Missing Queen
Attribute it to the lure of Bollywood or something else, Punjabi cinema sure is without a leading female actor
Jasmine Singh

Priti Sapru Born and brought up in Mumbai, small-time model Lalit Kapoor expresses a desire to act in Punjabi films as he sees it as a good breaking ground for a struggling actor. (Where does he get this weird idea from?)

“What do you know about Punjabi films,” we quiz him. “Everything,” pat comes the reply. “It is a growing industry and it has a huge NRI audience. Gurdas Maan and Harbhajan Mann are Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan of this industry; Gurpreet Ghuggi is the Johnny Lever and…” a long pause…“I don’t know anything about the actresses but. I once saw that girl Mehak Chahal in a Punjabi movie. By the way who are reigning queens of Punjabi films?” he asks sheepishly.

For once, Lalit has left us thinking. Reigning queens? Ahhh! Priti Sapru maybe, but she no longer acts. Daljit Kaur, Indira Balli, where are they now? Neeru Bajwa? She did a couple of Punjabi movies. Kimi Verma, yes, she has done good work in Punjab. But, who exactly is ‘the’ lady of Punjabi cinema? Forget about the best, will someone from the industry tell us who the competitors are? Like we have Katrina versus Kareena is Bollywood. Any answers?

Daljit Kaur & Kimi VermaWhy not ask the pretty green-eyed lady who ruled the Punjabi industry for a good 25 years — Priti Sapru. Starting a career by playing minor role in various Hindi films such as Sunehra Sansar, Bandish and Laawaris, Priti debuted in Punjabi films opposite Gurdas Maan in Ucha Dar Babe Nanak Da.

She smiles, “Ucha Dar Babe Nanak Da happened in 1982, it’s almost been more than two decades now. It’s like a fairytale. With the grace of god, I got a lot of love and recognition from the people of Punjab.” Priti was doing Hindi cinema before she decided to quit the industry to move over to the Punjabi arena.

“Punjabi movie Sarpanch was a silver jubilee, so, I decided to stick to Punjabi cinema.” ‘Stick to’, this is probably missing with the women who act in Punjabi films. Or is it something else? “Girls working in Punjabi movies are influenced by Hindi cinema,” she says. “I don’t really know why there is a dearth of Punjabi actresses. At the same time, I feel there is something really wrong with how they portray themselves on screen.” Priti shares that she would ensure that she looked every bit like a Punjabi girl in the movies she did. “I would dress up traditionally, unlike the girls today who are more western in their appearance than Punjabi. Besides, people of Punjab only accept actresses who are really beautiful,” provides Priti, who is happy managing her business ventures, and plans to make a Punjabi movie soon.

Punjabi cinema needs to stick to its roots, whether it is about designing clothes for the leading ladies, music or the sets. Would this fetch the actresses fame, and make them ‘stick on’ to the industry? “Women actors in Punjab are not bound to any one medium,” offers director Manjeet Mann. “They are open to working in serials, in Hindi movies and other genres as well. They are not bound to a single medium, they want recognition and are getting it as well.” Manjeet Mann cites the examples of Divya Dutta, Neeru Bajwa and Kulraj Randhawa, who have done Punjabi flicks as well as projects in Hindi cinema. “Women working in Punjabi movies have more opportunities to showcase their work now, as compared to the old times.”

Ditto for Manmohan Singh, cinematographer and director, who feels there is more scope in Bollywood as compared to Punjabi movies. “There is more scope in Hindi cinema. The return and the reach is also good, which is why actresses who work in Punjabi cinema are always keen on working in Hindi films. I think we will get ‘stable’ actresses the day Punjabi cinema expands and grows in stature.” Mann ji, as he is fondly called, says Punjabi cinema will also have synonymous names, but he doesn’t deny the lure of Hindi cinema especially among the new generation.

