Compiled by Poorva Rajaram
The dangers of makeover
What is worse than casting the most obviously indie choice — Mahi Gill — as Arundhati Roy in a film? Add to this the faux-pastoral title:Buddha in a Traffic Jam. Vivek Agnihotri’s next film has a character based on Roy and to make sure all the bases of realism are covered, costume designer Vishakha Kullarwar, who is known to have shown an interest in khadi and ethnic, will “dress down” Gill appropriately. Rehashing pre-modern NGO women in Khadi stereotypes is not our idea of fun. Perhaps Rani Mukerji screaming “Justice has been denied” would be a peppery twist.
No, tomato sauce is not blood
It’s not really a deranged conspiracy theory to suggest that female directors in Bollywood are covered weirdly by the media. Either they are remarkable simply for being female, or all the reporting gravitates towards their assumed powerplays with male stars. Here is another story with bizarre domestic overtones. Zoya Akhtarapparently spent Rs 1 crore on tomatoes for an elaborate sequence in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, shot in the Tomatina Festival of Spain. We wish we could hear this story without thinking of vegetable price inflation!
If you had a sneaky suspicion thatZangoora, the bombastic high-budget Bollywood musical playing in Gurgaon, would lead to clones and possibly a fullfledged trend, you were right. Ratan Tata is on the verge of funding ‘edgy’ filmmakers and music directors to make a lavish dance company that performs Bollywood musicals all over the world. While we don’t doubt the potential of such deluxe entertainment, we just wonder if Tata is the right man. Perhaps it’s because he famously said “What?” to the mention of Roberto Cavalli in the Radia tapes
Art And Artifice
We know a few things about Simi Garewal’s new chat show, tantalisingly set to appear in the second half of May. First, and most happily, Simi will be given a makeover by Anamika Khanna — bye, bye white. Second, and more boringly, the guests are predictable. Freida Pinto followed by Deepika Padukone. Third, and more worrisome, the show has been titled Simi Selects India’s Most Desirable, an ungainly mouthful with a lot of grammatical iffiness. Fourth, and most calamitously, every star will sketch or paint a self-portrait. We blame Dhobi Ghat for making tortured brushwielding artists cool again.
‘While living on your own, your innocence gets stripped’
WHO Fernandez is a Sri Lankan modelturned- actress who was crowned Miss Sri Lanka Universe in 2006. She made her Bollywood debut opposite Riteish Deshmukh in Aladin. During her days as a model, she wrote a weekly column on youth in Daily Mirror. She will be seen next opposite Emraan Hashmi in Murder 2, that is all set to release in July.
By Shilpa Hinduja
A childhood memory you reminisce about?
There are quite a few of them, but the one that I keep thinking about are the family vacations in Sri Lanka. I was always delighted and looking forward to them.
What impact did the civil war leave on you?
It affected me personally because a country was in turmoil. And that country was my motherland. At that point, all you heard in the news would be an update of the war. That was traumatising. My family shifted base in the 1980s to Bahrain because my country was going through a bad time.
You used to write a daily column on youth in the Daily Mirror. Is writing a passion?
Writing is my forte. It never topped my list of priorities, but I enjoyed it. Every chance I had, I would write and contribute to the paper.
Did you unlearn anything after joining Bollywood?
I always had an impression that acting comes naturally. But, in reality, a lot of hard work, persistence and steel will go into it. I had to unlearn to be so naive. While living on your own, going to other countries, your innocence gets stripped.
Hopping from one continent to another, you are always on the move. Do you ever feel the need to finally settle down somewhere?
Not really. It is important to have a base, but being on the move has its own charm. It’s important to give yourself a break from time to time to travel, explore and dig deep.
Have you ever disappointed yourself?
During Miss Universe, I got swept away with the whole aspect of being Miss Sri Lanka and took things lightly. I worked hard during my time in Miss Universe, but got carried away with being in Los Angeles and took the competition a little bit easy. I think that was when I saw disappointment because I didn’t go as far as I wanted to go.