Here’s the thing. We kind of love Shakira. Shamelessly. We love her when her lyrics make no sense, slightly less when they try to make her American template glamorous, slightly more when she is inexplicably grinding in tar. Tiny, snake-hipped Shakira, we kind of love you. But must you come to Bollywood and depress us entirely? Out of context, all the cute ladies we have had crushes on turn into out-of-context phirangs. Kylie Minogue’s descent we may never get over. Only Snoop Dogg has hung on to the vestiges of his cool. So is Shakira really going to be in a film by a man who made Himesh Reshammiya’s Aap Ka Suroor?
John Abraham and Bipasha Basu are not in the sequel of Jism. However, be assured that John is in the sequel of Race. We love John but what is more fascinating is this private ecosystem of sequels for masala wonders from the misty past. We have heard there are no new ideas anywhere but this is seeming all rather dismal. The Race sequel will feature Saif Ali Khan and Anil Kapoor, apart from John, who is slotted to play the stunningly handsome baddie. What about the ladies from the original? Seems to us that they have moved on to better pastures.
This week it struck us that the most literary of the cast of characters in the David Davidar sexual harassment case is neither publishing’s blue-eyed gent Davidar, nor Lisa Rundle who accused him of sexual harassment. Read the latest statement from his lawyer for what is nearly poetry Wendy Cope would be proud of. ‘They became friends… At Ms Rundle’s invitation, Mr Davidar played tennis with her at her tennis club. They attended the theatre together. They had lunches in restaurants together.’ And so furthers ‘a consensual flirtatious relaionship’ until the end. ‘David Davidar is happily married. He deeply regrets the trouble visited on his wife. He apologises to her.”
Literary tourism is finally making an appearance in India. Those on the trail of Rudyard Kipling (and we would like to know the median age of that population) may soon be able to visit spots on the India-Tibet route. Himachal Pradesh is slated to host bookish tourists particularly around Shimla and Kinnaur where Kipling lived and set his stories.
Compiled by Nisha Susan
‘There’s no love at first sight — only lust’
ARCHANA PURAN SINGH, Actor
How would you describe your childhood and how it shaped who you are today?
My earliest memory is of childhood in Dehradun. I remember sitting with my mother in the winter in a round cane chair that was the rage back then. Climbing litchi trees, eating mangoes on charpoys, walking up to Mussoorie and swimming in crystal clear rivers. I am essentially a small-town girl.
What motivates you more — success or failure?
Definitely failure. Success makes you complacent and afraid of failure. Successful people expect to keep rising all the time but life’s not like that. Failure makes me determined to succeed even more especially because you have nothing to lose.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Not at all. That’s lust at first sight. It’s just physical attraction. Love can mean many things — forgiveness, tolerance, heartbreak, compromise, perseverance and even torture. The physical attraction is just the first step but you have to take it further.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage itself is unnecessary. It’s only useful if you want to have children. It’s a redundant institution and should be done away with. It traps people in a farce and doesn’t give you the space to be who you are. Society’s approval does not matter to me at all. I wanted to give my kids the choice of the legitimacy
How has fame influenced you?
One begins to cherish fame. I have a lot of privileges because of my fame but also a lot of handicaps. I am taken more seriously in my family because of my fame. I have acquired gradual fame, not instant stardom. Sudden fame can change you drastically.
Your take on homosexuality?
It’s a non-starter, barely a debate. What goes on in someone’s bedroom is none of anybody else’s business. It is completely a personal decision, as long as it’s consensual and both are above the legal age to consent to sexual relations. There is no need for anyone else to bother about it. In this matter, society is redundant. What you and I think of it doesn’t matter — there should be no ridiculous interference.