OUTLOOK Monday 01 July, 2002
Guarding Ethics

For once Prime Minister Vajpayee refrained from peppering his speech with his characteristic humour. Instead, it was a more serious Vajpayee, asking the media to avoid sensationalism, while presenting the Panchjanya Nachiketa award to economic journalist Bharat Jhunjunwala. Pioneer editor Chandan Mitra and I&B minister Sushma Swaraj, among others, were present at the PM’s house.

Pitch Report

Doesn’t he look groovy with his pencil-thin French beard, sideburns and a new hair-do to boot? Anil ‘Jumbo’ Kumble has turned chic to reflect the ‘new age Indian’ as he struts about in Indigo Nation’s new line of men’s wear. The hoardings and video clips on television would be rolling when Anil resumes his career at Old Blighty later this month. Cricket’s surely going savvy, huh.

Kama Chameleons

The Ambassador car parked outside the Apollo Victoria theatre showing Bombay Dreams in London last week gave the paparazzi an idea of who’d be filing past. They couldn’t recognise Shahrukh Khan or Naseeruddin Shah. But they spotted, and clicked, Denise van Outen, the TV presenter, who arrived wearing a diamond necklace priced half a million pounds and a white mini dress with pictures from Kamasutra painted on it. Invitations had, after all, asked guests to wear a touch of Indian, and nobody said don’t wear more than a touch of it. Lady Lloyd Webber instead wore a skirt made in Bombay by Manish Malhotra. There was Baby Spice, former Miss World Diana Hayden, Sir Michael Caine with his Indian wife Shakira. An evening with plenty of watching of the scenes off stage.

Nightingale Blue

Now, get a load of this. American singer Truth Hurts’ R&B single Addictive, which made it to the Billboard Top 10 this week, has an old Lata Mangeshkar song running in the background. What’s more, the video too shows mehndi-adorned hands of models in Indian mudras. Saare jahaan...

Twinkling Starlight

Move over all pretenders to Rajinikant’s throne. Someone who has been on the margins for ten years and is pushing 40, Vikram (Kenny to his friends), is an unlikely contender for the top slot in Kollywood. But his fourth hit in succession, Gemini, has single-handedly revived the Tamil film industry. In its eighth week, it’s running in 130 theatres, with the entire state, from the Assembly to Acharapakkam, chanting O Podu, the film’s anthem.

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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.