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House for Ms Mukherji

What’s happened to Rani Mukherji? The doe-eyed beauty has been missing from the silver screen, much to the dismay of her fans. Now we heard that Rani herself is worried about her dipping career graph. So much so that she believes her bad luck — a spate of forgettable films — may have something to do with the house that she’s been living in. The actress, once the reigning queen of Bollywood, has decided to move back to her old house on Yari Road from her current residence in Juhu. Rani shifted to Juhu early last year. And her films started bombing soon after that. She plans to shift to her old nest before the release of her film Dil Bole Haddipa. Home, clearly, is where the art is.

What’s in a name?

You can blame it on her genes. With a surname like Mangeshkar, young Radha has to be a singer. Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle’s niece has just launched her debut album called Naav Maazha Shami, a Marathi folk album put together by her father, composer Hridayanath Mangeshkar. But Radha doesn’t believe that her famous last name may hinder her musical career. People may always compare Radha to her indomitable aunts, but she is not worried. “I have never felt the pressure of belonging to the Mangeshkar family,” says Radha who has done her masters in Indian philosophy. “I am proud of what my aunts and father have achieved, but I have my own path.” The trained singer says she now plans to bring out albums in other languages. Like aunts, like niece.

Old is gold

In the past, she’s earned herself a reputation for keeping her eagle eyes trained on the slightest crime to have taken place in areas under her control. And now, even as she spends her days in retirement, old habits seem to be dying hard for ex-supercop Kiran Bedi. Never to step away from shouldering a cause, Bedi is spearheading a campaign organised by HelpAge India on the occasion of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Putting forward the idea of an “effective action core group” involving senior citizens and younger members of society, Bedi suggested at a function in Delhi that a tab be kept on the implementation of the law for the benefit of senior citizens. Given the fact that this iron lady always means business — she had the guts to tow away Indira Gandhi’s car once — this should come as bad news for those evil types bent on torturing their old parents. Be very afraid.

Wheels within wheels

If John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan can do it, khullam khulla girl Koena Mitra can do it better. The two actors used to race on their motorbikes past midnight some years ago; Koena races on a bicycle. Koena can be spotted with her gang on the streets of Bandra late at night on her new BMW cycle. Sources say she has gone from her Lexus to a BMW cycle to do her bit to combat pollution. Now all that she has to do is to ride her way to work in the daytime. In dark glasses, of course.

Yesterday once more

So what if you haven’t seen him starring in a film for many years now? Dilip Kumar has done more for Indian cinema than many people can ever think of, and he is still picking up awards along the way! On Saturday, at the inaugural K.L. Saigal Shikhar Awards programme in Delhi, tragedy king Kumar was honoured for his contributions to Indian cinema. Incepted by the Savitri Vikas Samiti, the award — which seeks to honour people for lifetime achievement — was also handed out to lyricist Khayyam and posthumously to filmmaker B.R. Chopra. With songs of Saigal being the staple for the evening, the programme also got a special touch thanks to Kathak exponent Uma Sharma dancing to several tunes made famous by the actor-singer who was once a typewriter salesman. Now, that’s what we call nostalgia at its best!

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