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Friday, October 19, 2007

Dumped for a better career!!!

It has happened so many times before. Avant- garde directors who started off being committed to committed actors suddenly become committed to more commercial considerations.

It happened when Prakash Jha crossed over from Anu Kapoor in Damul to Ajay Devgan in Ganga Jal. Poor Anu kept quiet.

But the volatile Naseeruddin Shah was far more vocal when the auteur Ketan Mehta decided to make his dream project Kartoos on the life of Mangal Pandey with Amitabh Bachchan. The film finally got made with Aamir Khan in the lead.

Naseer blasted Mehta for deserting those who supported the cause of meaningful cinema.So did Om Puri who felt betrayed cheated and let down when his favourite director Govind Nihalani switched from the Om- Naseer brigade to Ajay Devgan in Takshak. This, after Om provided Nihalani with infinite inspirational energy in Aakrosh, Ardh Satya and numerous other films.

Now it's Rajpal Yadav's turn to be left behind in the rat race.

Having been a prominent and pivotal part of Chandan Arora's first two fine-and-relevant feature films Main Madhuri Dixit Ban-na Chahti Hoon and Main Meri Patni Aur Woh, it was expected that Rajpal would naturally be an intrinsic part of Chandan's third film.

But Chandan's new venture Striker features Siddharth in the lead.

Explains Arora, "Rajpal and I share a tuning that goes beyond one film. If I had my way I'd feature him in all my films. But after Main Madhuri and Main Meri Patni AurWoh didn't work out, coming together for a third film would have made both of us look like losers drifting together. Rajpal has proved himself as an actor. I need to get my credibility -level high."

Rajpal, currently shooting in the back of the beyond laughs off any question of betrayal. "Chandan and I have done two films together and they've been decisive to my career.

Whatever work I'm doing today is because of Main Madhuri (where I wasn't Madhuri) and Main Meri Patni Aur Woh (where I wasn't the patni). In future whenever Chandan and I come together it would be with mazbooti (strength) not out of majboori (lack of choice)."

Rajpal no longers insists on leads. "I can create my space in even a cameo, as I've done in my new release Bhool Bhulaiya. Or it can be the lead, like Dhol. In fact I'm the lead with Govinda in Chal Chala Chal and in Rakesh Roshanji's Krazy 4. I've listened to 45-50 scripts in the last few months. Of these I've chosen to be in just 4-5 films."

Tell him how his presence in the otherwise-disastrous Go brings the house down and Rajpal is delighted. "I'm blessed. I came into the industry only to be an actor, How was to know audiences would love me so much?

If today they start laughing the minute they see me on screen I want to pay them back for their love by not making false moves. No more films like Undertrial for me."

SRK and Kajol pair up again!

They have been one of the most popular hit pairs of Bollywood, starring in superhits "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" and "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai".

Now King Khan and Kajol are getting back together after seven long years in a film slated for release in 2009.

Titled "My Name is Khan", the film focuses on the plight of the Muslim community after the Septmber 11, 2001, terror attacks in the US. We just can't wait to see the duo share screen space once again.

Ex-wife turns friends into foes

Model-turned-actor Aseem Merchant is very angry and upset by his ex-wife's ex-husband Ken bringing his daughter Sasha into the marital dispute.

"I can understand the guy trying to sort out his differences with his ex-wife who happens to be my ex-wife too. But why is he dragging my daughter Sasha whose mother happens to be Ken's wife, in his dirty allegations? It's just not done."

Aseem says he divorced from his wife Mamta six years ago. "Then she was married to Ken in the US. Then they had some problems. Why is he now dragging my name into his differences with Mamta?

What kind of a humanbeing would actually ask a question like …am I divorced from my ex-wife or not? Aren't there papers to prove such things? Ken Bagga knows he won't be heard in the Indian press without dragging my name into it."

The two men were apparently friends. "I've always been very helpful to him whenever he has come down to India. We'd even party together in Mumbai. I'd lend him one of my cars during his stay in the city. He should've respected my feelings and not dragged my daughter into his dirty accusations."

Aseem's daughter Sasha from his marriage is now staying with him. "After her break-up with Ken in the US,and return to Mumbai, my wife felt my daughter needed a father-figure. She moved in with me and has been doing very well for herself. I resent the fact that Sasha has been dragged into this."

Speaking on the status of his relationship with his ex-wife Aseem says, "We're of course friends. We share the responsibility of looking after our daughter and that keeps us bonded. She has her own place in Lokhandwala which is very close to my place. When I travel she looks after our daughter.

