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"DAD is thrilled. He says I'm his prodigy," gushes 19-year-old Amrita, daughter of Nandu Bhende, the '70s rock star. She's seems all set to give him some healthy competition. "I have to be good because I am bound to be compared to him," she adds. But good she is, proving it in her first album released by RPG, Kaun Hai Woh. And Daddy has pitched in as music director. As they say, some family chords really bind!
FOREIGN secretary Salman Haider got out of harness last fortnight, but still makes news. Last year, his year-long extension came as a big surprise, putting a lid on rumours that he was to take up a teaching assignment in London on retiring. Rumo-urs were abuzz that he was joining the PMO. Later, he was supposedly the sure shot successor of L.M. Singhvi, high commissioner to the UK. The latest is that he is taking over as director of the IIC, a post vacated by N.N. Vohra, who is comfortably ensconced in Gujral's PMO. What next, Mr Haider?
SHE has got the makings of a winner—and the looks to go with it! Helen Brodie, part Mangalorean-part Scottish, is an exotic cocktail, more so, when cast opposite Mil-ind Soman. The two are featuring in a lovey-dovey music video for Asha Bhonsle and have created enough steam to invite the fire brigade. Add to it a couple of covers for Elle and Cosmo, a special appearance opposite Mukul Dev in Sar Aankhon Par, screen testing for several banners.... Heavenly Helen is working close with the stars, in fact close enough to becoming one. "If I don't, I'll go back to London and put my BA Honours in Fashion Marketing to good use," she says. But with Brodie's great body, she has a slim chance of not making it big here!
HER film career ended years ago, but Asha Parekh is not one to rest on her oars. With the success of Baaje Payal, the TV series devoted to dances in Hindi cinema, behind her, she's on to a brand new show, Daal Mein Kaala, a lively 52-episode sitcom for STAR Plus. She's the producer, cinematographer Gyan Sahay is directing. "I have little time," Asha says, "but I try to be on the sets as often as I can." Will Daal Mein Kala turn the tide for television comedy? "That's for you to judge," she shoots back. Asha agrees that the level of comedy on TV is truly abysmal. Truly spoken. No one needs more canned laughter.
ITS a classic duel with an unsavoury twist. Calcutta-based vocalist Ajoy Chakraborty has slapped a defamation case against Raja Ali Khan, grandson of the legendary virtuoso Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, for allegedly describing the singer and the Sangeet Research Academy (SRA), where he works, as "mafia dons". The 35-year-old Khan says hes flummoxed. "I didnt say any such thing," he says. But he has a grouse with the SRA: Khan wants the institute to hand over some 70 hours of published recordings of the doyen as hes the "legal heir". Till the courts decide, this raga will continue to hit a wrong note.