However, one actress who has decided to work in Punjabi films is not lured by opportunities coming her way. Says Kimi Verma, “I want to do neat and clean films, which is why I have stuck to this medium. I am rooted to my culture and I would want to do work for it.”

Lure of Hindi cinema explains to an extent why we do not have a contestant for the title of ‘leading lady’ in Punjabi cinema. Are we right here?


Last verdict
SD Sharma

Students of Yadavindra Public School, Mohali, are all set to present an English play Night of January 16 at the Tagore theatre on April 30.

The play, originally written by Ayn Rand, has been directed by Zubin Mehta. “At the very outset I realised that it had the seeds of meaningful drama,” says Mehta. “I designed the play with the original three acts. It was indeed challenging to take up one of the most popular and best-selling play, but the guidance of my principal Dr Harish Dhillon made things easy,” adds Mehta, who has done over two dozen theatre projects.

The two-hour play depicts a murder trial without a pre-arranged verdict. The jurors are to be selected from the audience. They are to witness the play and give a verdict at the end of the last act. The play has been done in such a manner that the decision will have to be based upon the jurors’ own values and character.

The interactive trial reveals explosive truths about the modern sensibility and ethical values, as also the orthodox, uncivilized attitude prevalent in society.

The lead actor, Sahara, portrays Keren Anre, while Jaikar Singh, Chitman, Meghna, Jaskaran, Amrinder and Gurminder will perform various other roles. Vandna Sexena. Rana Gurtez, Jyotbir and Ranbir would present the music.

Entry will be on a first-come-first-served basis before 6.45 pm at the Tagore theatre on Friday. Children below 12 years of age will not be allowed.

Fair ties
From sharing dreams and aspirations to that 'trust that you would be understood', girlie bonds are truly special

Gossips, giggles, endless shopping, sharing secrets, chatting for hours - there is something special about 'girlie bonds'. What makes the women from Venus the best of friends? We check out.

"There is immense emotional connect with girls," says Isha Rattan, an MBA student from the city. "We are a gang of five friends right from the school and we gel so well," she says.

This 'gang' has been together in school, tuitions and later college. Though destiny has taken them to far-off places, the bonding remains. "One of my friend is in Dubai, another Scotland and yet another in Germany. But we still know what's happening in one another's life moment by moment," she says.

These girls connect across miles through phone calls, chats and web conferences "We still make sure that we meet whenever we can and do all that we have enjoyed in the past. I have as many as 90 people in my class, but still it's my 'girlie gang' that I am most comfortable with. Actually, there is a sense of trust that's not possible in any other relationship," says Isha.

Jia Sharma, first-year student from DAV-10, is another one who swears by her 'girlie gang'. "There is a telepathy that works between us. One knows all without even saying a word and that's the beauty of it." These friends love to hang out, shop and chat. Even now as these girls are neck- deep into preparing for exams, they take out a minute or two to exchange notes, "These days our conversations centre around what is likely to be part of the question paper," she says. What Jia really appreciates most about her friends is that they are not judgemental. "I can be what I am. I make mistakes, say sorry and am forgiven. Nothing is carried forward. Guess that can only happen between girls," she adds.

"Only girls can understand girls," feels Nisha Sood, a homemaker from Sector 45. "I am blessed to have a very loving family, yet there are things only my friends can understand," she says.

"One can share absolutely anything with friends and you know you will be understood. Actually a woman can empathise with a women better," she adds."

Agrees Jasvinder Kaur, freelance textile designer from Sector 9. "Men and women have different emotional make-up. Probably that's the reason why women share a special bond," she says. Jasvinder has friendships that are as many as 40 years old. "We have practically grown together. Our friendship has also matured over the years. But the trust, understanding and care it still so exceptional," she shares.


Playing favourites
Grandparents 'like grandkids with whom they share most genes'

All grandparents have favourites and prefer those grandchildren with whom they share the most genes, says a new study.

An international team has claimed that this phenomenon is because a woman passes 31 percent of her genes to her son's daughters but 23 per cent to her son's sons, which suggests a protective effect for grandchildren they are most related to.

