The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, July 8, 2001

All set to forge an Italian connection

HERE’S some exciting news for the ever-growing legion of fans of Malaika Arora. The pin-up girl is all set to sizzle into the hearts of Italians.

Malaika: Radiant on MTV
Malaika: Radiant on MTV

Malaika has been approached by no less a person than Roberto Begnini to play the role of a dusky Indian princess in a new French-Italian production. Begnini made headlines in 1999 when he received Oscars for Best Director and Best Actor for Life Is Beautiful.

Understandably, the MTV veejay is over the moon with the offer and says it is one of her biggest breaks in life. Though, as far as breaks go, Malaika has been one lucky lady. She started her love affair with the camera in diapers, promoting everything from baby products to soft toys.

Her transition to the glamorous adult world came at 17 when she was splashed on the cover of some leading magazines. From then on, life’s been on the fast forward mode, with offers flowing in from Benzer, Pierre Cardin, Nyle Shampoo, MRF, Proline, Tanishq... and finally the job of an MTV hostess.

She says."I pretty much let myself go — jabber and dance and let the music make me feel good. I am really having a blast at MTV." Now top that up with an international film offer and what more can one ask for? Perhaps a role opposite Tom Cruise!


The hackneyed theme of a contract marriage
July 1, 2001

Of disillusioned father and philandering son
June 24, 2001

Turning the tables on policemen
June 17, 2001

Another in the family of soaps
June 10, 2001
Back to the golden age of cinema
June 3, 2001

A presenter with compelling screen presence
May 27, 2001

Comic view of big city life
May 20, 2001

It’s guiles & wiles all the way
May 13, 2001
A suspense serial on a lavish scale
May 6, 2001
Engaging, though fanciful, serial
April 29, 2001
Power struggle in the world of glamour
April 22, 2001
Something to smile about
April 15, 2001
The mainstay of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki
April 1, 2001
The goddess from Bengal
March 25, 2001

In search of greener pastures abroad
March 18, 2001

Another soap about trials of family life
March 4, 2001

The fine art of murder
February 25, 2001

A predictable but absorbing tale
February 18, 2001

The longest-running comedy is a winner
February 11, 2001
Woman power to the fore
February 4, 2001
Another run-of-the-mill serial
January 28,2001

Action music

For almost a decade now, BAG films has been sailing along with shows ranging from current affairs to fiction and from music to travel and cuisine. Now the production house has stepped into the world of entertainment with a new countdown show, Yehi Hai Right Pop, Tuesdays, 7 pm on Sahara TV.

Sucheta on Yehi Hai Right Pop: Acting anchor
Sucheta on Yehi Hai Right Pop: Acting anchor

Another countdown show? Yes, but with a difference, we are told. To prevent it from looking like a clone of others that spawn most channels, a new element has been added — an anchor who enacts different roles every week.

Mumbai-based anchor, Sucheta Pawshe takes viewers into a dream world of fashion models, journalists, social workers, doctors and other personalities who pursue eventful careers. Her enactment is interspersed with popular Indian non-filmi songs by popular pop singers like Sonu Nigam, Adnan Sami, Asha Bhosle, Jassi, Palash Sen and more.

Though Sucheta’s acting abilities may leave much to be desired, it is the peppy Indipop numbers that infuse some life in the show. So, forget the acting. If you enjoy non-filmi music, this is just the show for you.

Unending tale

When it comes to mythological tales and epics, there’s no stopping Ramanand Sagar. Truly, the man never thinks small. Having deluged various channels with religious serials, he’s now turned his attention to fantasy. His marathon offering Alif Laila now shifts from Doordarshan to Sabe TV, Fridays, 7.30 pm.

Alif Laila: Unending tale
Alif Laila: Unending tale

And if you thought Sagar has made the standard 13 or 26 episodes, perish the thought. Believe it or not, he says he has canned 786 all new episodes!

Interestingly, Sagar had already aired around 400 episodes on Doordarshan before switching to Sabe TV. The question that begs an answer is: Is Alif Laila an endless fount of stories?

Says Sagar, "It is a part of the Arabian Nights that has 1001 stories. There are many more stories beyond Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves and Sindbad that very few people know of."

So keep tuned. These yet-to-be told stories from the Arabian Nights are coming on Sabe TV packed with great morals and peppered with flying carpets, magic lamps and amazing fairies.

Meeting of generations

The past meets the future as two generations of captains of the spacecraft Enterprise team up to save the universe in Star Trek Generations, HBO, July 12, 9.30 pm.

When the two legendary space journeymen meet, the result is whistle-blowing action. The story begins in the 23rd century when a powerful energy ribbon known as the Nexus claims the life of Captain Kirk (William Shatner).

Eighty years later, a mad scientist obsessed with the Nexus decides to turn it against captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).

In an unusual turn of events, Picard enters a Nirvana-like world where he meets Kirk and the two brave men vow to defeat the evil genius.

If you are or ever have been a Trekkie don’t miss this one — by far the best Star Trek to date with an unforgettable cameo by Whoopi Goldberg.

Something to sing about

Life’s been one long song for Annu Kapoor. Not just for him but for hundreds of viewers and participants who flock week after week to the fun and masti show, Close-Up Antakshari.

Eight years and 400 episodes old, it’s been one of the longest running game shows on television. With TRP ratings that show little sign of diminishing, it has made winners out of bathroom singers.

The Antakshri team has over the years brought so many innovations to the game that today it is one of the popular past-time at picnics, parties and at all other festive occasions.

The show is now hosting its national challenge, every Sunday, 10 a.m., which will culminate in the finals from contestants across the country. The first venue for the nationals was the historical Gateway of India in Mumbai.

One of the hallmarks of Antakshri has been its changing locations. This, say the producers, serves two purposes — first it breaks the monotony of seeing the same set every week, and secondly it gives an opportunity to people from different parts of the country to participate in the programme.

So kickstart your Sunday mornings with song and music and discover the hidden talent in people you may never suspect can even sing a line or two.

Life on the edge

With extinction and other threats lingering on the horizon, some conservationists, biologists and researchers have made it their life work to revitalise species and bring them back from the edge of devastation. These people are the true Champions of the Wild every Sunday, 8.30 p.m. on Discovery.

Kenyan giraffe in Champions of the Wild: Subject of research
Kenyan giraffe in Champions of the Wild: Subject of research

Viewers get an up-close look at the plight of these animals and the hard work being put in by their human guardians. People like Craig Packer who has been protecting lions of the Serengeti in Tanzania. Or Dr Bristol Foster who is a guardian angel for Kenya’s giraffes. Or even Laurie Marker, founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. And Dr Leigh Boyd who has virtually given a new lease of life to Mongolian horses.

From a biological focus of how genealogy can impact a species’ chances of survival to using a fracking device to explore how migration helps renew a herd, these wildlife experts are using technology and sheer dedication to ensure the future existence of these endangered animals. Watched these people steeped in quiet, selfless work without any desire for awards or rewards.

— Mukesh Khosla

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