Clothes maketh a man?

Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa is no pushover for anything or anybody.

By (People Watch)

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Published: Sat 26 Jul 2014, 8:30 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 10:18 PM

The former film star turned one of the most powerful women in India today does not mince words when there are strong words to be said and it does not matter who those words are aimed at.

Stung by a decidedly colonial dress code of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association which recently turned away a high court judge from their gates for turning up in a dhoti — the traditional attire of the south Indian state — amma has decided to take on the role of a protective mother to all those bullied by the arbitrary rules of private, British era clubs.

Bristling with indignation the lady recently issued a statement in the state assembly warning such clubs against insulting the culture of the state by their acts and has asked authorities concerned to issue a show cause notice to the club. She is also pushing a new law that will ensure that clubs who enforce such rules would forfeit their license if they refused to mend their ways.

“While there is no ban on wearing Tamil’s traditional attire of dhoti in functions in foreign countries, this act of banning dhoti in Tamil Nadu is against the Constitution, democratic traditions and Tamil culture,”she said adding such sartorial despotism would not be allowed in her state.

Till the time of going to press the said club has refused to step back and relook its position . Instead, various members of the club have pointed out that the judge who took offence at their turning him away for being in a dhoti is himself guilty of not allowing lawyers and staff to turn up in his court in dhotis.

Finding Mowgli

Resting the weight of one of Disney’s most adored characters on his 10-year-old frame might seem like expecting too much from young Neel Sethi but then you see his recent images, gazing confidently right into the centre of the camera lens, beaming brightly at the photographer and you know this little boy is capable of carrying a film on his shoulders. No worries.

Two years after Suraj Sharma, an unknown teenager from India played Pi Patel in Ang Lee’s box-office hit Life of Pi, 10-year-old New York school student, Neel Sethi, is all set to be plucked out of his anonymous life to play one of Disney’s most lovable characters, Mowgli — a boy raised in the jungle by wild animals — in Jungle Book. He probably does not know it yet but when his name was picked from the thousands of boys his age who were screened in New Zealand, Canada and India among other places for casting in the movie that will hit screens in end 2015, he probably re-wrote the original script of his own life. No more hanging around playing in the backyard or eating ice cream with his parents as he now heads into the slog hours for the live-action and animation film that will be released in 3D on October 9, 2015. Mowgli will be the only actor on screen in the film that will have Hollywood stars Ben Kingsley and possibly Lupita Nyonga lending their voices to the characters in the movie.

“Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative. Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it,” director Jon Favreau said of casting director Sarah Finn’s choice.

Finn herself had this to say about her new find: “Neel embodies the heart, humor, and daring of the character. He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us.”

We are sure this is another child star in the making.

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