Lady Killer

Lady Killer

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

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

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 and talk-show appearances,magazine covers and spreads,a contract with Estee Lauder and even a Woody Allen movie alongside Antonio Banderas — all courtesy of 15 minutes of screentime in the Boyle movie. Life couldn’t get more Bollywood.

Female CEOs are no longer a novelty,but the big,bad world of finance is still largely male-dominated and when a woman breaks through the glass vault,it is something to celebrate. Chanda Kochhar succeeds KV Kamath as the CEO of ICICI Bank. With the financial world caught in a tsunami,Kochhar has no mean task before her.

Indians have the tendency to over-hype sportspersons who win even a single international accolade. So it is quite refreshing to see badminton champion Saina Nehwal living 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.


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. She is currently on a residency in Paris,even as she maintains Mindfields,a journal about ideas and alternative education. Wait for Parva,her take on the Mahabharata.

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 queen of Tinseltown. This year sees three releases — What’s Your Raashee?,Kaminey and Pyar Impossible. And with rumours abuzz about she and Kaminey co-star Shahid Kapur being a couple,Piggy Chops will stay in the gossip columns as well.

Farhan Akhtar’s big sis started off the year with a bang — her directorial debut Luck By Chance saw the light of day nearly seven years after she wrote the script. Critics couldn’t stop raving about her attention to detail and her grasp of the inner workings of Bollywood. She will be back by the end of the year,with close friend Reema Kagti’s next project.

Tall and dark — in many ways,Lakshmi Menon is the typical ‘Indian’ beauty. But in many ways,she’s as unconventional as they come. With a strong jawline 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 and been featured in Vogue. We know it doesn’t stop here for this beauty.

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 could match even the best of its heroes in Ghajini. The 23-year-old won over the masses and the critics with her performance. London Dreams could be her big ticket in 2009. And in this election year,three women will call the shots — from 10 Janpath,Delhi; 5 Kalidas Marg,Lucknow; and Poes Garden,Chennai.