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AED 5 march 2008

Shahid Kapoor

On the ladies— Vidya Balan, Sania Mirza & Amrita Rao

Ashutosh Gowarikar On making a film in 30 days!

Kareena & Saif

Indulge in some fire play!

Aishwarya Rai

The Bachchan Bahu- “It’s special working with Hrithik”

Gets candid about Raj Kundra

Shilpa Shetty


life is beautiful aishwarya rai

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Inside 14 Cover story

After being in the centre of several controversies like the Richard Gere episode and racism incident during Big Boss, she finally seems to be headed in the right direction. With the launch of her yoga DVD, a successful run of the musical Bollywood dreams in Europe, new film offers back home and a renewed love life, Shilpa Shetty has moved on to greener pastures

4 Talk of the Town The latest news

12 Madame X: The Juiciest Gossip

18 Shooting Stars: The Hottest Pictures

44 Frankly Speaking: Shahid Kapoor

48 In the picture: Katrina Kaif

57 Take 3:

Anjana Sukhani Gracy Singh Sameera Reddy

70 Romance down memory lane: Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh

72 Tele Tales 73 Star Gazing By Sandeep Koacher


20 Focus

She looked natural, even ethereal, as the Rajput princess Jodhabai, so much so that she made you feel she has some real connection with Jodha. And you believe Ashutosh Gowarikar when he says, “She is so regal and royal. I believe that she was a princess in her past life.”

24 Feature

Here’s recounting Indian Cinemas big and famous families— from the Kapoors who gave Bollywood some great actors and Roshans who brought in technical brilliance to the Khan brothers Feroz and Sanjay who brought in style and flamboyance.


30 What’s Cooking

A connoisseur and lover of food, Celina Jaitley takes us through a gastronomic delight as she shares what pleases the palate and even throws in some sound eating advice!

36 Home Truths

She loves the serenity of her home in Bandra. And she’s almost emotional about doing up the house. Here’s Neha Dhupia on all that it took to make her home what it is.


42 Style Check

The ever-controversial Riya Sen talks about men in white and her favourite shopping destinations.

50 Director’s special

He is one director who has never been in the limelight for being Ashutosh Gowarikar, but for being the director of path-breaking films like Lagaan, Swades and Jodha Akbar. Here’s looking at his cinematic journey to excellence from the failures of early 90s.


talk of the town


Sanjay Dutt married girlfriend Manyata in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony on the morning of February 11, 2008. The ceremony was held at Manyata’s friend Pradeep’s house and was a close knit affair attended by Bunty Walia, Suniel and Mana Shetty, Dharam Oberoi and Nitin Manmohan. Sanjay’s sisters, Priya and Namrata were not invited, nor was daughter Trishala informed. Sanjay and Manyata had a registered marriage in Goa on February 7, following which Sanju gifted Manyata a diamond ring worth Rs.40 lakhs. This is Dutt’s third and Manyata’s second marriage.



The only place Bipasha Basu and Katrina Kaif are willing to be seen together is the big screen. The Race co-stars have never liked each other because of the enmity between their boyfriends. Recently when directors Abbas -Mustan requested them to appear together for the publicity of Race both refused. Bipasha promoted the film at an event on February 5 and Katrina on February 6. To avoid such a tense situation Yashraj Films removed Katrina’s role in a film starring Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone and Minisha Lamba along with Ranbir Kapoor and as a sop they have signed Katrina for another film opposite John Abraham in the lead. Is Bipasha seeing red?

Choreographer turned director Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder gave birth to two baby girls and one boy at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital. The three kids and their mum are healthy, says Shirish. As 43-year-old Farah had a Caesarian operation, she will be in the hospital for a few days. Ever since Farah delivered the hospital has seen a flurry of guests such as Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan. Shirish, who was by Farah’s side, shot a video that captured the miraculous moments. Says Shirish, “From the time Farah went into labour till the babies arrived I’ve captured everything and it’s the most beautiful experience.”


Professionally Katrina Kaif’s going great guns, a Yashraj Film and now she’s replaced Priyanka Chopra in Ashtavinayak Production Films, but the same can’t be said about her personal life. Apparently she had an argument with boyfriend Salman Khan at a local café, following which Salman allegedly slapped her and then started slamming his hand into a coffee table angrily. While onlookers were left stunned, a visibly hurt Katrina walked away leaving Salman alone to contemplate on his actions. Gentle Katrina has vehemently denied that Salman slapped her… but Salman has been known for his violent outbursts with Sangeeta, Somy Ali and Aishwarya earlier.


talk of the town


Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is gung-ho these days. She has just signed on for Robot opposite South’s superstar Rajnikant and will now be the highest paid actress in India. She has been offered a whopping 6 crore. Deepika Pandukone had been offered this role but she refused citing date problems, as she is busy doing a Yashraj Film



It was T-Series founder the late Gulshan Kumar who launched Sonu Nigam’s career but today Sonu has ditched T-Series and joined HMV Sa Re Ga Ma for a sum of Rs. 7 crore. After Himesh’s debut film became a box-office success, T-Series signed him as the hero of Karrrz. This didn’t go down too well with Sonu who felt that T-Series never helped him with his acting career and was promoting Himesh far too much. Off-late Sonu has also been having a lot of creative differences with Bhushan Kumar over his latest music album. Says Sonu, “They are businessmen and I’m a musician. There are bound to be differences!”

After Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par, Shah Rukh Khan is now planning to venture into the market of children’s films. While Aamir’s film had a social message Shah Rukh wants to entertain and will be producing an animated children’s film to be directed by Anubhav Sinha of Dus and Cash fame. Shah Rukh wants only the best for his film and is trying get international visual wizard, Charles Darby of The Minority Report and The Matrix fame for his film. Says Shah Rukh, “My film will have the best of animations and SFX effects and I want it to be as beautiful as Spiderman.”

MADHUR’S FASHIONABLE WORRIES Madhur Bhandarkar is a worried man and the cause of his tension is the amount of attention surrounding his forthcoming film Fashion. Madhur is trying his best to keep his film a secret and has made all members of the cast and crew sign a written contract swearing secrecy. The sets are under constant guard and every single person entering the sets is frisked everyday. A worried Madhur says, “Even I’m frisked every morning before entering the sets but somehow even the tiniest detail about my film gets leaked. People whom I have based my story on may be curious to know how my film is shaping but I just want to keep a low profile now.” 6

talk of the town


After leaving director Vikram Bhatt, Amisha Patel is now making a desperate attempt to re-launch her career and if that means shedding her girl-next-door image and slipping into a hot avatar she is willing to do so. After all her lectures on how she’d never ever expose, Amisha will be seen cavorting in sexy clothes in Kunal Kohli’s forthcoming film starring Rani Mukherji and Saif Ali Khan. Sources say that Amisha may slip into a sexy bikini for the film and is currently working hard on getting a leanmean look. We hope that this time around Amisha’s career takes off.



When Govinda has to choose between best friend Salman and a film, he went with Salman. He recently refused a K Sera Sera film because the producers had already signed Vivek Oberoi as the other actor. But rather than directly refusing the film, Govinda drove the makers of the film away by asking for way too much money. Says our source, “Govinda didn’t want to upset Salman by doing a film with Vivek hence he quoted a huge price to the producers.” The untitled film will mark the directorial debut of Tushar Hiranadani who wrote Naksha and will star three heroes and three heroines in the lead.

While Salman and Govinda’s friendship is growing strong; childhood friends Abhishek Bachchan and Sikander Kher’s friendship is on the verge of breaking up. Recently Abhishek invited all his close friends for his 32nd birthday at Jaipur, except for Sikander. When contacted Sikander denied that Abhishek and he were having problems. He said “everything is fine between us” but when quizzed on why he wasn’t present at Abhi’s birthday celebrations Sikander replied “I didn’t know about any such party.” Sources close to the two actors say that off-late the duo has been drifting apart. However, the reason for the drift is unknown. Apparently, Abhishek is upset with Sikander but is unwilling to talk it out with Sikander and has been avoiding him for some time now. !


With her acting career not going anywhere Sushmita Sen has turned producer-director and actor in her forthcoming film Rani Laxmibai. Sushmita has also taken a keen interest in the research of her film and has signed art director Nitin Desai to do the film sets. Desai who is completely mesmerized by Ms. Sen’s intelligence and hard work says, “She sat with me and within four hours flat had finished her final narration of the script unlike many filmmakers who keep altering their stories each day. She can put any filmmaker to shame with her incredible knowledge of history.” Maybe our directors could learn something from Sush.


talk of the town


Saawariya may have failed miserably at the box office, but director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is over it and is currently working on his next film. Sources say that Bhansali has four to five ideas and is confused on which to start work on first. He has already decided titles for his films which are, Gujarish, Bekarar, Hamesha Tumko Chaha, Bajirao Mastani, and Hamari Jaan Ho Tum. Bhansali seems keen on starting with Gujarish a young love story and has penciled in singer Udit Narayan’s son Aditya and Soni Razdan’s daughter to play the lead roles. We hope these kids have better luck at the box office than Ranbir and Sonam.



While Karan Johar has gone to town saying that he’s signed on SRK and Kajol for his next film, the outspoken Kajol left us stunned by her response. “How can I sign a film when I haven’t even read its script? Let me read the script and then I’ll decide if I am doing the film or not.” said Kajol. A source close to the actress says that post marriage and motherhood Kajol’s become choosy about the film she does. She has set down a lot of terms and conditions like she won’t shoot for long schedules in foreign locales. It waits to be seen if Kajol relaxes some of her conditions for old friends.

Producer Rangita Nandy is at her wits end shooting with Mallika Sherawat and Ranvir Shorey for Ugly Aur Pagli with her leading pair clawing at each other at the slightest instance. Last week Mallika left the unit high and dry when she walked out because her co-star Ranvir reported late on the sets. The next day Ranvir and Mallika also had a verbal spat which further blocked hours of shooting, Ranvir doesn’t deny that there are tensions on the sets, “Mallika and I had a spat but that’s common on all film sets. We keep having differences of opinion and then keep making up.” Ranvir finally adds, “To be honest, this is the first experience I’ve had of a temperamental actress.”


Guess who’s not at all pleased with Saif Ali Khan’s relationship with Kareena Kapoor? Item girl Rakhi Sawant. When we caught up with her, she offered some unsolicited advice to Saif, “Kareena looks too young for you and I think that you should have sisterly feelings for her.” Rakhi doesn’t stop here she goes on to say, “Saif instead of tying the knot with Kareena you should tie a rakhi on Kareena’s arm and make her your sister.” This is one lady who will do anything to be in the news and if it means commenting on other people’s personal lives so be it. 9

madame X Hello darlings – the industry is positively buzzing with activity these days, some of it very volatile! I really need to give you all the dope that’s had me in splits… So gear up and READ!


oor Pandit Suvashitraj of Delhi had his moment in the limelight by admitting to the Saif-Kareena ‘marriage’ ceremony in all honesty: “They have been eager to marry for a while now.” But this hasn’t gone down well with Saif at all… “I don’t think I’ll be speaking to him in future,” sulks Saif. “He’s just an astrologer who I asked a few questions about my future to. But he has greatly disturbed me.” The big question of hiding all this marriage stuff is so that Bebo (Kareena) can continue to bask in the limelight of her career after Jab We Met. But a pertinent question from my side: is it also because Babita has not quite accepted this relationship as yet? As for poor Sharmila Tagore, she seems totally confused by this whole issue and says, “Saif hasn’t told us anything… He didn’t inform us when he married Amrita… But I don’t think he’ll do the same thing again…” As for me pets, I simply love Rakhi Sawant’s take on the whole thing. “She’s too young for him,” says Rakhi. “He should tie a rakhi on Kareena and make her his kid sister…” Meanwhile, she’s not going through a great time in her own