Otherwise she has her own life. In fact I didn't even know about the status of her marriage with the Ken until all this appeared. She did mention though, that he had stopped sending money. At first he seemed like a nice guy, Yes they met much after we divorced. "

He says there're no chances of a reconciliation between him and his ex-wife. "I don't believe in looking back. I've a few women in my life. But I'm not focusing on that aspect of my life.

I've my career, and I'm looking forward to the release of my Bengali film Ashima directed by Shishir Mishra.It's a beautiful film with a great story and I play the author-backed role of a doctor."

But the role that he loves the best is that of the single parent. "My daughter is the only important woman in my life. Next year when she's 12 I plan to send her to Woodstock in Mussourrie. My ex-wife is doing well for herself in the designing business. Ken wants her back.

All this crap about not being in touch with her is so wrong. He has constantly been calling and messaging her. Only a weak and publicity-hungry person would get a child's name involved with all this."

Priyanka proposes marriage!!!

They may be a low-profile couple, but nevertheless, Priyanka Chopra and Harman Baweja have never tried to hide their relationship.

While Priyanka is steadily climbing the popularity charts in Bollywood, Harman is being touted as one of the most promising debutants this year. And at such a stage of their careers, it came as a surprise to Harman when Priyanka recently popped the question.

Sources say the couple was in the company of friends when Priyanka suddenly proposed marriage to her boyfriend. However, Harman is not really prepared to tie the knot right now. He wants to stabilize as an actor before taking the plunge.

But whatever be their decision for now, there is no doubt that the pair is quite a cute one. They often drop in on each other's film sets and chat over the phone during breaks in the shoot.

When Priyanka sustained minor injuries while doing action scenes for film "Drona", Harman reportedly rushed to the sets. So hope this jodi enters wedlock soon.

What is a Lolita without sex?

Long-standing buddies Jackie Shroff and Shashilal Nair who have collaborated on unusual projects like Falak, Angaar and Grahan had a difference of opinion while shooting for Lolita.

While Shashi insisted that Shroff go about the love-making screen with his screen Lolita as Nabokov envisaged it, Jackie was inhibited about making love on camera.

Nair had to flash the contract for Lolita in front of his friend to get him to comply. "I've learnt to put it all on paper," says Nair. "I've suffered enough in the past. Now friend or no friend, I want everything on paper. "

Jackie had to reluctantly relent and do the hot scenes. " Jackie is a cool guy. So he finally did them. There're strong sexual undercurrents in the film. You cannot make Lolita without sex. It's like halwa without ghee."

Nair admits his version of Lolita is steamy. "It has to be! Haven't you read Lolita? If you have you know sex plays a vital part in the relationship between the older man and his young object of adoration. I've gone by the book.

And no. I don't care if people say I'm being sleazy. I've never cared about prudish opinion. I make the films I want to. Besides according to me, you cannot tamper with a classic."

While Jackie's old co-star Dimple Kapadia plays his wife a new girl is being introduced in the steamy Lolita mode. "We haven't decided what to call her. We call her Lolita on the sets. "

(Is Shakti Kapoor listening?)

As for Ram Gopal Varma's version of Nishabd, Nair protests, "Please! To begin with it wasn't Lolita at all. How could there be Lolita without sex?

But I really loved Ramu's treatment and Amitji's performance. Very classy. My Lolita is nothing like Ramu's Nishabd except the age difference between the couple."

Nair admits people will be shocked by the steamy aroma of his Lolita when it releases circa June. "Let them be. I'd rather shock audiences than bore them."

Saif and Kareena admit relationship

Finally, they have said it. At Manish Malhotra's fashion show for the Lakme Fashion Week, Saif admitted to his relationship with Kareena saying, "Yes, we are not exactly shouting from the rooftops but yes, clearly we are together. And we are happy together."

The couple was spotted together in public for the first time.

Reports of a romantic linkup between 27-year-old Kareena and 37-year-old Saif Ali Khan first surfaced while the two were shooting for Yash Raj Films Tashan on locales in Ladakh and Rajasthan.

Then came the news of Kareena celebrating her 27th birthday last month with a small party for select friends including Saif. Saif and Kareena also hit a night club in Delhi on October 5 where when a photographer clicked Saif and Kareena hugging they bullied him and deleted the photograph.

Saif had been single for months now, since his break-up with girlfriend Roza. The actor has, since, been linked to Bipasha Basu and Dia Mirza.

As their romance intensified, Kareena unceremoniously dumped former beau Shahid Kapoor August end while he was shooting for Aziz Mirza's Lucky Charm in Toronto, Canada.

