OUTLOOK Monday 26 May, 2003
Cherry on the Cake

The day will be when Cherie Blair wears a sari and no one notices. But that day is still far away. At the evening of the Asian Women Achievement Awards in London last week, she turned up in a cream and much zari-ed sari with Begum Inaara Aga Khan, and everyone noticed. Cherie has stepped into Indian evenings in a sari before, and everyone knows she has never looked better. Next, a posed picture with her in a sari and Tony Blair in the Nehru jacket he wore in Bangalore. And a long holiday in India that might come sooner than they planned.

Copy Wrong

After Karishma Kapoor’s much-publicised debut on TV was nixed following an equally-publicised stay order this week, the battle, it seems has just begun. Author Barbara Taylor Bradford, who has alleged copyright infringement on her work Woman of Substance by the producers of Sahara TV’s Karishma: A Miracle of Destiny, has vowed to fight Bollywood’s “hour by hour” rape of foreign works, from Danielle Steel, Sidney Sheldon and many others. Says her husband, Robert: “They’re stealing and pirating property. And then they have the gall to seek Indian rights for the film in the US!”

Greek Holiday

Now you know it was a serious affair. Abhishek Verma, he of FERA violations infamy, will soon have a new claim to fame: friends reveal the London-based businessman is to marry Miss Greece 2001, Evelina Papantoniou. The ‘grand’ wedding is being planned aboard a ship in Goa in traditional Indian style, with the Greek bahu in a sari and tika, followed by a “crazy” party for 3-4 days.

World Music

You’ve known her better as the gritty MEA spokeswoman. But did you know that Nirupama Rao was more famous in her college as the one half of the singing Menon sisters? Later this month, Rao will regale music lovers with her rendition of operatic arias, jazz and gospel music in Delhi. No stage fright for her, surely.

Soap Opera

This is the stuff real-life soaps are made of. Guess what actor-turned-entrepreneur Mithun Chakraborty is busy with these days? His recently-launched three brands of detergent powder—Khushi, Pakhi and Cygnus. The press release for the launch ran thus: Megastar Mithun Chakraborty who has cleaned the dirt and squalor of innumerable movies, is out to do it again, literally!


  • Supermodel Claudia Schiffer and her three-month-old son, Caspar, are recovering after a serious car crash in London.

  • In 1998, she was fined for her racial comments. Brigitte Bardot has done it again, with her new book, A Scream In the Silence.

  • They don’t have the ceremonial heft of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, though Malaysia’s Muhammad V and his Russian lover Oksana Voevodina certainly are better looking by a million miles. The cases are simply similar: Muhammad, in his second year of a five-year term, reportedly gave up his throne to marry his sweetheart. But who wouldn’t trade that unwieldy diadem for those gorgeous brown ringlets?
  • Right. A caricatured, age-old trope   from Bollywood: The figure of the garishly done up ‘rowdy Romeo’ (those ani­malistic jackets, that high heel, the wolf whistle) wooing the shyly wanton trollop, finger on chin, hips commencing to swing away to a rising shriek of music. Ranveer and Sara Ali Khan  are only play-acting for a promo for Simmba, but if this depresses you, close your eyes and think of Grace Kelly.
  • The successive stages of the making of Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika has been greedily recounted, so the release of the trailer came on its downward crest. But it’s not only Kangana’s proud Laxmibai with her bevy of attendants, there are Tatya Tope and Bajirao II to contend with too.
  • When the biggest of the biggies blow their trumpet, Bollywood stands in attendance. At the pre-wedding festivities of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal (Bottom Right) in Udai­pur, Shahrukh, Aamir and Salman willingly colluded in a happy dance. Earlier, pop princess Beyonce (Bottom Left), generously tiara-ed and earringed, had lit up the sangeet festivities.


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