Glitterati
OUTLOOK Monday 17 June, 2002
An Apology to Girl Power

The curtains finally went up on India’s first, TV-generated girl band, Viva, with their maiden stage show in the capital last week. They did deliver their Barbie-doll precision amidst much colour and fireworks. The tunes were nice, the lyrics even better. But the real song ’n dance happened in front of the stage, in the viewer’s gallery—the rowdy crowd turned the concert into a disaster zone. While Viva was singing hosannas to womanpower, girls down there were royally harassed. Wonder if reality TV will ever show us this side of the picture.

Champion Knot

It was a love match for reigning All England champion Pullela Gopichand and P.V.V. Laxmi, this year’s national badminton semi-finalist. The two Olympians tied the knot in a quiet ceremony in Hyderabad last week after a six-year-old courtship played out on and off the badminton court. Celebrity guests? Union sports minister Uma Bharati and Rajya Sabha MP D. Venkateshwara Rao.

Merchant of Greece

FERA violator Abhishek Varma’s apparently having a ball of a time. No, it’s not about another Rolls Royce or an addition to his Versace wardrobe. Our resident little birdie tells us that Varma’s going around town flaunting his latest possession—Evelina Papantoniou, last year’s Miss Greece and the Miss Universe runner-up. Incidentally, the news of a hot romance between the two has already reached the national television channel in Greece. What’s brewing?

Style Statement

Bollywood’s most famous family’s house is going for a luxurious revamp. Parmeshwar Godrej has reportedly agreed to refurbish the Roshans’ four-floor house in Mumbai for free. She says it will be the most contemporary, trendy and upmarket house yet to be seen in India, complete with pressure elevators among other things. Here’s waiting for the last word on swank.

Another Tehelka

Journalist-writer Aniruddha Bahal’s busy with his new novel, a spy thriller called Bunker 13. And if his debut novel, a love story titled Cracks in the Mirror, didn’t rake up much of a tehelka, this time he promises it’ll be different. With UK-based publishers Faber & Faber behind him, the literary world is eagerly waiting the arrival of a masterpiece.

  • When the biggest of the biggies blow their trumpet, Bollywood stands in attendance. At the pre-wedding festivities of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal (Bottom Right) in Udai­pur, Shahrukh, Aamir and Salman willingly colluded in a happy dance. Earlier, pop princess Beyonce (Bottom Left), generously tiara-ed and earringed, had lit up the sangeet festivities.
  • You’d believe if  someone told you this was a frieze, frozen in time, of a particularly opulent celebration. That painterly quality of Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas’s sangeet at Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan owes much to the rich raiments of the bride, soon-to-be-wed Isha Ambani and Parineeti Chopra. National, international art­istes performed, Bollywood numbers thumped about and the light reflected from the assembled jewellery blinded many a man.
  • When he’s not driving expensive cars, Salman Khan enjoys a bit of bicycling too. Brand ambassador of breathtakingly scenic Arunachal Pradesh, he put on his cycling shoes (and a handsome Monpa jacket) for promoting the Mechuka Adventure Festival. Flanking him are Arunachal CM Pema Khandu (left) and MoS Kiren Rijiju.
  • The couple, warmed by wedding happiness, cooled by the temperate north Italian sun, have arrived in India; long live the party! Bollywood- loving types drooled over the strictly portioned photos; hope Deepika-Ranveer will let common photographers take a few at their Bangalore rec­eption to grace local albums too.
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