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February - March 2008


Latest News from Bollywood

by Kishan Sharma

253 films were released in India in 2007. There was no single super-duper film out of all the 253 films. Only two could be counted s the super-hit, namely “Chak De India” and “Om Shanti Om”. Only four films stood out as hits, and they are “Welcome”, “Partner”, “Taare Zameen Par” and “Bheja Fry”. One can imagine the plight of film people in India, since most of the films fell on the face at the box-office.

It is learnt that actor-producer Aamir Khan has politely declined the offer by the Madame Tussaud’s museum to make a wax statue of his. While Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan have felt honoured in posing for Madame Tussaud’s, Aamir did not feel excited. Incidentally, Aamir doesnot attend the award functions, since he believes that the process is flawed. His “Taare Zameen Par” has 17 nominations in the forthcoming Screen Awards, Aamir has refused to attend any award functions this year.

Samajwadi Party leader and close friend of Amitabh Bachchan, Amar Singh is acting in a Bengali film, “Shesh Sanghat” (Final Conflict), produced by another Samajwadi Party Member of Parliament, actor Jaya Prada. Jackie Shroff is the lead actor with Jaya Prada, while Amar Singh is a guest artist.

Actor Rani Mukerji’s 12000 sq. ft. plot of land in the pilgrim town of Shirdi has been attached by the Ahmednagar district administration. Rani, who had bought the plot for rupees 33 lakh, has decided to challenge the order of attachment in the High Court. The agricultural land was originally owned by the state farming corporation, but it had been converted into non-farming land and sold off by a lessee.

Actor Shilpa Shetty, who had been denying her affair with UK based film producer Raj Kundra, has now admitted to it. Raj Kundra had produced recently released “Strangers”. His first wife had accused Shilpa of breaking her marriage, but Shilpa till recently had been maintaining that there was no truth in it.

Marathi film actor Ramesh Bhatkar and director Ravi Naidu secured anticipatory bail, when they were alleged to have raped a 17 year-old girl by promising her a role in Marathi film being directed by Ravi Naidu. The girl’s mother registered a case in Pune. Interestingly, Ramesh Bhatkar’s wife is a judge in Maharashtra.

Shooting of Rajshri Productions Pvt. Ltd.’s 52nd film, “Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi”, has commenced in Bhopal. Lyricist and music director Ravindra Jain has recorded all the nine songs in the voices of Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal, Suresh Wadkar, Pamela Jain, Satish Dehra and Fareed Sabri. The film is being directed by Kaushik Ghatak. The film stars Ishaa Koppikar, Sonu Sood, Alok Nath, Smita Jayakar, Srivallabh Vyas, Anang Desai, master Amly Pandya and baby Ishita Panchal. The story is developed by Sooraj Barjatya, while the film is being produced by Kamal Kumar Barjatya, Raj Kumar Barjatya and Ajit Kumar Barjatya.

It is reliably learnt that “Saawariya” actors Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor are a couple in real life now. Ranbir’s mother, Neetu Singh has confirmed that Sonam comes to her house and Ranbir and Sonam go out together often. Ranbir was linked with Deepika Padukone, Nandita Mahtani (ex-girl friend of Dino Morea) and first wife of Sanjay Kapur (Karisma Kapoor’s present husband).

Karisma Kapoor created a big ruckus at the Famous Studio recently, when a reporter asked her some questions about her sister Kareena’s relationship with Saif Ali Khan at the press conference. She shouted, “how dare you ask me such questions?” and stormed out.

At a function, where the Gulf Finance House signed a business pact with the Government of Maharashtra, actor Shah Rukh Khan appeared as the guest of honour and mopped up a whopping rupees one crore as his fee.

Actor Aamir Khan’s father Tahir Hussain has requested the court in Mumbai to give his mentally ill son, Faisal’s custody to Aamir, as keeping track of Faisal has become difficult for him. Earlier Faisal had said that he would stay with his father, since Aamir was forcing him to take some drugs. The court had granted permission in favour of Faisal’s request, but now the father has requested the court to give Faisal’s custody to Aamir.

Writer-film maker Nabendu Ghosh (91) passed away recently at Kolkata. Some of his acclaimed films include “Parineeta”, “Aar Paar”, “Devdas”, “Sujata”, “Bandini” and “Abhimaan”. Besides writing scripts for these films, Nabendu Ghosh also produced and directed “Trishagni” which earned him the National Award for the best film.

Renowned film producer G.P. Sippy (93) died in Mumbai. He had made films like “Sazaa”, “Brahmachari”, “Andaz”, “Seeta Aur Geeta” and “Sholay”. He also made “Shaan” and “Sagar” and highly popular television serial “Buniyaad”.

Writer Jainendra Jain also passed away in Mumbai. He had written story, screenplay and dialogues of films like “Bobby”, “Sargam”, “Kalicharan”, “Prem Rog”, “Satyam Shivam Sundaram”, “Judaai”, “Andaaz”, and “Tere Naam”. He also directed a film, “Jaanoo”.

Amitabh Bachchan’s mother Mrs. Teji Bachchan passed away in Mumbai. She had been ailing for quite some time. Except for Teji Bachchan, no major film personalities were seen at the funeral of Nabendu Ghosh, and Jainendra Jain. It was really shameful that no big film actor, director, producer turned up even at the funeral of great G. P. Sippy.

