Singer takes it all Spinning yarns Bombed but not out Weight and watch Play it again, Mark

By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 16.09.07

Singer takes it all

What do you call a man who was a master of all trades, and jack of none? You call him Kishore Kumar. The singer, composer, lyricist, actor and film-maker has always been something of a legend. And now, 20 years after his death, he may just be the subject of a new work. Writer Stephen Alter, whose book Fantasies of a Bollywood Thief — Inside the World of Indian Moviemaking, was released in Delhi last week, says he wants to write a biography of Kishore Kumar. Once he puts pen to paper — or fingertip to keyboard — Alter is going to be a busy man, for Kishore Kumar was a one-man cultural industry. But let’s just hope the book takes shape — and that Alter goes yodelling all the way to the bank.

Spinning yarns

For nearly 30 years, she has been telling her awestruck audiences one fabulous tale after another. And now, with stories from around the world in her bag, renowned French storyteller Muriel Bloch Kenigsberg is coming to weave her narrative magic right in the heart of Delhi. On the occasion of the International Conference on Storytelling, to be held at the French Information Resource Centre in the capital this week, Keningsberg will be treating Delhiites to some of the best stories from her collection of tales. It’s a treasure trove that has been growing ever since she discovered the art of storytelling in 1979, while she was head of department at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Kenigsberg is known to mostly perform solo, and loves to mix traditional and modern forms in telling her tales which are either adapted from tradition or are a result of her own imagination. Kenigsberg is also known to have worked a lot on Indian tales. Once upon a time, after all, is a phrase with no barriers.

Bombed but not out

His movies may have sunk without a trace at the box office, but Vikas Bhalla is determined to make a comeback. Now that the recent Salman Khan starrer, Marigold, has failed to bloom, and his roles in television serials haven’t quite done a ‘Tulsi’, the actor-cum-singer is all set to drown his sorrows in song. He is out with a new album titled Mehek Teri, which has seven songs and three dance mixes. Bhalla, who sang two songs in the eminently forgettable Marigold, clearly believes that music is the best therapy. And that a good song stays in public memory long after a bad film has wiped itself clean.

Weight and watch

Did she lose some kilos along with her heart? That’s the question being asked about Kareena Kapoor. The buzz has it that she shed some six kilos during the shooting of Tashan. And, yes, that’s the film that sparked all those nasty rumours about our Bebo dumping baby-faced Shahid Kapur for that confirmed rake, Saif Ali Khan. There is not much to be said about the lost heart, but the missing pounds spell good news for Kareena. But if she is planning to hang out with Saif, known for his fondness for game of all kinds, she’d better watch out. And she’d do well to remember the gaming man’s motto — the buck stops here.

Play it again, Mark

Sir Mark, or Tully Saab, is at it again — regaling fans with news from India. But this time, the reports come in the form of a compilation. To mark the 60th anniversary of India’s independence, BBC has put together some of Mark Tully’s memorable broadcasts from 1972 to 1994, when he was its voice in India. It covers historic events such as Operation Bluestar — Tully was one of the first journalists to enter the Golden Temple after the army exercise — and his own expulsion following an interview with Sikh separatist leader Jagjit Singh Chauhan, who called for the death of Indira Gandhi. But one of the gems has Morarji Desai holding forth on urine therapy and sexual abstinence. When Tully compares the progress of India and China and suggests to Desai that “many in India would rather have food on their plates than democracy”, the octogenarian Prime Minister cuts him to the quick. “That’s very patronising,” says Desai. And for once Tully is silenced.