ZEE BOLLYWOOD JAN-FEB 2008
AED 5 JAN-FEB 2008
Comes clean on Black and other controversies
On surgeries - the worst kept secret of Bollywood
Served spicy hot
Watch out Priyanka, Lara, Kareena! here comes
Publisher & Managing Editor Yogesh Radhakrishnan Business Head: Rajeshree Iyer Advertising Sales: Keshav Karve Jishnu Warrier Marketing & Corporate Communication: Manoj Mathew Zeeshahn Fezi Niladri Mondal Production and Distribution Coordinator: Kashif Bashir Design Team: www.artdesk.com Content Contributors: Key Note Media Pvt. Ltd. Sampurn Photographers: Rakesh Shrestha, Dabboo Ratnani, Subi Samuel, Vicky Idnani, Viral Bhayani Cover Photograph: Avinash Gowariker Make up & Hair: Ojas Rajani Outfit & Styling: Manish Malhotra Owned by:
Real Media FZ LLC
Dubai Media City, PO Box 500484, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 4264100 Fax: +971 4 3625386 Web: www.zeebollywood.com Distributed by:
Neptune Advertising & Distribution, Dubai
youngAmrita thing Rao
Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing House LLC, Dubai While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.
Inside 22 Cover story Meet Deepika Padukone— the model from Bangalore who made a grand entry into Bollywood when she got off a vintage car in Om Shanti Om, waving at fans, flashing that dazzling smile and turned into a superstar overnight!
30 Home Truths
4 Talk of the Town The latest news
12 Madame X: The Juiciest Gossip
16 Valentine Special Valentine Romantics
28 Shooting Stars: The Hottest Pictures
50 In the picture: Sriram Raghavan
55 Take 3: Dino Morea, Jimmy Shergill and Koena Mitra
68 DSF Special Dubai Star Aholics
80 Down Memory Lane: Punam & Shatrughan
82 Tele Talk 85 Star Gazing By Sandeep Koacher
86 Tele Tales
Even as she dreams of a new house and misses her home in Portsmouth, Geeta Basra loves her current home where she stays with her relatives, as it gave her a family in Mumbai and is located by the sea.
34 What’s Cooking The mention of good food excites Upen Patel almost as much as a good role in a film would. The lean and muscled look comes from workouts but that doesn’t stop him from indulging in anything when he’s at the table.
38 Focus He chose a tender subject about children and assumed a triple role of actor, producer and director for Taare Zameen Par—a risk very few people will dare to take. But that’s Aamir for you—he gives his best to whatever he believes in.
42 Style Check This pretty girl next door has donned a completely new avatar in her forthcoming film. Amrita Rao believes in making a style statement through simplicity and glamour, all at the same time.
46 Frankly Speaking
Her family heritage speaks for her. But having worked in global cinema, electrifying the Indian screen with Black and rave reviews for Strangers, we present Ms Sen in her own right!
62 Sneak Preview Here’s revealing everything you wanted to know about the big releases of 2008
70 Feature Celeb daughters get candid about their mums and their role in their lives
talk of the town
Bidding adieu to Teji Bachchan
Mother of super-star Amitabh Bachchan and wife of late Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Teji Bachchan breathed her last at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital on December 21. Hospitalized since January this year Teji was suffering from multiple age-related illnesses. As news of her death spread, the Bachchan residence was swarmed by a stream of mourners including Yash Chopra, Karan Johar, Pradeep Sarkar, Ajay Devgan, Kajol, Riteish Deshmukh, Bappi Lahiri, Abu Jani and Goldie Behl. Her funeral took place a the Juhu crematorium and was attended by Anil Ambani, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and Sahara Group head Subroto Roy. Bollywood was represented by Yash Chopra, Prasoon Joshi and Vivek Oberoi, who consoled Abhishek but kept his distance from Aishwarya.
AK and AK
It’s all about money!!!
New Year is money-making time for most of our Bollywood actress’, small and big! Bipasha Basu’s being paid 80 lakhs to perform at Mumbai’s J W Marriott, last year Mallika Sherawat had performed at Marriott for 70 lakhs. Prior to Mallika, item girl Malaika Arora was a regular performer at the Marriott. This year, however, Malaika will be performing along with sister Amrita, Udita Goswami, Neha Dhupia, Rimmi Sen and Mahima Chowdhury at The Country Club. However, she will attend the Marriott party for which she’s being paid Rs. 20 lakhs. New-comers Sayali Bhagat, Tanushree Dutta and Koena Mitra have also managed to get good deals at various hotels and clubs. These girls seem to be making hay while the moon shines.
The only similarity between Akshay Kumar and Anil Kapoor are their initials, both the AK’s while working on Aneez Bazmi’s Welcome clashed. Things turned worse when Anil came to know that Akshay’s name appeared before his in the credit titles of the film. He immediately told producer Firoz Nadiadwala and Bazmee that his name should appear before Akshay’s name because he was senior to Akshay. Meanwhile Akshay had a hearty laugh and said, “Please put my name last!”
Salman alongside ash
Salman Khan will share space with Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan at the Madame Tussauds wax Museum in London. Salman will officially unveil his wax statue at Madame Tussauds in London on January 15, 2008. An extremely excited Salman even donated a set of his specially designed clothes, does he wear any??? for his wax replica! Salman defeated Madhuri Dixit, Hrithik Roshan, Rani Mukherji, Karan Johar, Kajol, Lata Mangeshkar, Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and John Abraham in a poll conducted by the British Asian entertainment magazine Ikonz and the BBC Asian Network to pick the next Bollywood star to be at Madame Tussauds. 4
talk of the town
Abhishek’s ticket to hollywood Very soon you could end up watching Bollywood’s golden couple Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan romancing in a Hollywood film. After incessant prodding from wife Ash to launch a career in Hollywood, Abhishek is now looking for an agent in Hollywood to help him get a good International project. We wonder why he isn’t hiring Ash’s agent Simone Sheffield. Maybe after the fate of Ash’s major Hollywood debacle, The Last Legion, Abhishek had second thoughts about Simone!
From friends to foes
After Sholay, Don
If you thought that the failure of Sholay would’ve deterred Amitabh from working in any of his remakes then you’re wrong! Apparently Big B will soon reprise his role in a sequel to his Don, titled The Return Of The King. Amitabh along with Nadeem and Nasir Irani, sons of Nariman Irani, producer of the original Don has decided on a sequel after the immense success of Farhan Akhtar’s remake of Don. Farhan on the other hand is also planning to make a sequel to his Don, starring Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role but the rights of the sequel lie with the Irani brothers who are in no mood part with them. Could this lead to yet another Shah Rukh – Amitabh war?
Sanjay Dutt officially announced his exit from Sanjay Gupta’s professional as well as personal affairs by rushing off to Goa on the eve of Gupta’s Dus Kahaniyaan’s premiere. Sanjay, who’s also acted in Dus Kahaniyaan, has also walked out of Gupta’s White Feather Productions where he was a stake holder and also out of Gupta’s dream project Alibaug which has been shelved. Apparently girlfriend Maanyata has a major role in the estrangement between the two Sanjays. Sanjay’s Mana, reportedly, thinks Gupta is a bad influence on her boyfriend/husband.
Kareena-John Mission Possible
It took Rs. 2 Crore for Kareena to mend fences with erstwhile enemy John Abraham. After calling John “EXPRESSIONLESS” on national television, Kareena had openly declared him an actor she’d never work with but Bebo’s buried the hatched now and will be seen playing John’s romantic interest in a forthcoming big budget film for which she has been offered this whopping sum. 6
talk of the town
Quiet birthday for Farah
Her film Om Shanti Om was 2007’s biggest hit but even that couldn’t prompt Farah Khan to have a massive celebration for her 43rd birthday earlier this month. Reason being her pregnancy. Farah who’s expecting triplets has been advised by doctor to not move around too much. Hence Farah just had a quiet dinner at home with hubby Shirish, brother Sajid Khan and close friends Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan, Mushtaq Ahmed and Kajal Anand.
Shiney dumps producer
The success of Khoya Khoya Chand and Bhool Bhulaiyaa seems to have inflated Shiney Ahuja’s ego. He recently walked out of producer Samir Sheth and director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Fame at the last minute leaving the producer-director duo in the lurch. Dhulia happened to watch Neil Mukesh’s Johnny Gaddar and was impressed by the newcomer. Dhulia met up with Neil and after hearing the story Neil was more than willing to do the film. Will Shiney’s walk-out prove a boon to Neil?
Manisha Koirala’s come out of her self-imposed break; she has done away with her abusive boyfriend and drinking and is busy working on her forthcoming film Vish in London. Manisha stars along with Gulshan Grover in this romantic film. A source from the film’s set says that Manisha contrary to her reputation of being moody, lazy, arriving late on sets and partying all night, is extremely serious and committed to her work. Whoever said better late than never!
Konkona replaces Tabu
Konkona Sen Sharma seems to be the current flavour of Bollywood. After replacing Tabu in Zoya Akhtar’s directorial debut Luck By Chance Konkona has now replaced Tabu in Mira Nair’s Shantaram. Konkona’s role in Shantaram is small but prominent. Konkona replacing Tabu in Nair’s film was quite a surprise as Tabu was Nair’s blue-eyed-girl after she replaced Rani Mukherji in Nair’s last film The Namesake but the equation seems to have changed now. 8
talk of the town
Mallika troubles pnc
It was Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC) that gave Mallika Sherawat her only solo hit but that hasn’t made Mallika courteous towards them! She has stalled the shooting of PNC’s Ugly Aur Pagli because the film isn’t shaping as per her expectations. Directed by debutant Sachin Khote Ugly Aur Pagli also features Ranvir Shorey in a leading role. Initially Mallika was very excited about the film but after shooting for a few days she was unhappy with the way the film was shaping up and stopped shooting for the film. Rangita Nandy of PNC is trying her level best to woo Madame Mallika.
Bipasha promotes kinetic
Ghai making desi charlie’s angels
Showman Subhash Ghai’s latest project under his banner Mukta Arts Ltd is titled Hello Darling and is an action comedy based on the lines of Hollywood blockbuster series Charlie’s Angels and is directed by his chief assistant director Manoj Tiwari. The film revolves around three female undercover detectives in search of a drug-lord. Actresses Celina Jaitley, Gul Panag and Isha Koppikar have been roped in for playing the three lead roles while Javed Jaffery would be playing the villain in the film, which also stars Divya Dutta, Rajpal Yadav, Chunky Pandey and Sunny Deol in a special appearance.
If boyfriend John Abraham is the face of Yamaha, then Bipasha Basu is the latest face of Kinetic Motor’s upcoming Kinetic-SYM scooter, which is to be launched next month. Bipasha has been chosen to promote Kinetic, because the company feels she portrays both ambition and confidence and fits the product. Bips will feature in the advertising campaign for the Kinetic-SYM scooter on television, print, and internet. Outdoor campaigns and a special audio-visual that demonstrates the new scooter will also feature Bipasha.
Neha’s new house
She may not have a hit to her credit but all the item numbers and stage shows have helped Neha Dhupia to buy a house in Goa! And she’s currently busy renovating it. Neha who is currently working on Singh Is Kinng says “I’m going to take off to Goa during Christmas. It’s beautiful and now I have a house there as well!” But why did she buy a house in Goa? “I was shooting in Australia on the beaches. But nothing matches the charm of Goa with those shacks and all. There’s something about it that can’t be defined.” 10
madame X Hello again darlings and welcome to my end of the year column! In keeping with the obvious, I’m going to ring out some of the old and ring in some of the new. Let’s toast to some and turn down others… Bollywood simply has to get more exciting in 2008! But let’s get down to current sensation, shall we?
efinitely taking centre stage at the last of 2007 is Ritiesh Deshmukh’s birthday bash at Mumbai’s JW Marriot Hotel. Not so much to celebrate the poor boy as what happened at his party! Bollywood’s hottest couples, Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan and Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan, bonded like glue and spent the whole night either chatting or on the dance floor! Can you believe this, darlings? Then Ritiesh had another first in young Deepika Padukone and Yuvraj Singh arriving together… They then hung out in a cozy corner but did hit the dance floor for the Om Shanti Om songs and other retro numbers.
Did I also spot Ritiesh’s one-time girlfriend Genelia D’Souza? Anyway pets, other celebrity guests included Katrina with Salman’s sister Alvira, Vidya Balan, Sajid Khan, Malaika and Arbaaz, Amrita and Usman, Dino Morea, Aftab, Lara Dutta, Karan Johar, Chunky Pandey, Tusshar Kapoor, Ashish Choudhary, Sunil Shetty, Ranbir Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor, Arshad Warsi, Neelam Kothari, Bobby & Tanya Deol and DJ Suketu churning out hits. Ritiesh does have it wouldn’t you say darlings? And I’m told he spent all of 15 lakhs on this glittering birthday! And since Kareena and Saif have had quite enough of prying eyes, they’re taking off some quiet time in Bangkok. Saif’s shooting there for the Yash Raj version of Mary Poppins along with Rani Mukherji. Come to think of it, darlings Rani is always at lonely foreign locales with Saif, while he’s in the throes of romance. She last faced this in New York while shooting for Ta Ra Rum Pum, when Saif and Rosa were living it up at a cozy apartment! Ah well sweets, I guess Adi Chopra can always fly out to keep Rani company… My opinion? I don’t see the Kareena-Saif thingie going very far in 2008… But all this flying about reminds me of Vivek Uberoi who remains consistent down the years – both acting wise and with his personal antics. Right now he’s living it up in Turkey while shooting for Mission Istanbul. Serious about shooting during the day, he gets equally serious about girl chasing at night and parties till the wee hours, with not just one but perhaps even two pretty young things. They also return to the hotel with him – for coffee of course. For the unshakeable or unchangeable, you have the Khan women – Malaika and Katrina. Both are determined to do new and exciting things in 2008 and Malaika’s started with an acting role in EMI. Katrina is also very excited about Subhash Ghai’s Main Yuvraj with boyfriend Salman, where she gets to show her acting talent. Strangely, both Khan women faced the brunt of Mallika Sherawat’s burn-up in Welcome. Madam Mallika wanted Katrina’s outfits and make-up and also Malaika’s item number to be cut. This only made them get together and have a good laugh… And one of them giggled to me, “She’s (Mallika) barking up the wrong family!” A little aside here though darlings: I think what would really make Salman Khan’s 2008 complete, is if only Katrina would agree to slip that little ring on her finger… And coming to the other big Khan of the month, we had a little chat with Aamir on the eve of the release of Taare Zameen Par. Though he admitted to butterflies in the tummy he also told me that his directorial debut has taught him a lot
Baba Ramdev_A4 ZeeMagz_Ad_F.ai
LARGEST YOGA CAMP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE MIDDLE EAST. BE PART OF IT.
“Good health is the birthright of all human beings” Holistic well-being awaits you with Pranayam Yoga. Event Dates: 25th, 26th and 27th Jan 2008 (Friday - Sunday) Venue: Airport Expo-East Hall, Dubai Time: 6.00 am to 8.30 am
A charity initiative brought to you by:
ramdev first ever appearance in dubai
To book your season pass, and for other enquiries, contact: • Helpline: 04 808 7575 • Website: www.eurostaryoga.com • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Season passes will be available from 5th January 2008 at: EUROSTAR: Group Showrooms- Deira : Gargash Centre 04 2237040, Nakheel 04 2236366, Offices- Deira 04 2257333, Bur Dubai 04 3966222, DIP 04 8087522, DMC 04 3901935, Al Maya Hypermarkets: Deira 04 2229898, Karama 04 3351397, Bur Dubai 04 3523939, Hor Al Anz 04 2624949, Satwa 04 3420588, Al Mansoor Video: Karama 04 3374585, Bur Dubai 04 3970800, 3524481, New Sind Punjab Restaurant: Bur Dubai 04 3526114, Karama 04 3375535, Jewel of India: 04 3594777, Choithram: Select outlets in Dubai. (Home delivery of tickets available in UAE through EUROSTAR Express Courier Service)* All proceeds of the season pass sales are being donated to Patanjali Yogpeeth (Trust), Haridwar, India, founded by Swami Ramdev.
