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Goons attack set of 'Bhram', ask for money
Mumbai, Feb 21 The unit of "Bhram", starring Dino
Morea and Sheetal Menon, were in for a rude shock during
shooting on the beach here when some local goons attacked them
and demanded money.
A romantic scene between Dino and Sheetal was being shot Tuesday
evening at Gorai Beach in Mumbai and the necessary legal
permission had been taken. Three policemen from the local police
station were deputed there for security.
However, three local goons appeared on the scene, totally drunk,
and disrupted the shoot. They behaved aggressively with the unit
members, jammed the camera equipment and did considerable damage
to the sets.
They threatened the unit members and demanded money for allowing
the shoot. When a unit member tried to reason with them, they
assaulted the director's assistant.
The policemen reportedly kept standing as mute spectators. In
fact, they told the unit to pay the money, saying the goons were
The unit members filed a complaint with the Borivali Police
Station, claiming that the Gorai Police Station personnel were
hand in glove with the local mafia.
Director Pawan Kaul said: "This is simply a mockery of the
system where people who are supposed to protect you are hand in
gloves with the mafia. Even though all the legal permission was
taken, the cops actually asked us to pay up to resume the shoot.
It is a very sad state of affairs."
Shabana's 'sweet, normal' kiss
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 21 Shabana Azmi has done her first kiss
in Reema Kagti's "Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd" and says her
children - Farhan and Zoya Akhtar - are planning to exploit the
"You know my kids have put the kiss in the trailer. Zoya and
Farhan say they're going to exploit me commercially. Thank you
so much," Shabana told IANS.
Shabana's boisterous laughter controls your thoughts, "What's a
kiss with Boman? I've kissed Nandita Das in 'Fire'. Watching me
do a normal kiss, you'll heave a sigh of relief.
"It's a very innocent sweet, and non-controversial kiss... I had
a ball doing 'Honeymoon Travels...' My children are involved
with it. I've a very small part."
About her unusual pairing with Boman Irani, Shabana says, "Boman
plays this Christian Goan guy. I play this Muslim woman. He
plays a brash man. My character is more genteel."
Shabana says she likes her look in the movie.
"I love my look in this film. I keep telling the clothes
designer Arjun Bhasin that after this film he won't be getting
any more assignments. All of us are so atrociously dressed by
design. For Arjun's sake, I hope the film industry gets the
point, or this is the end of his career.
"Jokes aside, it's a great feeling to dress according to
character. But when my mother saw these clothes she freaked out.
'Please Shabana, it hurts!' she told me. Arrey, she can dress
any way she wants for a part. Why not me?"
It was a great pleasure for Shabana to play this nondescript
character, who emerges as a person in her own right.
"This Goan guy, who's her husband, wants to make her happy. He
keeps reciting 'sher' in wrong Urdu. Such a sweet tender
relationship... The kiss comes in when he reaches his ancestral
house to see it being dismantled. That's when I move towards
him. He kisses me right in the middle of the street.
"Will my audience be shocked? I think not! I think Boman was far
more terrified than I was."
Shabana is all praise for her director.
"Because she has been an efficient assistant director, she has
this quality of getting whatever she wants by hook or by crook.
Other first-time directors are ready to commit suicide if they
can't get the shot they want. Not Kagti. She always had an
Shabana recalls that one shot with Boman which was canned after
a long delay.
"There's always that one shot in every film which remains a
problem till the end. It was a simple scene on a beach featuring
Boman and me. The first time it couldn't be done because I had
to go to the US for an award. I stayed back for the scene. It
"Then I gave up Holi in my house -- you know how important Holi
is to me -- to do that scene. Again, it didn't happen. When we
finally did it, it had to be re-done."
Doing an ensemble piece was a total pleasure for Shabana.
"I've done two of them back-to-back. The first one was 'The
Lions Of Punjab' (earlier called 'The Contest') directed by
Manish Acharya. The one thing that an ensemble cast teaches you
is endless patience. You are an extra in every scene. If you get
bored of being an extra, you harm the film.
