IT may be difficult coming out of the shadow of a father like Mallikarjun Mansur, but Rajshekhar has taken a step closer to that. Last week in Bangalore, Mansur Jr enthralled an attentive audience with a rendition of a rare raga, Bairari. He's also busy trying to prevent the dilution of the Jaipur Atrauli gharana. An English lecturer by profession, Rajshekhar has now carved a niche for himself in Hindustani music with a repertoire of several rare ragas. Mile sur aisa hamara!
AFTER a rather quiet passage through China Gate, Om Puri is back on the small screen with a comic blast from the past. Kakkaji Ki Waapsi seeks to revive the droll glory of the Basu Chatterjee-directed Kakkaji Kahin. The new series, which will also have Shail Chaturvedi reprising his role, will take potshots at coalition politics, says Chatterjee. The first of the 26 episodes, being shot for DD's primary channel, is expected to be on air next month.
HUMAN bomb Ayesha Dharker has only just begun. After winning the best actress award at the Cairo Film festival for Santosh Sivan's The Terrorist, the 21-year-old is all set to explode on screen with British-American film Arabian Nights. Currently being shot in Turkey, Ayesha, as the genie's wife, belly dances through dream sequences. Ask her what's next and shell tell you: I dont have a plan. There are many roles being offered to me. Star quality this!
IT'S a crowning moment for the celebrated playwright who initially set out to Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship to study maths. And, what better time to be conferred the Jnanpith than when Girish Karnad, 60, is away at a remote village in Shimoga district, working on a teleserial based on a novel by Dr K.V. Puttappa, Kannada's first Jnanpith laureate. Titled Kanuru Subbamma Heggadathi, it will be telecast in Kannada and Hindi. Karnad is the seventh Kannada writer to win the award - the prize money has gone up from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh this year. Wife Saraswathi's reaction: I'm delighted; I'm sure he's too.
TIME to smile. Ex-Miss World Aishwarya Rai has been signed on by Swiss luxury watchmaker Longines as their brand ambassadress. Which means the 25-year-old Mangalorean beauty will lend her presence to all brand-building activities for the company. And with the Rishi Kapoor directed Aa Ab Laut Chalen released, 1999 may just be a tad bit kinder to this Rai. Or will time tell?
HER background's stranger than the titles of her films (A, AK-47, Rajasthan). Kannada film actress Chandini grew up in Africa, lived in Sri Lanka and New York, and went to Mysore University before being spotted by Upendra, director of A. The film, about an actress liaison with a director, hit bull's eye, running for 275 days in Bangalore. In one word, A is different, says Chandini. So is she.