War games Aces high Bangla moment Wild cat Art heart

By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 2.06.13

War games

Ever wondered where Raj Kumar Hirani’s third idiot, aka Sharman Joshi, disappeared to? The guy with the goofy grin who stole our hearts in 3 Idiots seemed to have faded into oblivion after Ferrari Ki Sawari. But now Joshi (in pic) will be back in action — in an Indo-Pakistan war comedy. It’s a light take on the subcontinental neighbours who’re always on war alert and something of a first in Hindi films. Besides Sharman Joshi, War Chhod Na Yaar also stars Soha Ali Khan. This should be fun to watch.

Aces high

When Vijay Amritraj went to play in the Wimbledon the first time, he had just three and a half pounds in his pocket. The former tennis champ and crack commentator kept the audience entertained with many such anecdotes at a recent felicitation for him in his hometown Chennai. He also talked about his tryst with Hollywood. He starred in the James Bond flick Octopussy, and in Star Trek IV, if you remember. “I did it for a laugh,” said Amritraj, who had rushed to Russia to shoot for the Bond movie in between playing Davis Cup matches. But Hollywood is no match for a tennis match, he feels. “The adrenaline rush you get from playing in front of 5,000 people cannot beat anything else,” he said. But it was stressful too, he admits. “The country relied on us and the pressure was lifted only when Sunil Gavaskar hit a century.” Those were the days, Vijay.

Bangla moment

First it was Indian authors; then writers from Pakistan made it big; and now it’s Bangaldeshi authors writing in English who’ve become a talking point. Take Neamat Imam. A Bangladeshi-Canadian author, Imam is out with his first novel which is based on former Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s rule (1972-1975) before he was killed in a military coup. Published by Penguin Books India, The Black Coat is a political and social commentary under the guise of a historical novel. For someone who first saw a newspaper at the age of 13, at 42, Imam has to his credit two plays, two novellas and a book of poetry in Bengali. Wow.

Wild cat

Remember Urmila Matondkar? The Rangeela babe has been missing from the silver screen for a while now — though she did crop up recently in a chocolate commercial that also starred Rekha. Well, guess what, she is gearing up for a comeback. No, not in a super luxe Ram Gopal Varma production, but in a Marathi movie. Ms Matondkar will be seen in Sujay Dahake’s Ajooba. That should be a breeze for the lady who, if you recall, is a Marathi mulgi. The film’s first teaser was unveiled online on June 1. Ajooba is reportedly inspired by a real-life incident revolving around a leopard. Matondkar plays a wild-life researcher in the movie. Aha, so there’s a wild cat on the prowl.

Art heart

Theatre doyen Ratan Thiyam has another feather in his cap. This week he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowship 2012 from President Pranab Mukherjee. Thiyam, who was in Delhi to receive the honour, also staged his Chorus Repertory Company’s production, Uttar-Priyadarshi (The Final Beatitude) — an intense tale of war and peace on Emperor Ashoka, his victory in the Kalinga war and his spiritual enlightenment. Often compared to Polish theatre director Jerzy Grotowski and English stalwart Peter Brook, Thiyam says he is disappointed with the status of the arts in the country. “A lot needs to be done to promote art in our country,” he says. Well, Thiyam has certainly been doing his bit in that direction.