"Fortunately, Goa, where we shot the film, didn't give any of us
a chance to get bored. We all did such fun... playing antakshari,
Shabana describes her co-star Boman as an endlessly curious man.
"He's such a movie buff. He knows every detail of every film.
I'd just sit back and wonder what sort of a Parsi is this who
knows everything about Hindi films. He speaks non-stop. He'd
pretend all the time that I was scolding him. But Boman and I
had a ball.
"All the young girls in the unit wanted to be around Boman, and
the boys hovered around me. So we were both deeply flattered."
Shabana loved the entire cast.
"Particularly Sandhya Mridul who has the most delicious sense of
humour. I just adored being around her. And then Raima Sen ...
she is one of her own kind. And I'm so proud of my child Zoya. I
always wondered how she'd be as a director.
"Watching her handle the unit of 'Honeymoon Travels...' as a
producer, I could see her capabilities. My god, this girl is
I've a soft corner for Vidya Balan, says Amitabh (INTERVIEW)
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 21 Although Amitabh Bachchan teamed up
with some of the best actors in the just-released "Eklavya", it
is Vidya Balan who has impressed him the most.
"I've a special soft corner for her. She's absolutely marvellous
and so wonderfully natural. She's so endearing to watch on
screen," Amitabh told IANS.
"When I saw her in 'Parineeta' for the first time in Amsterdam,
I wanted to look only at her and nobody else on screen... with
all due respects to the rest of the cast."
"Eklavya" got a lukewarm response and critics were not too happy
with the length of the film (two hours) but the actor defends it
saying, "You don't need too much time to spread out a dramatic
thriller. Every film has its own rhythm."
Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra has been singing praises about the
superstar's performance in the film and calls it his best till
date but Amitabh doesn't agree.
"That's his viewpoint. I don't agree with him. True, I've never
done anything like this film. I did have a cameo in Shah Rukh
Khan's 'Paheli' where I was similarly dressed. But all told, my
physical appearance is very different in 'Eklavya'."
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Vidhu Vinod Chopra and you seemed to have established a very
A: He's a kind human being and very passionate about his work.
He has a keen eye for aesthetics. He creates an atmosphere
conducive to good work. We waited 30 years to work together. All
directors must work towards building a rapport with their
"Eklavya" is an intriguing film. The visuals may suggest a
mythological or a period film. But "Eklavya" is modern
contemporary thriller. It's set in today's Rajasthan.
Q: It is a very short film....
A: It's just about two hours long. That's fine. You don't need
too much time to spread out a dramatic thriller. Every film has
its own rhythm.
Q: You've been giving TV interviews on "Eklavya" in super cool
A: Oh those were for a particular reason. I had been shooting
the whole time for Ram Gopal Varma's "Sholay". The role of
Gabbar requires me to wear contact lenses. These left me with
blood-shot eyes and no choice but to wear sunglasses for the
interview that followed the shooting.
Q: Chopra insists "Eklavya" is your best performance.
A: That's his viewpoint. I don't agree with him. True, I've
never done anything like this film. I did have a cameo in Shah
Rukh Khan's "Paheli" where I was similarly dressed. But all told
my physical appearance is very different in "Eklavya".
Q: You hated the beard, didn't you?
A: It's such a pain! Once you stick on the beard with gum it
just restricts your facial movements and irritates you. God
bless Pran Saab. He's a master with beards. And he managed to
work so wonderfully with them. Vinod and I have agreed that if
I'm required to wear a beard in my next film with him, everyone
else on the crew would've to do the same.
Q: Does that apply to Vidya Balan too?
A: Provided she's part of the next film.
Q: You had to recite lengthy dialogues in sync sound.
A: That was tough. But when you have to do something, you do it.
The false beard made the dialogues difficult. Vinod suggested I
take six months off and grow a real beard. That's the level of
commitment. But my other commitments do not allow me the luxury
of changing my physical appearance.
But others in "Eklavya" went out of the way. Sanjay Dutt cut his
hair. Jackie Shroff grew a beard. It would've taken me a couple
of years to grow the beard that was required to play "Eklavya".
