The Telegraph
Sunday , August 14 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bard bond

Rabindranath Tagore certainly seems to be the flavour of the season. At a time when West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is having Tagore songs played at major traffic intersections in Calcutta and remembering the bard in myriad ways, he is being celebrated far away in Delhi as well. Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan paid tribute to Tagore on his 150th birth anniversary recently by performing a dance recital called Shuoranir Shadh based on one of his works. Tagore isn’t new to this artiste, of course, as she has been interpreting his creations since the 1970s. Narayan says that she selected this particular work because of its psychological and philosophical message. The 50-minute production helped the dancer express an array of emotions from happiness to sorrow to anger. Tagore would have been pleased.

Doctor’s tale

Haider Warraich may just be Pakistan’s answer to Siddhartha Mukherjee, the Columbia University professor who won a Pulitzer Prize early this year for his tome on cancer, The Emperor of Maladies. Warraich, a research fellow at the Harvard Medical School, has come out with his first novel, Auras of the Jinn, which has been published by a leading Indian publishing house. The novel tells the story of Imran, a boy who grows up in modern day Pakistan. Warraich, who graduated from Karachi’s Aga Khan University with a medical degree in 2009, holds up a mirror to the experience of growing up in Pakistan and the ideology that forms the basis of fundamentalism. Wonder if this one will snag an award or two as well.

Daughter days

Famous fathers will breed famous daughters. Or at least daughters who will take a shot at fame. Take superstar Rajinikanth’s second daughter, Soundarya (in pic). She has been working on an animation film featuring her father as a warrior hero for over five years now. Now Rajini’s elder daughter Aishwarya, who is a trained classical dancer, is all set to make her bones as a filmmaker. Her debut film, titled 3, is a “commercial entertainer” and will feature her actor husband Dhanush. Hope this one doesn’t get stuck in the works as her sister’s animation venture has. Of course, it sure is tough to keep up with a father who can run faster than a bullet!

On song

Looks like Hrithik Roshan is a many-faceted genius. First, the hunky actor wowed us with his amazing grace as a dancer. And now, he is turning out to be quite a singer too. The Senorita number in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which he sang along with Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol with great elan, one might add was obviously just the beginning. Roshan will exercise his vocal chords yet again in the Independence Day special episode of Just Dance, a reality TV show. We hear that he will sing his favourite patriotic song, Saare jahan se achchha, and a few other Bollywood numbers like Kabhi khushi kabhie gham. What next, Hrithik?

Love triangle

Prabhu Deva’s love life could give a Bollywood film script a run for its money. Deva, who was once India’s answer to Michael (break dance) Jackson, was in the news sometime back when his affair with Tamil actress Nayanthara (in pic) came to light. Then, last November, his wife Ramalatha attempted to commit suicide, apparently because she was devastated by his claim that their marriage was not legal. Last week, there was a new twist in the Prabhu Deva love drama. Nayanthara who was born a Christian flew from Kochi to Chennai, headed straight to an Arya Samaj temple and converted to Hinduism. She said she did this out of love for her man. The couple plan to wed in Mumbai next month and then move to Singapore to get away from the public glare. And no, we don’t know if Deva’s current “wife” is planning to let her man go without a fight.

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