Posts tagged Bombay Times
The two Academy winners have got a sanction for the face-lift of the Ajmer Dargah
Prithwish Ganguly (BOMBAY TIMES; October 11, 2010)
Oscar-winners AR Rahman and Resul Pookutty are troubled souls. Both deeply religious, they have been traumatised during their visit to the Dargah of Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer. They were shocked to see that the path leading up to the religious site is covered with human excrete and the stink of filth was in the air to greet the people traveling there. A global heritage site and a tourist attraction, the Dargah literally needed a serious face-lift. Rahman and Resul could not bear this sight and took the onus on them to get the place clean. Accompanied by acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, the duo offered a chadar at the shrine to kick start their campaign.
BT has learnt that they wrote to the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, about the dismal state of affairs asking him to look into it.
The duo also approached the WAKF Board, the trust at the Dargah as well as the All India Muslim Personal Law Board for help in their initiative. Their work has paid off as Resul confirms to us that the Government of India under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission has sanctioned Rs 38.42 lakh for Ajmer.
We also hear that the major works under this scheme would be the improvement of Nai Sadak (the path to the Dargah) and the development of pathway from Dargah to Taragarh.
Underground cabling work as well as building and maintaining community toilets are also on the agenda.
Resul confirms to BT saying, “The Dargah is very close to our hearts. It comforts our souls and we have become very attached to it. We could not really gulp down that the bad condition of the surrounding at the Dargah that attracts people from across the world has become a way of life. We wanted to change it and make the place look hygienic. We wrote to the PM and we have got a confirmation from the PMO that they have sanctioned the amount. We just don’t know who will be in charge of the clean-up. Something needed to be done urgently.”
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 12, 2010)
Soccer crazy Abhishek Bachchan recently bonded with Dutch soccer star Wesley Sneijder, who is looking to come down to India. Junior Bachchan met Wesley at a recent event and has become friends with him. They are in constant touch. Wesley was with his stunning model and TV presenter wife Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen Sneijder, who in turn chatted up with Ash.
All four of them even hung out for hours together as Abhishek and Wesley kept chatting over football. Wesley informed Abhi that he was fascinated about India and was planning to come down to the country with his wife. Abhi immediately told the footballer to inform him when he is flying down as he wanted to host them in Mumbai.
Wesley, who was in the thick of controversy over whether he would quit Inter Milan for any other club, apparently also informed Abhi that he doesn’t want to do a hurricane trip to the country. He is looking for a relaxed holiday soon and we hear he might be planning a romantic getaway with his wife in North India. Yolanthe has become a great fan of Ash as they were heard talking about fashion and style.
Superstars get extra security, Bollywood looks at foreign workers without valid documents
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 12, 2010)
Threats of a global terror attack are looming large and India, reportedly, is one of the top targets. As the second anniversary of 26/11 approaches, Bollywood is suddenly exercising extreme caution against allowing strangers on the sets. BT witnessed industry officials carry out surprise checks on foreigners and cross-check if they are members of the fraternity. People who were not, were asked to leave the sets immediately and taken for further questioning to the police.
Our inquiries revealed that the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) had issued an alert notice to its vigilante team to heighten security measures at all shooting locations. The federation is believed to have been tipped off by state authorities of a possible terror attack on big superstars. Bollywood and terror have had a close connection for years with many getting threats from the underworld and sometimes even attacked, as in the case of Rakesh Roshan. An FWICE official said that nine top actors, and four actresses, are on the concern list. “Bigger stars are bigger targets, and if anything happens to them — the repercussions will be huge. We are in no mood to take chances. We have increased security measures in Mumbai. Wherever the stars are shooting, be it for films or TV commercials or promos, we have been doing spot checks especially on foreigners. We have also warned filmmakers not to hire foreigners whose identities
have not been crosschecked by us,” said the insider. Dinesh Chaturvedi, a key member of the FWICE, confirmed these developments.
