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People to watch out for in 2012

We asked the experts to give us their nominations for people we ought to keep our eyes peeled for this year. Here goes...

brunch Updated: Dec 31, 2011 17:22 IST
Hindustan Times

We asked the experts to give us their nominations for people we ought to keep our eyes peeled for this year. Here goes...

Four actors who will burn the screen:

Rajeev Masand film critic, CNN IBN, chooses the supercool Imran Khan and the elusive Aditi Rao Hydari.

ImranImran Khan

"Imran is most definitely a bonafide star, but he has not had the opportunity to show off his acting chops. People have tapped into his ‘chocolate boy’ image, but his upcoming movie with Vishal Bharadwaj (Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola) represents his best shot to show us what he’s got, as most actors bloom under Vishal."

Imran: “I prefer to speak about things after they happen, as the future is so uncertain. But this is the first time I am working with a seasoned and successful director, and so it’s very exciting as there’s so much for me to pick up. Vishal’s (Bharadwaj) film is quite a landmark for me!”

Ranbir Kapoor

"Pretty much the first quarter, if not an entire first half of 2012, would go towards feting film actors for their exemplary work in the previous year. In that sense, I suspect, the next year may well belong to Ranbir Kapoor, for his stellar performance in Rockstar.

Ranbir"It’s unlikely to go unnoticed in the several fake/real award shows. The trophies, no doubt, will be well deserved, for two reasons One, for a while, we’ve been waiting for a young, talented (under 30) leading man who can universally capture the audiences’ imagination (the top Khans are on the wrong side of their 40s now).

"Two, as an actor, Ranbir picks a range of subjects and roles, and means well for films. It’s not merely about narcissistic stardom alone: those days, we hope, are behind us. Kapoor has Barfee lined up with director Anurag Basu next year, which could be a movie to watch out for."

Aditi Rao Hydari

"I've been tracking her for a while, ever since I saw her in Delhi 6, Yeh Salli Zindagi and Rockstar. The song Genda Phool featured her, and she played the journalist in Rockstar. I think she’s mesmerising and shows lots of promise. She’s also oozed such confidence in her roles so far that I’m excited about what she will do in a lead role opposite Ali Zafar in the movie London, Paris, NY."

Aditi: “It’s very humbling when people from the industry tell you that they have been tracking your career and following your body of work.”

VidyaVidya Balan

"Likewise Vidya will knock back quite a few cups and trophies at film awards' shows in 2012 for her stunning interpretation of soft-porn queen Silk in The Dirty Picture, besides nominations for a fine portrayal of sister Sabrina in No One Killed Jessica based on the Jessica Lal murder case. Both the films were by far the finest movies in 2011 with a female central character, something that’s already rare in Bollywood. Besides, Balan has another girl-power pic Kahani, allegedly inspired by Kill Bill, coming up next year."

Vidya: “Wow, that's wonderful! A big thank you to him. I’m flattered and humbled by this faith.”
– Mignonne Dsouza

Other names we think will rock the new year:
Film actors Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bahchan, Priyanka Chopra, Television actors Ram Kapoor, Barun Sobti, Sakshi Tanwar, Sanaya Irani, Singers Dhanush, Sonu Nigam, Music composer Amit Trivedi, Film directors Milan Luthria, Neeraj Pandey, Raj Kumar Gupta, Imtiaz Ali.

The fashion designer who will make the cut:
Sunil Sethi president, Fashion Design Council Of India, nominates designers Joyjit, Divyam Mehta and Urmi Ghosh. But he singles out Aneeth Arora for her work in textiles.

Aneeth Arora
She’s just four seasons old in the business, and 28-year-old Aneeth is already retailing from stores in 20 countries. A torchbearer of Indian textiles, what Delhi-based Aneeth does beautifully is present them in a truly international (not just western) way.

Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard her name. Aneeth is one of those few designers who lets her work speak for itself. After passing out of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), she went on to study textile designing and that is what works for her.

“I don’t follow trends. My aim is to revive Indian textiles.That is the way forward. I work with techniques like ikat, tie-n-dye and chikankari every season and put my collection around them. I derive inspiration from anywhere, even the streets. I saw this man on the street wearing different coloured buttons and I thought that was a great idea,” says she.

Her strength lies in her silhouettes and draping. “I make versatile clothes. A scarf can be a dupatta, a bandhgala can be a jacket. You just have to be a bit imaginative.”

Ask her how she feels to be the chosen one, and she says that this is maybe the second or third interview she has given!
– Parul Khanna

The sportsman who will hit the bullseye:

Here’s our jury: Former cricketer Javagal Srinath, sports journalist Pradeep Magazine and former hockey captain Pargat Singh mention quite a few sportspersons to look out for, but they agree that 2012 will probably belong to the shooters. Especially Ronjan Sodhi.

Ronjan Sodhi
Ace shooter Ronjan Sodhi says he’s absolutely honoured to be the chosen one: “It really feels great to be selected by a panel of such esteemed judges. It also puts a huge responsibility on my shoulders and I really look forward to proving myself.”