relationship either. Apparently it’s over with dancer boyfriend Abhishek… After a huge fight, Rakhi is said to have dumped him and thrown him out of her house! And as for the marriage that everyone now knows about, Sanjay Dutt is going around with positive stars in his eyes. Of brand new wife Manyata he says, “I am in love… without a doubt! I have committed to Manyata my faithfulness for life. After a hard day’s work, it feels great to come back to your wife. It’s no more about hearts and flowers when you’re 48. I want my woman to understand my moods and my silences. Besides, we’re both home birds, which is great.” Aditya Panscholi is sporting a great new hair weave… This makes me wonder whether there’s a new girl on the scene as well. Aditya has been cootchie-cooing on the phone rather publicly and like a 16-year-old. Ex-girlfriend Kangna Ranaut meanwhile has decided not to waste more time on their violent liaison and is seriously looking at her career instead. She woke up to reality when told by guide and mentor Mahesh Bhatt, “You have to make the most of the time you have – you don’t know how fast it will pass you by.” Speaking of hair weaves, my sweets, I believe Aditya had his done in Dubai. So did Salman… Is that why they all fly to Dubai under the guise of ‘holiday’ darlings? And how times have changed! There’s wife Twinkle KhannaBhatia sporting an all-new sexy avatar, even showing a bit of cleavage. So Akshay Kumar really has no need to look outside anymore. The one heroine he’s hitched to for work is Katrina and she’s safely hooked to Salman. Akshay’s flying high instead on winning Star of the Year at a recent awards ceremony. He grins happily, “I deserve this. I have earned the industry 500 crores this year and have given three mega hits.” Certainly where credit is due darlings – hats off to him for doing this without the infrastructure of a Shah Rukh or the grandeur of a Sanjay Leela Bhansali… Which reminds me – all the doubts on Jodha Akbar are now erased with Ashutosh Gowarikar raking in laurels for the brilliant film he’s made. The Bachchans were present in full.. In fact all of the industry turned up for Ashutosh’s premiere in a show of support, including Aamir Khan with wife Kiran. That’s what I like about Aamir, darlings, he doesn’t grudge other people their success. Quite unlike Sajid Khan who can’t seem to get Aamir out of his mind. He doesn’t miss an opportunity to take a dig at him, because he’s apparently hurting over the fact that Taare Zameen Par won accolades… Why was Aamir praised for directing Darsheel Saffary is what Sajid wants to know? “Do you know how difficult it was to work with a nine-month-old baby in Heyy Babyy? All the

actors had to patiently shoot around the baby…” Well pets, I can only think of a couple of adages that suit this situation: grapes are sour… when an elephant walks dogs can only bark… But let’s get positive instead while I update you on an industry friendship (and for a change it’s just that!), that’s been growing over two films – Shakalaka Boom Boom and now Money Hai to Honey Hai. I’m talking about Upen Patel and Celina Jaitley who are both health freaks and have bonded over shoots in South Africa and Mauritius. Celina makes no bones about the fact that “Upen has one of the best bodies in the industry and really knows how to conduct himself.” And he returns the compliment with “Celina is a very sweet and honest girl.” And now for two love relationships… Konkona Sen-Sharma is over the moon with an official nod of approval from mum Aparna Sen on her relationship. Boyfriend Ranvir Shorey and Konkona have been living in together for a while and mum apparently likes him! She even flew down from Kolkata recently to attend the premiere of Ranvir’s first solo hero film Mithya, and happily posed for pictures with the two. Do we hear wedding bells in this direction? While Shilpa Shetty, I’d say is looking her best these days. She’s almost shy of admitting to her relationship with Raj Kundra since “I don’t want to attract negative vibes by talking about my relationship.” The two have started an office together in the suburbs from where her new production company, S2, will take off. Shilpa smiles, “When you’re younger, you have so many lessons to learn about relationships. Now you’re looking for things like loyalty and stability.” And before I go darlings, I must tell you that King Khan Shah Rukh is getting all set to make what’s touted as the most expensive film in India, with an apparent budget of 25 million U.S. dollars! To be produced by Red Chillies, it will be dedicated to kids the world over and Shah Rukh says, “I want the effects to be as beautiful as Spiderman. We will devote the next eight to nine months to this project.” Right now, he’s in talks with the best global special effects people. So look for something king size in this department pets! Now I must love and leave you. Till then, lots of love.



HAPPY TIMES AHEAD After being in the centre of several controversies like the Richard Gere episode and racism incident during Big Boss, she finally seems to be headed in the right direction. With the launch of her yoga DVD, a successful run of the musical Bollywood dreams in Europe, new film offers back home and a renewed love life, Shilpa Shetty has moved on to greener pastures


hilpa is back home after a long stint in Europe and one of the highlights of her trip back home has been the fact that beau Raj Kundra joined her and her family in Mumbai soon after. Raj seems to have won over the heart of Shilpa’s entire family. Shilpa is known to be close to her family and it was very important to her that her man gets their approval. He also


celebrated New Year with Shilpa and her family in Las Vegas. He also threw a birthday bash for sister Shamita and even took off with Shilpa to Goa where they celebrated their first Valentine’s Day together. “I’ve never been so happy in my life,” is what she reportedly told a close friend after her Valentine celebration. She has been sporting a huge

diamond ring which has been serving as a hint that she will soon be walking down the isle. But Shilpa refutes. “Yes, I’m dating him, but it’s too early to say anything. I have only just begun to know him better. I hope he will be the one, but it is still very early in our relationship. Yes, I am happy.” Shilpa seems to have finally found happiness, long after her heartbreaks.


I have been lonely for a very long time and it is nice to know that I have somebody to look forward to seeing at the end of the day. There’s someone to share your troubles with and if that someone is on the same wavelength then the world becomes a better place

There was also a slump in her career. But Shilpa has always been known for her grit and determination. Soon she took on the challenge of participating in Big Brother which turned out to be a turning point in her career. It made her an international celebrity! The racist comments from celebrity contestant Jade Goody on the show only made her position stronger. The whole of UK and the rest of the world rallied for Shilpa and she won the show. “I am not someone who can give up. We, as Indians living in our country, don’t understand the meaning of racism. But Asians living abroad obviously face the brunt of it and are very emotional about it. When I went through a bit of bullying I understood how bad the situation must have actually been to have raised such a huge issue. I grew up and came into my own. I understood how resilient I could be. But I can’t see an iota of negativity in this experience. I have become this international figure so it’s something to be grateful for,” says Shilpa. Since then Shilpa hasn’t looked back; she has wined and dined with the best in UK, launched a perfume S2, did a Broadway show Miss Bollywood and has launched her Yoga DVDs. And it was during this time that she met Raj Kundra. The young divorcee, Raj was going through a messy divorce when he 14

met Shilpa. Shilpa and Raj first became business partners, with him investing in Shilpa’s perfume production and then going on to promote her Yoga DVDs as well as her Broadway play. The partnership soon turned into friendship which didn’t go down well with Raj’s estranged wife. She accused Shilpa of breaking their marriage, but Raj supported Shilpa and issued a public statement saying, “Shilpa is just a friend and has got nothing to do with our divorce. I’ve been estranged from my wife much before Shilpa and I met.” From good friends, Shilpa and Raj soon fell in love and in Shilpa’s own words, “I have been lonely for a very long time and it is nice to know that I have somebody to look forward to seeing at the end of the day. There’s someone to share your troubles with and if that someone is on the same wavelength then the world becomes a better place,” she said. As for her career there’s no looking back. Shilpa’s perfume is the second best selling perfume in the UK and her DVDs have been a total sell out abroad. Currently she’s planning to bring out her second Yoga DVD which may even feature her good friend Suniel Shetty. While her Broadway play didn’t receive rave reviews from critics, the audience loved it. After the initial flak it only got better. “We had standing

ovations and houseful shows in most places— Manchester, Birmingham and Bradford. The high point definitely came with the end of the show at the Albert Hall. Just to stand on that stage with 5000 people having come to a show had me thinking ‘God, please just let me pull off this one show well’. I was moved to tears. Also, to take a theatre production solo on my name was a huge high for me. You normally have at least four or five other stars that go on shows abroad.” But good films have eluded her for some time now. After Phir Milenge it took a long for her to land a meaningful role like the one in Metro. After Metro too, she has been waiting for a good offer to come by. She has just signed Sunny Deol’s next home production though, and is happy that she waited for the right role. “It’s an exciting and powerful role. I play an actress. It’s always a pleasure to work with Sunny, he’s a fantastic producer.” And there are more things the actress is dabbling in. She’s busy looking through scripts for her first home production. “After being pampered so much as an actress, being a producer is going to be hard work! But you know me I want to try something new again,” she says. Guess, for Shilpa, dabbling in several things at a time, has become second nature now.


shooting stars







1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 16

Rajan Khosa and Nandana Sen at the Dance of the Wind premiere Vinay Pathak and Neha Dhupia at the Mithya press meet. Saif Ali Khan and Bipasha Basu at the Race promotional event at MTV Roadies. Soha Ali Khan at the Asian Paints event Vashu Bhagnani’s star studded Bollywood bash for their 25th wedding anniversary Urmila launches Delna Poonawala’s store in Mumbai

8 7

10 9



7. Asha Bhosle gets honoured with the Golden Engine presented by Western Railways, Mumbai. 8. Shabana Azmi at the launch of Javed Siddiqi’s novel Shyam Rang 9. Ajay Devgan, Kajol, Isha Sherwani with rest of the cast at U, Me Aur Hum music launch. 10. Sunil Shetty, Mandira Bedi, Ayesha Dharker at the Mumbai Chaka Chak campaign. 11. Director Samar Khan with the cast of Shaurya 12. Ronnie Screwvala with wife and Ashutosh with wife Sunita at Jodha Akbar premiere 17


“Life is beautiful” 18

She looked natural, even ethereal, as the Rajput princess Jodhabai, so much so that she made you feel she has some real connection with Jodha. And you believe Ashutosh Gowarikar when he says, “She is so regal and royal. I believe that she was a princess in her past life.”


hat is Aishwarya for you! Because you know that with Jodha Akbar Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has surely turned a new leaf, and some credit does also go to Gowarikar for tapping a very rare side of Aishwarya through the rebellious, self-righteous and romantic princess. And things seem to be finally settling down with the queen of Bollywood now, after a spate of controversies and rumours. Last year, around the same time, Guru had released getting her a lot of praise and rave reviews for her chemistry with Abhishek Bachchan. Soon after, she tied the knot with Abhishek. And since the time she became the Bachchan bahu, Aishwarya has been in the eye of the storm— stories of her being mangalik, rituals being conducted, and speculation about her motherhood have been rife since her marriage. But Ash seems to be unfazed by them. “We used to get so tired after the long exhaustive days and traveling to and from Karjat every day that we didn’t have the time to quell the rumours,” she says. So is there any truth in the speculation about her motherhood? “Babies will happen when they are meant to. All this

speculation is not going to hurry it up,” she says. One can safely say that Ash has only gotten better. She handles the queries with remarkable composure and ease. In this new phase post-marriage, Aishwarya has also signed quite a few films. There’s Shankar’s Robot with Rajnikant, Sriram Raghavan’s untitled project opposite John Abraham, Ram Gopal Verma’s Sarkar Raaj and her manager Hari Singh’s film. And her excitement is visible. “I think we actors are very greedy. We are like children in a candy shop. For that matter we are children in a candy shop with a sweet tooth. I have never had a dream role and I never constructed one in my head. Because the day you verbalise it, someone will present you a script like that. The film will be done. The dream will be over. So I always start with a clean slate.” You wonder where so much excitement comes from? After working for donkey’s years in the industry and having worked with some of the best filmmakers in Indian cinema— her repertoire boasts of names like Shankar, Mani Ratnam, Aditya Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and more. Then what’s

it that still drives Aishwarya? “You listen to so many scripts and so many ideas. When you are reading the scripts something just clicks and some of the ideas just excite you and my reason for doing a film is different each time. “Sometimes it’s the director Ashutosh in Jodha Akbar’s case. I had really enjoyed seeing his work and as an actor I was happy to work with him. When you look back you want to see the directors you have worked with. Again, with Robot it’s just the whole idea about working with Shankar again. When I did Jeans, I was doing a double role and a technically superior film and at that time it was a very different thing. It was a good ten years ago. It was different working on a film with so many special effects in it. So I came away enriched by that experience. So I’m excited about working with him again after so many years. I know it’s not an intense acting piece but I know I’ll come away with forward thinking technical experience because that’s what Shankar brings. Also we have all seen Rajni sir but but to now work with him and be with him on the sets is something I’m really looking forward. So yes each time it’s different.” But it’s not all about signing a film 19

for Ash. The making of the film is the most fulfilling part of the whole thing. “For me the experience of the making of the movie is the most important. And as the day comes to share it with the audience because it’s the penultimate, since a film is made for the audience and not for private viewing it turns into a moment of curiosity and excitement again. Excitement because it’s a celebration. It’s like ‘here we are sharing the movie with the world to go forth and enjoy, experience, judge, feel or not feel something. Your whole experience of making the film becomes open to millions and I love to find out how they react to it.” Ash has been at the top for a long time now but it’s not only Bollywood that she’s looking at. Offers from Hollywood keep coming though none have really being headline blazing. “When I did Choker Bali no one said I was moving to Tollywood. So why is so much being made out of me doing a few Hollywood films? If things work out on my terms and comfort level then why shouldn’t I explore new avenues? Pink Panther 2 is a big brand with a completely new set of actors and I really enjoyed working on The Last Legion too. I want my Indian fans to see The Last Legion. I did some sword fighting in that film and it even helped me during Jodha Akbar.” 20

Ash feels that Jodha…was one of the most fulfilling experiences she ever had. She still remembers how Gowarikar had first narrated the script to her. “He was very clever about it. He first told Hrithik and me the core of the story, separately, but he said it in a very contemporary setting, as if there were these two big families, business tycoons and their son and daughter fall in love with each other. And just when you begin to say that there is something interesting there to be told he said ‘now take this back. This is the story of Akbar and Jodha. And that makes you sit up instantly.” And she is all praise for her director. “I have ultimate respect for Ashutosh’s approach because he was not trying to blind the actors with the setting and the premise but actually explaining the core of the story of Jodha and Akbar. The relationship that develops between these two post marriage, about how they are willing to embrace each other despite the differences. It was a very different way of conveying it to his actors.” But it was her chemistry with Hrithik Roshan that everyone took note of. Her equation with him has been under the scanner for a long time. They were said to have shared cold vibes during the making of the film, but there was

definitely no sign of that in the film. The heartwarming romance between the two was enough evidence. “As actors we got on so well. We are already friends and so there is an extreme comfort level when we are working together. We have a similar approach to work and we are very passionate, committed and sincere in what we do. All that unfolds when the camera rolls. We are fortunate as co-stars to do such diverse love stories back to back. It sometimes happens that after two or three films you come back together to work on a new story. But we got to play such diverse love stories which are two ends of the spectrum literally. As actors that was a lot of fun because to come up with something new after playing a bold, contemporary and in your face couple in Dhoom 2 we were breaking down and coming up with something so pure, fresh and passionate in its own definition of purity. It was very special working with him.” She is also very excited at the prospect of working with Rajnikant and John Abraham in 2008. And she is definitely excited about working with hubby Abhishek again after Guru. The afterglow of her marriage still seems to be with her. “Life is beautiful. Even though it’s hard work I would recommend marriage to everyone.”


