Shobhaa Dé — who has drunk from the fount of eternal youth — is working on her new book for Penguin to mark, albeit a year or two late, 60 years of independent India, and of the author. But just when was Dé born? The Telegraph had requested her, in the December of 2006, to write an article on both India and Dé turning 60 for a New Years issue in 2007, relying on a Wikipedia entry that gave her birth year as 1947. Just for the record, I was born in 1948, not 47, Dé had replied. I like the topic... but..., she had said in her e-mail. But the idea, we presume, took root — and now Dés book, celebrating six decades of the country and its noted citizen, is about to be launched. And while India may be a doddering 61, Dé continues to bloom. After all, whats age got to do with it?
U, me and he
Look out for this young man. If Ajay Devgan likes him, we should too. While making his directorial debut, U Me Aur Hum, Devgan was in search of a fresh face for a male role. Someone suggested Aditya Rajput Singhs name to him — and Devgan signed him on without an audition. Addy, as he is known in some circles, is a super model who has done quite a few ads with big stars — such as for Coke with Hrithik and for Nokia and Dish TV with Shah Rukh. The boy from Delhi is now suitably tight-lipped about the film. I cant talk about my role, because that will reveal a lot about the film. I have signed a contract which says I cant talk about it, he says. Whats clear is that the boy is excited. Remember how Ash got started? It was with an ad for a cola.
It seems we cant have enough of Jodhaabai. Salman Rushdies piece on Jodhaa — whom he describes as Akbars imaginary queen — is out in The New Yorker. And the film, starring Aishwarya Rai, that shook many a Rajput pagdi, is now being dubbed into Tamil and Telugu after raking in Rs 120 crore in one month. And not just Indian languages, it has also been dubbed for Dutch and Arabic viewers. I am enjoying the Western attention and let us see where it all leads to, says director Ashutosh Gowariker. This historical film is making history of its own. Nothing, clearly, succeeds like a controversy.
Apper for the copper
You cant put a good cop down. Kiran Bedi may have left the Indian Police Service in a huff — after she was superseded — but continues to advocate the law of the land. Now we hear that Bedi is going to act in a television series called Aap Ki Kacheri, to be aired on STAR TV. Bedi plays a know-all aunt who solves everybodys legal problems. And heres more on the Bedi front. Indias police force may not have considered her man enough to occupy the apex position in the rungs of the Delhi police, but the international community has once again given a thumbs up to her work. On March 15, a Munich group conferred on Bedi the eighth Annemarie-Madison Prize for being a role model in the field of humanitarianism, patient care and patients rights and research. This one should give Bedi — a Magsasay winner — something to smile about, at least for the moment.