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NOW that Sanjay Dutt is finally out, girlfriend Rhea Pillai can go about doing things that love lorn lasses are otherwise not permitted to do. Inaugurating bag boutiques for example. The lady made a now-you-see-me-now-you-don't appearance at the opening of a Jane Shilton showroom in suburban Bombay. She cut the red ribbon and an even more striking figure and got out of the scene pretty fast. But not before wishing the outlet, something which she and Sanjay keep running out of—"lots of good luck!"
THE Dream Girl is finally realising her own dream. Hema Malini is setting up a dance academy—one that will hold classes on Bharatnatyam, Chhau, Mohiniattam and Odissi, plus house huge rehearsal halls and an auditorium that will seat 800. The only hitch, however, has been the state government which had earlier promised her a plot in Bombay's plush Juhu locality but which is now trying to push her towards the not-so-affluent suburb of Malad. But the lady is adamant. "Art needs a proper atmosphere to grow," she says, not willing to dance to their tune anymore. Well, it will require some fancy footwork for Hema to put this one through.
WITH Oru Neenda Yathra (A Long Journey), filmmaker Murali Nair seems all set to go places. The six-minute short film, dealing with communal conflicts, is the first Indian film of its kind to find a hot slot for itself in the Competition Section of the Cannes International Film Festival. The experience, though novel, is not entirely new to the young Mumbai-based director whose Tragedy of an Indian Farmer, screened in the Indian Panorama in 1994, won him the Special Jury Award at the National Film Festival.
AFTER the success of the music videos of Alisha Chinai's Made in India and Asha Bhonsle's Piya tu ab to aaja, Ken Ghosh has become a much wanted man in the music world. The latest big name to drop in at his doorstep is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The qawwali king's next album will have a video directed by Ghosh. "The number has not been decided upon and work will only start at the end of the month", he says. But then, Ghosh has a difficult task at hand—with due apologies to the master, Nusrat isn't exactly as comely as Alisha or Sonali Bendre. "We are scouting for faces but he is pretty good in his own way," quips Ghosh.
ACE Sikkimese footballer Baichung Bhutia is on the move once again. International Management Group (IMG), the world's most influential sports management company, has signed him on as their first individual client in India. The mercurial 20-year-old forward, described by IMG's general manager in India, Richard Alford, as "a player of exceptional ability...who also has a personality that wins him instant fans," can now concentrate on his goal in life: making the most of his natural talent. Says Bhutia: "With IMG's considerable resources at my disposal, I can now be safe in the knowledge that my interests are being looked after." The gifted lad from rural Sikkim deserves it all.