Take 3 feature special

Bollywood’s Famous Generations! India’s largest film industry, Bollywood, certainly has some great families to boast of! Several of these, have given films a unique identity. While the Kapoors gave Bollywood some great actors and films with social messages, the Roshans later brought in technical brilliance… While the Khan brothers Feroz and Sanjay brought in style and flamboyance, their sons continue the legacy. Here’s recounting what these famous families have contributed to Bollywood… THE KAPOORS: The Kapoors are the only family in Bollywood that have given four generations of actors to the industry. Also called the first family of Bollywood, from Prithviraj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor all of them have made people sit up and take notice. No wonder everyone wants to add a Kapoor to their surname. The first of the Kapoors to join the film industry was Prithviraj Kapoor who had always nurtured a secret desire of becoming a famous film star since childhood. In 1920 Prithviraj left his hometown of Peshawar and came to Mumbai to become an actor. It was the era of silent, black and white films and Prithviraj with his larger than life personality stood out in all his films. Hard work paid off and he landed a role in Alam Ara, the first Indian talkie film. But in 1960 tragedy struck when Prithviraj lost the thunder of his voice, which after a surgery, was but a feeble shadow of the power that his voice was synonymous with. His most renowned performance is his portrayal of Sikander, the father of Prince Salim in Muhal E Azam. Prithviraj had three sons all of whom put Indian films on the international map. Oldest son Raj Kapoor was the 22

common man’s actor and portrayed characters that you met every day; a vagabond in Awara, a small-town man who flourishes into a card hustler in Shree 420 to a sacrificing friend and devoted lover in Sangaam. The showman as he was known, launched his own RK studios with Aag in 1948 and gave Bollywood classics such as Mera Naam Joker, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Bobby, Prem Rog and Ram Teri Ganga Maili. In an era dominated by male-centric themes he dared to create strong yet sensitive female protagonists. Younger brother Shammi was India’s answer to Elvis Presley. His flopping of the head and energetic dance numbers ruled the 50s and 60s with films such as Junglee and Tessri Manzil creating new box-office records. Youngest brother Shashi filled the vacuum by becoming the chocolate hero, his good boy looks and romantic hero image made him the most sought after actor in the 70s and 80s. His most popular films include Waqt, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Trishul and Kabhi Kabhi Shashi was also the first Indian actor

to crossover to international films with the Householder and Siddhartha. He produced his brand of films under his banner Filmvalas. While Shammi and Shashi Kapoor’s children stayed away from mainstream Bollywood, Raj Kapoor’s three sons, Randhir, Rishi and Rajeev tried their hand at films while daughters Ritu and Reema Kapoor married and settled down. Women of the Kapoor family never worked in films, even the wives of Randhir and Rishi, actresses Babita and Neetu Singh quit films after they became Mrs. Kapoor. Randhir Kapoor started his career with Kal Aaj Aur Kal and Jawani Diwani but couldn’t reach the heights that his father scaled. He had directed the film Heena. Younger brother Rishi, however, burst upon the scene with the popular teen romance Bobby in 1973, and continued to romance pretty heroines on screen till late 1990s. Rajiv, the youngest of Raj’s sons debuted in Ek Jaan Hain Hum but like Randhir his acting career never took off so he plunged into direction and directed Prem Granth for the R K banner.

Shashi Kapoor’s children on the other hand delved into other aspects of filmmaking, daughter Sanjana Kapoor heralds the Prithvi theatre and sons Kunal and Karan are into advertising. The Kapoors never let their women work but Randhir Kapoor’s daughters, Karisma and Kareena, spearheaded the fourth generation. Both girls had no qualms in portraying a glamorous image and took to Bollywood like fish take to water. Karisma’s Raja Hindustani, Biwi No. 1, Dil To Pagal Hai and Zubeida depicted the range of her acting. After Karisma married and took a break from films, younger sibling Kareena made an entry and like her sister proved her versatility with films like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Chameli and Omkara. The latest and youngest Kapoor who keeps the Kapoor name shining bright is Rishi Kapoor’s son Ranbir Kapoor who has won rave reviews for Saawariya and is the most sought after newcomer today.

THE BACHCHANS From being rejected by the AIR for his unconventional voice to becoming Bollywood’s superstar, Amitabh 23

four years to get his first hit Dhoom. But since then there has been no looking back for Abhishek who recently won critical acclaim for his work in Guru. The latest addition to the Bachchan clan is former Miss World Aishwarya Rai, who recently entered the Bachchan household after marriage to Abhishek.


Bachchan has come a long way. The son of poet Harishvanrai and Teji Bachchan, success and fame didn’t come easy to Amitabh who probably has seen the maximum number of ups and downs in his career than any other actor. But every time Amitabh has risen back like a phoenix. After a series of flops, Amitabh struck gold with Zanjeer in 1971 and was proclaimed as the angry young man of the 70s and 80s. Though he played the angry young man to perfection, Amitabh scored in all types of roles be it the sensitive romances of Yash Chopra’s Kabhie Kabhie and Silsila or the entertainers of Manmohan Desai’s Amar Akbar Anthony and Naseeb. He excelled in all types of scenes be it action, drama, song and dance or comedy and consequently his films began to be a one-man variety entertainment show. Amitabh married Jaya Bachchan also a talented actress in her own right. In fact when the couple began dating Jaya was an established actress while Amitabh was still trying to find his footing. Jaya quit films in 1981 only to make a comeback in 1999. Their daughter Shweta Nanda is the only member in this family who kept herself away from the world of glitz and glamour. She is married to Raj Kapoor’s daughter Ritu’s son Rajeev Nanda and 24

stays in Delhi. Son Abhishek went to study business in Boston University. He quit midway and returned only to debut in J P Dutta’s Refugee. Like his dad Abhishek also didn’t have it easy and had to wait for

The younger brother of journalist turned filmmaker Baldev Raj Chopra; Yash Chopra introduced Indian films to exotic foreign locales and romantic fantasies. While Yash’s older brother B R Chopra made the hit television series Mahabharata, Chopra split with him in 1971 and setup Yash Raj Films and made Daag under his banner which kicked off a series of films on human relationships and love. He is also known for getting casting coups, like the Amitabh-Rekha-Jaya pairing in Silsila. Swiss Alps and women draped in chiffons became synonymous with

Yash Raj Films, Chandni, Lamhe and Darr to name a few. His older son Aditya Chopra stepped into direction and made the longest running Indian romance Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Like his father, he’s produced some big money-spinners with new directors. Hum Tum, Dhoom and Bunty Aur Babl to name a few. He seems to have inherited his father’s Midas touch. Aditya is supposedly the brain behind the Yashraj Studio which is the largest state of the art film studio in suburban Mumbai. But Chopra’s younger son Uday is yet to make a name for himself. He acts in his home-banner films and has two hits to his credit till date, Dhoom and Dhoom 2.

THE ROSHANS The Roshans are the only family in Bollywood to have a member in four departments of filmmaking; production, direction, acting and music. Rakesh Roshan is the son of the legendary music director Roshan and his brother is the popular music director Rakesh Roshan. The senior-most Roshan struck gold in late 40s and early 50s with his scores based on Indian classical melodies. Son Rakesh Roshan was a popular actor in the 1970s but later quit to launch his own production house Filmkraft and began producing and directing films. Rakesh realised the lucky charm of the alphabet ‘K’ and since then all his films necessarily begin with K - from Khudgarz, Karan Arjun, Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Koi...Mil Gaya to it’s sequel, Krrish. Aap Ke Deewane, his first production, was perhaps the only exception to his K-fixation of titles. Rakesh’s wife Pinky is the daughter of the famous director J Om Prakash. Rakesh’s younger brother Rajesh Roshan continues to give music to films including all films of Filmkraft But it’s Rakesh’s son Hrithik that took Filmkraft to soaring heights ever since he debuted with Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai in 2000. The film was produced and directed by Rakesh Roshan and

became the highest grosser of the year. With Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish the father-son duo are only reaching for new heights. Critics said that Hrithik could only do well in his father’s films but Hrithik proved them wrong with Dhoom 2. Hrithik married long time girlfriend Suzanne who is the son of veteran actor and filmmaker Sanjay Khan.

SALIM KHAN AND CLAN Ace script-writer Salim Khan of the popular Salim- Javed duo who were responsible for creating Amitabh’s angry young man character in Zanjeer, may have taken a backseat but his three sons; Salman, Arbaaz and Sohail Khan today form a major camp in the industry. From starting of as the romantic lover in Rajshri’s Maine Pyaar Kiya, Salman has ventured successfully into comedy and action. He commands immense respect within the industry as well as outside. Being an enemy of Salman and surviving in Bollywood is next to impossible, ask Vivek Oberoi. He’s experienced it first hand.

While younger brother Arbaaz is yet to make his mark as a lead actor, he continues to be a common fixture in director Priyadarshan’s films. But it’s his wife Malaika Arora who is probably Bollywood’s highest paid item girl and will soon be making her acting debut in Suniel Shetty’s EMI. Malaika’s younger sister Amrita is also an actress. Youngest brother Sohail Khan has ventured into production, direction and acting with films like Hello Brother and Maine Dil Tujhko Diya. His wife Seema Khan is a fashion designer. Salim’s daughter Alvira Khan is indirectly involved with films too; she designs most of Salman’s costumes and is married to one time actor Atul Agnihotri who has now switched to direction and is known for the boxoffice disaster Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha. Atul Agnihotri happens to be a distant cousin of actress Rati Agnihotri.

SANJAY, FEROZ AND AKBAR KHAN Originally from Bangalore, the Khan 25

brothers moved to Mumbai to try their hand at acting and settled in suburban Juhu. It was oldest brother Feroz who first came to Mumbai with younger brothers Sanjay. Sameer, Shah Rukh and Akbar followed suit. Eventually only Feroz, Sanjay and Akbar went on to become actors and filmmakers. Feroz began with playing second lead in many B-grade films but struck success in 1965 with Oonche Log. He turned producer and director so as to improve his career opportunities as a leading man. He produced, directed and starred in Dharmatma in 1975. It was the first Indian film to be shot in Afghanistan and was also his first blockbuster hit as producer, director and star. Since then he has produced and directed many films such as Jaanbaaz, Yalgaar, Qurbani and Nayakan. His films are known for their exotic locales and splendour. Feroz himself is known for his distinctive dressing sense and dialogue delivery. His son Fardeen Khan inherited not just his father’s good looks but also his style and acting histrionics. Despite having a business management degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the USA, Fardeen chose acting and debuted in his dad’s Prem Agaan. Though the film tanked at the box-office, Fardeen’s career did get a kick-start and he has been a part of many hit films such as No Entry, Bhoot and Heyy Babyy. He is married to Natasha Madhvani who is the daughter of yesteryear actress Mumtaz. Feroz’s younger brother Sanjay followed his older brother’s footsteps and after setting up a successful acting career moved on to producing and directing television series. He starred in and directed the Indian TV series The Sword of Tipu Sultan. While filming in 1989, he got severely burnt in a fire on the sets. He recovered after many months in hospital and since then has produced and directed television serials. He has three daughters and a son Zayed Khan.


