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.
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.
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.
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...
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.