As one of Bollywood’s main influencers of youth, there’s no setting of Alia Bhatt’s warmth-exuding sun. For proof, go no further than her range of smiles now playing on primetime TV and soon, we hope, in theatres: coyly confidential, alluringly goofy, campily seductive,,,the girl with the fey charm has us eating outta her hand. A similar variety, duly noted by all, can be seen in her fashion sense. This Georges Hobeika checkered dress with a cape might have won someone else a place as an extra in a Marvel movie. Alia, looking expectantly askance, a subterranean smile about to bubble through, looks delectable. Scouts of European modelling agencies
should fall at her feet.
It’s one thing for acknowledged experts to teach their craft to wide-eyed acolytes—Scorcese teaching film directing, say, or Sir Ian McKellen stage acting. It’s another thing to take up teaching to hone one’s skills. That early move by Rajkummar Rao—one of our finest young actors—showed commitment towards long-term planning and determination. As friends signed up for call centre work, Rajkummar trotted up to Gurgaon’s KV School to set up a play for them. He experienced a steep learning curve and the affection of students. Is he showing off some newly-acquired heft on his biceps in this T-shirt? Watch the magic of his intelligent machismo in the upcoming Chhalaang.
If national elections in countries like the US and India are regarded as dances of democracy, large numbers of new voters therein should see it as an unmissable prom night. To get these young citizens out on polling day is vital—to that end Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris’s confab with Selena Gomez was a masterstroke. “As someone who cares for her country, not voting is just not an option,” said the millionaire singer-actor, a first-time voter. Mental health was discussed too, and so was lupus, a disease that had afflicted Selena. Expanding the Affordable Healthcare Act, said Kamala quickly, was a priority for Joe Biden. Though her Hispanic community—a huge block in her home state, Texas—is still making up its mind, Selena, it seems, has made an educated choice.
You’ve only seen Saina Nehwal at work: her visage a picture of concentration, her racquet an extension of her right hand as she leans forward in courtly stance; then a blaze and flurry of reaching-outs, backpedals, leaps, lunges and muted exultation. Have you seen her at play? There she is in the Maldives gloaming, a picturesque pier for a backdrop, in a comely LBD, a winsome smile and a breezy hairdo—as glamorous as any Indian sportsperson in recent years. Husband-coach Parupalli Kashyap was there, naturally, in this holiday amidst an extended break from the tour. We have eyes only for Saina.