Zayed is also an upcoming actor and acted alongside Shah Rukh Khan in Main Hoon Na. While he hasn’t been able to capitalise on his initial success the young actor still has a long time to prove himself. One of Sanjay’s daughters Suzanne is married to Hrithik Roshan. Akbar Khan the youngest brother may not have had as much luck as older brothers Feroz and Sanjay in terms of his career but following the Khan tradition of loving everything that is grand and opulent he produced and directed Taj Mahal An Eternal Love Story, one of the most expensive films of the time.

SURINDER KAPOOR AND SONS The second line of Kapoors in the film industry is producer Surinder Kapoor

and his sons, Boney, Anil and Sanjay. Surinder started his career as secretary to actress Geeta Bali and soon made his way as a producer. Oldest son Boney started his career as a producer with an offbeat and simple film Hum Paanch, which was a surprise hit. Despite having the more famous Kapoors as relatives -- father Surinder is Prithviraj Kapoor’s cousin -- he never once thought of depending on them to get his career going. Boney teamed up with younger brother Anil to give hits such as Mr. India and Woh Saat Din. While his production house had hit bad days Boney recovered with the money spinning No Entry. Boney was married to Mona Shourie till 1996 and then married actress Sreedevi. Boney’s son from his first marriage Arjun Kapoor is now learning to be a director.

Younger brother Anil Kapoor started his career as a supporting actor but teamed up with Boney to give the industry many hits. After a series of successful films, Anil earned his first Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance in N. Chandra’s Tezaab in 1988, and later for Beta in 1992. Since then, he has starred in several critically acclaimed and commercial successes. In 2000 he won his first National Award for Pukar. He is known for his versatility and hard-working nature in the industry. In 2002, Anil ventured into production and has since produced critically acclaimed films such as My Wife’s Murder and Gandhi, My Father. His daughter Sonam Kapoor recently debuted in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya and is currently shooting for Dilli6 opposite Abhishek Bachchan. While dad Anil still continues to play a leading man. The youngest of the Kapoor brothers, Sanjay wasn’t as lucky as Anil. He debuted in Boney Kapoor’s Prem which was a box-office disaster. It was Raja opposite Madhuri Dixit that brought him box office success and he became a star overnight. This was followed by many films which either flopped or did reasonably well at the box office. Though not as successful as his brother, he has managed to get positive reviews from the critics and audience. He now helps older brother Boney Kapoor in producing films and occasionally acts as a supporting actor. 27

what’s cooking


Celina Likes It

Hot! 29


A connoisseur and lover of food, Celina Jaitley takes us through a gastronomic delight as she shares what pleases the palate. She also throws in some sound eating advice!

Day fare… I believe in a good healthy breakfast and have a two-egg omelet of egg whites only, with some whole grain bread. Sometimes I vary this with idlis and sambar, which has healthy vegetables in it. Lunch is light and consists of one chapatti, a leafy vegetable and dal. While dinner is always before eight at night: I have a big bowl of soup, a vegetable or chicken stew or fillet of fish with salad. I avoid bread at night and prefer some whole grain pasta instead.

Shooting sustenance… On days that I am shooting, I eat a lot of high energy foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. I start with a glass of coconut water or perhaps carrot juice, some almonds or walnuts, and then go for a work out. For breakfast I have whole grain porridge. At about 11.00a.m I have a handful of nuts, then a light lunch. At about four in the evening I can’t resist the unit nashta…I can smell the jalebis in my make-up van! I might have a bowl of poha or some sprout chaat. If I’m shooting all night and get hungry at 11 or 12, I have a bowl of spinach soup with a whole grain bread stick.


diseases. You could also have problems with painful periods and things like that. Your diet should support your body and your lifestyle.

Cooking is great I cook everything – from Indian food to Italian, and I now want to start trying Chinese food. I love to create dishes and have secret salad recipes that I don’t share with anyone, not even my parents and brother! My tuna salad is highly in demand from my dad and friends who come from all over to eat it. I also cook a lot of prawn dishes and baked stuff like vegetable or mixed casseroles. I don’t like assistant chefs in the kitchen and am a very grouchy chef if anyone’s around! I simply love the whole process of chopping, peeling, cleaning meat…

Botching up… Whenever I tried cooking back in the 10th grade, our khansama (cook) would be very upset and try to tell me what to do in the kitchen. Or if my brother popped in, he would tell dad ‘Let’s get something to eat from outside, guess who’s in the kitchen today’? I once made some ras malai which nobody except my dad ate! But it’s not like I never wanted to learn to cook!

Proud of…

My cook always brings me food in a quarter plate; so that I don’t end up overeating. At the same time, I never let my body call out for food and eat many little meals during the day. If you keep your stomach full, you burn fat faster, build your energy reserves and strengthen your metabolism.

When I moved to Mumbai is when I learnt to experiment with food whenever I got time off from shooting. And then my parents came over for the first time for dinner. My father looked extremely reluctant, while my mother just couldn’t stop laughing… They couldn’t believe that I had made them a whole meal. I made small sized pizzas and salads. But they loved it…

The diet misconception…

Mum/Dad cooks…

The whole word diet is misconstrued – dieting means eating a well balanced meal and the right kind of food! Earlier I would starve and end up fainting… But after Miss India I consulted the right kind of dieticians and learnt never to keep empty. That only provokes really low immunity and you’re prone to various infections and

My dad cooks meat the best – it’s the most delicious dish on the planet according to me. He makes this Peshawari style meat which is very spicy and I love it. Mum also makes an amazing meat awadhi biryani which is absolutely the best. When they cook, I eat the food for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Mum also makes amazing 31

Cassata ice-cream, a biscuit pudding, chocolate cake, Russian salad… I could go on and on!

Wine is fine… I do occasionally enjoy a glass of rose – red wine – when at home; maybe once a week. And if mum makes fish, I have a glass of white wine with it. But my favourite is red wine, especially of the Portuguese kind, which I discovered in Goa. It is tinged with pink and has a sparkle to it.

Water don’ts My yoga guru gave me a very good regime. He told me not to drink water for an hour after eating. I have managed to get to half-an-hour. This way, the food gets a chance to synthesis in its own juices and fat is burnt easier. When you drink water immediately after a meal you dilute the nutrients of the food and they are not consumed well. Not drinking water immediately also helps to avoid a fat belly. When you follow up with water later, it aids whatever undigested food that remains.

Milk in Mauritius Upen Patel, who has one of the best bodies in the line, follows the same kind of eating regime that I do. When we were shooting in Mauritius recently for Money Hai to Honey Hai, he reintroduced me to the goodness of milk. So both our spot boys would be bringing us thermoses filled with milk, even at night and everybody wondered what was wrong with us! Milk gives you adequate energy and increases the metabolic rate and now I’m hooked on to it. It contains certain good bacteria which is good for the skin and is a great source of natural calcium for women.

World eatery… In South Africa my favourite food destination is the Ocean Basket chain of restaurants. They serve the most delicious king clip fish with saffron rice and a secret recipe green chilly chutney. I was first introduced to this when I shot for No Entry and then while filming Shakalaka Boom Boom, Mr. Sunil Darhsna, Upen, mummy and I would end up eating at Ocean Basket practically every day. In Switzerland I would eat the most fattening raclette and cheese fondue – live on it day and night! You have all these little raclette grills at small cafés in Lucerne. Also people’s homes that have been converted into restaurants are the best to eat at.

Cabbages & Condoms! In Bangkok I simply love the Thai food; especially the Padthai papaya salad and spicy red snapper. It’s delicious particularly at this restaurant called Cabbages & Condoms, which is a supporter of an HIV village camp. 32

Whatever you spend there goes towards funding HIV victims. And when you leave, they give you 10 condoms to take away! So not only do you enjoy a good meal, you’re also helping a worthy cause…

In Los Angeles… …is where I have had the best Iranian food cooked by my best friend’s mum. She makes this dish called Ghorme Sabzi which includes meat with special leaves of vine and olive.

Back Home… I often get into a jacket and a hat and sneak off to Leopold’s Café in town. It just has such a different vibe; the steak is amazing and they serve some quaint Chinese food as well. Not many people know about this restaurant Song Hey in Lokhandwala that’s run by a Chinese family who cook the food themselves. I would give this place 500 points for authentic and good Chinese food. The Peshawari at the ITC Maratha also has very good food and the standard of service is good.

Paani-puri… There’s this one man who makes paani-puri who I believe is reserved only for Celina Jaitley! He stands outside the Low Price store near my home and my cook gets it from him. It’s a Jaitley family tradition at 5.00p.m every day to eat this! I also enjoy vada-pao and Film City canteen has the best. While at Kamalistan Studio you get the best missal-pao!

Clubbing it: When abroad, I love to try places on the street: little cafes with live music... In Europe the club culture is very nice – it’s not violent or boisterous. Also while I was shooting in Auckland in New Zealand, there was this barcum-restaurant at Quay Bay called Wildfire. All of us from the unit would end up there in the evenings – they have this big wildfire burning in a cauldron and the atmosphere is lovely. There’s a quaint bar with small stools in a corner and you get some great barbecue and grilled food.

Heart Warming Food Anything that’s spicy and sour cheers me up! I have a habit of adding amchur, salt and mirchi to most of what I eat! When I’m stressed, spicy food does it for me! The only time I stop eating altogether is when I’m hyper – at delays or at film release time.

Fruit route… The only fruit I really love is chickoo, raw mango, and rock melon. I hate apples, bananas, mangoes…and the other fruit!

RECIPE-JAITLEY TUNA SALAD! Ingredients: Two cans of tuna in brine or spring water Equal proportions of 3 kinds of salad leaves – Romaine lettuce, rocket leaves, celery sticks (chopped fine) A couple of spring onions (chopped fine) A few cloves of garlic cloves – roasted on a tava till brown 3 tablespoons olive oil 5 big tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar A teaspoon of red chilly flakes Lemon juice Method: First make the dressing. Mix the oil and vinegar well in a shaker with the chilly flakes and the roasted garlic. Let this stand for sometime so that it absorbs the flavour of garlic. Open the cans of tuna; drain the brine/ water and spread out on a plate. Marinate this with fresh black pepper and a dash of lemon juice. In a bowl, gently tear the salad leaves; add in the celery sticks, the spring onions, the marinated tuna, mix well and add the dressing on top. You could also add shavings of Parmesan cheese if you desire. Serve with hot toast with Nutralite butter.


home truths


Neha Space! Right now, she loves the serenity of her home in Bandra, with just a maid for company. And she’s almost emotional when she says, “When I was doing up the house, I made sure I put in everything – time, money and effort – to make sure it turned out to be the way I had planned it to be.” So here’s the queen of her castle, speaking on all that it took to make it special!


he predominant colour of her home being white, Neha has enjoyed throwing in the occasional coloured wall to offset the white. And when she returns home, “I leave everything and everyone else outside the door!” Earlier, even her rented apartment at Versova meant a lot to her and she took pains to make that home too. “My interior decorator Inaad Pardesi and I thought in a similar manner. His inputs were fantastic. He understood me before my understanding what I wanted for the house! 34

I like the fact that everything is so minimalist. I know every part and corner and it is there for a reason. Even if it does not have the best furniture, it’s the positive feeling and the right vibrations which are important. After all home is a place you want to be when you’re happy, sad, lonely… So it needs to have the right kind of décor and vibe.” And to create a feeling of airy and spacious, many of the tables in her home, instead of legs, are simply attached to the walls! Earlier, “interior designer, Niti Patel of Rouge Boutique (also owns an art gallery), helped me



When I ask my mum how to cook, she tells me to just get into the kitchen and let your approximation be your own. In Hindi, it means ‘swaad-anusaar

greatly with her aesthetic inputs. “I also love listening to music but didn’t want a huge music system so we have I-Pod attachments. And I love to cook too, so I have an open kitchen, making it easier to be in conversation while I cook. I make a lot of salads and continental food, so I like to bake a dish or two. When I ask my mum how to cook, she tells me to just get into the kitchen and let your approximation be your own. In Hindi, it means ‘swaadanusaar’.” Though she does have friends over for meals, she laughs that she ends up chatting more than cooking! She feels that the perfect combination for a home is dark furniture, which gives a concrete feel, with light upholstery to give more space and light. “It goes well with lamps or when it’s bright and sunny as well.

