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Compiled by Shalini Singh

Seventeen-year-old twins Suresh and Jyoti Guptara are all set to claim literary fame a day before they turn 18 next month. On November 21, the British-Indian duo will see the release of their jointly-written debut novel, Conspiracy of Calaspia, the first in the brothers’ Insanity series and already being hailed as being up there in Lord of the Rings league. The brothers, who attended the recently-concluded book fair in Frankfurt, are clearly excited, “It’s a surreal but fantastic experience,” says Jyoti who, incidentally, is also the youngest person ever to be published by The Wall Street Journal — something he managed when he was 15. Great going, guys; just hope there’s no Kaavya-style crash-and-burn waiting to happen.

It’s said that the only way to a Bengali’s heart is through his taste buds. And that appears to be what Sushmita Sen plans to do. The zindaggi rocker has apparently taken quite a dip down the Kolkata popularity charts — a recent poll saw Sen, with a mere seven percent of the votes, trailing far behind Saurav Ganguly (38 percent) and Amartya Sen (23 percent). All out to woo the city, Sen is finalising plans for 12,000 ft of swinging party space overlooking the Victoria Memorial — on the drawing board are a nightclub called Sssshhh, a restaurant called Poison and a cigar lounge as well. The new hotspot, designed by a Bangkok-based firm, will be ready ‘early next year.’ In Kolkata last weekend, Sen hosted a dry run on Sunday night for family and friends at a city restaurant. The day before, she inaugurated a friend’s restaurant in Salt Lake the day before with the words: “One moment of glory is worth an age without a name.” Depends on whether Kolkatans agree.

from left: Sushmita Sen, Kunal Kapoor, Jyoti and Suresh Guptara, Riya Sen

This is one shoot actor Riya Sen will not forget in a hurry. Apparently, while filming with co-actor Shreyas Talpade for Sangeeth Sivan’s Apna Sapna Money Money, they had to can a romantic scene lolling about on a bed of red chillies. Sen plays a village belle in the film and this particular sequence had to be done several times over to get it just right. It wasn’t easy, considering it was a hot day and Miss S discovered she was allergic to the dry, prickly chillies. Her skin started burning and first aid — ice — was brought in to soothe singed nerves. Who said love was a bed of roses!

While southern superstar Chiranjeevi recently terminated his five-year contract with leading cola brand Thums-Up (Andhra Pradesh is the only state where Thums-Up has a regional brand ambassador), national sensation Kunal Rang De Basanti Kapoor now joins the likes of Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar to become the newest face of the soft drink. Its ad campaigns are largely associated with macho brand endorsers and acts of bravado, so one wonders whether Kapoor with his ‘gentle-boy’ image will be able to do it justice. Wait and watch.

Oct 28 , 2006

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