Sultan of swing
If music be the food of love, play on. And ill health can go, well, play. Now pushing 70 and at the twilight of his long musical career, Sarangi maestro Sultan Khan was — until recently — passing on concert after concert, excusing himself from any sort of musical proceedings owing to failing health. But then, last week, something truly memorable happened. At the Rajasthan International Folk Festival in Jodhpur, Khan couldnt resist the idea of having a go at his strings, only to join forces with folk Sindhi Sarangi musicians Lakha Khan and his son Anwar. Together, they created magic as the classical strains of Khans instrument mingled with the raw energy of the duos rustic tune. And clearly, everybody left on a happy note. Encore, is the word.
It was yesterday once more at Ho Chi Minh Sarani last week. And the blast from the past came in the form of Arthur Gracias. The Indo-jazz composer, guitarist and pianist was in Calcutta to take part in an evening of fusion music blending the East and the West at the Satyajit Ray Auditorium. Old-timers will remember Gracias as a part of the pantheon of rock, jazz and blues artistes that included Joe Pereira, Pam Crain, Louis Banks and Usha Uthup and rocked the city in the 60s and the 70s. Gracias, now based in Australia, also composed music for such critically acclaimed films as Gudia and Dekha. Gracias performed at a proper concert in Calcutta after 15 long years. Our idea was to bring back Park Street as it was in the days of yore, says Santanu Ghosh, who organised the concert along with filmmaker Goutam Ghose. Incidentally, Ghoses son Ishaan, a percussionist, also made his musical debut at the concert. Clearly, age was no bar in the nostalgia fest.
Its tough when you are the most glamorous creature in Bollywood. Ask Kareena Kapoor, and she will shed some (glycerine-induced) tears on the subject. Apparently, Bebo is so gorgeous that her good looks are coming in the way of a good role. Kareena, having done it all, from being size zero to sporting a de-glam look in Omkara, is now attending acting workshops for her role in the desi version of Stepmom where she plays an urbane working girl. We are told that designer Manish Malhotra too is having a tough time trying to turn Kareena into an ordinary woman. And you thought life was a bed of roses in Bollywood?
Clash of the titans
If one Khan, so Khan the other. Aamir and Shah Rukh are at it again — they are not at each others throats, but trying to elbow the other out on the ramp. At a fashion show to be held in Mumbai today, Aamir Khan is going to walk for his friend Salman Khan. At another show, SRK will showcase clothes for best buddy Karan Johar. The Salman show is a toast to his organisation, Being Human. The Johar one is to mark a new line of clothes for men. It was bad enough when their fights were on the net. Now will catwalk turn into a catty walk?
If youve got it right, try it out again. At least thats what Raman Kumar, the man behind Tara, satellite televisions first successful soap, is hoping to do. But the medium for him is no longer the television — he is shooting an online soap. When I started Tara, even I didnt think that it would be such a success. So I am going with an open mind this time too, says Raman. The serial will have 24 webisodes of five minutes each, and will be telecast on www.ibibo.com. One thing I know is that in five minutes I should have the content to hold the audience to the site and bring them back the next day, says Raman. The director wont say much about the soap, but adds that like Tara, it will have a shock element. That should be good enough to get the eyeballs!