Bollywood is once again displaying its weakness for firang faces. After Barbara Mori (Mexican), Claudia Ciesla (German) and Giselli Monterio (Brazilian), the latest foreigner to jump on the Bollywood bandwagon is British singer and composer Milli Moonstone. She is to appear in Harish Sharmas debut horror film 2 Nights in Soul Valley, where she plays the role of a British woman who goes to the Himalayas to study spirits. Or ghosts, if you will. I met Sharma last year when I came to India to promote Pakistani singer Najam Shirazs album. At that time, he offered me a role in his film. I was not sure whether I could do it, but finally I agreed, says the singer. Moonstone says she hopes to make a mark in Bollywood. We hope too — that she doesnt turn out to be yet another foreign bird of passage.
Anish Kapoor has always gone places. The Indian born British sculptor — the creator of many stupendous works of installation that are on permanent display in several places around the world — will now exhibit at the grandest venue of them all. Grand Palais, a palatial exhibition hall and museum complex at the Champs-Élysées in Paris, will host some of Kapoors works as part of the France celebrates India festival that will start next week and last a little over a month. The Grand Palais, with its vaulted nave sheathed in glass and iron and a light steel ceiling, would undoubtedly be a fitting display area for Kapoors breathtakingly modern and grandiose sculptures. Like meets like, shall we say?
Talk about having the best of both worlds. Ever since Slumdog Millionaire catapulted Anil Kapoor to the world stage, the actor has been making waves in Hollywood. First he was signed up for the American TV series 24. Then he shared screen space with Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and bagged a role in director Roger Donaldsons next film, Cities. But despite his Hollywood forays, the veteran actor has clearly not forgotten his home state. Not only is he acting in a couple of Hindi films (Tezz and Power), one hears that Kapoor is also going to produce a Marathi movie with a social message. In his case, East has certainly met West.
Shed a tear for poor Ameesha Patel. The girl who burst on the scene with another newbie Hrithik Roshan in the blockbuster Kaho Na… Pyar Hai, has seen her career nosedive in recent years. So we were happy to hear that she is branching out into production and has, in fact, launched her own production house. But, guess what? The grapevine has it that Patel asked director Imtiaz Ali to direct a film for her production house with the proviso that he cast her in the lead role. Ali, who has directed such hits as Jab We Met and Love Aaj Kal, is said to have been gobsmacked by her demand. He may have the midas touch, but he obviously doesnt think he can work his magic with a has-been star. Well, things must be really bad for the pretty Ms Patel if she cant land a role in her own production!
Connoisseurs of music in the Kashmir Valley couldnt have asked for more. On Wednesday, ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh mesmerised the audience in Srinagar with his three-hour recital. Singhs performance struck a chord at the Kashmir University auditorium because few artistes have chosen to go to the Valley since violence broke out there in the early 1990s. Singhs soulful ghazals overwhelmed the entertainment-starved Kashmiris who, despite the hard times, have clearly not lost their love for music and poetry. Perhaps Jagjit Singh will inspire other artistes to perform in the beleaguered Valley.