I don’t like printed upholstery but I would rather go for solids.” And if you find a lot of her furniture rectangular in shape that’s because “I guess I am more structured as a person. I don’t like things which are rounded off. I like everything with sharp edges. I am quite a sharp person too! Though I keep bumping into things quite often… But besides that, it is great fun. “Where paintings go, right now, I own a Nikhil Chaganlal. It has the most bright fushias, greens and reds in it. I also have these two pieces from the Oriwal ashrams in Pondicherry. Old flat dried leaves are pasted on handmade paper which become fibrous and blend well into it. I had it framed and put up on a wall with a cream background. Since the flowers are also cream, the great craftsmanship looks lovely.” She also loves her candles and



cushions, which she has lots of. “I also have a thing about collecting fridge magnets from all over the world! And I always have fresh flowers at home. I like many lamps – home feels the coziest when lit with lamps.” Neha’s bedroom is a favourite spot to lounge around in. But not being an extremely technically savvy person, her plasma TV and her walk-in closet mean most to her. “It’s small and organized with drawers and shelves so that I know exactly what goes where – be it accessories, belts, shoes… I also enjoy spending a lot of time at my dresser! First because my work expects me to and second, because of the way it is done up.” Shorts and a T shirt do nicely for Neha on the days she gets off from shooting. “My music – the soulful kind – is always playing. I spend a lot of time on the net chatting with close friends who are far away. I am also eccentric when it comes to cleaning and my house is cleaned twice a day! I like chilling out on the balcony if it’s a nice sunny day. I catch up on my TV and movie watching, I love to read and cook. And yes, I like to sleep as much as I can.” A luxury she really indulged in is her pride and joy – the massage chair she bought herself. It helps her relax after a long and tiring day of shooting. “And sometimes, it doubles as the world’s most expensive clothes hanger till I tidy up!” Adjusting to a flat in Mumbai after the space of her parents’ bungalow in Delhi is something that initially left Neha floundering. But now she admits that, “Living alone is fun and besides, you’re not answerable to anyone else. I look into every aspect of my home – I even want to know how much a gas cylinder costs.” And when she does need pampering, she still takes that flight to Delhi! “I go to my parents’ home, put my feet up and relax and don’t do a thing. At that time they totally take over and pamper me to the hilt!”


style check




My Favourite Outfit: Long skirts and halters My Favourite Outfit: when I am driving to a Shoot: Jeans and shirt My Favourite Evening Wear: Jeans, corsets and long skirts For Formal Dinning: Either a shirt and jeans or may be Indian like a sari To a Party at a Friend’s Place: Jeans and T-shirt I Like to Sleep in: Pyjamas & tank tops My Favourite Designers are: Armani and B&B My Favourite Colours are: Black, white, gold, red and pink My Favourite Fabrics are: Cotton My Favourite Brand in Jeans is: Guess I have a Collection of: White shirts and loads of jeans. I have a Fetish for: Shoes My Favourite accessory is: A watch My Wardrobe is incomplete without: An attractive belt and shoes I look best in: Long skirts I would like my man to be dressed in: White shirts and blue jeans

My Shampoo is: I go for the aroma. For example I love vanilla. But my favourites are John Frieda and Paul Mitchel. My Conditioner is: John Frieda My hair is: Too straight The Texture of my hair is: Good The Colour of my Hair is: Dark brown I Like my Hair streaked in: Browns. I find blonde streaks very weird for Indian hair. At Home I Like my Hair to be: My hair is too straight so I just keep it loose or otherwise tie it up depending on the mood. For Formal Occasions I: Keep it free. I hate doing too many hairstyles. My Hairstylist is: Me I admire/ envy the Hair of: I love my own hair. But I also love my mom’s hair. My Hair care Routine comprises: All the blow drying and colouring affects the hair so I use coconut oil and almond oil which is good for hair. I basically oil it a lot, at least once a week. I don’t do anything else. I just oil it, wash it and leave it open.



The Best Dressed Men & Woman in the Industry: Can’t think of any For the first day of my Shoot I wore: I first shot for Falguni Pathak’s music video and in my first shot I had to wear a long night gown. I pick up my clothes from: Just pick up whatever I like, mostly abroad. I love to shop in Dubai and USA. Especially in Los Angeles. I never leave my house without: My glasses. I cannot do without: A hair brush An inexpensive thing that I bought but I treasure: I have loads of jeans which I have bought really cheap The Brand of the watch I wear: Rolex, Cartier

When I am not Shooting: I don’t wear any make-up. My Favourite Shades of make-up are: I like pinks and peaches My Favourite Brands in make-up are: Bobby Brown and Mac Make-up I hate using: Lip gloss and lip sticks. The features I like to conceal when doing make-up: None The features I like to highlight: My eyes My Favourite perfume: Amarige by Givenchy My handbag at any time consists of: A brush, lip balm and credit card My Favourite Brands in Bags and Shoes: Mango 41

frankly speaking



THE NUMBERS GAME IS SCARY!” Post the success of Jab We Met Shahid Kapoor is on a high; not just with critics and filmmakers but also with the girls. Vidya Balan, Amrita Rao, Sanya Mirza; everyday he’s linked with a new lady. Is Shahid desperate to fall in love post his break-up with Kareena? We find it out from the 26-year-old who’s come a long way since his debut film Ishq Vishq … The otherwise media-shy Shahid Kapoor is suddenly all over the place? I’ve never been media-shy. I love interacting with the media but then I should have some reason for that. Jab We Met was that reason. So who are you celebrating Valentine’s Day with? Vidya Balan, Sanya Mirza or Amrita Rao? (Laughs) Sorry to disappoint you but none of these three women. Then tell us who the lucky girl is? As of now there’s none but when there will be someone I will definitely tell you. Has love left you disillusioned and heartbroken? When a long term relationship breaks you do get heartbroken but that’s life and you have to move on. As long as we were together we had a good time and I’m not disillusioned. Being in love is a great feeling and I’m ready to fall in love again. I think everyone should fall in love. It’s always nice to have someone to care for and who in turn cares for you.

Neither you nor Kareena ever spoke about the reasons for your split? The reasons for our break-up were very personal and I don’t intend to discuss it with anybody.

Why not? We’ve done so many films in the past. If the script and storyline is good, we’ll definitely do more films together. Besides, I think in Jab We Met, our chemistry is remarkable.

There have been rumours that you forced Kareena to attend satsangs, quit non-vegetarian food and were flirting with Amrita Rao? I’m not the kind of guy who will force his girlfriend to adapt a way of life that she isn’t comfortable with. I never forced Kareena to turn vegetarian and I don’t need to prove this to anybody. As far as my relationship with Amrita is concerned we are very good friends and have been co-stars for four years, nobody linked us for these four years but now suddenly people are cooking up false stories.

In hindsight do you feel that the air surrounding your break-up helped in making Jab We Met a hit? I think the only thing that can make a film a hit is a strong script and hard work! Everything else is secondary.

So much is being reported about Kareena and her current boyfriend Saif. Does it bother you seeing your ex with another man? No, I’ve outgrown that feeling. I’ll always be fond of Bebo and I will always wish the best for her. Will you work with her in the future?

At an awards function recently you both were snapped chatting backstage? Kareena and I are both mature individuals and we’ve left the past behind us. You have started smoking? I got this bad habit while shooting for Milenge Milenge, in which I play a chain smoker. It’s a very bad habit and I am trying my best to give it up. Any other vice apart from smoking? I have a very bad vice that I want to desperately quit, my tea addiction. There have been days when I’ve gulped down seven to eight full mugs of tea! 43


Kareena is winning awards for Jab We Met but you are not. Don’t you feel left out? Bebo is a terrific actress and she has worked very hard in Jab We Met, her awards are well deserved. My competition happens to be Shah Rukh Khan in Chak De India! Comparatively Bebo has less competition. Coming to Shah Rukh, critics say that you have a Shah Rukh hangover? (Laughs) If people think that way then I can only say that I’m flattered that they are comparing me with someone like Shah Rukh who is such a talented actor and a huge star. But it is unfair to compare the two of us because Shah Rukh is much senior to me. I’d tell the critics to give me my own space and five years to prove myself. There have been rumours that post the success of Jab We Met you are now demanding that producers to give you distribution rights and profits from your films? I’m a practical guy with a modest background. I know the value of money and my value as an artist. I’m asking for a fair sum that won’t tax my producers. I want to stay in this industry for a long time. In my low phase, people should remember me as deserving and straightforward, not someone who duped them simply because I was a success. I believe that if you do good work, fame and money will follow. In terms of work how busy is 2008 for you? I am working on only two films this year. One is my dad, Pankaj Kapoor’s film and the other is a Yash Raj film. For a newcomer aren’t you being a bit too choosy? I was expecting this question. The last time I told this to a reporter I was compared to Aamir Khan. Please don’t write all that stuff. Aamir is a very senior actor and I respect him a lot.

I’ve just started my career and at 26 I can’t afford to be selective but I don’t want to do a dozen films and then regret doing them later. Working with someone as talented as your dad, doesn’t that make you nervous? When I signed his film I was very nervous but these days whenever we meet all we do is discuss the film so now I’m not that nervous. In fact I’m excited and can’t wait to start working on it. I’m not a trained actor and working with him would be like an acting workshop for me. Have you worked with him before? During my college days I would assist him on his television serials but that was different, now he is going to direct me. As an actor has your dad influenced you? My dad is a great actor and every time I see him perform I feel like there’s so much more for me to learn. Whenever I see his films I’m only humbled. Even my mum is a very good performer and the good thing about both my parents is that they are extremely critical of my performance. When you achieve success in life people tend to praise you. At that time you need someone to keep you grounded and to make you realise your mistakes and learn from them. If you don’t have such an influence in your life, especially in our career, then it becomes difficult to improve. Sources say that you walked out of your mum’s film because your dad pressurised you? I haven’t rejected my mom’s film. She hasn’t yet completed the script of the film and I’m not sure when she wants to start work on it. Tell us something about Aziz Mirza’s Kismet Connection? In Aziz uncle’s Kismet Connection I’m playing this struggling unemployed

youngster who is desperately looking for work but nobody seems interested in hiring him. This guy’s biggest strength is his wit and he uses it to the T. My look in this film is a bit different: I have grown my hair and I have tried to do something different. How would you describe yourself as an actor? Acting to me is a combination of two things; emotion and technique. A good actor is someone who finds the correct balance between emotion and technique. Some actors find it easy to strike that balance while for some others it takes years. Acting is also about spontaneity, recreating and maintaining it. The energy level that you have in one shot should continue through the film. Did you always want to be an actor? I started working when I was 22years-old. At that point of time I wasn’t well versed in the ways of the industry. Both my parents were actors but still when I started working for myself I found things to be quite strange and different. Sometimes when I look back and wonder how things happened to me, I don’t have an answer. Is being a star easy? I’d say being a star and an actor is very difficult. Sometimes it seems like the best career because you get to play so many roles, visit so many places and of course the awards. But the amount of hard work that goes into acting is tremendous. It’s not about looking good and mouthing some dialogues it’s about transforming yourself into a different character every few months. After achieving whatever little I have, my respect for my seniors and all the stars have gone up… Do you believe in the numbers game? Honestly the whole numbers game is scary and once you get into it, it’s difficult to come out of it. I saw success first and then failure in my second film, so I have done the balancing act.

in the pictures



KATRINA K AIF With Namaste London, Apne, Partner and Welcome establishing her position from 2007 to 2008, Katrina Kaif is now a force to reckon with

he’s making the box-office go Boom, as opposed to her debut in the disastrous film of the same name! With Namaste London, Apne, Partner and Welcome establishing her position from 2007 to 2008, Katrina Kaif is now a force to reckon with. If you call her fluff in these films she counters, “Films like Welcome and Partner are more targeted at an audience reach. And they’re very important to me in terms of commercial viability.” Whereas acting goes, she is still sentimental about Namaste London, “since it gave me a lot of scope to act. Hopefully, 2008 will be an exciting year – I am excited to work with different filmmakers and do projects with scope to perform.” And having said this, she has coming up: AbbasMustan’s Race, Subhash Ghai’s Main Yuvraj, Singh is King with Akshay again, YashRaj Films’ next with John. “I have good roles in these films,” she smiles. So is she excited about the YashRaj film? “All I can say at this point is that when people see the film, they’ll see why I chose to do this role. I have a good, solid reason to do this film.” She’s also dreamy about Ghai’s Main Yuvraj for two reasons. For one thing, “This is one film where my presentation is very important. You know how Subhash Ghai presents all of his heroines so specially, in a traditional light… I also get to act!” The other reason of course is that she will appear opposite boyfriend Salman Khan! Personally speaking, Katrina is tired of her relationship being made the butt of the media and actors alike, taking potshots at Salman: “People should really think before they say things about Salman. Just because he doesn’t retaliate… He’s so senior in the line and does have a solid body of work behind him.” On the family front, one hears that Katrina’s little sister might also give films a shot. Family is her strong support system and she’s happy that “I was able to buy my own home last year. Now I can have my family come to visit.” And even as we go to Press, Katrina consolidates her box-office position even further, having been signed for a two-film deal by Studio 18. Apparently, she gets a whopping six crores for this! 47

director special

‘I don’t know any other way’ 48

A sketch of the Lagaan team, a photograph of Shah Rukh Khan amidst the crowd— reminiscent of Swades and a huge poster of AishwaryaHrithik as Jodha and Akbar, adorn his office walls. He has lived with each of his movies for at least two to three years, and his attachment is understandable. He is one director who has never been in the limelight for being Ashutosh Gowarikar, but for being the director of path-breaking films like Lagaan, Swades and Jodha Akbar.


