Compiled By Nisha Susan
Do you feel some degree of nervousness about Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar? We do. Ali specialises in the cuddly hero and the spunky heroine, so what do we make of the combination — Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri. Fakhri, half-Pakistani and half- Czech, is a pretty girl and Ranbir is all about the cuddly. What story of our imaginary rock scene are they going to tell? Who knows. We shall settle for Fakhriwatching instead. About her mixed parentage, she says, ‘It gives me an exotic look, which is appreciated in international fashion. No one can place where I’m from.”
Perhaps we should institute a licence for the use of the word ‘ironic’ in the same spirit as the Society for the Protection of the Apostrophe. Kareena Kapoor is on the cover of a magazine with less makeup than usual. This is somehow news especially since the headlines can say idiotically that Kareena in ‘naked skin’. A fan of the natural look, Kareena has been quoted adding thoughtfully, “It’s ironic that Julia Roberts is on the cover of the international edition of the same issue.” No it is not ironic. It is name-dropping or coincidence or perhaps irrelevant.
Barack Obama is coming to India in November, we hear. So just as we recover from the din of the Commonwealth Games, we would have to steel ourselves for more loud noises. Already the feasting and the revelry is being planned. Who will he hang with? What monument will he pose with? What Indian food shall he declare his favourite? Which Indian actress shall he admire? Oh the excitement.
The Vodafone-Crossword Award longlists are out and they are not kidding about it being long. The fiction list has 72 books and the non-fiction a terrifying 84. A new addition this year is an award for children’s books. This longlist includes charmers like Anita Balachandran’s Mister Jeejeebhoy & The Birds. But then again this list includes a book called Get Smart: Vocabulary and Comprehension Skills, which must puncture the poor author’s balloon a bit. In the absence of discrimination, a spot of weight-training awaits the judges.
What Keeps Me Going Is My Mother’s Courage’
Hard Kaur, Rapper
A memory that left an indelible imprint?
I was five years old when my father was killed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. There was fire everywhere — my mother and I hid ourselves in a cupboard. My brother was hidden in the fridge. The house was burnt down, a Bengali family next door saved the rest of us. I was too young to understand what was happening. But when you grow up, those visions come back.
How do you deal with loss?
What keeps me going is my mother’s courage. She landed in England with 100 pounds in her pocket — she couldn’t even speak English properly. I always thought if she could do it, then why couldn’t I? There were no excuses to cling to.
What inspired you to take up music?
The Indian girls in England wouldn’t talk to me, so I hung out and became friends with the black girls. Hip-hop was seen as a man’s territory — I wanted to do something that would shut everyone’s mouth up. Music made me realise that I could stand on my own two feet and didn’t have to take anyone’s crap.
What does family mean to you?
My mother and brother are my family. When my mother was widowed, nobody came up to her with help. Today, I would say my family consists of five people. The rest of the people I care about are all friends.
Do you think it is possible to forgive?
I can’t be bitter. I can’t blame everyone for what happened to me as a child. I can’t blame the whole world — it was just a few stupid people. I think laughter is the best way to deal with this.
What do relationships mean to you?
They are important, but so is my work. Partners may come and go, but what will remain is what I’ve done and achieved. I am deeply attached to my boyfriend, but you can’t just depend on that.