Movie stars past their prime have a habit of gravitating towards politics in India. Though Tamil superstar Rajinikanth is still a thundering success at the box office, rumours have long been rife about he too joining the political bandwagon. Well, the transition may happen yet. Speaking at the launch of Chidambaram: Oru Paarvai, a compilation of speeches by various people on Union finance minister P. Chidambaram, Rajini said that the minister had been asking him to join politics for a long time. To which he always said, “When I do, it will be in my own unique way.” But, of course. Rajini’s fans — and there are millions of them — don’t expect anything less than an all-guns-blazing entry into politics from their favourite superhero.
Frances Harrison, former South Asia correspondent of the BBC, had long felt that there were “untold” stories in the horrific and decades long civil war in Sri Lanka. So, she set out to find survivors of the war and recorded their versions in her book Still Counting the Dead. It was very “corrosive and poisonous stuff”, says the journalist who was posted in Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2004. “At times I suffered disbelief and denial, followed by anger that this could be allowed to happen and nobody cared,” says Harrison. She says her book is an attempt to “humanise” the statistics of the victims of war. “I hope my book will make people outside Sri Lanka take note and care about what happened,” she says.
Here’s something that Calcutta’s fashion conscious need to mark on their calendars. Noyonika Chatterjee, the Bong supermodel, will be in the city from January 8 to 11 to conduct a workshop on grooming and styling. She will give lessons on how to go about your everyday or professional make-up and hair-do. The tall, dusky and doe-eyed model holds styling workshops all over India. She is also a grooming consultant at several fashion events and is shaping the fashion career of many a catwalk aspirant. What was that about models having a short career span, again?
If you liked Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma in Mr & Mrs Iyer, here’s a chance to see the duo in action once again. Director Suman Mukhopadhyay’s adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s literary masterpiece Shesher Kabita, has Rahul Bose playing Amit Ray and Sen Sharma playing Labanya. The period love story, often considered to be one of Tagore’s finest prose works, is set in the 1930s. What’s interesting is that though we’ll get to see Bose, we won’t hear him. His voice has been dubbed. “The Bengali I am supposed to speak is from another era and needed some amount of practice. I could have done it, but it would have taken me some time to get the diction and accent right. Suman was impatient and couldn't wait,” laughs Bose. And we can’t wait to see you play that quintessential romantic hero, Rahul.
Two new books on Mohammad Rafi promise to be a treat for fans of the legendary singer. But there’s simmering tension in Rafi’s family on account of the books. His son Shahid Rafi had wanted to release an authorised biography on his father’s 88th birth anniversary on December 24. But the plan was aborted when his sister-in-law Yasmin pipped him to the post and got Amitabh Bachchan to launch her own book — Mohd Rafi: My Abba. Not wanting a public spat over this, Shahid Rafi put off the launch of his own book to February or March 2013. He adds that the book would trace Rafi’s journey — starting with his move from Lahore to Mumbai, his meteoric rise to the top of the Hindi playback scene and his eventual demise in 1980 when he was just 55. “It’s about Mohd. Rafi… and Mohd. Rafi alone,” says Rafi junior. That’s exactly what we want.