Dr Urban Friburg of the University of California, who led the team, said grandparents can "differentially care" for grandchildren based on both their gender and their lineage.

The team, which developed a mathematical model to test the theory, said a father transmits his Y chromosome to his sons and his X chromosome to his daughters which has "profound evolutionary consequences" when there is competition among siblings.

The father's X chromosome usually comes from his mother so means his daughters have more in common with her.

Dr Friburg and colleagues, said there was strong evidence of a bias of paternal grandmothers to granddaughters. However it did not seem to happen the other away around.

The findings have been published in the 'Proceedings of the Royal Society B' journal. — PTI

True colour
Art critic Charu Soni says art is not as complex as it is made out to be
Neha Walia

Talking art is no common man's job. It needs creative intellect, understanding of techniques, direction of strokes, combination and colour compatibility, concept, and the artist's thought process. Who said it was an easy task?

"I do. Art is not complex. It is just an emotion and you don't need to learn theories to understand emotions," says Charu Soni. Let us introduce you to the lady who believes that understanding art is as easy as putting those emotions on canvas. Charu Soni, an art critic, historian and freelance writer, has been taking rounds of the creative corners since 20 years.

"In India, art has been very utilitarian. We have perfected some things over a period of time, but remain very impressionistic in our approach towards it. The first thing that needs to be understood is that art is not just on canvas, but there are different modes like poetry, music and fine arts."

The art historian was in the city to interact with students of Dikshant Global School-12, Panchkula. "FN Suza used to paint with raw energy, like a man possessed. Similarly, Paul Jackson Pollock, the American painter and abstract expressionist had a volatile personality that reflected in his work. You cannot separate art from emotions," she says.

And being thrown out or asked to leave by Suza or any other veteran artist is another expression of artistic emotions that Charu has experienced. "This explains the 'moody' and 'temperamental' tag artists come with," jokes the critic who has been following the works of Satish Gujral, Manjit Bawa, A Ramachandran and Jatin Das.

Being an artist's daughter, there was no dearth of inspiration to work for art's cause and the step-motherly treatment given to art in India made Charu's decision easy. "While studying art history at Warsaw University (Poland), I understood that European art was influenced by a culture that is a distillation of society. Back home, we consider an artist only if he has attended some fancy art school."

Even the so-called modern art doesn't find ground with her. "Famous Sri Lankan art historian A Kumaraswamy had mentioned that in modern art, any further conversation can happen only if you have a strong sense of identity. Mere copying or imitating the work is not art."

Her job as a critic is very subjective and the thumb rule is, "To never run-down any artist. I am not a purist and am open to evolving modes of art," she adds. Her favourite amongst the younger lot are Aditya Pande, Subodh Gupta and various budding tribal artists.

Ask her the one thing she finds missing in the Indian art circle and she has a list ready. "We need trained professionals to preserve, define and manage art. I am talking about art curators, critics, managers, collectors." The list goes on!


Style check

The kidswear brand, Lilliput has launched their Spring-Summer '10 Collection. The new collection is best suited for spring and summer season. Lilliput Spring-Summer apparels are a vivacious blend of colours and designs.

The little ones can choose the best styles from sundresses, skirts, tops, trousers, shorts, bermudas, classic tees, shirts & jeans teamed with matching accessories like stylish fine flowery head bands, hair gear and baseball caps. The fabric used is twills, canvas, millmade, yarn dyed, supercombed knits, laces, peached cottons, nets and cambric. Also available here is indo-western creations. The silhouettes are fresh and contemporary. One shoulder dresses/tops, spaghetti straps, ginghams in stripes, checks, neon prints, neon sequin work, bright prints and soft colors are on display. — TNS

The truth of it
Neha Walia

Sopan Joshi Off late, anything that has grabbed the headlines in most leading newspapers apart from politics is environment…from global warming (about to enter the record books as the most published word!) to dangerously declining ground water levels to illegal mining. If it's news, it has to be environment related. But has anybody spared a thought to what's going on behind the curtains?

