Glitterati
OUTLOOK Wednesday 14 February, 1996
Royal Debit

LILY Mahtani, an Iran-born Indian socialite, has sued Sarah Ferguson for non-payment of debt. The socialite demands that the 142,500 pounds (Rs 52 lakh) the Duchess of York allegedly owes her be returned immediately. Fergie borrowed the money from Mahtani for a holiday in south of France last year; and has since returned only 5,000 pounds. The thirty something Mahtani has a richie rich businessman-husband and has powerful friends such as Prince Charles and Liz Taylor.

A Man of Letters

HIS billets-doux to Priyanka Gandhi probably never reached their destination, but journalists and policemen made a beeline for the 29-year-old JNU assistant professor's house when the startling news broke. And, in classic JNU fashion, students on the campus created a rumpus over police highhandedness. But the harried S.S. Maitra had another story to tell. "No, those were not exactly love letters because actually I consider Priyanka to be more of a kid sister rather than my wife. Actually those letters were addressed to an imaginary character in a Bengali movie...no, no, a novel. You can write this on television," he told a private TV news programme. Not that Doordarshan allowed the segment to be telecast—much to the relief of his mother. Since then, Maitra's protective mum has been warding off prying pen-pushers who've been trying to pry open the man's passionate heart. And in any case, 10 Janpath has now declared the matter closed.

Dance and Ruin

CHAMPANER, near Baroda, doesn't need the regular tourist brochure promotion to push its history anymore. Heritage Trust has discovered a novel way to do it—through dance. Come March 10 and Astad Deboo will bring Champaner's ruins alive, using them as a backdrop for his dance. Deboo, who has had his share of memorable moments—choreographing for Maya Plissetskaya, firebird of the Bolshoi ballet—will stick to his contemporary style of dance. But his audience won't be able to sit back and enjoy it. They will have to move, with each change of set to a new site where Deboo will leap, prance and contort, offering a modern look at Champaner's past.

Royal Debit

LILY Mahtani, an Iran-born Indian socialite, has sued Sarah Ferguson for non-payment of debt. The socialite demands that the 142,500 pounds (Rs 52 lakh) the Duchess of York allegedly owes her be returned immediately. Fergie borrowed the money from Mahtani for a holiday in south of France last year; and has since returned only 5,000 pounds. The thirty something Mahtani has a richie rich businessman-husband and has powerful friends such as Prince Charles and Liz Taylor.

The Childs Bard

POET-FILMMAKER Gulzar, currently shooting Maachis, a film about Punjab in the days of terrorism, will soon move to Bengal in the days of Tagore. His next venture, to be produced by the Jaya Bachchan-headed National Centre of Films for Children and Young People (NCYP), will be an adaptation of Kabuliwala. Naseeruddin Shah is tipped to play the lead. Though Gulzar has earned a fair reputation as a director of child actors (remember Parichay and Kitaab?), Kabuliwala will be his first full-fledged film for youngsters. "I have been making childish films all these years. Now I'll make a genuine film for the child in man," says the director.

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  • Amidst the mucky filth, smelling of cordite, that is Bengal’s bipartisan politics on the ground, there emerged two flowers empowered to fight the dominant one in Par­li­a­­ment. TMC’s Mimi and Nus­rat, beloved of cameras in this poll season, were sharply dressed as ever on their first day in the House.
  • Black cape, leather footwear, eyepatch and a tiara—say what you will about Madonna’s outfit in the Eurovision in Israel. Or the fact that her Like A Prayer was woefully out of tune. An inn­ocent espousal of peace—two dancers in her troupe, dressed in Israeli and Palestinian flags, and walking arm in arm—has been castigated as an unwarranted pol­itical comment. But politics is life, the beating heart of art.
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