EVER since Sangeeta Bijlani became part of Azharuddin's travelling kit in England, nothing seems to be going right for him. Take the recent rumour suggesting that he is living with his girlfriend in Bombay—cited as the reason for his failure both as captain and player. Azhar, however, in an interview to The Daily Telegraph, denies it: "Obviously, people are talking behind my back about my girlfriend. I expected it but it's not true that I am living with her in Bombay. I'm still in Hyderabad though not at home. It is being magnified because I haven't played well."
MINUS the Karpovs and Kasparovs, away from the calculated games of the mind, this match for 26-year-old Vishwanathan Anand is one for which no amount of spadework will be enough. Anand's next tie will be his marriage scheduled for June 26. The chess grandmaster will tie the knot with 20-year-old Aruna Ananth, a commerce graduate with a diploma from New Delhi's Indian Institute of Mass Communication. Aruna, who was unacquainted with the manoeuvres of chess till recently, is trying to master the rules of game. Perhaps, she will need that to score over Anand's mother, who has considerable influence on the champ.
WHAT went wrong between Debashree Roy, the award-winning Bengali film actress, and Prasenjit, son of actor Biswajit and a Tollywood actor himself? Nothing is for sure as fact and fiction interchange places in the theories on why the most glamorous couple in Calcutta couldn't make their marriage last after 14 years of intense courtship and a year of marital life thereafter. Reliable sources suggest that Debashree Roy is an uncompromising career woman who was not willing to adjust to the cadence of a subdued marital role. In the meantime, while Prasenjit sounds distinctly distressed in his odd media interview, one rumour doing the rounds is that Prasenjit's mother has discovered a 'suitable girl' for her talented son.
NOT that awards and accolades are new for the chairman of the Godrej group. Yet when the Emperor of Japan felicitated S.P. Godrej with the prestigious 'Order of the Rising Sun', it turned out to be the one bright spot in the grand old man's morning. Having received the award from Japanese Consul General S. Suzuki in Bombay, Godrej marked the event as one of the "happiest moments of my life". For now that the sun has risen by a royal order for S.P., he'd love to see it shining.
COLONIAL Cousins Hariharan and Leslie 'Lezz' Lewis made history recently when they became the first Indian act to be signed up for MTV Unplugged, the acoustic show that has featured Elton John, Sting and Paul Simon. Great news, except for the welcome in London. While visiting a friend for dinner, they were assaulted by masked robbers. Both were hurt, and while Hariharan was deprived of Rs 2,62,000 in jewellery and cash, Lezz found himself poorer by Rs 52,000. The duo will begin practising once their band arrives from India.