THE GRAPEVINE

June 02, 2019

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Adnan as Kishore

Now this is something that’s hard to digest. Rumour has it that former Pakistani citizen and musician (there’s no ‘former’ before the musician, by the way) Adnan Sami Khan is likely to play the part of the legendary Indian playback singer Kishore Kumar in the latter’s soon-to-be-made biopic.

If it’s true, then it doesn’t sound good, because while Adnan SK’s vocal chops are fine, his poor acting skills have often landed him in trouble –– a case in point: when he spoke on the sensitive matter of Indo-Pak relations.

Cause Celebre

Well done Shehzad Roy, Mahira Khan, Younis Khan and Zeba Bakhtiar for raising your voice(s) for children who are victims of sexual abuse. The celebs held a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on May 23 in the wake of the horrific abuse and murder of 10-year-old Farishta, calling on the the government to make the Life Skills Based Education curriculum compulsory across Pakistan. The curriculum was developed by the NGO Aahung in 2010 and already introduced by Shehzad R’s Zindagi Trust in government schools under it. Younis K also pointed out that this was a “huge societal issue” that needed to be spoken about and not swept under the rug.

Sadly, some senseless individuals later trolled Mahira K on social media, saying that the field she belongs to doesn’t permit her to make such noises, to which she gracefully responded by saying that it’s the mindset of the perpetrators of those crimes that needs to be checked and changed, adding “and I will not back off!” We are with you. Good to see celebs using their influence for concrete, real change.

The Taimur Issue

It is frightening how Indian society is changing at a rapid pace, for the worse. Take, for instance, smalltime actress by the name of Payal Rohatgi (a Bigg Boss Season 8 contestant). On May 24, she lambasted Kareena Kapoor-Khan on Twitter for naming her son Taimur, arguing she has “named him after a tyrant who killed millions after capturing India.”

Take a chill pill, woman. First of all, it seems you never studied history in school. Secondly, it’s just a name, and Shakespeare says: what’s in a name, that which we call rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But Hindutva acolytes such as Payal R have probably never read Shakespeare either.

Muscle Trouble

John Abraham is not just a good looking guy, he is also a diligent actor. He is not often given credit for the hard work that he puts into every role that he plays (the fact that some of his films don’t do well at the box office is a different story). These days he is busy filming director Anees Bazmee’s Pagalpanti.

On May 22, while shooting an action-packed scene on a truck, he tore a muscle in his arm. Doctors have advised him not to participate in shooting for at least two weeks. If he returns to the set before that, then it will be literally pagalpanti on his part.

Dismissing Journos

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, just like most of the characters in his movies, doesn’t hold back punches. After his latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood got a seven-minute standing ovation at the recently held Cannes Film Festival, its cast and crew met with the press. There, when a journalist asked him why he hasn’t given enough lines to the character played by Margot Robbie, who was sitting next to Quentin T, the director immediately replied with a fair bit of disdain, “I reject your hypothesis.”

Quentin bhai, your dislike for pen-pushers is getting more and more pronounced (he was involved in a verbal spat with a British journo a few months back as well). Best to control it. Not everyone writes pulp fiction.

Adam Leavin’

Sad news for the fans of reality TV music show The Voice. One of its star judges and the lead singer for pop band Maroon 5, Adam Levine, is leaving the gig after being part of it from the beginning –– he was there for 16 seasons!

Apparently, he was not okay with the changes that the show’s producers brought about last year. Who’s going to replace him? Gwen Stefani! To be honest, Adam L will be sorely missed because he’s a terrific judge (his teams won three times) and his faux romantic bantering with fellow judge Blake Shelton was always thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. If Blake S starts doing that with Gwen S, who is his partner since 2015, it will be anything but faux.

Wait a minute, you never know, after all they’re almost a married couple.

Published in Dawn, ICON, June 2nd, 2019