Q: Most of the "Eklavya" cast is new to you.
A: Except Sanjay. He has a unique personality. You could put him
in any circumstance, his presence and personality take care of
everything. He's one of the most lovable persons in the film
industry. He's adopted Abhishek as his younger brother. I know
Sanjay from the time I came to Mumbai to become an actor. Dutt
saab (Sunil Dutt) and Nargisji had taken me under their wings,
Q: And Saif Ali Khan?
A: He has evolved beautifully. Thank god we saw his potential
bloom in "Dil Chahta Hai". Subsequently he has improved with
every project right up to "Omkara". It's a great joy being with
actors like Saif. The amount of care and dedication that they
give to their roles is wonderful.
Q: And Vidya....
A: I've a special soft corner for her. She's absolutely
marvellous and so wonderfully natural. She's so endearing to
watch on screen. When I saw her in "Parineeta" for the first
time in Amsterdam, I wanted to look only at her and nobody else
on screen... with all due respects to the rest of the cast.
Q: Did you adopt your father's Shakespearean imagery in your
A: Not me. But it was part of Vinod's writing process in
deciding the attitude that "Eklavya" would adopt. Vinod
accidentally met Peter O'Toole. The next day he invited O'Toole
home and asked me to come and observe his 'Shakespearean' walk.
I couldn't go to Vinod's house... Vinod is continuously creating
a creative pool. Only he could connect Shakespeare and Peter
O'Toole with my character Eklavya.
Q: How do the mentor Vinod and his most accomplished protégée
Sanjay Bhansali compare?
A: When during "Black" I saw Sanjay's detailing and passion I
didn't know Sanjay had worked with Vinod for eight years. It was
only after working with Vinod that everything fell into place.
The time spent with Vinod has obviously rubbed off on Sanjay.
Today, Sanjay has his own subjects and style, Vinod has his own.
Q: Finally, the wedding date of Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai ?
A: We're still in discussion. As soon as we firm in, we'll get
Farhan savours fatherhood
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 21 It's a week since little Akira was
born and father Farhan Akhtar is still in a daze.
"It still hasn't sunk in. But, yes, nothing can compare with or
describe the feeling of fatherhood," Farhan told IANS.
"I'm now waiting to take my wife Adhuna home so that my elder
daughter Shakiya won't feel left out. God knows she's been
looking forward to mothering her sibling. But visiting hours
being what they are, Shakiya has hardly had time with her new
sister. When we get home we'll certainly have a party."
Akira, which means 'anchor', shares her first name with the
legendary Japanese director.
"Let's hope my Akira will be as talented as Akira Kurosoawa, if
not as famous."
Children in one way or another occupy Farhan's mind at the
moment. Besides the bundle of joy at home, Farhan is also
involved creatively with young thoughts and dreams.
His next directorial undertaking "Voice From The Sky" will have
two boys in the principal lead.
"In fact," reveals Farhan, "there will be 12-13 kids and I want
to cast them just right. I'm in the process of looking at all
the DVD and visual media I can lay my hands on to find the right
"Voice From The Sky", to be set near Kolkata, will be shot
towards the end of the year.
"I want to shoot it in the November light. It's a project that I
could've made right after 'Lakshya' if I hadn't decided to do
'Don' right away."
Just chill, concerned colleagues tell Saif
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 21 Take it easy Saif! The actor's
cardiac problems and hospitalisation after chest pain while
rehearsing for the Stardust awards has led to concern amongst
his colleagues with everyone - from Amitabh Bachchan and Hema
Malini to Urmila Matondkar and Arshad Warsi - suggesting that he
Saif, who was rushed to Lilavati hospital Sunday evening, is out
of danger and will be discharged in a day or two.
Amitabh Bachchan: I was at an awards function with Aishwarya (Rai)
when I came to know Saif had been hospitalised. We went
immediately after the show to see him. He looked fine and
cheerful. Investigations were on. I told him he must slow down.
It's disturbing to see such a fine lad this way.
