Vanity Fair

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Rani Mukerji
And in this corner Rani Mukerji
Photo: AFP

Compiled by Nishita Jha

Keeping us on our toes

There was cause for concern. Rani Mukerji’s pragmatic studio engagement could have fixed the sassy actress in a passive bahu mould. But our Rani is mould-resistant. While she’s refused to revisit gothic-chic in Guddu Dhanoa’s sequel to Bichhoo, she will be shaking that ass to three item numbers in the upcoming  Aiyya. She may even be kicking some ass in a Mary Kom biopic soon. Whoever she goes head-to-head with for that role, it’s a knockout round we want ringside seats to, if just to witness the modifications it will take to turn Mukerji into a Manipuri boxer.

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Tiger

The Shroffs Burn Bright

With the distinct lack of rugged, old-school panache on the silver screen these days, we are pleased that Dhoom 3 heralds the return of Jackie Shroff. He plays Aamir Khan’s mentor in the film, who in turn has taken on the helm of mentor for Jackie’s son, Tiger. As Khan’s personal trainer, Tiger has done enough heavy lifting to convince Aamir he can carry off a lead role. And Aamir’s putting his weight behind Tiger, offering marketing expertise to launch him. But the Shroffs just moved in between SRK and Salman Khanin Bandra — will they get benchpressed between heavyweights?

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Planet Chopra

Call us conspiracy theorists, but we see a pattern. Every time Yash Raj Films puts an actress in the spotlight, rumours link her to the Chopra sons. Either separating work and pleasure is a defunct philosophy or they like to keep things in-house. Since the rumour mills have hitched Aditya to Rani’s yoke, the Chopra cosmos centres on the second son, Uday. While the gossip about him and Tanisha Mukherjee faded like a shooting star, Uday is now tweeting about him and Parineeti Chopra being “just good friends”. Counting Daya Prochu, his alter ego on twitter, that’s exactly two people on this planet who care.

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Family Sagacity

Unlike the fragile Bollywood brotherhoods, the Khans at Galaxy Apartments know there is strength in numbers as well as biceps. When Salman Khan decided to don a superhero avatar in the upcoming Sher Khan, dad Salim Khan pitched in with script review so his son isn’t as forgettable as a certain blue-eyed bot. And brother Sohail is timing the release so there are no conflicts with Arbaaz bhai’s Dabangg 2. It looks like the family that stays together stays on top.

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Psychologies

‘Punk is about my struggles as a woman in India’

Tritha Sinha
Tritha Sinha, 29, Musician
Photos: Rohini Das

WHO Kolkata-born Tritha Sinha juggles three musical outfits – the solo/ acoustic TRITHA, her ethnopunk band Tritha Electric, and her Hindustani trip-hop band SPACE. She shuttles between Delhi, Kolkata and Paris, experimenting with different kinds of music.

How has your family influenced your music?
We’re a typical Bengali family – we love eating fish and listening to music. My grandfather wanted a girl in the family to be a singer. When I was five my parents introduced me to an Indian classical music guru. I opted for music over medicine; my parents were persuaded because I was very serious about it. I’ve been supporting myself from the age of 17 doing music. I react almost physically to it, which propels me to sing and compose.

A childhood memory?
I sang Tagore in my own way, at the age of eight, in front of horrified aunties who’d been singing Rabindra Sangeet the way it’s been sung for 50 years.

What is ethno-punk?
Ethno comes from my Indian classical roots and baul influences. Punk is an expression of my struggles and frustrations looking for independence as a woman in India. I conceptualised this with Paul Schneiter, a French drummer and producer, for my new outfit Tritha Electric.

Instruments you play?
In Tritha Electric, I play the electric guitar; use a looper and a delay-effects voice processor. My electric tanpura, the mandira, and some percussion are a constant presence. I also picked up a kazoo from Paris — it’s my mini saxophone.

How has travelling influenced you?
Living in Paris, jamming with underground jazz musicians and travelling around Europe for the last seven summers has helped me integrate African beats, trip-hop and punk in my original songs. I go back to Kolkata to rejuvenate my knowledge of classical Indian music.

Tell us about your song Pagli.
A sound engineer in Paris wanted to hear me rap in Bengali. I imagined myself as a madwoman in the streets of Kolkata, took on that role and started singing like her. I’m going to make an album of it adding more songs. A new pagli song is a punk one called Fish Market.

CS Bhagya

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