lmost an hour late, Ashutosh begins to placate me and a couple of others who have been waiting for him. Even as he enters the room with wife Sunita for company, he begins to apologise for the delay. “I was working till 7 am this morning, so had to catch up on some sleep,” he says. I was meeting Ashutosh a few days before the release of Jodha Akbar but the stress that everyone had been

talking about was absent. It looked more like anticipation; not nervousness but excitement that his film was finally releasing. Tell him that his films have only got bigger and only taking longer to release and he agrees. Will he ever make a small film? “Right away! My next film will be shot in 30 days straight at just one or two major locations and will have the smallest budget I have ever 49

had,” he says with a mischievous smile. “No, really! My next film will be a small one. Jodha Akbar was huge; with the research, scores of animals, war sequences and the detailed planning.” Just then his phone rings and it’s the doctor calling to check on his back problem. He’s been wearing a belt around the back, which he fiddles with. Everyone has been talking about his back problems being related to the stress that came with Jodha Akbar. “No. I had just picked up a very heavy bag and ended up pulling my back muscle.” That too put to rest; the conversation veers to his fascination for the story of Jodha Akbar— the love that began with marriage, a political alliance between a Rajput princess and a Mughal king. Talk about that and Ashutosh is pumped up. He immediately pulls out books from his bookrack and puts them in front of me. “Abul Fazal wrote Akbarnama and Munta Khabu-L-Tawari wrote AlBadori. These two courtiers wrote two contrasting accounts of what happened in the Mughal harems. As they weren’t allowed in there, they never knew about what transpired between the king and his women. When Haider Ali wrote about the political alliance between Mughals and Rajputs, he wrote about how love could not have played a part in the marriage of Jodha and Akbar. You have seen love stories between the prince and princess but this is about how they could have fallen in love after their wedding. It comes from the fact that I find the concept of arranged marriages, even today, very fascinating.” He admits that though most of the films have taken long to be made and involved a lot of struggle, Jodha Akbar was the most challenging one. “Bhuvan and Mohan Bhargav were characters that came from my imagination. Even the villages like Champaner were sketched from my mind. But Agra Fort will always be Agra Fort. I couldn’t change its architecture. We had to go to museums and get the right size and look for the armour. Jewellery had to planned a year in advance—Muhgal and Rajput jewellery also are completely 50

different. The war scenes had to be shot well. We needed 100 elephants and camels and we had to tell the production a year in advance and give them the exact dates when we would require them for shooting next year. So it was the toughest film so far.” There has always been a surprise element about his films but Ashutosh

says that it is not something that he intends to do when he starts out to make a film. “I’m never thinking of surprising the audience. I just go along with my first response to a story and I just continue to pursue that,” he says. But every successful director has a distinguishable characteristic and with Ashutosh it is his ability to tell extraordinary tales in

the simplest of ways— may it be the grand cricket match between Bhuvan’s team and the British over tax or Mohan Bhargav making electricity in a small village. Even his latest offering was the royal love story of a king and queen amidst war and political alliances. “I never consciously thought of that but I guess I don’t know any other way, I just make films that come from my heart.” You know he follows his heart when he says this, as it is evident from his choice of subjects and the fact that he has never shied away from making anything that he finds risky. “I don’t like to break up my audience into classes and masses or according to territories. I make a film on the subject that appeals to me. If I enjoy it only then will I be able to do justice to it. If the film is engaging enough it will work,” says Ashutosh. Though everyone remembers Ashutosh from his Lagaan days of success, he is someone who has gone

through his own struggles. After years of acting, when Ashutosh stepped into the director’s shoes, he chose to make Pehla Nasha with Deepak Tijori in 1993 and Baazi with Aamir Khan in the early 90s and both failed to make a mark at the box office. “The failure did set me back. I look at that as a period of learning in terms of cinema. I realised what kind of stories needed to be told. I learnt a lot about what kind of films I wanted to make. I learned the motifs— basically the cinematic grammar which I’m learning even now. All that helped me make better films.” Ashutosh is an avid moviegoer but has been living in a completely different era for the past one year when he was busy making Jodha Akbar. He has only just begun to snap out of it. “Ashutosh’s personal film festival is about to begin. There are loads of films I need to catch up on. There’s Johnny Gaddar, Chak De India, Jab We Met, No Smoking, Taare

Zameen Par….” Ashutosh has always been a movie buff. When in the waiting area, he had pointed at the books lying on the couch and said “Here are some movies for you.” Cinema of India and New York Times Guide to the 1000 best movies ever made were the two books kept for those who went to meet him. “I have been influenced by scores of film makers. From David Lean and Kurosawa to V Shantaram. I have grown up watching films.” But Ashutosh admits that the movies that he watched as a youngster didn’t lead him to films. “I was only an avid moviegoer. I didn’t want to be an actor or director.” Then what did he want to become? “An architect,” he says. Thank God! Good for us, you are in the movies! “Why do you say so? Probably you could have seen a building or a bridge I made and said ‘Wow, what architecture!’” I think we’d prefer to say ‘Wow, what a movie!’ Won’t we?


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passion play


Right now Kareena and Saif are together amidst speculation of a secret nikaah, which Saif denies… Yet his astrologer confirms a ceremony! They broke a heart to get together… Their relationship is volatile… And as for passion, there’s loads of that too! The romantic setting… Their backgrounds coincide; they’ve known each other as kids. While Kareena hails from the famed Kapoor family, Saif is the princely scion of the house of Pataudi. Almost like a fairy


tale romance, this love story began on the climes of Ladakh, where they were shooting for YashRaj Films’ Tashan, last September. The passion continued on location in Jaisalmer but they kept it under wraps. Then they were spotted

together clubbing in Delhi and meeting his family. Saif and Kareena, while partying with good friends Amrita Arora and boyfriend Usman Afzal, deleted pictures from a photographer’s camera, when he caught them in a clinch on a

Delhi dance floor… At Manish Malhotra’s finale for Wills Fashion Week in October 2007, they finally put in an appearance together and Saif admitted, “Yes, we are not exactly shouting from the rooftops but yes, clearly we are together. And we are happy together. For the time being, that’s all I am comfortable with saying. I think the media is giving this too much attention. Kareena and I are here and are happy with each other.”

The broken heart… While all of Mumbai, Delhi, Ladakh and Jaisalmer knew, Kareena’s exboyfriend Shahid Kapur was oblivious, shooting in Canada. When he got to know he said, “Yes, I’m single…Yes, it hurts…Yes, I will fall in love again!” Seeing Kareena and Saif all over town didn’t help much either… “It would be dishonest to say that this doesn’t affect me. I am human, it hurts to see and read this all the time. I guess I have no choice but to live and deal with it. But I hold nothing against anybody. I’ll cherish the good memories of that relationship and move on.”

The crazy passion… The lovers, now oblivious to all else were following each other around the world. Kareena flew to Bangkok at New Year’s to be with Saif, who was shooting for Kunal Kohli’s film. They holidayed at an exotic beach resort and Saif even cried when he dropped Kareena to the airport for her Mumbai flight. But Tashan soon followed as a saving tie and they flew off to Greece before the unit could get there, for some private time. While she stayed on to complete her portions of shooting, Saif flew back for a Parikrama concert. But story goes that he called her immediately when off stage, to propose, since he couldn’t live without her!

Proved engraving! Saif appeared at his concert sporting a bold ‘Kareena tattoo’ on his forearm! Engraved in the Devnagri script, he had this done at Hakim Alim’s tattoo

parlour in Bandra, after friends teased him about proving his love for Kareena. It took him a month to browse through various calligraphic styles to finalize the shape of the tattoo. He then sat through a two to three hour session to have this done in indelible ink. He also reportedly slashed his palm when a friend asked, “How much do you love her?”

Volatile… At their first public appearance, it was noticed that Saif and Kareena argued in a volatile manner. This was at a party hosted by director Farhan Akhtar and Saif even told Kareena to “Shut up!” But they made up before the night was over.

Recently, at Amrita Arora’s birthday party at the end of January, Saif and Kareena got into another argument. A friend says, “Saif is extremely insecure when other macho men are around and people like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman were present. Kareena and he were arguing and he didn’t like the way Kareena then interacted with Salman. The two are friends but Saif sulked in a corner and it took Kareena a lot to pacify him…”

Love is… KAREENA: “The word love and commitment itself defines their meaning. I can’t express it (love for Saif) in words.” 53

SAIF: “I’m seriously involved and yes, the relationship would come to a logical conclusion, namely marriage. But when it does we’ll announce it properly. But let me make it clear. She is the woman I want to marry and will marry.”

First Valentine’s Day… SAIF: “The marriage rumours did not upset Valentine’s Day for us. Why should they? But no, I don’t want to talk about our plans and what we did. That’s very private.” KAREENA: “We weren’t able to meet on that day… I was shooting for Golmaal Returns while Saif was in Europe…so no celebration.”

The secret nikaah… January 23 was supposedly the day, on which Saif and Kareena had a secret nikaah with a maulvi present, also solemnized by a couple of marriage registrar officials at Saif’s new home at La View Patni, in Bandra. Apparently, Saif had also consulted his astrologer on the 54

ring – a whopping one-crore ring, set in blue diamonds and a ruby. He is also supposed to have gifted Kareena a BMW. Saif recently purchased the top two floors of this building and is re-doing the bedrooms and the kitchens. And Kareena has a lot to do with supervising the renovation work…

Astrologer confirms… Saif’s astrologer Pandit Suvashitraj says, “Yes, I did hear that Saif and Kareena solemnized their relationship with a formal exchange of rings in the presence of a maulavi on Wednesday. The ceremony took place at 12.30 p.m. This is what is known as vachan vivaah. They have been very eager to marry for a while now. Saif asked my advice on a ring that would cement their relationship emotionally and I suggested that Kareena should wear diamonds with a ruby…”

Saif’s denial The chhote nawab insists, “This marriage rumour is the giddy limit.

There was no nikaah. Both our families are very upset by these rumours. We’ll certainly marry but not for the next three odd years. Right now we have our careers to concentrate on. I’m especially worried about how such rumours will affect Kareena’s career. As for the astrologer, Pandit Suvashitraj is someone I did consult in the past. Out of a flippant curiosity I asked him questions about my future. I’m greatly disturbed by the amount of information he seems to have accumulated on my personal life. I don’t think I’ll be speaking to him again. “We aren’t married. We aren’t living together. Unfortunately I don’t get to see Kareena half as much as I’d like to. I do hope Kareena and I live together in my new house. But that would be in the future. Our families are ready for us to marry whenever we decide to…” So Bollywood’s hottest couple continues to be just that – the most talked about and passionate in town!



Anjana Sukhani Gracy Singh Sameera Reddy


take 3

“Amitabh was extremely good to me” 56

Salaam-e-Ishq and Sunday were just the beginning for this perky actress, Anjana Sukhani. And though she claims she can be a total introvert, she chatted happily about the star experiences she’s had so far. Here’s a fresh take from this December 10 born girl! Would you say Salaam-e-Ishq was the best thing that happened to you? Being part of that film was an honour in itself; to work alongside such big stars and great actors. I have always been an Anil Kapoor fan, he’s incredible; and just to stand and perform in the same frame with him was great. I never thought something like this would happen to me. It really turned my career around and put me in a completely different league. You also stood out in the film… I think I was very fortunate to stand out in a crowd of 12 actors like those in the film! Also the critics were very kind to me. Which actor that you have worked with so far, impressed you? I think Priyanka Chopra has been really nice to me and I adore her. She has no starry airs and is so humble and down to earth. I remember while doing the ‘Babuji’ song in Salaam-e-Ishq, I was extremely nervous about whether I’d be able to pull it off. I told Priyanka I was nervous and she said don’t worry. I even asked her whether she’d come on the sets while I was shooting for the song and she actually did. She spent a couple of hours with me, even though she was not required to shoot. That speaks a lot about the kind of person she is. Then again, Anil Kapoor made a big impression on me. He was always there by my side, helping me to do well. He would give me a whole lot of tips on filming and would sweetly say, ‘Beta, do this… don’t do this’. He literally treated me like his daughter. You didn’t get noticed in your first film… Yes, even though people think Salaam-e-Ishq was my first film, it was actually Hum Dum. I worked opposite a

newcomer called Romit and personally, I thought it was a wonderful film. But I think we suffered in the promotion department and the film wasn’t publicized too well. Still, it did do a 50day run in Mumbai… How come you didn’t have much to do in Sunday? I knew from the beginning that mine was more of a guest appearance in Sunday. But I took it on since I was offered Rohit Shetty’s second film as well, Golmaal Returns. I really wanted to be part of this team. I have a good role in Golmaal… and most of my scenes are with Ayesha Takia. We never had any issues and it was a really a smooth shoot. What projects do you look forward to next? I have a film with Sharman Joshi called Allah Ke Bandhe; and one with Fardeen and Kunal Khemu called Jai Veeru.

with Ajay Devgan, and one with Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan… They’re all such great guys and actors that I’d like to finish my quota of working with them while they’re still around! I’m just 24 now, but I certainly hope I get to do this! What are you like as a person? I think I’m a blend of both – I can be such an introvert and at the same time such an extrovert that I can just go up and talk to unknown people. I amuse myself sometimes when I think about this! I guess it all depends on the vibes I get from people – that’s very important to me. I love to travel, read; cook up my own creations… In fact, when I need to de-stress, cooking is the best exercise! And your family consists of… Well even though we’re originally from Jaipur, I have been brought up largely in Mumbai. I live with my parents and my elder brother. They’re my best support system!

