Shes 12, smart, spunky and adventurous. And though she may be living in the India of the 1950s, gutsy Nina certainly packs a punch. Okay, shes no real character, but in the newest series of comic books brought out by ACK Media, publishers of the much-loved childrens series Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle, Nina is about to embark on a flight of adventures that would be a sheer treat for todays tween generation — or even grown-ups, for that matter. Daughter of a map-maker, the witty Nina ventures into remote areas of post-Independence India, inviting todays kids to follow her into history to explore clues and solves mysteries. Quite a departure from the Pokemon culture, should we say? Well, watch out for Nina. As far as we can tell, she doesnt take a no for an answer.
Out of the box
Make way for the newcomers. After Rajeev Aamir Khandelwals success on the big screen, its the turn of another well-known face from television. Karnvir Bohra — Prem of Kasauti Zindagi Kay to those who know their K series — is all set to make his Bollywood debut with Aziz Mirzas Kismat Connection. Bohra hopes that the film, also starring Shahid Kapur and Vidya Balan, will open up new doors in Bollywood for him. But he is not quite closing the door that he has emerged out of. Bohra, unlike Khandelwal, is not going to bid goodbye to television. He is working on two new projects, including Ekta Kapoors reality show Kabhie Yaar, Kabhie Pyaar. Good for Bohra — its kabhi TV, kabhi movie for him.
The good thing about a film launch is that it comes wrapped in goodness. Now that Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic is to be released in the end of June, the cast and crew are reaching out to everybody, including little orphans. At a special show with the little ones, all the biggies came out of their cocoons for a song and dance. Musicians Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy sang, actor Ameesha Patel danced and Rani Mukherji gave away gifts. But we are told that when Saif Ali Khan decided to shake a leg, all hell broke loose. It proved so irresistible that soon Rani was on stage to join in the fun. As were Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, reveals a Yash Raj Films source. The films makers had better hope that the merriment continues after the release.
Spirituality, they say, knows no bounds. So after being in the shadow of the Dalai Lama as his disciple and close associate for 25 years, mediaperson and TV presenter Rajiv Mehrotra has now written a biography of none other than Sri Ramakrishna, the Bengali visionary who continues to inspire hundreds of thousands more than a century after his demise. In his book Thakur: A life of Sri Ramakrishna, Mehrotra explores the challenges and riddles posed by the mystic, his bringing a new vitality to the practice and symbols of Hinduism and his philosophy that endures till today. And while the world may read his portrayal of the icon, Mehrotra — an alumnus of St Stephens College — supposedly already has his hands full with a TV series on Swami Vivekananda and a film on Satya Sai Baba. Now thats a spirituality overdrive.
If Aamir can, why cant Shahnaz? No, she is not going to act or direct a film — not yet, at least — but Indias best-known beautician is going to blog. Shahnaz Husain has started a blogspot which has her scribblings, as well as the thoughts of some wise men and women. Called MyLifeWall, the blog also gives beauty tips to all those who are interested — answering questions on what to do with limp hair (no, the solution is not to cut it), or how to cope with skin problems (no, a Kathakali mask is not the answer to acne). Interspersed with the little nuggets of advice are some pithy quotes. ... Our culture is not in the hands of the Chinese, says the Dalai Lama. The secret of beauty is best revealed at my beauty treasure place — my dressing table, says Shahnaz Husain. She also tells you the secret of her long hair — my plush mane of red hair which has, over the years, turned into a hallmark of sorts, as she modestly puts it. For the secret, log on.