Season Pass Rates: Diamond (AED 500), Gold (AED 300) & Silver (AED 150)
Helpline: 04 808 7575
*Terms and conditions apply
about his own kids… “It has sensitized me towards my kids. Now I feel I am very close to them and I understand them better than before. Today, I think I am a good father. Now my kids are my priority and I am very alert about all their feelings and emotion….” Besides hoping his film is a hit, I definitely see him as the flavour of 2008, don’t you darlings? Seems to me that it’s all about fathers these days… After a horrid tussle between mother Neelima and father Pankaj (who are both vying for their son after Jab We Met), Shahid Kapur seems to have chosen dad’s film after all for 2008! He smiled to me that “I am very happy that I am working in my dad’s film. It is a great feeling to work with such a great actor.” By the way his career is going more filmmakers definitely want more of Shahid in the New Year! But remember I earlier spoke about toasting some and turning some down darlings? Two questions I’d like to ask are: Who saw Red Swastika? Who is Sherlyn Chopra? For she’s decided to bring the year to a close with a video titled ‘Outrageous’, directed by adman Pralhad Kakkar. Does that tell you all pets? Well besides this director only thinking 36-24-36, Sherlyn seems even more outrageous. Do consider her quotes and have a good laugh, sweets. She says, “The visuals in the video are going to be outrageously outrageous and it will appeal more to the youth than any other age group, because the youth have a better understanding of sex than adults.” Now if you must talk about sex in public darlings, you do it in style like Sushmita Sen. You could also land in a soup like she does… The Madurai branch of the Madras High Court recently issued her a notice over her outrageous comments on pre-marital sex… Apparently Sush commented to a TV channel “No Indian has chastity or virginity anymore”. This did not go well with the legal authorities and hence the court notice. Oh well darlings, I neither condone nor condemn but Sush will reamin Sush – perhaps she doesn’t come up with great films but she’s a diva to boot! Watch out for more of her in 2008… And now I simply must fly my pets – I have a lot of celebrating to do. Catch you next year!
Valentine Romantics! 16
What is it about this day of February 14 that causes hearts to melt? What causes even celebs to behave like star struck (pun intended) couples? Well, since the ladies always tell it better, we asked five of them – Bipasha Basu, Ayesha Takia, Neetu Kapoor, Tara (Sharma) Saluja, Amrita Arora – to recount VALENTINE LOVE AT ITS BEST! Here they are, straight from the heart! BIPASHA ON JOHN ABRAHAM What keeps you two together? Love...That is what keeps two people together. There is nothing binding us. We are not idiots to stick together for brand endorsements. How romantic are you? I am a diehard romantic but I’ve forgotten how to be romantic. I have been in a relationship with John for six years now. For me having a heart-to-heart is the most romantic thing to do. What has John done that really touched you heart? He took care of me when I wasn’t well. He was there for me 24 hours. He bathed me; he dressed me and did everything he could… Who else would do so much for me? The best Valentine gift John has given you? He always buys me diamond jewellery. At the moment, I’m wearing two rings that he gave me. He has good taste in jewellery. Recently, he also got me a perfume that I really loved Vera Wang’s Truly Pink. Maybe after so many years he is beginning to recognise my taste! What is the one thing you really love about him? I love him. But I also love the fact that he is passionate about a lot of things—from his work to motor bikes. What are the things you hate about him? There are too many! I don’t want to reveal the real John to the world. But he’s a nag. If you think women nag, let me tell you John can beat them hollow! I dread being with him when we’re 70. I’d better go deaf by then. Because when John nags, he really nags!
we would tie the knot. Farhan and I are not just dating. Our relationship is much deeper than that. Had I been dating, I would have been like many others who try to cover up their affairs. But I am crazily in love and I can say with all confidence that Farhan will be my life partner. What do you think of marriage? You know, I am just 21 and I don’t think it is the right age to get married. Even Farhan is pretty young. He is just 24. So I
AYESHA ON FARHAN AZMI How would you describe love? I think love is a selfish thing; it is not selfless, contrary to what most people say. I think you can only love someone if they love you back. Sometimes you are madly in love with someone who doesn’t love you back and that just falls flat on its face. But I think love is a selfish emotion which makes you feel good. It makes you feel high – it is like a drug! When you first realised you were in love with Farhan… I fell madly in love with Farhan. The world seems so beautiful all of a sudden. I made my love public because I was sure 17
think we should wait for at least four to five years. For me, 25 would be the right age to marry. In any case, Farhan and I are already mentally married to each other, so we don’t feel the need to hurry the ceremonies. I might quit films when I marry. I won’t be able to manage a career and my home. I think marriage is very important in life. But that is a long time away. With your erratic shooting schedules, do you miss your Valentine guy a lot? I constantly miss him when I’m out of Mumbai. I have been travelling a lot; the whole of last year. But I’m finally back and we are getting to meet each other now. Not as much as we would like to though! What does he think of you as an actress? Farhan hardly watches films, but he does make time to watch my films. I make him watch only my good films! He loved Dor. I’m going to make him see some of my forthcoming movies, especially Sunday.
NEETU ON RISHI KAPOOR The first ever Valentine’s Day you two spent together… He took me to the Rendezvous at the Taj Mahal Hotel. I think that was in 1976. He made sure the date had the works and even made me eat caviar. But I don’t know what
happened and I ended up with food poisoning… Sitting at the restaurant, I developed a rash on my face and my lips were all swollen up. So I was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital where I spent the night! What were the first gifts you gave each other? He used to smoke at that time (he doesn’t now) and I gave him a Cartier lighter. He gave me a pair of diamond earrings from Gazdar’s at the Taj. Valentine gifts hold more value when you’re dating and it’s very exciting to impress and exchange gifts. But once you’re married and we have been for so many years, that novelty wears off. I still buy myself Valentine gifts and tell him ‘thank you very much’ – since his money is my money! I don’t buy him anything now since I don’t know what to give him – he’s a complete shop-aholic and buys himself so much! What was your most romantic Valentine moment? This was after we were married and he had been in Ooty shooting. But he got back on Valentine’s Day with a set of ‘toda’ jewellery which I really used to love. l was sleeping when he returned so he put in around my neck. I was really excited to wake up and see it and was really touched by his gesture. The letter/card you treasure… Earlier he would really spoil me with lots of flowers and the most beautiful cards and letters. He writes really well so the words were beautiful. I remember one Valentine I was hurt on the nose while shooting. So he got this card with a girl on the cover holding flowers to her nose and wrote some lovely words in it. Then one Valentine’s Day I was shooting in Kashmir and he sent me a four-page letter through Jeetendra who was coming to Srinagar. And there was Jeetu waving the letter all around refusing to give it to me, while I chased him all over the hotel! Your most romantic telephone call… We were always on the phone doing choo-choo to each other and Rakesh Roshan used to tease us about this. So on Valentine’s I guess the phone-calls were longer! Special words of love… He once gave me a key on a chain for Valentine’s and said it was the key to his heart – he had the lock to my heart and not to open it for anyone else… The most romantic that he still says to me is: ‘I am what I am because of you. What would I do without you’? Even when we meet people he tells them that he is where he is because of me.
TARA ON ROOPAK SALUJA How does it feel to be newly married to Roopak? It feels great, it’s lovely. It just feels so natural and normal to be with him. We also have a beautiful house, right opposite my parents which is great so I’m living very close to them. 18
We did up the house together so the house feels like our own. Both of us have been really busy with our work since the wedding though, which is good, because then we look forward to spending time with each other. What are your plans for your first Valentine’s Day after marriage? Usually, our plans are last minute… But this year, we are planning to go out of Mumbai for two days, to our farm house at Mahabaleshwar. What’s the best thing about him? Everything! He’s calm, intelligent, attractive, etc., etc! What’s the best gift he has given you? This might sound clichéd but the fact that we are together is the best gift apart from material things like our engagement and wedding rings. What’s the most romantic thing Roopak has done for you? Roopak is very, very romantic. After our wedding, he took me on a surprise honeymoon since I was under the impression there were no plans. I had no clue where we were going and he didn’t allow me to see what flight we were getting on to. After changing three flights, we landed on this Philippine island called Buraka. I was impressed! What qualities do you admire in him? He is a balancing force for me. Whenever I’m worried or angry he has a calming effect on me. Like when recently my
father was unwell, I was worried and he was the voice of reason. Since I can get hyper, his calmness helps.
AMRITA ON USMAN AFZAL What made you fall in love with him? There’s freshness to him, nothing fake. We hit it off immediately; because of a great compatibility, friendship and honesty between us; which put a lot of buzz and zing into our relationship. He’s also a great looking and a nice guy! He’s someone I can rely on. Even at three-four in the morning if I need to talk, ask advice or just unburden, he is always there to listen. He’s my best friend. Being Valentines across two continents is… Love saves the day and no matter how far you are you have something special and true. I think being true to yourself is being true to your partner. I feel a connection of compatibility, trust, friendship, love, so it doesn’t matter even if you’re millions of miles away. We text each other about a 100 times a day. For me, that’s security. What’s the best Valentine’s you have spent together? Actually every evening we spend together is as good as Valentine’s Day! But the nicest one we spent together was our eight-hour date – meaning the whole day – at the Taj Landsend coffee shop! We celebrated Valentine’s in advance – on November 12! It was the getting-to-know-each-other phase 19
when we were just chilling and threw caution to the wind. Your favourite dating spots are… Of course the Taj Landsend is still very special to us. We also go to Olive and he loves Wasabe (the Japanese restaurant) at the Taj. In London Nobu is a favourite as we both love Chinese food. As also the dreamy, romantic sidewalk cafes! Usman’s special words of love to you are… He always tells me, ‘You are the sunshine of my life’! What were your first Valentine gifts to each other? He keeps showering me with gifts but he really surprised
me with a Rolex watch that I once saw in a magazine! I gave him a special black thread neckpiece with a chunky, stone pendant – he loves to wear those! Your most romantic phone-call was… Well actually, we’re always running up phenomenal phone bills when he’s in London. But the most romantic one was when he was staying with Ashish Nehra in Delhi. I packed up from shooting at 3.00 a.m. and called him. We spoke till 8.30 in the morning and suddenly noticed that the sun was out!
MAKE YOUR VALENTINE ECSTATIC WITH LIALI’S MUSHY OFFERS dazzling diamond jewellery piece given on Valentine’s Day always has a great impact. Liali Jewellery has an exceptional range that captures femininity and combines a luxurious blend of power and sensuality inspired by the beauty of a woman for this romantic event. This purveyor of beauty has created a special window offering only the Valentine collections. Thus this Valentine, do not just make her feel happy, romantic or loved
but ecstatic! Starting from February 5 to 14, Liali has special offers for its valued customers such as a free roses delivered to your beloved’s doorsteps when you buy jewellery over Dh5000; A special Valentine hamper – free, with purchases from AED. 2000 – 5000 and a cute and cuddly teddy bear free when you buy jewellery worth Dh1,000 to Dh2,000. So make your Valentine feel special this year and leave the mushy details to us.”
A variety of entertainment, in the palm of your hand. Pehla, the leading provider of Premium Asian Entertainment in the Middle East, offers the widest choice of entertainment channels so you can catch your favourite TV stars and gossip in Asia and around the world. Plus you will have a variety of sports, news, movies, kidsâ€™ channels and more to keep everyone in the family entertained. So, subscribe to Pehla and bring home the leader.
To Subscribe / Renew / Upgrade, contact now: Phone IVR:- UAE: 04 8061111, KSA: 02 2879555, KUWAIT: +971 4 8061111, OMAN: 24786999, BAHRAIN: 17532522, QATAR: +971 4 8061111 Email: email@example.com, Website: www.pehlatv.net
“I’m enjoying every bit of it!” She made a grand entry into Bollywood when she got off a vintage car in Om Shanti Om, waving at fans, flashing that dazzling smile – the 20-yearold model from Bangalore turned superstar overnight! But meet Deepika Padukone, and this most sought after newcomer comes across as someone who’s got everything sorted out in her head. It’s almost as if she knew all along that she would be a star. She confirms that she’s excited about the appreciation and is enjoying success to the hilt. But she also has her head firmly planted on her shoulders.
THE DEEPIKA MAGIc! The Roshans want her in their next film instead of Priyanka. The latter was the Roshan favourite before Deepika came on the scene. She will be cast opposite Ranbir in Yash Raj Films’ next instead of Sonam. The rivalry continues. Saif has chosen her over Kareena for his first home production, obviously upsetting Kareena. The industry expected the latter to be the first choice for Saif’s first home production venture. Even Akshay Kumar will be seen working with Deepika after a string of successful films with his four-film -heroine Katrina.
eepika is just back from her home in Bangalore – her first trip in 10 months. She’s rejuvenated then, and is all set to move into her new home in Bandra, which is currently undergoing interior work. “My state of mind right now is that of excitement. It’s been great that people have appreciated me,” she says. Just when you expected a youngster like her to rattle off line after line in excitement, she gives you this simple, straight, precise answer. Deepika obviously prefers to keep it short and sweet. You egg her on, wanting her to tell you more about what she’s experiencing at the moment. How is she dealing with so many people suddenly chasing her, wanting her on the covers of their magazines, asking her to inaugurate events, endorse products, and coaxing her to be present at their parties? “It’s a nice feeling. But it’s important to have my head on my shoulders. Honestly, I’m enjoying the journey. I’m enjoying every bit of it, the public events and all the interviews. But now I have to start afresh. Om Shanti Om is behind me now.” Was she aware that she would be touted as the next big thing after the release of Om Shanti Om? “Very honestly, we knew that Om Shanti Om would do well. But that it would be such a huge hit was something we did not anticipate. I did not expect such a great response.” Deepika confesses that she did feel a bit like her onscreen character Sandy from Om Shanti Om, when she first began shooting. “A wee bit like her,” she says. She was keen to do a total action film after Om Shanti Om and she is glad she’s got one. “I’m doing Nikhil Advani’s Chandni Chowk to China Town with Akshay Kumar which gives me scope to do action. I’m thrilled. I was keen on an action film and now I’m doing one with someone like Akshay Kumar. What else do I want?” she asks. Apart from Nikhil Advani’s film, Deepika will soon start work on Yash Raj Films’ yet untitled project with Ranbir, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif and Minissha Lamba; and Imtiaz Ali’s film with Saif Ali Khan. With big films in her kitty already, Deepika is very confident that she will be able to maintain what she has earned. “Om Shanti Om is over and I have to now concentrate on my future films. Life’s unpredictable but there’s no pressure on me.” Though she has put Om Shanti Om behind her she is still as close to Farah Khan and Shah Rukh. “They will always remain my guardians in the industry and I sometimes do take advice from both of them too.” She is quite comfortable and forthcoming while talking about her future projects. But shift the subject to the men she has been linked with – Ranbir, Nihar Pandya, Mahendra Singh Dhoni or the latest man in her life Yuvraj Singh – and she clamps up. She refuses to divulge details on her current friendship with the cricketer as she feels it’s not important to talk about it. But she says that contrary
to the general perception, she doesn’t get hassled or upset that she is being constantly watched and written about. “If one chooses to become an actor one has to deal with it. These are things that come with fame. There are so many news channels and newspapers that constantly need something to fill space. I respect the fact that journalists are only doing their job. We are public figures and we will be discussed in public.” How do her parents take the constant gossip along with the sudden success of their young daughter? “They are very happy for me. In fact, they are thrilled. Initially, when I moved to Mumbai they were quite concerned. They wondered how I would do everything by myself and whether I would be able to take care of myself. But after a while they were fine. Now, they are very proud. I wouldn’t have been half as successful as I am had they not supported me.”
