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Film, Art & Culture

by Kishan Sharma

AMITABH BACHCHAN - The Man Always In The News

Super Star Amitabh Bachchan really knows the art of remaining in the news all the time. Though his moves are very calculative, but some times, the effort back fires. But it doesnot affect the man called Amitabh Bachchan. He knows how to remain calm with smiling face before the cameras of mediapersons. The biggest joke was the statement from Bachchan family’s close politician friend Amar Singh, General Secretary of Samajwadi Party, which has nominated Jaya Bachchan to the Upper House of Parliament; that his party would field Amitabh Bachchan as the next President of India. More to add to the joke was the instant support of some very small political parties. But when nobody from any major parties reacted positively, Amitabh Bachchan himself said “no” to the proposal. And very next moment, Amar Singh said that his party would back the Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee for the post of the President. Amitabh Bachchan got much publicity for giving a Bentley car to his actor son Abhishek Bachchan as a surprise gift on his birthday. But as soon as the government officials enquired about the gifted costly car, prompt came a statement from Amar Singh saying that the car belonged to him and Abhishek Bachchan was permitted to take his would be wife Aishwarya Rai for a drive, since the car was parked in Bachchan bungalow – Jalsaa. Then, there was another big story, about a Rolls Royce car, which was “presented” to Amitabh Bachchan by film maker Vidhu Vinod Chopra in presence of a big crowd of mediapersons. Again, when the government officials enquired about this “gift”, the car was driven back to the show-room within two hours only. Nobody knows the reason for such stunts by the man, who calls himself the “BIG B”. It is learnt that such things are done by Amitabh Bachchan to give a boost to his films, and this time it was “Eklavya”, which unfortunately flopped at the box office. Even a dab of vermillion on Aishwarya Rai’s forehead during a religious ceremony at a temple in presence of Amitabh, Jaya and Abhishek, made a front page news in India. Anyway, there are some other stories also attached to Amitabh Bachchan and his family. All the four – Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya are said to have agreed to act in a film. Amitabh will also act for the first time in an English film of Rituparno Ghosh. Amitabh has also agreed to act in Deepa Mehta’s film, entitled “Exclusion”.It is learnt that Amitabh Bachchan is pumping big money into Abhishek Bachchan starrer “Drona”, to outdo Hrithik Roshan starrer “Krrish”. Jaya Bachchan is also acting in the film which is being watched at every step by Amitabh Bachchan. He has also agreed to play a key role in Mira Nair’s new Hollywood film based on Gregory David Roberts’ semi-autobiographical novel about an escaped Australian convict. Johnny Depp is playing the title role.


The 15th annual Indian music concert organized by well known Tabla player Ashok Johri was a unique treat to the music lovers in Mumbai. The RAAG TAAL VIHAR 2007 concert of Swar Taal Madhuri institute kept the large audience spell bound for more than three hours. Students of Ashok Johri and his brother Sunil Johri, performed together on one stage and presented different taals on Tabla without any break, and finally played one taal together. The oldest of the lot was Udit G. Sarda, while the youngest was 11 year old Harsh D. Bhagat. The only lady Tabla player was Tejal Shah. Others, who participated in the programme are Ketan Patel, Viraj Shah, Parth Joshi, Amish Shah, Sharad Sanghi, Sunit Aggarwal, Soham Joshi, Premeel Shah, Kartik Damani and Krushank Shah. Vocalists Chandrashekhar Vaze, Sangeeta Muley, and Vilas Rajapurkar; Sitarist Uma Shankar Shukla; Violinist Bharat Shah, Flautist Vinod Sehgal; Side Rhythemist Nattubhai Trivedi and Shlok singer Jayavati Thakkar were at their best in giving support to the Tabla Players. Ashok Johri himself sang a self composed classical song. Raju Bhai of Shri Sound did a commandable job. Well known Bhajan Samrat, Padmashri Purushottam Das Jalota was the Chief Guest, who felicitated and blessed all the participants. The programme compered by Kishan Sharma in his inimitable style was held at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan hall, in Mumbai.

SHILPA SHETTY - Popularity Regained

Thanks to powerful lobbying and constant media backing, the fading career of film actress Shilpa Shetty bounced back and regained much much more popularity. Not only did she get huge amount in crores for her interviews, participation and other commitments, but she has become larger than the size actress suddenly. But everything is not fine at her end. She came back to Mumbai on a short visit and went to the Siddhi Vinayak temple in Mumbai in presence of big crowd of mediapersons. UK’s Sky TV is making a documentary on her, while London’s Daily Mirror has signed a six figure deal for her exclusive account. London’s sharpest PR pusher Max Clifford is representing her. It is learnt that Jazz (originally known as Jasveer) Barton, a UK based scouting agent was contacted by Endemol, the company that owns the franchise for Big Brother to hunt for suitable candidate from Bollywood. Barton was suddenly asked to get out when it was known that Shilpa was becoming the winner. Barton says that her dues are still pending . Similarly, Bobby Khan, the co-ordinator says that the British team did not even know who she was and it was just his effort that worked. It is said that Shilpa, her sister Shamita and their mother Sunanda have clarified through their spokesperson that both Jazz and Bobby are not the official agents. Shilpa Shetty has sent legal notice to both Barton and Bobby for allegedly posing as her agent and manager. Bobby Khan had been sending daily reports to the Indian press on Shilpa Shetty and Big Brother. Incidenatlly, Bobby Khan has teamed-up with Jermaine Kackson, brother of Michael Jackson, after he felt duped and dumped by Shilpa Shetty. Jazz is also working for Madame Tussaud’s in finalizing the wax statue of Shah Rukh Khan. It is learnt that not only Shilpa Shetty is getting offers for hosting a cricket show on TV in the Uk, but a perfume is also being named after her. There is also a dessert known as “Shilpa’s Delight” in the UK. She was invited to visit the House of Commons and had lunch with various British MPs. She also spent some ten minutes with the Prime Minister Tony Blair. Shilpa’s Leicester visit with MP Keith Vaz earned her around 5000 pounds and she said that she would start the Shilpa Shetty Foundation to help AIDS patients. However, her factory employees, 18 in all, seemed worried about their fair wages.The workers are reported to be working for 12 hours-a-day and are not getting proper wages as per law. It is also learnt that Shilpa’s mother Sunanda is on the look out for an eligible NRI groom for Shilpa Shetty.


The annual Bharat Asmita Rashtriya Puraskar were given by the Vice President of India Bhairon Singh Shekhawat at a glittering ceremony held at the Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Prof. Dr. Vishwanath Karad, Founder President of MIT, Pune and his son Rahul Karad had organized the function. Former Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice Y.K. Sabharwal and former Chief Election Commissioner of India T.N. Seshan were guests of honour. The 1.25 lac rupees cash prize alongwith a trophy, a citation and a shawl is given every year to selected people for their outstanding services in their respective fields. Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik couldnot receive his award as he was unwell. Dr. Prakash Apte, Director of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of Indian Express Group and Member of Parliament Jyotiraditya Scindia received their awards in person. The writer-director of successful Hindi films —Munna Bhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Rajkumar Hirani was given award in presence of a Mahatma Gandhi look-alike Mohan Jhangiani, who had specially come to the function. TV personality Barkha Dutt was also given her last year’s award at the function. Kishan Sharma compered the function in a dignified and witty style.

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