Hema Malini: I'd like to tell Saif to take it easy. I know that
it isn't easy. Even if you feel the need to slow down no one out
here lets you. But Saif has to get selfish about his well-being.
My humble advice to him is, grab time for yourself and find some
peace. You've earned it.
Arshad Warsi: I think actors today are under a lot of pressure
to deliver their best. They're constantly trying to perform at
an optimum level. On top of work pressures we're constantly
under public scrutiny. All of us actors try to balance our
professional and personal lives to the best of our abilities.
Stress is bound to be there. So, Saif, please
take extra care of yourself. Relax and chill. You're precious to
all of us. Hang in there. Lots of love!
Dino Morea: It's really sad to hear Saif is unwell. I hope he
gets well soon. The workload gets to all of us, no matter how
much care we take of our health. It's easy for me to say Saif
should slow down. But he's in his prime. And he needs to use
this time to move ahead. This phase won't come back again.
Urmila Matondkar: The high feeling of doing good work is so
exhilarating that unknowingly one tends to overwork. I'd like to
remind Saif that he's going through one of the best phases in
his career. He needs to take it to greater heights. And for that
he needs to be in good health. He should take the warning and
look after himself.
Aishwarya, Sanjay bag top honours at Stardust awards
Mumbai, Feb 21 Sanjay Dutt was declared star of year
for his performance in "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" while Aishwarya
has bagged the honour for "Dhoom 2" at the MAX Stardust Awards
The glittering award function on Feb 18 was overshadowed by news
of Saif Ali Khan's illness - he was rehearsing for his
performance at the awards when he complained of chest pain and
was rushed to hospital.
Saif won the 'best actor in a negative role' award for his
awesome performance in "Omkara".
Director Rajkumar Hirani was honoured with the 'dream director'
trophy for "Lage Raho Munna Bhai".
"Omkara" was declared the 'hottest film' and Sanjay Gadhvi
'hottest director' for making "Dhoom 2".
While Abhishek Bachchan got the 'best actor in a supporting role
male' award for "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna", Ayesha Takia won the
'supporting role female' award for "Dor".
The 'editor's choice for the best performance of the year' went
to Kareena Kapoor for "Omkara" and for 'best director' to Vishal
Bharadwaj for the same film.
In the special awards section, Mithun Charaborty was declared
'role model of the year' and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Rang De
Basanti" 'pride of the industry'.
Shiney Ahuja and Kangana Ranaut were awarded in the 'superstar
of tomorrow' category for their impressive work in "Gangster - A
Shaad Randhawa, who played Kangana's possessive boyfriend in "Woh
Lamhe", got the 'new menace award'.
Kunal Kapoor and Gul Panag received 'breakthrough performance'
awards for "Rang De Basanti" and "Dor".
In the music category, composer Mithoon bagged the 'standout
performance by a music director' award for "Ek Pal" and Virag
Mishra won 'standout performance by a lyricist' award for his
song "Zinda hoon main" from "Zinda".
Though Saif's absence was felt, performances by Kareena, Lara
Dutta, Imran Hashmi and Kangana Ranaut kept the audience
entertained at the event attended by amongst others Amitabh
Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta, Sanjay Dutt and John
Varma's another film with Big B in legal tangle
New Delhi, Feb 21 Close on the heels of "Ram Gopal
Varma Kay Sholay" landing in a legal soup on allegations of
plagiarism, the ace Bollywood director Varma's another film
Nishabd, starring Amitabh Bachchan, ran into legal tangle
Wednesday with a private film production firm moving the Delhi
High Court for a ban on the release of
Justice A.K. Sikri issued notices to Varma and his production
house on a petition by by Kanungo Media Pvt Ltd seeking
permanent injunction against 'Nishabd' with Bachchan in the lead
After hearing preliminary arguments, Justice Sikri also issued
notices to R.G.V. Film Factory, Adlabs Films Ltd and Super
Cassettes Ltd and asked them to file their replies by March 23
to the allegations of plagiarism in the petition.