What about all the newspaper gossip? Do her parents react to what is written about her and make anxiety calls from Bangalore? “No, they don’t because I speak to them every day and about everything that I’m doing. I also discuss and take advice from them on my projects.” And despite the fact that she is all by herself in Mumbai making her own decisions, she is close to her parents. She remembers her parents’ first reactions when they saw Om Shanti Om but she knows that they won’t praise her way too much. “When they saw the movie they were very excited and also very emotional. In not so many words I understood that they loved my performance.” There is even more happening in the actress’ life right now. She is already endorsing some of the most prestigious brands like Maybelline New York, Levi jeans and Parachute, and the offers
keep pouring in. Deepika along with being the next big star is also the next big brand. “When a certain brand approaches me and I like the quality, feel that it suits my style and if it’s in sync with me then I go ahead and decide to endorse it,” explains Deepika. She has tremendous poise for a 20year-old. But her straightforwardness and her discomfort at answering personal questions can easily come across as attitude to some. But that does not deter Deepika from being herself. She has gone ahead and decided to complete her graduation from IGNOU. “I want to complete my graduation. I love studying sociology and economics.” This year has been the biggest in Deepika’s life but she has already put it behind her. “There will be lots of work in the coming year and I’m looking forward to it.” 25
‘ she is A extremely intelligent’’
ce photographer Avinash Gowarikar who shot Deepika’s first screen test for Om Shanti Om shares his impressions and experiences of one of the hottest actresses in tinsel town. “The first time I met Deepika was at a screen test for Om Shanti Om. Farah, who is a close friend, asked me to do a photo shoot with her. I remember walking into her make-up room, where Bharat and Doris were getting her ready. I smiled at her, she smiled back instantly and I introduced myself. I was pleasantly surprised to find her so forthcoming and
friendly; since a girl could be tense to see a strange man walk into her room… especially someone like me, who is 6 feet tall with a beard and wearing a kurta. “The shoot went off so well that the pictures were used throughout the film as the huge poster on the bridge, a framed photograph, etc., at the insistence of Shah Rukh and Farah who loved the pictures. “Deepika is one of the most camera intelligent persons I’ve ever met. She does not have to be told what to do. If she wears a period costume, she
immediately poses accordingly. Many models and actors don’t understand what to do with their face but this sense is inbuilt in her. She is extremely intelligent. “If you give her a brief she does exactly what’s required. With her the shot ratio is very low. We get it right within 10-20 frames. I can easily shoot three or four changes with her in a 100 captures. Each shot she gives is so perfect that eventually it’s a nightmare to select a few – you just don’t know which to leave out! And try as I might, I can’t find any weakness of hers in front of the
camera. I guess she doesn’t have any! “I remember the day we shot this cover picture. We had wound up the shoot and Deepika had already changed to leave for the day. We were using Manish Malhotra’s outfits and his assistant Kunal was with us that day. There was this fantastic sari amidst the outfits and Kunal felt strongly that she should pose in it; draping it unlike a sari. He was disappointed that we hadn’t shot with it. So Deepika said she would do so only if Kunal showed her an exact pose! He posed in a mawali way for her and Deepika promptly agreed to shoot. This turned out as one of her best pictures and one of our (Deepika and mine) favourite shots. She looks so sexy sitting like that, almost as if she is posing in a bikini bra… “She was fabulous in Om Shanti Om. I was impressed when I saw the rushes. She was so composed even when she stood alongside someone as big as Shah Rukh in the frame. She was not overawed nor did she take things for granted. That’s the kind of confidence she has. “She and I hit it off from day one. She is amazing in the sense that she does not say no to anything. She works only with people she trusts. Mickey Contractor and I shoot with her so much now that we just freak out and have fun during the shoot. She is like that when she’s completely comfortable with you and trusts you. “She is also very sincere and hardworking. She’s game for anything from a non-make-up look to traditional to anything. She is a great combination of a focused and hardworking actress and a young bubbly girl who laughs aloud, likes to joke around and enjoys cold coffee during her shoot; but she won’t stop a shoot for her cold coffee! That’s Deepika. She has the youth of her age in the right place; along with a sincere, focused actress in the right place. Many actresses are withdrawn and develop a glass wall around them in the process of being serious about their work but not Deepika. She is a very warm person. 27
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Sanjay Kapoor, Kishen Kumar, Sajid Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala and Anil Kapoor at the India Wales friendship bash. Shahid receives an award for Jab We Met at the Lions Club SOL Awards. Lara Dutta at the Mukti Foundation’s World Aids Day function. Saif Ali Khan with son Ibrahim and Salman Khan at the Mukti Foundation’s World Aids Day function. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the launch of Longines sports watch collection. Hrishita Bhatt, Shah Rukh Khan, Mithun and Amrita Rao at the music release of My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves at Sahara Star.w
Deepika Padukone at the Levis event. Madhur Bhandarkar, Gautam Rajadhyaksha and Amitabh Bachchan at photographer Rajan Choughule’s exhibition in Mumbai. 9. Sanjay Dutt walks the ramp with Amrita Arora for Ed Hardy launch in Mumbai. 10. Aarti Chabbria, Amrita Arora and Gul Panag at the Johnny walker race. 11. Mahima Choudhary, Maureen Wadia, Malaika Arora Khan and John Abraham with the three ﬁnalists— winner. Madhvi Awasthi, ﬁrst runners-up Tanu Singh and third runners-up Yukti Mehandiratta. 12. Gul Panag, Celina Jaitley and Isha Koppikar with Subhash Ghai at ﬁlm Hello Darling press meet. 29
Basra Nest… This tall, leggy lass from Britain, has enjoyed every moment of the four years she’s been in Mumbai. She originally left Portsmouth as a crazy Madhuri Dixit fan, to try her own hand at Bollywood. And it didn’t take her too long to bag Emraan Hashmi for a hero in two films – Dil Diya Hai and The Train. Right now she’s nursing a big Bollywood assignment which will soon come up for announcement. In the process of finalizing the deal, the makers have requested her not to speak about it. So Geeta is keeping busy with a lot of shows all over the country. Here she is, talking about the confines of her home. 30
live in my uncle’s flat in Juhu, along with my aunt and my cousin. But I will soon be shifting into my own home in Juhu. The process of looking has started in earnest and my mum is coming down from London to help,” she says. But this flat does hold a lot of sentiment, since it provided a base and a family. She laughs, “I must admit that initially, not a day went by without my crying because I missed my family… But I soon adapted to the culture of Mumbai, since there’s so much energy in the city.” Living in Juhu is great, since it reminds Geeta of her home by the sea in Portsmouth. “Since we have our individual houses back home, adjusting to the confines of a flat took a while. But here, in my aunt’s house, we have a nice large balcony, which is one of my favourite lounge spots. Besides my own bedroom where I spend a lot of time just chilling out with my laptop, I Pod and music. Actually my bed qualifies as a favourite corner for practically everything!” In Portsmouth, her mum, dad, brother and sister make up her family and she misses her mom’s vegetable stew and fabulous bakes. “I miss this special dish my mum cooks – cauliflower au gratin. I’ve eaten it at lots of places elsewhere but nothing compares to the way she makes it. I also missed her baked potatoes with vegetables and gravy… “I attended Copnor Junior College after which, my parents put me in private education for my GcSe. Once I was through with my A levels, I packed up and came here, since I wanted to give films a go. I absolutely adored Madhuri Dixit and would copy every little thing she did!” What’s important about home here is the fact that, “Within these four walls, I can be myself outside of the glamour world. It’s great to be surrounded by very real people like your own family.” Her own touches to this home include “Picking up a lot of home accessories from Tressorie, like candles, photo frames… Satguru is a pretty nice place too. I have my friends come over quite 32
often and my aunt cooks up some good home food. I’m thankful for this since it is absolute torture for me to cook!” How does she intend to do up her new home? “Well ideally, I’d like a lot of white in my home with perhaps one contrasting wall to break the white. Maybe I’ll have my bedroom in lilac, since I’m a very girlie-girlie person. It would also never be without my music and my hair straightener – two very important things in my life! “I’d like to do the lounge in light yellow… But one thing I have in mind is not to cram the house too much. For me, where a design element is concerned, less is definitely more.” Lots of fresh air is a definite prerequisite, which is what she has in her aunt’s open home. “And I enjoy spending a lot of time at the beach, which is where I do my thinking or relaxing. Simply sitting and staring at the vast expanse of water is a very tranquil experience.” The one thing she is looking forward to in her new home “Is a large, walk-in wardrobe! I need separate sections for my clothes, my shoes, my bags… Right now, I’ve just stuffed everything together.” And then, just as loyally she defends her aunt’s place with, “But I wouldn’t like to change anything about this place right now. It holds a lot of good memories and when I first moved here, I was as excited as a kid about keeping it clean, the painting of the flat… It’s a home with very good vibes. We have a small mandir in the lounge and lots of candles to decorate it. “When I really want to relax I light up the candles and put on some good music, which is very soothing. I also meditate in this way.” The music she enjoys varies from instrumental, lounge music, spiritual, and Buddha Bar. She also loves Hindi music. “Sundays are lazy days when I wake up late and probably catch up with friends later in the day. I love going to all the multiplexes to watch films, though
I’m not much of a party person. I’d rather spend time over a quiet dinner at a nice cozy restaurant that has good Italian or continental food.” Her favourite restaurants include Mezzo Mezzo at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Basilico in Bandra; Urban Tadka in Andheri. “But there’s nothing quite like Pizza Hut for the best deep pan pizza!”
Within these four walls, I can be myself outside of the glamour world. Itâ€™s great to be surrounded by very real people like your own family.
The mention of good food excites Upen Patel almost as much as a good role in a film would. The lean and muscled look comes from work outs but that doesn’t stop him from indulging in any and everything when seated at a table! “I’m not that particular about what type of food – it could by anything – as long as it’s prepared well and is appealing.” Two-and-a-half years ago, he even opened his own fine dining restaurant – Monza – at Phoenix Mills in Bombay, in partnership with a friend. Perhaps one of his favourite chefs is also his mum, who’s down from London for Christmas and Upen has a menu list chalked up for her! Here are food secrets from his repertoire of the complete dining experience.
On a normal day… I start with some cereal for breakfast, some egg whites, toast and orange juice. I know people say breakfast should be the heaviest meal of the day but I’m not a big morning person when it comes to food. For lunch – it’s either some salad or sandwiches. But dinner has to be my heaviest meal – it could be Indian, Chinese whatever. I’m very lucky; because of my body and the fact that I train so much, that I can eat whatever I like.
While shooting: I eat very little. If we’re working in hot countries I find it difficult to eat too much. To be honest, I normally survive on supplements like protein shakes, protein bars, or fruit in between. I have lots of light meals through the day as opposed to three set meals. I take in more protein since I have to maintain my protein level because of my workouts.
The diet misconception… Some people think dieting means you have to stop eating but it just means eating right. Since I’ve been working out for 11 years since I was about 16, I have understood the science of my body. I have a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Carbohydrates do give you energy but there are two types of carbs: complex carbs and simple carbs. I avoid the complex carbs (which are found in starchy food) during the day.
Ideally I’d eat… Like I said protein foods – it could be a tuna sandwich, egg whites, or even chicken. I mix it with bread for the starch – but even though I eat potatoes, they’re always steamed. My vegetables are steamed too and so is my rice.
The wine experience I love the whole culture of wine and especially the right kind of red wine combined with cheese or dark chocolate. I like a medium dry red wine; could be Italian or even South African, a wine which I discovered while shooting for Shakalaka Boom Boom. In Mauritius though, I like Green Island. It’s local rum which is very sweet and just coats your mouth. I always have that with Coke. The beautiful thing is that you can’t get it anywhere else in the world.
If in Mauritius… In Mauritius there’s this simple, small place called La Cigal, run by a retired Frenchman, which serves the finest wine with the best pizza and pasta. It’s like a house that’s been converted into a restaurant and going there at least once with my family every trip is a must. We sit on a bench outside on the road and eat and chat. The lane in which La Cigal is situated is so quiet and peaceful.
When in London… You have quite a number of high-class fine dining restaurants. But one place I love to go with friends is the Long Bar at the Sanderson Hotel, just off Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street. It’s one of the longest bars in the whole of Europe. I have this thing about office culture – women and men dressed really smartly in office suits – who come into the Long Bar after work. I think the after work culture of London is so sophisticated. I just like to sit with my friends and watch everybody.
I love to cook but especially for other people, not so much for myself. I find the whole experience of chopping and cooking very relaxing. I cook fantastic pasta in red or white sauce. And I make the most amazing salad – with a special secret sauce of my mother’s, which I use for the dressing.
…Something I invested in two-and-a-half years ago. I have a partner who looks into it on a day-to-day basis since I can’t be there all the time. Though I do know what’s happening at the restaurant. It’s about fine dining continental fare which also serves the best fettuccini in Bombay. We have the finest wine selection, and I got in a chef from Holland. It’s a place where you can sit and enjoy the food.
Proud of my skill!
On the street!
I was once dating a girl who had a party at home and she was cooking for everybody. So I decided to make the salad. I made this really large bowl of salad and I felt so proud because that was the only thing that people ate! That’s how famous my salad is.
I simply adore Mumbai street food – paani puri, dahi puri, bhel – all of it. I frequent a man who has a cart opposite Camy Wafers in Khar – I love that place. Then there’s also a guy who comes right below my building in the evenings and I always get it from him.
If I eat out in Bombay
My mother is a fantastic cook and has recipes named after her. She names her dishes for herself! Like this particular Chinese dish called Kamasacka (her name is Kamli)! I admit to stealing the salad recipe from her… it’s something I could eat through the day in London when she made it. One of the conditions of her coming here for Christmas is that she would
Actually I eat mostly at home, since I now have a live-in cook. I enjoy whatever he makes well and love Gujarati kadi! But if I’m dining out, I love Royal China in Bandra, which is much like the one in London. They serve authentic Chinese food. And since good service is very important to me, I love the service there too. Indigo, where I go once in a while, has nice food too.
Cooking is great
come prepared to feed me on all my favourites!
Bars and clubs: I’m always at Zenzi actually, which is just down the road from where I live. It has a good crowd and great ambience. I enjoy catching up with friends there. I also like Poison, China House…
THE PATEL SPECIAL! ‘THE’ SALAD INGREDIENTS:
For a medium-sized bowl toss together: One Iceberg lettuce (Broken into bits) A couple of carrots (Diced) A couple of cucumbers (Diced) Feta cheese or Cheddar cheese (depending on your taste) A few black and green olives A handful of mushrooms A quarter cup of sweet corn An onion – which is optional An apple (Diced) A large green, red and yellow pepper each (Diced)
FOR THE DRESSING: Get a small empty bottle and mix in the following… Two teaspoons of pure olive oil Five teaspoons of vinegar Half a tablespoon of mayonnaise Half a teaspoon of mustard Four shakes of Tabasco sauce Shake this mix together really well in the bottle and use for the dressing. If making a large quantity of salad, double the quantities of the dressing. It should appear blackish-yellowish in colour because of the mustard and vinegar. Toss the salad with this dressing and trust me – it’s superb!
AFTER MATH SNACK For the best ever late night snack there’s nothing quite like a mix of blue cheese with apple. Cut the apple into slices and paste with blue cheese. I first discovered this when I went to a friend’s place late at night very hungry!
begins to talk He chose a tender but entertaining subject about children and assumed a triple role—that of actor, producer and director for Taare Zameen Par—a risk very few people would have dared to take. But that’s Aamir for you—he gives his best to whatever he believes in.
amir Khan has been surrounded by several controversies one after the other in the last few years. If it was his marriage falling apart around the release of Dil Chahta Hai then it was his statements on Narmada Dam before the release of Rang De Basanti. This time around it was brother Faisal’s custody from his father Tahir Hussain that hit the headlines a month before the release of the film. It upset Aamir so much that he went into a shell. He cancelled online chats with his fans, stalled postproduction work on his film and refused to speak to the media. He finally lost out on his brother’s custody (though later his father agreed to give him back the custody). He was upset but he did a complete turn around in a matter of few days. He has since then gone all out to promote
Taare…of which he is the actor, director and producer. So was he being selfish in doing so? “I didn’t give a single interview before Rang De Basanti and Fanaa. It’s just that I don’t know how to deal with the media. After Fanaa and Rang De Basanti became huge hits my journalist friends advised me that if I make a film I believe in and want to make a difference, I cannot shut myself away. The media is an important link between a creative person and his audience.” It’s strange that Aamir chose a subject as risky as TZP for his directorial debut but that’s Aamir for you. There was a chance that the film would win accolades and it did. “It is an entertaining film with a message. I had always maintained that TZP is a film about children, not a children’s film. It is aimed primarily at parents, and potential parents— youngsters who in a few
years will become parents. Of course since it is about a nine year old boy I expected that kids around eight years and above will identify with the boy and find the film engaging, moving and uplifting,” he says. Then there was also the controversy surrounding Amole Gupte, who was supposed to be the original director of the film, but lost out because of creative differences. “I loved Amole’s script and that’s why I agreed to act in it and produce it. I was ready to back out of the film after our creative differences but Amole suggested that I take over as director. I did suggest a few changes but that was before we started shooting. Obviously, it has turned out differently from the way Amole had visualised it but he was present every day on the sets. He is the creative director of the film.” When this controversy began to die 39
down, Aamir started another one by calling Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black manipulative and over the top. Amitabh too lashed out against Aamir in print. Soon Aamir clarified his stand on his blog. “I have the highest regard for Mr. Bachchan and I am very big fan of his work. Probably one of the biggest. However as any member of the audience I too have a right to my opinion. And let me also clarify that my observations were towards the film and the way it was handled not towards any of the actors. I am very aware that the key of every performance is very much determined by the director.” “My big exception towards Black is the fact that a child with severe difficulties is shown being ill-treated instead of being treated with love, care and understanding. I simply cannot come to terms with that no matter what the writer and director say in its defence. I take great exception to this kind of behaviour towards children being glorified and propagated through a popular mass medium as the way to deal with children with or without difficulties. My creative differences with Mr. Bhansali are unimportant. I believe he has the potential to make a good film.” Aamir wants to put all these controversies behind him and start afresh though. He is currently happy to start shooting for Ghajini again which had taken a back-seat as he got busy with Taare Zameen Par. Now that he has got busy with his shooting he will be out in public only after he is over and done with this project. His personal life seems to be moving in the right direction too. He maintains that his marriage with Kiran is rock steady and he is giving her the full support to go ahead and direct her film as her script is now ready. He rubbishes all speculations about problems in their marriage calling it “absurd”. “I loved her script and want Aamir Khan Productions to produce her film. But she’s very individualistic. It’s for her to decide if she wants to involve me or not.” 40
young thing This pretty girl next door has donned a completely new avatar— that of a cute sexy girl— in her forthcoming film My Name is Anthony Gonsalves. Amrita Rao believes in making a style statement through simplicity and glamour, all at the same time OUTFITS/ACCESSORIES/ WARDROBE
Occasion: Elegant dresses or a long coat teamed up with jeans
shimmer— completely embroidered and glittering.
