OUTLOOK Monday 19 April, 1999
Maura's Song

SHE has been many things at different times. Maura Moynihan, daughter of one-time US ambassador to India and now Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, is currently biding her time as a writer. Titled Masterji and Other Stories, her first collection of short stories will be released this week. About her own life in India, she says: "It’s impossible to live anywhere else once you have lived here. I am a cultural refugee here. And the stories reflect that situation of a westerner coming to the east." A happy homecoming, hopefully?

The Tina Factor

RELIANCE bahu Tina Ambani gets the artistic urge. Spurred by the success of her Harmony show, the former actress is said to be planning an institution on the lines of the National Centre for Performing Arts. The idea is to nurture new talent by giving them cheap space to exhibit their work. From polyester yarn to high art, this one’s come a long way.

Finger on the Pulse

THE Bomb (as Pokhran-II is now called non-euphemistically) evoked widespread debate, views, writings and opinions. One such piece by author Amitav Ghosh in The New Yorker has been nominated for the 34th National Magazine Awards in the Reporting category. Titled A Reporter At Large: Countdown; Why Can’t Every Country Have The Bomb?, the story made Ghosh one of the 73 finalists chosen from over 1,320 print and 60 new media entries. That’s a bombshell of an honour.

Weaving a Tale

CAN you keep a good model down? No, if the dame happens to be Madhu Sapre. Heartache, controversy, illness and many, many fashion shows later, the lady rises, this time as an author. While the plot’s unclear, her intent is resolute. Of finishing this project where the protagonist will naturally be a supermodel, the story, a weft of her life and times. And thereby hangs another tale.

Quick Gun Murugan

WHEN Britain welcomed the Thiruchel-vam family that fled the Sri Lankan war, they didn’t know they were getting a little genius in the bargain. Murugan Thiruchelvam at age 10 has become the youngest player to beat a grandmaster, felling Jonathan Levitt in 72 moves. He began to play chess when he was three-and-a-half and played his first adult tourney when he was was six. This is his fifth world record already. On beating Levitt, Murugan said he was "amazed, but not surprised." Really!

Happily Ever After

BEING Swraj Paul’s son makes Angad an eligible young man. An eligibility quotient that only skyrocketed with the box-office success of his critically acclaimed film Lock Stock and Three Smoking Barrels. Now suitable boy is to marry long-time companion Esha Akoi whose family owns Delhi’s Imperial Hotel. Does that leave damsels in distress?

An Equal Music

FLAUTIST Hariprasad Chaurasia did his bit to demystify Indian classical music when he launched The Raga Guide in London last week. The book, accompanied by four CDs, sets you off on a journey through 74 of the most popular ragas, tracing their ascent-descent, melodic outline, and sargam geet with notations in both Hindustani and western forms. Put together with Dutch musicologists, the project took eight years to bear fruit. But it has been well worth the wait.

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  • Couldn’t she have had a better hairstyle than one which makes her hair stand up in ungainly tufts, like that of a bird soaked to its skin in the Mumbai monsoon? Couldn’t he have worn a jacket without those offensive stripes, often an indicator of a perfect marriage of bad taste with sudden money? But Rahika is soaring after the success of Andhadhun; Ali Fazal, too, is gearing up for his role in a Hollywood production of Death on the Nile, the Poirot mystery. They smiled reassuringly at the ‘IIFA Rocks’ event; they had a lot of fun.  
  • Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla started designing trousseaus fit for a princess for the catwalk when designers weren’t famous in their own right. Thi­rty-three years on, they are well-known now, and celebrated with a show in Mumbai, They dressed up the reliably gorgeous Deepika in this intricately woven, ivory-embellished lehenga. At the end of the walk, she broke into a jig. For joy, certainly. But, given an inch, Bollywood will out!
  • With every conceivable sporting activity speedily shuffled up into a corporatised league for maximum milking, it’s unsurprising that the annual boat race on the Punnamada lake inaugurated the Cha­mpions Boat League. Sachin, outrigged by Kathakali dancers, spoke of Kerala’s resilience in the face of floods and its passion for cricket.
  • For all his Bhangra moves, Justin Trudeau had a diplomatically disastrous tour of India, but the boyishly handsome Canadian premier  rem­ains a darling of the masses, especially swooning womenfolk. It was no surprise then that at an informal gaggle of world leaders at the G7 summit, Melania turned to  him for a peck, as the weight of the world kept the scowl fixed on Donald’s face. As a Twitter wag put it: “Find someone who looks at you like  Melania looks at Trudeau.”


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