Lady killer

If Slumdog Millionaire is the new Melba,Freida Pinto is the Beluga on the toast.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published:March 8, 2009 3:24 am

On International Women’s Day,here’s our list of mesdames who matter

Freida Pinto
If Slumdog Millionaire is the new Melba,Freida Pinto is the Beluga on the toast. The leggy lass has reaped heaps of adulation,red carpet appearances,magazine covers and spreads,a contract with Estee Lauder,talk show appearances and even a Woody Allen movie with Antonio Banderas — all for a total of about 15 minutes of screen time in the movie. Life couldn’t get better for this Mumbai girl.

Chanda Kochhar
Many people may not think that female CEOs are a novelty; but the big,bad world of finance is still largely male-dominated and when a woman breaks through the glass ceiling,it’s something to celebrate. The appointment of Chanda Kochhar as the CEO of ICICI Bank to succeed KV Kamath has been a welcome move. However,with the financial world in turmoil,the task lying before Kochhar is an arduous one,but there is no doubt that she’ll win with aplomb.

Asin Thottumkal
She may have been a hit in the South Indian film industry,but Bollywood was a whole new ball game. Asin,however,proved that she can ace any game,as she matched Aamir Khan on screen in Ghajini. The 23-year-old won over the masses and the critics with her performance. But the real test lies ahead with a mega release in 2009,London Dreams. Let’s hope Asin can pull this one off too.

Amruta Patil
Writer,sequential artist,illustrator—that is how Amruta Patil describes herself. Indian graphic novel aficionados know her better as the creator of the dark and intense Kari. This gifted artist and storyteller is currently on a residency in Paris,even as she maintains Mindfields,a journal about ideas and alternative education. As for fans,they can wait with bated breath as Patil comes out next year with Prava,her take on the Mahabharata.

Priyanka Chopra
She has picked up trophy after trophy at every award ceremony this year. All her movies may not have rocked the box office,but Priyanka Chopra was the undisputed queen of Tinseltown. This year too sees three releases in her kitty —What’s Your Raashee?,Kaminey and Pyar Impossible. And with rumours abuzz about her and Kaminey co-star Shahid Kapur being a couple,Piggy Chops will ensure that she stays in the gossip columns as well.

Zoya Akhtar
Farhan Akhtar’s big sis started off the New Year with a bang—her directorial debut Luck By Chance finally saw the light of day nearly seven years after she wrote the script. Critics simply couldn’t stop raving about Akhtar’s minute attention to detail and her grasp of the inner workings of Bollywood. She’s taking a well-earned break now,but promises to be back by the end of the year,working on close friend Reema Kagti’s next project.

Lakshmi Menon
Tall and dark— in many ways,Lakshmi Menon is the typical ‘Indian’ beauty. But in many other ways,she’s as unconventional as they come. With a strong jaw line and endless legs,Menon is global fashion’s latest muse. She’s walked the ramp for biggies like Hermes,Jean Paul Gaultier,Issey Miyake,Stella McCartney,Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors. She’s been the face of Hermes,has renewed a contract with Givenchy,been featured by Vogue and is hailed by New York Look as a ‘Rising Star’. We know it doesn’t stop there for this beauty.

Farah Siddiqui
One of the newest art entrepreneurs,Farah Siddiqui has made a name for herself in a very short period of time. Her achievements have already been recognised by the Prix Pictet award,the world’s premier photographic award. Siddiqui has refused to tread the oft-travelled route in art—her highlight for the year will be a big show of budding artists.

Saina Nehwal
Indians have the tendency to over-hype sportspersons who win even a single international accolade. So it’s quite refreshing to see badminton champion Saina Nehwal live up to expectations — she’s won the gold at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games and the World Junior Badminton Championships. Currently ranked tenth in the world,all eyes will be trained on Nehwal as she competes in the All-England Open Badminton Championships later this month.

Natasha Poonawalla
She’s wowed the fashion pundits with her spot-on ‘racecourse’ style. Married into the Poonawalla family,well-known for their stables and their association with the turf,Natasha Poonawalla has travelled the world attending various international derbies and has brought back with her the fashion sense that goes with horseracing. But it’s the international fashion weeks that this labeled lass prefers. Armed with her Birkins and Leibers,Poonawalla will only continue her climb up the society ladder.

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