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She’s the outlier, yet very much in the thick of things—four Hollywood opportunities, one from Cecil B. DeMille, an attempted kiss by the incorrigible Errol Flynn, two dream roles in Sadhana (1958) and Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), which made the careers of Vyjayanthimala and Sadhana. She spurned film offers and proposals equally. Chose marital bliss over mass adulation in her heyday in what was not known as Bollywood then. Nimmi (1933-2020) did all that, unfailingly holding her own opposite Raj Kapoor-Dilip Kumar-Dev Anand. She was top draw but happy to play second lead in several ’50s blockbusters. After her mentor Mehboob Khan released the English version of Aan (1952) as Savage Queen with a world premiere in London, she resisted temptations to go global, even turning away her cheeks when Flynn got too close for a peck. “I am an Indian girl!” she told the actor. R.I.P. “the unkissed girl of India”!

As if to snub us pessimistic slobs, here comes another good samaritan, daring us to defy her charm, snaring us in the folds of that gown’s faux deshabille, letting us catch our eye with those well-set pearls dangling from her ear, carefully matching that close-fitting neckpiece. For Pranitha Subhash, who is to appear in Hungama 2 (with ancients Paresh Rawal and Shilpa Shetty) has pledged Rs 10 lakh for the PM-CARES fund. Lofty deeds start like this.

All happy families are happy in the same way—at least in photos. Ajay Devgn and Kajol’s family confirms that queer genetic rule: the boy (Yug) resembles mom, the girl (Nysa) takes after dad. We also confirm that Kajol and Nysa are fine, for some yobs (mind you, even the jobless have more time) spread the rumour that they’re down with coronavirus.

Congratulations are the norm when celebrities declare their love publicly; eyeballs are due when they prove it with photos. We offer both to badminton ace Jwala Gutta who has, she declares, not only been dating Tamil actor Vishnu Vishal, but plighted her troth to him too. There was a time when Jwala used to man the back court, allowing poor Ashwini Ponappa to do the heavy springing around up front. But that’s the norm, too, in marriage, isn’t it?

As the assorted Khans sit around, counting their curses in locked-up movies and kicked-out releases, eyeing, no doubt, their accumulated billions for comfort, out steps Akshay, with Rs 25 crore for the millions groaning and starving due to the loss of livelihoods. “I had nothing when I started,” retorted he when wife Twinkle asked if he was sure about such an amount. In this bleak hour, forgive the man for the message on his T-shirt (it does him no credit). We unreservedly applaud you, sir.

Photo by Getty Images

Is this the face that uncorked a thousand scares? Begowned thus, Helen herself would have been glad to let herself be cast in marble; like her, singer Kanika Kapoor has launched a conflagration in this towered Ilium of ours—three parties, 160 guests, the spectre of coronavirus sprinkling a fine dust over all, waves of indignation, police complaints, the tearful infector (this we imagine) sunk in quarantine. One day, Kan­ika will sing of all this.

Photo by Getty Images

The off-shoulder black dress that makes us puckish, those slippery, sheer sleeves, that hint of a necklace, the picture snuck behind a giant phone that an errant finger blocks…no lockdown can dampen Ananya Panday’s spirit. Reading, painting, baking chocolate chip cookies with her sister do certainly help, but dressing up in black eats the whole cake.

Flanked by an orange halterneck (teamed defiantly with trackpants), and an yellow halterneck dress pinched invitingly up front, with a printed, kaftanesque dress heart-stoppingly abbreviated in between, you could be forgiven for taking the scene as LA, circa 1971. Alas, that bunched up red gown spoils the effect. Our subjects (L to R, Bani J, Kirti Kulhari, Manavi Gagroo and Sayani Gupta) are the leads of the series Four More Shots Please! The first season was slammed for not being nuanced enough. Why, that heavily tattooed arm extending itself to support an aching limb is subtlety personified!

Against a pale blue sky, they clap for those who are putting themselves in grave danger in this hour of crisis—Abhishek, Aishwarya, little Aaradhya, other family-members and the patriarch, Amitabh Bachchan. The latter apparently re-tweeted a post on the deleterious effect of state-sponsored clangour on the virus on March 22-an amavasya. Can’t believe your ears? You won’t if you’re a fan, but do investigate and decipher these revealing interstices of unreason. You’ve got time on your hands.

Photo by PTI

Bollywood actor Tamanna Bhatia walks the ramp during Bombay Times Fashion Week 2020, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

She has been a most cherished inhabitant of this page and thus we note with the utmost stupefaction that assorted dafooses bodyshame the irreproachably lovely Shruti Haasan for being ‘skinny’ or taking reco­urse to plastic surgery. A defiant res­ponse was recei­ved through text (read it els­e­where) and photo (you got it!). Our one question: Would you chav girls (and boys) ever match her? Answer honestly.