However, Shahid Kapoor who had been stoically maintaining silence for sometime also quipped on the sets of the Sony show Jhalak Dikhla Ja in the course of an interview, “For all ye girls out there, I am single and ready to mingle!”

I didn't expect it from Ismail Sir: Aneek Dhar

Singing sensation Aneek Dhar, who won the talent show "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa", is taken aback that composer Ismail Darbar, who was a judge for the show on Zee TV, has termed the voting process in the competition as "humbug".

"I am sad to hear that he is calling Zee TV's voting a humbug, but the fact is that the voting was done by people and not Zee TV," Aneek told here.

"Ismail Darbar had always supported me. I never expected such a reaction from him. Zee had supported every participant. It wasn't just me and why would they do that because there were more talented contestants than me," he added.

The other two finalists were Rajasthan's Raja Hasan and Amanat Ali from Pakistan. Darbar told reporters that Hasan had got the maximum votes throughout the show and Amanat was the most talented.

So according to him, either of the two should have won the show, not Aneek. He alleged that the voting process was not transparent.

Aneek walked away with a Rs.5 million contract with Universal Music and a Chevrolet Spark car after being declared the winner at the grand finale Saturday night.

The singer from West Bengal says winning or losing was not important, what mattered was that he participated in the show.

"I wanted to be a good singer and this is the reason why I came to Mumbai. I didn't come here to get trapped in controversies," Aneek remarked.

"I did my job, and the rest was up to God. He gave me what I deserved. I am sure it was God's and my parents' blessings that helped me win this title."

Aneek is now looking forward to working with his mentor, composer-cum-singer Himmesh Reshammiyya, and A.R. Rahman.

"It's my dream since childhood to work with both of them."

The youngster also dreams of singing for superstar Shah Rukh Khan some day.

"Everybody knows I'm Shah Rukh Khan's fan. It may sound funny, but I think if I get an opportunity to work with Karan Johar, I can fulfil my dream of singing for my favourite hero Shah Rukh."

Right now, the singer has plenty of stage shows lined up.

"After 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa', I am starting with stage shows in all four metros. Then I will go on a world tour organised by Zee TV. When I'm a little free after all this, I'll get time to look for other options," Aneek said.

AB records two rap songs, a ballad for Vishal-Shekhar

At 65, Amitabh Bachchan remains indefatigable. Even as he continues to shoot for a number of films juggling dates among Mumbai, Goa and Delhi in the last one week, he also found the energy, breath and time to record three songs for Vishal-Shekhar for two different films.

"That's not all. One more song remains to be recorded for Sujoy Ghosh's Alladin as soon as I return to Mumbai," the Big B said from Goa where he’s shooting for debutant director Vivek Sharma's Bhootnath. Big B plays a ghost in Sharma's film. "I've sung a rap song for Vishal-Shekhar for my ghost's character in Bhootnath and another rap song for my djinn's character in Alladdin. Plus I recorded a soft lyrical number for Bhootnath. As soon as I return I'll record one more song for Alladin."

Vishal-Shekhar who've composed this carnival of crooning for the Big B, have been working on a non-film album of Abhishek Bachchan's hip-hop for producer Rohan Sippy for the last one year. That too will have singing inputs from the senior Bachchan.

"It looks like the music composers are thinking of an alternative career for me. They obviously don't think much of me as an actor," the Big B jokes before flying off to the London Film Festival for Rituparno Ghosh's The Last Lear, a film for which the actor's vocal prowess has come into much

Chak De India and Akshaye shine at the AIFF

Shimit Amin’s Chak De India has won the ‘Best Film Award’ while Akshaye Khanna received the ‘Best Performance Award’ for his sensitive role in Gandhi My Father 5th Australian Indian Film Festival. For starters, Chak De India, which was shot in Australia, is a feel good hockey film shot in Melbourne and Sydney starring 90 Australian hockey players and over 9000 Australian extras. While Akshaye’s role of Harilal (Gandhi’s son) in Gandhi My Father, has been recently been accepted into competition at the Tokyo International Film Festival and also finds itself in competition for Best Screenplay at the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The awards function was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art and was attended by Chak De India’s Shimit Amin, Sagarika Ghatge and Tanya Abrol, and also Gandhi My Father’s team of director Feroz Khan and Akshaye Khanna.

Australian film critic, Peter Thompson hosted the ceremony, with the Australian actress Isabel Lucas presenting the Best Performance Award while Ian Chappell, Special Representative, Australia for UNHCR, announced the award for Best Film.

