THE GRAPEVINE

February 17, 2019

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Tribute to Khurshid anwar

British-Pakistani opera singer Saira Peter has now become a pretty known name in Pakistan’s music industry, solely because of her noteworthy talent.

Her latest tribute to the inimitable composer Khwaja Khurshid Anwar’s immortal song Wanjli Walarya — from the iconic movie Heer Ranjha and sung originally by none other than Noor Jehan — is a testimony to her tremendous vocal ability. She has redone the track with the kind of romantic verve without which it would lose its charm. Kudos! And Saira P, more!

Kangana ain’t happy … again

There’s no stopping Kangana Ranaut. She is a straight-shooter and is not afraid of any big shot from the Indian film industry. Her film Manikarnika, which the A-list actress starred in and co-directed, is a box office hit. But she is miffed that her Bollywood colleagues haven’t uttered a single sentence of praise for the project.

She complains, “For me, what will be the benefit if they promote me. I have already won four national awards at the age of 31. I am a filmmaker. How will they promote me? But my question is: is Rani of Jhansi my chachi? She is as much as yours as she is mine ... Why are these people so scared or hesitant? Just because I spoke about nepotism and they are all shaken up due to that. They have all ganged up against me and are wondering why I spoke about nepotism.”

Keep ruffling those feathers Kangana R. At the same time, you may want to answer the allegations from your co-director Krish, who feels his credit was unfairly shared and who feels reshoots were forced by Kangana simply because she had replaced Sonu Sood from the film to keep the spotlight on herself.

The choice of the Rock

Check this out: The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) has claimed in a tweet that he was the first choice for hosting this year’s Oscars, but since he is busy shooting a film, the dates couldn’t work out.

The wrestler-turned-actor says the Academy approached him first before comedian Kevin Hart. And we all know why Kevin H had to step down from hosting the gala event (for those not in the know, the homophobic comments that he made in the past caused him to lose the coveted post). As a result, this year’s Oscars will have no host, or that’s how the situation stands right now. Dwayne J hopes that ‘one day down the road’ he will do that job. Don’t count your chickens yet, big guy: it might prove to be a really long road to travel.

Booked Boys

Karan Johar’s ongoing edition of his TV talk show Koffee with Karan is in the news for all the wrong reasons, beginning with criticism for introducing segments that are boring and which only the film industry insiders can enjoy or understand. However, that’s a subjective thing.

What’s not subjective is the backlash that resulted from an episode in which cricketers Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul appeared. In the episode they talked too freely about their romantic escapades, as a result of which the two were penalised by the Indian cricket board. The latest in that regard is that a case against K-Jo, Hardik P and KLR was filed at Luni Police Station on Feb 6 for using objectionable remarks against women during the aforementioned episode of the chat show. The police have already begun investigating into the matter. Aur bano hero!

Art Attack

Guys, hold your hearts tight: the stunning Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence got engaged on February 5 and, if insiders are to be believed, she intends to walk the altar in a few months. Who is the lucky chappy? His name is Cooke Maroney and he is an art gallery dealer.

The two met some six months back at … yes, you’ve guessed it … an art gallery. This was the time, in case you follow Jennifer L’s life trajectory, when she had broken up with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and wasn’t leading a particularly happy life. Rest assured, these days the sassy gal is seen in high spirits, often spotted with Cooke M at restaurants and parties. We wish the couple well, and advise them to sometimes stay away from each other because absence makes the art, sorry heart, grow fonder.

Published in Dawn, ICON, February 17th, 2019