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New star in town

It was quite a party on Wednesday night for the launch of Armaan Jain’s debut Bollywood film trailer 'Lekar Hum Deewana Dil', directed by Arif Ali, Imtiaz Ali's brother, and produced by Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan's Illuminati Films.


Armaan Jain

Co-hosted by Armaan at Vijan’s Bandra home, guests included Homi and Anaita Adajania, Arjun Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Sunil Lulla, Pritam and the film’s heroine Deeksha Seth. The excitement over Armaan had begun that morning, the moment Karan Johar had seen the trailer and tweeted his praise. After all, this was no ordinary actor being launched, Armaan is the grandson of no less than the industry’s showman Raj Kapoor, (his youngest daughter Rima’s son) and cousin to Ranbir, Karishma and Kareena. What's more, industry insiders say that AR Rahman has outdone himself with the music.

We have known young Armaan from his kindergarten days and have always known that someday this progeny of the Kapoors and the Sobo Jains (from his father’s side) will be a star.

And the trailer proves what we have always suspected: that he has inherited the famous Kapoor zest and vitality, along with the Jain subtlety and sophistication-a combination that will set him apart from the crop.

Here’s looking at you Armaan!

On the Cannes Red Carpet
And even as PC’s recent outings drew attention to her bold new sartorial style and clearly display her ambition to outpace Rihanna, three other stars are polishing up their Cannes red carpet outfits even as we speak. The svelte Mrs A Bachchan, the stylish Ms S Kapoor the sultry Ms F Pinto who must, as we speak, be going through trial and error with battalions of fashion experts to get their looks just right when they step out next week in Cannes on the red carpet internationally as ‘L’Oreal’s ambassadors’.


Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Freida Pinto and Katrina Kaif

Which makes us wonder if Katrina Kaif, the Bollywood star who followed the afore-mentioned actresses as the fourth Indian ambassador for the beauty brand has resolved her date issues (or was it Ranbir’s?). Will she be at Cannes too, or was that a polite way of sidestepping the issue by the star-or the cosmetic brand?

See you at the Movies!
“We’re going to be watching Mastram in various theatres around the city on Friday. “Please join us,” said our friend, former model and TV star Nandinii Sen about her daughter Tara Alisha Berry’s (in pic) debut Hindi film movie Mastram releasing today!

Mastram tells the story of the popular porn writer of the same name whose offerings titillated the men of yore up North. All those who’ve seen the film have appreciated Berry’s role in it a lot. It is a bold unconventional choice for a young actress to make her debut in and in a season in which unconventional choices have been working well for actresses (Kangana), it might revalidate the trend.

So will we be in one of the theatres today catching First Day First Show with the stars of Mastram?

Stranger things have happened.

Home Alone
Something pretty weird appears to be going on with this otherwise straight-laced, and square middle-aged film couple: everyone appears to be leaving home!

It began with their DIL, then their son and now even their own daughter-no one wants to stay home with them! And whereas reasons as intriguing as bullying tactics and tight-fistedness are said to be responsible for this mass exodus, the most bizarre story is that one of the family members was asked to leave by the ‘fitness instructor’!
That’s right: limber up, do ten sit ups and leg curls and walk right thought that door!

Elections Demystified
We love talking heads, especially if they are attractive, and this evening will see quite a few assemble at the IMC to release ‘An Undocumented Wonder: The Making of the Great Indian Election’ by Dr SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner. Not only will Kabir Bedi be on stage for a discussion on the book but the handsome silver manes of Deepak Parekh and Medha Patkar will also be seen. 


Kabir Bedi, Deepak Parekh

“SYQ is a friend from St Stephens College,” said the actor, recently the recipient off Italy’s highest civilian order. “He’s written a brilliant book on India’s elections. His vast knowledge and engaging style make it a page turner,” says Bedi who has also contributed an article on the Election Commission for their publication.

‘‘An Undocumented Wonder: the Making of the Great Indian Election’ answers questions about what has been termed as the ‘great dance of democracy’’, says the promotional blurb.

Who’s interested in Dr Singh?
There was enough innuendo, insights and in-jokes to keep an entire party at the Press Club in splits at the Mumbai book launch of our dear friend Dr Sanjaya Baru’s ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’. 


Dr Sanjaya Baru (right) with Dr Manmohan Singh

There was the statuesque moderator Rama Bijarpurkar, matching her Hyderabadi compatriot with wit for wit, (‘Shouldn’t you be wearing a bullet proof vest?’ was her opening lob), media maven Irrfan Khan (‘Dr Manmohan Singh has been delayed’) Bachi Karkaria (‘If you were offered the same job with the next PM would you take it?’) and Baru’s own many wonderful anecdotes (“On the morning after the book’s release we asked Arnab Goswami if he’d feature it on his show and he said, “Whose interested in Manmohan Singh?” and by the evening after the PMO’s response, every channel wanted to cover it. So my book was marketed really by the PMO”.)

Jerry Rao, Bunty Chand, Rajeev Lall, Sunil Alagh, Namita Devidayal and Manjeet Kripalani were a few of the others whose presence contributed to an evening of gravitas and fun.

Vintage press club stuff. Wish they’d served peanuts and Old Monk!

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