The awards were chosen by a respected group of Australian film critics including Peter Thompson (Showtime), Margaret Pomeranz (ABC TV at the Movies), Nell Schofield (Channel 9 Sunday Show), Marc Fennell (Triple J), Adrienne McKibbons (Metro Magazine) and Ian Taylor (ABC TV).

It is indeed a matter of pride for India that the festival has an advisory board comprising of advisory board comprising of Ronnie Screwvala (UTV Group), Sanjeev Kohli (Yash Raj Films), Simi Garewal and Natalie Miller (Sharmill Films), and Yash Chopra as the festival’s patron.

Hrithik takes one more step towards Hollywood

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‘Brillstein-Grey’, Brad Pitt's management of over 20 years, has now signed Hrithik Roshan.

In the past, there have been major Motion Picture Studios in Hollywood that have set their eyes on Hrithik. In addition, numerous A-list filmmakers too have offered him roles in their high profile Hollywood films. Now ‘Brillstein-Grey Entertainment’, #1 Management Firm in World, has managed to gain Hrithik's attention.

Moreover, Hrithik has finally said yes to Hollywood and is taking serious steps in the direction, which leads him to being the first mainstream Hindi cinema actor to be aiming at a higher platform.

Hrithik's new International manager, Jai Khanna from Brillstein-Grey confirms, "We are thrilled to be working with such an international star. Hrithik has a strong, authentic, and cool personality. As an icon of masculinity and powerful character, he truly embodies the star quality of cinema's great leading men."

Jai further comments on Hrithik's star power, "Audiences have repeatedly flocked to his films throughout India, Asia and a number of other countries. We are excited to now introduce Hrithik to the US, thus giving his unique talents a much larger platform."

Closer home, Hrithik is looking forward to Jodhaa Akbar, which is all set to release on January 25. The film's promo has created quite a buzz amongst the audiences ever since it was screened across theatres, last Friday. Mounted on a huge canvas, this Ashutosh Gowarikar epic has music by A.R. Rahman and lyrics by Javed Akhtar. A UTV production, Jodhaa Akbar is now all set to be the first big release of 2008.

The film is also special for Hrithik since it would be his first release after more than a year after the release of Krrish (June 2006) and Dhoom 2 (November 2006).

Eros International acquires overseas rights of Krazzy 4

Eros International, the leading integrated company within the Indian media and entertainment sector announced the acquisition of the international rights of Rakesh Roshan’s Krazzy 4 produced by Film Kraft Productions and directed by Jaideep Sen. Krazzy 4 stars Juhi Chawla, Dia Mirza, Arshad Warsi, Irrfan Khan, Rajpal Yadav and Suresh Menon.

Krazzy 4 is a comedy with a social message and is a wholesome commercial entertainer, which will appeal to every section of audiences. The film is based around the four characters played by Arshad Warsi, Irrfan Khan, Suresh Menon and Rajpal Yadav who form the crazy foursome with key supporting roles by Juhi Chawla and Dia Mirza.

Following tradition of all Rakesh Roshan films, Krazzy 4, currently under production, also begins with the letter K and will have music by Rajesh Roshan.

Vipul Shah on why he turned producer with Singh Is Kinng

"It's very simple, really," explains Vipul Shah from the Gold Coast in Australia. "It was no longer feasible to keep my production house running with my own directorial inputs. So I invited Anees Bazmi to direct Singh Is Kinng for me. Now I'm ready to invite other directors to make film for my production house."

Vipul has accompanied his director Anees Bazmi to Australia for a very special reason. "We're working with an entirely Australian crew. Though I've had experience with a foreign crew (in Namastey London), Anees hasn't really had any experience in a foreign shoot. So I am here to guide him."

Isn't there bound to be a clash when two directors work together as producer and director. "Not at all," protests Vipul. "I leave the execution entirely to Anees. I'm here only to help him in whatever capacity."

Vipul says Singh Is Kinng would have the kind of budget that he has so far not been able to afford for his own directorial ventures. "Thanks to my collaboration with Adlabs I feel we can give this film a truly international feel."

The cast which includes Neha Dhupia, Om Puri, Javed Jaffery and Sonu Sood besides Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif, has been in Australia since September 18. Shooting begins on November 2. "We've to be very careful with our shooting. The safety rules in Australia are very strict. We can't afford to goof up."



