Vanity Fair


Compiled by Poorva Rajaram

Poonam Pandey
Video game Poonam Pandey
Photo: Abraxas photography

When an MMS Isn’t enough

Of all the names to adjoin the apocalyptic word ‘MMS’ while Googling, Poonam Pandey is probably the most obvious. People who have Googled these words will now get a new result. This week, we are sad to report that a decoy Poonam Pandey MMS has been duplicitously doing the rounds: a dull video of her changing clothes during a fashion shoot. We don’t know whether to worry about all the exploitative websites bent on going viral, or the fickle Net users with low standards who will accept anything with the suffix MMS.

Photo: Shailendra Pandey


Television: A fast road to auntyhood

You’d be fairly justified if you thought Madhuri Dixit’s film comeback was botched. Of late, Madhuri has been plunged into the ungainly netherworld of television reality shows that only render her a more implausible film actor in the eyes of the public. So, in happy news, she will probably star in Ishqiya 2 — almost the only star in the film we can trust to have a meaty role. And since the first Ishqiya only had intricate characters, we hope she will play what is popularly known as a “character with good and bad shades”.

Imran KhanYouth substance and no abuse

Diligent Imran Khan has filed a PIL to stop the Maharashtra government raising the drinking age to 25 years. He and many other supporters and well-wishers are keen on ensuring that the lives of partying 20-somethings stay blissful. We want to congratulate him on attempting Bollywood activism that could actually work: an unabashedly first-hand cause. And since Imran is indubitably cooler post-Delhi Belly, we will wait and see if busybody lawmakers can handle the upcoming media onslaught.

Mission Critical

We know better than to use Anees Bamzee’s Ready to concoct a million new declension narratives about the quality of Bollywood movies “these days”. And, more importantly, we know better than to ask a shirtless Salman Khan for the meaning of life. But we cannot forgive Ready for dragging us back into ancient debates that ineptly juxtapose criticism and commercial success. Bamzee has only fuelled the fire by declaring, “I would rather think of Rs 120 crore than 15 critics.” And we have tried and failed to muster anything but boredom.

‘You can’t turn up at Cannes in Bermudas’

WHO Born in Delhi, Lamba was a model before she forayed into Bollywood. She made her debut in Yahaan opposite Jimmy Shergill and has starred in films like Bachna Ae Haseeno,Well Done Abba, Shaurya and Bheja Fry 2. Besides the Cannes Film Festival, where she walked the red carpet this year, the actress was in news recently after she was detained at Mumbai airport for carrying undeclared jewellery worth Rs 50 lakh.

By Nandan Sharalaya

Minissha Lamba
Minissha Lamba, 26, Actress

Having lived in Chennai, was it difficult to come to terms with life in Mumbai?
Chennai is a cultural place and at that time, there was only a small section of society that was modern. But the conservatism was something one had to adhere to. Nevertheless, I still miss my school, my home, food and the beaches!

Today, is there too much pressure on actresses to remain prim and proper?
If an actor puts on weight, are the journalists going to let that go easily? Would you still love her as much as when she was slim? If you want actors to be ageless and flawless, then it’s ridiculous to criticise them the moment they are not in the best of shape or the moment there is some hint of plastic surgery.

What went through your mind when you were detained at Mumbai airport?
I was upset but understood that everyone was just doing their job. I have been in the industry for the past five years and hence I was calm. If this had happened during my first film, I would have been perturbed.

Has an invitation to Festival de Cannes become a symbol of an actor’s status?
It is a ‘very formal’ film festival. You just can’t turn up in your bermudas and slippers. You need to dress elegantly and look glamorous. There’s a decorum set to respect cinema out there. When you go there, you understand that there is a lot of substance beneath the superficiality.

Do you set yourself goals and challenges?
One cannot wake up every morning and decide to wage war on the world. It’s important to set goals but it’s more important to have fun in whatever you are doing.

What would be an alternative career for you?
I would probably be working with TEHELKA, doing investigations. It’s a damn cool job!


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