The Telegraph
Sunday , November 25 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Music memory

Sonu Nigam certainly knows how to pay his debts. The poster boy of Hindi playback singing, who first got a taste of fame in Zee TV’s reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa almost two decades ago, has made a fine gesture to the channel. He has sung a special song to commemorate Zee TV’s 20-year journey. He also hosted the channel’s awards ceremony recently. That and the fact that he sang a song dedicated to the channel was his way of expressing his gratitude to Zee TV. The programme will be telecast on Zee TV on December 2. In a sense it’s an anniversary for Nigam too. Two decades on, he’s still going strong. Well done, Sonu.

History’s mystery

Anuj Dhar’s book on the mystery of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s disappearance continues to create a stir long after its release in July this year. Titled India’s Biggest Cover Up, the book has courted controversy by dismissing the “official version” of Bose’s death in an air crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945. Dhar, a former journalist, has referred to records declassified by the US, British and Indian authorities and several documents that continue to be kept secret. Don’t miss a discussion with the author at Rotary Sadan in Calcutta this evening. Organised by Chitra Ghosh, Netaji’s grand-niece, the evening promises to offer glimpses into what may actually have happened to one of India’s greatest heroes.

No to nepotism

Tamil superstar — and perennial superhero — Rajinikanth may be a man of many parts. But nepotism isn’t one of them. Recently, rumours were rife that Rajinikanth’s daughter, Aishwarya, would direct him in a regional remake of the Hindi film, Oh My God! But she has now put the rumours to rest. Aishwarya, who directed 3, the film that was overshadowed by its cult status song, Kolaveri di, clarified that she is simply not experienced enough to direct her father. “I may be his daughter. But that doesn’t mean he will work with me,” she said. Clearly, Rajini is not just a reel life superman — he’s also a real life upright man.

Light might

Remember Kajal Aggarwal, who played the female lead in Singham? The comely Punjabi kudi was spotted lighting the lamp at the inauguration of the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. Keeping her company was Akshay Kumar, who happens to be her co-star in a forthcoming film called Special Chabbis. Aggarwal, who is an A-list star in south India, is mighty pleased about her second Bollywood outing. “I’m quite excited and am looking forward to the release of Special Chabbis with Akshay,” she simpers. And what of the fact that she, a relative unknown, was chosen to light the inaugural lamp at IFFI? “It was a remarkable experience,” she gushes. “I’m glad to have received the opportunity to light the traditional lamp.” Well, don’t go mistaking her for a light-weight.

Star talk

What happens when one consummate actor spends some time with another? Naturally, they get along like houses on fire. That’s what happened when Robert De Niro and Anupam Kher had a powwow at the Tribeca Film Festival in Doha. The actors were at the festival for the screening of the Hollywood movie Silver Linings Playbook, a romcom which features both. Kher tweeted that he spent the evening with De Niro, and that it was “most memorable”. No doubt they exchanged a note or two about method acting. Or perhaps even about the art of comic timing. After all, Kher does a comic turn like no other and De Niro, the gritty actor of Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear et al, has excelled himself in a comic role in films such as Meet the Parents or Meet the Fokkers. Like, as they say, attracts like.