"The sad part about environment coverage by the media is that the truth is missing. It has been reduced to a beat, 'sarkari' quotes and statements issued from the environment ministry," says Sopan Joshi, deputy editor, Down to Earth, a fortnightly magazine on science and environment. Surprised? Sopan has an explanation."There needs to be a clear difference between the stories picked up by the reporters and those given by the editors. Before showing what happens around the world, we must understand it well." And that includes the confusions and configurations. "Well, every subject has complexities. But once you know your references, it all becomes clear," he adds.

In the city to interact with the students of Chitkara Institute of Mass communications-25, Sopan talks on 'hard-hitting' journalism and Down to Earth, a magazine that has done some of the strongest environment stories on illegal mining.

Though, not hiding under any lousy diplomatic terms, he does admit that he does advertise the same very mining corporations in his magazine! "Without any infiltration in editorial content," he says.

Having covered agriculture, forestry, urban management and open-source software, the next thing he mentions seems relative. "Imperialism is one thing responsible for most issues we are forced to face today. The social disparity between the two India's - urban and rural - reminds you of the Raj."

Sopan believes in taking sabbaticals to avoid dullness of sensibilities. And his stints with The Asian Age, The Indian Express, Outlook Traveler and The Washington Post are a proof of that. And the last experience? "It may not be the best paper in the world, but it is not feudal. At The Washington Post journos don't think they know everything," he quips.

Take your pick

You want the best for your child or the best options available for his entertainment or want to know what would help him grow faster and stronger? All answers will be available at the International Children's Exhibition and Furniture show in the city.

On display will be all child-centric themes, which include educational interactions, games, sports and children's products.

The exhibition will also have a fashion show that has already received 50 entries. Another attraction will be a painting exhibition. The Colour My Dream contest will have students from various schools participating. A few selected paintings will be put on display at the exhibition. Also nutritionists will be present to counsel students on the healthy diet. The Furniture and Interior Expo is an opportunity for interior lovers and professionals from the field to interact with each other. — TNS

(On till May 2)

Bond Wagon
Perfect match

Sikander & Taranjot(Sikander & Taranjot)

Relationship: Husband-wife

Time together: 7 years

Same-to-same: Artistic, adventure freaks, love cooking, understanding and helpful.

Yet different: Loves to paint, fond of homely food, gadget freak, more of a heart person, simple. - Sikander

Loves to dance, fond of trying new dishes, needs lots of effort to understand gadgets, more practical, stylish. — Taranjot

Unforgettable moments: When our son Tagam was born. That moment we just talked through our eyes and thanked each other. — Sikander

When we celebrated Tagam's first birthday at Vaseela with our family and friends. We had lots of fun that day; danced continuously for five hours. — Taranjot

Funny takes: Once in a restaurant we were making fun of a Chinese boy sitting next to us in Punjabi thinking that he would not understand us, but when he was about to leave he came to us and said "bhai ji tuhada rumaal thale digiya pia hai"(your hanky is lying on the floor). We were stunned to hear that! — Sikander

When 15 days were left for our marriage, we went shopping and in one of the shops, I fell from the 5-6 stairs. I was in pain when he made fun of me and said, "Be patient sweetheart why are you in such a hurry to be with me."— Taranjot

Special something: She is the biggest critic of my art and the biggest motivator as well. She takes more care of my near and dear ones than me. — Sikander

He pampers me a lot. I love the line he always says to people about me that understanding and taking care of an artist is a big thing and my wife does that to perfection.

— Taranjot

Wishful thinking: I wish her all the luck in life and may god fulfil her dream of opening a dance school. - Sikander I wish he becomes the best artist in the world. — Taranjot

(Sikander is an artist and Taranjot is a housewife)

— As told to Mona

If you want to feature here, please email at lifestyletribune@gmail.com or mail at Bond Wagon, Lifestyle, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh, along with a photograph and contact number.

