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Land ahoy

Singh is king —still. Director Deepa Mehta has zeroed in on Akshay Kumar for her new film on the Kumagata Maru incident. In 1914, a ship carrying Indians from British India landed in Vancouver in Canada. The would-be immigrants were not allowed to land — leading to incidents that today make history. In the film, Akshay Kumar plays the role of a Sikh lawyer who took up the cause of the immigrants, most of whom were Sikhs. Mehta is convinced that the Bollywood hero is the right choice for the role. It was his acting prowess, she told the international media recently, that prompted her to select him. Mehta and Kumar were slated to work together in Water, but the partnership went awry, thanks to a controversy that broke out over the film. But all that is water under the bridge now. And Mehta and Kumar are set to tread new waters.

Singh psalm

What does Khushwant Singh do when he’s not sitting inside that fused light bulb, downing one single malt too many? Well, he translates holy scriptures, of course. Songs of the Gurus: From Nanak to Govind Singh, the latest book by the grand old man of Delhi, is a tribute to the sacred scriptures of Sikhism, and features a selection of verses from the Guru Granth Sahib as well as other Sikh holy texts. All elegantly translated, with illustrations by artist Arpana Caur, the book promises to be a real treat for the lyrically and artistically oriented. After all, when Singh meets Caur, the result can only be breath-taking.

Three-in-one

One man’s been waiting eagerly to see how Dil Kabaddi fares — and that’s its music director, Sachin Gupta. Gupta, who composed the music for Atif Aslam’s runaway hit album Doorie, now hopes to make it big with his debut as a music director. And there’s more — Dil Kabaddi, released Friday, also features Gupta as a lyricist and a singer. “I’ve been working on films as well as independent albums and every song comes from the moment I have lived. My life takes the shape of my songs,” says the 27-year-old music lover. Although Gupta has been performing on stage and composing music for albums for long, he says his ultimate aim was to do music for films. “I have always wanted to go mainstream with films since there is so much space for experimentation,” he says. Clearly, the man’s dil is doing a kabaddi!

I do ado

All those who have been waiting for the Saif and Kareena wedding had better put away their tuxes. Apparently, the wedding bells for Saifeena have been deferred. Saif is eager to tie the knot at once, but the lady, her friends say, is not so keen. Kareena apparently feels she is at the peak of her career and marriage now may ruin her cinematic charms. The two Bollywood stars have found a way out —they have bought a flat in Bandra where, with the blessing of their respective families, they are going to live together. The couple will move in once Twinkle Khanna is done with the interiors. And then — and here people are keeping their fingers and toes crossed —Kareena and Saif will live happily ever after.

Brush with fame

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the brush is mightier than the gun — or the movie camera. Ask M.F. Husain. The Dubai-based Indian art maestro has reportedly vowed to get busy at his easel, to work on a series of paintings. The artist was grieved to hear of last week’s attacks in Mumbai and at the Taj, which displayed some of the Master’s works. Interestingly, that’s not the only assignment keeping Husain busy at the moment. Having been bowled over by the new Subhash Ghai film Yuvraj, Husain has also supposedly offered to make a painting on the film. A season for inspirations, joyous or sad, should we say?

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