Archive for March, 2010
Pooja Ghai and Niraj Rawal tell Vickey Lalwani how they walked down the altar, three years after separating as man and wife
Relaxing in their luxurious 14th floor Oshiwara flat, Pooja Ghai and Niraj Rawal look lovey-dovey like any other newly-weds.
A great moment of domestic bliss, save for an interesting detail — it was a second walk down the aisle for both, the first time being with… each other! Mumbai Mirror had broken the story of how the tele-actress-turned-businesswoman Pooja and corporate professional Niraj had taken the saat pheras all over again after getting divorced three years ago. Incidentally, it was their son Raaj, 9, who took the lead in getting them together. Needless to say, the little one was an enthusiastic participant at his parents’ wedding held recently!
Looking back, a much-wiser Pooja and Niraj, who were married for eight long years, feel a twinge of regret. “We were rather immature to handle the responsibilities of marriage,” reflects Pooja. It’s a classic case of marrying in haste and repenting at leisure. She was then an aggressive 20-year-old; he, only 23. “Initially everything seems rosy. You overlook your partner’s faults. Only when you start living with a person do the rifts come to fore,” says Niraj. Gradually fights increased, ultimately leading to the courts.
The divorce especially took a toll on Raaj, who stayed with Pooja at her Andheri flat while Niraj lived with his parents at Worli. But the couple didn’t involve their son, who fortunately was too young to know what marriage and divorce were. “He asked questions about why we didn’t stay together but we handled it well. For eg, I’d tell him his Papa liked to live with his parents as he missed them,” says Pooja.
Meanwhile, Pooja even gave love a second shot when she got involved with actor Vikas Kalantri, though the relationship fizzled out. Was it difficult for them to accept the other’s new link-ups? “It pinches hard,” admits Niraj. “But you get over it because you have no right to intrude into somebody’s life.” Pooja shoots back, “I am sure he had girlfriends too in the three years. But it’s okay. We had decided to move on.”
Love, Chapter II
It was their love for Raaj that did the trick. The couple were already feeling guilty about their child growing up with a single parent. Raaj too missed his father very much. “I couldn’t play football and cricket with him, could I?” laughs Pooja, adding the tot would feel bad when he’d see other children with both their parents. “I couldn’t take it any longer.” Gradually it also dawned that they were hasty in separating. “You realise the worth of anything only when you lose it,” says Niraj. Pooja says, “One thing led to another and his sister advised us to give the relationship another shot. Again, Raaj’s persistence did the trick. He made a card on which he drew both of us inside a heart. The second page read: ‘Will you please marry my Papa? That did it!”
Then and now
What also worked for them was their new-found maturity and perspective. “I am 31, he’s 34 now. The time spent apart as well as their other relationships taught valuable lessons. Niraj says he sees a huge change in Pooja. “She is far calmer now than she was in her 20s; she has also stopped being a spendthrift! Pooja says, “Niraj bhi badal gaya hai. He used to be very aggressive, but he is more responsible towards his family, comes home early and listens to me more, now.”
No live-in, marriage suits Us
Taking the plunge again was a huge decision, but they were sure they wanted to get married and not test the waters, living in. “We don’t believe in it,” says Niraj. “It wouldn’t have gone down well with Raaj seeing his parents as a live-in couple. Live-ins are more accepted today but I feel it will peter out, just like the Hippy culture of the 70s or the 80s’ drug phase,” he says.
The main difference of being in a marriage as opposed to a relationship, say the duo, is that in the former the emphasis is on ‘ours’ than ‘yours’ or ‘mine’. “You start thinking about ‘us’ says Pooja. “It offers you more security though you have to make compromises and sacrifices.”
But the sweetest thing of getting back together is the wisdom that the time apart gives you. Chorus the couple,”Our entire mindset has changed. Now when we look back, the issues we fought on, seem so trivial!”
|Niraj Rawal and Pooja Ghai with their son Raaj at their second wedding|
Injured Kangna back in Mumbai, producer estimates loss at Rs 1.5 crore
Kangna Ranaut’s freak bike accident on the sets of Tanu Weds Manu in Jalandhar has burnt a hole in producer Sailesh Singh’s pocket – he claims to have incurred a loss of Rs 1.5 crore.
The actress injured her foot when the bike she was riding suddenly skidded. She is now back in Mumbai.
Sailesh now regrets not insuring the film. “I should have insured it. The tragic part is that I had spoken to an insurance agent on March 27 and we were supposed to get the film insured by end of the week. Unfortunately, the accident happened on March 28.” Now he has no choice but to grin and bear the loss.
The month-long shooting schedule in Punjab has been cancelled and Kangna’s co-actors, R Madhvan and Jimmy Shergill, were asked to pack up and go home. “I hope to get the combination dates of these three actors and resume the shoot by April 15. I think Kangna will be fine by then,” says Sailesh.
Anubhav Sinha is going all out to ensure that the Shah Rukh Khan-Kareena Kapoor starrer Ra.One becomes a landmark SFX film for Bollywood.