What was your experience of working with Amitabh Bachchan in the Cadbury commercial? I wasn’t intimidated by him at all because he was so nice and humble – he never made me feel like ‘Hello, I’m Amitabh Bachchan’. He was extremely nice to me. I remember once, I was standing in the sun waiting for the shot. He promptly sent over his Man Friday with an umbrella and a chair for me to sit down. Don’t you think that says it all? He is at the top truly because of the kind of humble person he is. A week after shooting the commercial, I bumped into him again on a Delhi-Mumbai flight and went up to say hello. He was a little hesitant before exclaiming, ‘But you look so different’! Your wish is… Definitely to work with much bigger banners… I’d like to do a solo film 57

take 3

I don’t need

unnecessary attention She has been out of the limelight for a long time. After hits like Lagaan, Munnabhai MBBS and Gangajal she has had to go through a string of flops. But Gracy Singh believes in doing her own thing at her own pace. Here she talks about coming out of the shadow of Lagaan and looking at her upcoming films Your next film Ashima is releasing after a long gap? You have been out of the limelight for a long time? Yes. I don’t believe in taking up films that don’t excite me. Ashima excited me. It is a girl’s story of victory over morals and values. It’s about a village girl who is dominated by her husband

and parents and how she ventures out to make her own identity. What excited you about the film? The director Shishir Mishra has made a film called Bheegi Palkein which was a lovely film. Also we shot in real locations in Orissa and it is inspired from

a real story. Heard you are playing three different age groups in the film? Yes. That was in fact very interesting. My character goes through a lot of changes with time. She changes from a typical uneducated village girl who has been dominated by everyone to an educated professor in the second span, which is a complete contrast. Then she goes on to become a strict disciplinarian mother. We had to work on the different looks and mannerisms for each age range, which was the challenging part. How was it working with your first television serial Amanat’s director for Chanchal after so many years? It was like working with my family. It was very nostalgic working with the same unit. The only difference was the casting. Of course it was also different from the serial. But I think Indrajeet has improved a lot in his craft now. It was quite a contrast working with him again as this time it was for a film. I play a very different character this time. I got to play a more fun character, as this is a children’s comedy. I was quite bored playing the serious roles where all I have to do is cry. Heard you are singing a song in Chanchal? That’s right. I am not formally trained or anything though I had learnt a little bit a long time ago. I am more of a dancer.


And singing for a film is completely different so I rehearsed a lot before I recorded the song. There were some difficult notes and I rerecorded some lines. But overall it was a great experience. Has it been difficult coming out of the shadow of Gauri— the character you played in Lagaan? I haven’t done a role similar to that of Gauri again. It was the village girl placed in the eighteenth century. I haven’t really played a village girl since then. I played a doctor in Munnabhai MBBS and in Armaan, and in Gangajal I played a housewife. But yes, I have been offered very Indian roles since Lagaan. People found it difficult to perceive me as a modern girl. You play something similar to a modern girl in Desh Drohi, right? Yes. I play a strong-willed girl. Basically she is a tapori, she rides a bike and speaks and behaves like a tapori. I also have some action in this one. After Lagaan, Munnabhai MBBS and Gangajal you ended up with duds in the form of Shart, Muskaan and Wajaah. Do you regret doing any of these films? I don’t regret it. It is not possible for every film you do to become a hit. I wouldn’t even say that they were very bad films. I enjoyed doing them. Whether the film works or not depends completely on the audience. I have played all my characters with the same dedication. It seems like good offers have been few and far between. Do you feel frustrated at times when you have to wait for ages for that one good hit? For me it’s very important that the audience likes the film. I don’t want to disappoint them in any way. So I am extra choosy. I think after you have a blockbuster like Lagaan as your debut film, then you wouldn’t want to settle for just about anything. I don’t get tempted to take too many offers. But I know it’s obvious that when you take off your career with a big project, expectations are very high. I guess I try to choose the best out of what is offered to me. But don’t you think staying out of the public eye can affect your career? I am not very comfortable socialising. I have always kept a low profile because that’s how I want it. When a good film will come people will remember it. I don’t need unnecessary attention. 59

take 3

‘I want to feel happy

about the work I do’

She’s young, glamorous and bold and she loves being told that. Sameera Reddy speaks about her equation with co-stars Tanisha and Bipasha, and what direction she wants her career to take` There were talks that you accidentally stepped on Tanisha’s foot and she went around saying that you did it on purpose. And the two of you even had a showdown on the sets? People think that when women get together there will be catfights. But frankly we are busy doing our own thing. Earlier the media had been writing about my issues with Bipasha on the sets of Race and now I’m supposed to have a fight with Tanisha on the sets of One Two Three. Why bring poor Tanisha into all this? I never stepped on her foot or anything like that and neither did Tanisha get upset. This whole episode is false. Nothing like this ever happened. So were there any problems related to your role with Katrina and Bipasha while shooting for Race? No. My role is completely different from Katrina Kaif and Bipasha Basu. There is no comparison whatsoever. I play a character close to that of Kitty in the television serial Karam Chand. It was fun playing a bimbo though I couldn’t 60

identify with her. Anil Kapoor and I are providing the comic relief in the film. It adds an edge to the film. You often say that two female actors can’t be good friends. Why do you say so? I say so because it’s hypocritical to say that they can. I have never tried being friends with my female costars. But that does not mean that they are my enemies. I believe we can work together as professionals but they cannot become confidantes. We are here to do some good work at the end of the day. You mean there were no tensions on the sets? Honestly, there was no tension. It is all media created. We all were just doing our job. There was no problem with anyone from the entire unit. In fact, we had a blast shooting the film in Dubai. Saif has amazing energy He is a fun person to have around and was sort of the life of the unit. He is adorable and one of the most honest men I have met.

What about Akshaye Khanna? He is the quiet type. I feel he is one of the best actors we have today. He’s brilliant. He does the intense emotional scenes so well that you feel sentimental just watching him do the scene. You are working with Anil Kapoor for the second time. Anil is a great costar. He’s so good at comedy. He and Paresh are two of the best comic actors I have seen. He was brilliant in Welcome recently and even in No Entry. He takes comedy to another level. He is really a good actor and one of the most intense persons I’ve ever met. Do you get along better with the men? (laughs) Yes I do. I have more male friends than female friends. What’s next, after Race? I am really excited about Ashwini Dheer’s One Two Three. I feel like it’s the funniest film ever made. Working with Paresh Rawal has been an amazing experience. There’s so much to learn

from him. I play a car saleswoman while Paresh Rawal plays a salesman at a lingerie store. I even have a romantic song with him. It’s hilarious. We all are playing rather straight-faced characters. Where do you see going from this point in your career? I came into the industry with a completely different mindset. I wouldn’t say it was the ideal mindset to have but I guess it needed to evolve. There are some really amazing directors around who you want to work with. Working with them helps you go through the journey and you grow. I think I want to feel happy about the work I do. I wore hot pants for Musafir but honestly at this point I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing hot pants. It’s not because I have become moralistic. It’s just that things change. Weren’t you supposed to be miffed with Abbas-Mustan for meting out preferential treatment to the other two actresses of Race? It’s all utter nonsence. They are somebody who I have wanted to work with for a long time. And I’m really happy that I got to work with them. If there are any directors I am dying to work with again its Abbas-Mustan. Is it frustrating at times when not enough good roles are coming your way? I think it’s a constant phase when you want better roles and better films. I have the drive when it comes to my roles. But I am someone who believes that there is much more to life than just this. Does it hurt to see someone who is just one or two films old to suddenly be counted amongst the top rung actors and being paid huge remunerations and getting big films? I am not Mother Teresa to say that it doesn’t affect me. But I am realistic. If someone gets it they get it. You can’t have negativity inside you because of that.



The Winners take it all

Antakshari Middle East Pakistan Masti 2007

has had a most successful season


ntakshari Middle East Pakistan Masti 2007 was a closely contested edition where some of the finest talents locked voices. Finally, Rahul Datta and Ruchi Mathur emerged as winners after a nervy episode filled with twists and turns. The winners, elated with their victory, were indeed short of words as they said: “We cannot


believe this. It was such a hard-fought contest and we just had to stay cool and focused. This is like a dream come true and we’re so happy. Thank you Zee, thank you Sharad and Twinkle, thank you viewers!” A few months of preparation, the call for auditions, the grooming and the actual fight makes Antakshari

Middle East Pakistan Masti 2007 one of the most viewed programs in this part of the world. Recognised as the longest running musical programme by the Limca Book of World Records, the show has successfully adapted to changing viewer tastes and preferences and comes to the Middle East audience in an exclusive avatar. This weekly

one-hour show, is a distinct musical game show with a loyal fan following, continually attracting new viewers. With 12 years of phenomenal success in India and abroad, Antakshari has brought this energy packed show to the region, with a special focus on the Middle East and Pakistan. Bringing together people from all walks of life, this show has always had select and enthusiastic participants and is thoroughly enjoyed by South Asians across the globe. Twinkle and Sharad, the hosts of the show, have so generously added their youthful effervescence and quite effectively led the contestants through some gruelling rounds of traditional and some innovative and interesting sets.

While they cheerfully led the teams to give their best on each interesting episode, on the filming sets they ensured that the contestants had their share of fun and games. 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. The proof of the talent within the region is always the quality of participants. Each one showcases their skills by truly understanding the needs for being a part of the show.

Knowledge of songs, genres of music, quick reaction time, multiple positive traits showcased by the participants has made the season a roaring success. The final participating teams – Deewane, Parwaane and Mastaane competed with each other through different rounds covering a broad array of music games from yesteryear songs to modern day rock and their good natured rivalry frequently overflows to animate audiences. With this music based programme, Zee TV shows utmost commitment to nurturing talent the world over. Some participants of the past have had the good fortune of being able to enter the entertainment industry and have created a name for themselves.



Habitat – Zee TV’s Property & Real Estate show


adds more sparkle to the program


abitat, the weekly property show on Zee TV gets better each time a new element gets added on. With, real estate expert Ashwin Nivsarkar who provides viewers with answers to every conceivable question about the property market in the Middle East in ‘Property Helpline’, the show has had an immense number of queries that Ashwin is able to clarify. Simultaneously, when the show signs off with the ‘Top 5 Propertunities’, where the host picks the top 5 opportunities in the property space, viewers are given tips on the right properties to invest in. It is no wonder that the show has begun to get an ardent bunch of viewers. Habitat is a prime-time show with an innovative programming concept. It delves deep into one of the most dynamic real estate markets in the world, the Middle East. Anchored by sharp and incisive hosts, Habitat covers everything related to property and lifestyle armed with intensive research, a slick format and customised programming. Over a 30-minute capsule, the show focuses on a gamut of topics such as property buying & selling, renting, mortgages, real estate investments, trends & financial analysis, professional views, and a lot more. With a dedicated and focused show woven within a television concept that is unique to the region, Habitat is adding to Zee TV’s colourful gambit and has even ventured into the European markets with a successful launch in the UK in August 07. Habitat focuses on property in Middle East through several segments over a 30-minute capsule. From useful insights into the do’s and don’ts of buying property to in-depth analysis into the features, amenities, promised lifestyle and value of a specific property, Habitat is an all-in-one show providing its viewers with accurate, and unbiased information on everything they need to know about real estate in the region. The section ‘Headlines’ keeps viewers updated with the latest news and events in the property market including launches, announcements,

new schemes and property-related laws. The Habitat team explores and unravels hidden stories in the property market and delves into issues of concern for investors and property observers in the following section, ‘Trespassing’. ‘Showcase’ features an in-depth analysis of new projects, iconic developments, exhibitions and the latest concepts in property designs, trends and styles. Under ‘Offer of the Week’, the focus is on a single property and highlights on its design, features, facilities, price range, financing

options and more. And then there is the new avatar with Real estate expert Ashwin Nivsarka, ‘Top 5 Propertunities” that sheds light on top five provides properties to invest in. Building on an extremely successful debut season, Habitat now reaches more than 200,000 viewers in the United Kingdom. Given the surge of Dubai as an international destination for property development, Habitat is on hand to tap into this flourishing market and give Asians the world over a deeper insight into what Middle East has to offer.



