Back to school
Our cricketers are having a ball. It seems that when they are not on the field they are hobnobbing with educationists and school children — especially those from the state they represent. Skipper Anil Kumble has just signed up as a brand ambassador for the Karnataka-based Manipal Education, which runs several institutions in and outside the country. And bowler R.P. Singh, in the team but injured, was last seen in a crowd of students at Lucknow’s La Martiniere School, signing autographs while pimply boys stared at him with open admiration. Singh, who is from Rae Bareli and has studied in Lucknow, was beaming from ear to ear as well. Boys will be boys — even the ones in blue.
If singer Udit Narayan doesn’t look out, he is going to turn into a polyglot — at least when it comes to singing. Narayan says he is going to sing less and less in Hindi and more and more in Bengali, Bhojpuri and other languages. “My songs in Hindi films have dropped by almost 20 per cent from what I used to sing a few years ago,” he says. “Now I feel your efforts are better appreciated if you sing in good films where they would get noticed.” So, despite his song Dekho Dekho from Om Shanti Om being received well, the singer has his eyes set on the regional market. “Having sung in 30 languages, I enjoy lending my voice to regional films,” he says. The more, the merrier.
Even the Bipasha Basus of the world can have bad hair days. Yes, the Bong beauty has recently admitted to being bored of the way her hair looks. Not just in real life but also in her latest film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, in which the actress plays a Plain Jane of a physiotherapist attached to a football team. She says that though she enjoyed playing the part, it is still a “simple, make-up less character.” In fact, Basu is apparently so tired of her tresses that she is colouring it a dark shade. “I got bored with the colour of my hair,” she said, adding, “If I wasn’t an actor I would have taken my hair to the realm of the bizarre.” And there we were, thinking she was already there.
Pint-sized Chitrashi Rawat, aka Komal Chautala of Chak de! India, will soon be seen playing a new game. After her exuberant role as an ace hockey player, Rawat is ready to act as a journalist in a yet-to-be-named film to be directed by Indrajeet Lankesh. “I am paired with Shiney Ahuja — but all that I can disclose about the film right now is that it’s got to do with bike racing,” says Rawat. But as film offers continue to pour in, the state-level hockey player — who even played for India — stresses that she is not going to quit hockey. This December she will be seen on the astro turf doing what she is best at — playing hockey.
Art as it happened
It may be a million-dollar industry today but where — and how — did modern Indian art exactly begin' Partha Mitter has an answer. An emeritus professor of art history at the University of Sussex, Mitter has just written a book titled The Triumph of Modernism: India’s Artists and the Avant-garde 1922-1947, where he looks into the first wave of modernism that seized Indian artists when people such as the Tagores, Jamini Roy and Amrita Sher-Gill began to create magic with their brushes. “Modernism is a discourse that is extremely essential to the understanding of contemporary art and thus can’t be ignored,” says Mitter, now in Delhi to talk about his book. “Besides, it’s all the more important as artists in that era were developing an anti-colonial response,” he adds. And if you’re interested in finding out the course Indian art took after 1947, just hang on till Mitter finishes his next project, which analyses the 1950s and 1960s. For now, however, it’s time to head back to the past.