OUTLOOK Monday 07 February, 2005
Rip Van Riddle

Surprise, surprise... now we’re off, now we’re on again. And hey, Thin Lizzy makes for a pretty sleek mama (wasn’t it supposed to be time Nayar Jr showed up?). Well, Arun Nayar and Liz Hurley couldn’t care less about loose talk. Much in love, they strolled in at the opening of a Mumbai luxury store.

Oriental Pleasures

Michael Douglas took back a CD of Bollywood numbers after a nite of serious Bombay partying. Just India-scouting for his role in a Bollywood crossover flick, Racing the Monsoon opposite ‘Ashra’ (read Aishwarya), if she agrees. The 61-year-old, however, had serious issues with Indian sweets.

Dry Grass

He’s back after 18 years. But the biggest change German Nobel laureate Gunter Grass noticed about Calcutta was the absence of cows blocking traffic. Trust the writer to go for an underbelly observation of the city he once likened to excreta. “I’m not sure I’ll write about Calcutta again,” he declared. Well, the city could certainly do with some kinder words.

Award In Absentia

It’s interesting to find out which of Irfan Pathan’s tallies are higher—wickets or awards. The thing about awards is that the boy collects them even when it’s off season for cricket. Like the International Sports Personality of ’04 conferred recently by Sony Entertainment. He pipped Muthiah Muralitharan and golfer Vijay Singh to the post. For some reason, Pathan skipped the glittering ceremony. He couldn’t do that for wickets!

Life, Afresh

She plays his gran in the TV serial The Kumars at No 42. We’ve seen them on Goodness Gracious Me. In fact, they knew each other for almost a decade till cupid struck two years ago. Meera Syal, 43, and Sanjeev Bhaskar, 40, tied the knot recently at a private ceremony. “It was good fun. We’ve not even talked of a honeymoon yet,” she said. Their latest project—a film adaptation of Meera’s novel Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee. Yes, they know it. Meera was earlier married to journalist Shekhar Bhatia and has a 12-year-old daughter.


Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are arguing—over his controlling behaviour. Soon after their surprise marriage last June, he banned her from wearing skimpy outfits and made her sell the homes she shared with Ben Affleck. Splitsville isn’t far!

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  • Bollywood must be dreading  the Calcutta International Film Festival—a stentorian call from the CM...the unenlightening prospect of a day full of drumbeats. However, there is no respite for Shahrukh (Amitabh fell ill at an opportune  period). Though flanked by filmmaker Goutam Ghosh, Mamata herself and Sourav, the stage-show was stopped by the bonhomie between Rakhee and SRK: singing along a pat­riotic Rabi­ndrasangeet and reminiscing  about the sets of Baazigar.
  • As a snarling Dirty Harry teases out criminals in LA; as Frank Serpico goes und­ercover in New York, Chulbul Pandey does age-old, comic acrobatics to hurt ‘baddies’, then giggles around his lady love. Flogging the same masala, here comes the trailer of Dabangg 3, at the launch of which Salman points at the same direction, while Sonakshi Sinha and Saiee Manjrekar prepare to follow the leader with loving attention.
  • What do they actually do in Bigg Boss—that synthetic morass of shape-­shifting loyalties, gro­up­­ings and couplings by people clinging on to the skirts of fame, dragg­ing along an endless stream of stragglers agape before their boxes? At least Boman Irani, Rajkummar Rao and Mouni are doing something specific—horsing around joyfully, canvassing for their film Made in China. Major domo Sal­man, of  course, is there at every step, falling in and out with practised difficulty.
  • If you’d like to stitch together a Hollywood dream team, it has to have Marty, Bob and Sonny. The BFI London film festival saved its hushed breath for The Irishman—a gangster drama by the man who helped define the genre in Goodfellas and The Departed. Yet, in this autumnal light, Frank (De Niro) and Jimmy (Al Pacino) are just not snarling desperados, six-shooters at the ready. Time is also spent on sombre reflection—old reg­rets, moral reckonings and the one important thing that finally matters: mortality.