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MR HYPE, MS HOOPLA

Pravesh Bhardwaj, director of Mr Singh, Mrs Mehta has been crying because his unreleased film has been allegedly uploaded on YouTube by pirates. And the evil pirates have been joyously celebrating Aruna Shields’ nude scene in the film by posting links everywhere. It’s the kind of publicity you can’t buy. But the official publicists are clearly taking no chances. Their invites promise a meeting with the film’s hero ‘Prashant Narayanan — the next serial kisser’. They add that he has the record of 34 on-screen kisses. Filmmaker Bhardwaj’s charmingly unselfconscious Wikipedia entry says he learnt his filmmaking from Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani. They could learn some from him.

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CLUED IN

Once there was a peerless adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma— Clueless. Funny, hip and easy on the ear. Now we can look uneasily towards an adaptation with Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol. Set in Delhi, Mumbai and Rishikesh, the movie is being made by Rajshree Ojha. Three years ago, Ojha had made a ‘crossover’ film, appropriately called Chaurahein. With the quiet burial of that film, Ojha seems to have acquired some pragmatism or bitterness. Tough to figure which one it is. She has been talking recently about how difficult it was to sell Aisha — a woman-centric script — to Bollywood. Last seen she was heard saying, “As a newcomer, one has to listen to everyone because they apparently know better.”

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MUSEMENT PARK

There was a brief moment when it looked like it was going to be Vidya Balan. After all, the rumour was (and as recently as last month ) that MF Husain had watched Ishqiya several times for Vidya. However, the title of the Muse of the Season now goes to Katrina Kaif. Does anyone get the feeling that the tenure of Husain’s muse is getting shorter and shorter?

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SWEET SOMETHINGS

The unpretentious and famously vague Namita Devidayal, author of The Music Room, has a new book, coming up. Aftertaste, unlike her first book is a straightforward novel. Publishers Random House has been sending out beribboned excerpts from the book along with (unfortunately squashed) small boxes of sweets. This because the novel is about a wealthy family that made its killing with a mithai shop. The novel begins with the dying of the all-powerful matriarch and the machinations of the survivors.

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Compiled by NISHA SUSAN


‘It’s Irritating To Hear ‘Oh, Purab Is A Nice Guy’

PURAB KOHLI, Actor

What is the most common misconception you wish you could change?
That I am a nice guy. You have to get to know me to know that there are times I am not that nice. It gets irritating to hear the line “Oh, Purab is such a nice guy”. And I am like “f*** you.”

Did you always want to be an actor?
As far as I can remember, I always wanted to be a pilot. At the time I was training, it was hard to get a job. So when I got an opportunity to do a TV show for Rs 5,000 a month, I took it up. I got more shows, but at the back of my mind, I still didn’t take acting seriously. But after My Brother Nikhil, I realised the power of cinema. It can do so much, it takes a person out of his or her ordinary circumstances and puts them somewhere else.

Is love without sex possible?
No, I don’t think so. I have certain needs, and I think sex is an important part of loving somebody. Maybe tomorrow, when I am older, I won’t give it much thought. But right now, it’s very important.

If your partner had been cheating, how would you react?
That’s tough. See, if you walk away, it breaks apart your relationship. And you have to be ready to face the fact that if you forgive, you have to live with not trusting him or her all your life. Forgiving is hard.

What do you think has been the toughest part of being married?
When there is a difference of opinion on a decision that affects both of you. Like between my wife and me, I am the practical one and she is the creative one, so we know how to take a decision.

How has working in the film industry changed you as a person?
I grew up here. I was 17 when I started acting. Before Rock On!!, I didn’t know what it was to be successful. The attention I started getting can go to your head. You start craving it. But it can be hard as well.

AASTHA ATRAY BANAN

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