A desire for streetcars

Genelia D’Souza
Photo : V ijay Pandey

Are we seeing the rehabilitation of Genelia D’Souza through Chance Pe Dance? (Only in Bollywood would she need rehabilitation while churning out blockbusters in four languages just in 2009.) We like the idea of a high-energy dance flick directed by Ken Ghosh with Genelia and Shahid Kapur but what’s with the embarrassing promotions for the film? Do you really think we are going to get excited by a pair of movie stars’ fake suffering as they spend the night in a car inside a movie studio to recreate the life of Bollywood strugglers? As they said in the seminary, if this is poverty, bring on chastity.

Happy together 2009's hit Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif have been cast together again
Happy together 2009’s hit Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif have been cast together again
Photo : Anshika Varma

If Imtiaz Ali is the wind vane of romantic pairings on screen, then Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif are certainly blessed. For Imtiaz’s next film Rockstar, his two previous winners, Shahid Kapur and Saif Ali Khan have reportedly been strumming the guitar arduously. But Imtiaz has cast the man of the moment Ranbir Kapoor instead. Like Abhay Deol has in the indie world, Ranbir Kapoor has come unscathed through the fortunes of all his films. Making young women smile and older women coo, Ranbir dances faster and faster towards the very big league.


Did you know that there are enough cartoonists in the country for the Kerala Cartoon Academy to assemble a book of 123 Manmohan Singh cartoons? (Did anyone realise there are enough cartoonists in Kerala to form a cartooning academy?) The book was a five-kilo New Year surprise for the Prime Minister this week. Meanwhile, it is Vahid Jafari, an artist from Tehran who recently bagged the first prize in a caricature contest by the Indian Institute of Cartoonists.


Word has it that Anuja Chauhan, the ad world’s Wonder Woman and author of The Zoya Factor, has a new and amusing comic novel. Romance springs up this time not in Karol Bagh or in cricket locker rooms. In her second book sparks fly between two young royals sent out by their families to win a parliamentary election in the cowbelt. Early reports have it that her quick portraits of the fixers and dealers make very satisfying reading. Trailing mother-in-law and senior politician Margaret Alva has certainly come handy in this case.

Compiled by NISHA SUSAN


‘I Proposed To My Wife Nine Days After We Met!’

MANISH ACHARYA, Actor and director

What is your earliest memory?
I must have been two – I’d get my mom to pack me a snack and a picture book in a little bag. I’d go sit by the door of our home and spend two or three hours there, pretending that I was at school.

How has your family influenced you?
They’ve always believed in me, even when there has been no reason to, and that has perhaps made all the difference in how I see the world. Also, my wife, who happens to be my favourite artist, is the best and final sounding board for my ideas.

Are you religious?
Dogma and ritual turn me off, and when I think rationally I can understand the atheist viewpoint and perspective. However, my degree in Physics notwithstanding, I believe in the existence of some kind of omniscient spiritual force and rely on its innate goodness.

What’s your take on love and marriage?
Love comes in various forms and degrees. Marriage, in its best form, is a partnership where you get to meet your best friend every day.

How do you deal with disappointments and setbacks?
With some degree of logic towards the past and faith towards the future. Also, I’m mostly an optimist and a dreamer, so usually I sleep on it.

What have been the major turning points in your life?
When I left India at 18 to study in the US. When I gave up a safe, desirable job to co-found a software company. When I met my wife, who I proposed to nine days later. When I gave up my job as head of worldwide marketing to enroll in film school. When my son was born. When my mother died. Perhaps the biggest internal turning point happened when I became a father. It changes everything – you realise that for the rest of your life, at all times, you now always have something to worry about.

What films have influenced your work? 
Annie Hall. 
It’s a movie that broke a lot of cinematic rules, yet was very accessible. It perfectly married ‘intellectual art-house’ to ‘commercial entertainment’. I have liked other movies more, but Annie Hall has stayed with me and influenced my creative work.

What would you change about yourself?
Currently, the size of my stomach!



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