Relatively speaking
Beat the heat

Deepa Chhabra Hot dry winds, scorching sun and frequent power cuts are the salient features of summer, and we are left with hardly any choice. So, why not enjoy it? There are umpteen ways to do it, the most popular being going out for a swim with your family. This keeps you fit and makes up for the heat.

The idea of a picnic under the trees is also exciting and during power cuts it is very effective. Some indoor family games; cool refreshing drinks served with sandwiches is way of spending an afternoon with your family. One can also plan an 'ice party' and invite friends to a game of 'tambola' where each member can contribute towards the theme in their own innovative way. Small portable pools can be a good idea to keep children busy.

Deepa Chhabra,

Iqbal Kaur SainiIn this extremely hot weather, the idea of a holiday in the hills amid tall trees sounds exciting. Even holidays should be pre-poned due to the early summer this year. An excursion to the hills to beat the gruelling heat is the best bet to keep your senses about. Although a temporary remedy, it can be an everlasting memory to recall each time during summers.

Iqbal Kaur Saini,

Dolphin BakshiNo one wants to venture out in the summer heat, but an early morning walk might be a good idea. But make sure you have plenty of water and traditional summer drinks - jaljira, lassi and 'nimbu pani' to keep dehydration at bay.

Dolphin Bakshi,

Lifestyle invites responses from readers on the following issue:

Does a holiday help in forging better bonds?

Please email the responses in around 200 words to lifestyletribune@gmail.com or post along with your photo and contact number to 'Relatively Speaking', Lifestyle, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh. The best few responses will be published.

Renee Writes
at lifestyletribune@gmail.com or Life Style, The Tribune, Sector 29-C, Chd

ReneeEmotional hallucination

I have been in love with my sister’s best friend for the past five years. She is five year older than me. But I feel that age is no bar and I am completely fascinated by her. We have never been out alone together but one day I did spell out my feelings for her in not so many words. She seemed rather taken aback and told me to brush it off completely. She has dated quite a few guys over the past four years who are totally different from me. I am now being offered a job in Dubai. Should I take it? I want to give her one more chance and perhaps ask her to marry me but I am too scared of a rebuff. Should I risk it?

Nihal Singh

For God’s sake grow up! This is so very typical to have this hundred-yard love affair all in your own mind. It’s an emotional hallucination your are suffering from. Just because you see this girl hanging around your house very often, you have built your own love story around her. The rejection and reunion perhaps happening only in your own imagination. I do admire your creative capacity but do put it to better use. Each one of us has someone we can relate to and who relates to us. Love is far more than just finding each other attractive to look at. It is about mutual feelings, emotions and understanding. Risk dumping this issue, go wherever. Just more on.

Mind game

I am worried about a girl friend who has been living in an abusive marriage for the past 15 years. Although her husband is not physically abusive, emotionally she is a complete wreck. But the strange thing is that she seems to think this is pretty normal and all men are supposed to treat women like this and the women are supposed to bear with it. I have over the years watched her going through many depressions. Even her kids are emotionally disturbed. I really want to reach out but do not know how to go about it. Please advise.

Neelima Sen

In your childhood, if you have been treated badly by your mother or father then unfortunately you start associating this behavior with love. You start believing that each time you are going through a bad patch, it is a man’s way of showing that he cares. This is like a prison of resentment and depression is a refuge. Your friend has probably developed a comfort zone in emotional abuse during her childhood with her parents. Now, she is still living the same pattern and feeling happy in it. She is associating being treated badly with actually being loved. You can help by asking her to open her heart out to you and try to pour her emotions from her childhood days. Then you could help her change her pattern. Try and help her to stand up for herself in a positive way.

