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Idol threat

Abhijeet Sawant, it must be said, has his legion of fans. After all, he won the Indian Idol crown some years ago mainly because lakhs of people voted for him. Why they did so is a question that’s been haunting many in the music industry. But let’s forget that for the moment. The good news for all those who ensured his victory in the television music show is that his film Lottery is to release this month. It also features another television star — a lady called Rucha Gujarathi. Rucha was known all these years for her bhabhi-like image, but then Abhijeet always looked like everybody’s favourite brother. So they can well emerge as a hit pair. If those hundreds of thousands who voted for him give their assent, that is.


Hide and seek

Quiz time. In which city were two of Mahatma Gandhi’s teeth — now on display in Delhi — extracted? The Hindu Rao Hospital in North Delhi offers the amputation of which body part as a public service? And what animal part looks like a fir cone? Think you know them all? Then log on to the Penguin India website to take part in the Delhi Treasure Hunt, being organised by the publishers to promote former BBC journalist-turned-author Sam Miller’s recent release Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity. “It’s a really fun way to promote the book,” is Miller’s take on the hunt. To play, you simply have to answer some questions, the answers to which will hold keys to further sets of questions. Crack them, and you can then browse through a dynamic map of Delhi to pinpoint sundry hidden treasures — amounting to Rs 10,000 worth of books tucked away in different corners of the city. The only catch — you’ll have to be in Delhi to dig your treasures up for yourself. Or make that long-pending call to your resident cousin, if only to coax him or her to do the shovel work. The books can be shared!


It’s slumgod

Someone’s still basking in the glory of Slumdog Millionaire — and that’s actor Anil Kapoor. And why not, for the man is possibly the best known Indian actor in Hollywood today. And that could be the reason the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles — to be held at ArcLight, Hollywood, next month — has decided to honour the Bollywood actor. The festival will screen some of Kapoor’s old films. And it will host the world premiere of the English language version of Gandhi, My Father, produced by Kapoor. Kapoor is obviously thrilled with all this, and especially happy to know that it’s all happening at ArcLight, which is where he saw the premiere of Slumdog Millionaire. The film went on to become a blockbuster and swept the Oscars. You can’t blame Kapoor for hoping that the venue will do something spectacular to his career as well.


Belle jars

You can’t be the girl next door all your life. At least that’s what Vidya Balan thinks. The actress — who arrived with a bang with one such role in Parineeta and has been swamped by many such roles ever since — is going in for an image makeover. First she tried out some glam roles, which didn’t really work for her. Now she plans to wow her fan club with some steamy scenes. In Vishal Bharadwaj’s upcoming film Ishkiyan, the actress will be seen making love to her co-star, Arshad Warsi. A unit source reveals that the lovemaking scenes have been shot aesthetically, whatever that means. Let’s just hope the steaming hot scenes provide some warmth to Vidya’s career.


More dope

What do you know when your Italian star has a close encounter with a drug peddler? You add that to your screenplay. Actress Violante Placido, who is all set to make her debut in Bollywood film Barah Aana, apparently got a fright when she was buttonholed by somebody hoping to sell her some charas in Colaba in Mumbai. What was ironical was the fact that Placido plays the role of a foreign drug dealer in Raja Menon’s film. “She thought he was a part of the unit and played along, until he expected her to pay,” says a source. But the team decided to make the most of the incident by incorporating the drug dealer’s lines into her script. And you thought reel life was divorced from real life?

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