Glitterati
OUTLOOK Wednesday 09 July, 1997
The Pesky Begum Margarita

SHE won the best supporting actress award for her role in Sardari Begum. And after playing the simmering rebel daughter in the film, Rajeshwari Sachdeva moves to the small screen. As a repressed daughter, destined never to marry her love, in the 26-episode Margarita, to be screened on Zee on July 8. Repressed her role may be, "but the girl's a rebel in her own way". Making rebellion a habit, are we?

All Glitter, No Grief

WHILE the stars glittered at the premiere of Border, relatives of those who died in the Uphaar cinema tragedy simmered at the bad timing of the function. The date of the premiere, which had been fixed much in advance, happened to fall on the same day when the relatives were performing the kriya ceremony for their dead. Stars Jackie Shroff, Akshaye Khanna, Pooja Bhatt all wore black as a mark of respect for the dead. Beyond that, stars like Pooja Bhatt were almost nonchalant about their presence in the city. Director J.P. Dutta, who gave scores of interviews, too did not manage to appease the relatives.

Money For Nothing

EVEN for the Kannada film industry, used to nakhras of imported Bollywood heroines, this one went a little too far. Nagma, that voluptuous babe of Tamil and Telugu filmdom, signed her first Kannada film Rough and Tough for Rs 8 lakh. A Rs 2 lakh advance later, the leading lady launched her tantrums—kept away from the film's muhurat, withdrew from it after giving a call sheet for 20 days, returned the advance and left director Ramesh in the lurch. Reason: two heroes and a lot of action didn't leave much for her to do in the film. But the industry suspects there's more to it. Given the bimbo roles Nagma gets anyway.

The Halos Intact

TRUTH will always prevail. The Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard wrote a somewhat salacious article on holistic healer Deepak Chopra, claiming that the best-selling author had paid for the services of a prostitute with his credit card. Chopra slapped a libel suit on the magazine. After some amount of soul-searching, no doubt helped by the libel suit, the weekly has now unconditionally apologised to Chopra. Amen.

Presslers Pitch

US senator Larry Pressler's pro-India stand is well known. What is not so well known is he and finance secretary Montek Singh Ahluwalia were both Rhodes scholars at Oxford and formed a friendship that continues to date. Pressler, who was in India to deliver the first Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture, spoke at length on Indo-Pak relations. Keeping in view the recent developments, Pressler said it was now up to the two countries to solve their problems and America had no real role to play. Collected leaders and social activists like Swami Agnivesh, Ram Jethmalani, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Jayanti Natarajan couldn't help but agree.

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  • Our nationalist cine workers associations have passed a diktat—anyone who dares to perform in Pakistan will be ostr­acised henceforth. Poor Mika Singh peddled his fare at a Pakistani wedding and was, consequently, banned from performing in India. Our steadfast protectors didn’t stop at this—Mika is in Salman’s entourage for a US tour, so they have theatened the superstar with a shut-out too if.... Appeal to our dearest Bhai: flex those muscles, do, and call these cowards out.
  • They might be exultantly posing around a broodingly resplendent red planet, but do you, pati­ent assessors of Bolly­woodian verisimilitude, see determind space scientists  in Sonakshi, Nithya Menen, Taapsee, Kirti Kulhari, Vidya and ‘mission director’ Akshay? Mission Mangal’s cast, who impersonate the ISRO team which sent Mangalyaan on its way, had better stick to the antakshari made pop­ular during its promotion. What next? Spuds growing on Akshay’s poop on Mars?
  • That England is an immigrant country is evident from its cricket and football teams, and prominent young people from all walks of life—from politicians to activists, from artistes to academics. Add beauty queens to that. At Miss England, is Bhasha Mukherjee, 23, took the top laurel. But this was just a lazy aside,   almost an afterthought for Bhasha—a doctor with two medical deg­rees. Disabusing us of our hidebound ideas about pageant divas, she says she tried it “to balance out my studying”. Whew! What a winner!
  • And the Indian bridal fashion par­ade continues: a sumptuous reh­ashing of the same designs with new nomenclature. This  latest, gorgeous line by an old master at the game, Tarun Tahiliani, goes by the name of ‘Bloom’­—a richly det­ailed whirligig meant to represent a “synthesis of cultures and values” meant for “young spirited” brides. That’s some change, so take note—if you’re sprightly enough, you deserve this.
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