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February - March 2009


Film, Art,Music & Culture

by Kishan Sharma

Terrorists’ attack

Mumbai saw the worst terrorist attack in November 2008. The Taj, Trident, Nariman House, Cama Hospital and Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus were the places where heavy gun battle took place. The film industry suffered heavy loss during the period. Most of the film actresses, who were booked for dance item numbers in different hotels and clubs for the new year eve celebrations, couldnot perform as the hotels and clubs cancelled the celebrations, when they got no bookings. But some actresses pocketed the huge amount they received in advance. Some actresses had demanded as high as 1.5 crore rupees for their 15 minute to 30 minute performance. Films released were also put to financial loss as people avoided going to cinema halls. However some film and television personalities used it also as a publicity stunt. Many artistes started circulating various cooked-up stories on how they narrowly escaped. It was also highlighted that Amitabh Bachchan kept the loaded gun under the pillow every night; and Lata Mangeshkar cried 300 times during the 3-day gun-battle. Shahid Kapoor and Vishal Bharadwaj had a narrow escape, when police arrived at the Horniman’s Circle in South Mumbai, and asked everyone to clear the area immediately. Vishal and Shahid left immediately and heard the gun shots within minutes. Actor Ashish Choudhury lost his sister who was inside the Hotel Trident. US actress Brooke Satchwell had to hide inside a cupboard at The Taj. Canadian actor Michael Rudder was wounded at the Hotel Trident. Ramgopal Varma visited the two hotels with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh and his actor son Ritesh, which resulted in Vilasao Deshmukh’s resignation due to heavy criticism. Many stage concerts were cancelled. The participation of Pakistani artistes in television shows and musical concerts had to be called-off due to the public outcry.


Well known Sitar player Pandit Rajendra Varman presented an Indian classical music programme on the Bandra-Worli Sea-link in Mumbai. Sitar player Dhimant Varman, Sarangi player Ustad Liyaqat Ali Khan, Flute player Sunil Kant Gupta, Guitar player Amit Roy, Tabla player Pandit Madan Mishra and Pakhawaj player Pandit Sadanand Nayampalli accompanied Pandit Rajendra Varman. PWD Minister (Public Undertakings) Mr. Anil Deshmukh had invited some selected persons from different walks of life to see the unique bridge on the sea. Legendary music director Khayyam presented flowers to all the performers. His singer wife Jagjit Kaur, actress Hema Malini, actor Vikram Gokhale, singer Abhijeet, singer Sonu Niiggam, music director Anu Malik, and film maker Kiran Shantaram were among the selected people who were invited on the upper deck.

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