Its the ultimate ode to the man who runs faster than light. There have been books written on southern superstar Rajinikanth, jokes on the superhuman tricks he deploys to flummox the baddies, and a campaign to get Madame Tussauds to instal his wax statue. Almost the only thing lacking was a biopic on him. Well, that may soon come to pass as Bollywood film producer Atul Agnihotri has announced plans to capture Rajinikanths amazing rags-to-riches life story on celluloid. But wait, who will Agnihotri pick to play the star? After all, not everyone can pull off the role of a man who strangles his enemies with a cordless phone! Any volunteers among the superheroes out there?
Fine cuisine and heavy metal? Its an odd combo all right, but thats what Sahil Makhija, the frontman for one of Indias biggest metal bands, Demonic Resurrection, is trying his hand at. Makhija has come up with a cookery show called Headbangers Kitchen that he has posted on YouTube. In the show he cooks a dish, which is then tasted by a member of the Indian rock and metal fraternity. This is followed by an interview with the guest musician. I came up with the idea because I have always loved cooking, says Makhija, who hopes to eventually do a similar show for television. Well, lets hope it rocks.
Celebrations marking the birth centenary of legendary Indian classical vocalist Ustad Amir Khan were kicked off in Calcutta recently. Founder of the mellifluous Indore gharana, Ustad Amir Khan was born on August 15, 1912. He died in a road accident in Calcutta in 1974. The inaugural event, organised by the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture and Jalsaghar at Vivekananda Hall, featured a documentary on the maestro. An exhibition displaying rare photos of the Ustad and his disciples captured by lensman Prashant Arora was also held. Its a fitting tribute that heralds a year-long musical bonanza for Ustad Amir Khan fans.
Its not often that hacks heckle the stars. But when they do, they sure can make their lives miserable. Actress Sameera Reddy, of late seen more in southern cinema than in Bollywood, is a case in point. At a recent press conference to announce the release of her film Vedi, directed by Prabhu Deva, Reddy was attacked for not speaking Tamil despite landing plum roles in the South. To which she managed a weak defence — if you hear my Tamil, you will run away. Next, she was grilled about an innocuous kissing scene in the film. What kissing scene, she kept asking lamely, unsure how to react. And yet she insists that she is more at home in the South than in Big Bad Bollywood. Poor girl.
Ayesha Dharker is no stranger to British television. Last year she wowed viewers with the successful five-part period comedy drama series The Indian Doctor on BBC, where she starred alongside Sanjeev Bhasker of The Kumars at No 42 fame. The series won the Royal Television Society Award this year and has now been commissioned for a second season. The series captures the lives of the first wave of Indian doctors who immigrated to Britain in the early 1960s to work for the National Health Service and formed its backbone. Dharker plays the impetuous wife of an Indian doctor who leaves Delhi in 1963 to practise medicine in Britain and gets posted in a Welsh village. The charming Dharker, who has earlier starred in the award winning film The Terrorist and featured in the Andrew Loyd Weber musical Bombay Dreams, clearly enjoyed her retro look in the series. The second season, for which filming has begun already, will no doubt be another feather in the cap of this talented actress.