Vanity Fair


Compiled by Nishita Jha

Homecoming Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Photo: Yogen Shah

Ballooning Love

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan can finally heave a sigh of relief. The folks from Kerala are not as cruel as the ones at Cannes. At a recent jewellery store launch for Kalyan Jewellers in the South, Ash was surrounded by fans who — immune to whether her images for the brand’s advertising campaign had been photoshopped or not — mobbed her with absolute adoration. We don’t blame her for basking in the attention, since her post-pregnancy weight has been as closely monitored as the Bombay Stock Exchange. Everyone needs a little positive validation, especially ex-beauty queens.

Growing Assets

Photo: Shailendra Pandey

The leone franchise

Another actor welcomed with open arms to the South this week was Sunny LeoneJism 2 gave her a successful launch with the Bhatt franchise. On the heels of that, Leone has now signed a film with Kannada producer K Manju for an asking price of 1.5 crore. This will follow her sequel to Ragini MMS with Balaji Telefilms. Looks like the prodigal daughter with a rising star is here to stay, India.

Not Bad, Man

Brace yourselves people. Retired villain Gulshan Grover’s life might be suffused with colour soon, and no, we’re not talking blood-red. We’re not sure how this came about, but adman Shashank Shekhar has decided to cast the actor as MF Husain in a film about the painter’s life. We were sufficiently amused to discover that Grover has been asking around for advice on “the nuances of creating art”. A crash course on the canvas aside, this might be just the break Grover needs to show us that he can do more than just be very, very bad.

‘Artists are often misunderstood by others’

WHO Assam-born Hazarika graduated as a Civil Engineer in 1963. A Colonel in the Indian Army, he retired early to devote himself to art. Having exhibited in India and abroad, he has now produced 23 works for his latest exhibition A Life in Pictures, at Sridharni Art Gallery in Delhi.

Jiten Hazarika, 75, Artist
Photo: Vijay Pandey

When did you start painting?
I have been fond of colours since childhood. Growing up in a remote village in Assam, I had no access to art materials. I learnt of their existence when a teacher gifted me a bottle of china ink. I started drawing with anything I could lay hands on — chalk, charcoal, sindoor, pencils. I would hide my work and pretend to study as my father disliked the idea of painting.

Why did you leave the Army? 
I think I wasted time in the Army and I mean it. The amount of pleasure I derive from painting makes up for everything else.

How are artists different from other people?
Artists are generally eccentric persons. They are guided by sentiments than reason. Often, they are misunderstood by others.

What makes you different from other artists?
Artists are born, not made. I am against the idea of training. Either you have it in you or you don’t. Any artist should be a good human being with a clean and clear mind devoid of vanity and envy. Also, the style and composition of my paintings are very distinctive.

What problems do artists in our country face?
You can think of art only when you are not hungry. In our country, only a few people can appreciate and acquire art. A hungry man sees only a chapati in the moon, instead of being romantically thrilled. In the West, people respect artists and can acquire works as prized possessions.

Do you think you are successful?
I achieve success when I complete a genuine work of art. My meditative and fertile imagination, hard work, skilful execution and the serene atmosphere that pervades my family are the basic inputs of my success. I felt accomplished when my first exhibition was held in the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, in 1972 and when a scholar from Meerut University, Ruchi Jain, did her PhD on my paintings.

Nikita Bohra


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