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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Snippet: Sania Mirza Cries Before Her Mom!

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Sania Mirza never appears to be crying in public. But she says that she is very emotional person and cries in front of mom when she loses certain match.

Saying about her societal interests, "I get anger whenever I listen about female infanticide and foeticide. I also work for an organization called SACH to raise funds for children suffering from heart diseases".

Switching over to her glitter world, she said, "I never like to do in films. I said that many times but still the media keeps wasting time on that aspect. My focus is on tennis and again the speculations on my love life are also a mere waste of time. I find love and marriage are important only when my career in Tennis stops".

So, this Hyderabad beauty is very clear in her motives.

I seriously want to do TV again: Amitabh Bachchan

The bustle in his career just refuses to disperse. Amitabh Bachchan is to the entertainment business what the Rolls Royce is to the automobile indust.

Posh, yet warm and inviting.Last week he had the whole of Toronto eating put of his hands when he attended the premiere of The Last Lear along with Rituprano Ghosh.

Barely 3 days later he rushed to Delhi to collect his National award—"before they change their mind," he joked—and is now back in Mumbai dubbing and shooting.

The Toronto experience must rank as extraordinary even by your exceptional standards of ovation.
I am new to the film festiva scenario.Its ethics its climate and its importance. So being a part of the Toronto Film Festival was a novel experience. They say it's a big deal to be in the 'Master's Section', to be invited to the 'Gala' and the 'red carpet'.

So yes Toronto was all this and more. The crowds and the screaming fans on the street leading up to the main theatre before the red carpet, the 2500- seater inside packed to capacity, the introductions on stage, the special box for the cast, the pin- drop silence during the film and the rapt attention with which the audience watched the film and when the credits rolled in the end and the spot light came on to our seats the standing 15-min ovation.

Moving emotional and so overwhelming ! Thereafter, the festival glitterati coming up to compliment the film and the work.Then there were the numerous media interviews of praise. It all seemed unreal.

But so satisfyin! I think the presence of mainstream commercial cinema artists in an 'art film' has been the surprise and that they could be involved in such a good product has been an awesome experience for them.

Rituparno Ghosh's The Last Lear is your first English-language film.
Yes, the first English- language film and Shakespeare to top it is heavy stuff. But I shall await its formal release and see and gauge what the audiences of this particular kind of cinema have to say.

Last year at the Toronto film festival was different. It was Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvidaa Na Kehna an escapist fare and a film that had already been released and seen by all.

It was more an acknowledgement of the presence of Indian cinema than anything else. A cinema which now happily enjoys great attention and patronage from the western audiences.

An audience that was cynical and very un- complimentary till date.It's wonderful to see the scenario change. To find everyone conversant and appreciative of our films and our country.

To be able to walk abroad with a certain sense of pride and value. To find the locals as awestruck with our stars as they are with a Brad Pitt-Angelina-George Clooney-Matt Damon.

Its all happening. And bigger things will follow.

Your Shakespearean oratory in Lear has fascinated audiences in Toronto. They ask, why and how Shakespeare from India.
Yes, some very important reviews talked about it with great relish and amazement. I'm happy it was noticed and commented on. Shakespeare is a universal entity and English is very much a part of our lives.

Be it the Government, the administration, society, films, English is a major language in our country. It's a part of our History and legacy.

So just because William was British it doesn't mean we cannot study or appreciate or play parts from his plays. All public school education has had Mr Shakespeare in their curriculum and every theatre enthusiast has read and represented him on stage at some point or the other.

Cameron Bailey has compared you with Richard Burton and Toshiro Mifune. Do you think the comparisons are apt?
No they are not apt. Of course not ! But I'm deeply humbled if he thought so and thought it important enough to be mentioned in his review of the film in the formal brochure of the festival.

The two legends are great favourites of mine. Putting me in the same bracket is an undeserving honour. But, how wonderful to find Indian actors being referred to in this vein. Incredible !!

And now you returned to collect your National award. How was the experience in Delhi. Your entire family , barring your Bahu, was there to cheer you.
Yes I returned almost immediately to the National Award. A glorious feeling of fulfillment and joy and accomplishment to be able to share the moment with my nearest and dearest.

Recognition in whatever form is so necessary and important for creative people and when it comes from the highest authority in the country it brings with it that added prestige and relevance.

My gratitude to the President, the Government and the Ministry for creating this moment for me. And my immense and sincere gratitude to Sanjay Leela Bhansali for making this happen.

