Posts tagged father
…says the sexy Anoushka Shankar, who got married in London to filmmaker Joe Wright and is expecting his baby
Priyanka Dasgupta | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 2, 2010)
What’s it about Joe Wright that made you feel that he should be the father of your first baby?
Not just my first, I want him to be the father of all my babies! It’s such a cliché, but honestly, I could see myself having children with him within the first week of our relationship. Joe is the most wonderful, extraordinary man. He makes me feel cherished and safe… It’s easy to see what a loving, imaginative father he will be.
You have lived-in with Joe for some months. Was there any particular compulsion for you to tie the knot now?
Even though we moved in together ages ago, I always wanted to get married. I’m glad we lived together first as it gave us a good taste of the realities of our relationship! I don’t think it’s essential for everyone, but to me there is something sacred about taking vows and promising to love and honour each other.
Post-marriage, will you take your husband’s surname just the way your mother has done when she married Pandit Ravi Shankar? Or does the surname issue not bother you at all?
We’ve certainly enjoyed using the phrase Mrs Wright between ourselves since the wedding! But I would probably not change my name officially.
Was there any person you really wanted to attend your wedding but who never could?
We planned very quickly. So yes, many family members and friends couldn’t be there, which is why we will do celebrations later in the States and in India. Norah was obviously there, and hosted my mehendi party and was my maid-of-honour in a sense.
How does Joe inspire you in your career now? Does he keep a tab so that you don’t tax yourself too much with your concerts/tours/album work since you are pregnant now?
He has an incredible musical ear and does offer really valuable advice on my work. So, I take his counsel seriously as well. Now that I’m pregnant he does look out for me a lot more and constantly reminds me to rest and relax, which I’m not very good at!
Joe was supposed to make a film titled Indian Summer. Is there any update on that especially with his strong India connection?
We would both love if the film got made but there are no plans to get it rolling again at present that I know of. However, we’re both grateful it was even being looked at because we wouldn’t have met if he hadn’t come to India for that film!
MM.com speaks to Natha’s mother, Farrukh ‘Ammaji’ Jaffer, only to bring out the intellectual and lighter side of a lady from the rustic lands of Uttar Pradesh
|Farrukh Jaffer, a far cry from Ammaji of Peepli Live|
“I am too busy and too free, depending on my priorities. But if there is someone to listen to me, I can talk 24 hours. Jaise ham abhi aapse baat kar rahe hain,” 72-year-old Farrukh Jaffer bursts out laughing. “Ammaji” is bound to slip out of your mouth when you are talking to her. One of the most memorable characters of Peepli Live, Ammaji, is what she is better known as now.
A graduate and a student of National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi, Farrukh started her career in All India Radio as an announcer in Lucknow. At NSD, she learnt a lot from one of the most influential theatre directors Ebrahim Alkazi. She performed in a few of his plays and thoroughly loved the experience. But somehow, she felt closer to radio and films. It was Muzzaffar Ali, director of Rekha-starrer Umrao Jaan, who gave her her big break in the film where she played Rekha’s mother. Farrukh, who has her base in Lucknow for years now, feels deep gratitude towards Muzzaffar Ali, “I am thankful to Muzzaffar saab from the bottom of my heart. He gave me my first break. And it was his serial Damyanti where Ashutosh Gowariker spotted me and offered me Swades. He always gave me the freedom an artiste like me craves for.”
Farrukh believes an artist is the best creation of God, who should be treated with care and given desired freedom. She received such a treatment from Aamir Khan while working on Peepli Live, she says, “Aamir Khan trusted and gave me this opportunity. I am best known for my voice over and in Peepli that is what worked for me as an actor. He let me extend my dialogue as I wanted. He understood the culture and knew the essence of the language. I got immense respect from him as a person and in terms of work too. I admire him for that.”
Farrukh is, no doubt, a nawab from Lucknow. She loves her comfort and feels uncomfortable when restricted. Her experience while working in Swades with Ashutosh Gowariker was not as pleasant though. She says, “It was a great experience. But I felt slightly restricted with him, creatively. As a radio artist, I have a habit of elongating my dialogue with voice modulation to make it more effective. I wasn’t allowed to do that. But then, Ashutosh did give me one of my best lines of my career.”
