The Telegraph
Sunday , April 15 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999

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Bappi Lahiri an Elvis clone? Er, sounds just a tad far-fetched perhaps, but that’s what Tamil film director Prabhu Raja Cholan believes to be true. In fact, he feels that Lahiri is India’s answer to Elvis. So when Cholan wrote an “Elvis kind of song” — as he calls it — for his forthcoming Tamil film, Karuppampatti, he wanted none other than Bappida to croon it. Trouble was, the disco king had always turned down offers to sing in a South Indian film. An undaunted Cholan sent Lahiri a track of his song, titled, Naughty Raja Raja. Now with a lyric like that, it was an offer Lahiri simply could not refuse. Sadly, though, last heard, Bappida had still not essayed the Elvis-like pelvic thrusts.

Reporter’s story

Take a journalist. Take political turmoil. And take passion. Put them together, and you get a novel. Juggi Bhasin, who as a television journo covered Kashmir extensively, is out with his first book in a trilogy. Called The Terrorist, it deals with two men who’ve lost their loved ones and end up taking different paths. One becomes a terrorist; the other joins the special forces. Shades of Bollywood there? “Well, I am a serious cinema buff,” the 50-year-old author says, “and cinema is always there.” But the trigger, he stresses, was the demolition of the Babri Masjid, which he saw from close quarters as a reporter. Mumbai-based Bhasin is now busy with the second volume. Clearly, he has stories to tell.

Film politics

In Tamil Nadu politics and films have a symbiotic relationship. However, former chief minister M. Karunanidhi’s family hasn’t had much success in the movie business. That may change. Karunanidhi’s (in pic) grandson, Udhayanidhi Stalin’s first film as an actor released this weekend. Needless to say, his performance — and his mass appeal — will be keenly watched by actors and politicians alike, as everybody knows that in Tamil Nadu a hit movie star is a potential hit politician. Especially so if he is lucky enough to have a political pedigree like this young man has. However, Udhayanidhi Stalin has declared that he is “only concentrating on films” right now and not thinking politics at all. Well, it’s early days yet.

Paoli rising

Is there no stopping Paoli Dam? With the controversy over her oral sex scene in Chhatrak barely cold, Dam is now set to up her scorcher index even more. And, no, it’s not just Vikram Bhatt’s soon to be released revenge erotica Hate Story that we are talking about. Next month Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay’s Ela’r Char Adhyay will have the Bong sex bomb in yet another power-packed role. Dam plays Ela, the chief protagonist in Tagore’s tale of passion and freedom, one who is torn between her love for a man and her commitment to the country’s freedom movement. A tribute to Tagore on his 150th birth anniversary, the film could be Dam’s big chance to go beyond her “hot” image and exhibit her acting skills. Now, that’s a Dam good thought.

New muse

Ram Gopal Verma is known to pick, er, a new muse periodically. And so, after the likes of Urmila Matondkar, Antara Mali, Nisha Kothari et al, it now seems to be the turn of a nubile nymphet called Nathalia Kaur, winner of the Kingfisher Calendar hunt 2012. Verma picked Kaur when Canadian adult actress Sunny Leonne refused to do an item number for his upcoming film Department. Apparently, it was not just RGV who was impressed with Kaur’s sexy moves. Choreographer Ganesh Acharya and actor Sanjay Dutt, who stars in the film, were equally floored. And with Verma’s endorsement, Kaur is going places too. She is dancing to the raunchy Munni Badnam hui number in the Telugu version of Dabangg. Well, with RGV’s backing, who knows, it may be just a matter of time today’s item girl Kaur becomes tomorrow’s A-list heroine.