A nasty virus maybe doing the rounds, making people scuttle back to their holes, but Holi is for flouting norms, our shudh desi bacchanalia. At the colour-splattered Holi bash held by Isha Ambani in Mumbai, you’d have to be the driest of hypochondriacs to miss it. Priyanka flew in with Nick Jonas to give the latter a first taste of gulal. Katrina was at hand to share his surprised joy. And you thought the rival actresses try not to share the same frame!

Does an outfit seemin­gly inspired by Henry VIII’s wardrobe, albeit gorgeou­sly stitched, not militate against the figure-hugging norms of the fashion world? But Freida Pinto doesn’t care as much, now that she’s nearly an old hand in Hollywood. She poses here with actress Leela Ladnier for the premiere of Mira, Royal Detective, a mystery adventure series for the young inspired by Indian culture, for which they lent their voices.

Photograph by AP

Katharine O'Brien, left, writer/director of "Lost Transmissions," poses with cast member Juno Temple at a special screening of the film at the Los Angeles Film School in Los Angeles.

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Bollywood actor Amyra Dastur gestures as she poses for photographs during ‘Holi’ celebrations at a party, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez celebrates the Holi festival in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Vidyut Jammwal during a women's bike rally on International Women's Day in Thane.

PTI Photo

Katy Perry performs before the start of the Women's T20 World Cup cricket final match between Australia and India in Melbourne.

AP Photo/Asanka Ratnayake

Leela Ladnier and Freida Pinto attend the LA Premiere of "Mira, Royal Detective" at Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP

Another walk down the catwalk; another voluminous, crimped gown and the obligatory, ‘bold’ cut. But let that be...after scaring the wits out of cinema-going citizens in Ghost Stories, Janhvi Kapoor has been handed the meatiest of roles—that of Kargil War fighter pilot Gunjan Sax­ena. Shall she make the most of The Kargil Girl? The cockpit is another world; they do things differently there.

Some people have an indescribable urge to esc­ape their natural destinies, even privileged ones. Why else, would the (adopted) daughter of one the most powerful men in the world’s most influential movie industry wade into a career of a “self-produced adult entertainer”? Radical departure or plain boredom? But Mikaela Spielberg, 23, does salute her “most evolved parents”. Resigned acceptance is probably attained in an evolved state.

Big, fleshy leaves like these are top dogs of the botanical world—sucking deeply of the sun to give its texture a thick, waxy feel. They have to, otherwise they wouldn’t be the cover of choice for carnivores in jungles, for frolicsome dames in love in thousands of Bollywood films, and for advenurous minxes and artful lensmen in urban jungles. Luxuriate, then, in Kiara Advani’s knowing innocence in Dabboo Ratnani’s annual calendar. We’re still looking, for green is a soothing colour.

Blessed is the film that rides on such happy coinciden­ces on its promo run—as Baaghi 3 nears the starting block, stars Shraddha Kapoor and Tiger Shroff celebrate their back-to-back birthdays, on March 2 and 3. Shraddha, in a fabulous dress, needs two hands to wield the knife. Guess the flavour? Butterscotch would be a fair bet.

Photograph by PTI

Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt attends the special screening of Netflix web series 'Guilty', in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt (C) along with her mother Soni Razdan (L) and sister Shaheen Bhatt attend the special screening of Netflix web series 'Guilty', in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Heidi Klum attends "America's Got Talent" season 15 red carpet at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California.

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Bollywood actors Shraddha Kapoor and Tiger Shroff cut a cake during former's birthday celebration, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actors Shraddha Kapoor and Tiger Shroff during former's birthday celebration, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Actress Haley Bennett attends a special screening of "Swallow" at NeueHouse Madison Square in New York.

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Model Gigi Hadid, centre, walks with other models as they wear creations for the Chanel fashion collection during Women's fashion week Fall/Winter 2020/21 presented in Paris.

AP/PTI

Actor Kamal Haasan addresses the media as he arrives to appear before the Central Crime Branch police in connection with an accident on the sets of his upcoming film, ‘Indian 2’, which left three people dead last month, in Chennai.

PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar

An acid attack victim Ritu Saini gets a selfie clicked with Bollywood actress Chitrangada Singh during International Women Day Award 2020 ceremony, in New Delhi.

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Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff celebrates his birthday with Shraddha Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh as they pose for media personnel in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actors Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan during a wrap up party for their upcoming movie 'Coolie No.1' in Mumbai

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Bollywood actress Bhumi Pednekar at a programme to unveil an artifact 'Waste to Art' made by recycled plastic, at Boat Club in Bhopal

PTI Photo

Bollywood actor Ashish Vidyarthi along with his wife pays obeisance at the Golden Temple in Amritsar

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Bollywood actor Sunil Shetty bats during a promotional event,in Thane.

