The beauties doing their rah-rah routine didn’t work. So producer Kareem Morani, one of Shah Rukh Khan’s close associates, decided that the Kolkata Knight Riders needed something special — a Bengali beauty. Morani asked model-actress Konkana Bakshi — waiting for her Bollywood debut to take off — to cheer the KKR team at the Eden Gardens. “And I just couldn’t say no to this opportunity,” she says. “I wanted the team to win.” The team lost, but Bakshi is not giving up the cheering. “This won’t stop me from rooting for KKR. And if I can, I would like to come over to Edens every time KKR plays this season,” she adds. Looks like the team has bowled the maiden over.
One doesn’t usually connect the Indian Council for Cultural Relations with Hindi cinema. But in its bid to promote the jal tarang — bowls of various sizes that produce beautiful musical tones — the cultural body is doing just that. While organising a concert by jal tarang player Manish Sharma in Delhi recently, it held forth on the links between the instrument and Bollywood. A 1949 film starring Geeta Bali and Rehman was called Jal Tarang, the ICCR points out. And it adds that the late composer .P. Nayyar was among those who mourned the sidelining of the instrument. Nayyar said in a TV interview that he had asked a jal tarang artiste if his children played the instrument. No, the musician replied — the jal tarang bowls were only taken out when soup was served. Now that’s a discordant note.
Saurav Ganguly is not the only one in the Ganguly household unravelling borders — wife Dona is doing her bit too. She is part of a show put together by percussionist Abhijit Banerjee, who is presenting Tagore’s dance drama Chitrangada with artistes from Bali and India. The performance promises to be different — as the dance forms blend, an assortment of percussion instruments such as xylophones, gongs, flutes and drums will set the rhythm. We are told the Indo-Balinese fusion will feature the who’s who of Bengal’s cultural world — from singers Indrani Sen and Srikanta Acharya to dancer Dona. Howzat, Saurav?
It’s not just his hair. Jairam Ramesh likes to give a twist to everything — and with good effect. The rural development minister knows the significance of spreading the good word around on the need for sanitation and drinking water in the interiors of the country. And since it’s not a subject that gathers eyeballs, Ramesh has zeroed in on two people who can drive home the message. After all, when all else fails, Bollywood sells. So the canny Ramesh’s plan is to have Shah Rukh Khan and Vidya Balan spread the message of cleanliness. Will it work? Well, the campaign may go either way — all the way up, like Vidya’s graph, or flop, like SRK’s recent ventures.
Even 65 years after India’s Partition, the cleaving of the nation brings forth memories of another time. Calcutta-based Anchita Ghatak, who works in an NGO, may not have been born in 1947, but believes the Partition was a “reality — a fact we live with”. Ghatak has just translated into English Sunanda Sikdar’s moving memoir on the Partition Dayamoyeer Katha (Dayamoyee’s Story), which was awarded the Ananda Puraskar in 2010. Ghatak says she loved the “simple, straight from the heart” story and felt it had to reach people who could not read the Bengali original. “Books about the Partition and its aftermath help us make sense of our own history,” Ghatak stresses. And remembering history is one way of ensuring it doesn’t repeat itself.