Kirmani on Season 2 of Top Design


Shazia Kirmani, who gave a solid introduction to interior design in “Decorating 101,” made her Bravo debut last night in “Top Design’s” second season. The TV series, hosted last time by Todd Oldham who transitions to a mentor role this season, follows 13 interior designers through various challenges as they compete to win $100,000 and a four-page showcase in Elle Decor magazine. (One member of the judge’s panel, Margaret Russell, serves as editor-in-chief of Elle Decor.)

Kirmani and the 12 other designers featured on the show have diverse backgrounds. The group includes a trained countertenor, an artist, a Yale-trained architect, a real-estate developer, a set decorator for film and TV, a former fashion designer, a magazine style editor, and several decorators who already run their own firms. Kirmani falls in the latter group. After graduating from the Art Institute of Dallas, she and her roommate designer Jesse Neargarder had their East Dallas apartment featured in D Home. Today she helms her own design firm, EgoSpace Interiors.

In her 60 Second Life Story video, Kirmani says that she was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to Pakistani parents, and that she has lived most of her life in Texas. According to her show bio, after her first semester at University of Texas at Austin studying biochemistry, she realized she was “more passionate about redesigning her bedroom than anything that was going on in the classroom.” In a interview, the designer shares details from behind the scenes at “Top Design.”

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Comments Off on Kirmani on Season 2 of Top Design         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   September 4, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance: Bollywood Edition

Katee and Joshua performed the first ever Bollywood number on “So You Think You Can Dance” to “Dhoom Taana” from “Om Shanti Om” last night and KILLED it. I absolutely loved this number and the choreographer, Nakul Dev Mahajan, did an amazing job teaching these two the specifics of proper bhangra and classical dance technique.

Comments Off on So You Think You Can Dance: Bollywood Edition         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   July 10, 2008

Sunkrish Swaddled on NFTUB Season Premiere

Sunkrish Bala (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

The second season of Notes from the Underbelly premiered this week, with a cast including Lisa Harris, Jennifer Westfeldt and Sunkrish Bala. (See “Life of a Bala” in for more on Sunkrish.) The bedroom scene in which he’s subjected to his wife’s efforts to unravel the secrets of their Burberry-clad French nanny’s swaddling technique is the highlight of Bala’s limited on-screen time in this episode.

Not sure what swaddling is or why it would strike fear into the hearts of new parents? Join the club. “How hard is a swaddle?” asks the show’s expecting mother. “It’s like giving an angry cat a bath when you’re drunk,” answers Melanie Paxson, who plays his wife.

In a recent interview, Bala talked about what he looks for in a girl, entertaining the babies on set, and his character Eric.

You’re way too young to be a dad in real life, but you play one on TV so well…

Yeah, Eric and Julie are just those obnoxious parents next door that you don’t want to talk to. Our world is about our baby – the “Mommy and Me” and “Music and Me” classes and waterbabies. It’s like we did this before we had our child, and now our life is consumed by it. It’s a little gross.

Everyone always asks me, what does Eric do for a living on your show?

You know, it’s such a mystery. No one knows and everyone speculates. I know he’s incredibly wealthy, so it’s something that pays a lot of money. That’s all that’s ever been made clear to me.

Any guesses?

He’s definitely like an I-banker or a finance guy. Eric’s so square and boring, but he’s richer than I will ever be in my life!

Maybe he’s a super spy?

You know what, I like that. Eric’s a super spy, and no one knows it, he’s that’s ultra smooth. (OK! Magazine)

Comments Off on Sunkrish Swaddled on NFTUB Season Premiere         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   November 28, 2007

(Not So Much) Naveen in Brave One

Andrews and Foster filmed The Brave One in New York. (

While browsing movie listings over the weekend, I noticed that the cast of The Brave One, the latest Jodie Foster star vehicle, includes Naveen Andrews. As a Lost fan impatiently awaiting the next season scheduled for sometime never in 2008, this piqued my interest. Andrews plays Foster’s “sensitive, guitar-strumming male nurse” fiancé named David Kirmani. Or he does until he dies at the hands of thugs, an event that happens early in the film as the catalyst thrusting Foster’s character, radio host Erica Baines, into vigilante mode.

