“No Bingo!” Narkar

Move over Donald “You’re Fired!” Trump, and make way for the Commissioner.

Providing ABC’s newest game show with what might be the next catch phrase to sweep the nation, Sunil Narkar is National Bingo Night‘s black-and-white clad co-host and bingo official. Commissioner Sunil verifies winners from the studio audience, with his trademark flourish. Fortunately for those who haven’t tuned in yet for the chance to win prizes like a patio furniture set or a motorcycle ride with Erik Estrada, the Internets are brimming with clips of the Comish, and the most recent NBN episode is online.

A YouTube tribute to the announcer showcases his signature style in action. Fans on the net find him “adorable” if “corny” and think he’s “the best part of” the show. Variety hails him as the show’s “one real breakthrough.” Prior to his stint on NBN, Narkar has worked in Los Angeles promoting Marathi language and theater since 1990.

His TV face-time also includes commercials, starting with one for Chase Card on Spanish TV. “I play a Mexican who uses his credit card to duplicate a key. There are thousands of Mexicans who auditioned, and it was an Indian who got selected. Now, I am noticed by every Mexican on American streets,” he told ExpressIndia.com. He went on to star in a Butterfinger spoof set in a Bangalore call center.

When he’s not busy with bingo, Narkar is involved with carrom, the “ultimate board game,” and has served as a nationals organizer for the United States Carrom Association.

1 Comment         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   June 7, 2007

An Unlikely Socialite

James Kurisunkal (New York magazine)

For socialites in New York City, there was one place to visit on the Web: SocialiteRank.com. For a full year, the mysterious Web site declared “itself unofficial judge, jury, and executioner of 10021—the Zip Code of upper Park Avenue and Fifth, and the home of many young women who appear on the charity-ball circuit. Each fortnight, the Web site released a ‘Social Elite Power Ranking,’ scoring the women on their personal style, public appearances, and publicity efforts,” wrote Isaiah Wilner in New York magazine.

Then, suddenly, on April 26, 2007, SocialiteRank.com shut down. New York society was abuzz—but luckily, the gliteratti flocked, instead, to Park Avenue Peerage. This new Web site, which had launched in March, also chronicled the lives of the rich and fabulous, though without the same snark that SocialiteRank.com had been famous for. But like its famous predecessor, the owner behind Park Avenue Peerage remained a mystery.

Until, that is, Isaiah Wilner’s “expose” in New York magazine two weeks ago: The Duo Behind Socialite Rank Confess How and Why They Did It. The 6,400-word tome is probably of little interest to most people—and even to most New Yorkers—but the final page offered perhaps the juiciest tidbit of all: The owner of Park Avenue Peerage, who wrote with such authority about the New York social scene, was no insider. In fact, he was an 18-year-old Indian American college student—from Illinois:

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Comments Off on An Unlikely Socialite         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 21, 2007

The New Shah of Relationships?

Neel Shah
Neel Shah. (Glamour.com)

Cybercelebrity Neel Shah (you know him as Gawker’s Intern Neel) wants to give you some advice.

You know that column in Glamour magazine? The one where single guy “Jake” dishes on women and relationships? The one you don’t want to read (Do I care what men are really thinking?) but ultimately do (Yes)?

That column.

Shah, 24, is one of three finalists hoping to take it over, becoming the magazine’s next Jake. Visit Glamour.com to cast your vote and to read up on the Long Island native.

Find out what his relationship (non)philosophy is (“I’m not so sure I want to be the type of guy who has a ‘relationship philosophy.’ Guys with relationship philosophies also use Axe Body Spray and say things like ‘Love ’em and leave ’em’ “) and why he thinks we should vote for him (“I already devote the overwhelming majority of my nonworking time and brainpower to lady-related matters. I figure I might as well put pen to paper and have something tangible to show for it.”).

And tune in to the CBS Early Show May 9 to see Shah and his fellow competitors vie for your votes.

