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.

  • Those moves, those skirts, those cropped shirts...Britney Spears fans, stand up and cheer! Student of the Year 2 has Varun, Alia and Tiger, but new faces (ah!) Tara and Ananya too. Of cou­rse, superstar Will Smith is fresh to Bollywood; he’s app­earing in a cameo. Here’s cheers to director  Punit Malhotra for roping him in.
  • Parisians, and Berliners, have been playing at faux seaside frolicking in summers for nearly a century. Now, savant extraordinaire of fashion, Chanel’s Karl Lagerfield, rigged up a beach—complete with sand, sky and gentle, azure waves—for his show, defying the lengthening autumnal shadows. The venue: Paris’s Grand Palais. Star attendee: Pamela Anderson. How appropriate!
  • When we were little in the ’80s and Anup Jalota was a star, we still saw him as a podgy fel­low with a mellow voice. Now that he has Jasleen Math­aru as companion in Bigg Boss 12, how many are stumped? Jasleen is a singer, Jalota’s ‘disciple’ and...but then surely we’re not as crass as to jealously repeat the crude trolls? Believers in peace, we’d say: very well done, Anup.
  • Acid attack survivors remind us of the primitive core within our cellphone-toting society. So, when five such women, half their faces veiled for a confident gait, walked at Agnimitra Paul’s show in Calcutta as show-stoppers, everyone clapped in heartfelt sympathy. The clothes, sadly, would hardly stop anyone in their tracks.


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