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.



  • A fashion show dedicated to the glorious ‘modern’ possibilities of the saree seemed in danger of design hyperbole, had it not been for the stupendously stunning results obtained when Adidti Rao Hydari and Diana Penty wrapped their nine yards. The rest were a cross between wannabe gowns and strenous echoes of ancient India, one example being this monstrosity in white (above).
  • Swatted aside by rivals Barca in two El Classicos, and kicked out from the Champions League by Ajax, a whimpering Real Madrid—their rhythm hitting  serious notes of  the blues, had to sack manager Santiago Soleri. Enter Zinedine Zidane, the magic man who delivered nine trophies  before resigning last May. Can Zizou do it without Ronaldo? Let’s see.
  • Right. Another line-up of pretty youngsters photographed against another (fancy) brick-wall. The cast of Malang has Kunal Kemmu, Aditya Roy Kapur and the delectable Disha Patani. But who’s the third man here...the young spark grinning away like an ingenue at his first photoshoot? None other than Anil Kapoor, our ’80s Lakhan who lost many kilos, added oodles of mojo and now runs with the hares. Salut!
  • The women of Khatikhera village of Hapur, UP, stared at, then fought off, the age-old stigma atta­ched to menstruation to start a small unit that makes affordable sanitary pads for all. They are the subject of Period. End of Sentence, which won the Oscar for the Best Documentary Short.Producer Melissa Berton (centre left) and director Rayka Zehtabchi celebrate on the stage in LA. They sang and danced all night at Khatikhera too.
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