Ronjan does double trap shooting and is currently ranked world number two.

Double trap shooting is a competitive form of clay pigeon shooting in which two clay pigeons are simultaneously thrown into the air from clay machines positioned inside a room/pit in the ground. Each shooter has to burst both the pigeons with his double-barrel.

Born in Punjab, Ronjan studied at Modern School in Delhi and took to shooting when he was in class 11.

“The very thought of using a real gun really excited me and I also realised that shooting is a 90 per cent mental sport where your mind rules over everything else. And unlike other sports where you are allowed to show your emotions, in shooting you are expected to control your emotions all the time,” says the 32-year-old whose younger brother is also in the same profession.

For someone who decided to pursue shooting seriously as a career only after 2004, Ronjan has come a long way.

“The sport involves a lot of patience, practice and concentration. There are times when we are practicing at the shooting range for nearly seven to eight hours or even longer depending upon how consistent I am. One also has to pay equal attention to physical fitness,” says Sodhi who recently created history by being the only Indian to defend his world title in the World Cup finals in the UAE this year.
– Veenu Singh

Singers who will hit the high notes:
Salim Merchant of music duo Salim-Sulaiman picks versatile singers Benny Dayal and Shweta Pandit.

Benny Dayal
“I feel that Benny of Pocket Mein Rocket Hai (Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year) and Tarkeebein (Band Baaja Baraat) fame is definitely the voice to watch out for in 2012. He is one of the most versatile singers in the industry and his voice is very ‘now.’”

Twenty seven-year-old Benny Dayal had sung for (Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Yearin many south Indian films, when Rahman gave him a break in Bollywood with Pappu Can’t Dance Saala.

Shweta Pandit
“Another voice that I feel will define 2012 is that of Shweta Pandit. The tone of her voice is very unique and that is what I love about her. Her understanding of music makes her a very versatile singer. She sang for the legendary Ilayaraja in Anjali at the age of five, so you know she’s good. Just the fact that her voice is not too exposed works in her favour.”

A child prodigy, Shweta Pandit got her first major break in Aditya Chopra’s Mohabbatein with five leading songs. She was only 12 years old that time. Her recent popular songs are Charha De Rang from Yamla Pagla Deewna, Madhubala from Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Thug Le from Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl.

Sajid Khan of music duo Sajid Wajid selects 12-year-old newbie Muskaan and television reality show discovery, Shadaab Faridi

“She is all of 12 but the potential I see in her is hard to ignore. She has a deep husky voice which is much preferred these days. She is currently training in music and also learning the piano. What amazes me is her understanding of music at this young age.”

Muskaan has not sung in Bollywood yet but music duo Sajid Wajid are planning to sign her for one of their upcoming projects.

Shadaab Faridi
“I have seen him perform on stage and he has a lot of potential. He has sung one song for me and I feel his hardworking nature combined with powerful voice will make him the voice to watch out for.”

A Sufi singer from the Saharanpur gharana, Shadaab made his mark in TV show Music Ka Maha Muqabala.
– Amrah Ashraf

The television host with the most:

Samir Kochhar
“Samir is not your everyday host. He picks and chooses his roles and masters them. He was super in Extraa Innings and now with Survivor, he will be a force to reckon with. His hard work, energy and amiability as a host are wonderful. Definitely my pick for 2012. But I would also like to see Hussain Kuwajerwala back on TV. And I think Ayushman Khurana is very spontaneous.”

Delhi boy Samir was always clear about what he wanted to be. “My interest in soccer and cricket and the performing arts was there even in school,” says the St Columba’s alumnus.

Radio voice-overs, live shows, news broadcasts on Jain TV, and even a controversial show Dangerous on Zoom, followed, till Samir’s big ticket Extraa Innings happened in 2008 on Set Max. “It was like a dream come true. It was a brilliant mix of Bollywood and cricket, the two religions of India.”

But hosting random shows wasn’t Samir’s thing. Instead, he concentrated on his acting career and did films like Zehar and Jannat.

It was however, the raw challenge of Survivor, the new reality show which will soon start on Star Plus, that got him back on TV. Known for his calm, composed style of working, he seemed to be a perfect fit to host a nerve wracking show like Survivor. “His is a stylish persona and that was a great contrast to the rugged feel of the show,” says Niret Alva.

For Samir though, it was the starkness of the show that stunned him. “It is too real. And it scares you. I almost became a part psychiatrist for most contestants,” he laughs. Though a little nervous, he is happy that his work is being appreciated. “I hope this is just the beginning.”
– Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi

The other names
Everyone has Olympic medal hopes from star sportspersons like shooter Abhinav Bindra and badminton player Saina Nehwal, says Javagal Srinath.

Boxer Vikas Krishan is yet another Olympic hope, says Pargat Singh. Pradeep Magazine thinks fast bowler Umesh Yadav is one of the most promising new cricketers.

From HT Brunch, January 1

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First Published: Dec 30, 2011 15:09 IST