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February - March 2005


Lifestyle

News From Bollywood

by Kishan Sharma


Hindi serial “Ayushmaan” will have a new face as the actor playing main character of Ayushmaan has been shown the door. Nobody seems to be surprised, since many actors have been replaced in a number of television serials in the recent past, though the characters remain the same.

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After a few small and unreported thefts at the residence of actor Shah Rukh Khan, the latest case has finally been registered. It has been reported that cash and valuables worth around five lac rupees (about £6000) were stolen from ‘Mannat’, the highly guarded fortress like heritage bungalow of the actor.

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There were rumours all around. First, rumours spread like wild fire that actor Salman Khan had committed suicide. In addition, hen, there was another rumour that actor Amrish Puri is suffering from blood cancer. Nobody knows as to who spread the rumours and why?

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Film producer and star secretary Rakesh Nath, popularly known as Rikku escaped unhurt alongwith his family members and two dogs, when fire broke out at h is residence due to short circuit. Three fire engines were pressed into service to douse the flames.

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Yet another old Hindi actress died, almost unnoticed. Hindi film industry is known for its indifferent attitude, and very short memory. Veena, the 78 years old actress, who acted in more than 70 films including Taj Mahal, Pakeezah, Razia Sultan, Aashirward, Parichay, Do Raste and Saathi was ailing for quite some time, and died in a hospital in Mumbai. No film personality came to pay tributes to the actress who had a majestic screen presence during her lifetime.

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Topmost Telegu film star Balakrishna (son of NTR) has been charged by the Hyderabad Sessions Court judge with charges against his wife Vasundhara and driver Kanakiah. Balakrishna has been asked to furnish a surety of rupees one lac, surrender his passport, and report to city police every alternate day.

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Producer Anil Sharma has again been accused of cheating. Several times in the past, various people including some hotel managers in different cities have complained about the non-payment or bounced cheques. This time, a distributor has claimed that he has been cheated by Anil Sharma, whose latest film “Ab Tumhare Hawaale Watan Sathiyo” has been postponed indefinitely. The film has not been cleared by the Indian army officials. The film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol can get the censor board certificate only after it gets the clearance from the Indian army.

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Indian Railways is contemplating scrapping film publicity on railway stations in Mumbai from 2005.

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A total of 262 films were released in 55 weeks between the Diwali 2003 and Diwali 2004. This included 77 dubbed, 1 silent and 8 English films. Hardly 10 out of 262 films could leave a mark, while all others plunged into heavy losses.

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Despite low TRPs, some television serials featuring top film actresses like Karisma Kapoor, Sridevi and Raveena Tandon are continuing. These serials are long dead, but are being kept alive.

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Saroj Barjatya is scripting his new film, which will take some months to go on the sets; but the Rajshri Empire, which has produced blockbusters like “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun”, “Maine Pyar Kiya”, “Geet Gata Chal”, and “Dosti”. “Chitchor”, etc., is retrenching its staff. Many of the staff members have been given compensation and asked to leave.

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Shah Rukh Khan starrer “Veer Zaara” has a running time of 3 hours and 28 minutes. However, another Shah Rukh starrer “Swadesh” is 2 minutes longer than that since it has a running time of 3hours and 30 minutes. The film will therefore be screened in three shows daily instead of four.

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Playback singer Kumar Sanu has turned a music director. He has been signed to compose music for Do Raha, featuring Kabir Bedi and his son Adam Bedi. It will be interesting to see who sings for the film - Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Abhijeet, or Kumar Sanu himself.

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-In a surprising move, Sushama Shiromanee was removed from the presidentship of the IMPPA (Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association, after hardly 32 days of her election to the post of president of the biggest association.

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Film “Adaa” is based on the love and life story of Britian’s late princess Diana, and by coincidence, actress Diana Hayden is playing Lady Diana; with new comer Rajeev Singh playing Dodi Al-Fayed, and Vasundhara Das playing Camilla Parker-Bowles.

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Another Amitabh Bachchan starrer has been postponed. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Black” is reported to have been postponed. Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Applause Entertainment has joined Bhansali in producing the film.

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Belgium hosts a Diwali mela every year, with Indian film music concert. This year, the Indian Diamond Association organised a musical concert at Antwerp City. Deepak Anandji (son of music director Anandji Bhai of Kalyanji Anandji team) presented singers Sunidhi Chauhan, Sanjay Tandon, Raju Varma, Sagar Kendurkar, Sonali Salkas and Priya Panchal with seven musicians and a mimic. The 1500 strong audience enjoyed the show, which went past six hours.

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While playback singer Usha Mangeshkar entertained a large crowd of more than 50,000 persons at Almorah on Uttaranchal Diwas, and music director Ravindra Jain treated more than 20,000 people to a grand musical feast at Raipur on Chhattisgarh Diwas, the popular music director Raamlaxman presented a melodious musical concert at Shanmukhanand Hall in Mumbai before a packed house. Playback singer Poornima (Sushama Shreshtha) also presented a live concert and the bhajan samrat Anup Jalota moved a large crowd of thousands of ladies and gets with his religious songs. One common thing in all these concerts in different parts of India, is that, these all shows were compered by Kishan Sharma in his inimitable style.

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