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Mark Manuel


Mark Manuel is a senior Mumbai editor with over three decades of journalism in leading publications including the Times, mid-day, and Afternoon. Currently with the Dainik Bhaskar Group, he is respected for his writing, especially his interviews of famous people. His first book, a fictional police procedural crime thriller, will be out later this year. Bollywood has already shown an interest in it. In a tribute to Mark Manuel’s years of experience, every super cop of the Mumbai Police has worked on the book with him.

Mark Manuel

When Sridevi Presided Over Siddhivinayak Temple On Ganesh Chaturthi

One Ganesh Chaturthi some years ago, I invited the lovely Sridevi to join me for the for the 4.30pm aarti at Siddhivinayak, Mumbai’s temple of miracles, dedicated to Lord Ganesh, in Prabhadevi. She accepted my invitation without a fuss. She wasn’t Bollywood’s ruling queen then, and even when she was, I don’t think she was given to starry airs and tantrums.
12/09/2016 1:25 PM IST
Yogen Shah

Rekha: The Story She Actually Told

Rekha is suddenly in the news again. After years of “being a recluse”, the enigmatic actress finds every skeleton in her closet being unceremoniously hauled out and rudely aired in an unauthorized biography titillatingly titled ‘Rekha: The Untold Story’. The biographer attempted to get in touch with Rekha, but failed. I was more fortunate. One of the last “exclusives” Rekha gave before declaring every journalist persona non grata was to me.
07/09/2016 12:55 PM IST
Mark Manuel

‘SRK And The Other Stars I Trained Don’t Come To Me On Teachers’ Day’

It’s Teachers’ Day. But Barry John, the man famously known as Shah Rukh Khan’s acting guru, is not rejoicing. No celebrity student visits him on this day. Nor on Guru Purnima, a festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. “Except Manoj Bajpayee,” he said, adding, “but he comes on my birthday, because we go back a long way. Manoj is like family to me.”
05/09/2016 1:55 PM IST
Mark Manuel

Vilas Shinde’s Murder Exposes The Injustices Of Our Legal System

My sympathies lie with the Mumbai Police. It lost Head Constable Vilas Shinde of the Traffic Control Branch to an unprovoked and brutal assault in public by a pair of brothers who were only 17 and 20 years old. Shinde was just doing his duty. Now the police are seeking legal opinion if the younger brother can be booked for Shinde’s murder as an adult or whether he comes under the protection of the Juvenile Justice Board.
02/09/2016 11:55 AM IST
Mark Manuel

Sri Sri Is Dabbling In Kashmir Now, And I’m Not Surprised

As a weekend guest at his ashram in Bengaluru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar could not have asked for anybody as questionable as Muzaffar Wani, the father of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen militant who was shot dead by security forces in J&K on 8 July. The Art of Living guru and Muzaffar are believed to have discussed the current situation of “suffering in the Valley”. And ways to restore “peace and normalcy.” That won’t happen, of course, but I’m not surprised at Sri Sri’s initiative.
29/08/2016 1:05 PM IST
Reuters Photographer / Reuters

The Day I Stunned Rajiv Gandhi With A Tabloid Photo

Today, 20 August, is the 72nd birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, and many newspapers are featuring front page in-memoriam ads for the former Prime Minister, followed by first person accounts inside by people recollecting their memories of him. Rather morbidly, most are tending to dwell on the last moments of his life. I have a different story to tell.
20/08/2016 10:30 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Three ‘Mucche-Gilli-Ho’ Pegs With The Sardar Of Scotch

I am curious to read “Me, The Jokerman”, a new collection of mostly unpublished essays by Khushwant Singh. The essays are bound to be as entertaining as they will be insightful, and each will tell a story. For Khushwant Singh was a master storyteller. Not in person, of course. If he didn’t know you well, or didn’t take to you, he could be decidedly boorish. One winter evening in 2000, I requested a meeting. “For what?” he rudely asked. “Just to have a drink,” I suggested. He reluctantly agreed.
12/08/2016 11:47 AM IST
Mark Manuel

Sunny Leone’s The Woman On Top And Even Salman Can’t Keep Up

Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, eat your hearts out. The most searched Indian actress on Google over the last 10 years has been Sunny Leone, never mind that the Indo-Canadian former porn star has been in Bollywood only since 2012. Frankly, I am not amazed at her celebrity, especially after interviewing her.
05/08/2016 1:27 PM IST
Mark Manuel

John Abraham Puts The Dish Into ‘Dishoom’, But He Doesn’t Stick His Butt Out For Nothing

John Abraham is back in action today. With Varun Dhawan and Jacqueline Fernandez in the sleek adventure-comedy ‘Dishoom’ that packs its punch with a cricket-kidnap-drama plot. Knowing John (and I’ve known him since he was a pimply-faced, gangly youngster), he’s not too anxious about the numbers. “The audience should just enjoy the film, let the trade be obsessed with the box office.”
29/07/2016 10:56 AM IST
AFP/Getty Images

Saint Of The Gutters: When The Little Nun In A Sari Asked For My Help

Long before her impending canonization was announced, I met Mother Teresa by chance, near a gutter in Bombay. I was very young; I had some idea who she was, but not what she did. By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late. I was a journalist by then. And she had no time for journalists. Though that day in 1979, all Mother Teresa had wanted from me was a moment of MY time.
22/07/2016 11:12 AM IST
AFP/Getty Images

The Slow Slipping Away Of Rajesh Khanna, Bollywood’s First Superstar

It was raining when the family announced Rajesh Khanna’s death on the afternoon of 18 July, 2012. Not the kind of heavy downpour that Mumbai’s shrinking lakes would gratefully accept, but a light, continuous drizzle that swept Carter Road in Bandra West and dropped silently on Aashirwad -- the road and bungalow in which Rajesh Khanna lived, as if the Heavens were crying inconsolably for the loss of this great actor, Bollywood’s first superstar.
18/07/2016 5:50 PM IST
AFP/Getty Images

Baba Ramdev: Simple Living, High Thinking, Fast Driving

Somebody with a lot of imagination put Baba Ramdev on the cover of a national news magazine performing the Prasarita Padottanasana, and the Twitterati has not stopped taking unkind digs at him since then… But I like Baba Ramdev. Ten years ago, before Patanjali Ayurveda took off and all he dreamed about was yoga, I interviewed him in Mumbai.
18/07/2016 2:54 PM IST
Mark Manuel

From Modi's Fate To The World's End, Bejan Daruwalla Unwraps The Future On His 86th Birthday

Shree Ganesha Namah! It's Bejan Daruwalla's birthday on Monday. That bawdy Parsi astrologer and celebrated Ganpati-<em>bhakt</em> will turn 86. Age cannot wither him nor custom stale his infinite variety. Everybody from Narendra Modi down holds their palm out to Bejan when they meet him, hoping for a freebie. For his birthday, he always makes a general forecast. This time he's made three.
09/07/2016 8:46 AM IST