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.

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  • 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
  • Kendall Jenner, Camila Morr­one, Scooter Braun, Kim Kard­ashian, Joan Smalls...that’s a guestlist straight out of a Craigslist of new-world cel­e­­bdom. Except the model and the real-life showgirl, we hadn’t heard of anyone (had you?). They banded together at the wedding ceremony of Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin in South Carolina. Don’t it look like they’re on a school trip?
  • His penchant for prancing about in outrageous clothes —the incessant, kitschy peacocking—might irritate you, but the one role tailormade for Ranveer Sinh’s exuberance was Gully Boy. Inspired by street rappers Divine and Naezy, Ranveer, his rapper team and Alia set Dharavi alight with their defiant poe­try. Acclaimed by all, it is now India’s official entry to the Oscars. We need them to break the fourth wall now.