The young singer-actress has been roped in to sing the state anthem written by him
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 11, 2010)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and Shruti Haasan have bonded big time. The CM, who recently wrote the lyrics for Tamil Nadu’s state anthem, has roped in Shruti to lend her vocals to it. Karunanidhi, an avid follower of her father Kamal Haasan’s films, has also liked Shruti’s work. And the girl’s over the moon, also because AR Rahman has composed the music for the song. Karunanidhi and Shruti are planning to take their association forward by making the song a hit globally.
Shruti now becomes the youngest singer and musician to be part of the Tamil Nadu state anthem composed by Rahman for the World Classic Tamil conference called Ulaga Thamizh Semmozhi Maanadu. She joined a host of other South Indian music maestros like P Sushila, Hariharan, Bombay Jayshree, Rapper Blaze, Yuvan Shankar Raja, GV Prakash, Nityasree Mahadevan, Chinmayi, Naresh Iyer, Vijay Yesudas, Srinivas, Karthik, T.M. Soundararajan, Harini, Benny Dayal who have also contributed to the song.
SRK’s family and friends to bring in Badshah’s ‘45th’ in Germany
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 11, 2010)
The crowds that gather outside the Mannat gate each year on November 2, just for a glimpse of the Hindi film industry’s most charismatic actor will be sorely disappointed this year.
News has come in that Shah Rukh Khan will ring in his 45th birthday in Berlin on the sets of Farhan Akhtar’s Don 2
Shah Rukh is the most popular Indian actor in Germany, and his fan base in this country is very large. It is said that the producer Ritesh Sidhwani is planning a party. And even the fan groups in Germany have their own surprise plans ready for their screen idol.
SRK left for Berlin on Saturday. He is going to be stationed there for a long time. Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta will shoot some key scenes of Don 2 with him during this time. And these two ladies are likely to be at the party.
Now, the plan is that end October, SRK will return to India for a stage concert. He will be in Mumbai for just two nights. Says an insider, “On October 30, SRK will fly back to Berlin again accompanied by his kids Aryan and Suhaana. Gauri is expected to fly out a day later. And there will be a huge celebration on the sets of Don 2 to bring in SRK’s 45th birthday on November 1. On his birthday, the superstar will spend some time with his family.”
Karan Johar, who is flying to Rome on October 30 for the screening of My Name is Khan, will fly to Berlin from there for the festivities.
Salman Khan dishes out B’wood’s best on the ramp
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 11, 2010)
Salman Khan’s Being Human show at the HDIL India Couture Week 2010 on Saturday night was a feast for the eyes as the superstar dished out eight oomphy ladies of Tinseltown — including the top three actresses of today, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra — on the runway. Kareena and Priyanka were seen holding hands when they came for the curtain call with Salman and thus managed to dispel the gossip of any sort of animosity. The others to sashay down the ramp were Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji, Bipasha Basu, Karisma Kapur and Sushmita Sen as Salman decoded fashion from 1920s to present times in a grand musical-like choreography.
High on oomph quotient, the show only showcased eight ensembles but the drama — the provocative dancing and the extravagant opulent props, made sure that everybody was dazzled. In Dabangg style Sallu had distributed whistles to everyone giving them virtually the licence to express their excitement when the leading ladies soared temperature on the catwalk.
Preity opened the show strutting in a sexy black dress — a provocateur that certainly made the audiences get going about the 1920s. The embodiment of 30s was the evidently slimmed down Katrina who was greeted by tap dancers and models dressed as the mafia of that era. Rani portrayed the 40s – she glided in with Mughal-e-Azam clip and Pakeezah’s iconic track Chalte Chalte playing at the backdrop. Her nawabi tehzeeb was an instant hit as she bowed in front of the audiences in a vintage Manish Malhotra creation.
Bipasha was the embodiment of the flirty 50s where the world scored high on everything from fashion to physics. The 60s was an age of rock n roll and the coming of age of Indian cinema. From Elvis Presley to the homegrown Shammi Kapoor and the cabaret, India was in a state of transition. Salman picked someone from the Kapoor family to be the face of that era and it was the sassy Karisma who entered the runway on a piano. Sushmita was the face of the 70s, an era of Woodstock, sex, drugs, music and beauty queens. She entered the ramp to
Dum Maro Dum.
