Mukherjee, 23, took the top laurel. But this was just a lazy aside,   almost an afterthought for Bhasha—a doctor with two medical deg­rees. Disabusing us of our hidebound ideas about pageant divas, she says she tried it “to balance out my studying”. Whew! What a winner!
  • And the Indian bridal fashion par­ade continues: a sumptuous reh­ashing of the same designs with new nomenclature. This  latest, gorgeous line by an old master at the game, Tarun Tahiliani, goes by the name of ‘Bloom’­—a richly det­ailed whirligig meant to represent a “synthesis of cultures and values” meant for “young spirited” brides. That’s some change, so take note—if you’re sprightly enough, you deserve this.


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