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Super gag

If Bollywood claims that its actors are going global, the Tamil film industry too seems to be making its mark on the global stage. Or, at least, its superhero superstar Rajinikanth certainly is. It seems that Westerners are also waking up to the charms of the Rajini jokes that do the rounds here. Hollywood actor and stand-up comic Rob Schneider, who was in India for a five-city tour to promote the third season of Black Dog Comedy evenings, used a Rajini joke to draw some guffaws. “It got cold here the other day, because Rajini opened his refrigerator,” he joked. That must have warmed him to his Indian audience.

Stage heritage

Quiz Bengal’s Gen X about Girish Ghosh, and the likely response would be “Girish who?” To remember the Father of Bengali theatre, whose death anniversary falls on February 8, 1912, theatre scholar Debjit Bandyopadhyay will be organising a two-day programme this week at Academy of Fine Arts and GD Birla Sabhaghar in Calcutta. “There’s hardly any initiative in the city to celebrate Girish Ghosh’s death anniversary. The younger generation should know about his genius,” rues Bandyopadhyay. The programme will discuss Ghosh’s works, feature some of the popular songs from his plays, and will also screen a documentary on the theatre legend made by Bandyopadhyay. With Victor Banerjee as its narrator and Soumendu Roy who worked with Satyajit Ray as its cinematographer, the documentary promises to be worth a watch.

Dubai debut

Jaya Misra is going places. After being a regular at the annual Dubai Fashion Week, the Calcutta-based designer will now retail her outfits in Dubai. “Label-24, a Dubai-based outlet, will be retailing my label from mid-December,” says Misra. Keeping the Dubai market in mind, Misra has included a lot of anarkalis and Pakistani cuts in her collection for women. “And given Dubai’s craze for Bollywood, we are in talks with Hindi film industry’s leading ladies to launch my range of clothes,” she adds. That ought to give her Dubai outing a suitably glittering start.

Friends again

We know there are two blueblood Bollywood families that do not see eye to eye. The Kapoors and the Bachchans have had a distinctly strained relationship ever since the engagement between Junior B and Karisma Kapoor was inexplicably called off. So much so that Karisma’s little sis Kareena has not even shared screen space with Abhishek Bachchan after the break-up. Yet at a recent function in Mumbai Jaya Bachchan was espied warmly greeting her once would-be bahu Karisma. Apparently, Mama Bachchan hugged Ms Kapoor and exchanged pleasantries. Was the formidable Mrs Bachchan just being her own sweet self or have the two families finally kissed and made up? We can’t wait to find out.

War crimes

The Central Board of Film Certification may have frowned upon Leena Manimekalai’s film Sengadal, The Dead Sea, but the Tamil filmmaker was not one to be daunted by its diktat. She took the battle to the courts and managed to get the film passed with an “A” certification. Sengadal, which was shown at the Goa Film Festival recently, is about the decades-long ethnic war in Sri Lanka and is told from the point of view of the Tamil fishermen who were subjected to enormous human rights violations. “It is stupid to ban a film. You have just helped to advertise for it,” laughs Manimekalai. “I believe we still have some democracy left in the country,” says the never-say-die filmmaker. Wonder if Sohan Roy, director of DAM999, which has been banned by the Tamil Nadu government, would agree.