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August - September 2005


News From Bollywood

by Kishan Sharma

Veteran Hindi film producer-director Subodh Mukerji (88) died in Mumbai. He was suffering from blood cancer and many other complications for the last five years. He had made several jubilee Hindi films like ‘Junglee’, ‘Sharmilee’, ‘Abhinetri’ Shaagird’, ‘Love Marriage’, ‘Paying Guest’, and ‘April Fool’; though his first film ‘Munimji’ was made under the banner of Filmistan.

Veteran Hindi actor Mahipal (86) also died in Mumbai. He collapsed after returning from his morning walk. Mahipal (Bhandari)had acted in films like ‘Navrang’, ‘Zabak’, ‘Samporna Ramayan’ and many popular mythological films. He was a known Hindi poet as well, and had brought out a collection of his selected poems, which was largely appreciated.

Popular actor Nana Patekar is facing a criminal case, in which he is alleged to have threatened Utkarsh Morarka, son of reputed industrialist Kamal Morarka, with a gun; after the cars of the two had brushed against each other on Mumbai-Pune highway. Nana Patekar has been asked by the Bombay High Court to file an anticipatory bail plea before the sessions court, and make himself available for investigations.

‘Airbud’, a film about a young boy and h is dog was screened for invitees, who were requested to come with their pet dogs. the chief guest of the evening was actress Ayesha Julka, who owns 8 dogs and several other animals as pets.
Well known actor Anupam Kher has become producer as well. He is already a director. But on the advice of a numerologist, Anupam Kher has started adding a “P” in his name. “P” is the first letter of his father’s name. So, now Anupam Kher would be known as Anupam P. Kher.

The All India Ophthalmological Society and the Eye Bank Association of India had filed a public interest litigation against film ‘Naina’, as the film is a threat to the eye donation campaign. The Bombay High Court was told by the petitioners that corneal grafting is never done in both the eyes simultaneously, as is shown in the film; and a myth has been created that there is something called an evil-spirited corneal. The producers of the film have agreed to convey a clear message to the public about the fictitious nature of the film.

Producer Babloo Pachisia’s film ‘Jo Bole So Nihaal’ has been pulled out of the cinemas all over Punjab. the situation is uncertain in Haryana, Chandigarh and Jammu & Kashmir. It is learnt that the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee had argued that the title of the film had holy connotations, whereas the film had some scenes which did not go well with the holy title. As per the producers, the highest body of Sikh religion, the Akal Takht, had cleared the film and had only asked to ensure that it should be publicised clearly that it was not a religious film. The producer Babloo Pachisia has dashed off a legal notice for discontinuing the film without his permission.

The Videocon Sansui awards function, which was to be held in Birmingham on the 29th May, has been cancelled. It is learnt that super hero Shah Rukh Khan and producer-director Karan Johar had refused to grace the show if Pritish Nandy was given its charge. It is said that Nandy’s daughter Rangita had ordered Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan’s wife to leave the trial show of her film ‘Shabd’ some time back.

Actor Ajay Devgan does not use elevators while coming down. He does use the elevators to go up the floors; but uses the staircase for going down. This is because he had a terrible experience in the elevator of a five-star hotel, some time back, when it came crashing down to the ground floor.

Old bonds are being re-established in the Rajshri camp. Music directors Ravindra Jain and Raamlaxman have been re-called to compose music for two different new films produced by Rajshri. Ravindra Jain had given melodious music and very good lyrics to many of Rajshri films in the past, including Saudagar, Geet Gata Chal, Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhe Se, and Chitchor, while Raamlaxman composed music for super hits like ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ and ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’ etc. Incidentally, Rajshri has also ventured into television serials. Rajshri already has a music wing, which releases music albums.

Rumours are spreading like wild fire that actress Karisma Kapoor is heading for a break to her two year old marriage. After her engagement was broken with actor Abhishek Bachchan, she married her old friend Sanjay, who is a Delhi-based businessman. It is heard that Karisma wants to continue acting in the films, and this is said to be the main reason for differences between the couple.

Super star Amitabh Bachchan has been denied permission to cut down a tree inside his new office at Juhu in Mumbai. He had written to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to allow him to axe the tree since it was blocking the entrance. The Corporation has asked Amitabh Bachchan to shift the gate if there is any hindrance, as claimed by him.
There is another problem for the super star. The Income Tax depatrment has decided to move the Bombay High Court against the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal’s order to allow Amitabh Bachchan to transfer 70% of his income received from the television programme,”Kaun Banega Crorepati” to his own company, ABC Ltd.(Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd.) and pay the tax on only 30% of the total amount of Rs. 112.22 crores.

Actress Aishwarya Rai has signed to act in a $100 million Roman Empire action film “The Last Legion”, to be directed by Doug Leffer. Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley will also act in the film, produced by Dino De Laurentiis Productions, the famous Italian production house.
While Aishwarya Rai has bagged a foreign film, she has been replaced by actress Priyanka Chopra in Rohan Sippy’s Hindi film ‘Bluff Master’. Aishwarya Rai has blamed Rohan Sippy and his father Ramesh Sippy for unceremoniously throwing her out of the film, without informing her. It is learnt that the actress had actually stopped taking Rohan Sippy’s telephone calls or even replying to his messages on her cellphone. Sippy had no option but to replace her.