My Favourite Outfit: A pretty dress and prop it up with something louder, bigger and lady like.
At home: Jeans and a singlet
Favourite jewelry to go with traditional Indian wear: Diamond accessories. Also, long earrings with a lot of stones in them— the ones that dangle. If I wear loud earrings then I go for a simple neckpiece. I also love to have the neckline of my outfit studded with work and skip the neckpiece.
My Favourite Outfit when I am driving to a Shoot: Jeans and a top or a buttoned shirt— since I can take it off without spoiling my make-up. My Favourite Evening Wear: Gowns. I can’t wear them often but they are suitable for functions like a launch or a music release.
My Favourite Colours are: I like pastel and bright colours like blue, yellow, hot pink, hot orange and peach – vibrant but not loud. My Favourite Fabrics are: Georgette and chiffon
For Formal Dining: A sari with a halterneck choli
My Favourite Brand in Jeans is/are: Red Pepper
To a Party at a Friend’s Place: A pair of jeans and a fancy top
Favourite sari: I prefer plain chiffon saris in vibrant colours or two-toned ones. They look elegant. Otherwise, I like to go all out with work and
My Favourite Outfit for a Formal 42
My Favourite Designers are: Manish Malhotra, Neeta Lulla and Anna Singh
I have a Collection of: Belts My Favourite accessory is: Earrings and neckpieces. Even if you are wearing a plain t-shirt you can accentuate it with a fancy bag, footwear and belts. These add a lot of style. My Wardrobe is incomplete without: A white shirt and a pair of jeans
I look best in: Shirts and jeans and I can carry off gowns with my frame
The Colour of my Hair is: Black I Like my Hair streaked in: Red
I would like my man to be dressed in: He should have a good sense of dressing. Probably, t-shirts or double-layered half-sleeved t-shirts. He should have a balance between casual and formal but definitely not shabby.
At Home I Like my Hair to be: I leave it loose or clip it up
At Night my Hair is: Left loose
The Best Dressed Men & Women in the Industry: John Abraham, because he can maintain the class while keeping it casual. He is very trendy and stylish. And Katrina Kaif.
My Hairstylist is: Winston of the L’Oreal Salon called Beds on Turner Road in Mumbai.
For the first day of shooting I wore: A pink jacket and inside I had this halter top which was three toned: dark purple, dark brown and pink, with dark blue pants, a belt and boots for my first shot for Ab Ke Baras. I pick up my clothes from: Malls in the USA, Thailand and Singapore. I go brand shopping mainly in Bangkok I never leave my house without: My cell phone and credit card. My Wallet always contains: A credit card and very little money. The Brand of watch I wear: Christian Dior
For Formal Occasions: Do a little bit of styling and blow dry it outwards.
I admire/ envy the Hair of: My grand mother. She is in her 80s but still has thick, knee-length hair. My Hair care Routine comprises: When I’m not shooting I do the power dose treatment as the hair tends to get very rough because of repeated colouring and styling. I try to oil it before shampooing. I find Johnson & Johnson the safest shampoo.
MAKE-UP When I am not shooting: I would just apply a Mac studio fix, a lip liner, lipstick and a little eye shadow. My Favourite Shades of make-up are: The peaches, maroons, shades of orange and the browns— all earthy colours The features I like to conceal when doing makeup: The under-eyes and if any zit appears on the skin
In Shoes: I usually won’t brand shop for shoes. I just pick up what I’m comfortable in. In Mumbai, I pick up my footwear from Catwalk.
The features I like to highlight: Cheekbones and eyes
My Favourite perfume: Delices De Cartier
My Shampoo is: L’Oreal shampoo
My hair is: Straight and healthy
My handbag at any time consists of: Make-up pouch, compact, basic make-up necessities, chap sticks, mobile, comb, a small perfume bottle and a credit card.
The Texture of my hair is: Strong, healthy thick hair
My Favourite Brands in Bags: Coach
My Conditioner is: L’Oreal Absolute Repair
Nandana sen! She does not need to let you know that she is the daughter of Nobel Laureate and Bharat Ratna achiever Amratya Sen, and her late mother, Bengali writer Nabanita Dev Sen. Her family heritage speaks for her as she ventures out to be a person on her own – with her own histrionic achievements. Having worked in global cinema, Nandana first electrified the Indian screen with her performance in Black. Today, with Strangers having got her rave reviews at the box-office Nandana is excited about much more to do with cinema! We present Ms. Sen in her own right! What are the films you look forward to in 2008? I’m very excited about all my forthcoming releases – Ketan Mehta’s epic romance Rang Rasiya, the US produced eco-thriller The Forest, and the South African period piece, The World Unseen.
Strangers and your work in it got great reviews! What attracted you to the film? The fact that its heroes are also its villains… And it’s a rare pleasure to play a heroine as honest, raw, and real as Preity. She’s a feisty girl from London who’s used to constant attention from men, but is
swayed by the unconventional advances of a cynical writer (Jimmy). Preity’s a romantic at heart, extremely warm and kind – but when she’s hurt she can turn momentarily cold, even cruel. There’s nothing airbrushed about Preity – she’s not the kind of heroine who’s ever in slomo or soft focus. 47
You were quoted somewhere as saying that your criteria for choosing a film is that the material has to be stunningly original. Do you find this happening in the Bollywood films you choose? I must say I don’t much care for the term ‘Bollywood’. The Indian film industry has a distinct and glorious history. Why should we identify ourselves like a poor cousin of Hollywood? As for choosing my films, I’ve never played it safe; as a result, I get offered all kinds of parts, all over the world. And yes, more and more Indian cinema is creating inventive, 48
non-stereotypical heroines, e.g. my roles in Strangers or Rang Rasiya! I’m not drawn to films, characters, or performances that are copies of others, including my own. I avoid playing the same type of role or giving the same pitch of performance from film to film. Having worked in global cinema, which has been your best film experience to date? I tend to be drawn to themes that are immediately real, and relevant to the world we live in now. The War Within, which was the story of a suicide bomber in New York, was a great experience
all around. And while Rang Rasiya is a historical romance, it deals with the timeless theme of artistic freedom and love. I loved every aspect of preparing for this role – from wearing navwari saris around the house, to absorbing the body language drawn into Ravi Varma’s art, to rediscovering all our classical heroines – Shakuntala, Damayanti, Urvashi, Sita, Draupadi – that Sugandha posed as. Sugandha’s life mirrors the ordeals and trials lived by these archetypal women of India. I also found shooting The World Unseen in Cape Town to be extraordinary because with a few
I’ve loved creating every role I’ve chosen to play, but I’m sure that my most challenging (and therefore satisfying) performance is yet to come! unpredictable…and effortlessly charismatic. As an actress, which has been your most satisfying performance so far? I’ve loved creating every role I’ve chosen to play, but I’m sure that my most challenging (and therefore satisfying) performance is yet to come!
exceptions virtually all of the cast and crew were women! So we had a lot of girl power all around us… And no ego trips at all. Which was the last Hindi film you saw and what did you like about it? That was Aaja Nachle. What did I like about it? Madhuri, of course! Could you name the actors/ actresses in Hindi cinema you admire and why? All- time favorites are Amitabh Bacchan, Waheeda Rehman, and Madhuri Dixit because they are always completely believable yet
What roles shall we be seeing you in next? You’ll see me as Sugandha, the heroine of Rang Rasiya, the muse and love of painter Ravi Varma. She is the eternal child-woman, an angelic figure who is also every inch an enchantress. Designed since childhood to be irresistible, to give pleasure but not to claim it, Sugandha retains a purity that belies her reality. Ravi Varma sees in her the face and soul of a goddess – a rare combination of sensuality and innocence. Radha of The Forest, like Preity, is an uncompromisingly ‘real’ heroine – and both are the object of two men’s desires – but otherwise she’s entirely different. Unlike Preity, Radha is not outwardly emotional but a cerebral, city-sexy, tough-talking girl who hides a tender heart. While Preity is a romantic who’s disillusioned in love, Radha is a pragmatist who rediscovers love. In The World Unseen, I play a fearless, irrepressible girl who chooses forbidden love against all odds. She elopes with a white guy (a punishable crime under apartheid) and is then forced to flee the police. Does the Indian film industry hold more of a satisfaction over the international films you’ve done – and why? As an Indian girl, I connect much
more instinctively to Indian films, but honestly, my satisfaction has to do with how much I love the process, and the range of roles I’m able to play. Since my first release in India in 2005, I’ve done eight truly interesting films in India and abroad – you’ll see me as a gunwielding tough chick, a heartbroken city girl, a beguiling Devadasi, an Islamic pacifist, a Californian valley girl, a South African rebel, a sexy Mexican student, etc – so overall, I’m quite satisfied with all my work! But don’t get me wrong – do I pray that Mani Ratnam or Ashutosh Gowarikar will cast me in a movie? Every day! Who is the one actor or technician you’ve worked with, with whom you shared the best rapport? And could you tell us a little bit about the experience. The War Within was shot by a brilliant cinematographer, Lisa Rinzler – it’s the only time I’ve been filmed by a female D.P., and I loved working with her. I found that a woman behind the lens has a very different kind of an approach than a man. Don’t get me wrong – I love being ‘gazed’ at by men – but I also enjoy the difference in the gaze that a woman brings! What kind of a place does Black hold in your heart? A very special one, since it was my first release in India! Although Black is the only Indian film in which I played a non-lead role as I really wanted to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I’ve got a lot of work here because of it. It’s quite overwhelming how strongly people connected with my performance – to this day, I get heart-warming letters and emails about it. I’ll always be proud to have been a part of Black.
in the pictures
“I’m my own 50
He is one of the most talked about and sought after directors in Indian Cinema today. His Ek Haseena Thi and Johnny Gaddar have generated interest in his future projects too. Here Sriram Raghavan talks about the inspirations and ambitions driving his works After your first release, which was Ek Haseena Thi, which released in 2004, it took you three years to come up with your next film. What took you so long? Too long is right. Actually, there were circumstances beyond my control. I worked on a couple of scripts that didn’t take off as expected. Then I began Johnny Gaddaar, which also got stuck for almost a year because the producer had some financial problems. Luckily, Adlabs saw my rough cut and took over the film. Though Ek Haseena Thi won rave reviews, it did not get the deserved success. And now the same thing happened with Johnny Gaddaar. Why do you think this happened? I guess, we went wrong in our promotion somewhere. Both Ek Haseena…and Johnny…are mainstream films but they are not in the mould of conventional entertainers. Such movies need to be positioned cleverly and marketed with a strategy. It’s not about the quantity of promos and hoardings. It’s about raising audience curiousity about the film so that they want to see it on the first day. Both films picked up with word of mouth but by then, newer films had taken over the halls. In these times, it’s all about the opening weekend. Where did the idea of the title credits come from? It intrigued a lot of people. I have grown up on the seventies mainstream cinema. Those were the times of unabashed entertainers. The
stars, the songs and whacky stories and sets…. I completely love them. I vividly remember the title sequences of the films. They held so much promise— the films of Nasir Husain, Brij, Gulshan Rai….So, it was just an attempt to recapture that style. We recorded our title music live like they used to in those days. Why do you think Johnny Gaddaar clicked? Well, it didn’t do smash business for sure as I’d have liked it to. But those who saw it liked it for the script and performances I guess. Some viewers also loved the pulp lurid mood of the film. And of course the soundtrack, which we had a ball doing. Was it conceptualized and perceived as a launch vehicle for Neil Mukesh? How did he become a part of the project? I prefer to first have a script and then decide on the actors. For the title role of Johnny, I needed someone young and with no baggage. There is a huge dearth of actors in our industry and I decided to go for a fresh face. I met Neil by chance in Jhamu Sugandh’s office. Hrithik’s secretary Ashokji was helping him do the rounds. We just got talking and I gave him a treatment of the film to read. He loved it. After that, I did an audition, then a two--month intensive workshop with him. Only then did I tell him he was on. What do you have to say about Neil as an actor? He is just one film 51
old but people have seen a lot of potential in him. Neil is confident and hard working. As an actor, this film required him to be extremely subtle. He had to ‘act ‘within his character, which is not easy. He had to be vulnerable and yet edgy. It’s a somewhat complex role. I think he will go a long way if he chooses his projects carefully and works as hard as he did in Johnny Gaddar. Also he has a terrific screen presence. You are one of the most sought after filmmakers now…you think there is more pressure on you now as a director with you next films? The pressure is always there. Francois Truffaut said it best—every film is like a first film. It’s a new adventure each time and full of
exciting possibilities and dangers. I do get a lot of offers from producers, and sometimes I feel bad because I can’t possibly say yes to all of them. I can only work on one project at a time. And that project has to be worth it. If I know that a producer has a good script, I’d be running after him rather than the other way around. Will you freely experiment with films, ideas and genres, now that your work has been appreciated? What kind of work are you looking forward to doing? Though my first two films were dark thrillers, I love all kinds of films. I do want to work in different genres. My next film is a fantasy with elements of science fiction. But I want to make it as realistic as possible. I like action and adventure
as much as I love slice of life stories. Do you think it will get more and more difficult for you to dabble with different kinds of scripts and take risks, as your films and the budget will now get bigger? Every script demands a certain budget and treatment. Johnny Gaddar was made very cheap so I could really have fun without worrying about whether it will work. Obviously, if I am doing a very expensive film then there will be pressures. Movies are a business and have to be viable. But I’m very clear that I must enjoy the process. A writer friend of mine Vinay put it best— Titanic, Star Wars and Raiders Of The Lost Ark are among the top grossers of all time, but they are all personal fantasies.
So, my dream is to alternate between Monsoon Wedding and Mission Impossible. We’ve heard that Johnny Gaddar is a tribute to Vijay Anand and to the 70s crime thrillers. But tell me what did Johnny…really mean to you when you got into it? I just wanted to make a tight little thriller. Something like Blood Simple and Reservoir Dogs—low budget movies that are high on style and content. As we started fleshing out the script, gradually elements like movie references crept in. I was not conscious of the amount of references that finally were in the film. It’s only after the reviews that I started counting and said heck. I didn’t know there were so many. If I had known it earlier, I’d have become too conscious about it. What are the films, actors and what is the kind of cinema that has inspired you as a director and storyteller? You have mentioned names like Iranian filmmaker Abbas
Kiarostami earlier. I’ve been a film buff since childhood. And then I joined the FTII. So it’s a huge huge range of films and directors that inspire me. It will take up the next two pages of your magazine, and I wouldn’t even have begun. But I love Hitchcock, Brian dePalma, The Coen Brothers, Martin Scorcese, Spielberg, Truffaut, Kurosawa….and many many more. Among Hindi filmmakers, my real inspiration is from the 60s and 70s. The films of Raj Kapoor, Vijay Anand, V Shantaram, Bimal Roy, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai, Nasir Husain….these lists are endless. These are filmmakers who had passion and knew how to tell stories with economy and style. And they all had something individualistic about them. Any contemporary Indian directors and their work you loved or felt strongly about? I look forward to the films of Mani Ratnam, Ramu (Ram Gopal Verma) and some others. I may not like every film as much but I’ll be as eager to see
their next work. I also like Raju Hirani’s movies. We were batch mates in the institute and it’s funny because we were amongst the few then who loved Hindi movies. Why haven’t you worked with Ram Gopal Verma since Ek Haseena Thi? No reason except that it’s not happened. Ramu prefers to make films from his own ideas. We do meet sometimes and spend hours talking about movies. Despite all our arguments and tiffs, I had a terrific time during Ek Hasina Thi. And I learnt a lot. Are you looking at making more thrillers (people might be waiting to see more thrillers from you)? Is it this genre that interests you most as a director though you are venturing into a love story now? I love thrillers yes. It’s a genre that offers a lot of scope in terms of cinema. I love experimenting with form in films even though it must be backed by the right content. The single shot conception of Rope, the point of view 53
in Rear Window, the silent robbery sequence in Rififi, the structure of The Killing, the Art Gallery pick up in Dressed to Kill….all these things give me a high. I want to do such amazing stuff in my films too. Inshallah. Film critics, audience, box office or your own vision….which one is most important to you when making a film? While making a film, I guess it’s a combo of your own vision and the audience. By that I don’t mean insert elements that ‘cater to the viewer’. I try my best to frequently put myself in the viewer’s seat whilst scripting. What will I, as a viewer, feel whilst watching this? Will I feel convinced, or find it predictable, or be hooked or whatever. In an odd sense I’m my own first viewer and a harsh viewer at that. Are you going to make another one in the Johnny series? Yes, I want to. There is this title we
have registered Johnny Tokyo. A friend of mine is working on a storyline. It’s not a sequel of course, just hoping to make another tight and uncompromising thriller in the Johnny Gaddar mood. What is the status with Agent Vinod and what would this one be like? What kind of a character will Saif Ali Khan be playing since it was Ek Haseena Thi which showed a different facet of him as an actor? Agent Vinod is my immediate next project after I complete Rohan Sippy’s film. It’s too early to talk about the film. It’s an espionage thriller with Saif playing the title character. It’s not a Bond spoof. It’ll be as real as can be with a lot of believable action and set pieces. Do you think there is aspect or any facet of Saif which is still unexplored? Oh yes. Saif is a tremendous actor who has only lately started getting roles he deserves. I look forward to him enacting a lot of
varied and exciting characters. What is the status with the John and Aishwarya film? Can you tell us more about this project? I feel very uncomfortable talking about work in progress. There are many exciting things we are trying out but it’s too early to open the bottle of soda. So let’s save the fizz for a wee bit later. Also, does it have a title yet? Last heard, you were struggling because the title wasn’t ready and you had to get Shankar Ehsaan and Loy to compose the title track? Ah….the title. No not yet. I’ve got a short list but not yet got that one that jumps out and grabs me. Of late, I thought Rang De Bssanti and Om Shanti Om were terrific titles. Will there be a Sriram Raghavan touch to this love story? That sounds very intriguing. I have no idea what that means. I do hope the movie touches people where it should.
