OUTLOOK Monday 31 December, 2001
A Decade of News

A decade in Delhi and The Pioneer celebrated it in style last week in the capital. The venue? Of course The Imperial and its Raj-styled premises—a fitting tribute to former columnists Rudyard Kipling and Winston Churchill. And when editor and MD Chandan Mitra stepped aside to let Vinod Mehta, the first editor, cut the cake, the sense of camaraderie was only too obvious. Even the PM couldn’t escape the infectious mood—addressing those present at a symposium organised for the occasion, he paused between Chandan Mitra and mitron, saying it was a good sign that one followed the other.

Fighting Queens

If you are a purist, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas is not for you. In Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s original, Paro and Chandramukhi never meet. Guess what is Bhansali’s climax scene? A “dance competition” between Mrs Nene and Aishwarya Rai, apart from a heavy dose of some “acidic dialogues”. Some concession to market demands, huh?

Erotica on the Coffee Table

Song and dance over a book? No less than Shubha Mudgal and Shovana Narayan sang and danced in celebration of Indian Erotica. Roli’s launch of India Habitat Centre’s art consultant Alka Pande and British photographer Lance Vane’s hot coffee-tabler was a rousing success, with all of Delhi’s page three crowd—aspirants and chroniclers—assembled to toast the event.

Heir Apparent

A swirl of memories, hundreds of sloganeering supporters and thousands of banners—the AICC headquarter in the capital last week surely never looked the same in the recent past. Quite fittingly, the occasion was the induction of Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Harvard-Stanford alumnus son of the late Madhavrao, into the Congress. Here’s wishing all the best for this 30-year-old’s plunge into the dust and grind of Indian politics.

  • There’s no reason, we agree, to gaze again at the lovely faces of Ananya and Tara at another promo for Student of the Year 2. But this one is for that lithe, mean, dancing-fighting machine, Tiger Shroff. The man who can kick aside the whole lot of simpering actors is set to reprise his role (“a larger-than-life, shirtless hero”) in the next instalment of Baaghi.
  • Chinese audiences’ app­etite for Bollywood drama rages unabated. The latest one to have the Peking boys sta­m­pede into the theatres and Shanghai’s dames squeal in pleasant fright is Sriram Raghavan’s suspense thriller Andha Dhun (marketed also as Piano Player, shades of Truffaut crime caper here) starring Ayushmann and Radhika. Rs 219 crore in two weeks is a handily handsome strike rate. Long live our ‘soft power’.
  • CSK Watch In this glad season for the Chennai Super Kings, ace atta­cking spinner Imran Tahir has been a sight to behold—his tight-fisted, spread-armed sprint after a wicket popular as ever on and off the field. After another easy win, skipper Dhoni dared Tahir’s son for a race. We don’t know who won, but it dissolved into a softly-softly celebration. Can Uncle Cool do it like Dad? We doubt it.
  • A midfield sultan meets a ruling badshah on the sidelines of an amphitheatre. That would be Shahrukh’s London meeting with Arse­nal’s central scimitar, Mesut Ozil. After damning the hypocrisy in German mult­i­­cultur­ism, Ozil is in a smoother space. SRK, who is huge in Turkey,  where Ozil’s roots lie, got a (rather formal) welcome in Hindi too.


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