THE GRAPEVINE

February 23, 2020

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No More Corporal Punishment

Well done, Shahzad Roy! On February 13, the singer-cum-activist announced that the Islamabad High Court has banned the practice of corporal punishment on children by parents, guardians and teachers. The decision was taken after he filed a petition to ban the use of violence to discipline children. A division bench of the court, headed by the Chief Justice, suspended the related PPC section until further notice. Keep it up, Shahzad R! All the kids need is love, something our wider society could do with as well.

Hitched!

Congratulations to Armeena Rana Khan! The actress got officially hitched to Fesl Khan, the young Brit that she was long engaged to. She revealed the happy khabar herself on social media on February 14: “Presenting my husband. That’s it guys. We are official. We will have a wedding party at a later stage.” We wish the couple a joyous married life. The fact that they got hitched on Valentine’s Day (or at least announced it then) goes to show that there was method to the understated nikah ceremony. Or at least to the announcement. Whatever, party hard Armeena and Fesl K!

Cleopatra and Complexion

You could call it cute, weirdly cute and even go awww… What was Ranveer Singh doing on Valentine’s Day? Answer: he was at a spa. Ahem… This we got to know through his wife, Deepika Padukone, when she, on that romantic occasion, put up a photo of her hubby having a facial massage at a spa, captioning it, “In other news, Cleopatra is busy, as you can see.” Ranveer S was quick on the uptake and wrote back, “Meri nikhri twacha ka raaz to tum ho” [You are the secret to my fair complexion]. Tell you what, while this all sounds funny, the Simmba star should be wary of carrying on like this. Men’s complexions are, or can be, a complex matter.

The Rose-Natalie Tiff

When Natalie Portman wore a cape to the Oscars that displayed names of the women directors who were ignored this year by the Academy, it didn’t go down well with Rose McGowan who said it wasn’t ‘brave’ of Natalie P and her act signified ‘tassel campaigning’. A few days later, the Black Swan actress wrote a measured but layered reply: “I agree with Ms McGowan that it is inaccurate to call me ‘brave’ for wearing a garment with women’s names on it. Brave is a term I more strongly associate with actions like those of the women who have been testifying against Harvey Weinstein the last few weeks, under incredible pressure.” The hidden reference in this statement is that Rose M has taken cash (worth $100,000) as settlement with Harvey W vis-à-vis a case of alleged sexual misconduct in 1997 and therefore can’t testify against him in a court of law. No comments — because ‘strange’ is the word that springs to mind.

Also: Meow.

Cancelling Madhubala

We don’t know what to say about this news item, whether it’s a hit or a miss. Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali was supposed to make a biopic on yesteryear heartthrob Madhubala. He had even signed a contract for it. Unfortunately, except one of Madhu ji’s sisters, Madhur, the rest of the siblings of the late actress didn’t like the idea, and in fact opposed it. As a result, Imtiaz A has now ‘terminated his contract’. Hmmm… we think that the other sisters may have read the reviews of his latest offering Love Aaj Kal. Or maybe they saw When Harry Met Sejal.

Insta Break

Actor Tom Holland is not ‘active’ on Instagram anymore. No, he hasn’t left the photo and video-sharing networking service, he has just distanced himself from it by not posting material to it as often as he used to. He says, “I just had to get away from it and take a break. It was taking over my life, and I was becoming obsessed by it. Like, ‘how may likes did I get’ and ‘what did people say about my picture’. I found myself focusing more on my Instagram life than I was on my real life.” Tom H, you are a film star, not a hermit. You should care what people think about you. With great boyishness comes great responsibility.

Published in Dawn, ICON, February 23rd, 2020