PTI Photo

Jennifer Lopez, left, and Oprah Winfrey participate in "Oprah's 2020 Vision" tour at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

Photo by AP/PTI

Bollywood actress Janhvi Kapoor during a promotional event, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

America Ferrera, second from left, producer of the Netflix series "Gentefied," poses with the show's cast members, from left, J.J. Soria, Karrie Martin, Annie Gonzalez and Carlos Santos at the 2020 Impact Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Toufik Ayadi, left, Ladj Ly, center, and Christophe Barral pose with the Best Film with 'Les Miserables' in Paris.

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Anais Demoustier poses after winning the Cesar for best actress for her role in "Alice and the Mayor" in Paris.

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Dan Levy celebrates as he holds the Cesar award for Best Original music with "I lost my body" in Paris. The Cesar awards ceremony for France is the equivalent of the Oscars.

AP Photo/Michel Euler

Actress Helen Mirren arrives for the awarding ceremony for the Honorary Golden Bear at the 70th International Film Festival Berlin, Berlinale in Berlin, Germany. Helen Mirrenwill be awarded with the honorary Golden Bear for her lifetime achievement at the film festival.

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

This is a potent mix, when rightful buoyancy and birthday cheer is joined by a nar­ci­­­ssistic inanity tempered with innocence. Add to it the fact that the subject is ext­remely easy on the eye, making this extra effort for us here. Well, all Urvashi Rautela did on her 26th birthday was don this bathrobe, playfully term herself “the most amazing person” and, still playfully, demanded a holiday. Actually, it was kind of sweet.

On A Couch We Dearly Covet

Model Bella Hadid wears a creation for Mugler fashion collection during the Women's fashion week Fall/Winter 2020/21 presented in Paris.

AP Photo/Francois Mori

Actress Yvonne Strahovski, left, and co-creator, executive producer and actress, Cate Blanchett, right, attend the Berlinale Series Premiere for the film, "Stateless," during the 2020 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany.

Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP

Actress Elle Fanning, left, and actress Salma Hayek-Pinault, right, pose for the photographers during the red carpet for the film "The Roads Not Taken" at the 2020 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany.

AP Photo/Michael Sohn

From right, actress Salma Hayek, actress Elle Fanning, director Sally Potter and actor Javier Bardem pose for the photographers during the red carpet for the film "The Roads Not Taken" at the 2020 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany.

AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu during the promotion of her upcoming film 'Thappad', in New Delhi.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas walks the ramp during Blenders Pride Fashion Tour, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actors Tiger Shroff and Shardha Kapoor pose for photos during the promotion of film "Baggi 3" at TV reality show 'Dance Plus', in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Shardha Kapoor poses for photos during the promotion of film 'Baggi 3' at TV reality show 'Dance Plus', in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Vanessa Hudgens attends the Broadway opening night of "West Side Story" at The Broadway Theatre in New York.

Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP

Disha Patani’s sartorial exc­ursions swing between comfy, mumsy gymwear for a display of elasticity, and sexy outfits for a display of...well, an emb­arrassment of surplus oomph. We appreciate your gratitude for us plumping for the latter for our purposes. The lady, meanwhile has bagged an ‘action’ role in Mohit Suri’s Ek Villain 2, after her ‘chemistry’ with Aditya Roy Kapur in Malang impressed the discerning audience. Even those who said the film was nothing made eyes at Disha. We understand, brothers.

Can the clenched-jaw, pistol-fisted Bond attitude be channelled into a joyous, award-winning posture? Oh yes, it can, as Taapsee Pannu (though her outfit cruelly murders a butterfly) and Bhumi Pednekar shows, as they receive their critics choice Filmfare awards in Guwahati for Saand Ki Aankh, a biopic on octogenarian sharpshooters Prakashi and Chandro Tomar.

Bollywood actor Kartik Aaryan at the 'Nykaa Femina Beauty Awards 2020', in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif at the 'Nykaa Femina Beauty Awards 2020', in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma at the 'Nykaa Femina Beauty Awards 2020', in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone at the 'Nykaa Femina Beauty Awards 2020', in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Tapsee Pannu poses for photographs during the press conference of upcoming film ‘Thapad’ in New Delhi.

PTI Photo

Hailee Steinfeld poses for photographers upon arrival at Brit Awards 2020 in London.

Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Maya Jama poses for photographers upon arrival at Brit Awards 2020 in London.

Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Mabel accepts the award for British Female Solo Artist on stage at the Brit Awards 2020 in London.

Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Foals accept their award for British Group on stage at the Brit Awards 2020 in London.

Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Ashley Roberts poses for photographers upon arrival at Brit Awards 2020 in London.

Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Lizzo performs on stage at the Brit Awards 2020 in London.

Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Billie Eilish poses for photographers upon arrival at Brit Awards 2020 in London.

Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Anne-Marie poses for photographers upon arrival at Brit Awards 2020 in London.

Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Mabel performs on stage at the Brit Awards 2020 in London.

Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Ellie Goulding poses for photographers upon arrival at Brit Awards 2020 in London.

AP/PTI

Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor displays a creation by Amit Aggarwal at the grand finale during Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.

AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Actress Essie Davis poses for photographers during a UK charity premiere for the film 'True History of the Kelly Gang' at a central London cinema.

Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Model Bella Hadid, centre, and other models wear creations by designer Burberry at the Autumn/Winter 2020 fashion week runway show in London.

Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Model Kendall Jenner wears a creation by designer Burberry at the Autumn/Winter 2020 fashion week runway show in London.

Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Producer Jason Blum, actress Elisabeth Moss and Director Leigh Whannell, from left to right, pose during the French premiere of The Invisible Man, in Paris.

P Photo/Francois Mori

TV reality show Bigg Boss Season 13 winner Sidharth Shukla poses for photographs with the trophy during the grand finale of the show, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt poses for a photograph at LGBI Airport, as she arrives to take part in the 65th Filmfare awards 2020 to be held in Sarusajai Stadium, in Guwahati.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actress Soha Ali khan walks the ramp showcasing fashion designer Shahin Manna's creation at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Esha Gupta walks the ramp showcasing fashion designer Nirmooha creation at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actress Diana Penty walks the ramp to showcase a creation by designers Shivan and Narresh during the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.

AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan walks the ramp showcasing fashion designers Samant Chauhan creation at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu walks the ramp, showcasing a creation by designer Sanjukta Dutta, during the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Nora Fatehi walks the ramp showcasing fashion designers Gauri and Nayanika creation at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Dia Mirza walks the ramp showcasing the creation by brand Kotwara by Meera and Muzaffar Ali at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020 in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu with her husband Karan Singh Grover walks the ramp, showcasing a creation by designer Sanjukta Dutta, during the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actor Tabu walks the ramp showcasing the creation by designer Gaurang at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo/Mitesh Bhuvad

Bollywood actress Malaika Arora walks the ramp showcasing fashion designer Varun Chakkilam's creation at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020 in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Sunny Leone at a PeTA India event during the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020 in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Bollywood actor Aditi Rao Hydari walks the ramp showcasing designer Ritu Kumar's creation at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020 in Mumbai.

PTI Photo/Mitesh Bhuvad

Indian Tennis player Sania Mirza walks the ramp showcasing the creation by designer Eka at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020 in Mumbai.

PTI Photo/Mitesh Bhuvad

Bollywood actor Aditi Rao Hydari walks the ramp showcasing designer Ritu Kumar's creation at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2020 in Mumbai.

PTI Photo/Mitesh Bhuvad

Caitriona Balfe arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Outlander" Season 5 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.

Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP Images

Karen Gillan, a cast member in "The Call of the Wild," arrives at the premiere of the film at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles.

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Bollywood actors Sara Ali Khan (R) and Kartik Aaryan pose for a photograph during an interview with PTI, in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Atul Yadav

Bollywood actress Sunny Leone walks on a ramp for designer Swapnil Shinde during Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2020, in Mumbai.

PTI Photo/Kunal Patil

Bollywood actress Sunny Leone walks the ramp to showcase the creation of designer Swapnil Shinde during the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.

AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

Bollywood filmmaker Imtiaz Ali during an interview with PTI, in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Atul Yadav

Actors Zach Woods, left, Zoe Chao, Will Ferrell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Giulio Berruti, Ammon Jacob Ford and Julian Grey pose together at the premiere of "Downhill" at the SVA Theatre in New York.

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

“Why don’t you first give a fitting reply to my anklets ­instead of trying to talk smart?” Vyjayanthimala taunted Padmini in the Kannum Kannum Kalandhu dance sequence of the film Vanjikottai Valiban (1958). Exalted as the most engrossing dance-off in Indian cinema, it eventually overshadowed the film itself and fuelled talk of rivalry between the two stars, both accomplished Bharatanatyam artists. Padmini and her siblings—Lalitha and Ragini, both actresses too—were known as the Travancore Sisters. While she starred mostly in Tamil films, often opposite Sivaji ­Ganesan, she also had a ­remarkable stint in Bollywood with Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1961) and Mera Naam Joker (1970).

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