13 April, 2021


  • No Puja, No Cry

    Little Samisha is clearly in a foul mood. You would be, too, if on your first birthday you were dragged out of your cot early, bathed and put in a beautiful dress, then taken by your dolled-up star mom to the Siddhi Vinayak temple, subjected to smoky incense and incomprehensible chants and then made to face a barrage of flashlights and loud blandishments. Mom Shilpa Shetty, dad Raj Kundra and brother Viaan were, of course, oblivious to Samisha’s intense discomfort. “Every day this past year has brought tons of love, happiness and light into our eyes,” Shilpa would write on Instagram later that day. Samisha, meanwhile, just craves for a good day’s slumber; it would give her mum enough time to brush up her lines for Hungama 2.

  • Pink, With Hard Stripes

    Is it more permutative inevitability, one’s forced to wonder, or a designer’s eureka moment, that’s behind a garb like this—a jumpsuit split on the legs like a gown, and with a halterneck. What a laugh Taapsee Pannu seems to have had posing in it, jollity expressed keenly in those startling zebra stripes. For her choice of a movie, too, the energetic diva plumps for fusion: her next, opposite Pratik Gandhi (1992: The Harshad Mehta Story), is the feature Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan? A gritty police procedural? Nah. A gentle comedy with discreet social commentary? Nope. It’s billed as an “investigative comedy”, where Taapsee’s gutsy cop clashes with Pratik’s chauvinistic brat. The comedy is extracted from this divergent brew. Chauvinism, of course, is a shaky pedestal to draw laughs from these days, we tried to tell these guys, but they won’t listen.

  • Roll Over Cinderella

    It was a life of genteel poverty, flecked by periods of hardscrabble indignity, when every favour had to be cadged and every effort at advancement faced barriers, A hardworking father—an autorickshaw driver—could only encourage Manya Singh silently. Stifled by life in Hata, UP, she fled to Mumbai, followed by parents Omprakash and Manorama. At her college, she funded her banking and insurance degree by working at a pizzeria and a call centre, brushed off taunts about her background and calmly endured jibes about her ‘common’ looks. But, oh auntie, when they brought Manya to her college at the head of a long autorickshaw procession, the Miss India runner-up crown on that lovely head of hers, loud cheers and applause paving her every step, the trifecta of struggle, perseverance and focus met in a fireworks display of strong-jawed beauty. Manya forces us, for once, to ignore the winner.

  • Beach And The Maiden

    Every human endeavour worthy of a good word is marked by periods of exceptional fecundity; every such golden age is framed by a cluster of preternatural talents. So it was with Victoria’s Secret—those eye-popping, knee-weakening shows of pomp, borne along on the plumage of lingerie-clad ‘angels’. They went by dauntingly seraphic names like Lily Aldridge, Miranda Kerr, Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima and…Candice Swanepoel. Look at her closely again, and plainly see why a top beachwear brand would approach the 32-year-old South African, a mother of two, and beg her to be photographed in their new nude bikini with a strapless top and string briefs. From Chanel to Dolce & Gabbana, all have asked for a piece of Candice, If they were nice, she coolly complied.

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