Updated 24 Nov 2019


Gulon Mein Rang

Let’s give credit where it’s due: Ali Sethi sings with a lot of passion. This should be appreciated wholeheartedly, and it should also be acknowledged that his singing over the years has clearly improved. His rendition in the fourth episode of the 12th edition of Coke Studio, of the Faiz Ahmed Faiz ghazal ‘Gulon mein rang bhare’, originally sung by the legendary Mehdi Hasan, was good. And since it was good, we wish he had paid more heed to words such as bharey which he pronounced as barey a few times, diluting the effect of the line. A little better intonation of words used in the Urdu language and he can go places.

Hamza Leaves Showbiz

This was, arguably the most-discussed news item of last week: film and TV actor Hamza Ali Abbasi leaving acting, allegedly for good, to follow his spiritual journey. In a video message, he gave detailed reasons for doing that, so we will not go there and only wish him well for whatever he chooses to do in life. After all, spirituality is something that all of us need to explore. And also because Hamza A’s acting skills were never such that he would be missed much.

Bhumi’s Resolve

Bhumi Padnekar is one of those rare actresses in India who are known both for their natural looks and quality acting skills. The young woman also doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind because of which her colleagues in Bollywood have become a trifle wary of her. She has clearly drawn lines when it comes to work, as she told a journo on November 15: “I will never be a part of something that is anti-feminist or women bashing.” Good on you Bhumi P! Let’s hope those kind of films dry up anyway.

Peace Beckons

How times change! But it’s good that they do. Sunny Deol is known for his loud, macho roles in Indian films, especially for those in which he has delivered anti-Pakistan lines in stentorian tones. Surprisingly, he was one of the celebrities (along with former Indian premier Manmohan Singh and cricketer Navjot Sidhu) who recently visited Pakistan to participate in the historic opening of the Kartarpur Corridor. Sunny D summed up his trip to the media as ‘the beginning of peace’ between India and Pakistan. It’s wise of him to say so because the next time he does a part where he is required to scream slogans against Pakistan, he will look so out of character…

Joker Laughs Along

Hollywood A-lister Joaquin Phoenix and director Todd Phillips have made history with their film Joker. Yes, the movie first broke the box office record for the biggest ever October opening weekend and then, on November 16, crossed the one billion dollar mark — becoming the first R-rated film in history to achieve that commercial feat. Brilliant. It’s no joke to crunch such numbers with a tried and tested storyline.

Not An Item

It didn’t take long for actor/rapper Jamie Foxx to get back to the ‘dating’ business after he broke up with Katie Holmes last month. He has been, lately, photographed quite a bit with another looker Kate Beckinsale (whose divorce from actor Len Wiseman is in the final stages).

But Kate B was quick to rubbish the rumour on social media saying, “I would like to point out that standing next to someone [in a picture] doesn’t mean I’m dating them.” Well, it kinda does, especially if you’re seen next to ‘them’ on multiple occasions.

Published in Dawn, ICON, November 24th, 2019