Children at a government school in Bangalore got to learn their A-B-Cs from a celebrity teacher last week. As part of Procter and Gamble’s Shiksha Diwas campaign, former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble spent a day at the school. After attendance, lessons and a quick cricket quiz, the floor was thrown open for questions. That’s when a young boy threw a yorker at the man who was known for his lethal leg spin. He asked Kumble, “Forget about spinning the ball. Show me how to hit the wicket each time.” Kumble’s answer was typical teacher-speak, “You will get educated only if you come to school every day. Likewise, train hard every day.” Touché.
Author Aruna Chakravarti’s latest novel, Jorasanko, is a rivetting portrayal of women in the Tagore household. The novel revolves around Jnanadanandini — wife of the Bard’s older brother Satyendranath Tagore, said to be the driving force behind women stepping out of zenana in 19th century Bengal — Sarada Sundari, wife of Debendranath Tagore and mother of the poet, Digambari Devi, Dwarkanath’s wife, and others. The book examines how these women inspired or got influenced by their more illustrious male counterparts in the household. Chakravarti, who has translated Saratchandra and Sunil Gangopadhyay’s novels in the past, seems to have written a book that will tell a fascinating story.
If you’ve got music in your genes, there’s nothing you can do about it but sing along. Mukesh was a legendary singer, and his son, Nitin Mukesh, made quite a name for himself as a singer too. Now his son, actor Neil Nitin Mukesh (in pic), has given in to the musical itch — he has just composed and sung six songs for a new film. The actor, who used to play the piano, says he always wanted to bring out an album. The musical dream is about to be realised. And Neil says with his album he wants to pay tribute to his grandfather. “It is an honour for me to be able to do something for my family which has been an integral part of the music industry,” he said. For more news, keep tuned in.
We all know that Ajay Devgn is a great action hero. But is he up to racing with a tiger? And fighting with one too? Evidently, yes. A poster of Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala remake has Ajay Devgn racing against a tiger. And in the trailer you see him fighting the beast. Before you pooh pooh the whole thing as a computer generated chimera, know this: this tiger was for real. Khan shot with a real tiger in a tiger reserve in Mauritius. Apparently, the big cat roamed freely around the sets, attended by its South African trainers. “Soon everyone was treating it like a puppy — till it roared. Then we knew we had a tiger in our midst,” says Khan. And Devgn? Well, he seems to have come through his face-off with a tiger splendidly.
It seems Jayant Kripalani’s recently released book of short stories, New Market Tales, was originally meant to be a script for a television serial. But the project, approved by Siddharth Basu’s production house, fell through apparently because it was too expensive to create a New Market set. Well, television’s loss has clearly been publishing’s gain. New Market Tales captures Kripalani’s nostalgia for his younger days in Calcutta “when his father had a dhobi shop in Lindsay Street”. Ask him why everyone is writing books these days and he replies tersely, “It is not an easy task to write a book of short stories.” Does writing books beat acting in movies? The irrepressible former ad man and popular television actor, who loves Bengali food says, “That’s like asking, is chingri maachher malai curry better than rogan josh? Both are radically different from each other and each has ingredients the other does not!” Now, who can disagree with that?