Writ for a writer
Taslima Nasreen has found a powerful set of friends. Last week, the usual suspects — Magsaysay award winner Mahasveta Devi and Booker winner Arundhati Roy, to name a few — shot off a letter to the Prime Minister urging that the exiled Bangladeshi writer be given a residents permit or, if she so wants, Indian citizenship. And now the latest to join the bandwagon is the president of the Rationalist International, Sanal Edamaruku. Edamaruku, better known for challenging the mystical powers of sundry godmen, is a staunch supporter of Nasreens right to expression. Edamaruku says he has been in touch with the writer and is appalled by her plight. Her health is deteriorating under stress and lack of competent medical care, he says. But the campaign seems to have worked — Nasreens visa to stay in India has been extended. Though the decision to extend her visa may well have been taken before the literati got into the act, words, clearly, still make a difference.
Model Konkana Bakshi knows the way to the top — beauty pageants, clearly, are the shortest route to Bollywood. Konkana, so far best known for her cameos in Tollywood films Yudh and Abhimanyu, has shifted base to Mumbai for a career boost. I have done several commercial campaigns. I also happen to be the face of Bombay Dyeings Tao collection designed by Sabyasachi Mukherjee, says Konkana, who is back in Mumbai after participating in the Top Model of the World competition, held in Cairo last month. And now, after all that, Konkana is devoting quality time to the upcoming Miss India contest. And what better way than practising what most contestants merely preach after winning the title? So while other aspirants were busy grooming themselves, Konkana was in Calcutta for a charity show to help rehabilitate women living on the streets of Mumbai. World peace, clearly, is passé.
Draping a hunk
Women drop dead when they see George Clooney, but our own Pooja Bedi was willing to drop something else when she bumped into the Hollywood hunk at the recent Dubai film festival. Clooney arched an eyebrow and said to her, Oh you look very pretty in that dress. I wish I could wear something like that. Whereupon Pooja arched hers and urged Clooney to try it out. The man who has often been voted the sexiest male on earth laughed and declined. Pity — for if he had done that he would easily have been voted the sexiest man in drag.
Games kids play
Most parents get bugged when their children get hooked on video games — Sachith Reddys folks look on proudly. For 15-year-old Reddy is a video gaming prodigy who has won the right to represent India at the FIFA Interactive World Cup to be held in Berlin in May. In a field that comprised hundreds of gaming enthusiasts in varying age categories, Reddy recently won the India leg. Im very excited and also nervous at the prospect of representing India. But I hope to bring the world title, says Reddy. Reddy — a Class IX student in a Bangalore school — will possibly be the youngest gamer among 32 players from 21 countries, all vying for the top $20,000 prize. Play it again, Sach!
Stone gets rolling
For all you rock roll buffs, the news just got better. Music bible Rolling Stone debuts in India this month end and will be priced at Rs 100 per issue. The magazines 15th international edition adds India to a list that includes Brazil, Italy and Argentina. The monthly will have the younger generation as its target audience, although it runs on the goodwill of its older audience, says editor of Rolling Stone, India, Radhakrishnan Nair, currently editor of Mans World. About 60-70 per cent of its content, says Nair, will deal with the international rock roll scene, and the rest with Indian rock. Rolling Stone, equally known for its hard-nosed take on American politics, also published some of Americas finest writers including Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, and Gore Vidal. The Indian avatar promises to adhere to that type. Well, outside of music the magazine will definitely be looking at literature, Internet, gadgets, fashion etc. But music will remain at its core, says Nair. Rock on!