|China Myths Debunked|
|WE all know the facts: In
1949 when the Communist
Party took over, China had
been mired in civil wars
and dismembered by foreign
aggressions; its people had suffered
widespread famine; average lifeexpectancy
was a mere 41 years.
Today, it is the second largest economy
in the world, a great power with global
influence, and its people live in
increasing prosperity; average life
expectancy has reached 74 years.
But the assessment has to go deeper
than that, for reasons none other than
the apparent discomfort, if not outright
disapproval, Western political
and intellectual elites feel toward the
Communist Party´s leadership. Five
|PETER Oborne, writing in
the conservative Daily
Telegraph, recently suggested
Conservative British Prime
Minister, David Cameron, was not
merely in a mess, he "is in a sewer."
That seems about right. Cameron
lost it over Rupert Murdoch. He
showed staggering lack of judgment
in hiring Andy Coulson, the former
News of the World editor, as his first
director of communications at
Downing Street, a hubristic decision
made against the best advice and
apparently with a dual aim: to show
he was not an old Etonian "toff" and
to get favourable treatment from the
37 percent of the British print media
owned by Murdoch.
He then spent a fair chunk of time
during his first year in office in 26
meetings with various News Corp
honchos, including Rebekah
Brooks, who was...
Sonam and Shahid love and hate each other
SREYA BASU IANS SHAHID Kapoor is flying high…literally.
After all, he is playing an Indian Army pilot in his father Pankaj Kapur’s directorial debut film Mausam.
The actor chats up Sreya Basu after releasing the first look of the film in Mumbai.
What is Mausam all about? Mausam is about seasons of love.
It is about the different emotions and situations that the two principal characters –Harinder Singh (me) and Aayat (Sonam Kapoor)- undergo…what seasons of love they go is the theme of the film.
Is it true that you did not take up any new project till shooting for Mausam was over? Yes.
It was wonderful that I could go through the entire process.
Dad had written this film about three years back.
He was pretty clear right at the beginning that whenever we do this film, I should not take up any other projects because the script requires certain graft as it is spread over certain period of time.
The film required certain amount of authenticity and he wanted me to be completely in the film form.
That’s why I took off everything else to have that time to go and do some research on being an aircraft officer.
What research did you do for your role? I visited a few airforce bases, met a few airforce officers, sat in the aircraft, put on the jets suit, follow how they walk with a helmet…all that which actually gives you some perspective to what it is to be representing the country and to be part of armed forces and to be an airforce pilot.
And what did you learn? It will be very interesting for you to know that the value of an airforce pilot is Rs 300 crores on an average…that’s the amount of money invested in each airforce officer over a period of time.
I used to think that we heroes get all the good things, but our airforce officers are taken extremely good care of.
They used to look at me and say: ‘Haan yaar, tut oh hero hai…thi hai.
They all have this attitude that is awesome because they are the real heroes.
That was an enriching experience.
I have changed as a person, as an actor as I have learnt to respect a lot of things that I used to take for granted so far.
You are spotting a moustache in the film… We started shooting this film two years back and dad (Pankaj Kapur) had told me to grow a moustache.
I told him: ‘Dad, yesteryear actors who used to grow moustaches.
This style is not for me.’ But in these two years, I saw many of our present day heroes sporting moustaches.
So now it feels nice that so many people thought about it in and around the same time.
What was the most memorable experience you had while shooting the film? I flew an F-16 (fighter aircraft)…I don’t know of any other actor in the world who has flown an F-16.
Tom Cruise too flew a fighter aircraft in Top Gun, but I think, that was an F-15.
So, I am really fortunate to get that opportunity.
Item songs have become almost indispensable in films.
Do we see you groove in Mausam? I tried very hard to request dad that as an airforce officer of the Indian Army, I should be doing an item song where I expose my body and we should shoot it in and around an aircraft.
But dad said he would not like to do anything like that in this film.
Tell us about your chemistry with Sonam.
We love and hate each other.
And that is how we are.
Sonam has very high fashion standards.
She doesn’t entertain people whose fashion standards don’t match hers.
Therefore, when you are shooting with her, you have to dress and look a certain way and get an approval of that from her.
Fortunately throughout the making of this film, I tried to educate myself in all that.