Vanity Fair


By Nisha Susan

Photo: Deepak Salvi

Tweet Nothings

Astonished that Shashi Tharoor has time to keep up with SRK’s followers on Twitter? Astonished that Tharoor has the time to actually be on Twitter? Imagine Tharoor meeting the world’s newest and blondest diplomat Ashton Kutcher. T’was a snowy night in St Petersburg when twin souls met. Both, Twitter stars, one with the highest following in India, the other the highest following in the world. Both have fantastic hair and know the world underestimates them. Re-tweet at first sight! The US State Department has sent Kutcher to Russia, to persuade Moscow’s online networks to use their power for good: to fight human trafficking and end corruption.


The fairest of them all?
Balan’s post-Ishqiya glow
Photo: Navesh Tejpal

Charmed Life

Lovely Vidya Balan is everywhere these post-Ishqiya days. She sounds non-coy, quite happy and back in the game. The clothes situation is still a bit confusing. They are not bad enough to make her our Tilda Swinton, just wrong enough to make you wince. Just as you wonder whether this will ever change along comes a fairy godmother — Sabyasachi Mukherjee, the man who made her look fantastic in Paa and also a close friend. Earlier this week Balan launched Mukherjee’s flagship store in Delhi but that’s not the news. Balan is to star in Mukherjee’s first film. The male lead we hear is Pratiek Babbar but meanwhile Mukherjee reiterates his desire to keep Balan looking stunning.


Abhay Deol

Sibling Act

Don’t you often play that game — sit in the movie theatre, curse the director, imagine the movie it could have been, if it was up to you? What if you are a filmmaker and the sister of a man who changed the direction of Hindi cinema with one movie? Would it be your favourite game? Perhaps Zoya Akhtar is not as mean as you and I. So we should just look forward to her new movie starring three Bollywood hunks — Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and aforementioned brother Farhan — in a road and male bonding movie. Don’t confuse this with Dev Benegal’s Abhay Deol film which is helpfully called Road, Movie.


Sport With Soul

From Humayun’s Tomb to Fez, Sufis are singing away at huge festivals. There has been a definite infusion of Sufi music in Bollywood in the last few years. It’s true — Sufi goes with everything. Even that testosterone trip: World Cup Football. Kailash Kher, we hear, will be singing for the FIFAWorld Cup. Also in the album, Algerian Khaled who introduced us to the earworm Didi


‘Celebrities gave my scripts a hearing because I was well known.’

APARNA SEN, Director and actor

What is your earliest memory?
I remember this loft with steep stairs leading from my grandparent’s room to my parent’s. I learned to negotiate the stairs by climbing it. I must have been two years old then.

Describe your childhood.
My childhood was happy and pleasant as both my parents and grandparents were very liberal and laid no restrictions on me, unless it was to protect me from something dangerous. It was alright to read books during study hours but comics and commercial movies were strictly off limits.

Who would you like to be reborn as?
I would choose to be born as myself again because I’ve had a fairly wonderful and happy life. However, given a chance I’d start making movies earlier than I did.

Was there an occasion when you were grateful that you were so well-known?
There have been quite a few instances, like the time I went to Shashi Kapoor with my script. With the success of 36 Chowringhee Lane, people knew me. Although that particular script was eventually rejected, celebrities gave my scripts a hearing because I was well known.

Is there a character you would refuse to play on moral grounds?
I was offered the role of an obedient housewife in a movie based on a Sarat Chandra Chatterjee story which I felt was very chauvinistic. I refused because I was uncomfortable doing it.

If you had to go back in time and apologise to someone, who would it be?
I think that would be Tapan Sinha, the director. I could not meet him before he died of an illness. Given a chance, I would want to apologise to him.

What is on top of your bucket list?
It would definitely be to finish making my film, Gulel.

What would you do if you found your child arrested for shoplifting?
I doubt any of my daughters would do anything to invite arrest! But if they did, I’d first ask them what prompted them to do such a thing.

From your own experiences what has emerged as a litmus test for love?
I think romantically, love does not last long. But to keep it going, mutual respect, trust and the will to keep reinventing that love is very important



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