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June - July 2008


Film, Art & Culture

by Kishan Sharma


The Hindi film award functions are being organized in foreign countries these days just to earn lot of money. The stars, who agree to attend the function, not only get some or the other award, but also give away awards, compere the programme and also perform on the stage. They, alongwith their families get free foreign trips, and the organizers return with bags full of money. The Zee Cine Awards function was held this time in London. Cineyug’s Morani brothers had organized this show on the 26th April 2008. There are some interesting off the stage stories related to the function. First of all, Salman Khan decided at the last moment not to attend the function. There were some differences between Salman Khan and Morani brothers, who are very close to Shah Rukh Khan. Salman Khan’s secretary said that Salman was scheduled to leave in the midnight of 25th-26th April, and had reached Mumbai airport also, but decided not go because of some injury; but insiders say that Salman Khan was to perform on the stage and Morani brothers had asked choreographer Rajesh to prepare the act and rehearse it with Salman Khan, who did not like the poor act prepared for him. He was shocked at how shoddily it was conceived and it deeply upset Salman Khan, who returned the amount received by him, to Morani brothers. Upen Patel, who was roped in at the last moment, rehearsed the act in just half-an-hour, but he was booed badly since his act was an eyesore for those who had gone to see Salman Khan.

Secondly, it is learnt that the script of the comperes – Karan Johar and Sajid Khan, had to be changed at the last moment, on the request of Amitabh Bachchan. It is learnt that there were some jokes and one-liners on Ram Gopal Varma, whose “Sarkar Raj” starring Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya is due for release; and Karan Johar had to drop everything against Ram Gopal Varma to please the Bachchans, because Abhishek is working in Karan Johar’s home production, “Dostana”.
Thirdly, Lara Dutta and Dino Morea stuck to each other throughout, while Lara’s ex-lover Kelly Dorje, who was also present at the event, remained a mute spectator. It is learnt that Dino has lost a friend – Kelly, though they were very close friends and Kelly was even staying with Dino in his Bandra house after he split with Lara. Fourth story is about the high spirited Vidya Balan’s dance on a chair. Normally known to be a teetotaller, Vidya Balan downed a few glasses of alcohol at the party after the function, and surprised all the guests present, by gyrating to the popular Bollywood numbers, glass in hand. People said that it was evident that she was quite high. Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor were present with all others when Vidya Balan danced on the chair. On the stage, Karan Johar and Sajid Khan did the Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty kiss sequence, where Karan played Shilpa and Sajid was Gere.


One of the steadiest couples in the Bollywood created a sensation recently. Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora-Khan’s 10-year old marriage was publicized as headed for splitsville and that Arbaaz wanted to remarry. It was also said that Arbaaz and Malaika have stopped communicating with each other completely. When people tried to contact Malaika, she is reported to have said, “Ask Arbaaz”; and when people contacted Arbaaz, he said, “I donot want to comment on my personal life”. It was also publicized that serious friction began showing up in the marriage a few months back. Malaika and Arbaaz have acted together in Indrajit Lankesh’s film, which will soon be released. The industry was shocked, but soon it was revealed that it was a well planned and well executed ploy to get media attention and set in motion the promotion of a product, which both of them were promoting. The breaking up news was only to garner headlines, and the couple made lot of money out of it and got much publicity at no cost. The couple deliberately spread false news for publicity and money and also to further their careers.


The Bhajan Samrat and the Tabla maestro created a magic in Detroit recently, when Anup Jalota and Zakir Hussain performed together at a doctors’ conference. Dr. Narendra Kumar, who was instrumental in organizing the concert had been working on it for the last more than six months. Though Anup Jalota has been performing with various artistes like Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali, Ghazal singer Talat Aziz, playback singer Anuradha Paudwal, Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, and Ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas; but his programme with Zakir Hussain will remain an unforgettable one for the audience. They both performed very well.


Maharashtra Rajya Hindi Sahitya Academy of Government of Maharashtra recently felicitated 39 people for their contribution to Hindi language and literature. This is first time that the Academy decided to give awards to some performers, who have been promoting Hindi language and literature through their art. Lyricist-music director- singer Ravindra Jain, bhajan singer Anup Jalota, singer-composer-dramatist Shekhar Sen, lyricist Maya Govind and dramatist Makrand Deshpande were given Academy awards in presence of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil, and legendary music director Khayyam, Academy working president Nand Kishore Nautiyal, Academy’s member-secretary Anurag Tripathi, Maharashtra’s Chief Protocol Officer and Principal Secretary B.P. Pandey, Veteran freedom fighter Prabhakar Kunte, Lyricist Sameer, Western Railways General Manager Anoop Jhingran, Navneet Editor Vishwa Nath Sachdev, well known Hindi scholar Dr. Vishwambhar Nath Upadhyaya, builder R.M. Bhattad and many other top personalities.


A grand religious get together was organized by Balkrishna Nidhi Trust at Mumbai recently. The Jagatguru Shankaracharya of Dwarka and Jyotishpeeth Math, H.H. Shri Swaroopanand Saraswati ji Maharaj came specially to bless the huge gathering of devotees. Replica of almost all big temples of India attracted large crowd . Legendary singer Asha Bhosle was presented with a golden replica of railway engine by the Railways department . Large number of top personalities from various walks of life attended the seven-day Bhagwat-festival.

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