The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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In love with The Terrorist

When it comes to choosing a script, Ayesha Dharker clearly prefers home-made stuff. The actor of Bombay Dreams fame, who has just finished playing the devil’s assistant, Mephistopheles, in a British theatrical production of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, is now in India taking a break from work in England. And she’s so in the mood for some relaxation that she’s just turned down a role in the Jules Verne classic Around the World in Eighty Days, adapted into a musical by Orson Welles, and decided to flip through the pages of her mother Imtiaz’s new book The Terrorist at My Table. However, the grapevine has it that she’ll soon be in the action, shooting for a thriller somewhere around Ooty. The young actor may have the terrorist at her table, but she clearly has something up her sleeve.

Son rises

There’s a new son on the horizon — and that’s Shammi Kapoor’s offspring, Aditya Raj Kapoor. Kapoor junior is not taking the path that his nieces Lolo and Bebo opted for. Instead, like Uncle Raj Kapoor, he is all set to direct his first Hindi movie. The UK-based Kapoor has already directed three English films. Now, says the family, he is directing a medium-budget Hindi film. “The film is in the pre-production stage and it will have one hero,” says the family source. So who’s the hero' Speculation is rife, since he had featured his cousin, Rishi Kapoor, in his latest English film Don’t Stop Dreaming. Is there a role going for Rishi’s son, Ranvir, who is all set to make his Bollywood debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saanwariya' The famous Kapoor lips are sealed.

US and them

Thanks to Swami Ramdev, Indians know how to breathe right today. As opposed to Americans, who don’t. But the Swami doesn’t believe in partial dissemination of knowledge. Which is precisely why he’s touring the US through June in an attempt to teach Americans how to put their nostrils to good use. And pay through them as well — a sitting with the yoga exponent is expected to cost up to $500, with the organisers expecting to rake in as much as half-a-million dollars through the tour. But there’s more to the cash than meets the eye. If initial reports are to be believed, the money generated from the tour is all going into research devoted to creating patented products out of Amla. Is Brinda Karat listening'

Juvenile tunes

As a child, he was called Shantanu. Then, he grew up to become more famous as Shaan. Nonetheless, it seems this Bong crooner simply can’t get over the days he left behind while walking the road to success. So after hosting popular talent contests on TV and singing playback for a clutch of Bollywood blockbusters, Shaan has got down to producing a new music album for children. Titled Hip Hip Hurray, the album has lyricist Javed Akhtar lending his poetic touch to it — Akhtar apparently even does a bit of a vocal exercise on one of the tracks. “I hope this project will keep me in cheese after the success I had last year,” was how the proud father of one looked at his new project. Trust the kids to give it to him.

Karen vs Karen

Sometimes, it needs a bit of provocation for one to challenge oneself. And in Karen David’s case, it probably came in the form of the part she played in Provoked, the film on Kiranjit Ahluwalia’s life by director Jug Mundhra. Now that the film has come and gone from the multiplexes, David is working hard, mixing her Khasi/Chinese/Tamil lineage with her moorings in London/Shillong/Toronto to come out with her debut music album, called Me Versus Me. In the singer-cum-actor’s own words, the album is supposed to be a reflection of herself, “like my personal diary… for public viewing”. Well, here’s hoping that the moral cops won’t move court, accusing David of lyrical exhibitionism. But then, with A.R. Rahman chipping in with some of the compositions, one needn’t harbour too many reservations about the quality of music.

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