Swades also gave Farrukh an opportunity to interact with the superstar of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, that too on the same level. She reminicences and laughs aloud at the interaction she had with him, “Shah Rukh ko main bandar bulati thi. He would put his head on my feet and ask me, ’Aap mujhe bandar kyu bulati hai?’ Then I would promptly reply, “Kyuki tum poora din bandar ki tarah uchaltey koodtey rehtey ho.” Admiring the father in King Khan, she says, “Woh apne bacchon ke bagair nahi reh sakta. He is a great father. I have just seen him interact with his kids.”
Despite belonging to a conservative family, she had all the support from her husband Sayyed Mohammed Jaffar, also a renowned journalist. He encouraged her in every step she took towards her passion for cinema. Mother of two grown up daughters says, “What should I say about him? He is the most amazing husband one can have. He supported me and allowed me to aspire big, which is very unlikely of a family with a conservative background like we have. But he trusted me and so did the family.”
In 30 years of her career, Farrukh had to shift base from a small village called Chakesar in Jaunpur district in Uttar Pradesh to Lucknow for a major period in between and then to Delhi. And now when she is doing films more often, she has to come down to Mumbai too. Totally in awe of the city, Farrukh says, “Mumbai sheher jaandaar hai. Yahaan kaam aapko dhoondhta hai. Mujhe behad pasand hai yeh sheher.” On the contrary, recalling her experience of living in another metro like Delhi almost 30 years ago, Farrukh didn’t really enjoy her time in the city. She says, “Dilli rehne wali jagah nahi hai. I felt very insecure while I came back from work. That time I was working with Akashvani. Even the transport facilities weren’t impressive. I used to regret leaving my job in All India Radio, Lucknow.”
Having seen the village life from close quarters, she agrees with how the subject is dealt in Peepli Live. Farrukh is against reservations given by the government to rural people. She believes, “Why can’t government give better facilities like better roads, light and houses to the rural people and inspire them to grow so that they don’t have to leave their house and family behind to go to a metro city to earn better?”
Ammaji she will remain for us until she is next seen in Aanand Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu, playing dadima to Kangna Ranaut who stars opposite R Madhvan in the film.
King Khan pours his heart out in a stirring interview about his relationship with his father, what he learnt from his parents and how he approaches life
“I’m honest but I’m not defensive about winning and living well,” says Shah Rukh Khan, as he looks back at life 30 years after his dad died of cancer in Delhi.
You’ve been posting messages about your dad today (Sep 19) … nostalgia?
Haan yaar… I just suddenly realized today, I woke up and I’d forgotten what date it was, I just looked at the newspaper and then realized it… Actually, before that, at night, strangely, my son came to me – my wife is at the hospital, she’s staying there – and he came to me and said, ‘papa, I want to give a hug.’ So I asked, ‘why?’ And he said, ‘just like that, papa… I think, I love you’. I found it very touching.
And then I woke up and realized that it was my dad’s death anniversary when I saw the newspapers. And I’m glad I’m in Delhi today. I’ll go and pray in a while. When good things happen in my life – and I think every day a good thing happens in my life – I feel, I wish, that my parents were here, as my kids are growing up. For example, we had to bring the kids here, we couldn’t leave the kids in Mumbai; sometimes you suddenly feel, arre, if I had my parents, you could always leave the kids with their grandparents, but that’s not to be. We don’t have any elder at home. I miss that, I miss them…
It’s been a long, long time since my father died. I calculated it in the morning itself; its been 30 years. I feel happy to be in the town where he lived and died today. Ek ajeeb sa… isme kuch supernatural nahin hai, but I feel nice to be in the vicinity of where your family has lived and breathed.
Do you ever manage to go the house where he lived, relive memories?
The Gautam Nagar one? You see, my father died when we were in Green Park. My mother expired in the house we lived in, in Gautam Nagar. Yeah, I go in the night sometimes… I take the kids for a drive, go past the area, but I haven’t specifically gone into the house, no.
You don’t have the luxury of walking into the house where your father lived his last days without cameras and people around, do you?