Friday, October 19, 2007


Singer Kalpana who captured the hearts of many music lovers with her melodious voice in 20 languages already sung 2000 popular songs in past 5 years. Now once more back with her debut solo Hindi album MAA-e-Ri .Music doe Shanky-Rinkks has composed the music for the album which is a Times Music presentation. MAA-ei-Ri has Sufi and peppy tracks. Energy and rhythm will suffuse the album. It will be a Sufi rock or a Sufi pop album.The lyric of the album is written by Sandeep Nath who has given hits in films like PAGE 3, CORPORATE, SAWARIA and many more. This album will show case the best of Kalpana.
MAA-e-Ri is Kalpana’s 1st solo album releasing from TIMES MUSIC. While talking about the album Kalpana says, “All the six tracks in the album are fresh and breezy. The album does not fall in any particular genre as it has a blend of earthy and heavenly love.” Kalpana hails from Assam and made her Bollywood debut as a playback singer with films like SANDHYA –THE FEAR WITHIN, 88 ANTOP HILL, STUMPED to name a few. Her musical journey began at the age of 5 when she was learning from her father. I am launching my first International music album in order to reach out to the maximum music lovers around the globe.

Kalpana has also rendered her voice for Item Dance of Mallika Sherawat , Rakhi Sawant , Ravina Tendon, Poonam Jhaver , Sambhavana Seth in the recent past. The prowess of the singer is so much so that recently popular film actor of the past Mithun Da [Chakraborty] has signed her to sing for his next Bengali film also.

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I gave Tendulkar out wrongly against England: Umpire Dar

Mumbai, Oct 19 (IANS) Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar has, for the first time, admitted he gave Sachin Tendulkar out wrongly in the deciding seventh One-Day International against England in London last month.

"Immediately after I gave Tendulkar caught by wicket-keeper Matt Prior off Andrew Flintoff I realised from his reaction that I had given a wrong decision," Dar told IANS in an interview here.

Tendulkar, who scored 30 off 46 balls, was visibly stunned and he uncharacteristically stood in his crease for a few seconds, suggesting he had not snicked the ball, before returning to the dressing room.

Batting first, India were reduced to 59 for four with Tendulkar's dismissal and eventually lost the match by seven wickets at Lord's and with it the series 3-4.

Dar, who was here to officiate in the India-Australia One-Day Internationals, said that the mistake had occurred because of a brief lapse in his concentration.

"On that ball Flintoff was very close to bowling a no ball and as I was looking at his foot my concentration was disturbed," said Dar, widely considered one of the best umpires in the world.

Asked if he felt like taking his decision back to enable Tendulkar to continue batting, the 39-year-old member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Panel said that he had never recalled any player.

"Since I had never called any batsman after giving a decision I did not call him back. So, if I were to call Tendulkar I would also call the last man if given wrongly out," reasoned the man from Lahore.

"I knew that match was the decider. And I was upset after giving that decision. It was tough match (for me)," he said, referring to the 3-3 series score before that match.

Dar, however, showed his regret and tried to show his feelings to Tendulkar immediately after the match.

"After the game when players shake hands with the umpires, Tendulkar also shook my hands on the field. As he did that I said to him 'hard luck'," disclosed the affable official, who became the first Asian to officiate in 100 ODIs here Wednesday.

"Players also know that how good an umpire is. They understand that mistakes are not made deliberately and they respect good umpires."

A former first-class player himself, Dar revealed that if he is not satisfied with one of his decisions early in a match it bothers him.

"If I give an erroneous decision early in a match it plays on my mind. But I try not to let that decision affect me for the rest of the match," he said.

Dar, who also officiated the final of the 2007 ODI World Cup, was recently short-listed among the three umpires for the annual ICC's Best Umpire Award, which eventually went to Australian Simon Taufel.

He is thankful to his parents and his wife for their sacrifices to enable him to be away for long periods and concentrate on his job. His work entails him being away from home for seven-eight months a year, which forces him to miss his three young sons.

That is why Dar, who has also officiated in 39 Tests, has decided to quit umpiring at 50, 10 years before the retirement age prescribed by the ICC.

Cricket: 6 Ducks with Highest Score 7

If you are wondering if this is individual player statistics.. You are mistaken.. It's the total team statistics..

WestIndies Under-19 were wrapped up for 18 in match against Barbados with 6 ducks and highest score of 7.

The second highest score is extras (6). The complete batsmen score read 1,0,0,0,0,7,2,0,2,0 and 0 not out.

Barbados player Pedro Collins produced a record spell of 7 for 11.

This created the new lowest score in domestic circuit. The previous record of lowest score was 23, set 23 years ago. (Middlesex Vs Yorkshire,1973).

Well, No prize for guessing who won the match.. Yes..

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