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On April 21, 1913, Dadasaheb Phalke's Raja Harishchandra premiered at Mumbai's Olympia Theatre on Grant Road. The film laid the foundation for Indian cinema. While the 2013 calendar is dotted with events to mark the landmark 100 years of Indian cinema — including Bombay Talkies, an ensemble movie directed by Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar — the celebrations will extend beyond our borders as well. At the Cannes festival this year, India will be one of the three guest countries alongside Egypt and Brazil. The festival, to be attended by a number of Indian film artistes, will celebrate the history and tradition of the country's cinema and focus on the promise of its present-day creative impulses.
The New Year will see several films turn into franchises as many sequels have been lined up for release. The Angry Young Man will be revived by Ram Charan Teja in a Zanjeer remake. Ajay Devgn will step into the shoes of Jeetendra for a Himmatwala remake. Sai Paranjape's classic tale of three friends in Chashme Buddoor is being recreated with Ali Zafar, Divyendu Sharma and Siddharth, and will release in the first half of 2013.
Cinema from the South made its presence felt nationally, even amid big Hindi releases. This year gets bigger, with films by several Southern stars with a pan-Indian appeal expected to release. It starts with Kamal Hasan's spy-thriller Vishwaroop opening on January 11. February 1 will see Mani Ratnam return to his roots with Kadal, three years after the debacle of his last film, Raavan. Expect a hurricane of sorts in April, which marks the return of Rajinikanth after his illness. The ambitious 3D adventure, Kochadaiyaan, directed by his daughter Soundarya R Ashwin, releases in April, followed by a period drama called Rana.
The series 24 successfully ran for nine years in America. But it shot to fame in India only in its final season, which had Anil Kapoor playing a key character — of the president of a fictitious Islamic nation. Kapoor decided to bring the award-winning series to India and bought the rights to adapt it for Indian television. He got a team to first adapt the series locally and then roped in Delhi Belly director Abhinay Deo to direct it. Currently under production, 24 is being made at a huge budget. It will air in the first quarter of 2013 on Colors.
The fifth edition of India Art Fair, considered the biggest art carnival in the country, will be held in Delhi from February 1-3. Almost every Indian artist is represented in the maze-like mini-galleries that make up the fair. This year, the extravaganza will boast a thousand Indian and international names from the art world, including 24 countries such as Argentina, Israel, Latvia, Korea and Russia. While canvases make up most of the artwork, with installations coming a close second, New Media enthusiasts can check out the video lounges for gripping and thought-provoking video art. This year's custom-built tents at NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Okhla, will cover 20,000 sqm and will be created by contemporary set designer Sumant Jayakrishnan.
Norah Jones in India
Singer, songwriter and pianist Norah Jones is packing her bags for her maiden performance in India. The lilting purrs and Dusty Springfield-ish voice of this nine-time Grammy winner will regale the audience in Mumbai at "A Summer Festival" in March. The singer, who introduced us to her brand of hypnotic jazz, is likely to present an assortment of jazz and soft country crossover music. Jones recently made a bold departure from her whispery numbers to deliver dark sounds in her last album, Little Broken Hearts, and is likely to sing a few pieces from it as well as popular staples such as Come away with me and Sunrise.
It's been almost three years since we've had tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain performing in the Capital. On January 12, Siri Fort will resonate with Hussain thumping the "king of all drums" to perfection at an event called "Aadi Anant: From Here to Eternity", organised by National Centre for Performing Arts. Unlike past performances in the country, in which Hussain played solo, this year's concert will include tabla players Aditya Kalyanpur and Navin Sharma, Sabir Khan on sarangi, Ravi Chary on sitar and Sraboni Choudhary on vocals. Hussain will Pune and Chennai after his performance in Delhi.
The rapper with a reputation of taking dirty to a different level, Snoop Dogg is getting set for his first India tour. He will perform in Pune and Delhi on January 11 and 13 respectively. Not only do we expect some Dogg classics such as Drop it like it's hot and Gin & juice, we also hope that he will perform his 2008 song from the Akshay Kumar-starrer Singh is Kinng. Wouter De Backer, better known as Gotye, sings on a different key from Dogg. When Gotye poured his anger out in a mellow song Somebody that I used to know, it became the heartbreak anthem across the world. Come February, and he will have his debut India performance at Blue Frog in Delhi. His endearing lyrics and Sting-like voice has been a crowd-puller across the world. In the spring of 2013, five-times World Number 1 DJ (according to British magazine, DJMag), Armin Van Buuren, will come visiting. He will stop by Mumbai as part of the "Expedition Tour" to celebrate 600 episodes of his radio show, A State of Trance. Our wish list — tracks such as Shivers and Not giving up on love.
India is all set to have its first Playboy Beach Club in the next few months. Though the especially designed uniforms for its bunnies are toned down versions of the original, there seems to be a lot of interest surrounding the launch. The organisers emphasise that the club will fashion itself according to "conservative Indian values". The club was slated for launch at Candolim beach, Goa, in December 2012, but the event has been deferred to this year.
Ice, Ice Babies
Mayank Mohindra, CEO of a trend forecasting service, FashionForwardTrends, says that the era of bold and bright colours will give way to icy pastels in the next few months. Mint green, baby pink, dull blue and lemon yellow have ruled the Spring-Summer 2013 runways in New York, Paris, London and Milan, creating a soft and subtle palette. Proponents of these colours are Emilio Pucci, Emporio Armani and Prada among others. These ice cream hues will emerge through sheer georgettes, iridescent surfaces and basic cottons.
The Big Fat Indian Party is going to become The Big Fat and Dramatic Indian Party this year. Some of the concepts that have found takers for corporate and other parties in 2013 are — chefs and stewards doubling as performers, and food being served from thelas, especially salad counters, which will have real sabjiwalas dishing out the greens. Shot glasses will get competition from the humble hand pump, which will release copious amounts of alcohol that you can drink with your hands. "We have added complimentary cab services after many such parties," says Ishaan Sarkar, COO of the city-based Kwality Caterers. The piece de resistance? How about flambéed paan?
Waistlines may not be shrinking but dessert portions certainly are. If cupcakes — the cutesy, miniature version of the cake — were the highlight of the sweets table in 2012, the new year belongs to other midgets. Expect miniature gulab jamuns that you pop into your mouth from soup spoons, tiny laddoos, jalebis that are almost the size of coins, and cakes that you scoop out of shot glasses. This does not mean our love for sweets will diminish in 2013. On the contrary, chefs say that small-sized sweets will enable people to sample a wide variety of dessert offerings instead of stuffing themselves on one or two items.
In the chilling January winter last year, Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) generated ample heat. Compared to last year's line-up of personalities such as Ben Okri, Oprah Winfrey and Amy Chua (not to forget, Salman Rushdie, whose absence generated the most controversy), this year's list is mellow. The stars at JLF 2013 are British artist Marc Quinn, who was also present at India Art Fair last year, Padma Bhushan Homi K Bhabha, The Finkler Question author Howard Jacobson, historian Patrick French and theatre person Tim Supple. Bibliophiles, head to Jaipur's Diggi Palace from January 24 to 28.
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