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BWI october Issue Flipbook PDF

BWI october Issue




October 2020

Vol. 5 No. 10 New York

SP Balasubrahmanyam Ode to a genius


Rocking the 60s

Sylvester Stallone Bollywood brush

Konkona Karmic desire

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Volume 5 - October 2020



Dhaval Roy Deepali Singh

04 08

Features Copyright

2020 Bollywood Insider

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S.P. Balasubrahmanyam Golden voice over Rekha Ravishing at 65

60 42 46 Exclusives 52 08 Konkona Sen Sharma Rebel with a cause

Missed opportunities When one actor’s loss was another’s gain Bad Medicine Bollywood’s medical gaffes Dressing up the stars Designers’ favorite muses

Scoops Perspective 26 32

20 45 September




Hollywood heads east From LA to Mumbai, the reverse trend Politically correct Actors who ventured into politics

60 61

Kangana Ranaut Turn her attention back to films

Amitabh Bachchan Working overtime at 77

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Salman’s voice, legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam Passes Away

SP Balasubrahmanyam 1946-2020

Jaydip Sengupta


n September 25, Salman Khan lost his voice. SP Balasubrahmanyam who had done a lot of playback for Salman Khan in several hit ilms, including Pehla Pehla Pyaar’ from ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’, ‘Saathiya Tune Kya Kia’ from ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’ passed away.

and actors whose careers got a timely boost, thanks to his remarkable voice that they lip-synced to on-screen. Even before Salman rode on SPB’s melli luous vocals in about a dozen hit The actor tweeted, “Heartbroken to hear numbers that made him a go-to romantic star, Kamal Haasan emoted to about S P Balasubrahmanyam sir... you one of the most poignant songs in Hindi will forever live on in your undisputed cinema, Sach mere yaar hai from the ilm legacy of music! Condolence to the Saagar (1985). It was SPB at his brilliant family #RIP." best, the pathos in his voice summing up The legendary singer passed away at a Haasan’s predicament as he has to give private hospital in Chennai at the age of up his lady-love Dimple Kapadia to his 74, leaving behind a plethora of admirers dear friend Rishi Kapoor in the movie.

Such was his versatility that in the duet Yun Hi Gaate Raho from the same ilm, he actually outshone the supremely gifted Kishore Kumar. Like Kishore, SPB too was a natural phenomenon, not having received any formal training in music. But then, his genius had never been in doubt. I still remember a concert I had attended about a decade back featuring SPB and the other South Indian genius K.J. Yesudas. To sum it up, it was a concert featuring a singer and a performer, for that is what SPB was, a singer who could not only move you with his voice, but also enthrall you with his performance on stage.


Winner of six National Awards, SPB leaves behind a vast body of work that spans 40,000 songs in 16 languages. He worked extensively for Ilaiyaraaja and A.R. Rahman among other composers. And he proved time and again with his rendition that he was streets ahead of his contemporaries. Remember the Rahman composition Roja Jaaneman from the ilm Roja? Both he and Hariharan had lent their voices, but one could clearly see the heights which SPB could scale that Hariharan, with all his classical training, sadly couldn’t. Along with his singing prowess, the versatile SPB was also an actor, producer and voice actor. He was a recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan, besides six Filmfare Awards. His irst Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer came for the song Dil Deewana from Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), the movie that launched Salman on his way to superstardom. Besides Maine Pyar Kiya, SPB and Salman combined in Hum Aapke Hai Koun, Andaz Apna Apna, Patthar Ke Phool and Chandra Mukhi. Affectionately known as Balu to his friends, SPB made his singing debut in 1966 with the Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna.

Besides Kamal Haasan, he has sung for several other South Indian stalwarts like M.G. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganeshan, Gemini Ganeshan and Rajinikanth. SPB came to international prominence with the 1980 ilm Sankarabharanam. The ilm is considered to be one of the inest to emerge from the Telugu ilm industry. Directed by K. Viswanath, the ilm’s glorious soundtrack was composed by K.V. Mahadevan who used Carnatic music to the hilt. Given he was not a classically trained singer, SPB used a ‘ ilm music’ aesthetic in recording the songs. He received his irst National Film Award for Best Playback Singer for his work.

