If 2020, this vale of tears we are passing through, has been the annus mirabilis for even a solitary person, that blessed individual has to be Hardik Pandya—formerly the enfant terrible of Indian cricket’s brash and young brigade, currently a haven of solid equanimity and spousal support. This snap, titled ‘Family’, shows the transformation: terriers longingly reaching out and shaggily dozing off, set off by the figure of wife Natasa Stankovic, a picture of contentment before imminent motherhood. Memories are made of this.
There’s the exemplary figure of Nathan Lyon—as potent as a strike fast bowler—and then there’s a void. The world of off-spin bowling is going through a lean phase—just look at the trials of England’s Dom Bess. Our mind wanders to Harbhajan Singh, forever probing with his loops and flats, snatcher of ecstasy from the jaws of despondency, a man with almost 700 international wickets. Therefore, the news that the Punjab government withdrew his name from the Khel Ratna award drew outrage. Then Bhajji, in a new, calm avatar, set the record straight: the award considers performances in the last three years (he last played for India in 2015).
The forests straddling Karnataka and Tamil Nadu once shed their trembling leaves at the very mention of the brigand Veerappan—his reputation as a poacher, smuggler, murderer and kidnapper of a top filmstar gaining in weight as he flexed that fierce handlebar moustache. His daughter, Vidhya Veerappan however, has now embarked on the marginally less tempestuous career of a politician, as the new vice president of BJP in Tamil Nadu. Though she might need to draw on some genetic brio to reverse its fortunes in TN, Vidhya herself reminds us of what her father told her on the only occasion they met: “do good, study well to become a doctor and serve people”.
There were two seasons (circa 2009-10) when the world of glamour photography bowed its head to Megan Fox, then beseeched her to show her tattoos in intimate attire, as lenses burnt under that hazel gaze. We present her thus in her glory, in velveteen swimsuit and fluffed up heels. Of course, there’s the news that, after splitting from husband Brian Austin Green, Megan’s now taken up with a rapper-actor called Machine Gun Kelly. Why, is he straight out of a Damon Runyon story, or a typical character that James Cagney played with such relish, guns flashing, in the Screaming Thirties? We’re worried, but wish Megan well.