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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 31.08.08

Toon in tune

The beauteous Madhubala is back — but this time in the form of a cartoon. Pritish Nandy Communications is ready to roll out three Bollywood classics in animation. An avowed Shakti Samanta fan, Nandy is all set to remake Howrah Bridge, Amar Prem and Barsaat ki Raat. The films will have cartoon characters doing a Madhubala with a golden Bollywood number such as Aaiye meherbaan, a Rajesh Khanna with Yeh kya hua and a Sharmila Tagore with Raina beeti jaaye. And what’s more, Pritish Nandy Communications has lined up six more animation films with prominent Bollywood actors lending their timbre. Toon times are rocking!


Remembering Amrita

Talk about preserving and documenting family history. After making an entire exhibition out of the photographic archives of his grandfather Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, artist Vivan Sundaram is now on his next project to do his bit as the good son of an illustrious family. Last heard, Sundaram was working on a massive two-volume book featuring letters and photos of his aunt —legendary artist Amrita Sher-Gil. Tentatively slated for release by the year end, the book is expected to give readers a unique peek into the life and times of Amrita, hailed as a pioneer of modern Indian art. And that’s not all. It seems the photography bug — his grandpa’s pet hobby — has stung Sundaram too. ‘Trash,’ his newest exhibition featuring photographs of urban wastes, opened to rave reviews in New Delhi this week. Sundaram, clearly, has his hands full.

Khan can

It takes all kinds to make the world. Some people, we are told, just can’t do without choreographer Saroj Khan. Khan was apparently so sorely missed on television that she is now back on popular request. With the ouster of Apara Mehta from a reality dance show called Aajaa Mahi Vay, Khan gets to be a judge all over again. A source says Mehta’s dismissal from the television show came after viewers’ criticisms. Sarojji, on the other hand, was chosen because of her popularity among viewers. “Her judging skills and profound knowledge of dance undoubtedly make her an appropriate replacement,” says the insider. Khan, who likes to whistle through particularly invigorating dance performances, is certainly going to liven up the show. Give or take a jhatka or two.

Telly talk

Here’s some bad news for fans of Bips who’d like to see her in their drawing rooms, if not their bedrooms. Contrary to recent reports, Bollywood babe Bipasha Basu is not joining television. She is very happy with cinema, thank you. She has denied rumours that insisted Bips was going to join a reality show with retired actress Raveena Tandon. “The news of my being one of the judges with Raveena on the dance-based show Chak De... is simply not true,” says Bipasha, flush from the success of her film Bachna Ae Haseeno. “I was just a guest for their inaugural show.” So all those who’d been dreaming of seeing Bips on the idiot box had better wake up. Her larger-than-life image would anyway have been too big for the telly.

Solid Sidhuism

Never judge a book by its cover and a man by his oneliners. Navjot Singh Sidhu, for long hailed as a motor mouth, has just shown that he can put his money where his mouth is. A little baby called Nihal, born with a life-threatening liver condition, has just been given a new lease of life by the commentator and former cricketer. Doctors in Delhi had said his treatment would cost Rs 12-15 lakh. After Nihal’s parents issued a public appeal for help, a lot of people chipped in, and a fund of Rs 16 was collected. But the biggest donor was the BJP Member of Parliament, who contributed Rs 10 lakh to the kitty. He also went to the hospital to see little Nihal. The baby has undergone an arduous but successful operation, and is well now. And Sidhu is back in the studio.