To make sure that only the best effects are incorporated in the film, he has given the Red Chillies team a list of Hollywood’s most outstanding SFX and 3-D movies for reference.
A source from the team reveals, “Anubhav is currently shooting in Goa with Shah Rukh and Kareena. They will be returning by the end of this week. As soon as they are back we will start our work. The actual SFX work on the movie can only begin once we get the film footage. Till then, the director has asked us to do our homework.
We have been given a list of movies like Avatar, Star Wars, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, X-Men and Terminator to study the various special effects used in them. Each movie is different and he wants us to understand, learn and implement those effects in Ra.One.”
The source continues, “Apart from studying these movies, we are sketching, sculpting various characters that might fit into the movie. We are also fine tuning various special effects.”
Anubhav Sinha remained unavailable for comment.
Deepika Padukone insisted on performing a risky stunt without using a body double
Deepika Padukone recently performed some of the most daredevil stunts for Lafange Parindey directed by Pradeep Sarkar but escaped unhurt. She plays a tomboy and will be seen wearing leather jackets and riding bikes, jumping over walls and doing spins and somersaults.
In fact, Deepika’s co-star Neil Nitin Mukesh is finding it hard to match up to her enthusiasm level. However, things went a little too far at Yash Raj Studios last week. While striding across the road with Neil, Deepika was supposed to fall into a deep and wide muddy pit. Neil’s protective instincts became evident when he told her not to perform the dangerous stunt and a body-double was arranged to fall into the deep hole. However, Deepika insisted on doing the stunt herself.
A source says, “Everyone in the unit thought it was too dangerous because Deepika had to walk straight into the pit and fall into the swirling muddy water. Once she fell in the pit only professional divers could help her come out. That’s how deep the hole in the ground was.” Once the camera started rolling, Deepika fell into the pit, pretending it was an accident, and went right to the bottom. Her expertise as a swimmer helped her to hold her breath underwater as divers rushed in to get her out.
Deepika confirmed the incident. “Yes, I did jump into the pit and I had to make it look like an accident so that the scene looked convincing. I had to do whatever it took,” she said.
Tennis champ Sania Mirza is not only in the news for her impending marriage but also for a film based on her life. Sonam Kapoor will play a character strikingly similar to Sania in Anees Bazmee’s rom-com Thank You. The film’s shooting starts mid-April in Canada.
Just like Sania, Sonam plays a young, attractive tennis champ and falls in love with a guy, who is completely wrong for her. She soon realises her mistake and turns back before it’s too late. Remember Sania calling off her engagement to Sohrab Mirza earlier this year before news of her impending marriage to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik started doing the rounds?
Director Anees Bazmee confirms the news and says, “Sonam does pay a tennis champ, and Akshay Kumar plays a guy who’s seeing 30-35 girls at the same time, until he meets Sonam. Though he gives up flirting, he’s not particularly serious about Sonam too. It’s a funny take on courtship.”
Sonam will be trained by a tennis coach in Canada for her role. “Sonam plays a state-level tennis champ in Canada so she cannot afford to look amateurish while playing the game in my film. I don’t expect her to become a tennis champ in a week but she should look like a professional,” adds the director.
When asked about the similarities between Sania Mirza and Sonam’s role Anees Bazmee says, “I wouldn’t like to take any names but any girl playing a tennis player would have similarities to the name you mentioned.”
What he would rather not say is that all the departments of his film including the script, camera and makeup, would be working towards making Sonam look like Sania.
Katrina Kaif opts out of Anurag Basu’s film with Ranbir Kapoor after she discovers that Priyanka Chopra is co-starring in it
Only solo-heroine films for Katrina Kaif – at least for now. That’s what the actress has decided after a string of successes from Namaste London to Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.
Soon after reports that Katrina had agreed to be part of a film which stars Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, comes news that she has opted out of the Anurag Basu film.
Explaining the rationale of her decision, a close friend of the actress says, “When Katrina agreed to do Anurag Basu’s film with Ranbir, no mention was made of another heroine, and certainly not of Priyanka. However, when word about this reached her, she found the whole idea of the credit titles reading ‘Ranbir-Katrina-Priyanka’ too gimmicky. Not that she has anything against Priyanka or any other co-star.”
But the more immediate reason for Katrina could be that she has finally acquired the rights to produce the remake of a French film – she’s been after it for almost a year now and wants to immediately allot time for this pet project.
Having signed Dostana 2 and Zoya Akhtar’s next, besides Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan (for which she’s shooting at the moment), the only way she could accommodate this remake was to refuse any other projects this year.
Katrina doesn’t deny she has decided to do only solo-heroine films. “I am not saying I won’t do films with other leading ladies, but for now, I’m happy in the space I am. Why should I unnecessarily rock the boat? And yes, I am finally about to lock the deal to produce my film. It’s a fabulous role and I’ve been angling for the remake rights for quite some time. I’d like to get down to it as soon as possible.”
