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Vikram Bhatt has three releases in next three months
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 2 Director Vikram Bhatt has three films
lined up for release in the next three months but he is not very
happy with the screening plans.
He has "Red" releasing in February, followed by "Life Mein Kabhi
Kabhie" in March and then suspense thriller "Fear" in April.
"People will think I've gone back to making a large number of
films together after swearing I won't do so. But what to do! I
can't ask producers to hold on to their products just because
I'm not comfortable with the idea of three releases in three
months. Luckily for me, I'm happy with all the three films.
Ironically, my film called 'Speed' is not yet complete," Bhatt
Bhatt celebrated his 38th birthday on Jan 27 in a unique way. He
watched the final cut of "Life Mein Kabhi Kabhie".
"It was the best birthday gift I could've given myself. Though
we had to cut the film by almost an hour, I'm really happy with
this one. Every actor has given his best. But Sammir Dattani and
Anjori Alagh are a revelation. No matter what the film's fate,
they will be stars after 'Life Mein Kabhi Kabhie'."
Doesn't he want to settle down with his soul mate Ameesha Patel?
"We're as settled together as can be. We don't need to get
married to prove our togetherness. Ameesha is currently doing
some very interesting films. It'd be cruel of me to expect her
to settle for marriage at a time when she has a career to think
Kangana and dancing? No thank you
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 2 She's the powerhouse actress from
"Gangster - A Love Story" and "Woh Lamhe", but put her in
dancing shoes and Kangana Ranaut freezes.
She kept stepping on her co-star Bobby Deol's toes while
shooting for "Shakalaka Boom Boom".
"She's very good at the Indian steps. But she tends to get put
off by Western dancing. So, while we were doing songs from 'Shakalaka
Boom Boom', she was uncomfortable," Bobby told IANS.
"She even poked my eye during dancing," laughed Bobby. "She's so
tall! And yes, she kept stepping on my toes. But thank god she's
such a lightweight. Imagine what would happen to me if it was a
"But seriously Kangana needs to get stronger. I kept telling her
to have glucose between shots."
Though Bobby enjoys dancing, he is still not comfortable with
"There're many movements that I still can't bring myself to do.
For instance, the pelvic gyration - now it's become so routine
that it doesn't even look vulgar. But I can't do it!
"Likewise, kissing scenes. I have said no to them but you never
know about the future. My golden rule of living is, 'never say
never'. That way you don't have to eat your words."
Creating 'Black Friday' sets was challenging for director
Mumbai, Feb 2 For director Anurag Kashyap,
recreating Mumbai of the early 1990s in his controversial film
"Black Friday", about the events leading up to the 1993 Mumbai
bombings, was one of the most difficult things to do.
The film is releasing Feb 9.
Kashyap had to keep a lot of things in mind-like there should be
no usage of mobile telephones or such phones visible in the
film. Even the hoardings and cars used were restricted to the
1993 set up. One will only find Maruti 800 or vans in the film,
reported Bollywood Trade.
"Since there were a lot of street shots in the film one had to
be very careful, in particular of the hoardings and cars used in
the sets," said Kashyap.
Based on S. Hussain Zaidi's book, the film is on the conspiracy
behind the Mumbai blasts and give a detailed account of the
planning, execution and back-end operations that went into it.
The blasts left 257 dead and 1,400 injured and also brought into
the spotlight the mafia-terrorist nexus prevalent today.
Produced by Arindam Mitra, the film features Kay Kay Menon,
Pavan Malhotra and Aditya Srivastava playing inspector Rakesh
Maria, Tiger Memon and police spy Badshah Khan respectively.
People are welcome to be inquisitive about my life: Sushmita
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 2 She has been quite open about her
relationships in the past, but Sushmita Sen is, for the first
time, tight-lipped about her latest boyfriend Manav.
"As you mature with time, you realise relationships aren't just
about one person. The privacy of the other party in a
relationship does matter. I may not be secretive about the
relationship. The other person is. That's it.
"As long as I can answer without compromising the other person,
I do it. I can't let other people suffer for the choices I make
in life. People are most welcome to be inquisitive about my
life. I do enjoy sharing it," Sushmita told IANS in an
Career wise 2006 wasn't too encouraging for the actress. She had
two releases, "Chingaari" and "Zindaggi Rocks" - both bombed at
the box office but she is unfazed!
