The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Only commas

Tully Saab doesn’t believe in full stops. After No Full Stops in India, The Heart of India and India in Slow Motion, Mark Tully has published his latest book on India, called India’s Unending Journey: Finding Balance in a Time of Change. The book by the former BBC India bureau chief was officially released last Friday by Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi at the British Council in Calcutta. The event was followed by a panel discussion on ‘India’s tradition in today’s world’ — where Sir Mark touched upon different facets of secularism and the varied nuances of religious belief. “Religion has a role to play in society,” he noted. And coming from a man who has seen religious turmoil in India from Operation Blue Star to the Babri Masjid demolition, there was a lot to listen. For the honorary Indian, life is clearly all about commas — or continuity.

Film fest

Anjan Dutta is a busy man, for the director is surrounded by cinema these days. His new film, Bong Connection, has just been released, work has begun on Bow Barracks Forever, a film on the Anglo-Indian community, and he is directing BBD, starring Nasseruddin Shah and K.K. Menon. Dutta says the spurt in directorial ventures is all about changing times. “Bollywood has opened up and now producers are ready to take a risk with small but meaningful ventures as they realise that there is an audience for such movies.” A believer in what he calls “sensible entertainment” and a singer and musician, Dutta, however, says that music will form an integral part of his films. “I am first of all a musician and I will weave music in a way that is relevant to the context.” And, no, that’s not just trumpet blowing.

Designing dreams

After showing the fashion industry how to weave foolproof motifs into his ensembles, fashion designer J.J. Valaya is leading from the front again. This time, to support and promote the cause of the Indian girl child. And the Valaya Magic Foundation has just been inaugurated in Delhi, specifically for the purpose. Initially catering to 60 underprivileged girl children, the institution hopes to serve as a free education-cum-vocational training centre for kids. “The trust believes that unconventional and innovative approaches to this issue will evoke widespread public interest,” says an online statement. Now, would other designers be ‘inspired’ by his ideas once again' Well, for once, it would be welcome.

Going, going...

Where is Perizaad Zorabian' The stunning model-turned-actress who starred in films such as Jogger’s Park and Just Married seems to have disappeared altogether. But the girl’s around — and seemingly enjoying every bit of her married life. Zorabian is married to Boman Irani. And, no, we are not talking about Munnabhai’s nemesis (who incidentally was a guest at the wedding last December), but about a Mumbai-based real estate developer of the same name. Now, with motherhood looming large, literally and figuratively, she is said to be looking after her family restaurant in Bandra’s Pali Hill. And waiting for her next production — a bonny baby.

K goes to Pakistan

Ekta Kapoor didn’t take the train to Pakistan. She didn’t go through the Wagah border, either. Instead, she decided — in her trademark style — to ride the airwaves. Khwahish (see how far the K-word actually travels), Kapoor’s first official serial for the Pakistani audience, is reported to have taken the Saas-Bahu brigade across the border by storm with its opening episodes, and the women simply can’t wait for more. Produced in Dubai, the soap is Kapoor’s first to be officially aired in Pakistan, and gives cablemen there the golden chance to beam it into homes throughout the country, all the while being on the right side of the law. And the soap queen is so happy with the popularity of the serial that she is apparently planning a trip to Pakistan to meet her fans there. A novel effort to unite women in two countries with the common thread of familial sentiments, is all we can say. Is a peace prize in the offing'

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