Compiled by Nishita Jha
Chitrangda Singh, who will shimmy to her first item number in Shirish Kunder’s Joker, is taking the breathless neophyte act a tad too seriously. On the sets ofKaam, Sudhir Mishra’s film on sexual harassment, she apparently assured journalists of the safe environs of Bollywood, where inappropriate passes are unheard of and actors choose projects and co-stars they are truly comfortable with. Thankfully, Singh is willing to champion the cause for us less fortunate with 9-to-5 jobs, who have no choice but to be molested regularly? No honey, that wasn’t a gagreflex but a heave of relief that you’re waging the good war.
Farah tells SRK to Show the goods
Bollywood heroines no longer have dibs on being objectified. For Happy New Year, Farah Khan has asked her recently reappointed 46-year-old muse, Shah Rukh Khan, to sport eight-pack abs. It seems the Khans are opting for skin-show because they are collaborating after a long hiatus. The director felt SRK should “surprise” an audience that might have forgotten Om Shanti Om. We’d be surprised if he did anything apart from giving defensive interviews — feel free to shock us silly with gratuitous scenes of a shirtless SRK being drenched by invisible water-throwing gnomes.
Salman Khan’s sudden inclination towards atonement isn’t just a happy accident. This week, along with beseeching the Pakistani awaam and decision-making blokes to set Sarabjit Singh free, and handling the security arrangements at Esha Deol’s wedding, Khan also buried the hatchet with the man across the Bachchan border: Abhishek Bachchan. The two were seen exchanging an emotional embrace and then several hours of back-slapping jokes while shooting on adjacent sets. Could our eternal man-child finally be growing up? Or will the sapling of this friendship soon be reduced to ash? Stay tuned.
‘When musicians create, genres are irrelevant’
WHO Mumbai-based Sridhar is a singer, actor, songwriter and producer and one half of the contemporary music duo Sridhar/Thayil. She has appeared on independent albums Violet Samudra and Brown Circles, and sung soundtracks for Hindi films 404and Shaitan.
How has your family contributed to your music?
My mum would trick me into going for music class — alighting the BEST bus last minute, and leaving me to ride to class by myself. A rebel child, I could never study music as a discipline with my mother or any other teacher. However, it percolated into my life at all times. My parents would always be performing, teaching, attending concerts, in jam and recording sessions. I grew up with a 7 am aalap for an alarm.
Jazz, electro-pop and Hindustani classical. How do you fuse them?
Music happens in the silences and spaces between these categories. When musicians create, these genres are irrelevant. Genres are a product of our market-driven economy and record labels needing to slot your music into a shelf.
Who are you as a part of Sridhar/ Thayil? How are you different outside?
My material outside of Sridhar/Thayil tends to be more political and demands the audience to engage. Sridhar/Thayil, however, is deliberately more mainstream in content.
Tell us about your opera-noir.
The Flying Wallas: Opera Noir is a two-person minimalist contemporary opera; a conversation between a ghost and a soprano and the audience. Two lovers belong to the same flying trapeze company. One fails to catch the other, as the latter falls to his death. The opera opens with this death scene and a blood-curdling scream from the soprano. The story is a conversation about guilt, murder, love and loss. We deliberately used contemporary language sung in a classical operatic style; the ghost’s words were spoken in verse. The result was a being of its own — neither opera, nor drama, nor poetry, nor a concert.
How does travelling inspire your work?
Travelling means you wake up in a new place, anonymous, with few belongings, without a ringing phone. It is the natural state of being for a musician — the troubadour.