Neel Shah: pro-woman, anti-soap?
Shah on CollegeHumor.com

2 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 2, 2007

Sanjaya Keeps On Surfing

“I’m just riding the wave,” Sanjaya Malakar said Saturday, at an after-party for the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, which he attended as a guest of People magazine.

So far that wave has included an encore-worthy appearance on David Letterman’s Late Show to read a Top 10 list of “Things I Learned From American Idol” (#10—the camera adds 10 pounds to your mohawk), an appearance on the Today show, and being slimed on Nickelodeon’s ME:TV. Did I miss any? (Update: At least one—Ellen.) Where will this wave take the boy with golden highlights?

Previously: He May Be Gone, But Sanjaya Is Still Our Papaya

1 Comment         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 26, 2007

He May Be Gone, But Sanjaya Is Still Our Papaya

His final song as a contestant on American Idol was Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About,” and that’s just what Sanjaya Malakar gave America for the last nine weeks, alternately exasperating and thrilling audiences with his morphing hairstyles and wacky performances. But it all came to an end this week as the 17-year-old from Washington state was finally booted from the show. In his farewell performance, Sanjaya crooned, “Let’s give them something to talk about—other than hair.”

That, Sanjaya, is why your fanjayas love you.

Sanjaya Malakar

And maybe also because of this: “Before I was on American Idol, I loved to walk on the street singing very, very loudly. So if you ever saw a little Indian kid walking around singing, it was probably me.”

Many South Asians in America also got a kick out of Sanjaya’s success, even if they didn’t all agree on if he deserved to keep advancing. His father, Vasudeva Malakar (who came to the U.S. as a Hare Krishna pujari and met Sanjaya’s mother, also a Krishna devotee at the time), told the Indian Web site Rediff that “People of Indian origin here and in India love him. I will not be surprised if more and more Indian kids show up in this competition in its next season.”

The soft-spoken Sanjaya talked about his Idol run today—free from the sequestration the contestants face:

How surprised are you by all the fans you’ve formed over the last few weeks on Idol?
It’s crazy. I knew the show was big, but I had no idea how big it really was and how much impact it had.

Did you see it coming last night, especially when Ryan looked at you?
When we saw the show on Tuesday, I kind of had a feeling. I was in the dumps all day on Wednesday. I kind of knew.

Are you and your sister, Shyamali, going to form a duo now?
I think that we’re probably going to sing together. I don’t know if we’re going to become a duo band but I think that we will definitely sing together.

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7 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 19, 2007
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Bollywood-Beat Boxing

Mike Tyson
Photo courtesy of MSNBC

“Mighty Mike” (Tyson) is known both for his antics in the boxing ring (the Holyfield ear fiasco of 1997) and for what he does in his down time (oh, you know, facing convictions of rape, spending time in prison).

But now, prepare to see a new, more tender side of Tyson, as he gets ready to shoot a Bollywood dance sequence in India.

The routine is for the upcoming film Fool and Final, a comedy thriller due to be released in theaters this June.

“We thought Mike Tyson would be the perfect choice for this promotional video because the film does have an element of boxing in it. Also all the stars of the film including Sunny Deol are huge fans of the boxer,” said Nisha Chattani, a media consultant for the movie. “The video will primarily be released as a promotional item, but it could be included in the film as well,” she said.

Fool and Final is being directed by Ahmed Khan and stars Vivek Oberoi, Sunny Deol and Sameera Reddy.

Mike Tyson is expected to arrive in Mumbai this Friday.

Mike Tyson fan site

1 Comment         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 17, 2007

Nice Day for a Bachchan Wedding

Bachchan Bliss

It’s the wedding event of the year.

Ash and Abhi are set to tie the knot this Friday at the Bachchan residence.

According to a BBC Asian Network-radio report, invitations have been extended to 400 close friends and family. Among those rumored to have been invited: Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Pakistan’s current President Pervez Musharraf.

Also receiving an invitation: Lord Venkateswara (Amitabh Bachchan was spotted in a Tirupati temple yesterday, leaving the envelope at his feet).