Thundering response to the

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2008

Auditions in the region


ear after year, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Middle East Pakistan 2008 keeps attracting flocks of youth with dreams of becoming the next singing superstar. This year’s edition of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Middle East Pakistan 2008 is expected to be yet another event of the finest young voices competing with full gusto. If one goes by the crowds that came over to audition for the forthcoming edition, it will be no wonder if the chosen participants bring in accolades to the show and in reality move into the mainstream pool of talent. The panel of judges who travelled to Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, Bahrain and in the UAE found it difficult to shortlist participants. The filming for the competition will take place in Dubai and without doubt Zee TV ensures that the participants are groomed to face the cameras. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa has widely been acknowledged as a genuine effort to unleash the best untapped singing talent in the country and has the support of some of the industry’s most illustrious music personalities as well as millions of music lovers the world over. At the grand finale last year, Amanat Ali emerged the winner raking the highest number of votes. He said: “I worked extremely hard to ensure that I stayed in the competition and none of this would have happened without the support of my mentor Ismail Darbar sir. And of course, each and every person who voted for me. I must render my thanks to my fellow participants too. I’ve made friends for life by participating in the show!” Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is now billed as one of the longest running musical competitions in history on television, since it’s inception in 1995. The show has established itself as the most respect platform for building and grooming amateur singing talent in Asia, and has skyrocketed the careers of very popular and well know singers such as Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Kunal Ganjawala and Shreya Ghosal. Additionally they have been judged by maestros such as Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Vilayat Khan and Ustad Zakir Hussain



down memory lane


EVER AFTER… this couple remains the best of friends who go out to dinner twice a week, take in a movie and only fight about Rishi’s weight, which he’s fast learning to keep in check, considering his wife is a health freak! 68


ishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh are one of the few couples who successfully translated their sizzling onscreen chemistry off screen as well. She was 14 and he was 20… They first met while he was shooting for his debut film Bobby, for the song ‘Hum tum ek kamre mein bandh ho’. “I was shooting for the portion of ‘Aage ho ghanghor andhera, peeche koi daaku lootera…’” says Rishi Kapoor remembering the first time he met his wife. But wife Neetu didn’t think much of the Kapoor scion after the first meeting, “I had heard that he was a big bully and I hated him because of that.” Five years down the line and a few films later, Neetu had to change her opinion. In fact, she was ready to settle down with Rishi for life. In the interim period though, Neetu had to bear with his affairs and break-ups. “He was a pathetic boyfriend!” Neetu exclaims, but Rishi interrupts her by saying, “I was never a die-hard romantic.” Once, when away in Paris, Rishi sent Neetu a romantic telegram that read: ‘Yeh Sikhni badi yaad aathi hai’! This was the first confirmation of his feelings for her and he admits, “Slowly it all changed and we became friends. We started dating much later.” A hugely popular actress herself, once Neetu started dating Rishi she played the obedient girlfriend to the tee. “Oh! He was a very possessive boyfriend. He wanted me to be home by 9.00 pm. So irrespective of whom I was shooting with, I would leave the sets by 8.30 pm. But on the other hand, he was also very romantic and wrote me the most beautiful cards and letters. The poetry he wrote was something amazing.” When Rishi finally proposed, Neetu accepted but he didn’t tell his family about it. Only his sister Ritu knew and she fixed the formal engagement, which came as a surprise to Neetu, who was suddenly summoned to Delhi with her mother! Their wedding was one of the most talked about events of 1980. Neetu’s wedding lehenga was exclusively

designed by the store Ushkanmal in Delhi, where she went with mother-inlaw Krishna Kapoor, to order it. The festivities continued for 20 days. Amidst the pomp and pageantry of the Kapoor home, Deonar Cottage in Chembur and a lavish reception at the Chembur Golf Course, amidst stars and dignitaries alike, and the exclusive voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Both Rishi and Neetu fainted on their wedding day; Neetu during the marriage ceremony due to the weight of her heavy outfit, and Rishi while he was getting on the horse at the time of the baraat, due to the large crowds! Post marriage, like all Kapoor bahus, Neetu quit films and devoted her time to Rishi and home; and later to bringing up kids Ridhima and Ranbir. “Over the years, the concept of love has changed. Earlier, it was all about candlelight dinners, cards and sweet nothings over the phone. Now it is more of togetherness, respect and dependency. We are more comfortable with each other now; it is a much deeper relationship. I think marriage has been worth it.” Of her relationship with Rishi,

Neetu also says, “I’ve always joked about the rumours of his liaisons with him. I’ve never been possessive of him.” Today, daughter Ridhima is married while son Ranbir has been successfully launched as an actor. Looking back at their marriage, Rishi says, “to speak of romance and love today seems silly. Today, it’s more about companionship and romance. We have weathered many storms together. I know I’m a difficult man to live with at times but she has been my anchor. Neetu has been a fantastic daughter-in-law, wife and mother. Full marks to her for that.” Even after all these years, this couple remains the best of friends who go out to dinner twice a week, take in a movie and only fight about Rishi’s weight, which he’s fast learning to keep in check, considering his wife is a health freak! But Neetu does firmly maintain, “The most romantic thing 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… That means a lot to me…”



The Cat and mouse fight continues….

The ongoing cat and mice fights between the two sisters of Maayka, Neha Bamb aka Mahi and Shilpa Shinde aka Soni has been the talk of the town ever since the Zee Rishton Ka Utsav awards, wherein Neha collected an award on behalf of her on screen sister and later, hit hard at her and went on to say that it was rude on Shilpa’s part to not attend the awards function. As this rivalry continues, we decided to talk to the gorgeous ladies themselves, and know more on this.. We catch on with Neha first, as she says, “Probably Shilpa feels that she is not getting right importance in the serial. Actually Shilpa was very much uncomfortable during my wedding when I used to pack up early. She always complained to the unit questioning them as to why I left early always..” Now moving on to Shilpa, as she says,” It all started after the award function when we got the best sisters award. She didn’t even congratulate me and what was worse was she did lose my trophy. On top of that, she said you should have been there”. Wonder what the real reason for this rivalry is, but as we ponder whether everything buds from Soni’s insecurity complex or Mahi’s rude persona, the fact that will always remain unchanged is that the viewers love to see these ssiters together on screen. As we get further reports that these two are not even in talking terms with each other, we cannot help much in this issue, other than hoping that all goes well between the two ladies at least in the near future..

It’s Raining Sixes on the Sets of Rakhi

It is the ‘Cricket Season’ and our own telly stars cannot lie behind in taking to the field for a game of cricket. The actors of Zee’s Rakhi have now made it a point to ease out by playing the nation’s most passionate game! Bhai Raja, Ayub Khan is the founder and captain of this team. “Cricket is a sport which refreshes and keeps one going through the day. It’s also a good opportunity to meet other friends from the industry who otherwise like us are busy shooting for dailies. We all meet every morning for practice at Juhu Cricket Ground”, says Sharhaan Singh who plays Amber Thakur, the youngest brother of Bhai Raja in Rakhi. Sharhaan who enjoys his fast bowling confesses that he is very bad with the bat. “I just love bowling a batsman out. I am not that good as a batsman and I am really working hard with our coach to improve my batting skills.” It is also heard that Balaji stars like Jay Bhanushali and Naman Shaw with few others will be competing against different local teams of Mumbai. When it comes to winning matches, our actors are not far behind, as they played and won against a local team from Juhu. Well, should one organize a bid for the telly stars too, IPL ‘ishtyle’?

Will Jassi’s magic work for Apoorva Agnihotri yet again?

Apoorva Agnihotri more popularly known as Armaan who was seen in Deeya and Tony’s famous show Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi is back with them once again in their brand new venture Radha Ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhaayengi on NDTV Imagine. Now one wonders if DJ’s new show Radha Ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhaayengi will get Apurva as much attention as the previous show did? Well Jassi sure made Armaan Suri popular in every house-hold. The character which was influencing, charming, adorable was admired by one and all. As Apurva has made a come back with the DJ’s, hope Radha Ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhaayengi gets him all the attention and the same luck this time too. We wish Apoorva good luck with DJ’s! 70

star gazing

Amir Khan - The Brightest star 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.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20) This month you will be full extra energy and will go out of your way to take on extra responsibilities. If you are a student there need to be consolidation of your efforts. Concentration may be a little off the mark. However students will do well with s little effort. Lovers will find this month exciting and their bond strengthening.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21) This month is an excellent period for you. You will be in your element. Most of your worries will become history. You will find that luck is in your favour and you are able to achieve a lot with little effort. This is a good time for expansion or new ventures as cash flow would not be a restraint. There could be a good earning from speculation but remember it could mean loss also.

Stars: Amisha Patel, Shilpa Shetty, Dimple Kapadia

Stars: Govinda, Arbaaz Khan, Dharmendra, John Abraham, Arjun Rampal

Cancer (June 21 - July 22) Luck is in your favour and all efforts will yield excellent results. There could be parties and social gatherings. Businessmen will find this to be a busy month drawing up new contracts. There could be expansion in business. There could be short trips for pleasure or business. There could be gains from speculation but be on your guard about loss as well.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19) Professional success is foreseen for most of you but combined with some amount of anxiety. There will be harmony at home and in your professional field there may be stiff competition. Some might have to undertake a short trip. People in service might be blessed with some raise or promotion. Some people might get their transfers as they have been waiting.

Stars: Karisma Kapoor, Kumar Gaurav, Naseeruddin Shah

Stars: Salman Khan, AR Rahman, Hrithik Roshan, Anil Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna

Leo (July 23 - August 22) You will be happy this month. More than one opportunity may strike at your door. You have a lot dynamism locked up in you. You will be able to draw upon that inner energy to meet your expectations. There could be a raise or promotion during the second half. Businessmen will do well and be able to see good returns from their investment especially during the first half.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18) Try to extract the maximum this month from your efforts through your reasoning and communication skills. What you will achieve will be quite beyond your regular achievements. Do not be laid back. While it is good that you are patient and warm hearted but when there is intense interaction required, people may take advantage of you. So keep that in mind.

Stars: Sonu Nigam, Sanjay Dutt, Rajeshwari, Kajol, Suneil Shetty, Manisha Koirala

Stars: Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan, Bobby Deol, Jackie Shroff, Urmila

Virgo (August 23 - September 22) This is an ideal time for falling in love and many will have their first romance. Those in the creative line will excel. Partnerships both at home and office will bring in favourable result. Purchase of a new house or land is also well favoured. Some misunderstandings could erupt at home but can be taken care of with a little tact and understanding. Mother’s health could cause concern.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20) Right from the beginning of this month you will be energetic and up beat. You will be creative as well as innovative in your dealings. This effort will bring in positive results. By the middle of the month you start to face some communication hic ups. If you are in the communication or computer line, be careful. Those who are travelling should double check their travel arrangements.

Stars: Viveik Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Rakesh Roshan, Mahesh Bhatt

Stars: Shahid Kapoor, Aamir Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Pooja Bhatt, Fardeen Khan

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

There will be a happy atmosphere at home and in your work place. Those in service could be rewarded with a raise or promotion. There could be gains from speculation. But there could be loss as well so be careful. Students will do well. Those in service could be favoured with a raise or promotion for your hard work done earlier. You will find that your patience has finally rewarded you.

Aries (March 21 - April 19) You will be comfortable, happy, and pleased with yourself. However let there be no doubt that you gave not yet seen the end result. You will be tempted to buy luxury items or even a new car to increase your status. You might go in for renovation of your house, look at new property etc. This is a good time for job seekers. For artists and media persons this will be a successful month.

Stars: Yash Chopra, Rekha, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Om Puri, Sunny Deol

Stars: Rani Mukherjee, Ajay Devgan, Jaya Bachchan, Arshad Warsi

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21) Transfer is on the cards for some of you. For those in romance this would be a good time to strengthen the bond. You may need to keep your hormones in check otherwise you may while away the beauty of true romance in sensual pleasures only. Overall you will find that this is an excellent month and you will also find that some old negotiations will start bearing fruit.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20) This will be a special month as success after serious effort and hard work is on the cards. You will be logical and practical while solving financial and professional matters. Your sharp intellect and communication skill will help you to win over any obstructions. You will remain mentally strong and stand to win every argument or debate in a professional controversy.

Stars: Raveena Tandon, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan, Sushmita Sen, Tabu, Esha Deol

Stars: Bipasha Basu, Madhuri Dixit, Pooja Bedi, Kamal Hassan

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

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