Dino Morea Jimmy Shergill Koena Mitra
“THE INDUSTRY CAN BE
He is currently dabbling in several things at the same time – from acting and film production to a food business – and he’s confident that he can manage all three with ease. Dino Morea talks about several plans and projects, along with the itch to do some hardcore action in films! Your story ‘Sex on the Beach’ in Dus Kahaaniyan has come in for some criticism. Everyone has their own opinions. I have read some good reviews for the story. People sent me messages telling me that they really liked it. Maybe some people did not like Apoorva Lakhia’s treatment of the story. I guess there have been mixed reactions but a lot of people have appreciated it.
going to happen now. I was upset that they were planning the sequel but hadn’t approached us even once.
team to handle it. Acting will not take a backseat. In fact, it is my priority right now since I enjoy it so much.
How much do you think you have grown since your first film? I think the innocence has been taken away. The industry can be ruthless. It teaches you to be an actor. I haven’t changed much as a person but these years have helped me hone my skills.
Apart from your own restaurant, which are the places you love to eat at? I’m a total foodie and there are various fantastic hotels or stand-alone restaurants I love eating at. I can’t name just one.
Do you feel hurt when a performance or a film goes unnoticed? The whole concept of Dus Kahaaniyan was completely new. Sanjay Gupta was trying to bring a different kind of cinema to people. I guess out of one million people at least 50 per cent must have liked the idea. It is not like what happened to Saawariya where almost everyone hated the film. Some people have liked Dus Kahaaniyan. Amongst my other films, Tom Dick and Harry and Aksar have done well at the box-office while others haven’t. Yes, it is disappointing when your film doesn’t do well. But you win some, you lose some.
How is your production plan coming through? I have started my production house called Clockwork Films. We have started out by making TV commercials. We are looking at a couple of scripts for a film right now. Hope to finalise something soon. Is it true that you have asked your brother Santino to be a part of your production plans? No, that’s not true. He’s assisting Kunal Kohli at the moment. He hasn’t decided what he wants to do as of now. He is toying with the idea of acting. So once he confirms his plans, we’ll think ahead.
What the other releases you are excited about? One is Heroes which is basically about the army but through that explores several relationships. We all have small roles in the film. My segment in the film is with Mithun Chakravorty, who plays my father, and it’s about the father-son relationship. Then there is also Bhram, which is about a guy’s relationship with his brother and others in his life. Is there any film or role you are dying to do? I am dying to do some good action films. And I’m going to start on one soon so I’m excited.
How has your film Anamika shaped up? It has shaped up according to my expectations. It is about relationships, about losing someone you love. It is inspired from Rebecca. It is essentially a love story and is slated for a February release.
Are you planning to open more outlets of Crepe Station, your Mumbai restaurant? We are trying to set up 50 outlets of Crepe Station all over India. We are looking for parties who would be willing to finance this project.
What about comedy? I’m waiting for a good comic subject. Are you not apprehensive about being part of multi-starrers? Not at all… In fact, it’s good to be a part of a multi-star cast since you don’t have to take the whole burden of the film and bear the brunt if the film doesn’t succeed.
Why were you so upset about not being a part of Raaz 2? I was upset because we (Bipasha Basu and I) did make such a big effort with the first film and it was a hit. I heard that Mukesh Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt were planning a sequel. There was talk of it happening, though I don’t think it’s
Do you think balancing a food business and film business might affect your acting career? My elder brother handles the food business and we are not so big in production as yet. Production plans are still in the nascent stage. But as and when we do go big, I will employ the right
What are you looking forward to most in the coming year? Apart from my releases, I’m really looking forward to doing some action. I’m going to shoot some action sequences in 2008. The past two years have been a mixed bag for me but the coming year looks really bright and fantastic. 57
“I’M NOT COMFORTABLE DOING A KISSING SCENE” 58
The last year has been rough for him, but he is confident that one hit film and he will be back in the reckoning. Jimmy Shergill talks about kissing, experimenting and hair streaking. You are waiting for that one hit, right? You feel very good when a good film does well at the box-office rather than a very average film becoming a hit. You do have a gut feeling and a certain confidence about a film when it is good. I felt that way about Yahan and Strangers. Now, whether these films actually work or not is not in your hands. For these two films I took out a good 20-25 days for the promotion. I have always done whatever little I can do for the promotion of a film. What did you think of Strangers? I had five to six trials for all my close people and they came out saying that it was very unusual and that they wanted to see it again. Rai is a fantastic director and scriptwriter. He portrayed the romance between Nandana and me very beautifully; very differently. For example, I play the character of a writer. While movies usually show that a writer’s creativity reaches newer heights when he falls in love, my character says he got creative constipation when he fell in love, he began looking for a vent and he would see this girl everywhere. It was a mature story. It was an intelligent film. What makes you sign a particular project? I love to read the script. Usually there is a narration but I prefer to read my script before going for the discussion or the narration. Like with Strangers, when I read the script I knew it was a good project. And the fact that Sonali Kulkarni, Kay Kay Menon and Nandana Sen signed the film meant they saw potential in the script. Why did you refuse to do a kiss
in the film on the very day of the shoot? There was no talk of or agreement to do a kissing scene. Earlier too, I have said no to lip-locks. During Yahaan, the director said he wanted to do some sequences where I was required to kiss. I told him that he didn’t need me to do a lip-lock for the scenes to work. So for an intimate scene in the forest, he took a silhouette shot of Minnisha and me. And even in the shot in the field he shot us really close to each other and it ended up looking very aesthetic. He managed to portray that the characters were kissing and getting intimate. So are you not comfortable with kissing scenes? I’m not comfortable. For Strangers, on the day we were shooting the intimate scenes, Anand said to me ‘why don’t you do a kiss as you lead into the intimate sequence’? I told him that if I’m uncomfortable as an actor even before the shoot, it would show when we were shooting the scene and the emotions wouldn’t come right. Anand laughed and agreed. I told him that he was a fantastic director and that he was capable enough to shoot it in such a way that he made his point clear. Why did you go for streaked hair in your last few films? I had done it for Delhi Heights. I had to sport longish hair so I styled my hair that way. Then Raqeeb began around that time and Raj Kanwar asked me to let my hair grow wild. He asked me to keep it long and unkempt to get the look of a struggler from Punjab. And between all this I also shot for Dus Kahaaniyan, so this time I tied a pony tail.
We hear you actually had alcohol while shooting the short story ‘High on the Highway’ in Dus Kahaaniyan? Hansal (Mehta) wanted to take a close shot of my face and I was supposed to be drunk in that sequence. So to give my face and body language the real feel, I did drink for that one particular sequence. This short story was panned by a few of the critics. Hansal has kept the story telling non-linear which makes it difficult to understand at one go. A lot of people have in fact recommended this story for international short film festivals. Sometimes, Indian audiences need spoon feeding. Thrillers are fun when you are left with a few questions after you watch it the first time. You should feel like watching it again and understanding it better. Hansal has played around with the screenplay and this thriller does stand apart. It’s technically brilliant. You have experimented quite a bit with your roles and films. Isn’t it a big risk? Yes I have experimented with the characters I play. I had never played the kind of role I played in Strangers and I’m glad I did it. In Dus Kahaaniyan I played a druggie which I had never done before. I had to put in all my observations. I’m also doing run of the mill films on the other hand. My next two films are a comedy Bachelor Party and a romantic comedy Hastey Hastey with Rajpal Yadav and a new actress, Nisha Rawal. I do a mix of all kinds of films – off beat, solo hero, multi-starrers, ensemble casts and mainstream. I do a film if I see something good in it. 59
“I’m not trying hard to shed 60
THE SEXY IMAGE”
She is excited about playing superwoman in a Hollywood film and about playing a real character in a Bollywood release, Anamika. In a candid conversation, Koena Mitra comes clean on corrective surgeries, item songs and her sexy image We hear you are very excited about your next film Anamika with Dino Morea. I haven’t seen the final product but while shooting for the film, I was really excited. It’s different from what I have done so far. Most makers concentrate a lot on a heroine’s look and the songs. But Anant Mahadevan (director of Anamika) didn’t even hire a proper stylist to style Minnisha and me. Also, we shot at real locations and the movie is very good. He has kept it realistic. You seemed very comfortable with comedy in Apna Sapna Money Money. Are you game for more comic films? I have been offered comic films and, in fact, have already signed one. In Apna Sapna Money Money, I was not really a comic character. It’s just that whatever she did, she made a fool of herself and that was funny. In the new film I have signed, I have more scope for comedy. She’s a bratty super model who is used to getting attention and often makes a fool of herself. What is the truth behind your tiff with Riya Sen, while shooting for Apna Sapna Money Money? It’s history now. It’s one year old. I don’t know where it started and when it stopped. I didn’t think I should discuss it. There was a lot of backbiting but won’t catch me being a part of all this. I don’t give quotes and counter quotes in the newspapers. But if someone is giving me free publicity I have no problem.
There is talk that you have altered your looks… Is this true? Surgeries are the worst kept secret of Bollywood. Everyone does it but no one talks about it. I have been hearing stories of actresses undergoing plastic surgery since I was a kid. You tell me, is it possible for someone to go on a fiveday break from a shoot (Apna Sapna Money Money) and come back having had surgery? How can this be? It’s not possible to alter your looks that fast! When I got back from this short break, I started hearing all these stories. In this industry, if you want to hurt a man you call him a womaniser and if you want to hurt an actress you call her a wild type or just say she looks good only because she has undergone surgery! Do you mind this sexy image that you have gained? I’m not trying hard to shed it. I don’t mind being a sex symbol. I’m willing to really work hard and do good roles. I’m living with it. Do you still get a lot of item song offers? That is no more the rage. The excitement of an item song is gone. Now everyone has done item songs: from models and leading actresses to Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. So doing an item song is not a big deal anymore. There was a time when you wanted to shed the item girl tag. How easy or difficult was that to do? It wasn’t easy. In the industry they tag you very easily: a sex symbol, the girl
next door, romantic hero, action hero, etc. So I think everyone is constantly trying to shed a tag. An actress being tagged as the girl next door wants to shed that image as much as a sexy actress is trying to shed hers. There is a challenge in doing that too. Do you feel people’s perception of you has changed since your first film? That happens slowly. For some people it might happen overnight too but you have to be lucky enough for something like that to happen. I just give my heart and soul to every role I do. Any progress in the two-film contract you signed with Subhash Ghai? Mr. Ghai is busy with Yuvraj. The two films will start once he is done with that film. My films will be directed by outside directors for Mukta Arts. What other films are you excited about? I have been training for my Hollywood film from June to October. It is a special effects film where I play a type of superwoman. I’m the only Indian actress in the entire star cast and I play a village girl for half the film. They are trying to get Orland Bloom in the lead and I’m really excited about that. What is the most exciting stuff lined up for 2008? I’m excited about all the stuff I’m learning. This training will do a world of good to prepare me for a full-fledged action film in Bollywood too! 61
Take 3preview sneak
What does Bollywood have in store for its fans, next year? Big stars and even bigger films. Hereâ€™s revealing everything you wanted to know about the big releases of 2008â€Ś. 62
My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves Releasing on: January 11 Coming from Shah Rukh Khan’s, production house Red Chillies Entertainment, a lot is expected from director E Niwas’s My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves. A Ram Gopal Varma protégé, director E Niwas has critically acclaimed films such as Shool, Dum and Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega to his credit and My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves could very well go on to be
his first big commercial hit! This film revolves around a waiter, Anthony Gonsalves played by newcomer Nikhil, who dreams of making it big as an actor in Bollywood and Amrita Rao adds to the romantic angle. Unlike her previous films this time around Amrita’s playing a hot and sexy media professional. My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves has generated a huge buzz around it with producer Shah Rukh predicting the film to be the surprise hit of 2008. After the promos of the film were released Salman Khan personally called up Amrita and told her that he loved her in the promos and was dying to see the film. So here’s one movie you definitely shouldn’t miss.
Halla Bol Releasing on: January 11 My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves will face tough competition in the form of director Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Halla Bol starring Ajay Devgan and Vidya Balan in lead roles. Stuck in the making for a long time producer-director Santoshi has been through a lot while working on Halla Bol. He had announced the film in 2005 with the title Saamna and had signed on Aishwarya Rai as the leading lady. He had to postpone the film as Ash was busy with a number of Hollywood projects then. A distraught Santoshi finally signed on Vidya Balan and went ahead with the film. Known for making socially relevant films such as Damini, Lajja and Khakhee, this time Santoshi deals with the true life story of an actor. Ajay plays the role of a small town lad who makes it big in Bollywood but in the process loses his morality, humanity and principles. Vidya plays his wife, who helps him come out of a world dominated by power play, politics and corruption. The film also boasts of cameos by Sreedevi, Boney Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Pahlaj Nihalani.
Jodhaa Akbar Releasing on: January 25
One of the bigger releases of 2008, Jodhaa Akbar is Ashutosh Gowarikar’s third film as a director and second period film after Lagaan. As the title suggests, the film is about the real-life love story of Emperor Akbar and his Hindu wife Jodhabai. Hrithik Roshan plays Akbar while Aishwarya Bachchan plays Jodhabai. From the time of its making, Jodhaa Akbar has been surrounded by controversies regarding the film’s source. Historians claim that Akbar never had a wife by the name of Jodhabai. Her real name was Hirakunwari before marriage and after marriage she was known as Mariamuz-Zamani. Furthermore that Akbar had more than 300 wives, many of them Rajput princesses. The film is bound to have a good opening thanks to the big names associated with it. While Gowarikar’s last film Swades won critical acclaim he failed at the box-office. Will the much talked about Hrithik-Ash chemistry help him at the box-office this time?
Woodstock Villa Releasing on: February 2008 Where The Truth Lies, this is the tagline of Woodstock Villa which will be star-kid Sikandar Kher’s big debut. Till now Sikandar has been in the news for his unruly looks and the women he’s dated; but its time to face the heat now. Directed by Hansal Mehta and produced by Sanjay Gupta, Woodstock Villa has been in the making for over two years now. The film was announced with great fanfare at the 2006 IIFA Awards in Dubai but since then the film has sunk into oblivion. While lead actress Neha Oberoi recently debuted in Gupta’s Dus Kahaniya, Sikandar’s still waiting in the wings. Woodstock Villa is being promoted as a suspense drama and director Hansal Mehta claims that the film is a groundbreaking effort in the genre of erotic thrillers. Sikandar has got immense talent 63
The film has generated enough curiosity because of its socially relevant concept. Moreover writer Bhagat had won immense critical acclaim for his book. Apart from that the film has a special cameo by Salman Khan who plays Bhagat aka the narrator in the film; girlfriend Katrina also has a minor role.
God Tussi Great Ho
and experience at home in the form of parents Kirron and Anupam Kher. This definitely puts a lot of pressure on newcomer Sikandar; will he live up to the expectations? Your guess is as good as ours.
