OUTLOOK Monday 28 March, 2005
The Open Door

Foreign minister Natwar Singh, 75, is getting better with his opening lines. Greeting the US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, he said: “You come here as a friend. There is no need to knock on the door. The door is open.” He then gave her some doses of eastern philosophy: “Everything you hear about India is true. And so is its opposite.” Food for thought as she figures out how to de-hyphenate the US relationship between India and Pakistan.

Desire Sells

It was a sellout. All 7,500 copies of Tarun J. Tejpal’s debut novel, The Alchemy of Desire, were sold to distributors straight from the press, forcing his publisher, HarperCollins, to borrow copies from his own distributor for the launch. The turnout, unsurprisingly, was large—so large that latecomers had to make do by sitting on the stairs or in the corridors of British Council’s packed-to-capacity auditorium in Delhi.

On the Rockies

Free whisky was reason enough for Delhiites to flock the Blender’s Pride fashion tour. On the ramp, Bipasha Basu shone in Rocky S. outfits. Later, the spotlight was on Sir Vidia Naipaul and Nadira who dropped in to watch the Tarun Tahiliani collection. But the show-stopper was Wendell Rodricks’ line—colour, style and cuts.

Grow Up Girl

Someone tell the 19-year-old remix girl Deepal Shaw that there are others ways to get attention than provocative dances in micro mini attires, announcing the auction of her wardrobe for tsunami relief (by the way, how much did that 6-inch piece of cloth fetch?) and the latest, cooking up tales of her marriage. Here’s her vain attempt to remain in circulation? “The media is getting me married.” Watch it Baby Doll. Barely old enough to vote, if you adopt such tactics now, you’ll soon end up with copious amount of raw egg face packs. Comprendo?

Ray Redux

Five decades after Satyajit Ray rewrote celluloid history with Pather Panchali, the release of The Vision of Ray: Cine Posters and Beyond by the LS Speaker Somnath Chatterjee was a nostalgic peep into his world. Those associated with Ray reunited to remember the last representative of Bengal renaissance. Seen here from left, Saumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore and Ray’s favourite heroine Madhabi Mukherjee.


Even at 60, you can go model-shopping. Take Rod Stewart. Atop the Eiffel Tower, he went down on his knees to propose to his model-girlfriend Penny Lancaster. She agreed. More after his divorce with another model, Rachel Hunter, is through.

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  • 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.
  • An evening in Paris is kinda incomplete without appreciating up-close those high-kicking cancan dancers in flesh-exposing ostrich feather costumes at Moulin Rouge. It’s a touristy tradition of 130 years, a milestone the cabaret reached this aut­umn. Enjoy the choreography and quaff your way through a bottle of champagne. 82 Boulevard de Clichy, Please