Vanityfair

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Chitrangda Singh
Doppelganger Chitrangda Singh Photo: Fotocorp

Blast from the Past
In Inkaar, Chitrangda Singh might not have had the greatest of films to kick off 2013. However, she did impress at times in the role, even if she was restricted by some terrible writing. Despite her acting skills, it’s not her roles she usually receives attention for, but her uncanny resemblance to yesteryear’s actress Smita Patil, who tragically died in 1986 at the age of 31. Naturally, it was this connection that the media focussed on, asking her if she was open to do a biopic on Patil. “I think it will be a big honour to play Smita,” she said, adding that she considers the comparisons a compliment.
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Face Off
Barack Obama
Photo: AP

As Barack Obama begins a second term as US president, much attention will be paid on his upcoming fiscal battles with the legislature. In the court of public opinion, however, he has an edge, as the US Congress faces an historic low in popularity. A new poll released shows that the legislature is less popular among Americans than root canals, cockroaches, head lice, Nickelback, colonoscopies and Genghis Khan. It’s not all bad though: it beats telemarketers, the Kardashians, the ebola virus, communism and gonorrhoea.
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Gregory David
Second helping Gregory David Roberts Photo: AFP

Take Two 
Gentle readers beware: Shantaram is getting a sequel. Author Gregory David Roberts is back in the country to finish a second 900-page book about his discovery of India, to be released in late 2013. He says he has finished writing almost 650 of those pages. First order of business on his return, however, was the Mumbai marathon, which, he says, he walked rather than ran, due to his recent knee surgery. His bromide for the day: “The spirit (of the marathon) transcends all borders… we are all united in one cause, which is ‘jiyo aur jeene do (live and let live)’.”
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Mani Shankar Aiyar
Photo: Shailendra Pandey

Mani Shankar Aiyar (Gushing about Rahul Gandhi’s Jaipur speech)