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Branching off

It’s the season for retirement in the techie world. After Nandan Nilekani stepped down as Infosys chief executive officer earlier this year, the software industry’s best-known Bong — Subroto Bagchi — is ready to hang up his keyboard. Bagchi has announced that he will retire as MindTree Consulting’s chief operating officer in April. And while Nilekani continues as co-chairman of Infosys, the US-based Bagchi has more down-to-earth plans for himself. He will become MindTree’s “gardener,” he says. “A gardener is servant leadership at its best. I want to be that to MindTree,” he says. An old joke about Indian companies — they are so family run that their board meetings may well be held at the dining table — seems set to lose its punch line, at least where the IT industry is concerned. Switching off has never been this easy.

Spouse and spice

It’s not just Shah Rukh Khan who is in vogue. His wife, Gauri Khan, is in Vogue too. Yes, literally. She’s the latest cover girl of Vogue India for its January edition. The 38-year-old — who once upon a time went blue in the face denying that she liked wearing anything that was tight or revealing — appears in a red strapless mini which is just that — tight and revealing. But Gauri still seems to be on the defensive. “This is not my profession,” she is reported to have said. “It has to be something really new and unusual to make me want to do something like this. I did enjoy the shoot, but to be honest, I wouldn’t do it very often.” Maybe only as often as Shah Rukh struts his 6-pack abs?

No biz like Showbiz

Item girl Mrinalini Sharma doesn’t like the prefix to her name any more. For she is now, please note, an actress set to make a mark. After Awarapan — and an item number in Prakash Jha’s Apaharan — Sharma is waiting to see how viewers react to her new film Showbiz. “I think my career is on the right path and I don’t need the item girl branding,” she says. Sharma believes that Showbiz, to be released next Friday, is a film with a message. “It’s a very relevant film because of the increasing paparazzi culture in India,” she says. Sharma plays the head of a media channel in the film. And, no, she is not making a song and dance of it.

Tiger trails

Okay, so the green brigade has been crying itself hoarse about how all of India’s tigers happen to be vanishing quicker than hot cookies in the country’s forests. But surely, there must be an exception or two? Of course, asserts environmentalist Bittu Sahgal. He points to Bandhavgarh, the tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh where the big cat has thrived — so much so that the forest now happens to have the highest density of tigers in the world. To document the success story, the editor of Sanctuary Asia magazine has written a book called The Bandhavgarh Inheritance, which was released in Delhi on Tuesday. The book, while celebrating the achievement, also elaborates on the conservation model followed in Bandhavgarh, which could be followed in other forests to save the tiger from possible extinction. Here’s to tiger tiger Bandhavgarh, where is burning bright.

Having a ball

When do our boys get the time to play? Breakdance lover S. Sreesanth, it transpires, is now going to monkey around off the pitch, too. The bowling sensation launched a new line of products carrying the “Hanuman” trademark in Mumbai this week, in the wake of a new film called The Return of Hanuman slated to be released over the Christmas holidays. The merchandise will comprise sundry items such as apparel, stationery, toys, books and crockery. And while the pacer is doing that, our ‘dada’ is getting ready for the arc lights too. Sourav Ganguly will host a cricket-based show after he returns from his Australia tour on the 9X news channel. Ganguly, the grapevine has it, is being paid a colossal amount for the show, but Indrani Mukherjea, chairperson, INX News, is not giving away any figures. “We have paid what somebody of his calibre deserves to be paid. It will be a weekly show as he will be very busy with his cricket commitments,” she says. Busy, but clearly not too busy.

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