Hello… Releasing in: February 2008 Based on Chetan Bhagat’s popular novel One Night At A Call Centre, Hello revolves around a call centre and the people working there. Directed by former actor Atul Agnihotri who incidentally is also Salman Khan’s brother-in-law, Hello…stars Sohail Khan, Isha Koppikar, Sharman Joshi, Amrita Arora and Gul Panag. This is Atul’s second try at directing. His first directorial venture Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha is best forgotten. Hello... is a tale of events that unfold in one night at a call center. Told through the views of the protagonist, Shyam, it is a story of love almost lost, thwarted ambitions, absence of family affection, pressures of a patriarchal set up, and the work environment of a globalised office. 64
Releasing on: March 21 Directed by Rumi Jaffrey God Tussi Great Ho is yet another film that has been in the making for more than two years. Based on the popular Hollywood film Bruce Almighty this film has Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. From the day this film was announced, troubles have been dodging its unit. After being launched with much fanfare and high expectations, the movie’s first schedule was suspended because of Amitabh’s illness. When Amitabh recovered and was all set for shooting, Salman was sent to serve his jail term in Jodhpur, after which Salman left for his world tour. If these problems weren’t enough, the films’ leading pair is no longer on good terms with each other. Salman, in fact, even refused to hug or hold Priyanka while canning romantic scenes; these incidents have only led to an inflated budget and stress to producer Afzal Khan! However, he recently announced that his film would “release on March 21, 2008 at any cost!” Salman working with ex-girlfriend’s father-in-law and latest enemy Priyanka has already created a controversy around the film. Furthermore, there are reports that Amitabh is playing a funky God in the film.
Tashan Releasing in: April 2008 Yet another stylish flick from the Yashraj stable, Tashan is directed by debutante Vijay Krishna Acharya and stars Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Like most Yashraj films Tashan has also been kept under wraps by
Aditya Chopra. The film is being talked because of two of its leading actors being involved in a love affair. The SaifKareena love story which begun during the shooting of Tashan has generated enough steam for the film with audiences wondering how the real-life couple would score on the reel. Literally meaning style, Tashan also marks the return of Anil Kapoor and Akshay Kumar to Yashraj Films after a long time. Anil had worked in Yashraj’s Lamhe and Akshay in Yeh Dillagi and Dil To Pagal Hai. Based on the lines of Dhoom, Tashan apparently revolves around four thieves and boasts of scenic locales, glamorous outfits and stylishly shot stunts which have become synonymous with Yashraj which is in desperate need of a big hit. Will Tashan work the magic for it?
U Me Aur Hum Releasing on: April 11 Ajay Devgan turns director with U Me Aur Hum, which has him and wife Kajol in leading roles along with Karan Sharma and Isha Sharwani. Shooting for the film is complete and Ajay is now busy adding final touches to the end product. Knowing Ajay’s penchant for serious and intense roles one would have thought that his directorial debut would be an intense drama but contrarily U Me Aur Hum is a romantic film. Both Ajay and Kajol are keeping the film under wraps but trade reports suggest that it is based on the immensely popular and critically acclaimed Hollywood film The Notebook. Post marriage Ajay and Kajol worked together in their home-production Raju Chacha and Dil Kya Kare. Unfortunately both films were miserable failures. This will also be Kajol’s second film after her comeback with Fanaa in 2006.
Love Story 2005 – 2050 Releasing in: April 25 Produced-directed by Harry Baweja, Love Story 2005-2050 is the debut film of Baweja junior, Harman, better known
as Priyanka Chopra’s boyfriend. Love Story 2005-2050 was about to be shelved when Kareena Kapoor the lead actress walked out of it a few days before shooting was about to begin. But Priyanka being a dedicated girlfriend agreed to do the film. A futuristic love story, Love Story 2005-2050 boasts of state of the art animations and action sequences. Initially slated to release this December the film was postponed to April due to extensive post-production work. It is rumoured that Priyanka and Harman play robots in this science fiction. Rumours are rife that Harman has more than a striking resemblance to Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka has something to do with that. Harman’s look and the film in general are being
closely guarded. Harman is being kept away from the media.
Sarkaar Raj Releasing in: May 2008 Sarkaar Raaj is director Ram Gopal Varma’s sequel to his 2004 hit Sarkaar and will also be the first film starring the three Bachchans, Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya. While Sarkaar was inspired by Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Godfather, Sarkaar Raj is original and will have Amitabh playing the central figure and son Abhishek taking over his business. Aishwarya will add the much needed twist to the story as she plays a rebel daughter-in-law and isn’t paired opposite Abhishek. Unlike the original Sarkaar, the sequel has strong women
characters. The movie’s story revolves around the politics of rural Maharashtra and Delhi and is filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma’s first release post the disastrous Ram Gopal Varma Kay Aag.
Drona Releasing on: June 27 Drona is also one of the bigger releases of 2008 and is supposed to have Abhishek Bachchan in a never- seen- before- look. Directed by Abhishek’s childhood friend and actress Sonali Bendre’s husband Goldie Behl, Drona is a fantasy-action film and also stars Priyanka Chopra, Jaya Bachchan and Kay Kay Menon apart from Abhishek. Originally slated for a release this 65
December, Drona was postponed, as the film’s shooting isn’t over yet and due to extensive special effects procedures that are yet to be completed. The film has Priyanka playing Abhishek’s bodyguard. For this role the actress underwent intensive weight training and stunt lessons. She even learnt Gatka, a form of Sikh martial art. Kay Kay Menon plays the bad man. Interestingly, Shiney Ahuja was first offered Kay Kay’s role but he opted out citing date reasons, though it was reported that Shiney had reservations in playing a negative role in an Abhishek film. Furthermore, Shiney thought that since Abhishek and Goldie were childhood friends, he wouldn’t be given much importance in the film. Drona has been in the news because of trade reports insisting that this is Abhishek’s dream project after Guru and that the Bachchan’s have invested a lot of money in the film!
Singh Is Kinng Releasing on: August 15 2008’s Independence
Day release, Singh Is Kinng is the fourth film from the director-actor duo of Vipul Shah and Akshay Kumar, but this time around Vipul has only produced the film and it is director Anees Bazmee of No Entry fame who’s directed the it. It is also Akshay’s fourth film with Katrina Kaif. Being shot in the exotic locales of Australia and Egypt, Singh Is Kning will also see Akshay Kumar playing a Sikh for the first time. Apparently Akshay sports a specially designed turban with diamonds for this action-comedy. Producer Vipul Shah says about his film, “This is my most accomplished film till date. Earlier, I was producing and directing my films, but this time, I am merely playing the producer’s part. I feel enriched by the experience.”
Ghajini Releasing on: October 30 Ghajini is the Hindi adaptation of the super-hit Tamil film Ghajini, which in turn was inspired by Christopher Nolan’s award winning film Memento. Ghajini is directed by A R Murugadoss, who also
directed the Tamil version. The film stars Aamir Khan, Asin, Jiah Khan and Mohit Ahlawat in lead roles. Ghajini has Aamir playing the role of a man suffering from memory loss who is in search of his wife’s murderer. Aamir had apparently shaved his head bald to shoot for this film. This will be south Indian actress Asin’s first Hindi film and she plays Aamir’s wife in the film. While newcomer Jiah Khan plays a friend who helps Aamir find the murderer.
Wanted Dead Or Alive Releasing in: October 2008 Yet another remake of a Tamil film, Wanted Dead Or Alive is the Hindi adaptation of actor- turned –choreographer- turned- director Prabhu Deva’s runway hit Pokiri. Produced by Boney Kapoor and directed by Prabhu himself, Wanted Dead Or Alive stars Salman Khan, Ayesha Takia and Aseem Merchant. It revolves around two cops, one who is honest and goes undercover to expose gangsters while the other cop joins the gangsters to earn a quick buck. Incidentally Jiah Khan who plays one of the leading ladies in Gajini was approached to do Wanted Dead Or Alive. She had to refuse as she had already signed Gajini. Whilst Ayesha who plays the romantic lead in Pokiri was supposed to play Jiah’s role in Gajini but was replaced after director Murugadoss and Aamir felt that Jiah was more suitable for the role.
My Name Is Khan Releasing in: October 2008 If both Aamir and Salman have releases slated in next October, how can Shah Rukh be left behind? He will be giving tough competition to the other two Khans in Karan Johar’s social-drama tentatively titled My Name Is Khan. This film also marks the return of the hit pair of Shah Rukh and Kajol who was last 66
seen together in Karan Joharâ€™s Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. In the film Shah Rukh Khan plays a worldrenowned peace activist, who is kidnapped by terrorists, and has to negotiate his own way out. Kajol plays his wife. The difference in this story is that Shah Rukh is more affectionate towards his kidnappers, and once out of captivity, he begins to work for the goal they are trying to achieve. He reaches his goal through peace and proves that peace is the solution. Director Karan Johar hopes to send out a global message to terrorists and world leaders through this film and is working at neck breaking speed to complete his film by Diwali 2008.
Fashion Releasing in: 2008 year-end Madhur Bhandarkarâ€™s much talked about film exposing the underbelly of the fashion world, Fashion, has been tentatively set for a release for the year end. Starring Priyanka Chopra, Kangna Ranaut and Mugdha Godse, Madhur has started shooting for his film. While Madhur had the script of his film ready in 2006, he had a tough time finding a male lead for his film, because the character is gay. Akshay Kumar, John Abraham and a few other top actors whom Madhur approached all refused to do the role as none of them was willing to play a gay character. Meanwhile Madhur has begun shooting with Kangna whose character is based on model Geetanjali Kashyap, a successful model, who was recently found begging on the streets of Delhi 67
STAR SHOP-AHOLICS! The Paris of the East certainly means a lot to Bollywood as the closest, quickest getaway! Be it shooting or shopping, our stars don’t hesitate to step on to that two-and-a-half hour flight to Dubai. But it’s not just this brand wonderland that attracts them. Some insist that they’d even like to settle here eventually. Well, with Gauri Khan already doing up the gifted Khan home on the famed Palm Island and Shah Rukh looking forward to making it a second home, the day doesn’t seem far away… Here’s what loads of Bollywood stars have to say about the shopping paradise!
ollywood’s new super heroine Deepika Padukone insists that “Shopping in Dubai is an amazing experience; there are so many malls to choose from. I spent a lot of time shopping at City Centre and would love to pick up all the furniture for my new home from Dubai. It’s definitely a place I’d like to go to on a holiday with my family or friends. I’m saving up for that!” Would she buy a place in Dubai? “Who wouldn’t if one could afford it? I’m just starting off on my career so let’s wait and see! Katrina Kaif doesn’t complain if all her shooting schedules are fixed for Dubai! “I really like Dubai and have practically grown up in the Middle East. I love to 68
shop in Dubai and you’ll always find me roaming through the Mall of the Emirates. I can spend hours there. I also enjoy shopping at Mercato and catching movies at the Grand Cineplex. I treat Dubai like my home!” Minisha Lamba screams, “I want more of Dubai, it’s amazing!!! It’s a complete shoppers’ paradise and the Mall of the Emirates is so magnificent. I also love to shop at City Centre. Even the shop attendants are so polite and courteous. I loved the weather too; and Dubai has the most beautiful roads.” “Actually being in Dubai is like being at home. So many people speak Hindi. It made me so comfortable that people abroad speak my language.”
Dubai is Ayesha Takia’s favourite city too. “If given a choice I’d love to live in Dubai because it’s very beautiful and serene. It’s the ideal place for people like me who never get bored of shopping, as I’m a complete shopaholic. I can’t name favourite malls since I frequent them all! I’ve also had some of the yummiest food in Dubai.” Saucy Kangna Ranaut feels, “Dubai rocks and is very special to me since I shot for Woh Lamhe there. As it’s so close to home, I can just fly off and do all my shopping! And the best part is there’s no tax on anything. I can spend hours at the Mall of the Emirates and Mercato Mall. The Madinat Jumeirah Complex is the loveliest place I have
been to, with its villas, water bodies and beautiful waterfront cafeterias and the souk.” Lara Dutta says, “I love Dubai since I have some really close family friends living there. I think it’s one of the biggest and best shopping destinations in the world! I love the Mall of the Emirates and the home store called The One. “Also, everybody speaks Hindi and is listening to Hindi music so you feel like you’re home!” Ace designer Manish Malhotra loves Dubai and even has his clothes collection in his own store! “I got an offer from the very reputed Saif Belhasa Group of Companies to open a store. Dubai also happens to be my favourite city because very few cities have so much affluence, infrastructure and the drive to succeed and grow. Dubai’s also got just the right blend of traditional values and modernity which also reflects in my clothes. Of course shopping in Dubai is simply the best!” Outspoken actress Neha Dhupia says, “Dubai is one of those places that have everything to offer. There are great people, great places to go to, it’s a shopper’s paradise. And it feels like home with so many Indians there!” Her brother, who works for Emirates Airlines, is based in Dubai so Neha takes as many opportunities as she can to visit! “You’ll catch me shopping at the Mall of the Emirates. But every time I think I’ll try the skiing there I get distracted by a Burberry or a Louis Vuitton store! I also like to shop at Burjuman and visit Carrefour for all our home needs.”
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who’s been gifted a villa on Palm Island says, “Hey you know what? Apparently the Palm Resorts can be seen from the moon! Dubai is one of my family’s favourite places to visit, we are constantly surprised and charmed at the hospitality this city offers … it is an inspiration to other cities wishing to become an international destination for tourism, art, leisure and shopping. The vibrancy by which the city lives invades the senses to heady heights and the truly multinational lifestyle leaps out at the visitor at every corner, bringing the best of many countries to one place. “Dubai is a wonderful city. The growth of Dubai is unbelievable. The infrastructure here is suitable for the shooting of films.” Then there’s actor Zayed Khan who tells you, “I love Dubai because it’s a lively city that is full of energy. It’s a paradise in the desert. I love to shop everywhere from the Mall of the Emirates with the skiing facilities to the Jumeirah Beach shopping mall to the World Trade shopping mall. Dubai is a great place to shop! Actress Nisha Kothari gushes, “Dubai is like heaven! Great shopping malls and multiplexes, lovely clothes and what a variety of chocolates! I love to shop at the Mall of the Emirates and Burjuman. My favourite brand is Versace but I look more than I buy! “What I like most about Dubai is that it’s a clean city, the people are disciplined and the police have nice
clean uniforms.” The honest Rakhi Sawant observes, “I love, love, love Dubai! This is one place where you find all kinds of people mixing together. I don’t find Dubai all that expensive – things are very reasonable. I love the Burjuman Mall – I love to cover it from top to bottom and shop there! Dubai has my all-time favourite brand – Zara. “Dubai is far safer than Mumbai. I once walked on the road at 3.00a.m and the police came to enquire after my safety. I respect the Dubai police tremendously. I also like the laws of the country.” Shabana Azmi, who recently attended the Dubai International Film Festival says, “I first came to Dubai years ago when there was nothing there. The progress it has made is amazing. If Dubai can develop this festival into a big international festival it’ll be great for Dubai. It has the money and the wherewithal. Of course the shopping is amazing. There is nothing that you cannot get there.” And actress Vidya Malvade of Chak De India sums up with, “I love the Mall of the Emirates, where I skied at the ski zone. I also enjoy the shops at Ibn Batutta and the souk at the Madinat. “I cannot believe what the authorities of Dubai have done with this desert country given all the constraints of nature. Hats off to them for making it so beautiful… The safety measures are outstanding too, especially for women. I love the people, the food and the shopping!” 69
mothers & daughters
Take 3 feature special
MALAIKA ARORA-KHAN on Mum Joyce What makes my mum so special I think the fact that she’s a mom first – that goes without saying! She’s an amazing woman who’s been through a lot in life… But she’s also so vibrant and full of life. She’s a great example for me. She’s done it single-handedly with her head held up high. Everything’s beautiful about her – her every wrinkle looks beautiful. Even the way she holds her cigarette looks charming, though we keep telling her to quit smoking. The best advice my mum gave me Her advice has always been for us to be independent, strong women and don’t ever take any shit from anyone! Don’t ever succumb to any kind of pressure… The best gift I ever gave her Arhaan! He is a link between all of us. If there is something that took my parents to another level it’s definitely Arhaan. The one time I fought/ disagreed with her on anything That is practically all the time! Five times a week we disagree and take Saturdays and Sundays off. She gets two days off! Otherwise, we argue and bicker. throughout. My favourite on-screen mum It would have to be Nirupa Roy… She’s the quintessential, weepy mom – she would qualify like no one else would! The best compliment my mum paid me on my work She compliments us all the time and sometimes, we have to tell her to tone it down! Especially in front of friends and people she’ll go like ‘My girls are like this, like that…’ ‘Look at Mallaika, see how she handles her work and family’. She even says this to my sister Amrita, which is so unfair! Talk about encouraging… Mum’s always very encouraging – especially if anybody else says otherwise. The perennial question I’m asked is: ‘How does your husband take it? The way you dress, the work you do…’ Mum tells me, you should care a damn, since you know what you are. That’s where I get the attitude from. If not for her encouragement, I might have actually succumbed to the pressure people put on you. The career advice mum gave me Mum is always there if you need advice but she doesn’t really interfere. Like when I told her I wanted to quit college and work, there was no emotional drama. When we started 71
out in our careers, she was there making sure we were all right and that nobody took advantage. The only time she pressurised was while growing up and she would say, ‘You should come out more with us…’! The one time I harrowed my mum most! I was a very precocious kid and my teen years were very harrowing for her. I was going through a rebellious phase and since I’m most like her, automatically, we would have differences… I bully my mum most when… I bully her most when I want my food! Especially when I want her to make me something special! Why mum’s definitely better than I am! I guess I would say I’m a chip off the old block! One thing in my life I was really scared to tell mum about Arbaaz! I knew she would freak out and she did! I gauged right. Boyfriends were okay but I was settling down with Arbaaz! She was like ‘You have to get married in church’ and I was thinking, how do I tell her about the nikaah? Thankfully Arbaaz was sweet enough to marry in church too… When mum’s really angry she always says… You don’t want to know… it’s too colourful! But okay, for a very mild version, she goes, ‘You ungrateful wretches’! Our most fun times/best times together are… Whenever we just chill out and chat – it’s great. Yes, the best times are when mum, Amu and I get together, have a glass of wine and gossip late into the night! My favourite meal that mum cooks is… 72
She makes a lot of great food but for me it would be her South Indian fish curry, sambar and rice.