"By god's grace, every time a film of mine bombs, which is
rather regularly, I've kept growing and diversifying into
different areas of the entertainment business," she said.
She confesses that now she has actually started enjoying acting.
"Cinema allows me to exhale. It's no longer about impressing
other people but expressing myself. That's what makes me feel so
Q: How has life been treating you?
A: Fabulously! I'm 31 and rocking. And, though I do at times
explore the possibility of other options, I wouldn't have my
life any other way. 2006 has been personally tough. But I'm an
eternal optimist. I say, 'All right god, you've chosen me for
this tough test. But please don't make it into a habit.' I'm His
favourite child. I wish the same for everyone.
Q: There's an insatiable appetite to know more about your
current man Manav. Why are you, for once, so secretive about
A: As you get acclimatised to the media, you adopt a less
bindaas approach to the limelight. Right now I feel this is my
life and I don't need to justify myself. As you mature with
time, you realise relationships aren't just about one person.
The privacy of the other party in a relationship does matter. I
may not be secretive about the relationship. The other person
is. That's it.
It isn't easy, specially, when pushed to a corner about being
answerable about my relationship. As long as I can answer
without compromising the other person, I do it. I can't let
other people suffer for the choices I make in life. People are
most welcome to be inquisitive about my life. I do enjoy sharing
Q: So, is this relationship more serious, therefore more
A: No the secrecy, as you call it, is purely because the person
has asked me not to talk about it. I'd rather choose what my
heart tells me to. I've a tremendously strong conscience. I'd
never do something that makes me uncomfortable.
Q: Do you feel the need to find a man who loves you for what you
are rather than for being 'The Sushmita Sen'?
A: God! You always did come up with wonderful questions. God
knows the image is of no importance to me. And you can't go on
looking for love. It would hardly depend on who I am. It'd
greatly depend on who he is. I believe all these relationships
that you go through in life are actually a part of that cosmic
design where love and marriage finally finds you. I believe that
will happen to me also.
Q: Madhuri Dixit finally settled down with a US-based doctor,
who didn't watch her films.
A: That's tough to believe. But I'll take your word for it. God
bless Madhuri's equation with her husband. I saw a picture of
her and husband with their two sons. And my heart melted.
Blissful relationships are still possible in today's world. As
for me, I'd rather have a man see any and every thing I've ever
done, and then be able to connect on a one-to-one level.
Q: Does your heart crave for marriage now?
A: It craved for marriage forever. I've always been a
home-lover, in spite of living a very public life, which I enjoy
in my own way. I'm a hundred-percent all there person. When I'm
at a public event, I wouldn't want to be at home and vice versa.
Q: Your two bravura performances in 2006 in "Chingaari" and "Zindaggi
Rocks" went unappreciated...
A: Sometimes I feel why do I put so much love, effort and
passion in all my roles? Over the years I came in with no
expectations from myself. It was more like... okay someone was
offering me a chance to be in the movies with good money, so why
not? I don't have that feeling of initial excitement any more.
Now, I've actually started enjoying acting. Cinema allows me to
exhale. It's no longer about impressing other people but
expressing myself. That's what makes me feel so liberated.
That's why when I'm accused of living in an ivory tell, I've to
say that whether it's life or cinema, one can't function in
isolation. Having said that, I must say I love ivory (laughs).
Q: I feel Bollywood still has a problem finding the right place
A: I've never looked at this from their perspective. Speaking
from my own perspective, I do understand my audience. I know a
"Main Hoon Na" thrills them. But they've to allow me to do the
stuff I enjoy doing. Otherwise, I'll stagnate. By the way I love
doing David Dhawan's films. And we'll be working together again.
Q: You can run around trees. But you've a problem running around
the heroes, don't you?
A: Yeah, that's always been a problem. I'm accused of remaining
in my shell. Salman Khan has always been a friend. But many
other actors are disappointed because I don't socialise with
them after-hours. I remember during "Main Hoon Na", I went
around all over the place trying to help Shah Rukh Khan with his
bad back. But when it came to chilling around with Farah Khan
and company, I wasn't around.
Q: But you're yet to find a favourite hero to pair with.
A: What are you talking about? I've paired up with the greatest
hero of them all... god!
