Vanity Fair

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Compiled by Nishita Jha

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Midnight’s child Katrina Kaif
Photo: AFP

A Tryst in Time

Dear Katrina Kaif, we sympathise with you. It can’t be easy giving an interview a day about how you’re “still single”, while watching your male co-stars romp unapologetically. Which is why we’re thrilled that you’re getting your kicks with Ranbir Kapoor, even if you did have to organise the complicated dance of showing up at his bungalow, Krishnaraj, post midnight, then quickly sending your car home lest it be spotted by nosy photographers. A girl’s got to find her way to stay in the game, and a tryst in time keeps us all sane, we say.

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Exorcist

Bhatt’s Skeletons Tumble Out

If the pictures of a scantily clad Bipasha Basu being caressed by demonic hands weren’t creepy enough, here’s another reason why Raaz 3 is going to be terrifying. Rumour has it that the film is based on the true story of filmmaker Vikram Bhatt’s relationship with ex-girlfriend Ameesha Patel, who used to ‘manipulate’ him and even caused a rift in his family. Err, we’re not sure what magical powers Patel possesses or why the demons at her beckoning didn’t get her more hits. But we’re certainly going to think twice before dumping a filmmaker hereon.

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Attention, Please

In the world of smartphones, it’s hard to explain Shahid Kapoor’s behaviour on Twitter. Especially since Mary Kom isn’t really an Internet domain called marycom, as the actor would have you believe. Though he has since apologised for his grammatical faux pas, we’re sure that it isn’t just a hectic shooting schedule that is making Shahid tweet silly mistakes. We’d rather assume the opposite: Maybe the boy just likes to trend online and Internet trolls are mere pawns in his devious typo-game.

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PSYCHOLOGIES

‘The cheeky titles in bookstores depress me’

Veena Venugopal, 36, Writer
Photo: Dijeshwar Singh

WHO Delhi-based Veena Venugopal is an MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai. She gave up business, and has been a journalist for 10 years. She is the author of Would You Like Some Bread With that Book?, a collection of 14 essays on books and reading, published in May 2012.

What’s the inspiration for your book?
It happened rather strangely. I had gone to the Everest Base camp a couple of years ago. Being a city girl, I had never trekked before. It was a surprisingly spontaneous trip. I found myself spending hours obsessing over what I would read. I didn’t prepare half as much for the trek as I did for selecting the right books to carry along. When I came back, I wrote a blog about it. From there came the idea of writing a book, dovetailing incidences of my life with books I’ve read.

What do you think of the young upcoming Indian writers, writing in English?
People talk of dumbing down of the media by Page 3 and chick-lit. Books are now being written in a very colloquial language. That is kind of a dumbing down of literature. I think publishers have to take some responsibility. It is easy to cater to what the market wants but it is also necessary to help it evolve. I feel really depressed visiting a bookstore now, seeing those cheeky titles adorning the bestseller stands. The last five years are over now — this Chetan Bhagat phenomenon happened, we had such books selling two lakh copies, but, it’s time to move forward and upgrade.

Three must read books.
For teenagers, I think, Po Bronson’s What Should I do with my life. Bronson interviews people who feel unfulfilled about their lives and want to do something different with it. I think, especially in India, where there is a lot of pressure to decide early on exactly what you want to do, it is important to know that life allows course corrections. JM Coetzee’s Disgrace for people in their 20s and 30s. Its beautiful writing should certainly inspire them to read more. It makes me appreciate how good my life is and also serves as a warning that it could all get yanked away from under my feet and I should enjoy it while it lasts. Enid Blyton’s Adventures of the Wishing Chair for the 40-somethings. It is important to believe in magic. And some times in escapism too — that a ratty old armchair can whisk you away to a life full of adventure.

Aanchal Arora

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