While Terrence Howard‘s role as a romantic interest and detective on the trail of the vigilante sounds like it would ameliorate the suspiciously UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT quality of Andrews’ early demise, that may be small consolation for us fans of Lost‘s Sayid looking to see more of Andrews on the big screen. Maybe we should rent Bride and Prejudice or My Own Country instead (actually, Netflix is nugatory on that last title, so maybe not). As for my ultimate choice of movie for last weekend? Rebel Without a Cause. No Naveen (just Dean) but rewarding nonetheless. 🙂

Comments Off on (Not So Much) Naveen in Brave One         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   September 17, 2007

Cultural Connect’s Sumaya Kazi on CNN

Sumaya Kazi and Nicole Lapin
Lapin and Kazi on Larry King’s set. (Courtesy CNN PR, Sumaya Kazi)

Young People Who Rock, CNN’s weekly interview series hosted by Nicole Lapin and focused on people under 30 recently interviewed Sumaya Kazi of The Cultural Connect, a media publishing company with a series of online magazines spotlighting young minority professionals. Watch the CNN Live Video interview.

Kazi took a few questions from Lapin, and if we didn’t hear it from Kazi herself—“Don’t laugh! it’s my first ever on-camera interview!”—we wouldn’t have guessed that this appearance marks her TV debut. Lapin, on the other hand, struck me as a tiny bit awkward, dropping the “Asian” from “Southeast Asian” (or perhaps she meant “South/East Asian”), resulting in the phrases “Southeast Trinity” and “Southeast background,” the latter referring to Kazi’s background. Maybe words like South Asian or South Asian American don’t exactly roll off the tongues of every news anchor. Or perhaps Lapin was nervous about interviewing someone who has been running with the new CNN show’s basic premise for two years now over at The Cultural Connect!

Previously: “Business Week Names Kazi to Top 25 Under 25”

1 Comment         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   July 17, 2007
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Nina & Ankur Get Extreme

A dancer entertains guests at the reception while Nina and Ankur watch from a balcony. (Photo: Lars Wanberg)

Nina Mirchandani and Ankur Desai’s wedding (featured in here) will appear on TLC‘s Extreme Weddings tonight. The spectacular bi-coastal wedding took place on two separate weekends and featured amazing entertainment and stunning interiors. Watch it tonight, Friday, June 15, at 8 p.m. and midnight ET. Catch it again tomorrow, Saturday, June 16, at 3 p.m. ET.

2 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   June 15, 2007

“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 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

Shalini is On The Lot


I’ve kinda gotten sucked into FOX’s new reality show On The Lot where a group of talented aspiring movie directors are given weekly challenges to make short films and are voted off by viewers American Idol-style.

Last night’s episode featured the filmmakers 1-minute comedy shorts… there were definite standouts (Adam Stein’s Dance Man) and films that left me scratching my head (Kenny Luby’s Wack Alley Cab).

Of the eighteen contestants is documentary filmmaker Shalini Kantayya of Brooklyn, NY. While her comedy short wasn’t conceptually one of the best last night, it was still beautifully shot and sent me off to Google to search for her work.

I found her film A Drop of Life, starring Nandita Das and liked what I saw in the trailer.
From the movie’s web site:

Set in the near future, A DROP OF LIFE is the story of two women, a village teacher in rural India and an African American corporate executive, whose disparate lives intersect when they are both confronted with lack of access to clean drinking water.

This woman has definitely got a voice. Tune in tonight to the results show to see if she stays in the competition. (And read more about her from Ego Magazine‘s interview with her last year.)

On The Lot airs on Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7 c on FOX.

Comments Off on Shalini is On The Lot         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 29, 2007

Power Couple Palman Does The Rounds

Padma Lakshmi is gearing up for the third season (her second) of Top Chef, the Bravo network’s popular culinary competition. Starting June 6, tune in at 10 p.m. ET to see Lakshmi host the series which, this time around, takes place in Miami.

Not one to be left out of the spotlight, Lakshmi’s husband, Salman Rushdie, swung by the Colbert Report Wednesday evening to discuss the death of mainstream literary criticism. Colbert asked the Booker Prize winner why “it’s important to have need these elitist, ivory tower Ph.D.-types in magazines and newspapers” letting us know us what we “should and shouldn’t read” (especially with Oprah already telling us). Check out Rushdie’s response here:

Comments Off on Power Couple Palman Does The Rounds         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 11, 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