Actress Sushmita Sen is all set to drag a Canadian to the courts for having registered the internet domain name It is learnt that the man wants a substantial amount from the actress in this connection.

Indian director Deepa Mehta’s controversial film “Water” has been selected for the Toronto International film festival beginning on 8th September. She had to change the shoooting venue from Varanasi in India to some places in Sri Lanka after the attack on her unit members by some people in Varanasi almost five years ago.

Twentieth Century fox Television has claimed that Zee TV’s “Time Bomb” is an almost episode-by-episode copy of Fox TV’s Serial 24.

Famous industrialist Anil Ambani of Reliance has acquired 51% stake in Adlabs Films, which owns Multiplexes. However, Manmohan Shetty will continue to be in charge.

It is interesting to note that out of 116 films released in the first six months of the year in India, only 9 could make money. It is estimated that the film industry has lost about Rs.100 crores during the first half year of 2005.

Producer-director Saawan ~Kumar had taken actor Salman Khan in his film ‘Sanam Bewafa’, almost 14 years back. And now, Salman Khan has agreed to make a friendly appearance in Saawan Kumar’s lates Hindi film ‘Saawan - the Love Season”.

Super star Amitabh Bachchan inaugurated a new cancer research wing in playback singer Lata Mangeshkar’s “Master Dinanath Mangeshkar hospital” in Pune.The legendary singer wants to make the hospital built in memory of her father Master Dinanath Mangeshkar, one of the best in Asia. Singer Sonu Nigam also performed at the inaugural ceremony.
The Super star walked upto the Siddhivinayak temple of Lord Ganapati in the Prbhadevi Area of Mumbai, alongwith his wife Jaya and son Abhishek Bachchan after the special preview of the film’Sarkar’ to seek blessings of Ganesha.

There are rumours that singers Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan share a special relationship these days. Both have separated from their respective spouses. And both say that they are very close friends.

There are moments when actress Mallika Sherawat, for a surprising change, decides to cover herself. It so happened that the lady who hates to cover even 25% of her body, went to a cinema hall to watch her own movie ‘Bachke Rehna Re Baba’, and had to wear a burka to cover herself fully.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s company, Bhansali Productions has been asked to pay Rs. 6 crores by the Maharashtra film, stage & cultural development corporation. Bhansali had hired a studio of the Film City, Mumbai for shooting of his film ‘Black’ for 45 days last year on a rent of Rs. 45,000 per day. While the film was being shot, a fire broke out reducing the 15,000 sq. ft. studio to rubble.

Actor-director Anupam P. Kher was honoured by HH the Dalai Lama recently for his contribution to the society. Incidentally, Anupam’s new film ‘Maine Gandhi ko Nahin Mara’ will be released on the Gandhi Jayanti, the 2nd of October.

Indian film industry lost its two great personalities on one single day. Actor-director-producer and the Union Minister for Sports and youth Affairs, Sunil Dutt; and producer-director, Ismail Merchant died on the same day at Mumbai (India) and London respectively. Sunil Dutt was due to celebrate his 76th birthday only 12 days later; whie Ismail Merchant was 68 ears old. Now, Sunil Dutt’s daughter Priya Dutt will contest election to the Indian parliament in her father’s place, from Mumbai.

Manna Dey sings for a Hindi film
Playback legend Manna Dey has recorded a song for a Hindi film after a gap of almost 14 years. he has settled in Bangalore and sings only in the live Music Concerts all over. he has not sung for any Hindi film during the last 14 years, although many people had approached him. Manna Dey, (85), was not ready to sing the song, but Music director Shameer Tandon succeeded in recording the song in Manna Dey’s voice. Shameer Tandon had composed music for the recent hit Hindi film - ‘Page 3’. The song recorded for Karan Razdan’s film ‘Umar’ will be picturised on actors Prem Chopra, Kadar Khan and Satish Kaushik.

Jaya Prada Presents Dance Ballet

Actress-politician Jaya Prada presented a beautiful dance ballet on ‘Amrapali’ in Mumbai recently. Jaya Prada ia an MP from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. Bhushan Lakandari has choreographed the dance ballet based on the life of the ‘Vaishali ki nagar wadhu - Amrapali’.It has lyrics and musc composed by Ravindra Jain. `Incidentally, Ravindra Jain and Bhushan Lakandari have also been working with another actress-politician Hema Malini, who has also been presenting her dance recitals.

Anup Jalota sings on the Banks of River Ganga

Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota gave a live performance on the banks of the river Ganga in Haridwar, for the Badarinath-Kedarnath Temples committee. The special programme of bhajans was beautifully compered by Kishan Sharma, India Link’s Film & Cultural Correspondent in India. The Uttaranchal Tourism Minister Lt. General (Retd) TPS Rawat inaugurated the programme arranged by the president of Temples Committee, Mr. Nand Kishore Nautiyal. Anup Jalota, who is also a film actor-producer-music director-playback singer, is planning to make another Hindi film after his recently released Hindi film -’Nishaan’. Anup Jalota, alongwith Ghulam Ali and Talat Aziz will now be performing live in the USA. They are scheduled to sing together in about 18 live shows all over America in August-September.

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