Priyanka Chopra was the ‘Material Girl’ of the 80s. As she mouthed Madonna’s cult song and glided on the runway, she made sure that she took people to a big climax that was provided by Kareena – the black magic woman. The naughty 90s theme opened with sexy dancers brandishing their hunters to men models dressed as policemen. Kareena, dressed in all black, teased the photographers to a striptease moment as she took off her hat and played with her coat before seducing men who unbuttoned their shirts and encircled her.
Salman’s entry was dramatic, too. Dressed in an Arjun Khanna creation, Sallu made a dancing entry. The show, choreographed by Aparna and Tanya and styled by Anaita Shroff Adajania, ended with all the girls changing costumes to sport a Being Human Tshirt as they walked with Salman in the middle and took a curtain call. Earlier, he launched a line of Being Human watches which are available at 50 stores nationwide. All outfits from the show will be auctioned and the proceeds will go to Being Human which supports education and healthcare. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Fernandes (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
Irrfan Khan’s reputation for versatility is well know in the film industry. He is one of the few actor who has essayed a wide range of characters, both dark and romantic, with equal panache. And in Knock Out, where he plays the role of a street-smart investment banker, the target of a nameless foe (Sanjay Dutt) who turns his world upside down, Irrfan has gone a step further by getting himself a brand new look. It’s suave, sexy and “very metrosexual” as the actor chooses to describe it.
“My role is that of a flamboyant guy and it needed me to sport a metrosexual look. Hence, I got myself a different hairstyle and consequently, a new look. I must say I’m really looking different and I feel it’s made a huge difference to my role. Had I stuck to my regular look, I think it wouldn’t have made the same impact on my character,” says the actor. He adds that though the producers initially weren’t keen on him changing his look, they eventually ended up loving what they saw.
Flamboyant and Irrfan? That’s got to be something new for his fans, isn’t it? “If one has to look at the same face again and again, it gets quite boring. Sometimes the role demands a new look, but sometimes I do it just for the heck of it. ,” he says.
Talking about the experience of shooting this fast-paced thriller, Irrfan says, “It was a bit tedious. There was no face to look at. All through the movie, the other person was on the phone and hence, it became a bit mechanical. But I have seen the film and I am very excited by it,” he says. About the rumours that his role is a copy of Colin Farrell’s in Phone Booth, Irrfan has just one thing to say, “Watch the film and then give the verdict. Anyways, what’s the point of doing a role that’s already been done by someone else?”
So will he carry on with this metrosexual look post the film? “If my future roles and of course, the public demand it, I will definitely repeat it,” the actor concludes.
Knock Out releases on October 15.
(Contributed by Meena Iyer and Prithwish Ganguly)
Mark Manuel (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
Vipul and Shefali Shah are beaming. The prolific filmmaker has returned to Hindi theatre with Bus Itna Sa Khwab in which his hugely talented and attractive wife holds stage. No, that doesn’t mean that Vipul has given up cinema. Far from it. He’s got the Akshay-Ash starrer Action Replayy coming up in Diwali. But, yes, Vipul has just realised that Shefali is an actress of a rare calibre. And Hindi cinema, which has its own framework, does not offer her enough opportunity to showcase her enormous talent. So, the enterprising Bollywood movie mogul gave his wife Bus Itna Sa Khwab, a Marathi play by Chandrakant Kulkarni and Prashant Dalvi that he updated to suit society’s tastes today. And ever since the play opened, the Shahs have had no rest, Vipul has actually resorted to shows on Saturday as well for theatre enthusiasts… which is rare for the Hindi stage. “But what to do,” he asks, “I never imagined the play would get this kind of response and respect.” He’s got to be present at every show himself, because at the end, the audience expects Vipul to take a curtain call. “Standing ovations, we get for every performance,” he says, “but for one show, I wasn’t there to take the curtain call — and the audience refused to budge!”
