OUTLOOK Wednesday 27 March, 1996
Transient Beauty

SHE roams the universe, but Sushmita Sen remains li'l Miss India at heart. Rajat Tara, the Indian boyfriend is well, Indian. But so's the American boyfriend, billionaire Rajiv Tandon. What's not very Indian though, is the falling out with her mother with whom she has irreconciliable differences. She's moved out into a Rs 50-lakh house she's bought in Gurgaon. Friends say it's large enough to accommodate both her Indian interests.

Poetic Gesture

LONDON-based Pakistani actor Zia Mohiuddin, he of Bombay Talkie, Immaculate Conception, and the immensely popular Family Pride series fame, had the Indian audience eating out of his hands at his poetry reading session at Delhi's India International Centre last fortnight. Switching effortlessly from Urdu to English, he read selections from Faiz, T.S. Eliot, Rudyard Kipling and Charles Allen. And in a handsome gesture to the Indians, he began with a reading of a Rig Vedic hymn. Salutary move. Especially in these World Cup fever-charged days when people's behaviour is not "quite cricket" as they say.

Royal Plumage

FRIENDS recall going to see Muzaffar Ali at two in the morning, waiting in the living room for the sleeping sahib, then their surprise at seeing him emerge from his bedroom, immaculate in crisp white chinos and linen shirt. That dandy reputation stands confirmed. Last week, together with wife number three Meera, the Kotwara nawab unveiled his Kotwara for Men line at Lekha Poddar's upper-crust Carma studio in Mehrauli. Delhi's Maruti maharajas are queueing up for the tres chic Kotwara plumage: white-on-white embroidered kurtas for Rs 1,500. Royal price? Well, royal collection.

More August Encounters

RAHUL Bose, the Agastya of English, August fame, isn't doing too badly. "I'm making more than enough money," he twinkles. And is expecting to make more once he's signed and sealed what he calls "a quasi-art, another outright commercial Hindi film". Also on the anvil: two foreign serials. He won't divulge more details than those: "Many a slip between the cup and the lip. Till everything is finalised I'd prefer to be circumspect." What he is a little less circumspect about is his disastrous A Mouthful of Sky experience. "It has improved tremendously lately in terms of production values, but I must confess I cringed each time I saw myself in that serial earlier." Mouthful of pie, Rahul?

Sibling Suitability

ANOTHER suitable boy gone. Shantam Seth, little brother of author Vikram Seth, inspiration for the anti-nuke segment of Golden Gate, married Gitanjali Varma last fortnight. In style. Near Gangotri where rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi meet. 100 guests attended, Hindu and Buddhist priests blessed the union that surprised Big Brother whose suitable boy sub-plot their story resembles. "Knew they worked together, but this marriage is a pleasant surprise." Always is, when life imitates art.

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  • As a snarling Dirty Harry teases out criminals in LA; as Frank Serpico goes und­ercover in New York, Chulbul Pandey does age-old, comic acrobatics to hurt ‘baddies’, then giggles around his lady love. Flogging the same masala, here comes the trailer of Dabangg 3, at the launch of which Salman points at the same direction, while Sonakshi Sinha and Saiee Manjrekar prepare to follow the leader with loving attention.
  • What do they actually do in Bigg Boss—that synthetic morass of shape-­shifting loyalties, gro­up­­ings and couplings by people clinging on to the skirts of fame, dragg­ing along an endless stream of stragglers agape before their boxes? At least Boman Irani, Rajkummar Rao and Mouni are doing something specific—horsing around joyfully, canvassing for their film Made in China. Major domo Sal­man, of  course, is there at every step, falling in and out with practised difficulty.
  • If you’d like to stitch together a Hollywood dream team, it has to have Marty, Bob and Sonny. The BFI London film festival saved its hushed breath for The Irishman—a gangster drama by the man who helped define the genre in Goodfellas and The Departed. Yet, in this autumnal light, Frank (De Niro) and Jimmy (Al Pacino) are just not snarling desperados, six-shooters at the ready. Time is also spent on sombre reflection—old reg­rets, moral reckonings and the one important thing that finally matters: mortality.
  • An evening in Paris is kinda incomplete without appreciating up-close those high-kicking cancan dancers in flesh-exposing ostrich feather costumes at Moulin Rouge. It’s a touristy tradition of 130 years, a milestone the cabaret reached this aut­umn. Enjoy the choreography and quaff your way through a bottle of champagne. 82 Boulevard de Clichy, Please