Vanity Fair

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Photo: Shailendra Pandey

WORKSHOP GAMES

Kareena Kapoor (alongside Kajol) is doing a remake of Stepmom. (Stepmom was in itself, if you remember, an embarrassingly bad film which ought to have been buried like nuclear waste.) Now Kareena is announcing that she is taking workshops to learn how to play a regular city girl. “I walk, talk, dress like an ordinary working girl. I’ll be using no makeup,” she says. Maybe we are just mean and unfair. We do a lot of complaining about major stars not taking themselves seriously enough and setting the bar somewhere near their feet. But when they do get serious about their craft, forgive us, but we can’t stop laughing.

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BASRA ABOVE GROUND

Navdeep Singh, director of Manorama Six Feet Under has been tied in a knot for a while with the production of his second film Basra. The spy thriller originally (and bizarrely) cast Akshaye Khanna in the lead. This did challenge the limits of our imagination a bit. Then the film was stalled, but have no fear. The newest avatar of the movie has a fascinating cast: Chitrangada Singh, Shahana Goswami, Abhay Deol and the largely wonderful Madhavan.

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CENSORED SUMMER

Nayantara Sehgal declares for what must seem to her the millionth time that Lady Mountbatten and Jawaharlal Nehru had a non-sexual relationship. Love yes, sex no. Meanwhile the I&B Ministry has given permission for the filming of  Alex von Tunzelmann’s book Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire. Permission of a limited nature of course, ordering that the film (starring Cate Blanchett, Irrfan Khan and Hugh Grant) not have any ‘love scenes’. Hopefully this immensely useful instruction will egg on the awkward, unusual imagination of filmmaker Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice and Atonement). Certainly more than the bald Tunzelmann book.

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FLYING AUTHOR

The corporate memoir is a strange object. One is curious about the rich and entrepreneurial but rarely satisfied. HarperCollins has a forthcoming memoir by Captain Gopinath, the man behind the low-cost airlines revolution. He is a man with unparalleled chutzpah but apparently he is also a man who likes to spill the beans. Enough to alarm the editors a little. What good news!

Compiled by NISHA SUSAN

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PSYCHOLOGIES

I’ve Recorded Over 300 Jingles Till Date!

 

Shibani Kashyap, Singer

Tell me something about your family.
I’m an army officer’s daughter so I’ve spent the better part of my childhood travelling around. It was unsettling yet exciting. And I think that’s what’s made me a people’s person. However, it does make you very restless too and you start finding it difficult to be stationed in one place for long. Music, on the other hand, is something I get from my mother. She was a classical musician, although she never took it up professionally. Everyone in my family has academic leanings, which led to many academic expectation from me as well.

Did they oppose music as your career choice?
It was definitely a bit tough on my dad. He was very keen on me doing an MBA although his dream was that I become an IAS officer. There was a wave of disappointment in the family. But I put my foot down and they’re proud of me now. It all started during college when I started recording jingles. I’ve recorded over 300 jingles!

What’s your earliest memory?
I have a very good memory. I think I can remember everything since I was two years old. I remember I started humming at that age and by the time I was three, I was singing whole songs. I still couldn’t speak complete sentences, but I could sing.

You worked on Cats for six months during college. Do you have any plans for musicals?
Cats was an education for me. It took six months of hard rehearsals that helped me understand so many things. I wish I had gone to a music school. But in the absence of that, all the experience helped a lot. I would love to produce a musical someday, but I won’t get into it till I know I can do justice to it.

What was your first Bollywood experience like?
It was a coincidence, actually. I had composed ‘Sajna, aa bhi jaa’ for my album but Shashanka (Ghosh) wanted it for his filmWaisa Bhi Hota Hai Part 2. I composed two more songs for that album after that. Those are the songs I’m really proud of since they were composed specially for the movie.

Are you religious?
I practice both Buddhism and Hinduism. But I’m very wary of fanaticism. It is, however, important to identify one’s faith and spiritual leanings.

What does the word ‘freedom’ mean to you?
It’s being ‘free-spirited’. Someone told me at a concert recently that my voice has a lot of ‘abandon’ in it. That’s freedom for me.

ISHA MANCHANDA

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