It’s a question that has been piquing us: as legions of young Bollywood whippersnappers cavorted and pouted across the Indian Ocean seaboard in the past one-and-a-half years, why didn’t Deepika, one of its reigning queens, pack her bikinis and follow suit? The answer is in three parts. Firstly, Deepika’s reluctance stems from her sensibly liberal views. Secondly, she herself suffered a terrible spell of Covid that left her impossibly weak. But mostly, she is working, and training, hard. The grueling sessions—1.5 hours of it every day, which can wilt a greater mass of muscles—is for the action-thriller Pathan, co-starring Shahrukh Khan. We present Deepika here, a little worse for wear, in a white gown. Her untouched radiance easily outdoes that pearl earring.
Golden bangles jingling, and a bewildering variety of tassels swaying to the practiced rhythm of her nether region—the whole world knows that Shakira’s hips never lie. It played true to the beats of a Football World Cup theme song, and gave her enough pizzaz to bandy words with fellow Colombian, the great Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But, oh, then came the jangle of gold coins, and Shakira, it seems, might have lost her sure footing. A Spanish judge sniffed it first and conducted a three-year probe. At its end, he says there’s “sufficient evidence of criminality” relating to tax fraud. Between 2012 and 2014, when she mostly resided in Spain, the hipster bombshell is alleged to have not paid $16.4 million in taxes due to the state. In a 2019 testimony, Shakira denied any wrongdoing, claiming she paid the piddle sum with alacrity. Now, she faces jail time. At least Spanish prisons don’t have the drug-ridden lowlife that infests Colombian jails.
First, it was the long, messy locks that hung limply on M.S. Dhoni’s capable shoulders—it was to become a talismanic memory of the T20 World Cup win in 2007. Then, with age and a settled coolness came the classic short-on-the-sides longer-at-the-top style—that never distracted him during the finals of the World Cup. After brief dalliances with the crew and the buzz cut, near the end of his career, Dhoni had even the top of the head sawn away. Now, well into retirement, with his popularity still a raging wildfire, Dhoni has lured more fans in with the faux hawk—a central ridge of raised hair, flanked by strands slicked upwards. It’s a companion to what Neymar had done in recent years, a far-flung relative of Roberto Baggio’s old look. And that shapely beard might throw Virat Kohli into insecure confusion. One other thing—shades of grey had once infiltrated Dhoni’s coiffure. Those have been banished with a firm hand.
Our second apparition in white doesn’t swamp Instagram with entire clothing lines, nor does she make violent love to the camera at every opportunity. Yet Kiara Advani’s appeal among the masses flows like a subterranean stream—subtle and nourishing. As her film Shershahh nears release, the lovely girl is forced to hold up the business end of things and appear in a horribly expensive evening gown for our delectation. The outcome, as is laid plainly here, is mesmerising: from the tip of her golden earlobes to her ringed fingers, from her straight, bronzed hair to that look of artless expectation in those magnetic eyes. We don’t know much about jersey tops and buckled closures, but we are connoisseurs of the complete look, and in our impeccable judgement, Kiara has the licence to play on beyond closing hours.