OUTLOOK Monday 08 September, 2003
The New Guise

Kareena Kapoor’s giving a serious touch to her portfolio. It’s raining “roles with a difference”: Bebo’s got Baajirao Mastani, River Moon and Rituparno Ghosh’s modern-day Guide. And then there’s the most “arty” of them all, Anant Balani’s Chameli. Surprise, surprise, Kareena plays a prostitute in this one to “explore a new sensibility and genre”. Don’t know what she means by this, but we hear that an “impressed” industry is already calling it a gutsy move. All the best, Kareena, at the BO.

Roman Holiday

It’s celebrating India at the Milan Fashion Week. And like all things Indian, this was a glitzy affair. But this year, other than the usual fare of film melas and celebrity dinners, Italians had a different treat in store: over 50 creations from designer Tarun Tahiliani’s pret-a-porter collection. No wonder there was a surfeit of muslins, georgettes, chiffon and stretched T-shirts. And guess what caught the Italians’ imagination most: semi-precious stones inspired by the Nizam’s jewels.

Annie's Tales

Wild horses wouldn’t have grabbed this early work of Booker winner Arundhati Roy out of the closet. But Penguin did. The only reason she agreed to publish the screenplay of In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones, said Roy, was “a billion dollars in cold cash”. The film, written by her and produced and directed by husband Pradeep Kishen, was aired once on DD in a time slot when most people were asleep. She was prepared, said Roy at the launch in Delhi last week, to be deeply embarrassed by the film when she saw it again. But the only thing that embarrassed her was her own appearance in it, looking according to her like an “anorexic issue of Sai Baba and Bugs Bunny”.

Guest Of Honour

This is one invitation Usha Uthup isn’t going to miss for the world. The Vatican has specially invited her to attend Mother Teresa’s beatification ceremony on October 19 at St Peter’s square. Says Uthup: “The Mother wants me to be there at her moment of glory.” However, the Vatican has dashed her request to sing a special song at the ceremony. She’s still trying: “India must push for it. I don’t mind even if I get to sing half a song or even one line.” Hope the Mother will answer her prayers.


  • Hugh Grant has just bought a £2 million medieval mansion near Chelsea, just 20 miles away from Liz Hurley’s home.

  • Cliff Richard has accepted it at last: after so many years, the pop star’s saying that he’s giving up on botox.

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  • She takes after her mother in so many ways: the shape of her  face, that smile, the way her hair  tumbles back. He, as you all can see, is an image of his dad (has he inh­erited that two-generation-old dimple?) Saif and Amrita Singh’s children Sara and Ibrahim Ali Khan are holidaying in England. This casual, happy chat over some Earl Grey does confirm what they say—the siblings are inseparable.
  • It’s bad enough to earn millions while having a talent for nothing exc­ept indecently hogging attention; it’s worse to lay claim to a venerable tradition in service to one’s base business ins­tinct. But what do you expect from Kim Kardashian, who had the audacity to name her upcoming shapewear line (to be worn inside) ‘Kimono’. While you condemn her for the usual  self-centredness (as millions did), laud her for knowing something  about a place as further afield as Japan. The  name, thankfully, stands withdrawn.
  • Though the Trinamool cut a sorry figure, then took its rev­erses badly, our favourite MPs from Bengal—close pals  and actresses Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan, were unt­ouched by the sour petulance. Fresh from Nusrat’s wedding in Turkey, and so absent when other MPs took their oaths in Parliament, the duo did the needful later, not forgetting to use ‘Jai Bangla’. Didi is happy; can’t say we aren’t, too!
  • Blink, and you’ll travel back to the glory days of disco, with Cardi B’s multi-­coloured jumpsuit transporting you effortlessly. But, disaster struck at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Man­chester, when this splendid  garment gave way along its nether seams, hurrying poor Cardi  offstage.  The singer arrived minutes later in a bathrobe, the picture of unfl­a­ppability. “We gonna keep it sexy,”  she crooned. That is style.


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