The sangeet will be held on Wednesday evening, at the Bachchan’s bungalow in Juhu. Air-conditioned, sound-proof tents are currently being erected on the property, where guests will be entertained. The henna ceremony is scheduled for the following night.

Word is Rai will be wearing a red, zari-embroidered ghagra choli that is a Neeta Lulla design.

The actress can next be seen in the Jag Mundhra movie Provoked. Check out the May issue of for a feature on the film (and be on the look-out for our wedding issue, coming this summer).

Ready to transform your…impression of Ash?
Ash and Abhi altar-bound

Comments Off on Nice Day for a Bachchan Wedding         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 16, 2007

Post-Shaadi Shambles

The Nayar Clan
The Nayar clan in happier times (Daily Mail)

Vinod Nayar is not happy with how son Arun has been behaving lately. The textile tycoon told the Sunday Mirror that he and wife Joanne are still stinging from last month’s lavish wedding festivities.

“I have decided to cut all ties with my son,” Nayar told reporters. “I feel that Liz and Arun behaved shamefully and placed more importance on showing off than their own family. My heart is heavy with pain.”

Hurley and Nayar tied the knot with two ceremonies—one in India, the other in the UK. The couple inked a $5 million deal with Hello!, giving the magazine exclusive rights to pictures from the wedding.

Vinod Nayar allegedly, wasn’t allowed on the wedding platform and was prevented from taking photographs. The family has been feuding since February of last year, when Joanne Nayar revealed wedding details to the press. Mrs. Nayar, Arun’s stepmother, has been accused of using the media attention to promote her jewelry line.

Arun Nayar’s grandmother wasn’t invited to the celebration. Vinod Nayar said he felt the British guests were given preferential treatment at the wedding, while Indian family and friends were relegated to the sidelines of the ceremony.

Hot pink wedding for Hurley
Holy matrimony!
Want to avoid shaadi disasters? Be sure to check out the June issue of for our special summer wedding issue.

1 Comment         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 9, 2007

Rai Puts Her Best Face Forward

Faces Ash
Rai in London yesterday

Aishwarya Rai is in London this week, promoting her latest film, Provoked—a true story based on the life of Kiran Ahluwalia, a Punjabi British victim of domestic violence who killed her husband in 1989.

Rai plays the lead role.

The actress spent part of yesterday inaugurating the photo exhibit Faces: A celebration of 75 years of Bollywood cinema.

Open to the public through April 21 (at Sitaaray), the exhibit features the work of Gautam Rajadhyaksha, the famed photographer who has captured the spirit of screen-legends like Devika Rani and Rekha, Shabana Azmi, Pooja Bhatt—and, of course, Ash herself.

“I do not shoot politicians or religious heads, simply because I am not interested in them,” Rajadhyaksha tells India’s Sunday Tribune. “My original belief is to capture and present the side of famous personalities not known to the public.”

In addition to Provoked, Rai has most recently appeared in the Mani Ratnam film Guru. Listen to “Tere Bina,” from the soundtrack, below—and be sure to check out next month’s issue of for an exclusive on Provoked.

Ready to transform your…impression of Ash?
Toronto gets Junior Mints out for Junior B
Ash and Abi altar-bound
Provoked screening on May 11th in the Bay Area will raise money for local non-profit Narika.

Comments Off on Rai Puts Her Best Face Forward         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 5, 2007

Marriage Lacks Mirch

Padma & Salman

Rumor has it Top Chef hostess Padma Lakshmi has split with Salman Rushdie, her husband of the last three years.

According to a source at the New York Observer, Lakshmi, 36, is leaving the Midnight’s Children author in order to focus on her career.

Designer Diane von Furstenberg (wrap-dresses!) was overheard talking about the breakup, telling friends: “I can’t believe she’s leaving him.”

Salman Rushdie, 59, is currently a writer-in-residence at Emory University in Atlanta.

The two were an item for more than eight years.

3 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   March 29, 2007