The court incidentally had earlier stayed the release of Varma's
"Ram Gopal Varma Kay Sholay" on a petition filed by Sascha Sippy,
the director of the original Sholay producer Sippy Films, for
using the names "Sholay" and "Gabbar Singh" in his film.
In its petition Kanungo Media Pvt Ltd of director Dinanath
Jawhar Kanungo alleged that Varma had infringed his intellectual
property rights over the name and title of its own film `Nisshabd'
which had won many international awards.
Kanungo alleged that his "Nisshabd" was produced with the
financial aid, released under the French government's "Fonds Sud
Cinema" scheme in November 2002.
The Central Board of Film Certification too subsequently had
cleared the name for the film in June 2005, said the petition.
The film has received best feature film award at Osian's Cinefan
Festival, Asian Film in July 2005 and second prize at
International Film Festival in Bangladesh in March 2006, besides
"Coup De Coeur Guimet Award" at Vesoul International Festival of
The lead female role of the film bagged best actress award at
the Osian's Cinefan Festival Asian Film in July 2005, Kanungo
It also participated in Pusan International Film Festival
(2005), Bangkok International Film Festival (2006), Durban
International Film Festival (2006), 8 Mami's International Film
Festival, Mumbai(2006), Eco Vision Film Festival (Palermo,
Italy), Golden Orange International Film Festival, Antalya, said
Will 'Water' bag an Oscar?
New Delhi, Feb 20 With Oscar awards just round the
corner, speculation over Deepa Mehta's "Water" winning the
coveted prize is sky high.
Desi movie buffs were hugely disappointed when India's official
entry for the Oscars - "Rang De Basanti" - was disqualified. Now
they have pinned all their hopes on "Water", a gripping 1930s
tale of Indian widows in Varanasi.
Though Mehta's film represents Canada in the Oscar race, the
director's Indian origin and cast of Indian stars like Lisa Ray,
Seema Biswas and John Abraham have evoked patriotism.
John, who plays a Gandhian reformer in the film, is sure that
Indians will make a mark on the Oscar arena soon. He said: "I am
sure one day we are going to get it."
Most Indians across the globe will be glued to their TV sets to
watch the awards on Feb 26 night.
On India's bad luck at the Oscars, Percept Picture Company
managing director Shailendra Singh said: "We don't research the
subject. We don't prepare ourselves because we want a quickie.
We make a movie in seven-eight months."
"We don't have international consumers and still hoped 'Rang De
Basanti' to be there. Did we make it for the Oscars? Did we make
it keeping in mind we would like it to be seen by the entire
world? I think we are skilled, we are hungry, but we need to do
a lot of homework," Singh told IANS.
"Water" is the final instalment of Mehta's elemental trilogy
after "Fire" and "Earth". Both the films courted controversy
because of the issues highlighted in the film.
While shooting "Water" in Varanasi in 1999, the director faced
opposition from rightwing activists in India who destroyed the
sets and burnt Mehta's effigies. But Mehta was determined to
make it and four years later, filmed it in Sri Lanka.
Filmmaker Ravi Chopra, who is distributing and releasing the
film in India, said the film might pick up the award.
He said: "It's a beautiful romantic film and deserves an Oscar.
When people see the film, they will understand that they have no
reason to have any problems with the movie."
When asked why only three Indian films have made it to the
nomination list, Chopra said: "May be we haven't made films that
touch their (western) sensibilities. We make films to our
sensibilities and there are very few films that look after both
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar feels otherwise. He said: "It's a
big game and big lobby. You have to have proper people to
communicate with the juries and to show them the movie."
But Mehta's film is seen in a positive light.
If critics in the west are raving about other four entries -
"After The Wedding" (Denmark), "Days Of Glory" (Algeria), "The
lives Of Others" (Germany) and "Pan's Labyrinth" (Mexico) - they
are lauding Mehta's film too.
Critics have said "Water" is richer and more convincing in its
portrayal of the girl, Chuyia, sent to live with a houseful of
As far as Indian links go, apart from Mehta's "Water", Susanne
Bier's "After the Wedding" too has a strong Indian tie. The film
centres on Jacob Petersen, a Danish expatriate who has dedicated
his life to helping street children in India.
