OUTLOOK Monday 11 December, 2000
London Bridge is Falling

It's not quite cricket. If Stardust is to be believed, the Prince of Calcutta is now rumoured to be wooing Naghma. The two were allegedly caught cootchie-cooing on a London bridge recently where Saurav had gone to play county cricket. The magazine also says that the lady even followed him to Kenya later. Talk of dangerous liaisons and this surely is one. In the meantime, both Preity Zinta and Sanjay Dutt are peeved at rumours pairing them. Sanju even calls Preity his kid sister. Wow!

Trained to Delude

Don't trust him when he claims that he can nab Veerappan. After all, like P.C. Sorcar, Samraj too is a master illusionist. An engineer by profession, Samraj has some other firsts to his credit—he claims to have transformed a train engine into a live elephant. And now, as if taking a cue from the renowned magician's Taj act, Samraj has other bigger plans—he wants a chance to make Delhi's India Gate vanish!


It's time to mix politics with religion. And there were enough of those by-now-fashionable smooches in the air when Delhi's chatterati met our politicos at the iftar party thrown by party-lover Amar Singh at Mulayam Singh Yadav's residence. And when Singh's playing the host, can Aby Baby be far behind? The highlight of the evening—Singh singing like a canary that the Big B had specially flown in from Mumbai. Others seen devouring the chicken jahangiris and keema kalejis (after a good round of dates, watermelons, pomegranate and some exotic fruit juices) included J&K CM Farooq Abdullah, the younger Abdullah, Manmohan Singh and Anil Ambani.

Steering a Cause

Don't be mistaken. This ain't any village belle but our own Renuka Choudhary, driving a tractor all the way from Delhi's Lodi Road to the Parliament House on Wednesday morning. She dodged the morning rush-hour traffic and, of course, the five-plus Delhi Police Gypsys and countless barricades. The provocation? She says she was fighting (or should we say driving!) for the cause of Andhra Pradesh farmers. And what did the police do? Nothing but arrest the unsuspecting owner of the tractor.

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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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