No, I’m sure I can walk in and they won’t say anything! I remember when my sister was joining university – I must have been 14 and she must have been 18 or 19 – my father took us to Delhi University. He took us into Miranda College. He had lived in a room there. I think perhaps it wasn’t an all-girls college in those years; anyways, the principal had allowed him to stay in a room there. So he took us to the room, and he opened the door, and there were some girls there, and he said to them, ‘beta, bura mat manna, main yahan pe rehta thaa.’
So I’m sure I can also walk into somebody’s house and say, listen, I stayed here, and they won’t mind. But no, I’ve never tried, I’ve just seen them from outside. I normally do take the kids out for a drive at night, tell them this is where I used to stay, this is my old house… they kind of feel nice. But yes, I’ve never gone inside.
You don’t miss not stepping in and taking a look and saying, this is where his chair used to be, this is where he lived, this is where you had those childhood memories…?
Na… nahin, I feel I don’t think I’d like to do that. I’d feel too sad. I’ve seen it from the outside at night but I probably wouldn’t want to go in. I don’t know. Maybe I don’t want to go inside, which is why I never have. I haven’t thought about it. Now that you’re telling me, is when I’m thinking about it.
Maybe you wouldn’t want to go with anyone around.
Yes, if I do, it’ll be by myself, because there are things I don’t share with the world, and I’m very clear about that… But I don’t think it’ll be right for the people who are living there for me to knock and walk in and say, ‘hi, I’m here because my dad’s memories are here for me.’ They must be having a happy life in that house and they should just have their own memories in that house, not mine. My memories should move with me. So, no, I don’t wish to go inside either of the houses where my parents died. If it was my house still, then of course I would go – but it’s not. And I don’t think I associate the space with my father and mother. A material space isn’t something that I need to go to think of them… of course I’ll go to my father’s grave and pray at night sometimes.
That’s a luxury you have?
Yes, yes… I’ll go quietly and at night. It’ll be scary, but I’ll go (laughs)! If I can’t go there, I’ll go to the vicinity and pray.
And the kids?
I’ve taken them, yes, I’ve taken my kids to my parents’ graves a few years back. Not my daughter, she was too small, but my son, yes. I like to take them sometimes. My wife gets a little worried sometimes, she says, ‘don’t. Take them in the daytime if you must.’ So maybe I’ll send them in the daytime with the family, and I’ll go later at night.
When they are a little grown up, maybe, I’ll take them along. You need to know your roots… like I, unfortunately – my father’s family, I have hardly met. I’ve known them, and known of them, they’re in Peshawar, but not much.
Sometimes I think – arre, what did my father’s father look like? I’d like my son to know more than I do – to know how his father’s father looked like, to pray a little for all the goodness that has come his way in life…
How unreal does all this look today? When you lost him, you were a fatherless 14-year-old in a small house in Delhi. Today, all of Delhi would line up to spend a few minutes with you.
I was speaking to my brother-in-law on this a little while back… I come here, even if I go to the hospital, the Escorts people, Dr Seth and all the other doctors are very kind… People stand in lines to see me, wave out to me. There’s so much riding on me all the time…
This is as much a distance someone could have covered in 30 years, isn’t it?
Yes, I just realized, if somebody were to ask me what I did to become successful in this distance – people do ask me that – and I swear I don’t know. I think about fathers telling their kids what they should try and be. I never knew what I will be. I just studied, went from one place to another, went to Mumbai and acted a little – and before I have realized it, I have a son who is 12 years old, a daughter who is 10 years old, I am sort of famous, I am respected a lot, I am loved a lot.
And I find love in all the writings on how successful I am and on how unsuccessful I am going to be. He’s the biggest star. He’s not the biggest star. All the discussions I read about myself, I find love in all of them, they’re concerned, that’s why they talk about me.
And I just remember roaming about the streets here, as a nobody… I’ve come here (Gurgaon) when this was a desolated space, once, twice maybe.
I just don’t know how all this happened. And I don’t know – absolutely from the bottom of my heart I don’t know how I became successful. There are better looking people than me, more talented than me, as hard working as me – or maybe more. But why did it all come to me? Why has it sustained for so long?
I’ve thought about this. And I came to the conclusion that it has happened because I never doubted what I am doing. I never doubted the fact that there wouldn’t be somebody to look after me after my parents died – even though there was no one. I never doubted that I would be able to make ends meet for myself. I never doubted whether the work that I do would be a failure. And in fact I feel that as we have it all, we begin doubting – so I need to go back to that basic.
