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April - May 2006


News From Bollywood

by Kishan Sharma

Big problems are brewing up for the family of super star Amitabh Bachchan. We had published a
detailed article in our last issue giving information about how Amitabh Bachchan remained in the
news throughout the year 2005. Now, after the income tax department asked him to pay an amount of Rs. Five Crores towards his tax dues immediately, and later asked him to give details of tax deducted at source on payments made by his ABCL; the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai refused him permission to cut a tree which was blocking entrance of his newly constructed office and asked the super star to shift the gate of his office; and the authorities of road transport office asked his son actor Abhishek Bachchan to pay penalty for using an imported car registered outside Maharashtra state; the latest blow has been received by super star’s wife, actress and Member of Parliament Mrs.Jaya Bachchan. The Election Commission of India has indicated that she may have to lose her membership of the Parliament’s Upper House, since she is also the Chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Corporation. As per the rules, a member of parliament cannot hold any office of financial profits. She had filed her nomination papers as a candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat when she was holding the office of the Chairperson of the UPFDC. When some people raised objections, it was announced by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav (who is also the President of Samajwadi Party, which had offered her the seat) that she had submitted her resignation from the post of Chairperson before she had filed her nomination. It is learnt that she was made the Chairperson of the UPFDC once again soon after she was elected to the Rajya Sabha. Some people say that infact she had never resigned, and it was only to save her that the Chief Minister issued the statement claiming that she had resigned. Moreover, inspite of his much publicised illness, hospitalisation and operation, his films did not do well at the box office. Some people have wondered as to how Amitabh Bachchan celebrated new year in Goa, if he was that seriously ill, and how did he go to Swami Narayan temple in Delhi with his family and close friend Mr. Amar Singh with a large team of media persons in attendance, when he was said to have been advised full rest. It has also become a topic for discussion as to how could he afford to donate diamonds worth more than Rs. Ten Crores to the Tirupati temple, when he was unable to arrange for Rs. Five Crores to be paid to the Income Tax department. Amitabh is also said to have created a big controversy about the book being written by his brother Ajitabh Bachchan, just to raise its market value and sales. Whatever may be the real reason,it is a fact that the super star knows fully well the art of remaining in the news all the time.

People in India, and specially in the film world, are not taking the much publicised news of romance between Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai very seriously. Aishwarya has been linked with Salman Khan and later with Vivek Oberoi, and since she has ditched both of them in the past, nobody is taking the latest romance news seriously.

Actor Amir Khan is reported to have decided to sue film magazine “Filmfare” for having taken liberty of publishing a quote and a photograph of Amir Khan recently. It is learnt that Amir Khan has not said anything like “I played the legendary Mangal Pandey to woo the lady in black”, which is published by the magazine with the Filmfare trophy called “lady in black”.

Salman Khan has been convicted to one year’s inprisonment in the infamous black buck case. Actors Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu, and Sonali Bendre were also chargesheeted in the case. While Salman, Neelam, Tabu and Sonali flew from Mumbai to Jodhpur, Saif Ali Khan took a chartered plane to fly to Jodhpur from Mahabaleshwar, where he was shooting, at the producer’s cost.

Hollywood star Will Smith has offered a film to Aishwarya Rai and she is believed to have accepted
the offer. Will had earlier offered her a role in “Hitch”, but it did not work out for some reasons.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Black” bagged four awards at the BBC Asian Network’s Film Café Awards announced recently in London. Listeners, who voted for the awards, did not find any other deserving film for the awards.

Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Rani Mukerji, Saif Ali Khan, Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal, and Sukhwinder Singh will entertain the sports persons and audience at the concluding function of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in Australia in a fifteen minute programme of songs and dance. Javed Akhtar and Gulzar have written special songs for the occasion and Vishal-Shekhar and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have set them to tunes. Shiamak Davar is the choreographer.

Sohail Khan’s “Fight Club” had three premieres in the UK with full star cast. A show was held in London, another in Leicester and the third one in Birmingham; but it received very poor public attention and despite showing in 26 screens, it grossed just £47000 in its first weekend in the UK.

It might sound surprising but a film “Dosti” which did not earn well in India, has collected £888000 in the UK, which is more than the collections of ‘Waqt—The Race Against Time’.

Actress Khushboo has decided to sue the British magazine “Maxim” for Rs.three crores in damages. The magazine had published semi-nude morphed picture of Khushboo on the cover of its Indian edition. The actress has also lodged a complaint with the Chennai Police Commissioner against the magazine.

Noted film actress Nadira, alias Farhat Ezekiel died at Mumbai at the age of 74. Nadira portrayed negative roles with panache in Aan, Shri 420, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayee. She also acted in Pakeezah, Saagar, Waris, Amar Akbar Anthony and Julie.

A high level Spanish delegation led by Mayor of Valladolid City, Francisco Javier Jeon da la Riva met the members of Guild. The Mayor, who is also President of Casa de la India, spoke about various financial incentives for Indian producers interested in co-productions with Spanish film makers.

Actress Juhi Chawla has signed papers to donate both her eyes.

A nine year old boy, Master Kishan has become the youngest film director in the world. A resident of Bangalore, Master Kishan has directed “C/O Footpath” featuring Jackie Shroff and Saurabh Shukla. He has also written the story of the project. He has already acted in 24 films and 300 episodes of television serials. His name is likely tobe included in the Guinness Book of World Records. Incidentally the current record holder Lord Sydney Ling, director of Lex The Wonder Dog was 13 year old when he directed the film in 1973.

Amir Khan has rejected his wife Kiran’s script. She was to make her directorial debut with an Amir Khan produced and starrer film. Now, she is required to write another script.

Actress Preity Zinta created her artistic vision of the “new age woman of tomorrow”. The painting’s proceeds were to go to the NGO “Akanksha”. The artist herself bought it for Rs. 1.5 lakh.

Aishwarya Rai was stung by a bee on the sets of J.P. Dutta’s “Umrao Jaan”, resulting in cancellation of the shooting.

Ex - Viva singer Neha Bhasin has decided to send a legal notice to music director Anandraj Anand for replacing her voice with that of Poonam, sister of the producer of the film.

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