Physics & the painter
Fifty years after his death, American artist Jackson Pollock is in the midst of an academic battle. The arena is Nature magazine — and among the protagonists is an Indian scientist based in the United States, Harsh Mathur. Simply put, the story goes like this: American Alex Matter, whose parents were Pollock’s friends, discovers from a storage locker a group of small drip paintings — worth millions of dollars if genuine. Richard P. Taylor, professor of physics, uses a scientific technique to establish “significant differences” between Pollock’s paintings and the discovered works. Enter Harsh Mathur. Mathur, who teaches physics at Cape Western in Cleveland, and his doctoral student come up with a painting — using Adobe Photoshop — displaying the same traits that Taylor says are characteristic of Pollock. Nature carried the debate between the physicists in December. Mathur, not surprisingly, is jubilant. “Either our drawing is worth $40 million or his (Taylor’s) criteria is wrong,” The New York Times quotes him as saying. “I guess I’d accept either outcome.”
Shantanu Moitra has an inherent knack of venturing into new territories. Why else would the well-known music director of films such as Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Parineeta and Lage Raho Munna Bhai get down to composing music for television, when the idiot box is considered infra dig by anyone who has made it big in tinsel town? Come January, and Moitra’s score will be heard on the Disney Channel production Dhoom Machao Dhoom, a serial that will tell the story of four young girls who team up against all odds to form a band that epitomises the self expression of the younger generation of India. Singer Shreya Ghoshal is slated to lend her voice to the production as well. Simply put, music on television is set to change in the new year, even if slightly.
With the Internet hosting every other event online, can music be far behind? If you like your Ravi Shankar, or your Philip Glass, you could try www.indiabeat.in, an online music station that has now become a favourite stop for music lovers.
The website is a platform for enthusiasts of Jazz Fusion, Indo Jazz Fusion, Jazz Rock, Raga Rock, World, Mid Eastern, Crossover, Indipop and what have you. And music lovers are having a whale of a time.
If the Big B can do it, so can our lass from Rohtak. After Amitabh Bachchan put in a guest appearance in Kannada film Amrutha Dhaare, Mallika Sherawat is now set to sizzle down south. After much speculation about whether Sherawat will make that much-touted appearance in Kannada cinema, she finally landed in Bangalore to shoot an item number for Preethi Yeke Bhoomi Melide. Sherawat — seen gyrating last week at various Bangalore locales, including the busy Majestic bus terminal — is a choosy item girl. She reportedly insisted on hearing the song before signing the film. And she’s pricey too. The news doing the rounds is that she has charged Rs 45 lakh for the six-day shoot.
All those who have been laughing at Rajinikanth’s on screen fight sequences had better hold back their chuckles. A fight scene featuring the popular southern Indian star has actually made it to a French film. A Bollywood website — India FM — reported that a 100-second fight sequence from the superstar’s 1995 film Muthu has been included in the hit French comedy Prete-Moi Ta Main (I Do). In the foreign film, the lead actress watches the Indian star in action on her television set. Apparently, the producers of the film were looking for some kung fu when they chanced upon Rajinikanth’s trademark style. The Indian producers were contacted for permission to reuse the footage in the film. Oui, they replied — turning our own Rajinikanth into something of a world star. Well, almost.