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Compiled By Poorva Rajaram

All-organic

If it wasn’t already apparent that the Bollywood clan has only crude ways of talking about entrants not from Mumbai or Delhi, we have Sonam Kapoor advising Kangana Ranaut to improve her English. Really, this again? Last year, Kangana proved on Farah Khan’s talk show that she can, after all, speak English. Now, she has cannily rejected both Sonam’s advice and a new Balaji Telefilms venture calledRagini MMS (no, it’s not a porn movie). Kangana has clarified that food, and not cosmetic surgery, makes her “voluptuous”. Finally, a cosmetic surgery denial we care about.

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Liz HurleyAffairs of state

AT LEAST INDIANS SHARE COMMON ENEMIES

The Liz Hurley, Arun Nayar and Shane Warne saga has meant that some Indians are ecstatic with jingoistic glee. They have successfully zeroed in on yet another Indian victimised by a sledging Aussie cricketer. However, we would like someone to clarify if she has dumped Warne or if Liz separated from her husband months ago or if she is begging her husband to take her back or if Arun’s parents are forcing him to divorce or if no divorce is happening. Is this desi revenge for her blouseless sari? As Shane Warne tweeted, “We are all childish at times.”

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Rishi KapoorNew Year resolution

All izz more well in Bollywood. After all the tremors set off by Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor’s candour on Koffee with Karan, we hear Rishi Kapoor has stopped blaming the host for his son’s poor performance with the gentler sex. Hrithik Roshan has forgiven Salman Khan for pointing out even dogs wouldn’t watch Guzaarish. And, more startlingly, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra have been spotted, chatty and gay on stage after a six year long fight. Is it possible there is a little year-end warmth? Or a conflictresolution guru on everyone’s payroll?

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Bonus seminar

Literary works in 22 languages have won the Sahitya Akademi Awards 2010. Novelists included Bani Basu (Bangla), Esther David(English), and M Borkanya (Manipuri). From the short story writers, Uday Prakash (Hindi), Nanjil Nadan (Tamil) and Manoj (Dogri) won awards and nonfiction prizes went to Keshada Mahanta (Assamese), Rahamat Tarikere (Kannada) and Ashok R Kelkar (Marathi). Awardees will get Rs. 1 lakh on 15 February and, inexplicably, can attend a complimentary seminar on the works of Rabindranath Tagore.

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Psychologies

‘Keeping a band intact is like being in a marriage’

UDAY BENEGAL, Musician

UDAY BENEGALBy Aastha Atray Banan

When exactly did you realise you were passionate about music?
One day my brother, who is six years older than I, came home from junior college and popped a tape into the player. Listening to the The Who’s Quadrophenia album sowed the seeds of rock ‘n’ roll in my brain forever.

Did you ever live the life of a rock star — sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll?
(laughs) I’ve had a blast playing, recording, touring, learning with a bunch of great friends over the years. It’s a lot harder than most people realise. Keeping the relationship of a band intact is like working a marriage into shape. And you might even get laid along the way.

What has been the most distressing time of your life?
I was able to weather through the tough times thanks to the good energies of loved ones, especially my wife. My mother’s struggle with cancer, to which she finally succumbed, was particularly hard. But life happens and you have to deal with it.

How do you view modern-day relationships?
I’ve been married for 20 years now and have loved going through life’s highs and lows with my wife. At the same time, I don’t believe that marriage is necessary, especially in the context of modern living. People should be mature enough to deal with relationships without the sword of a contract hovering over their heads.

You took part in many music competitions as a child and won none. Did that give you a greater resolve to succeed?
(laughs) Yes! Though I did win one contest. I won less for my singing talent and more for the fact that I was the only contestant who wrote his own song. I will be forever grateful to the judges of that competition for acknowledging one of the most important things about making music — originality.

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