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'I learnt to act through my life experiences'
Be it gangster or just an annoying government employee, serial killer or cop, it is difficult to take your eyes off Nawazuddin Siddiqui when he is on screen. From a 40-second appearance in the Aamir Khan-starrer police drama Sarfarosh in 1999 to the evil, cunning convict Liaq in his latest release Badlapur, Siddiqui stands out no matter who he shares screen space with. The 40-year-old is widely...
Goal of fame
When THE WEEK's chief photographer Salil Bera captured a girl's desire to play football in a village in West Bengal ('Girls with Goals', March 23, 2014), little did he know he would be nominated for the Sony World Photography Awards 2015—sports category—under professional competition.There were 1,73,444 entries from 171 countries, the highest in its eight-year history....
Stage flight
Theatre entrepreneurship is the new buzzword that is luring the new-age professionals out of their cubicles and boardrooms. While some have bid adieu to the corporate life to embrace theatre full-time, many are keeping their day jobs out of compulsion, entertained by the thought that some day they would take the plunge.Bengaluru-based techie-turned-playwright Abhishek Majumdar fell in love with...
Roots of culture
All politics, the adage goes, is local. This is even more true for literature. All great literature is essentially local, anchored in particular time, space, social and cultural coordinates. Leo Tolstoy’s literary epic War and Peace is set in the moral decline of aristocratic Russia at the time of the French invasion in the early 19th century. All the action in U.R. Ananthamurthy’s...
A page turner
The HarperCollins stall at the New Delhi World Book Fair is crowded. Young students with backpacks check out the classics section—Dante, Plato, Kafka and Shakespeare—hoping it will shape their perspective on life. A young writer is eyeing the Indian writers’ section dreaming of seeing his name on a book cover one day. Standing amidst them is Sameer Mahale, head of sales at...
Sound verse
Dear God, my son has turned gay And I know not what to do with him today.A tall, lanky young man says these words to an audience, splitting their sides laughing. With his long hair tied up into a tight ponytail and his T-shirt hanging loosely on his shoulders, the poet, who calls himself KC Vlaine, continues. But this time he is God.Erm... Where exactly is the problem again?Another roar of...
Breaking the mould
A stupid little moustache “that always looks like, you know, what's the point?” Hair that looks like it “always needs to be trimmed”, and absolutely “no colour” in his face. This was the brief that American actor Bryan Cranston and writer Vince Gilligan came up with for the central character, Walter White, of the award-winning series Breaking Bad. The idea...
An unachievable dream has come true
Ricky Kej fell in love with music during his school days. To please his parents, however, he studied dentistry and is now a qualified dental surgeon. But, he says, the only thing he is good at is music. Bengaluru-based Kej’s album, Winds of Samsara, with South African flautist Wouter Kellerman won the Best New Age Album Award at the Grammy on February 8. The 33-year-old believes that a...
For better or verse
Away from the hustle and bustle of Bandra in Mumbai, in a quiet lane, on the second floor of a newly constructed, sparkling white multistorey building lives poet, adman and lyricist Prasoon Joshi. All the furniture in his study has been done up in solid black, in contrast to the light brown wooden flooring.The writer's love for books is evident—the coffee table, side table, shelves and...
Snowden documentary 'Citizenfour' wins at Oscars
Los Angeles: Laura Poitras' 'Citizenfour', which captures whistleblower Edward Snowden's NSA surveillance leak unfolding in real time, won the best documentary feature Oscar at the 87th Academy awards. 'Citizenfour' was the code name that Snowden used to contact Poitras through an encrypted e-mail before going public with his revelations. Jennifer Aniston and David...
'Birdman' soars to Oscar heights on best picture win
Los Angeles: The dark comedy 'Birdman' held up a mirror to Hollywood and its struggling actors and received in return the film industry's highest recognition on Sunday, the Academy Award for best picture.Director Alejandro G. Inarritu's story of a washed-up, former superhero actor attempting an improbable comeback on Broadway won four Oscars, including best director, the second...