All his friends from Bollywood, from Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan to Akshay and Twinkle Kumar, have seen, enjoyed and raved about Bus Itna Sa Khwab. Says Vipul, “Amitji wrote on his blog that it was fantastic and he hadn’t seen anything like this in theatre. Imagine, he has seen it all.” But what is delighting him most is that the question that arises here is not about housefull shows and money, it’s about credibility. Just when theatre was gasping for its last breath, he revived it with this successful play with its Bollywood-like production values. Now he considers it among his biggest achievements. “Profit and loss, success and failure, has not been the formula by which I work,” says Vipul. “I believe the culture of our country is linked to theatre. And that cinema becomes stronger through theatre. I want to work my way back towards it.” Which is a win-win situation all round. Bollywood has the best of Vipul Shah and now theatre is about to get a slice of him as well. Welcome back, and take a bow…
Actress not signing any movie till next Sept
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
This year is certainly bringing acclaimed character actor Konkona SenSharma double joy as she first tied the knot with Ranvir Shorey and now BT has learned that she is expecting her first child with him. It is because she is pregnant that Konkona has decided not to sign any new film till September next year. A close friend of the actor reveals, “Koko wants to keep her pregnancy under wraps. She has signed a movie but spoke to her producers and told them that cannot shoot. She wants to take proper care during her pregnancy and avoid doing anything that stresses her body. Her producers allowed her to terminate the contract. She has been staying a lot in Kolkata and has been travelling abroad too. Since this is early stages of her pregnancy, the bump isn’t very visible and Koko wants to keep this news a secret for as long as she can.”
Ranvir, though reportedly over the moon with this development, chose to remain mum when BT asked him about the couple’s good news.
Big B has butterflies in his tummy as he returns with India’s favourite game show on his birthday tomorrow
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
Starting 9 pm tomorrow the streets of India are likely to resemble a ghost town. The iconic Amitabh Bachchan, the man who changed the face of Indian television, is returning to the country’s favourite game show Kaun Banega Crorepati on Sony Entertainment Television. Adrenaline rushes will be felt by most, especially when it comes to watching who amongst the audience makes it to the hot seat and gets a shot at becoming a crorepati.
Talking about his favourite show, the Big B says, “Kaun Banega Crorepati is truly a show which is of the people, by the people and for the people. It gives every Indian an equal opportunity to win a life changing amount. In our culture we are taught to value knowledge, that it is rewarding, KBC re-affirms that view as a person can use that knowledge and win 5 crore on the show.” Describing that empty feeling in the pit of his stomach as he gets ready to host KBC, he says, “One is always anxious because it is a creative job. One has to come in front of an audience. And, the audience is going to rate us on how we have done, whether we have lived up to their expectation or not. When you have to present something to the audience, there is always that apprehension. With creativity comes nervousness.’’
The legend also admits that a part of the nervousness comes from the fact that he doesn’t understand this medium too well. Says he, “The channel is more anxious than perhaps people who participate because they design something. And, we (the hosts) just do it according to the design.’’
The opening of KBC will have a rocking performance from Bachchan to a medley of hit songs. He will deliver some memorable dialogues from his vast repertoire. And, India’s most recognised baritone will also recite a special poem written by his father, the legendary poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. The special tracks have been created by Vishal-Shekhar, performance has been choreographed by the incomparable Shiamak Davar, sets by India’s foremost art director — Nitin Desai, and clothes have been designed by Vikram Phadnis. With the show launching on the same day he turns 68, Amitabh says that he couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift. With a 5 crore jackpot which can be won in 60 minutes flat, introduction of a timer on the questions and new life-lines, the game is bound to excite. “I will still say lock kiya jaye because certain phrases have been formatted after a lot of thought and they should not be changed,’’ says the KBC boss.
Kaun Banega Crorepati starts from October 11 at 9 pm, Monday to Thursday, on SONY Entertainment Television.