CELINA JAITLEY on Mum Meeta What makes my mum so special? The fact that she can push all my buttons! And that’s because she is the one who created them. Seriously speaking my mom got married when she was really young. She pursued modeling as a hobby and became Miss Simla after marriage. She completed studying child psychology and then became a teacher and a professional counselor. She is tough in many ways and she is an amazing person. The best advice my mum gave me Never consider yourself the ultimate because the only person who is ultimate is God. The one thing she scolded me for I was quite a vagabond and a complete tomboy when I was young. She used to have a tough time getting me back home from the tennis court and making me study. I used to get scolded most often for this. I also get upset very fast. I’m overtly sentimental and she often scolds me for being that way. The best thing that she cooked Her biryani is out of this world. Also, all the bunny rabbit cakes she has cooked for each of my birthdays. Every birthday she would ask me what shape I wanted my cake to be and I would demand all weird insects and animals like a praying mantis and scorpion. Then she would say you can choose between a teddy bear and a bunny rabbit! The best gift I ever gave her Diamond rings I guess. But I think according to her it’s the car I gifted her. My mom recently did her masters in English literature after practicing psychology for so many years. That was absolutely incredible. So my brother and
I gifted her a Pajero. The one time you fought with or disagreed with her We get along pretty well. We never really fight. But I can tend to feel low at times and when I’m depressed she hates it and gets angry with me. Being a psychologist she is very particular about
being positive. My favourite on-screen Mum Jaya Bachchan. The best compliment my mum gave me on my work My mom usually always tells me what Iâ€™m doing wrong! But seriously the best
part about her is that she always tells me the truth about what she feels about whatever I do. The one career advice mum gave me She has played an important role in teaching me how to deal with different types of people coming from different
backgrounds. I would deal in this one certain way with everyone, trying to enforce this army discipline on everyone. But she changed that attitude of mine. My most treasured memory with mum It would be the days I would sit alongside her when she made my
birthday cakes. She used to put gems on the cake and the moment she used to look away I used to eat them up. These days my mom travels with me to different countries and we have so much fun together. We enjoy being at the Casino the most. Also, all the times we’re together, we laugh a lot. We both can laugh about anything and everything and our laughing sessions can go on for really long. Oh and whenever I’m at home, we play cards together, and we often conspire and cheat on my dad. The one time I harrowed my mum most Was when I was in my teens. I was such a tomboy and my mom was so worried about me. My mother had to take a lot of effort to make me girlish. She put me back on track. I bully my mum most when… I just can’t bully her. I can bully dad but not mom. Why mum’s definitely better than I am I don’t have more than 10% of what she possesses. I’m just a by-product of her. There’s only one thing I can do and she can’t and that’s play the piano. One thing in my life that I was really scared to tell mum about I can’t tell you, she’s sitting right here. When mum’s really angry she always says… My mother’s anger is the silent type. She just gives you that silent treatment. She won’t talk to you for like two days. That is the worst way to show anger. It’s like Chinese torture. Our most fun time together was when… We generally have a lot of fun together. But I remember this one time when my Dad was posted in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. We were there for a year and my mom used to take my studies at home since there were no good schools around. She used to take me for adventure walks 74
and spend a lot of time with me. That was a really amazing time.
VIDYA MALAVADE on Mum Saroj What makes my mum so special? By virtue of just being my mother she is special. She has been a working woman till she took voluntary retirement. I am amazed at the way she balanced her home and work and brought us up with her values. She is one of the strongest women I have come across. The best advice my mum gave me She always taught me to be independent, not only financially but also socially. I have followed this to the T. The one thing she scolded me for She scolds me a lot, and for almost everything because I’m such a brat. Also, she has this habit of holding on to things and I like to throw things away— so we always end up fighting about that. Whenever I go on a shopping spree and come back with loads of things she scolds me for spending too much! The best thing that she cooked I completely freak out on her prawn biryani and prawn curry. The best gift I ever gave her I give her something or the other every other day but I don’t know if there’s anything that I gave that is so good. The one time you fought with or disagreed with her Fights take place every day. We are both Pisceans and so we are strong individuals. Sometimes I forget that she is the lady of the house – and I can’t take over from her. She decides how certain things have to be done in the house and finally I feel happy to let her make the decisions. My favourite on-screen Mum Farida Jalal in DDLJ. She is really sweet in the film.
The best compliment my mum gave me on my work My parents have always felt proud of me. Whether I was a flight attendant or model or actress. They are proud of everything that I’ve done. But now somehow she feels a lot more fulfilled. When the entire building and locality and even their friends call them and tell them about me, they feel happy. Her pride and her smile say it all. My mom never watches movies. I have to drag her with me but she took her friends out to watch my movie Chak De. That says a lot. That’s the biggest compliment. The one career advice mum gave me She always told me to do my work as long as it’s not sleazy. She taught me to make sure that I have conviction in what I do. Everything else is secondary. My most treasured memory with mum Life is about moments. One can go through these moments thinking tomorrow will be better. But I think the treasured moment is the one that is right here, right now. All those little collection of moments is my treasured memory— of her hitting me, scolding me, hugging me, safe guarding me and protecting me. I’ve treasured all that. The one time I harrowed my mum most Every second day! I live with my parents and so I keep harrowing her about things asking why is this like this and why not like that and throw tantrums! I bully my mum most when… All the time. Why mum’s definitely better than I am Because she’s my mom! It’s high time I start becoming like her. She supersedes me in every department. One thing in my life that I was really
scared to tell mum about Once I lost my diamond jewellery but I was very scared of telling her. So I just told her I got robbed, but didn’t tell her how much I had really lost. When mum’s really angry she always says… She gets very angry when I don’t inform her that I’m eating dinner outside. She hates it when she cooks and I don’t eat at home. And when she gets angry she keeps talking and talking. I have to just let it die down. Our most fun time together was when… We usually have fun on our shopping sprees. She doesn’t like me buying those itsy-bitsy clothes but when we
are buying saris, we enjoy. We generally have similar taste so it’s fun. We also like eating out together. My mom was brought up at Breach Candy so she loves going there. And then she loves showing me her college, the street or eating joint she used to frequent. She loves going there and I like being with her.
MASABA on Mom Neena Gupta What makes my mum so special? I admire her strength. She has never given up in life. She constantly thinks of doing new things. Even if you don’t see her on screen for a while, her mind is always active. She keeps innovating and keeps herself busy. The fact that she is
more like a friend to me also makes her really special. The best advice my mum gave me She has always told me to never stop exploring different things. She tells me I should pursue whatever I like and never be offended by what people say. Many parents pressurise the kids to decide what they want to do in life and stick to it, but my mom allows me to wander and do what I love doing. The one thing she scolded me for She often scolds me for my lack of responsibility. I tend to do everything at the last minute. Also, she gets irritated because I’m dependent on people for things. She wants me to be a more independent person. 75
My favourite on-screen Mum Reema Lagoo The best compliment my mum gave me on my work She tells me that I’m very different in every aspect. In dealing with life and people. She says it’s better to be different than be like everyone else. The one career advice mum gave me She told me ‘don’t be scared to explore’. I played tennis, did fashion designing and stuff. Parents always tell you decide what to do. But my mom has taught me that if you love doing something you must do it. My Most treasured memory with mum When she comes home after shoots and I come back from college, we sit down and talk about what did the whole day. That is the best time of the day. Then we sit and eat, watch TV, make fun of the soaps, chat and discuss things. I treasure that time I spend with her every day. The one time I harrowed my mum most about I harrow her quite often. Especially, when I want to do what I want to do. I bully my mum most when… When I have to go out at night and when I go shopping.
The best thing that she cooked Pasta. It’s one of my favourite food items. The best gift I ever gave her My trust. Best gift she gave you She has given me a lot. There are many things she keeps getting me. And I think everything she’s given me means a lot. 76
The one time you fought with or disagreed with her We always have fights over I taking night outs. She hates late nights and my staying out. Also, I’m more like my father, hot tempered and impulsive. She is a calmer person. So there are many times when we just don’t see eye to eye. But at the end of the day we respect each other and share a great friendship. She is a very understanding person.
Why mum’s definitely better than I am! I think she’s a much bigger person. She is selfish yet giving. She’s got the power to stand alone. While I always need people around me she can do everything on her own. She is calm and collected while I loose my temper very easily. She is hardworking while I’m lazy. So there are a whole lot of reasons. One thing in my life that I was really scared to tell mum about Nothing really.
When mum’s really angry she always says… She doesn’t say anything. She just doesn’t talk to me. She sulks till I go and apologise! Our most fun time together was when… When we watch daily soaps together. We make comments and laugh at how ridiculous they are.
KIRON KHER on Mum Diljit What makes my mum so special? It’s never just one thing. The fact that she is such an achiever in her life. She was multi-talented in the college she attended in Lyallpur (now Faizabad) in Pakistan. This is the same college I later attended called the Women’s Government College in Chandigarh. Some of the old professors there met me – I played badminton for the state and majored in English Honours – and one of them asked me who I was. When I told him, he said, ‘No wonder, you’re
Jeeti’s daughter’. She comes from a very educated family herself. She knits fantastically even while watching a film and doesn’t drop a stitch. She also stitched all our clothes while we were growing up and no tailor could satisfy us thereafter. She is an allrounder. The typical army officer’s wife, she was always very well turned out. She’s straightforward and very honest, and never differentiated between religions or had biases. She’s still the same. She believes in people, which is a drawback in today’s times. She’s very naïve about things and will never believe in gossip or something she hasn’t seen with her own eyes. She always taught us to see the good in all religions and we would celebrate every festival at home. The best advice my mum gave me Well I was always at the receiving end of the discipline! But I don’t remember any advice in particular. For us it was more like what you imbibe through their value system. Yes, she was very definite that you must see a project through
to the end. And if I wanted to go to somebody’s house at meal times she’d say, ‘It’s lunch time, you can’t go’. She didn’t want us disturbing anybody. We had an ayah who was like a second mother to us and even she told us, ‘If you go to somebody’s house – don’t ask for food. Say I’ve eaten and come’! The best gift I ever gave her We were not a very gift giving family and I don’t remember giving her a particular gift. We sent my parents cards and wished them. Even mother would forget it was her birthday until we wished her! She defied superstition My mother is a totally nonsuperstitious person. In fact, she would defy superstition. If someone said don’t wash your hair on a Tuesday, she would say, ‘If it’s Tuesday, I’m going to wash my hair and see what happens by evening’! But, I am superstitious like my dad. I’ve got caught up in that. She never ever went to an astrologer. My parents had a great marriage and 77
were very settled in life. My father was landed gentry so we were well settled. We were sheltered by them and then came out into the world to discover otherwise. The one time I fought/ disagreed with her on anything Oh, that was all the time! In my teenage years I wanted to dress up and go to parties while she wanted me to have a sense of balance, which is something youth doesn’t have! I was not allowed out at night. In those days we only had afternoon jam sessions or people coming over to our home. Naturally this included boys and while my father would glare at them, mum would be very normal about it all. With her, what you see is what you get. Joie de vivre is her greatest quality. Even though she’s now ailing at 82 she says ‘I don’t want to die, I love life’. My desire to dress up and have good clothes and jewellery is from her. It’s a typical North Indian trait and even now you will see her well turned out. She would say it’s an insult to go to someone’s house badly dressed. She has led a very graceful life. My favourite on-screen mum In the West, it would be Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata. Those are the kind of moms that make for the best ones. The best compliment my mum paid me on my work Well, when she came to see my first play, Desire Under the Elms, she was very critical of it. I hated her at that point because the entire city was going gaga over me! But now she’s always telling me how much she appreciates my work. She liked me in Apne and Mummyji very much. Talk about encouraging… She always encouraged us to achieve. Even as pre-teenagers, my sister and I were allowed to travel via sports and have even played on the 78
badminton circuit abroad. My mom and my sister, at that time an11-year-old, have played doubles for Chandigarh and broken the norm as partners! Yet she wouldn’t ever allow us to compromise on studies. The career advice mum gave me Well she gave advice whenever one asked her for it not otherwise. She wanted me to study very hard and get into the Foreign Service. Then when it was theatre that I wanted to do, she accepted that and only said, do it properly. The one time I harrowed my mum most! There was a time when in Chandigarh, five of us went for a midnight picnic one night with green apples and marmite sandwiches. When we were coming back, there was this figure standing in the middle of the road… It was my father in his dressing gown with a stick in his hand! My mother was equally angry and said ‘What is this rubbish?’ She was probably also harrowed when I went through a divorce. She was very disturbed about it. My dad was extremely supportive and said ‘if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work’. But I don’t think she could see me in pain. I bully my mum most when… It’s now that I bully her most! She’s very set in her ways and I keep telling her to let things be. Like she insists on spring-cleaning by herself at this age and we tell her let it be. All her life, she has been used to do things in the proper way, so she expects 100 per cent from everybody. When she gets like this my sister and I go into the other room and say she’s impossible! Why mum’s definitely better than I am! In fact I have this great fear that I don’t want to become like her. There are certain qualities of hers which I see appearing in me with age and I hate it. I’m better because I’m more relaxed!
She’s a better homemaker! Hers is an attitude of wholehearted attention to home and family. I can’t cook to save my life but she would be the best. One thing in my life I was really scared to tell mum about Oh, almost everything! I could never tell her anything. She wasn’t the friend, you couldn’t confide in her. She was the disciplinarian of the family. I was always up to tricks – crushes on boys, not studying, sticking comics in my books. Had I told her any of it I would have got a long lecture! When mum’s really angry she always says… It’s the face she makes – she freezes up into this forbidding kind of look. Otherwise, she loves music and good cinema. She introduced me to European and world cinema. The Photoplay and Silver Screen magazines would come to the house and she exposed us to cinema. Our most fun times/best times together are… When we would shop together for clothes and jewellery! She once wanted to make me many churidaar-kurtas and I loved it! I’d love to go buy go-go earrings with her. Then there were the dances at the clubs but my dad didn’t dance, while she loved to dance. I remember on my 14th birthday I had an afternoon party and she danced with all my friends! I also remember traveling with her – going by road all over India – and she knew the history of all the places; even the Sher Shah Suri milestones. Her love of classics was also passed on to us. My favourite meal that mum cooks is… She makes the most exquisite kheer in the world. I have eaten kheer at the best of homes and hotels but nothing qualifies like the kheer she makes. She also makes keema-mattar very well and sarson ka saag. There is so much effort that goes into her cooking.
down memory lane
PUNAM & SHATRUGHAN
27 YEARS OF MARITAL BLISS Said Shatrughan on his 25th wedding anniversary, “If you are fortunate to complete your silver jubilee, chances are that you will see your golden jubilee. That’s because you’ve proved true Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest!”
unam and Shatru have proved that their marriage is one that is made in heaven. They’ve been together since July 9, 1980. It’s Punam’s sense of humour that keeps her marriage going. She laughs and says, “On our anniversary, I congratulated myself for making it through the last 25 years!” Their first meeting was in a train compartment when Shatru was leaving home for the FTII and his friends pointed out this beautiful girl. Said Shatru, “She was crying and I scribbled a message on a paper saying: ‘Itni sundar ladki ko rona shobha nahi deta’. I thought she would be impressed, but she threw away the paper!” Who knew that this was the beginning of a famous romance. By the time Shatru finished with the FTII, Punam was crowned Miss India. Punam’s mother Mrs. Chandiramani was a strict lady who kept a close watch her daughter. Punam’s maid, Zubeida was taken into confidence by both and played cupid. She was the one who would arrange for them to meet sectretly. It was Shatru’s brother who eventually approached Mrs. Chandiramani with an official proposal for him. Adds Shatru, “Can you believe what she said to my brother? ‘My daughter is so fair and beautiful, but your brother is dark (she
called me kaalia). If you had a colour snap of the two taken, it would come out in black and white’!” But love finally won and despite everything Punam and Shatru tied the knot. Shatru endorses, “Punam has always stood by me. For her, home is a place of worship. Despite rumours of my romancing film heroines, she has always reposed her faith in me. And she has been a great mother to our sons Luv and Kush and daughter Sonakshi. Punam is my backbone.” Today the lady has confidently launched her film out of her home production, Shotgun Movies. “God has been kind,” she says. “As you know, my husband is like a leopard that doesn’t change its spots, so he’s just the same! But I think political life has taught him a lot and he has somewhat mellowed. We have shared responsibilities in our marriage. When the boys came home after boarding school, it was his turn to take over, while I concentrated on my daughter. “Shatru has become a homebody with time. Sometimes he behaves more like a wife – which I resent!” But she wouldn’t have him any other way. “He should always remain like this and just be mine.” He still jokes with her that if marriage is supposed to be for ‘saat janam’ (seven lifetimes) – six are over!
