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Gumshoe going

Take cover, Feluda — Abinash is here. The creator of the new detective is adman Barun Chanda, who played the role of the suave corporate climber Shyamalendu Chatterjee in Satyajit Ray’s Seemabaddha. And not just that, Ray always thought of him — in conjunction with some of his other favourite heroes — as somebody who had the makings of a good screen Feluda. Chanda has just come up with a racy crime novel called Kidnap featuring Abinash. “During my university days, I thought I had had enough of Shakespeare and other such canonical figures. When I started reading writers like John le Carrι, I felt something akin to a sense of liberation,” says Chanda, explaining why he prefers crime thrillers to other genres. Filmmaker Sandip Ray believes Chanda’s latest novel can even be turned into a screenplay. Looks like Feluda has finally found an adversary he can take on.

 


Hair today

If Aamir Khan can, why can’t Sanjay Dutt? Sport a new hairstyle, we mean. For his upcoming film Luck, director Soham Shah was keen to give Dutt a new look. It was quite an elaborate haircut — a sidelock with three triangles at three ends, put into place by celebrity hair stylist Aalim. Dutt is seemingly quite upbeat about his trendy tresses. “Soham is a very talented and creative director. We both sat and discussed the look and I’m very happy that Aalim has styled me exactly as we envisioned.” Now, await a hair-raising performance.

 


Prose and pose

You’ll be forgiven for assuming that Tulsi Badrinath is just a dancer. But excellence in Bharatanatyam — a dance form she’s dabbled in since childhood — is not the only thing the Chennai-based artiste is known for. Two years ago, she made her debut as a novelist, and her first effort — then written under the working title The Living God — went on to make the long list in the 2007 Man Asian Literary Prize for unpublished works. Not stopping at that, she wrote a second novel called Melting Love which — hold your breath — again made it to the 2008 Man Asian long list. “For a long time, I’d wanted to write poetry, but realised one day that it had dried up,” laughs Badrinath. “And prose just happened naturally.” Her first book has now been published by Niyogi Books under the title Meeting Lives. And here’s hoping that she’ll be third-time lucky in 2009.

 


Rain and Roshan

Poor Hrithik Roshan. First it rains, and then he has to make a getaway in a doorless car. The cast and crew of Luck by Chance got a fright while shooting under a circus marquee for a song. It began to pour, the canopy got soaked and started leaking. Fearing a short circuit somebody switched off the lights, leading to more panic. It was, a crew member later said, like being on board the ill-fated Titanic. Then the crowds smelt Hrithik and made a beeline for him. The actor was finally escorted to safety in a car which was being used for the shoot. Unfortunately, a door had been removed to fit in a camera. But finally all was well — and Hrithik was unharmed. That’s called luck by chance.

 


Killer touch

Tehelka editor Tarun J. Tejpal is in killing mode — not literally, but literarily. The scribe’s new book — a tale of feudal bloodletting, urban gore and more — is out. The Story of My Assassins, published by HarperCollins India, appears to be a far cry from the florid sexuality of his debut The Alchemy Of Desire. “The two are different kinds of books,” Tejpal explains. “Alchemy left me exhausted and I had to wait and find the right voice to tell this new story,” he muses. The book, which he insists is a “literary novel,” has an array of personalities from different social backgrounds that form the layered make-up of contemporary India. And at the heart of all this is a quest for power, money, redemption. And there are some who will assassinate for that.

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