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THE GRAPEVINE

September 10, 2017

The Last of Zaki

It was a moving and heart-rending moment for many music lovers to see Aamir Zaki, who died on June 2, playing a guitar solo in one of the ongoing episodes of Coke Studio for a song Naina Moray — arguably his last recorded performance.

Although not his finest work, he played with such finesse and grace that it reminded one of his heyday when he was a regular feature at music concerts in the country. At the same time, there was a touch of melancholy about his look. Never for a moment did he look up into the camera. He was utterly immersed in his art. Sadly, we don’t have artists like him anymore.

Wise words

We all know how good an actor Rajkumar Rao is — anyone who hasn’t seen him act, go and watch Queen or Bareilly Ki Barfi or Shahid. And he is not just a quality performer, but also a wise man.

The debate about nepotism in Bollywood, sparked off by a spat between Karan Johar and Kangana Ranaut, refuses to die down. In comes Rajkumar R’s sagacious statement on the subject. He is quoted to have said, “Nepotism exists but there is a ray of hope. I’m an ordinary guy who dreamt of becoming an actor. If I can do it, anyone can.”

Back in Bollywood

Priyanka Chopra is a Hollywood celeb now. Of course, she’s the star of the TV series Quantico and has worked in the film version of Baywatch (which tanked at the box office but let’s not go there). Some of us were harbouring the thought that the actress won’t have time to be part of Indian films anymore. Well, not true. She’s back to her land of birth.

News is that Priyanka C has signed three films (yes, three) details of which she doesn’t want to divulge until the films go on set. Sounds great. Wait a minute! Could this mean offers are drying up in America? We hope Hollywood hasn’t turned its back on the sultry actress.

Clooney for president

We live in uncertain times. The good thing is that the artist community no more remains detached from the political goings-on in the world. Donald Trump’s presidency has stirred many an artist into being vocal about the state of affairs in the US (Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes is a case in point).

On Sept 1, George Clooney held a press conference in Venice to promote a film Suburbicon that he has helmed. During the presser a pen-pusher asked whether he would like to run for the US President to which George C responded that he’d like anybody to be the next president and emphasised, “Right away, please.”

Burn! We wait with bated breath (not) for the Orange One to vent on Clooney in his next tweet.

All apologies

No, it is not a reference to a famous Nirvana song All Apologies. This is what Brad Pitt has said to his former wife Jennifer Aniston to whom he was married from 2000 to 2005.

Ever since the Hollywood hunk separated from Angelina Jolie in September 2016, he has been doing some soul-searching. As a result the actor has formally apologised to Jennifer A for being “an absentee husband” and “leaving her for Angelina.”

The apology made the Friends star terribly emotional and “she broke down in tears.”

While all of this was happening it was reported that Angelina J is these days finding it hard being single. Alrighty then! Brad P might be ruing the timing of his apology.

Cry baby

Talk about being jazbaati! The lovely Ileana D’Cruz is one of those actors who invest themselves completely in the characters they play. So when she finished shooting the film Badshaho co-starring Ajay Devgan, she couldn’t come to terms with the fact that the filming was over and now she would have to pack up.

So much so that she started blubbering like a child which, according to her, scared Ajay D. Are you sure you’re telling the truth, girl? Hope no one on the sets told you how well you acted in the film and you just burst into tears.

Published in Dawn, ICON, September 10th, 2017