His irst work in Hindi ilms was in the following year, in Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981) starring Kamal Haasan and Rati Agnihotri, for which he received another National Film Award for Best male Playback Singer. His last popular Hindi numbers were for Chennai Express (2013).

Understandably, tributes poured in from all across the country. Kamal Haasan expressed his condolences through an audio-visual message. “There are very few great artists who receive accolades

and fame that ittingly celebrates their talent, during their lifetime. I had the privilege of having been the image on screen, to several songs that he has sung.

Rajinikanth tweeted, “RIP Balu sir…you have been my voice for many years…your voice and your memories will live with me forever…I will truly miss you…”

Hailing SPB as a ‘brilliant singer’ and a ‘kind human being’ Lata Mageshkar said: “I’m very disturbed by the demise of SP Balasubrahmanyam. We have recorded many songs together and did a lot of shows. My condolences to his family.”

In several languages, he has been the voice of four generations of heroes. His legacy will be remembered for several generations to come.”

As for Rahman, a man of few words, he just shared his photo with SPB and simply posted #ripspb…Devastated.”


I didn’t think

I would last 20 years as an actor

Shubarna Mukerji Shu


wo decades and Bollywood has not been able to change Konkona Sen Sharma. She refuses to mould herself to suit tinsel town double standards and embraces herself just the way she is. How refreshing it is every time you speak to this Bengali actress, because she is so far apart from the rest of the made-up, size zero actresses B-town is so proud of. For someone who has never sold her soul for commercial

The now 41-year-old actor has had a cinema, it is a pleasure to run through recent release on Net lix (Dolly Kitty her grand repertoire of work, to ind one Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare) and is all movie that stands out as a favourite about embracing the ‘chamakte sitare’ when she has ilms like Mr and Mrs Iyer, of womanhood. Makes you wonder Luck By Chance, Wake Up Sid, Omkara, what her idea of taking on life is, how Talvar and so many more. She did after her divorce with actor Ranvir Shorey all, have the upper hand by starting has changed her, or what it means to young, as a four year old child actor in be Haroon’s mother? So, here’s 1983, Bengali ilm Indira, the perks of Konkona herself answering all our having Aparna Sen as mother. questions…

I like to keep busy because it gives me a lot of balance and perspective. At the same time, Haroon (my son) is my priority and a great companion too; so I like spending my time with him.



It is such a pleasure to see you back on screen; it has been a while since Lipstick Under My Burkha and Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi and while they were well appreciated, they hardly gave your fans enough of you! Yes, besides these two, I did a couple of short ilms only. I have cut down on work due to various factors. I don’t mind extending myself to a certain degree if I have something substantial to do. However, if it is something silly, then I don’t have much of an incentive. I like to keep busy because it gives me a lot of balance and perspective. At the same time, Haroon is my priority and a great companion too; so I like spending my time with him. But he knows his mother is a working mom, he respects my need to juggle between work schedules. The darling boy even accompanies me on sets, spends time in the vanity van. If I cannot take him along, he spends the time with his dad (Ranvir Shorey). We have a proper system in place, like that. Yet, it makes sense to get into it only if the project is worth it.

Let’s be honest. Indian ilm industry has very set ideals when it comes to women. There are women we are allowed to watch on screen, and there are things these women are allowed and not allowed, to do on screen. watch on screen, and there are things these women are allowed and not allowed, to do on screen. I was so happy to get a part like Dolly so late in my career, where I don’t have to play a strong woman or someone who is morally irreproachable, always correct and never transgressing in any way. I found that liberating. Believe me when I say, I have done things in this ilm that I have never done before. Please give us examples of these aforementioned ‘things’…

There are so many, let’s just start with the fact that in this ilm, you will see What about Dolly Kitty… made you me beating a child, committing say yes? adultery, stealing, living in denial. Another thing that I loved was how in Let’s be honest. Indian ilm industry has the ilm Dolly orders food and lies very set ideals when it comes to women. about it! If that’s not endearing, I don’t know what is…. There are women we are allowed to

