OUTLOOK Wednesday 30 April, 1997
Model Watch

HAVE the cats abandoned the walk? What are Meghna Reddy, Mehr Jessia, Malaika Arora, Namrata Shirodkar and Madhu Sapre doing in a film? They are executing fashion photographer Sumeet Chopra's 90-minute film on Indian supermodels. They will tramp the ramp as earth, fire, metal, air and water. The likes of Milind Soman and Arjun Rampal will hover around them. In Chopra's first tryst with movie-making, this lusty lot will give the audiences a peek-a-boo into the glamorous modelling world. Promises to be worth a dekko.

Judge Nanda

ARUN Nanda, the hot-shot chairman of Rediffusion DY&R, who last made news for the high-profile, albeit disastrous 1989 Congress election campaign, is back in the reckoning. He has been invited as a member of the jury at the prestigious International Advertising Festival at Cannes. The brains behind some of the all-time Indian greats such as 'When you see colour, think of us' and 'Gimme Red,' among others, will sit in judgement over the international greats in advertising.

City of Djinns Wins

William Dalrymple and his attractive wife Olivia Fraser charmed Delhi's social set when they were last in town. Dalrymple, whose first book in Xanadu established him as a travel writer, topped that with City of Djinns. Needless to say, the book was lapped up by everyone who mattered. The couple, whose family now includes a daughter and son, are back this summer for various reasons. First: William is involved in filming a series for Channel Four directed by Aradhana Seth and Dev Benegal. Second: the release of his latest book From The Holy Mountain, set in the Middle East. And lastly, India still is their favourite country. The city of djinns seems to have cast its spell.

The West Indian Connection

NEVER mind if Kunti delivered the entire lot of Pandavas out of wedlock, even if they were all divinely-spawned. When Members of Parliament objected to Neena Gupta playing Kunti, because the lady is proud of her unmarried mother status, she had to quit Zee Television's Ek Aur Mahabharat. Though Neena has finished five episodes, she will be replaced by actress Rajani Shah, knuckling under the pressure of "the respected protectors of Indian society". Neena can fret and fume about the "public inquiry" on her continued liaison with the West Indies cricketer Viv Richards and their daughter Masaba, but television evangelism and being unconventional just don't go together.

From Shanti to Aurat

WHILE waving aside congratulations over a rumoured engagement, television star Mandira Bedi has been accepting compliments for graduating from Shanti to Aurat. Bedi is excited about her many avatars, evolving from the strong, practical Shanti to an 18-year-old girl who matures into a 50-year-old woman. "I have done several smaller serials in between, but after United Television's Shanti, Aurat by B.R. Chopra will be my next major project. I am dividing time equally between the two soaps. Aurat spans an entire Life-time of a woman," gushes Mandira. Since the platform for both the serials is Doordarshan, wonder which will win, Shanti's spell or Aurat's allure?

  • There’s no reason, we agree, to gaze again at the lovely faces of Ananya and Tara at another promo for Student of the Year 2. But this one is for that lithe, mean, dancing-fighting machine, Tiger Shroff. The man who can kick aside the whole lot of simpering actors is set to reprise his role (“a larger-than-life, shirtless hero”) in the next instalment of Baaghi.
  • Chinese audiences’ app­etite for Bollywood drama rages unabated. The latest one to have the Peking boys sta­m­pede into the theatres and Shanghai’s dames squeal in pleasant fright is Sriram Raghavan’s suspense thriller Andha Dhun (marketed also as Piano Player, shades of Truffaut crime caper here) starring Ayushmann and Radhika. Rs 219 crore in two weeks is a handily handsome strike rate. Long live our ‘soft power’.
  • CSK Watch In this glad season for the Chennai Super Kings, ace atta­cking spinner Imran Tahir has been a sight to behold—his tight-fisted, spread-armed sprint after a wicket popular as ever on and off the field. After another easy win, skipper Dhoni dared Tahir’s son for a race. We don’t know who won, but it dissolved into a softly-softly celebration. Can Uncle Cool do it like Dad? We doubt it.
  • A midfield sultan meets a ruling badshah on the sidelines of an amphitheatre. That would be Shahrukh’s London meeting with Arse­nal’s central scimitar, Mesut Ozil. After damning the hypocrisy in German mult­i­­cultur­ism, Ozil is in a smoother space. SRK, who is huge in Turkey,  where Ozil’s roots lie, got a (rather formal) welcome in Hindi too.


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