If "Water" succeeds in impressing the jury and bagging the
Academy award, it will surely open a new chapter for Indian
Endorsements are the cream on the cake: Zayed
By Shweta Thakur,
New Delhi, Feb 20 Actor Zayed Khan says that when it
comes to endorsements he gives preference to those suiting his
"Endorsements are the cream on the cake. It is very important to
be attentive and serious about your image while choosing ads. I
endorse a brand not keeping in mind the sense of responsibility
but something that fits my persona and lifestyle," Zayed told
Zayed, who is brand ambassador of 'iD Rockstar' footwear,
believes that his patience helps him do justice to the role of a
The actor also admits that he would not shy away from launching
his own collection in the near future.
After "Main Hoon Na", Zayed has given half a dozen flops like
"Rocky: The Rebel" and "Fight Club: Members Only". And now he
wants to prove his mettle and work with experienced filmmakers.
"I want to work with very interesting people because I believe
an actor is as good as his director."
Zayed has no reservations about working in Hollywood films.
"Hollywood! Why not? Indian films these days are going global
and earning accolades."
The actor is all praise for Deepa Mehta's Oscar-nominated
"'Water' is the right entry for the Oscars. I have also seen 'Lage
Raho Munnabhai' and 'Rang De Basanti'. All three of them are
Asked if he would like to venture into television and music
albums, he said "not now".
He is looking forward to Vikram Bhatt's "Speed" where he will
share screen space with Tanushree Dutta, Urmila Matondkar and
Zayed is also a part of Anubhav Sinha's "Cash", which has an
ensemble cast of Suniel Shetty, Riteish Deshmukh, Ajay Devgan,
Shamita Shetty, Esha Deol and Diya Mirza.
Bollywood designer to open shop in Johannesburg
By Fakir Hassen,
Johannesburg, Feb 20 Ace Bollywood designer Vikram
Phadnis, whose creations were seen in the recent release
"Salaam-e-Ishq", is to open an exclusive store here soon with a
South African partner.
Phadnis made a brief visit to the city to scout for locations,
indicating that he and partner Sureka Seeth, a water
purification engineer who has set her heart on switching roles,
were likely to settle for the upmarket suburb of Sandton.
Phadnis said that after his first visit to South Africa for the
SA Fashion Week last year he had fallen in love with the
country, especially after he was lauded for his work
incorporating African beadwork, something he has since featured
in his Bollywood designs as well.
"In my 14-year career I had not got a standing ovation like I
did that night at the finale of the Fashion Week," Phadnis said.
"I've done shows everywhere - in London, Dubai, Amsterdam, but
the kind of response that I got here made me realise that I had
to come here."
Offers of partnership have started pouring but he had spent time
sifting through them before agreeing to work with Seeth, said
"Obviously, I don't want to open a small little shop - it has to
be a studio where I do a brand of fusion and a couture line, and
I want to do men and women's wear."
Emphasising that his kind of clothing was not for any particular
community or class, Phadnis said he had been working on the
creative material for a couple of months now and hoped to open
in Johannesburg within the next quarter before looking at Durban
and Cape Town as well.
The new partners said they hoped to have some big Bollywood
names present at the launch event.
Seeth said she had approached Phadnis after seeing his fashions
at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Dubai
last year and then again at SA Fashion Week.
"We are looking at very high-end upmarket clothing in a boutique
style, where you only get one of a kind of outfit. A lot of
people want to look like the Bollywood stars so there will be
that opportunity as well. What I like about Vikram is that he
keeps the Bollywood elements in his design as well," she said.
The garish outfits of Bollywood have given way to more of what
Phadnis called "character-driven scripts".
"Even my latest film, 'Salaam-e-Ishq', is very character-driven.
People don't take liberties with those larger-than-life clothes.
Everything is according to the character, according to the
"Previously you would see bizarre clothing that you can't really
wear on a day-to-day basis. But today times have changed and
people want to wear clothing that you can identify with -
comfortable and absolutely realistic."