Q: The image of the strong woman haunts you. Is it a curse?
A: Well, from the history of the heroine in Hindi films, I feel
I've been a big sore-thumb. Having said that, I must tell you, I
came here to make a place for myself, which no one else has. And
that wasn't about a Friday-to-Friday equation.
By god's grace, every time a film of mine bombs, which is rather
regularly, I've kept growing and diversifying into different
areas of the entertainment business.
My last film has never determined my fate in the public eye. I
got a "Main Hoon Na" after a line of duds. It's not as if I
don't want my Fridays and big banners. It's just that a lot of
people in the industry have very fixed ideas about how a working
woman needs to conduct herself vis-à-vis the men. I can't stoop
to that level to get work. I don't want to.
Ricky Martin goes sightseeing in Jaipur
By Anil Sharma,
Jaipur, Feb 2 Latino pop sensation Ricky Martin,
here to perform at a wedding, went on a sightseeing tour and
reportedly enjoyed visiting the historic sites of Jaipur.
Martin is to sing at the wedding function of Mumbai-based
industrialist Neeraj Raja Kocchar's son. The industrialist, who
deals in metal, has booked a suite for Martin at the Le Meridien
Hotel near Amber Fort.
"Ricky Martin and his 35-member troupe arrived Wednesday night
by a chartered plane and drove straight to the hotel," sources
close to the industrialists' family told IANS.
The pop star is expected to perform at the hotel premises Friday
evening. His visit was kept under wraps and Le Meridien has been
turned into a virtual fortress, with several security personnel
On Thursday, the star of "Livin' La Vida Loca" fame took time
out to go on a sightseeing tour and visited Hawa Mahal, City
Palace and Jaigarh Fort. "He was quite fascinated to see these
places," a source said.
But by evening, it was back to rehearsals with his troupe in a
black-tented enclosure in the hotel compound.
"He did not participate and only watched his troupe rehearse",
the source added.
Indian pop singer Sukhbir and Bollywood choreographer-director
Farah Khan are also slated to be part of the three-day lavish
wedding function that began Thursday.
Extravagant Jaipur weddings, held at heritage resorts, have
become a lifestyle statement for the rich and famous and have
been featured in international magazines and television
Ralph Fiennes calls on Amitabh, raves about 'Eklavya'
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Feb 2 Two of the world's greatest actors met
up last week and left a lasting impression on each other. "The
English Patient" star Ralph Fiennes visited Bollywood icon
Amitabh Bachchan at his residence Jalsa in Mumbai.
"I got a call from Vidhu Vinod Chopra. He said he was with
Fiennes, who had just seen 'Eklavya' and wanted to drop by. I
was about to fly off to Delhi. Fiennes came across and we spoke.
Yes, he was appreciative of my performance," Amitabh told IANS.
"He's an astonishing actor. Ralph has a lot of admirers.
Abhishek called from Bikaner to grumble why I hadn't told him
about Fiennes. Jaya is also a big fan, but she was unwell and
couldn't meet him. She sent him her regards. Ralph is bringing a
play 'Oedipus' to India. We spoke about theatre in India."
Fiennes, who is a UNICEF ambassador, was on a five-day trip to
rural Maharastra investigating the impact of HIV and AIDS.
Asked if he was tempted to do theatre, the Big B laughed and
said: "I'm not qualified. Being an actor isn't enough. You have
to be conversant with the language of theatre. It's a
frightening thought to return to stage."
The function to receive the Legion d'Honneur last Saturday has
left Amitabh with an afterglow.
"It was lovely to have my entire family there for this moment...
Jaya, Abhishek, Shweta, her husband, my grandchildren, my
samdhis Rajan and Ritu Nanda, Aishwarya and her parents. I feel
privileged to be able to receive this kind of recognition in
front of my entire family.
"More than for myself, I was filled with pride for our film
industry. I feel it's more an honour for our cinema and
He described it as a truly humbling experience.
"First the film 'March Of The Penguins', in which I've done the
voiceover, was shown in the outdoors. Then in another section of
the embassy I was given the Legion award. French Ambassador
Dominique Girard gave a very moving speech on me. Then the medal
was brought and pinned to my coat."
