Gayatri Iyer was alive in Lucknow to the sound of music, and that Julie Andrews song she rendered at her audition, among hundreds of competitors, will find echoes in London next week. Gayatri plays the lead heroine, Anjuli, in a West End adaptation of a $7 million musical production of M.M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions. Hadley Fraser co-stars as her lover in the first major musical of this year. Whoever said Bombay Dreams are over in Britain.
Another famous Pakistani team landed here last week. Their destination was far removed from the superheated cricket fields. Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari visited the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti—thanksgiving for Zardari’s release from prison. But it was hard to beat the shopping bug—Rs 75,000 only! Three cheers for Indo-Pak trade.
Six whole months at the Versace headquarters? Wonder what Shahzad Kalim, the 24-year-old winner of Lakme Fashion House, the real-ity show on Star One, is packing. A bagful of barrier-smashing attires like this one perhaps. Well, he did impress Donatella. And he’s already got a famous client—Kareena Kapoor. She even purchased a couple of items from his line. We’ll see more of the budding designer soon at the Lakme Fashion Week. A huge leap for a Bihari babu whose parents wanted him to be a doctor someday. Given the way doctors in Patna are being kidnapped, he sure chose a safe career after all!
Former Miss Universe Lara Dutta is tired of free publicity. She’s prepared to shock you— strip, pose, whatever, but it has to be a legitimate commercial venture. So when she saw the posters for the Gladrags supermodel contest, her mouth fell open. There she was, splashed all across the walls suggesting that contestants could be as big as her. Her blood boiled! Once a Gladrags supermodel, she turned and sued the magazine—all this to ensure there’s no impression that Gladrags or Maureen Wadia, the show’s organiser, has anything to do with making Lara the bright shining star that she is. Wadia isn’t quite sure what hit her.
This one’s for Salim Sinai. Magic, or realism for that matter, doesn’t get better. If you can lay your hands on the recent London Sunday Times’ Style magazine, there are all the midnight babes—Kate Moss, Sophie Dahl, Serena Williams and, of course, our own Mylapore muse, Padma Lakshi—in, hold your breath, just heels and diamonds. The fabric-allergic femme fatales have done it for a fantastic cause. Their pictures, 44 in all, will be collected in a coffee-table book, Four Inches, in aid of Elton John Aids Foundation. And to give the divas depth, the photographs are by the world’s best lenswomen.
What do Sharon Stone, Richard Gere and Michael Jackson have in common? They’ve all been honoured by Bollywood. This year’s candidate is an old relic from the ’80s, Paula Abdul. So who’s going to hand over the award? Why... Vijay Mallya!