I was just telling a lady here that I have the heart of an entertainer. From the food I serve at my home to the cold drink I serve you, I want you to smile. The heart that I have – the heart of an entertainer – a part of it has always been sensible enough to do the business part of it. But a large part of it, a large part of my heart, still believes in magic. Because I believe in magic, magic happens to me
Also it happens, I believe, because my parents have given me that prayer – that listen, don’t worry, you are magic. I don’t have any other reason to believe in my success. I can’t duplicate it. I can’t tell my kids to become the same. There’s no way – and I know it. But I think I am surrounded by the magic of my parents’ soul. I believe that. I truly believe that. And I don’t do anything special – I think of them, I pray to them, I pray to Allah and say, keep them nicely. But I am surrounded by the magic of their souls. So if God takes away from you something – if Allah takes away from you the most important aspect of your life, he fulfills other aspects. And today with my kids, I feel even the vacancy of my parents is fulfilled. I have got a son and a daughter – and I always think of them like my father and my mother, in the sense that chalo yaar, woh they, agar woh hote to main hota, biwi hoti, behen hoti – abhi bhi wohi team hai.
I am alone in what I do – I have a very small family – but I am never lonely. I don’t need so much. I just need these 3-4 people to keep me away from loneliness, and I think that’s the gift my parents have given me. I’m all alone, I am an outsider in Mumbai, but I do things with a lot of belief. I screw up also, I go wrong, I take pangaas, but I’ve always stuck to – agar isne galat bola hai, toh take a stand; agar yeh sahi bol raha hai, support; abhi yeh ulta bol raha hai, toh chup ho jao yaar, keep dignity.
It’s my belief that so long as I am doing that, I will never be lonely. I will be alone, but I am happy – that’s what life has given me, that I will walk alone. My loneliness has always been fulfilled by 3-4 people; earlier, my parents and my sister, now, my sister, my wife and kids. So it’s a great gift. On good days, especially in Delhi, I miss my parents, and I do today, because it’s a coincidence that I’m here today.
Coincidences happen… two, three years ago, on this day, somebody called me to release some medicines for them in Bangalore. Kiran Shaw. I didn’t know her. I said, mujhe Bangalore nahi jaana yaar… and again, I looked at the papers, and realized it was 19th September, dad’s death anniversary. So I asked my EA, what medicine? He said, cancer medicine. I said, listen, just fix up a plane quickly, I’m going. They’d even changed their programme in the meantime, and asked why I was coming now – and I was like, I don’t know you, but somehow this is connecting – this is about a cancer medicine, and my dad died of cancer, and today is the day he died – so here I am. You have to believe in these things – whether faith, love, magic. The ‘non-existent’ things for human beings. We have to believe in them. I do.
I had a choice of costumes today; I chose to wear a sherwani, I said to myself, my dad would like it.
You often speak about your dad as a reference point – waqt ki chhoti, dad’s eyeglasses…
Also my mom. My dad was very gentle, very honest – and his honesty killed him. My mom was also very honest, but she was a woman of the world. She knew how to fight the world, while retaining her integrity.
Why do you say his honesty killed him?
I think he was, you know… he was very successful, then became unsuccessful… he was a lawyer, he did not practice… he had a lot of options to take favours from people, which he did not. He went to Peshawar with a lot of dreams, took me also there… but I think somewhere he felt let down, he worried a lot, and I think worries cause cancer. And today it’s proven also, in some ways, worries cause ulcers, and other things, and cancers. I think those worries just took his life – otherwise he was very strong, was just 51, no heart disease, never drank, nothing… I think just sticking to impractical honesty and beliefs took him away early.
My mother, on the other hand – though she also died at 50 – she was a go-getter. The training I got from the both of them was – from my dad, be gentle, be religious, be kind, be honest. He taught me shayari, poems.
What I learnt from my mom was – let me put it this way. There are three development stages of a kid – I’ve been giving lectures so I remember this. The first development should be of the heart – love, art, music, nature, all good things. The second part is development of the head – how to use it, how to develop the intellect. And the third part is, development of the hand – how to put that intellect to use. These three – but in that order. I truly believe that my father taught me the heart, and my mother taught me the intellect.