It coincided with Amar Singh's birthday, and the entire family
was in a temple in Uttar Pradesh's Vindyachal town in the
"We've been there several times. Earlier, we had taken Amar
Singhji's two daughters for their head shaving ceremony. This
year he wanted to celebrate his birthday differently. Instead of
a party, he wanted to marry off 51 economically challenged
couples at the temple."
Amitabh said the idea to help the needy and underprivileged
instead of splurging money on a party appealed to him.
"Why not use the money to help those who really need it? It was
so heartening to see these couples being not only married off
but also given the provisions to set up a home. These couples
were short-listed from hundreds. Some of them were physically
challenged. I felt truly happy for Amar Singhji."
He dismissed renewed speculation on Abhishek-Aishwarya's
marriage at Vindaychal: "There were 51 marriage there but not
this one. When a date is decided, we'll inform everyone.
Referring to the media, the star said the media has the right to
information. "And they're free to speculate as much as they
like. But the speculation needn't reflect the truth. As a public
figure I'm prone to be scrutinised. If we go to a public place
we've no right to stop the speculation."
Reminded that including Aishwarya and her parents in public
functions would further fuel speculation, he said: "I don't look
at it that way. They're part of my family now and I want them to
be at events in my life."
The shooting for Ram Gopal Varma's much talked about film "Sholay"
is almost over.
"We just have the 'Mehbooba' song to do, and we're done. It's
been an exciting experience to see Varma's interpretation of
Gabbar Singh. Obviously, it isn't the same film as the earlier 'Sholay'.
We had decided not to worry about what has been made in the
past, and just enjoy ourselves. We did just that. We've
innovated and I had fun."
Amitabh was dismissive about Vidhu Vinod Chopra's observation
that his performance in "Eklavya" was his career's best. "I
think he's just being generous. I don't agree with him. I'm
incapable of evaluating my performance. But it was heartening to
see Fiennes speaking so highly about one of our films. What's
really gratifying is that the West is waking up to our cinema."
PIL against Aishwarya's marriage with tree
Patna, Feb 2 A public interest litigation (PIL) has
been filed in the Patna High Court against Bollywood star
Aishwarya Rai for marrying trees to overcome astrological
differences with her fiancé Abhishek Bachchan.
Lawyer Shruti Singh, who filed the PIL earlier this week, says
the ritual promotes untouchability.
"I filed a PIL to stop such practices as reportedly conducted by
actor Amitabh Bachchan for his future daughter-in-law Aishwarya
Rai. It is in violation of Article 17 of the Constitution, which
prohibits untouchability. It also violates fundamental human
rights," said Shruti.
Aishwarya is a Manglik (astrologically Mars-bearing), which is
believed to have negative consequences for her impending
marriage. The actress is said to have married a peepal tree at
Benaras, a banana tree at a Bangalore temple and a god's idol in
According to Shruti, the fact that Aishwarya had to marry the
trees and the idol before marrying Abhishek, who is a non-Manglik,
amounts to untouchability.
"The rituals performed by Aishwarya, Amitabh and Abhishek would
only promote superstitions and blind faith among common people,"
Shruti, who is also a women's rights activist, told IANS.
Her PIL requests the court to issue a directive to the state
government and the Bihar State Religious Trust Board (BSRTB) to
stop the practice of marrying a Manglik-born bride first with a
tree, god or animal prior to her marrying a non- Manglik man.
She has sought a ban on the performance of such marriages at
temples in Bihar including Shitla temple in Patna, Baikatpur
temple near Fatuha and the Shiva temple at Deoghar.
The activist has also demanded a public apology from the
Bachchan family for asking Aishwarya to enter into such false
"An FIR should be filed against Bachchan, his wife Jaya and
Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh for encouraging such
practices," Shruti said.
Actor Vijay Arora passes away
Mumbai, Feb 2 Bollywood actor and cinematographer
Vijay Arora, who shot into fame for his performance in "Yaadon
Ki Baraat", died here Friday, his family said.
The 60-year-old Arora had been suffering from a stomach ailment
for the past few months.
Arora is survived by his wife and a son. He acted in over 50
films and was a cinematographer in as many as 20 films.
An acting graduate from the Pune-based Film and Television
Institute of India, Arora also acted in many popular television
serials including Ramayana, produced by Ramanand Sagar.