You said it all
R.K. Laxman gave voice to the silent masses and held up a mirror to society, all the while keeping the readers in good humour
'Sholay' to release in Pakistan
Islamabad: The cult classic 'Sholay', an action adventure Bollywood movie circling around two petty thieves hired by a police officer to exact revenge on a ruthless bandit, is set to release in Pakistan, 40 years after hitting Indian theatres.The release of the Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra-starrer, directed by Ramesh Sippy, in 1975 proved to be a watershed event in the industry. The...
Classics, reloaded
Through the Classical Library of India, Rohan Murty wants to take Indian literary texts to the English language
'Boyhood' wins top honours, 'The Lunchbox' misses award
London: 'Boyhood', a coming-of-age story about growing up, Sunday night won the top honours of Best Film and Best Director at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, where 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' walked away with five trophies.Directed by Richard Linklater, who was absent from the ceremony, 'Boyhood' is a groundbreaking film about growing up...
Waxing eloquent
Seated cross-legged on a white cushion, eyes closed, Gandhi seems to be engrossed in a peaceful trance. Keenly looking at him from the other side of the room is Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer. Iyer, seated on a chair with his hand resting on the Commentary on the Constitution of India on a table, looks very much the stalwart in his office room. In another corner of the room Bruce Lee and Jet Li are...
Capturing darkness
Kashmiri writer Mirza Waheed, 40, is nursing a flu because of the bad air in Delhi. Over cups of spicy tea and a slim hand-rolled cigarette, the “scrawny boy from Srinagar who grew up by Dal Lake” talks about how he always found Delhi to be a “cruel, hard city” and how he could never bear its oppressive summer. The London-based author is in town to promote his second...
Songs of refuge
Imagine getting publicly whipped or locked up for listening to a song on your mobile phone! That was the plight of youngsters like Garba Toure in their hometown, Dire, in northern Mali in 2012. For a country which revelled in its rich tradition of homegrown music, the ultimatum issued by the Islamist group Ansar al Dine banning listening or playing music came as a jolt. “We discovered that...
The rainmakers
The disappearing act continues. Sanjoy K. Roy, the long unicorn silver-haired man of the Jaipur Literature Festival, stands in the middle of what is known as the gol chakkar (traffic island). A fountain at the centre of the walkway, it has really become the selfie point. And there's the Mini Cooper, with faces of authors plastered across it rockstar style. Roy looks worried; so does William...
Messenger of mayhem
Nothing can beat the colour and flamboyance of MSG: Messenger of God directed by Dera Sacha Sauda leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Even the high drama involving the Central Board of Film Certification and the Modi government  over the film’s release paled before the masala overdose in its trailer. The cult leader wrote, co-directed and acted in the film, but failed to impress the censor...
Masters of make-believe
From pregnant tummies to severed arms, superhero masks and hyper-realistic animals, nothing is impossible for Bollywood's new breed of prosthetic artists
Paulina Vega wins Miss Universe 2014
Coming soon...
The sound of silence
Proud to be a BJP person: Pahlaj Nihalani
'PK' makers now face plagiarism charge
Nine Censor Board members resign
Off the beaten path
Bollywood, young India defend 'PK', protests continue
Matters of the spirit
Indians out of the race for 87th Academy Awards
Attempts to block book on Sonia only fuelled interest: author
Cartoonist R.K. Laxman is no more
Pune: Legendary cartoonist R.K. Laxman, creator of the iconic "Common Man", died in a private hospital here on Monday evening after a brief illness, a family member said. He was 94.Laxman, brother of late novelist R.K. Narayan, is survived by writer wife Kamala, retired journalist son Srinivas and daughter-in-law Usha.He had been admitted to a private hospital around 10 days ago for a...
Snip and snap
Gift of the garb
A treat for the senses
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Bullying the houses
After President Pranab Mukherjee, it is now Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who has cautioned against the repeated and knee-jerk use of ordinances. Speaking at a conference in Lucknow, she said, “Ordinances ...