“But behind all that humour is a heart of gold which I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world! I’ve enjoyed every moment of my life with him.” Their 25th wedding anniversary was celebrated like a wedding! Their children, Luv, Kush and Sonakshi made the 25-year celebrations special by organizing everything from dressing Punam in her wedding lehenga, to inviting all their old friends to the function at the Grand Maratha Hotel where they put up a huge billboard of old photographs. The Ballroom was done up in white fabric and flowers. But more important, the Sinhas had planned a surprise for the evening. One got an indication when around 11.00 p.m, a uniformed man quietly entered the hotel, carrying an elaborate pink costume on a hanger. A while later, Punam disappeared to the room upstairs and returned dressed like a bride. Shatru was dressed in a black dhoti. The guests surrounded the couple, loudly cheering them as they exchanged garlands, sweets, and finally a kiss. They cut the cake joined in by the family and popped champagne. Today, Shatru acknowledges that he may have made many wrong choices in his life but he is proud that he made the right choice in his life partner! As they say, marriages are made in heaven. This one sure is. 81
Take 3 tele-talk
Talent and skill rules on Antakshari Middle East
Exciting Valentine special
predictable beginning on one of the most watched shows in the region, Antakshari Middle East – Pakistan Masti 2007, is a bundle of talent and even greater enthusiasm. The selection and initial elimination rounds of the programme is giving way to some exciting semi-final rounds that will be on air all month in January. Valentine month see a special episode dedicated to the theme and the final rounds along with the excitement of the three groups, Dewaane, Parwaane and Mastaane fighting hard to retain their spot in the final episode scheduled for later in the month. Teams paired up from countries they represent – Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, Oman and UAE work well together to ensure they retain their spot on the music game show. While December saw four teams each of the Deewane, Parwane and Mastaane groups participating this month, three teams from each group will put
in earnest efforts and highlight their strengths to make sure they get into the final rounds of the most well known music show. The hosts Twinkle and Sharad have undoubtedly proven their talents as the right combination to lead the pairs though some grueling rounds of traditional and some innovative and interesting sets where contestants follow their lead and proceed into the mood that they fix. More often than not, the vibrant Twinkle with her zesty spirit guides the contestants with her experience. And, while it was known that Sharad would be the perfect host for Antakshari Middle East – Pakistan Masti 2007, he has moved into the role with ease. His mischievous traits lighten the air and the contestants look forward to his intervention with some apt remarks. After 12 years of being a success with viewers who enjoy music based shows, each passing year throws up an
increased fan following that ensures that the programme grows from strength to strength. New and improvised rounds alongside the traditional Antakshari format makes it tough for the contestants, and yet, they do not falter in their determination to stay in the competition. Zee TV once again gives viewers a chance to watch talent being honed and someday make headlines within the entertainment industry. Proof of the pudding lies in the current set of some well known professional singers who have been spotted and nurtured on the channel. The 13 episode show of Antakshari Middle East – Pakistan Masti 2007 is presented by Joy Alukkas. While being supportive of the show, they reach out to Asian audiences that is in total harmony with the concept of the show. The coming weeks will set the pace for yet another round of extreme competition. 83
ee TV has always been known for the diversity in its programming. Be it reality show like ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ and ‘ Antakshari’ or soaps like ‘Saat Phere’ and ‘Kasamh Se’, Zee has time and again proved that its creative team is well aware of the fact that variety is the spice of life. Keeping up this trend, Zee has yet again come up with a different kind of show, ‘Alladin – Janbaaz Ek Jalwe Anek’, which is a thrilling fare not only for children but for adults as well. The show produced by Sagar Arts is an adaptation of the famous timeless story of Alladin from ‘The Arabian Nights’. The show follows the story of Alladin, a young carefree fifteen year old boy whose parents died when he was very young under mysterious circumstances. He was brought up by his foster parents. Jaffer an evil magician, wants to possess the magic lamp lying buried in some secret cave of wonders but is unable to lay his hands on it as one with the mark of the sun, one from the the ‘suryavanshi’ clan and possesses a soul as pure as an uncut diamond, can only get the lamp out of the Cave of Wonders. Jaffer soon finds out that the chosen one is none other than Alladin. Jaffer who happens to be the murderer of Alladin’s mom and dad tracks him down and decides to use him to get the magic lamp. Jaffer poses as Alladin’s uncle and succeeds in getting Alladin’s custody from his selfish foster parent. Alladin is then admitted by Jaffer in a school that teaches magic. Alladin loves the place and its myriad activities. Once he masters the magic spells, Jaffer asks him to go to the secret Cave
of Wonders. He is accompanied by two of his new found friends. It’s in the Cave of Wonders that they find a magic carpet and yet another friend, a Genie trapped in a magic lamp. He grants Alladin three wishes. Before Jaffer could get hold of the lamp, Alladin comes to know about Jaffer’s evil plans and to his chagrin Aladdin and his friends vanish with the magic lamp. The genie starts treating Aladdin as his master and from lowly beginnings Alladdin achieves an initial easy success in life. Jaffer on his part gets to know of Alladin’s fondness for princess Jasmine and he kidnaps her to get Aladdin in his grasp. Now starts the fight between good and evil. In spite of all odds, finally Alladin triumphs over adversity to achieve stable and enduring success. This final success becomes possible when Alladin gains inner maturity and becomes the master of his own destiny. Mandar plays Alladin, Nazia Hasan is seen as Jasmine while Arjun Dutt is in the role of the Genie. Puneet Chandra Sharma, Ranvijay Razdan, Praveen Hingonia are the other players in this weekly show. Says lead actor Mandar,”Alladin is basically based on fantasy. Here, the writer can deal with the story in any way by retaining the main
characters. This show focuses on Sultan, Jasmine, Genie and Alladin. We have changed the monkey with Alladin’s best friend in the show Zunaid, while we are not having the parrot. There are few changes but
the story is the same and every kid knows the story.” So a few variations from the original are also being seen in the show. The production design is quite authentic and is a plus point in the show. Through this journey of Alladin the audiences can succeed in recognizing their own struggles to grow and develop. The journey of Alladin, his travails and successes can reflect their own bitter sweet adventures in life. The show has already gained good ratings on the TRP charts and looking at the adventurous episodes it seems there is a lot to look forward for Zee loyal viewers.
star gazing MADHURI DIXIT
The Heart Beat of Bollywood Venus the planet of music, dance, drama & acting is responsible for her comeback, which is ruling her chart at this time. The true Taurus she is, governed again by beautiful planet Venus. Her moon and Jupiter in 9th house of her birth chart, the house of luck, is the most important combination. It is not only forming powerful Gajkesri yoga but is responsible for her immense fame. The same combination holds good for everlasting fame. The new beginning will be clearly the big innings for her inspite of pinching dancing shoes in “Aja Nach Le”
The Queen of Controversies Her birth chart is clearly indicating that due to the combination of Jupiter & Mars, Neech Bhang rajyoga is working strongly, indicating the gains due to somebody’s loss. And Ashley Jude was one of the looser. Secondly Main period of Rahu & sub period of Ketu in her chart is indicating some controversy from 14Jan 2007 to 2nd Feb 2008. Both of the incidences were controversial. Shilpa is heading for a big time & most likely she will get marry to a person of her choice this year. The approaching sub period of Venus will take her places and she will be more successful outside India, enjoying her life in every manner. The exchange between Venus & Moon will bring lot of success & fame to her through creativity & her caring approach. Strong Rajyogas will ensure great success in the years to come.
The King Khan of Bollywood The King Khan of Bollywood is heading for some major changes in life. His Jupiter period of 16 long years is going to end and 19 years of Saturn will start from March this year. The planet Jupiter clearly his best planet gave him recognition & prosperity of maximum level. Now Saturn will clearly pull him in different direction. It can be foreign assignments, joining politics or even big production house. He has clearly achieved the heights where no man has gone before & will continue doing so. His quick analytical mind, secrecy and instincts are the main reasons behind his success. I wish him good luck.
KAREENA KAPOOR The Safe Bet
Her Sun sign is Virgo & moon sign is Capricorn. Capricorn people live only for high status in life. The sign comes in 10th house, the house of name, fame, power, position, profession and status. So there is no limit for exploring her avenues, let it be professional or personal. The Shaid-kari honeymoon is over but she is playing ‘Saif’ with controversies. The beautiful actress is versatile, energetic and highly intelligent, because of exalted mercury. This high level of intelligence is bad for her relationship, coz she can not ignore anything.
The placement of Moon and Mars together in her birth chart are giving her the pleasing but intense looks. The combination of Sun, Mercury and Venus in her horoscope is responsible for great success. Two years back, I predicted her bollywood stint when she was crawling on the ramp. She should wear Green Emerald with diamonds to sustain her dream debut. She should be cautious against new swinging relationship.
The Big B of bollywood is heading for his retirement. Mercury period of 17 yrs. has ended and Ketu period of 7 yrs. has started. Ketu is a separative planet and will be responsible for his retirement. Ketu will enhance his spirituality and he will opt for less prominent roles. He needs to take care of his health. He will be blessed with grandchild this year. The legend beyond comparison will keep on ruling the hearts of the million people across the globe.
Kajol’s stars are certainly on her side and there is a possibility that she will give another super duper hit with Shahrukh Khan – the pairing will once again set the screen on fire. The intense look in her eyes is due to combination of Mars and Venus, which also makes her a darling of masses. Mars is also responsible for her ever-lasting youthful look and unbridled energy level. Venus the planet of creativity is placed strongly on her birth chart, promising a long stint in bollywood inspite of her marital status.
Placement of Jupiter on his ascendant has given him the knowledge, the wisdom and the blessings to give the best, not only in the front but behind the camera as well. The combination of sun, Venus and Saturn aspect by Mars is forming 4 Rajyogas, promising great success in life. His secret of success is his emotions and instincts. 2008 will be a year of great recognition and rewards.
Her moon sign Taurus’s is responsible for her creativity, passion and her positive attitude in life. She needs to be careful against indulgence. Late marriage will be better than bad marriage. 2008 will give her more recognition, success and new relationship.
His moon sign is Cancer which is responsible for his caring nature and emotional performance. Exalted Jupiter in the navamsha chart performing the neech – bhang rajyoga is another important reason for his success apart from his hard work.
Adhyayan Shekhar Suman
The Famous Player
Beauty with Brains
The not so slow but steady Akshay is a real threat for Khan’s in the past one year and 2008 will help him to even takeover them. Khiladi No. 1 is all set to lead from the front. Exalted mercury, the planet of intelligence and exalted Jupiter, the planet of wisdom in his horoscope are the main reason behind his success apart from his stunts. The Liberian moon, reason for his passion and unending desire for more, will help him keep going.
The Brightest star
The Star kid
Adhyayan, the son of, Shekhar Suman, is knocking the doors of bollywood. Nobody has any idea of his calibre and potential, but astrology can foresee the star in making. The position of Jupiter on the ascendant is a blessing of God, the wisdom and the knowledge. Saturn and Venus combination in the tenth house of name, fame, profession, status and power; is forming a very powerful Rajyoga. The moon in fifth house of learning will help him to learn the tricks of the trade quickly. At present he may be at the bottom of the Ladder but with the help of his strong planets he will soon find an escalator to make his presence felt.
Star Gazing is brought to you by Sundeep Koachar, an internationally acclaimed celebrity astrologer based in Delhi. Sundeep treats astrology as a sacred science and not purely as a matter of commercial pursuit. Having studied at AIFAS and Lal Bahadur Shastri Sanskrit Vidhyapeeth, he is currently pursuing M.Phil in the field of astrology. He has had an interest in palmistry right from his childhood days and is quite adept at face reading too. Thanks to his honest answers, using a combination of astrology, palmistry along with the study of the face, Sundeep has a loyal following of celebrity clients including film stars, cricketers, politicians and industrialists. He has made his mark in both the print and the electronic media, having successfully hosted live TV programmes both in India and abroad. For more details about Sundeep log on to www.astro4you.com
Sudesh Bhonsle not a singer???
Known as voice of Amitabh Bachchan Sudesh Bhosle was participating in ‘Jhoom India’ as a participant this is a known fact to all of us. But the interesting fact is that Sudesh who has been maintaining a distance from reality shows is coming as a judge in the reality show ‘K for Kishore’. After the demise of Kishore Kumar, he started his career as voice of Kishore with the film ‘Waqt Ki Awaaz’ and did so in many films but he also had control on the voices of Sanjeev Kumar and Anil Kapoor.As for now, he is participating as a judge in this show with Bappi Lahri and the family of Kishore Kumar in order to pay tribute to the legend. When we asked Sudesh, What was the reason for keeping a distance from Reality shows and not only this he had suggested his son also not to be part of these shows? In response to this question Sudesh with changing his stand gave all the responsibility on the Channel people by saying “The fact is that the channel people don’t consider me a singer. So, I didn’t receive any invitation. ‘SaReGaMaPa’ is known for inviting a lot of singers but they also didn’t consider me. If I had been called I would have definitely liked to be a part of reality shows. If the question of not liking arises I would say I don’t like the concept of public voting. I thank God that this show will be judged by our and the celebrity guests points in place public voting.’ About his son he said ‘He is free to take his own decisions I don’t keep any boundations on his life. My responsibility is to give him good life. If he wants to choose his own career then he is free to do so.’
When Gauav Gera freaked his cast
The cast of Baban Bai V/s Bimla Tai seems to be having a jolly good time while shooting and especially with a set of mischievous people around, this should come as no surprise. Quite recently the crew was in for a shock when Gaurav Gera, himself planned to astound his entire team with his new look which he was sporting ( an old lady get up) for an upcoming episode. Interestingly the get up left him neither as an impressive old lady nor the man himself, but made him float somewhere in between, creating a complete awkward situation. But the sport he was, Gaurav took this very positively and deliberately decided to scare the entire unit knowing it had become impossible for anyone on the sets to recognize him. Producer Yash Patnaik was in fact the first victim. “I was completely dazed as Gaurav came up to me and started to shake hands and hug me. I was scared and speechless and immediately wanted someone to come to my rescue. I was calling for someone to get the person out of the set and was wondering where she barged in from. It was a complete chaos, and he pulled it off very well. “, laughs Yash. “Later when Gaurav revealed himself and all of us burst out laughing out loud”, adds Yash. Talk about some natural acting there!
When Neil Mukesh staged a walk out!
Grandson of the veteran singer Mukesh, Neil Mukesh seems to be flying high after his debut ‘Johny Gaddar’. But recently we saw the angry side of him during a function. The Award function “Sabse Favourite Kaun’ was being organized by Star Gold where both Neil Mukesh and Raj Kapoor’s grandson Ranbir Kapoor were being nominated in the best debutant award category. Everything seemed to be normal until the award was announced in favour of our ‘Sawaariya’ Ranbir Kapoor. The next thing Neil did was to make a hurried exit from the function. His temper was so high that he even ignored the media personals waiting for hours to get his quote. Everyone expects the best, but that doesn’t mean that you can run away from the truth. Neil may have won points for his acting skills, but Ranbir surely scored in terms of popularity especially among female fans. Now that’s where Neil needs to work on!
ZEE BOLLYWOOD JAN-FEB 2008
AED 5 JAN-FEB 2008
Comes clean on Black and other controversies
On surgeries - the worst kept secret of Bollywood
Served spicy hot
Watch out Priyanka, Lara, Kareena! here comes
zee Bollywood, a Bollywood Magazine, based in Dubai Media City.