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NEWSMAKERS: 1-15 November 2001

Arshad Zakaria has been made co-president of the Corporate and Institutional Client Group (CICG) of Merrill Lynch. At 39, Zakaria is one of the youngest Indians to be elevated to this coveted position. He along with his colleague Roy will manage the CICG business which accounts for almost half of Merrill Lynch’s revenues of $ 27 billion (Rs 129,600 crores). DSP Merill Lynch’s Indian chairman Hemendra Kothari said Zakaria’s appointment is an achievement to be proud of as it is yet another recognition of Indian brain power at global level. Arshad Zakaria is the son of Dr Rafiq and Fatima Zakaria. His brother Fareed Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek International. Eloquent like his father and a boy who measures his words, as his parents describe him, Arshad is a product of Cathedral School in Mumbai where he topped in every subject. He was also fond of sports and excelled in cricket, tennis and football. After school, Arshad wrote the SAT and got admission in every ivy league university in the US. He went to Harvard and graduated with summa cum laude, the highest distinction in applied mathematics. Arshad then went to Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar and recipient of the Loeb-Rhoades Fellowship in France. He worked with First Boston before moving on to Merill Lynch in 1987 in investment banking. He was made managing director in 1991.

Fardeen Khan, star actor is now new face for Provogue. He has been paid an eight-figure sum for endorsing the label. ’As Provogue is all about redefining fashion, Fardeen is the best new man on the block. He is ideal choice, as he has got the panache, the look and most important, the right attitude, says Salil Chaturvedi, Head of Marketing and Merchandise, Provogue. Fardeen Khan, who himself wears nothing less than Armani or Gucci, says, ’Provogue‘s formal range has a timeless elegance matched with that trendy look and that is a great combination. ‘ A big fan of Big B, Amir and Shah Rukh, Fardeen loves fast cars and is sure if he were not an actor he would be making movies. Provogue started out as an export-oriented unit, with markets in Ireland, UK and France, and began its Indian operations in 1994. The company is run by two brothers Salil and Nikhil for stylish fashion garments.

Lucky Ali is now busy as he plays three-in-one role in Kya Main Ab Bhi Tumse Pyar Karta Hoon. He was also busy in giving final touches to a qawwali which he has composed for the film. Junoon is supposed to render the qawwali, but the Pakistani group has run into visa problems, explains Lucky, who plans to go ahead and record the qawwali with Adnan Sami. Lucky’s interest in music dates back to the time when he was 13 and his mother presented him with a guitar. But it was the acting bug which drew him to the film industry. Maqsood (Lucky’s real name), is the second son of comedian Mehmood. Lucky Ali was born as Maqsood Mehmood Ali, but he was soon renamed Lucky after Mehmood’s popularity at the box-office coincided with his birth.

Veteran music director Naushad would be provided land by the government of Maharashtra for his Academy for Indian Music, in recognition of the master composer’s six-decade-long contribution that has enriched Indian film music in a big way. Speaking at a felicitation function organized to honour Naushad for his contribution to Indian cinema, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said, ‘Sixty years is a long time, but the immortal melodies composed by Naushad can still make us swing. He may be 82, but his songs are always young.’ The government is a patron of arts and culture and is duty-bound to appreciate the efforts of the likes of Naushadji for the conservation of Indian music,’ Deshmukh said promising to provide land for the academy in the city. Accepting the felicitation, Naushad, who came to Mumbai in 1937 to begin his music career, said, ‘I want to set up the academy here because Maharashtra made me the Naushad everybody knows today.’ Veteran actor Dilip Kumar, while speaking about his long association with the composer of such great melodies as ‘awaz de kahaan hai’ (Anmol Ghari), ‘Afsana Likh raha Hoon’ (Dard) and ‘Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya’(Mughal-e-Azam), said in chaste Urdu ‘Naushadji’s generation had quality, ethics of their own, which is reflected in the music, in his timeless compositions.’

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