OUTLOOK Monday 16 April, 2001
Postcard Memories

Never mind that a spruced-up Maurya Sheraton in the capital, with loads of crisp Thai orchids and succulent Sikandari raan, didn’t tempt him enough. Former US prez Bill Clinton instead opted for the Roosevelt House in the capital for his night halt. But his love-affair with India continued—dressed casually in henna-green T-shirt and off-white trousers, he walked around in the narrow and desolate bylanes of Anjar and Ratnal in quake-devastated Gujarat, broke his security cordon when over two-dozen school girls came forward to apply tika and perform a puja, and mingled freely with all and sundry. “I am shaken up. I just can’t find the right words. It’s so depressing,” he kept saying. He didn’t even eat anything the whole day during his visit. “Please don’t force me to eat,” he told his hosts.

Curls and Curves

You just cannot ignore this. After burning her fingers with Bollywood, Nagma is now eager for a foothold in the Kannada film industry. She reportedly called up a director recently and pleaded for a role. “I have lost weight and can dance with vigour,” she reportedly told him. Some desperation, no?

King of the Jungle

Valmik Thapar’s go at “red tapism” at the first Carl Zeiss Wildlife award, given to G.V. Reddy of the Ranthambhor National Park last week, had many squirming. The talk of the evening—the mating scenes in Thapar’s film on Ranthambhor tigers.

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  • When elders were struggling to lift, let alone read, Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, most of us were in shorts or babbling in the cradle, if we were there at all. Good for us that now Mira Nair is in charge of a BBC-backed series based on it, and that Tabu (seen here with Ishaan Khatter in this ‘first look’) will probably play Lata, bride of the titular boy. “...Epic tale of an unseen India,” says Nair. Unseen, eh? Let’s see.
  • Everyone who’s hurt those  sharply slanted eyes, spurned those ruby-red lips, has had cause to reg­ret. For over a decade now, Taylor Swift has turned all heartbreaks and slurs into award-winning lyrics—everything is grist to her songwriting mill. The result is 29  wins at the American Music Awards (six this year, and five more than Michael Jackson managed). Plus  fanatical fans would rejoice  at her being named both artist of the year and that of the decade. If these boys are asking her to ‘shake it off’,  they’ll have cause for regret.
  • Two women sitting on laps of men, glad, artificial grins plastered over their faces...you’d be forgiven to think such things are embarrassingly passe in the 21st century. It’s evidently not in Bollywood. And so, the comedy Good Newwz, starring Kiara Advani, Diljit Dosanjh, Akshay and Kareena, will possibly live up to its tagline: ‘the biggest goof-up of the year’. A comedy about IVF, did you say? We shudder in anticipation.
  • Bollywood must be dreading  the Calcutta International Film Festival—a stentorian call from the CM...the unenlightening prospect of a day full of drumbeats. However, there is no respite for Shahrukh (Amitabh fell ill at an opportune  period). Though flanked by filmmaker Goutam Ghosh, Mamata herself and Sourav, the stage-show was stopped by the bonhomie between Rakhee and SRK: singing along a pat­riotic Rabi­ndrasangeet and reminiscing  about the sets of Baazigar.