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Compiled By Nisha Susan

IT girls

What? There’s another one? Another Ms Universe who wants to join Bollywood? Mexican model Jimena Navarrete is the newest (and our ageing selves regretfully add) and not the last Ms Universe to look hither. We can’t even work up any faux-excitement over her love for Dabangg when Priyanka Chopra is loving us and leaving us like this. On one hand, she is up there on stage during the Zee Cine Awards doing the hottest impersonation of Chulbul Pandey ever. But we can’t ask her who she channelled to get into khaki character since post-raid she is avoiding the press

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DEAD CALM

CAPTAIN SMOOCHIE’S ADVENTURES

We have had little reason to pay attention to Arunoday Singh since his uninteresting appearance in Aisha. (On a side note, let us congratulate the anonymous Twitter heckler Mumbai central who said that if Abhay Deol is India’s George Clooney, Aisha is his nipplesuit.) But here is Arunoday doing a Mika on us. While doing a promo at a Pune college, he made some deeply unconvincing spiel about kissing girls to calm them down and proceeded to give a live demo to a willing female student. The college authorities were left apoplectic.

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KISMET’S PRINCESS

What the revolution has taught us is that we can and will make infinite variations on the limited cultural references we have about Egypt. (The templates being two: ‘Hosni Mubarak is living in de-Nile’ and ‘Block like an Egyptian’. ) It is merely delightful fate that this was the week that one of our favourite people, Pooja Bedi, chose to expand our Middle Eastern horizons. She says, “I’ve just finished a Telugu film with Junior NTR. It’s called Shakti. It is one of the biggest budget Telugu films, and I play an Egyptian princess with

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INNOCENT ABROAD

We met a British birdie who had just discovered Bollywood. His company was handling the logistics for what he thought was just another movie until the calls began. “Can I be an extra? Can I be on the sets?” So that’s how our birdie discovered what the arrival of Shah Rukh Khan for the filming of Ra. One meant to some populations of London. Unfortunately, the poor gent then discovered that Red Chillies Entertainment also ‘forgot’ often until the last moment that ‘oops, we need to blow up/burn a car/house for this shot’. Oops!

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Psychologies

‘I try hard to maintain innocence in my daily life’

The virtuoso singer, Kailash Kher, 37, has been a tailor, an accountant and an exporter. Once compared music to a radish uprooted from the field, best eaten raw. Has had 15 music teachers. Burst into fame with Allah ke bande. Will be performing at the Kennedy Centre, Washington, DC.

Kailash Kher Singer

Kailash Kher Singer
Singer. 37. Has band called Kailasa. Has been a tailor, an accountant and an exporter. Once compared music to a radish uprooted from the field, best eaten raw. Has had 15 music teachers. Burst into fame with Allah Ke Bande. Performs in March at the Kennedy Centre, Washington, DC.

BY Nikhil M Ghanekar

What is your approach/mental make-up when you perform live?
I don’t want to merely entertain but also enlighten the audience when I am on the stage. Today’s youth like songs infused with messages, associating with such songs helps them to break away from the crowd, be different. The stress is on delivering a wholesome experience.

You judged two reality shows, poles apart in content and branding, Indian Idol and Rock on with MTV, tell us about the experience?
It was a good learning curve for me. Idol was more about film songs, while MTV Rock on threw up people who were more creatively inclined. I don’t understand why reality show participants treat it like the end of their journey. If one can dedicate five-six years of their life striving to become an engineer and MBBS, why leave out music? In fact music needs as much or more dedication, patience and a strong will. Reality shows are the means and not the actual end .Another thing that amuses me is labeling MTV Rock on as youth oriented; then what is Indian Idol?

Are you comfortable with genres since people label your work as sufi/fusion music?
To be honest I am not comfortable with broad genres. I am unhappy with categorizing and labeling of music in general. People connect to songs because of the soul, words and the underlying message and not broad genres.

What do you think of your contemporaries and the new wave of regional music (Avial, Raghu Dixit, Rabbi)
It’s a great thing. People are coming out of their cages and opening up to new music. This new wave belies the popular notion that only Bollywood sells and a lot has to be credited to the youth. As mentioned, they want to explore new forms of music and new languages too.

You have sung songs in Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu and soon you will sing a Malayalam track too, how do you adapt?
It’s quite funny because I grasp the words quickly along with the tunes. I have a ball when I record these songs since the composers are more impatient than I am. They think I cannot get the words right, while I am in fact trying to innovate and act innocent about my efforts.

Does fame, being called a rock star get to your head?
Being a rock star is a state of mind/mentality, someone who is passionate and dedicated about music. Unfortunately it used for a niche brand of artists. For me, even Nirgun Bhajan singers are rock stars for their immense passion towards music and treating it as a way of life. The moment your passion gets commercialised (beyond the routine of earning money for survival), it gets polluted and fame becomes a necessity rather than a natural outcome of your profession.

You are a big Shiva bhakt and the song Babam Bam is a great example of your devotion towards Shiva. What is your take on people who invoke Shiva by abusing drugs and related things?
Indian mythology is vast and Hindu’s have heard and or read a zillion versions of mythological stories. Now Shiva as a God has many forms, the destructor, creator, the ideal husband, the one who drank poison etc. Those who think of him only as a symbol of drugs, sex etc follow their own interpretation, which is fine but I do not fancy those ideas. For me, Shiva is a great example of how to lead a dignified life by simultaneously possessing the ability to slay your demons and enemies. But the stress is on leading a practical life without lying idle, the iconography revolving around Shiva is symbolic and is layered with strong messages.

Is it a pre-determined thought to have women as protagonists in your songs, inspired by Hindu mythology?
Not really. I feel women are more sensitive and soulful. Kailasa’s songs personify soul, passion and sensitivity which a woman embodies naturally. My upbringing involved listening to a lot of Nirgun sangeet which speaks of the relation between body and the soul. I drew inspiration from there. Thus, a lot of our songs portray women as the protagonist.

You sang LSD title track, a movie which dealt with voyeurism and privacy issues in the digital age. What is your take on the subject of the film?
According to me these things (the things portrayed in the film) have existed in our society since time immemorial. The movie shows technology capturing human tendencies while others (in the society) take pleasure in watching it. It is merely a fact which has been shown through cultural and technological transition.

How do you maintain privacy in your own life?
The media always wants to know more about my wife and kid and I don’t like it. I want to live my life in peace and don’t really fancy using technology to treasure intimate moments of any sorts. I try hard to maintain innocence in my daily life. Maintaining that ‘mystery’ factor in my own life by not over-exposing my family to the media is important.

nikhil@tehelka.com

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