That’s why when I meet people, youngsters, I tell them – please go out, and win your material goals as much as you want – honestly. Don’t be like, how a lot of people think, yeh nahi hona chahiye, woh nahi hona chahiye, chhoro, aur bhi gham hai zamane mein. You should fulfill your material desires. Fulfill them honestly, straightforwardly, without owing it to anyone. Don’t ask. Go and work for it.
The mixture that I got from them – I think that is the person I am. And so I miss both of them, perhaps differently. When I’m going wrong at work, I’m thinking of my mom, that I need to go out and DO IT, even if it all looks to be going wrong, go and give it my best shot. And when I’m going wrong in life, in my thoughts, that’s when I think of dad. Then I’m like, isko maaf kar do yaar. Galti ho gayi toh chhoro na yaar. Yeh ulta bol raha hai, lekin jaane do… You have to overcome a lot of latent and spontaneous anger and disturbance. My dad was like that. Mom would have slapped. So I learnt how to slap from my mom, and how to hold it back from my dad (laughs).
I don’t know if I can teach it all to my children, you know, because I’m a watered down version of their goodness.
When you’re 50 yourself, you’ll tend to do that comparison more frequently, perhaps?
I don’t know, but my sister has been telling me that I have begun to look more and more like my dad – and I take that as a compliment. Because he was a gentle soul. I don’t think I can ever be like my dad. I am a little too material, and a little too worldly intellectual. I wish I could say it right now, but I’d be lying if I said that I can be as simple as my dad. That’s an inner calling. If it happens, well and good, because then I’d be a well-off honest man. I’d like that, yes! If at the age of 50, if I can pass on the education that my dad gave me, it would be great, but I honestly don’t think I’d be able to reach that calibre. I think I am always going to be a mix of what my parents taught me.
Is that a bad thing?
It’s a fantastic thing. I think my mix is the best mix. You’re straightforward, honest, and you’re living well – I think that’s the best way. I tell my kids what I tell all youngsters – work hard, play harder, and don’t forget to pray. To that I’ve now added – pay your taxes also. Don’t owe anything to anybody. Always a giver be, if you can afford to. And just lead your life in the way that, at the end, it shouldn’t be, arre yaar, mujhe aise nahi karna thaa – no regrets at the end of your life.
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 22, 2010 – 13:20 IST
Just recently, Bollywood couple Ajay Devgn and Kajol welcomed a new arrival to the Devgn family- their baby boy Yug. Well, now we hear that well known filmmaker Sanjay Gupta too will soon be becoming a dad.
Sanjay married his wife Anu Lekhi again in 2009 after being divorced from her for five years. The couple is expecting their first child somewhere in April 2011. What makes for an interesting coincidence is that the couple’s first born, will be an Arian… just like Sanjay.
While on the movies front, Sanjay will be launching his next production soon.
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 10, 2010 – 21:42 IST
The news of Shiney Ahuja’s maid, going hostile in court regarding the rape case hadn’t even gathered enough dust, that new developments have already taken place. Eyebrows are being raised at what has taken place in a matter of 24 hours.
Roha, in Raigad district, the place that the maid belonged to is in complete shock. Reportedly, the maid and her entire family has been missing for over a fortnight and nobody has any news about them. Even the villagers who were close to the family are surprised about this sudden disappearance. The family of the maid was poor and was looking for employment. The maid’s 60 year old father was working with a politician to support his four daughters and a son. Even the local politician is clueless about the family’s whereabouts.
Sonakshi Sinha talks about Patna morality, camp Khan, the kissing ban and her uncanny resemblance to Reena Roy
• A Bollywood debut with Salman Khan and a superhit OST. You couldn’t have asked for a better platform.
Yes. I think it’s the perfect venture in which I am able to perform, look good, and I am opposite a superstar. It is Arbaaz’s first film as a producer so he isn’t leaving any stone unturned. A very talented director like Abhinav Kashyap is making it. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
• You never wanted to enter Bollywood. Why this sudden decision?
There were no signs of me actually getting into acting, I never thought of myself as an actor. Salman spotted me at Amrita Arora’s sangeet, where I was dressed in Indian and where I probably looked the part of Rajjo. So Salman said we have found our girl. And once I heard the script I couldn’t say no either.
• You have lost a lot of weight. The transformation from fat to fit is apparent.