Many felt that the chamakte sitare could have been about a lot more than just orgasms and female desire… That’s the problem. It is for those many who found it unnecessary, that Dolly Kitty… becomes relevant. We don’t acknowledge female desire at all, especially for an older woman. We look at them as recipients for male desire. We need to normalise female desire. Would you say that a ilm like Dolly Kitty… Was the need of the hour? Ask the question to the ilmmakers who are perpetuating gender stereotypes. We are not the ones who need to justify the script and the ilm. Perhaps if more ilms broke the conventions, or were a little more imaginative, non-judgemental, or we had more roles for women of all ages, things might change. I wish there were

more ilmmakers - female and male – making more of these ilms. We need to break out of conventional ilmmaking of just casting young women, fair women, decorative and pretty women. When your directorial debut A Death in the Gunj released, we were hoping to see a lot more ilms being directed by you. I started writing scripts when Haroon was born. I have so many scripts I am working on simultaneously. I guess I will just have to sit down with one and start. Initially, I always had it at the back of my mind that the kind of stories I want to tell, won’t get buyers. It didn’t surprise me to see how dif icult it was to get started for A Death in the Gunj; I was prepared for the failure. I would be ok if I couldn’t make it even, so it didn’t sting. But now with the OTT platforms, the market, as they say, has opened. I am working on a web series currently, I will see how and where it goes… Are you someone who doesn’t fear failure? The more you think about it, the more you fail. Life or work does NOT have to be set in a particular pattern. You just have to remember to do what you think is right for you. If you know a relationship isn’t working, no point in sitting there mopping tears; just move on. If you know that ilms are not working out, move on, get another job and so on… don’t get stuck on something so bad that you cannot see the bigger picture.

You have often worked with your mother, Aparna Sen. She is known to be a very opinionated woman. Has she ever passed an opinion about you that took you by surprise?

She has always been the one director I do know acting was not your plan A, who brings out the best in me. I don’t but today after 20 years do you think mind admitting that my best work you could ever be something other remains with her. She is very vocal than an actor? with her criticism and also with her praise. I guess the best compliment I When I started working as a child actor, have received from her hasn’t been no one really asked me if I was even vocal, but expressed in her trust in interested. I had to work because the kid me to deliver a character so vastly who was supposed to do the part, didn’t different from me. show up. I think just because I was made to act that one time, I rebelled against After all these years, would you say the idea of being an actor. It was only it is dif icult for a woman to juggle later that I got drawn towards it. I was between work and a career? keeping journalism and advertising as options too. I never did think I would last 20 years as an actor in this industry. Why does anything have to be easy? I To answer your question, yes, I could be think the most important thing is to enjoy the process. If it was easy, it anything else, but I really enjoy being would not have been as memorable an actor, so while I can, I will stick to and exciting to achieve. movies in whichever capacity possible.

When I started working as a child actor, no one really asked me if I was even interested. I had to work because the kid who was supposed to do the part, didn’t show up.

After all these years, would you say it is dif icult for a woman to juggle between work and a career? Why does anything have to be easy? I think the most important thing is to enjoy the process. If it was easy, it would not have been as memorable and exciting to achieve.


Bollywood Insider october 2020

Bollywood Insider october 2020

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Raising a Toast to timeless


Bollywood Insider celebrates the birthday month of the gorgeous actress by visiting the ten most iconic roles that defined her

Deepali Singh


rom the time she entered the Hindi ilm industry till now, Rekha remains one of its most enigmatic stars. Call her elusive or aloof, Lady Amitabh or Greta Garbo of Bollywood, it does not change the fact that Rekha's journey from a charming temptress to an accomplished star has been nothing less than extraordinary.

Known for her versatility and acknowledged as one of the inest actresses in Indian cinema, often playing complicated female characters, she won a National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards.

Despite ups and downs in her career, she reinvented herself numerous times and managed to sustain her status. Born Bhanurekha Ganesan, her career in ilms started as a child actress in Telugu and Kannada movies. Rekha went on to rule Hindi cinema with her powerful performances in ilms such as Ghar, Ijaazat, Umrao Jaan and Silsila. As the gorgeous diva turns 66 on the th 10 of October, Bollywood Insider revisits some of her most memorable roles.