Actor Salman Khan has finished writing his first film script, titled “Veer”. He will star in it himself. Anil Sharma will direct the film, being produced by Vijay Galani. Sajid-Wajid will compose the music.

Actor Amitabh Bachchan is known for his punctuality, but recently he reached six hours late at the shooting of “Aladdin”. Infact, he had fractured his hand and even then he reported at the shoot with his arm in a sling. He even made up for the six hours of delay by shooting till late in the night.

Actor Shahid Kapoor is in a dilemma. He is torn between estranged parents, Neelima Azim and Pankaj Kapoor. Both want Shahid to act in their respective films. Pankaj Kapoor is reported to have put a pre-condition asking Shahid to choose between his or her film.

Suchitra Krishnamurthy is fighting on two fronts these days. She is fighting a case with Shekhar Kapur for the custody of their daughter Kaveri, and she is fighting with herself because she cannot give up smoking. The daughter does not like her habit and insists that she give up smoking. Suchitra is said to have come down from 25 cigarettes a day to 8 cigarettes a day, but she is unable to give it up totally.

Dharmendra and Hema Malini couldnot get a table at Benaras restaurant in WestEnd London since they had no prior reservation. The British staff at the reception failed to identify the veteran stars and politely said that it would not be possible to accommodate them. The Chef Atul Kochhar, who runs the popular restaurant is a huge fan of Dharmendra and Hema Malini, but he did not know that they were actually standing right outside.

It is learnt that Hrithik Roshan will play Salman Khan’s son in “Mera Bharat Mahaan”. Samir Karnik is directing the film. It is learnt that although Salman and Hrithik will not be seen together on the screen, Hrithik will be playing Salman’s son, who has a guest appearance in the film.

It is reliably learnt that the much awaited film “Jodhaa Akbar” has been postponed. Ashutosh Gowariker’s film will now be released on 15th February 2008. The film was originally scheduled for release in December 2007, and later on the 25th January 2008.

Renowned Hindi film lyricist and Urdu poet Sahir Ludhianvi’s sprawling four flats at Juhu are locked in litigation. Sahir died without preparing a will. It is alleged that society members sold the flats and misappropriated the funds from the sale of the property.

Singer Adnan Sami has parted ways with his business representative Rakesh Nath, alias Rikku, who is known as Madhuri Dixit’s secretary.

The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd. signed a city-to-city agreement with Film London, the premiere entertainment body of London. The agreement between the two apex film bodies is aimed at enhancing their relationship for mutual benefits.


Red Chillies Entertainment’s OM SHANTI OM proved to be an entertainer all the way. It has been doing very well all over. Sanjay Leela Bhansali Films and SPE Films India Pvt. Ltd.’s SAAWARIYA flopped. Daxna Films’ GANGOTRI flopped despite having Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Manoj Tiwari. Manorama Films’ MAIN HOON KHARIDAAR failed at the box office.UTV Motion Pictures and Bindass’ GOAL couldnot do well. Amanullah J. Sheriff’s HATHIYAR is a dull fare. Yash Raj Films’ AAJA NACHLE fell flat, despite starring Madhuri Dixit. Myth Productions’ GAURI THE UNBORN is a non-starter. White Feather Films’ DUS KAHANIYAAN was not greeted by the audience. Prakash Jha Productions’ KHOYA KHOYA CHAND also failed at the box office. S.K. Cine Vision’s FEEL – THE TOUCH is a complete wash out. Sahara One Motion Pictures and Indorama Films’ STRANGERS went unnoticed. Warner Bros. Pictures’ ZINDA HOON MAIN in Hindi did not attract the audience. Base Industries Group’s WELCOME is an entertaining fare. Aamir Khan Productions’ TAARE ZAMEEN PAR is magical cinema. It has been appreciated world over. Calvin Films’ DEKH BHAI DEKH failed miserably at the box office. Vishesh Films’ SHOWBIZ is not at all appealing. Percept Picture Company’s RETURN OF HANUMAN could not attract even children. Pushpa Movies’ PHIR TAUBA TAUBA is a very poor film. Kumar Raj Productions’ MANTHAN EK KASHMAKASH has nothing to offer. Ukey Films and Spandan Parivar Cinema Movement’s HUMNE JEENA SEEKH LIYA is a poor fare.


Hyderabad based filmmaker D. Rama Naidu has made it to the 2008 Guiness Book of World Records for having produced movies in nine languages. Besides Telugu, his mother tongue, Naidu has made films in all other South Indian languages, i.e. Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada, and in Hindi, English, Bengali, Oriya, and Assamese, all under his banner, Suresh Productions. Naidu doesnot dub his films in different languages, but makes his movies with artistes and technicians from different parts of India. Now Naidu has made a foray into the Marathi film industry with his new production, "MAJHI AAI". Naidu doesnot understand most of the languages of India, but takes much interest in making films in all languages. He is also a veteran and active politician. He has been a member of parliament as well.


Well known flautist and Surmandal player Pt. Arvind Gajendragadkar entered 81st year of his life. He was affectionately felicitated at Nagpur by the Maharashtra Government’s P.W.D. Minister Mr. Anil Deshmukh. Arvind Gajendragadkar is a popular astrologer also. Noted artistes Dr. Sagar Khadiwala and M.A. Kader organized the function, which was largely attended. Arvind Gajendragadkar was invited to record interviews at the studios of All India Radio and Door Darshan. He also presented a small programme of his flute recital after the felicitation function.

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