Critical point

I am 28 and very spiritual by nature. Yet, I feel I have many problems. I am overly anxious all the time. I am self-critical and very concerned about what others think of me. I have strong moral values. I don’t smoke or drink. I am a total vegetarian, yet I don’t feel that I am at peace at all. I have a restless nature. Can you suggest how can I find peace? First, as a kid I really looked for my parents’ approval, now I look for that from everyone. Suggest some positive affirmations please.

Rani Kataria
New Delhi

you are identifying too much with your ego. That is what keeps you anxious and fearful constantly. The more self- critical you get, the more you feed the needs of that ego. Do remember that you are not your body, emotions or even your problems only. Stop identifying so strongly with them. Just learn to accept that you are here to experience and enjoy life. Being spiritual has nothing to do with no drinking and smoking. These are personal habits and definitely not very healthy ones to be indulging in, but on the contrary abstinence from these does not make you spiritual. You need to stop being so self-critical. Just ease out and relax. Do affirm for yourself, ‘I am a fabulous expression of life. Everything I need comes to me. I am protected by the universe and guided correctly.’ As your confidence in your own self will grow life will begin to get better and better.

Dare to do

Abhishek Bachchan Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan performed a life-risking stunt when he jumped from a 90-ft cliff for a scene in his upcoming film Raavan despite director Mani Ratnam objecting to it.

“I did the dive myself. When we went to the location in Tamilnadu, insurance officials told Mani that the life of the lead actor cannot be risked. Then he opposed it and said no. Mani advised me that the current of the river was intense and there is a rock in the bottom, which could hurt me,” Abhishek said. Though the actor went ahead and took the dive, there was a moment when he thought he may die. We shot in Hogenakkal in Tamil Nadu where small local kids jump for money. When a five-year-old kid jumped, I asked… If a child can, why can’t I? But while completing the jump, I actually had the time to think, “Oh my God, I am going to die!” said Bachchan recalling the stunt.The 34-year-old-actor’s dare-devil stunt for the movie, which also stars wife Aishwarya Rai as a modern day ‘Sita’, however did not go down well with Mani. “Mani was angry. He told me that I am an actor and not meant to do a risky job which is meant for a trained professional,” said the actor who considers Raavan, his most challenging role, both emotionally and physically. “It’s not just going to a tough location or doing a tough scene. Raavan drained me professionally. It felt good when you came home at night. I felt like I have done something. Getting a role in Raavan is very rare. I would give my life for Mani,” he said. — PTI

Tough call

Robert Downey Jr Actor Robert Downey Jr had a tough time shooting the second installment of the Iron Man franchise because he wanted it do better than the original film. The first film made an impressive $ 585 million global haul at the box office and the cast was keen to have a similar success with the Iron Man 2, which hits theatres on May 7. “It was really tough, I think, trying to get it right and more so, pretending that we could remember how we caught that lightning in a bottle,” the actor said referring to the success of the first film. “It was a very intuitive process last time.” However, the actor is no longer worried about the box office performance of the second film.

“My stress levels are at an all-time low because it’s already gone well,” he said The latest film brings together the original cast complete with superstar additions Scarlett Johnasson, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle and Sam Rockwell, Downey said he hopes the hard work everyone put into the project comes across on-screen.

“As a filmgoer and a film lover, I can tell I fell like when people have rested on their laurels or I can see where creative conversations went wrong or where somebody that didn’t deserve it had too much power or say-so in something. I think we did alright.” The Sherlock Holmes star said he returned for the sequel because of director Jon Favreau.

“We’re like these dysfunctional brothers who only seem to be able to put their best foot forward when we are together. I just love the guy and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him. And he definitely wouldn’t be here if not for me,” he said. — PTI

Camera shy

Sajid Khan Bollywood presenter-turned-director Sajid Khan feels he is not a good actor and will never face the camera in his own film unlike Subhash Ghai, Aamir Khan or Anurag Kashyap. “I don’t think I’m a good actor... hats off to people who can write their own film, direct it, act in it and then the film also comes out a hit. When I start working on my film, I get into it,” said Sajid.

