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.

  • That hatchet-faced gen­ius entrepreneur, Jack Ma of Alibaba, had capitalistically exhorted his workers to follow the ‘996’ spirit (9 am to 9 pm, six days a week in office). As if to make up for this vulgar demand that would serve to fill his coffers, Ma propoun­ded the ‘669’ spirit (sex for six days, six times). The poor workers would possibly have hidden their embarrassment in Alibaba’s cave, but others have slammed Ma’s puerile (and ‘lewd’) pitch.
  • What can you say about the peculiar, almost atavistic hold that images of mothers with babies have on us? Things have not changed from ancient iconography—espe­cially when the subjects are as photogenic as Izhaan—wide-eyed and adorably trusting—and Sania, bursting with motherly pride, her Mona Lisa smile topping it all.
  • It was simply another awards ceremony which gave the rich and glamorous an occasion to parade their bling. But hark, a phalanx of kohl-lined eyes make us stop in our breezy tracks and take stock. Ranged from the left, the begowned ladies are Aditi Rao Hydari, Raveena, Shilpa and Sophie Choudry (who possibly has two phones). How did the selfie come out? An eyeful.
  • There’s no reason, we agree, to gaze again at the lovely faces of Ananya and Tara at another promo for Student of the Year 2. But this one is for that lithe, mean, dancing-fighting machine, Tiger Shroff. The man who can kick aside the whole lot of simpering actors is set to reprise his role (“a larger-than-life, shirtless hero”) in the next instalment of Baaghi.


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