If you like your music shows on television, you would remember Twinkle Bajpai — who wooed eardrums and eyeballs alike with her voice and her looks in the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge of 2005. The pundits knew right then that Twinkle was going to be donning the grease paint one day. And sure enough, the youngster from Lucknow is now acting in a television series. She has now bagged a major role in that weepy soap, Kyunki…, on STAR Plus. Twinkle plays a character called Vaidehi who will marry Lakshya (whoever that is) — but, whispers STAR, under the most unforeseen circumstances. Get out your hankies — Twinkle is all set to tempt your lachrymal glands.
Politics and cinema come together again. Rajya Sabha leader of the Opposition and BJP stalwart Jaswant Singhs autobiography A Call to Honour: In Service of Emergent India, is slated to be filmed. Sources say the rights to the book have been bought by producer Pahlaj Nihalani, whose film Khushboo releases this week. Nihalani wanted to make a film about the IC-814 hijacking in 1999 and the Kandahar episode. The negotiations to buy the rights were on for long, says the source. And what about the mole in the PMO during Narasimha Raos time? And his equation with L.K. Advani? And Kargil? We have been advised not to ask questions, but to see the film. With a tear-jerking Advani worming his way closer and closer to PM candidacy, a call to film honour may just be apt for Singh.
Bearding the lion
Film-makers dont mind a bit of controversy — as long as it doesnt mess up with audiences. After the furore over Jodhaa Akbar, which, you will remember, prompted the Rajput community to remember its history, the makers of Singh is Kinng are taking no chances. Since it is a big budget film with a bevy of actors such as Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Neha Dhupia, Ranvir Shorey and Om Puri, efforts are on to pacify the Sikh community, which had a problem with Kumars turban, and the fact that he seemed clean-shaven, in the posters for the film. The rushes of the film, slated to release in August, were shown to prominent members of the community at a conference in Mumbai. An insider says the meeting was attended by Askhay Kumar, director Anees Bazmee and producer Vipul Shah. The committee that saw the film suggested certain minor changes that will be duly incorporated into the film, says the source. So alls well that ends well.
Talk about doing it the old school way. In an age when dark chocolate and truffle cake are standard accompaniments when it comes to breaking the good news, publisher Rupa & Co. still prefers to stick to traditions we left behind a good couple of decades ago. Last week, when the sales figure of their latest Chetan Bhagat book The 3 Mistakes of My Life hit the five-lakh mark, the publisher steered past new-age formalities to send out tiffin boxes full of Mango Bites, and Melodies — do those names ring a bell? — in classic schoolboy fashion to its list of well-wishers. Needless to say, the gesture evoked fond memories and was greatly appreciated. Nothing like saying it with toffees.
If the sobriquet tree man were to be ever handed out to an Indian, Pradip Krishen would definitely be a serious contender. And not just because the director-turned-botanist wrote his widely-acclaimed book Trees of Delhi a few years ago. Krishen, husband of writer Arundhati Roy, recently donned his breeches to go on a jaunt in the forests of Madhya Pradesh, studying the trees that dotted the terrains of central India. There were some very beautiful trees, says Krishen. About 100 of them were absolutely fascinating. The result of the trip? Well, another book, titled Jungle Trees of Central India, slated for release sometime in mid-2009. So brush up on your high-school botany — this ones definitely going to be quite a read.