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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.
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.
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.
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.
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?