I was anything but fit. Most credit goes to Salman but there were a lot of people around telling me to lose weight. So it started off as a conscious effort to lose weight and maintain my health but eventually when I started seeing the results, I started looking better and I started getting more confident and it translated into what I am today. However my gymming and dieting are still on, they are part of a never-ending process.
• Your brother Luv is not successful. How did your family deal with it?
It is like any other family. Two kids are studying, one passes the exam and one doesn’t. We learn from our father who has had his share of ups and downs.
• Your mother just gave a statement, “Mariyada paar karne nahi doongi.” How far will you go?
My father is in politics, we have been brought up in a very different way. My father is from a small town, Patna. It’s a big deal that I am in films because daughters do not go that way. I will have to be careful about the films that I choose, what I do on screen, how I conduct myself. That’s what my mother meant. But she has not got a danda on my head…(laughs)
• That means no exposing and no kissing on screen?
Not at all.
• Salman Khan is said to be your Godfather and you are in the Khan camp.
It’s too early for me to even get into this. I have just started out, this is my first film. We are family friends, that’s all there is to it. He is not going to make sure that I don’t do a film outside his banner. ‘I don’t need a godfather, I have a superstar at home’
• People say you resemble Reena Roy…
Yes, many people have told me that I resemble Hema aunty, Vaijantimala, who to believe I don’t know. I just want to look like myself. I think that will happen once I start working when people see my work. It’s not that they are comparing me to someone bad. They are comparing me to the best, so I am ok with it.
Before leaving for Brazil, Piggy Chops organised a fab bash for her father’s birthday. Javed and Shabana were excited enough to break into song
Seems like Priyanka Chopra’s is quite a well-knit family, with daddy keeping track of beti’s diet charts and beti reciprocating the love by organising a lavish birthday bash for him at a five-star hotel. How lovely.
It turns out, before flying to Brazil for Fear Factor, Priyanka Chopra arranged for a grand party in a five-star hotel in Juhu for her father Dr Ashok Chopra’s birthday.
Like a loving daughter, Priyanka personally planned and supervised every little detail of the celebration, from arranging the invitee list, sending personal invitations to food etc. Priyanka ensured everything was in order before flying off to Brazil on Wednesday.
Confirming this, Dr Chopra added, “I am blessed to have such a darling daughter. She even sent me a watch, which landed at my doorstep on Monday morning.”
The doting father took a moment to praise his son as well and said, “My son Siddharth played the perfect host. He has completed a course in Hotel Management, and that worked I guess.”
Dr Chopra’s close friends attended the party, which was held on Monday evening. Guests from Bollywood included the likes of Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Mona Kapoor, Shahid Rafi (Mohd Rafi’s son), Neetu Chandra and Khayyam amongst a few others.
Talking about the party, Dr Chopra said, “Shabana and Javed sang the song Chhod Do Aanchal Zamana Kya Kahega, from the film Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi). Then I sang Khayyam’s composition Jeet hi lenge baazi hum tum from Shola Aur Shabnam. It was a fun-filled evening. We were in the hotel singing and joking till 2 am. I don’t know how to thank Priyanka.”
And how old are you, Mr Chopra, we asked shamelessly. “Well, I just completed my 21st year,” he replied. Aww!
…her mother, setting a benchmark for Mr Right
Garima Sharma | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 24, 2010)
Last month, she turned 28 and was gifted a seven-carat solitaire diamond ring by her parents. “I’m really proud of it. But my mom says that she’s set a benchmark for the guy who will marry me! I was going away on my birthday for a holiday and I wasn’t going to be with them. So my dad wrote me this amazing letter. It said, ‘It’s really great to be known as my daughter’s father.’ That made me cry,” she said. When asked when she plans to replace this ring with an engagement band, prompt came the reply, “When the guy who is willing to gift me a ring like this crashes into me!”
But till the time Mr Right is still on his way, Priyanka is keeping busy with work — endorsements, films and goodwill initiatives. A few days ago, she became the UNICEF national ambassador. She said, “I just feel that I can do so much, in fact, everyone can do so much. It’s not just about me. You can do so much sitting in your house. And frankly, it doesn’t take so much time. If we can take time out for things that are productive for us, for instance, I take out time for my endorsements, shoots, my career; then I can take time out for something I feel so strongly about. And I’ve been working with UNICEF for the last four years. It’s just that we have made it official now.”
