2012 THE YEAR THAT WAS
Awards and honors Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, a professor in the human- ities at Columbia University, won the Kyoto Prize, the highest private award given in Japan for global
achievement. Spivak’s work focuses on those marginalized
by Western culture.
The National Council of Asian Indian Associations pre-
sented Aziz Haniffa, Editor and Chief Diplomatic and
Novelist Siddhartha Deb won PEN’s Open Book Award,
conferred upon an author of color.
Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri walked in the foot-
Vijay Iyer scores again Apart from kicking some serious groove with his new album Accelarando, Vijay
Iyer picked up the Greenfield
Prize, awarded by the Hermitage
Artist Retreat and the Greenfield
He also won in a whopping five
categories of the 60th annual
poser category too, and on the
Iyer’s musical brother Rudresh
Mahanthappa was voted alto saxophonist of the year for the second
time in a row.
Hollywood ties Hollywood ties
Learning from the Ustad
PeeCee turns singer Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra debuted her single In My City, featuring
will.i.am, at Thursday Night
Football in September.
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan did a stint as a music teacher at Stanford University. The sarod
maestro became the first Indian melody soloist to lecture at the university
Padma loses custody battle
Padma Lakshmi lost the battle
over her daughter Krishna to
Adam Dell, who had sued her last
year after DNA tests proved that
he was the child’s biological father.
The dispute was settled privately,
out of court. Dell got improved
visitation and custody rights.
The ties between Hollywood and Indian cine- ma continued to grow. Argentinean film- maker Pablo Cesar found a new muse in
Rabindranath Tagore and hoped to convince
Amitabh Bachchan to play Tagore in the film titled
Thinking Of Him.
Bachchan, meanwhile, took up his first
Hollywood venture. Australian director Baz
Luhrmann convinced him to play Meyer
Wolfsheim in his screen adaptation of The Great
Gatsby, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay
Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and
Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway.
From left, Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfsheim, Tobey
Maguire as Nick Carraway and Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay
steps of the likes of Toni Morrison when she was voted into
the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Sculptor Anish
Kapoor was made an honorary member.
University of South Florida Professor Autar Kaw was chosen as the Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities
Professor of the Year.
Indian cinematographer Santosh Sivan became the only
cinematographer in the Asia-Pacific region to be granted
the invitation-only membership to the American Society of
Politico journalist Manu Raju scooped up the Merriman
Smith Award for Excellence in Presidential Coverage under
pressure in the print category at the White House
Filmmaker Deepa Mehta received the Governor-General’s
Performing Arts Award in Canada.
Zarin Mehta retires Zarin Mehta retired as president and executive direc- tor of the New York Philharmonic. He held the position from 2000.
The year also saw Anupam Kher star in David O Russel’s well-received Silver Linings Playbook. He picked up a Screen Actors
Guild nomination in the Outstanding Performance
by a Cast in a Motion Picture category, while the
film picked up other nominations at SAG and the
Indian director Dheeraj Akolkar wrapped up Liv
& Ingmar, a film about Liv Ullman’s stormy and
passionate relationship with legendary director
Nikki Haley turns author
South Carolina Governor Nimrata ‘Nikki’ Randhawa Haley made her debut as a writer with Can’t
Is Not an Option: My American Story.
She described with candor the racism,
sexism and bigotry she endured.
The Dinesh D’Souza debacle
Ridiculous as it seemed to many, Dinesh D’Souza’s anti-Barack Obama docudrama 2016Obama’s America made it to the top 10 in North America.
Soon, he had to resign from his post as president of King
College in New York when it was revealed that he was
having an extra-marital affair.
Sir Venki Dr Venkatraman ‘Venki’ Ramakrishnan, the Indian- American scientist whose pioneering work in molecular biology
won him the 2009 Nobel Prize in
Chemistry, was conferred a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.
Rushdie’s story Salman Rushdie remained in the news through the year. Part of it was because he finally told his story of the decade he spent in hiding in his memoir Joseph
Anton, and partly because Deepa Mehta rolled out the
screen adaptation of his Booker Prize-winning novel
Athaiya returns Oscar statue India’s first Oscar winner, Bhanu Athaiya, who won the coveted award for costume design for the Richard Attenborough - directed film Gandhiin 1983,
returned the trophy to the American Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences, so that it stays safe.
From left, the Life Of Pi team in Mumbai — actor Irrfan Khan,
director Ang Lee, actress Tabu and Suraj Sharma, the debutant
who plays the protagonist. When Ang Lee took up Life Of Pi,
based on Yann Martel’s Booker-winning novel, he was warned
against shooting in India. But the man who had previously
made Oscar winners like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and
Brokeback Mountain took the chance and is glad he did. For
Irrfan Khan, this was his second outing in a Hollywood film this
year; he was earlier seen in a small role in The Amazing SpiderMan.