India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Does Sanjay Dutt deserve sympathy?


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

First, the facts — the 1993 Mumbai blasts killed 257 people, more than 100 people were convicted, and it took more than 20 years to deliver justice in a case that has all but faded from the nation’s collective memory.

And yet, if you looked at the headlines on Thursday, you would be forgiven for thinking the Supreme Court ruling was only about actor Sanjay Dutt. And the only tragedy was the one that had befallen Dutt and his family members.

As news of the court ruling trickled in, words of sympathy gushed from Bollywood, with film-makers such as Mahesh Bhatt and Karan Johar expressing solidarity with Dutt, and saying he did not deserve this.
Dutt was in his 30s when he was arrested, mature enough to know he was committing a crime. But do things change just because he’s an actor?

Everybody makes mistakes; some more serious than the rest. And we have to pay for them. Should Dutt be treated differently from other criminals just because of his position?

Dhoni gets hitched; celebrities tweet best wishes

As one of India’s most eligible bachelors tied the knot late on Sunday night, you could almost hear the sound of a million hearts breaking.

Mahendra Singh DhoniBut along with that, you could also hear the sound of a million fingers typing furiously on their phones, so that they could tweet their best wishes to Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his bride.

IIFA Diary: Notes from Colombo on Day 1


SRILANKA/The first day of the 11th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend has been as chaotic as it has been revealing. From early morning chaos over accreditation and access to venues, by evening it had turned into excitement as the stars starting pouring in for the three-day event.

The centre of the chaos — the Cinnamon Grand hotel has become the ideal ringside location if you want to catch a glimpse of your favourite star and Bollywood crazy Sri Lankans weren’t letting go of any chance. By afternoon, the sprawling lobby of the five-star hotel was packed with eager fans, cameras ready to click and craning their necks to see if any star had arrived yet.

How to walk the ramp? Ask Shah Rukh Khan


Ever looked at those picture perfect fashion models walking on the runway and wondered how they do it? Well, actor Shah Rukh Khan has the answer.

“I was told the secret was to suck your cheeks in, pout your lips and look really angry, when you walk the ramp,” Khan told a wildly cheering audience after he walked the ramp for Manish Malhotra at Mumbai’s Lakme Fashion Week.

Bollywood star power ‘ads’ up


Hey, did you know Saif and Kareena had a fight? And that Shah Rukh intervened? And an apologetic sms was sent?

OK, so this didn’t happen in real life. It’s the storyline of a new television ad starring the trio for mobile operator Airtel.

Tracking the Big B through thick and thin


A perfect Saturday afternoon beckoned me. An early lunch was had, the house was quiet and the prospect of dropping off into an uninterrupted sleep was enough to make me smile.

bachchan.jpgOne phone call changed all that. Amitabh Bachchan is on his way to the hospital, a source said and he is sick. The first thing that registered in my mind was “I hope he is ok” and then the journalistic instinct kicked in.