Priyanka added, “I have also been working with senior-citizen causes, green causes, with thalassemic children, etc. I educate about 28 girls. I have a foundation called the Priyanka Chopra Foundation which is into health and education. It’s been on for years now. People write to me saying their kids need surgery, or their kids can’t go to school, and my team authenticates it and then we help them. We don’t really talk about it. But now that I’m the UNICEF national ambassador, I feel that my voice has been given a channel where I can talk about making a difference. And I’m saying it only because I’ve seen the difference.”
‘Sid’s my jaan’
Priyanka’s in Brazil, shooting for Khatron Ke Khiladi. But being the compulsive person that she is, before leaving home she prepared the puja ki thali with the rakhi and left a box of sweets for her brother Siddharth. One of her cousins will tie it on him on Priyanka’s behalf. “I love my brother, he is my jaan,” said the Bollywood superstar. She expects to receive a gift from Sid when she returns to Mumbai on September 11.
Diksha Kamra | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 23, 2010)
It’s not what you may think. The Bollywood Badshah is a dedicated son-in-law. But his visits to R C Chhiba, wife Gauri Khan’s ailing father in Delhi, cause more distress than anything else.
Gauri herself is by her father’s bedside at the Escorts Heart Institute at New Friends Colony in the capital. Chhiba’s had angioplasty done, two stents were required, and he’s now out of the ICU. But Shah Rukh Khan is reluctant to visit his father-in-law. Says a source, “SRK doesn’t want a repeat of what happened when he visited Chhiba at the Max Healthcare at Saket in Delhi. Everything came to a standstill when people saw him. This disturbed not only the discipline, but also the health of other patients. And Shah Rukh doesn’t wish to disturb anyone.” But that doesn’t mean the actor won’t come to meet Chhiba at all. “He will come to the city when Chhiba is home,” adds the source.
Arjun Rampal refuses to play favourites with KJo’s heroines
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 21, 2010)
Bollywood sees Arjun Rampal as a very ‘brave’ actor. Which star would agree to be part of a cast that has two superlative actresses like Kajol and Kareena Kapoor and then hope to shine through in a film like Karan Johar’s We Are Family?
But Arjun is confident. And his confidence comes from the fact that he has been scaling new heights in the last couple of years. From winning the National Award for Abhishek Kapoor’s Rock On to getting accolades for Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti, Arjun has been batting on a feverish pitch. “I’m sure that my winning streak will continue with We Are Family,” says the actor. “And I’m not intimidated about working with any actor because I feel that if I am honest and true to the character I’m playing, there’s no reason for me to worry about who I am pitted against.”
Having said that, Arjun explains that WAF is not a copy of Hollywood’s 1998 tearjerker Step Mom where the hero, Ed Harris, had a passive role when compared to the ladies — Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts. “It is an adaptation. Siddharth P Malhotra and Karan Johar have made many changes in the hero’s character. In my opinion, these changes are for the better,” explains Arjun, adding that WAF’s hero is much younger… and the equations he shares with the two women is more suited to Indian sentiments.
“The film deals with so many different sentiments. The three children will strike a chord with young ones in the audience, parents will identify with Kajol’s mother act, and since I’m a hands-on parent myself, I play a kind of father who everyone can empathise with. As for Kareena, she has no direct experience of parenting, but exposed to experiences of watching her niece and nephew growing, her reactions to adapting to the children are also interesting. I also don’t want people to ask me who I prefer — Kajol over Kareena. I like them both,” says the actor.
He feels this film will be remembered for its fantastic casting. “Kajol is a natural. I’m a huge fan and I cherished the experience of working with her. Watching her doing emotional scenes is spellbinding. She is so effortless. And Kareena is a friend. I hang out with Saif and because of him, I have gotten to know her. She has come into her own as an actress and is also a huge star. So working with Bebo was fun and a challenge,” admits Arjun.
WAF releases worldwide on September 3, and Arjun says that this may well be another ace up Karan’s sleeve. “Siddharth and Karan have made immense contribution to the original script. What is truly rocking is that they have managed to get it right and keep it real. When a film feels real… it works,” he says.