“My weight starts increasing, I smoke a lot and I say no to all other projects because I just don’t direct a film, I make a film. So, for that matter probably I’ll never act in my own film,” added the 38-year-old.

Sajid debuted as a director with a story in Ram Goapl Varma’s anthology Darna Zaroori Hai (2006) before graduating to his first full-fledged outing Heyy Babyy in 2007. He was here at the DT Cinemas, DLF Promenade Tuesday evening to promote his latest directorial venture Housefull, releasing Friday. Also, present with him was the star cast of the movie, including Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Arjun Rampal, Deepika Padukone and Jiah Khan. Lara Dutta, who also plays a pivotal role in the movie did not make it to the event. The movie has been produced by Sajid Nadiadwala. — IANS

Game for Gemma

Actor Penelope Cruz said the role of Gemma, the main character of her new film with Italian director Sergio Castellitto, will be one of the most important of her career. “As an actor I feel that playing Gemma will be one of the most important opportunities of my life,” Cruz said.

The Spanish actor will once again work with actor-director Castellitto to star in Venuto al Mondo (Into the World), which tells the story of a mother who accompanies her teenaged son to present-day Sarajevo, where the boy’s father died during the World War II. The Oscar-winning actor earlier worked in Castellitto’s film Non Ti Muovere (Don’t Move) in 2004. Venuto al Mondo is based on Mazzantini’s latest book of the same title, which has sold more than 300,000 copies in Italy since its publication in 2009.

“It’s a book that makes you feel and even smell the war. I don’t like war stories, because the violence never seems that real to me, but in this story it hurts you. It makes you feel fear and desperation of actually being there,” Cruz said.

The actor said that, after finishing her shooting for the sequel of the Pirates of the Caribbean, she is going to take a “long break to get ready for playing the part of Gemma”. — IANS

Bose’s Bong connection

Rahul Bose Actor Rahul Bose is ready to appear in another film by ace Bengali director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury whose Antaheen had fetched three national awards this year, including the best film. The ‘thinking man’s actor’ as he is known among his aficionados, Rahul is seen often in Bengali films these days and the actor has no qualms in admitting that he is not “into the Bollywood’s masala kind of films”.

“My idea of a film is different from a typical masala type and I am open to working with all sensitive directors from Bengal, excepting one.” In fact, it is directors like Aparna Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and now Aniruddha who gave him the maximum creative satisfaction, said Rahul. While it was Sen’s Mr and Mrs Iyer that catapulted him into the reckoning of discerning viewers, Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Kalpurush and more recent The Japanese Wife strengthened his credentials as a cerebral actor.

“I am happy to be part of more films by Aparna and Aniruddha. I also want to work with Buddhadeb Dasgupta again after Kalpurush where I was cast in the role of a romanticist sharing a relationship, partly real and partly metaphysical, with his father enacted by Mithun Chakraborty.” — PTI

Toned down

Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar-winning-actor Gwyneth Paltrow is known for her slender figure but the actor had to ditch her toned look for a new movie. After finishing shooting for Iron Man 2, the actor headed to Nashville to shoot for Love Don’t Let Me Down but Paltrow was told by the director to plump up. The actor will be seen in the role of a country musician in the film, which requires her to have a fuller figure.

“Basically, I play a country western singer and I had been in great shape for ‘Iron Man 2’ and the director said, ‘I don’t want you to be so muscle-y’,” Paltrow said. “So, it wasn’t so much gaining weight as just trying to soften up the edges a bit and not work out so much.” The actor gained “probably like 10 pounds” for the role. She also tried to put on more but her hectic work schedule kept her from gaining more weight. “I tried to gain more, but I think I was also working so hard and such long hours that it was offset — my Bridget Jones attempt,” she said. The actor had to undergo a strict diet and exercise plan to shed those extra kilos. — PTI

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