Stars promoting states certainly seems to be the flavour of the season. After Amitabh Bachchan gave a leg up to Gujarat and Shah Rukh Khan promised to do the same for Bengal, it’s Hrithik Roshan’s turn to do his bit for Maharashtra. Junior Roshan may soon become the brand ambassador for the state. The government agency that mooted the idea wants Roshan to take time off to work exclusively on a promotional campaign. Apparently, Roshan, who is busy with Krrish 3 until October this year, is yet to say “yes” to the project. But is it an offer he can refuse? After all, Maharashtra is his home state too. And, what’s more, there’s no shame in following in the footsteps of biggies like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.
Art for Little Hearts. That’s the title of a solo exhibition of paintings by Calcutta-based art collector-turned-painter Pradeep Rawat, which is currently being held at a city gallery. The art event was born of a concern for children who suffer from chronic heart diseases across the country. Rawat, who hails from Sikar in Rajasthan, wants the proceeds of the exhibition to support heart surgeries which many underprivileged children need to undergo. Rawat’s paintings focus strongly on India and its cultural and religious icons. “My intention is to engage people in a soliloquy with themselves, dwelling on questions of identity, heritage and Indianness,” says Rawat. However, it’s his cause that’s a winner all the way.
With Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) ready to rock Bangalore today, you’d think nothing could excite his fans here more. But, no, the British king of electronica decided to get his Indian fans a bit more pumped up by sending them a little personal message prior to his India tour. It’s a 29-second message that begins and ends with a namaste, and where he seems as excited about his tour as his fans are to greet him. That’s not all. What’s more interesting is that after giving his message, Cook says, “I’ll go on with my ironing,” and picks up a clothes iron! Hey, does this multi-platinum artist actually iron his own clothes? Will wonders never cease?
Remember Huma Qureshi, the girl who worked with both the Khans — Shah Rukh and Aamir — in advertisements? She is all excited about her debut film Gangs of Wasseypur, directed by Anurag Kashyap. In fact, she says that she never dreamed that she would be directed by Anurag Kashyap — and that too in her debut film! And she also did not dream that she would walk the red carpet in the Cannes Film Festival where the film will be shown. “I am really very excited about the film and also Cannes,” she says. With designer Varun Bahl designing her wardrobe for Cannes, Qureshi hopes that she is sure to not only wow the critics in Cannes, but also be quite a headturner. She is, of course, famous for having worked with Shah Rukh Khan in an advertisement for Nerolac paints and with Aamir Khan in an ad for a Samsung mobile phone. Qureshi, who has a background in professional theatre, has some other films up her sleeve, including Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana and Ek Thi Daayan. Way to go, Huma!
Big on promise
Virtuoso southern actor-director Kamal Haasan is getting all set to impress with his next film, the big budget Vishwaroopam. This film, which is written, directed and produced by the master himself, has interesting names attached to it. According to the teaser ads being released now, he has on board none other than international director Shekhar Kapur, who will be seen on screen in front of the camera, rather than behind it for a change. Rahul Bose is also starring in the movie. Pandit Birju Maharaj gets pride of place in the film credits for training Haasan for a short kathak sequence. The film, which revolves around “international terrorism”, is supposed to be Haasan’s most expensive to date. Let’s hope it lives up to its promise.