What have you returned to in terms of work. Which project now?
I am on Bhootnath right now for a month till it finishes. Then move on to Alladin by Sujoy Ghosh, Shoojit Sarkar's film Shoebite ….a working title just yet, the story of which is unique and challenging. 'Teen Patti' by Leena Das, another exciting role.

Balki's next 'Pa', finishing RGV's Sarkaar 2 and preparing with him simultaneously on another dramatic project which i have coerced him into doing. And no its not called Cobra, or whatever that is supposed to be !

Ravi Chopra's Pocket Maar, a brilliant idea. And of course I'm getting set for Warner's and Mira Nair's Shantaram . There are of course very talented other directors in serious negotiations like Prasoon Pandey and Priyan and Deepa Mehta next year later.

I read intermittently the 25 scripts that lie with me for approval. I feel embarassed when I'm unable to give them immediate attention because of the work load.

They come to me with so much hope and expectation and enthusiasm and I feel so guilty when I have to say no to them. But someday God willing I shall work with them. They are all such brilliant scripts and ideas.

You're serious about television?
Of course! I've some unique ideas and concepts which I keep juggling with. I want to do it all ! But there is limited time. We are all slaves to schedules.Such a pity !!

Much above all this is the concern for my Mother's health. Its over a year and a half in hospital in that same critical condition for her. Nothing is of any value with her in this state.

I like Victoria's Secret: Shruti Seth

She is a model, an actor, and now an anchor. Shruti Seth made an impact with her veracity and her style. We went to find out what her fashion statement is.

Q. What is your definition of fashion?
A. Anything that is comfortable, accentuates your assets, and hides your flaws. If you are not comfortable in an outfit, it shows. When you are comfortable, your level of confidence rises.

Q. Where you shop in Mumbai?
A. Mostly in Bandra.

Q. Any brand you prefer?
A. Mango, Forever 21.

Q. At home, you are in…
A. Pajamas and T-shirts.

Q. And your gym wear…
A. Anything in Spandex.

Q. Your casual look…
A. Jeans and tees, or flowing skirts.

Q. In evening wear, you are comfortable with…
A. Pants, or trousers, and a top.

Q. In bed, you would be in…
A. Shorts and a singlet.

Q. What about accessories?
A. I love jewellery.

Q. Any favourite brand in footwear?
A. The Canadian brand, Aldo. It suits my attitude.

Q. Must haves in your make-up kit…
A. MAC, kohl pencil, a concealer and some gloss.

Q. The last perfume that you picked up for yourself…
A. Forever and Ever, by Christian Dior.

Q. Favourite lingerie wear…
A. St Michaels, and Victoria's Secret.

Q. What are the colours that you think are a must in any wardrobe?
A. Every wardrobe must have black, white and red.

I'll choose India than Pakistan: Amanat Ali

He came all the way from Pakistan to be a part of the vishwayudh in Zee's 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007' in India. Now, he is the only one left from his country, and he wants to be the voice of the world. We find out what makes this young contestant tick.

Q.: Amanat, you are the last contestant from Pakistan still fighting it our on the stage of 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. How do you feel?
A.: I feel great, although the pressure has increased, since I am the only one left. Honestly, it doesn't matter whether I'm from Pakistan or Hindustan. What matters is that I am in the top four. Now I have to work even harder.

Q.: You feel great? Despite the fact that all your friends from Pakistan have gone back? Haven't their eliminations upset you?
A.: I have also lost Indian friends in the eliminations. I felt equally bad for all the friends whether they were from Pakistan or India. I do not have any special feeling from contestants of Pakistan alone.

Q.: What is the feedback that you are getting from them?
A.: All their expectations are with me. They are happy that I'm still in the competition.

Q.: How much pressure are you under?
A.: There's too much pressure on me. As my guru Ismail Darbar ji says, "with the time that has elapsed and the fact that you have reached nearer your goal, my expectations have increased. You have to sing better than ever now." His words have inspired me, and strengthened my resolve to take on the increasing pressure as a step towards proving myself.

Q.: You have spent quite some time in India. Are you homesick?
A.: I do get homesick, but when I find love in the hearts of the audience, I do not feel that I am away from home. I wish it was possible for my family to come here and see the love that I have received.

Q.: The Indian audience saved you. How do you feel?
A.: I am really grateful to them. I'm trying to reimburse their affection by singing better everyday but the rest is in their hands.

Q.: You are in India for the first time. How has it treated you?
A.: I have told you earlier that I don't see any difference between the two countries, India and Pakistan. A border separates the two, otherwise I see the same roads, the same buildings and above all, the same love of the people. This country gave me inspiration to sing better.