Phadnis said although he was currently very busy with two
Fashion Weeks in India, he is also working on a film featuring
Sushmita Sen; another with Suneil Shetty called "Golmaal", and
"God Tusi Great Ho" with Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan.
Sushmita wants to be close to reality
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 20 Sushmita Sen, who will team up with
Hollywood actress Ashley Judd for a very special rendezvous with
sex workers of Mumbai next month, says she need brushes with
reality to keep herself grounded.
"Look at the work that Judd has done for AIDS and other causes.
It makes me feel so small. Acting is all very fine. But real
life is far more important," Sushmita told IANS.
The two well-known actors will create AIDS awareness in Mumbai's
most thickly populated red-light area.
"A lot of us celebrities lose touch with our basic purpose,
namely to use our names to further causes and issues that make a
difference to underprivileged lives. Unfortunately, a lot of
times our names and funds get exploited in the wrong hands."
Such experiences aren't going to deter Sushmita from reaching
out whenever she can. On Feb 18 she headed for St Catherine's
Home in Andheri to spend the day with special HIV-infected
"Ideally, I wouldn't have wanted cameras to follow me there. But
then I realise the whole purpose of such interactions is to
create an awareness about people who aren't as happily placed in
life as me or my daughter Renee, hence the absolutely invaluable
role of the media."
Renee, in fact, accompanied her mom to the orphanage.
"Between the two of us I don't know who's more excited. I didn't
go there to make the kids feel better. The whole idea is to make
myself feel better. I really need this brush with reality to
keep me grounded and to reassure me about the quality of my
The day with the children at St Catherine's was meticulously
chalked out for Sushmita and Renee.
"There was a movie, gifts including dolls and yes, lots and lots
of chocolates. Believe me, there's nothing kids enjoy more than
I am typecast, admits Ketaki Dave
New Delhi, Feb 20 Seasoned theatre actress Ketaki
Dave, who returns to "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" after four
years, admits that there are no variations in her roles, whether
in films or on television.
"I have become typecast. People like watching me as a typical
Gujarati woman, so everybody offers me the same kind of role. I
would love to play different characters. But I think I will have
to wait till some producer has the guts to cast me in a
different avatar," said Ketaki, who played Daksha in "Kyunki..."
She was seen in films like "Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya"
and "Kal Ho Naa Ho".
Ketaki, who played Daksha in the long running soap about the
Virani family, left in a huff following a tiff with Ekta Kapoor
and is coming back because she says she can't keep her fans
waiting any longer.
"I was approached several times by Balaji Telefilms but this
time everything fell into place so I accepted the offer. Also, I
was missing my character and I realised that my fans are missing
me too. I thought I shouldn't disappoint them any more," Ketaki
told IANS over the phone from Mumbai.
In the serial, Daksha is shown as staying connected with the
Virani family because she has kept in touch with her
"I am coming back as Daksha only and the story is narrated in
such a manner that it shows that I am familiar with all the new
members in the family."
Ketaki says the break was a blessing in disguise.
"I was very stressed out during that period. My children were
growing up and I wasn't giving them time."
During her break from TV, Ketaki was active in theatre. "People
didn't see me on television but I was doing theatre."
She also produced a Gujarati serial and is very keen to go
behind the camera.
"I definitely would like to direct one day. But I will make a
film on my own terms. I produced a Gujarati serial and it was
She feels the 'saas-bahu' saga, which dominates all channels,
will end some day.
"Everything has an end, so will the saas-bahu serials. The fact
is that when 'Kyunkii...' came with 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' it
became a huge hit. And everybody started aping the same formula.
"It's not that people are not trying to experiment. Some
producers are making different kinds of serials, but when
viewers refuse to see them they have to go back to the hit
formula to keep audiences interested."
Talking about her film career, she said: "I have recently done a
film 'Hello! Hum Lallan Bol Rahe Hain'. I have also done a
Maintaining her characteristic bluntness and dash of humour,
Ketaki's re-entry in 'Kyunkii...' will be closely integrated
with the story and the lives of everyone in Virani family.