OUTLOOK Monday 05 August, 2002
Retiring Czar

Any takers for a $5 billion offer? This one’s from liquor baron Vijay Mallya: “After running my business for 18 years I am clear that everything’s for sale. It’s retrogade to be emotional and sentimental.” Tough talk from a man who always zipped in the fast lane and who wished there were 26 hours in a day!


What if our raingods played truant this year. Designer Neeta Bhargava has a better idea to beat the heat, with her pret-a-porter Monsoon collection. Her idea of succour from parched throats—short kurtas and slit trousers with scarves or stoles in bright fresh colours and floral motifs. Add Swarovski crystals to it and you have a “very good supplement to the missing showers”. High hopes.

Congratulations, Mr President

Dressed in a dark bandhgala, India’s 12th President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, quoted Kabir and Thirukkural in his presidential speech soon after being sworn in on Thursday. “We need a movement in the country (to transform India into a developed nation). This is the time to ignite the minds of the people. We cannot emerge as a developed nation if we do not learn to transact with speed,” he said in front of a capacity crowd which included several former PMs, ministers, diplomats, and the specially-invited 100 schoolchildren. All the best, sir.

Managing Success

Jack of all trades, and master of.... After all his forays into television and event management, Aushim Khetrapal’s now on to bigger things, with his debut album Dil Na Jaane. Wonder where’s the connection between all that he’s done till now. But Khetrapal’s upbeat about his venture with Araasha, a talented recording artist. “The flavour and feel of the songs reflect the influence of Latino idol Julio Iglesias, complete with sombrero and Spanish guitar,” says one publicist. Things to watch out for? A marketing blitz!

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  • Couldn’t she have had a better hairstyle than one which makes her hair stand up in ungainly tufts, like that of a bird soaked to its skin in the Mumbai monsoon? Couldn’t he have worn a jacket without those offensive stripes, often an indicator of a perfect marriage of bad taste with sudden money? But Rahika is soaring after the success of Andhadhun; Ali Fazal, too, is gearing up for his role in a Hollywood production of Death on the Nile, the Poirot mystery. They smiled reassuringly at the ‘IIFA Rocks’ event; they had a lot of fun.  
  • Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla started designing trousseaus fit for a princess for the catwalk when designers weren’t famous in their own right. Thi­rty-three years on, they are well-known now, and celebrated with a show in Mumbai, They dressed up the reliably gorgeous Deepika in this intricately woven, ivory-embellished lehenga. At the end of the walk, she broke into a jig. For joy, certainly. But, given an inch, Bollywood will out!
  • With every conceivable sporting activity speedily shuffled up into a corporatised league for maximum milking, it’s unsurprising that the annual boat race on the Punnamada lake inaugurated the Cha­mpions Boat League. Sachin, outrigged by Kathakali dancers, spoke of Kerala’s resilience in the face of floods and its passion for cricket.
  • For all his Bhangra moves, Justin Trudeau had a diplomatically disastrous tour of India, but the boyishly handsome Canadian premier  rem­ains a darling of the masses, especially swooning womenfolk. It was no surprise then that at an informal gaggle of world leaders at the G7 summit, Melania turned to  him for a peck, as the weight of the world kept the scowl fixed on Donald’s face. As a Twitter wag put it: “Find someone who looks at you like  Melania looks at Trudeau.”


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