Q.: Where have you been to in India till now? Tell us about your favourite places and dishes.
A.: I have been to Satara, Luknow, Allahabad, Ahmedabad, Delhi and many other places in the process of shooting. I have seen all the places in Mumbai. Satara and Mumbai attracted me the most. I like non-vegetarian food, and I'm happy that in Mumbai I can get it easily.

Here I like most sev puri, paani puri, bhel puri and vada pau. In Pakistan we call paani puri, gol gappe and it's a little different there. They serve water separately.

Q.: Songs from Pakistan have a better market in India. What do you think your scope in India is?
A.: I am happy that Pakistani singers have better acknowledgement in India. The singers from Pakistan like Soukat Amanat Ali, Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali, Ghulam Ali, Nusrat Fateh Ali and Adnan Sami are all very popular in India. They have developed a completely unique style.

I pray to Allah that I also can develop my own style. I'll launch my album after this competition, and I have faith that people will appreciate it.

Q.: Will you stay here for ever like other singers from Pakistan?
A.: I have tested my luck and have been somewhat successful. As far as living in this country is concerned I would very much want to, but I have to go back as my life is in Pakistan. However, I am also thinking of spending at least 10 months every year in India. Let us see.

Q.: If you have to choose any one between them?
A.: I'll definitely choose India.

Q.: Music has its own tradition in Pakistan.
A.: It's the same in Pakistan as in India. In Pakistan there are greats like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nurjahan, Ghulam Ali or Mehendi Hassan, and in India, there are greats like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Manna Dey ji and Rafi sahab. They are all equally respectable.

We have a saying, "take a brick from the ground and you'll find a singer underneath." Playback singing is big here, and most aspiring singers take Sonu Nigam as their idol. But things are different over there. They choose either Pop or Ghazal or Sufi.

Q.: Are you scared of losing?
A.: See, this is a competition and anyone can lose. I'm not afraid of losing. Even if I lose, I have won the love of the Indians.

Q.: How did you react when you heard that you were selected for this how?
A.: Coming to India was the best experience for me. I was so excited when I got to know that I was going to India. I had only heard about it till then, and it was a place I always wanted to visit. It is God's grace my dream came true. And I promised my friends that I'll tell them incidents of India after I go back to Pakistan.

Q.: You seem to have quite a heavy female fan following.
A.: There are many people who love me but you see only the girls! Maybe it is their love that has kept me hanging in so far.

Sandesh Shandilya's guest track for Jab We Met

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While Pritam has composed the soundtrack of the eagerly awaited Shahid and Kareena starrer Jab We Met, director Imtiaz Ali has roped in his old friend, Sandesh Shandilya to compose a guest track, "Aaoge Jab Tum Saamne", a beautiful mellow number, known to be Shandilya's trademark.

Shandilya's erstwhile composition, "Suraj Hua Maddham" in Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham was a smash hit.

Imtiaz and Sandesh go back a long way since the latter had composed the much appreciated soundtrack of Imtiaz's debut directorial venture, Socha Na Tha, which starred Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia.

Jab We Met releases worldwide on October 26.

Bal Thackeray sends his staff to watch Chak De

If you thought that Chak De India has been there and done it all, including finding itself a place in the Oscar library and management books as a case study, then, you need to think again, as this film has got something that no other film in Mumbai has got it. It has the approval of none other than the Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray!

It is learnt that Thackeray has planned to send his entire staff of the ‘Saamna’ newspaper and ‘Marmik’ magazine to watch Chak De India, today for the 3.15pm show at Chitra Cinema Dadar, to see and experience the ‘team spirit’ of the film and imbibe them in their lives. Needless to say that the entire staff of the newspaper couldn’t have asked for more, as this is the first time that the entire staff will be going for a movie together. There are 350 tickets booked for this show. The icing on the cakes is the probability of Uddhav Thackeray being present at the show.

Lara fights trafficking with MTV EXIT

Lara Dutta fights the social issue of human trafficking. She is the brand ambassador for MTV EXIT, (End Exploitation, and Trafficking). She was asked to talk about trafficking and now features in the documentary called ‘SOLD’ which deals with human trafficking. MTV India will screen the documentary on September 22 at 1900 hrs IST.

“I was previously working on female infanticide with the UNFPA and trafficking of brides. It is after the approach from MTV that I explored further into the details of human trafficking” says Lara. On asking about trafficking in the film industry, she says, “There are a lot of people who come from far of places with the desire to become actors, but it’s not the only field where trafficking takes place. There should be agencies that give the right guidance to aspiring actors.”

“Being a celebrity I can reach a larger audience and I am glad I can use my status to promote this social cause and reach people” states Lara.

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