Compiled by POORVA RAJARAM
Swapping spacey-bordering-on-nonsense cultural nuggets with white people needs to stop. Cut to the circus surrounding Hugh Jackman, who is apparently the epicentre of artistic energy in Bollywood (Ra.One is now a tribute to X-Men). Then throw in Sandip Soparrkar and his wife Jesse Randhawa, who will perform a Bollywood waltz at the William-Kate wedding. The clincher, as always, is Sarah Palin, who was apparently uber-impressed with Sonakshi Sinha’s fulsome youth and passion at the India Today Conclave. All we know is Sinha deserves better and we want trade barriers and cultural insularity back!
Mummy, a Zombie ate my butter chicken
Abhay Deol is going to star in India’s first zombie film. We are taking a moment out to share our retroactive awe that there have been no previous attempts to enrich Bollywood with this cult genre. The light bulb idea that characters don’t really have to be sentient beings and can instead muddleheadedly zip around creating havoc is not exactly new to Bollywood scriptwriting. So we will await the release of Shaadi of the Dead — Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge-meets-Shaun of the Dead — with onerous zombie-like mania.
Shobhaa Dé probably wanted to be the early bird tweeting her homage to former presidentAPJ Abdul Kalam. The news was a rumour and Ms Dé, having not cross checked, had to tweet a hurried apology a second time. She first tweeted “India salutes its greatest president! Dr Abdul Kalam brought rare grace, courage, dignity and simplicity to Rashtrapati Bhavan. RIP.” And soon after, came this: “A thousand apologies. Our beloved former president is alive and well. Jiyo hazaaron saal. Maafi chahiye.” One wonders what gems her super-fast Twitter reaction time will yield in the future.
Delhi can expect another whirlwind visit from a celeb cultural theorist and civil rights activist. And we have Navayana, a publishing house that specialises in Dalit literature, to thank. The Second Navayana Annual Lecture, to be held on 5 April, will bring us the decidedly non-stodgy Angela Yvonne Davis. Davis, who is perhaps the least armchair and most active of all American cultural theorists, will give a lecture titled Contemporary Quests for Social Justice. This will be followed by a conversation with yet another cultural theorist Gail Omvedt. Davis, perhaps due to her general enterprise, will also visit Pune on 7 April.
‘As a child, I used to be violent with boys’
WHO An economics and commerce graduate from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, she worked as a guest relations executive at the Taj Mahal Hotel before foraying into television. She became a household face with Channel V’s First Day, First Show and Junglee Jukebox. Seth has done supporting roles in films like Fanaa and Raajneeti. Seth is married to Danish Aslam, director of Break Ke Baad.
BY NIHA MASIH
Isn’t it strange that you are a television actor and you don’t have a TV set in your house?
I like to sleep in silence. I would not be able to sleep if Danish (husband) is watching television. The bedroom has to be your space just for you and your husband where you can sit and have a conversation as opposed to surfing channels.
Does being in the same industry as your husband make things easier or more difficult for you?
It helped my husband and I to understand the pressures of our jobs and long periods of separation rather well. Somebody from another profession might not understand it. And, unfortunately, with the not-so-great reputation of the glamour industry, one can get a little insecure. I am happy that Danish and I are from the same line of work, so our conversations are not alien to each other.
Were you popular in school?
I think I was the most unpopular girl. No one knew I existed until now that they see me on screen. Now I often come across people from school who know me and my name but I cannot remember their names for the life of me. But it’s okay, they were mean to me in school. Some girls are feminine and I was just a tomboy. I was violent, at least to the boys. Please don’t track this back to any family issues, my parents are decent people (laughs).
What helped you get over this violent streak?
I just outgrew it. I have definitely become more feminine. But on a normal day at home, you will see me for what I really am. Most of my Punjabi relatives call me jhalli. I am quite a ruffian. I took upon my challenges better.
How do you react to reality shows like Emotional Atyachar or Love LockUp?
I think television has fallen to an all-time low. At this time, it is pathetic. I don’t blame the network for one single minute. I don’t think it’s their fault. There are a bunch of idiots out there who want to watch rubbish, so rubbish will be produced. At the end of the day, it’s all about making money.