The remake of the French film will feature Katrina as a scheming gold-digger. She has apparently been pining to play a grey role for some time now.
Kareena Kapoor’s role in Madhur Bhandarkar’s next is inspired by the life of controversial Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe
For some time now, we’ve been hearing that Madhur Bhandarkar’s film with Kareena Kapoor is based on the life of a successful actress whose career eventually goes downhill.
The cat is now out of the bag. Known for his penchant for bringing out reality on cinema, Madhur Bhandarkar’s Kareena starrer will be based on American superstar Marilyn Monroe’s life. There will be some modifications, of course.
A close friend of Madhur reveals, “Madhur has always been fascinated by Marilyn Monroe’s life. He has wanted to make a film on her since a long time, but things did not fall into place. Now, he is completely ready with the subject of this new film.
One can definitely say that film is inspired by Marilyn’s life. It may not be an exact representation of Marilyn’s life but there will be several elements from the late Hollywood star’s life.”
“Madhur didn’t want to go wrong with this film. Marilyn’s life was quite controversial and Madhur didn’t want to take any risk by portraying her in a wrong way.”
Madhur’s friend informs that Madhur is unlikely to go wrong now since he has done a lot of research on the actress. “He read a lot to know as much as he could about Marilyn. More importantly, he also watched many documentaries based on her life.
He approached Kareena to play the lead role only when he was sure that he could translate every aspect of his research into a story.”
So how many men come into Kareena’s life in Madhur’s film? “Five men. He is talking to many male actors to star opposite Kareena,” adds the friend.
Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962)
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer and model. She shot to fame when her acting performance in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve were well received.
She was particularly praised for her comic roles in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Some Like It Hot, The Seven Year Itch and How To Marry a Millionaire.
She had three marriages. She was also known for her romantic involvement with Frank Sinatra and there were also rumours that she was involved with President John F Kennedy and his brother Senator Robert Kennedy at the same time.
The final years of Monroe’s life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for being unreliable and difficult to work with. Her death was officially classified as a “probable suicide”.
SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; March 30, 2010)
That’s the dilemma Karan Johar, Tarun Mansukhani and Manish Malhotra are facing as they plan Katrina Kaif’s look for Dostana 2. Whatever the producer, director and stylist respectively come up with, they realise has been done before with Priyanka Chopra in Dostana… right from beachwear to sarees. Dostana 2 moves completely away from Miami and shifts to London. That’s another issue. London has been done to death by Bollywood. Practically every second film from Vivek Agnihotri’s Goal to Abbas Tyrewala’s 1-800-Love has been shot there. There is not a spot in London that Indian moviegoers aren’t familiar with.
The third issue facing Dostana 2 is Katrina’s no-exposure, no-kissing clause. Since the film won’t go anywhere near beaches, the actress needn’t fear exposure. As for kissing, the kiss is again between Abhishek and John!
Action babes turn on the heat as each of them claim to be the real Maya in this action thriller
DEEPALI DHINGRA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; March 31, 2010)
When Tata Young sang Sexy Naughty Bitchy Me, she could have been referring to the three gorgeous babes in Tips Films’ Prince. Just like 007 is never far from his Bond girls and Charlie keeps his Angels close to him, Vivek Oberoi in Prince enjoys the company of the sultry Neeru Singh, British Indian hottie Aruna Shields and the seductive Nandana Sen. These actresses sure turn up the heat as they try and seduce Vivek in their own charming and sometimes, sly ways! As you can see, the film might be an action thriller but it’s not without its share of fullon glamour!
Interestingly, all three girls call themselves Maya in the film and Vivek’s character has a hard time remembering who the real Maya is. Speaking about the tantalising trio, producer Kumar Taurani says, “All three girls claim to be Maya, Prince’s girlfriend, but since he’s lost his memory, he needs to find out who the real Maya is.” Maya, he adds, is very sexy and stylised because Vivek is playing a stylised thief. “His girlfriend has to match him,” he adds.
But if you thought it’s only Vivek who gets to take part in some high-adrenaline think again. The gals kick up as much storm as him! “All three girls were really enthusiastic about doing the stunts themselves says director Kookie Gulati, “The audience is sure to feel a rush of adrenaline when they see these slick action scenes performed by the girls.” And although watching women performing daring stunts on screen might be a high, there’s always a danger of them looking a little ‘unsexy’. But not these ladies!
Designer Narendra Kumar Ahmed has given each of them a look that not only makes it easier for them to perform the stunts, he’s made them look super sexy and utterly desirable able too. “If the action in the film is so slick, then the women need to look as if they are part of that action and not outside it,” the savvy designer explains. The girls, he goes on to say, had to look sharp and hitting. “Nandana has a darkish side to her personality, so we designed clothes for her keeping that in mind. Aruna’s character is action-oriented but has a softer, modern look. As for Neeru, she plays the sultry seductress. Each girl has a different way of approaching Vivek, so the looks were kept in sync with their characters,” adds Narendra.
‘Kites in the Sky’ sung by Hrithik Roshan