Sawan Bhadon (1970) She was already a few ilms old in regional cinema, when Hindi ilm offers started coming her way. The irst Bollywood ilm she signed was Anjana Safar, but her onscreen debut eventually happened with Mohan Segal's Sawan Bhadon. Playing a village girl who falls in love with a wealthy man may not have been the most challenging role, but the ilm was a blockbuster hit and with that, the 16-year-old newcomer attained overnight stardom. However, she was to receive a lot of negative reaction to her weight and dusky complexion. Talking about those initial days of fame in Hindi cinema, the actress has said, "My school friends were really envious because when I would say to them, who knows may be I will be a star tomorrow, they would say "achha, apni shaqal dekhi hai aaine mein?" And they didn't know where to look after my irst ilm was a hit, as they said, "Bhanu's made it after all."

My school friends were really envious because when I would say to them, who knows may be I will be a star tomorrow, they would say "achha, apni shaqal dekhi hai aaine mein?"

Ghar (1978) A ilm ahead of its times in many ways, and one that recognised Rekha's ability as an actor, Ghar was where everything came together for the powerhouse actress. A couple's happy married life is brought to a shuddering halt when the wife is gang-raped and the husband assaulted. At a time when drama was name of the game, Manik Chatterjee's directorial rede ined the genre by bringing in reality and sensitivity into play. From a happy-go-lucky newly married wife to a woman traumatised by the tragedy that befalls her, Rekha's was a class act.

Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978) This Prakash Mehra-directorial was an out-and-out commercial drama ilm that turned out to be one of the highest -grossing ilms of the year. While the plot mainly revolves around Sikandar (Amitabh Bachchan) an orphan and his journey in love and life, Rekha was also an integral part of this tale. As Zohra Bai, the courtesan, Rekha's character drew acclaim for her sel less love for Sikandar and her inal act of letting go of him for his own good.


Khoobsurat (1980) The coming together of two legends – director Hrishikesh Mukherjee and dialogue writer Gulzar – was bound to create something memorable, making Khoobsurat a thoroughly enjoyable experience! As the rule-breaker Manju, who decides to infuse some fun into her sister's household, Rekha is a force of vivacious energy on screen. For her performance, the actress received her irst Filmfare Award for Best Actress.

Silsila (1981)

Has Rekha looked more beautiful in any ilm than she did playing Chandni in this love triangle? The Yash Chopra-directorial starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Rekha and Sanjeev Kumar is remembered today, not only for its timeless songs, but also for its controversial casting. After all, who isn't aware of the

much-publicised and rumoured affair between Rekha and Big B? While the film was initially a commercial failure, but over the years, it has acquired a cult-status of sorts. Incidentally, this is also the last time Rekha and Amitabh were seen together on screen.

Umrao Jaan (1981) The story goes that director Muzaffar Ali, who was looking to cast either Shabana Azmi or Smita Patil for the role of Lucknow's most famous courtesan, happened to see Rekha's picture in a newspaper. He thought her eyes, which looked sad, were of a woman who understood the true essence of the word 'tragedy' and that is how he thought of her for the role. Even when you watch Umrao Jaan today, you will be struck by how the actress completely transformed herself into the character loved by many, accepted by none. For her career-de ining performance, Rekha received the National Film Award for Best Actress.


Ijaazat (1987) If there is a director who can chronicle the complexities of human relationships, it is Gulzar. The story of Ijaazat, adapted from Subodh Ghosh's Bengali short story Jatugriha, is his take on marriage and love and the pain of relationships that haven't found closure. As Sudha, who meets her former husband Mahen by chance on a stormy night inside the waiting room of a railway station, Rekha's nuanced and mature performance gave the movie the much-needed gravitas.

Khoon Bhari Maang (1988) Single-handedly avenging the injustice meted out to her in this action thriller directed by Rakesh Roshan, Rekha played one of the most memorable roles written for a Hindi ilm heroine, making this movie sort of a comeback venture for the actress. According to Rekha's biography, this was the ilm that earned the actress the title of Lady Amitabh for carrying the ilm on her shoulders.

Zubeidaa (2001) Considered one of Shyam Benegal's best works, Zubeidaa was melancholic and magical at the same time. The story of the free-spirited young girl Zubeidaa (Karisma Kapur) could not have been complete without a stellar supporting cast, including Rekha who played Maharani Mandira Devi. With the grace and dignity that the veteran actress brought to the screen with her stellar performance, the movie was greatly appreciated by critics and audiences alike.

Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996) Just when the audience started wondering what more Rekha has to offer, she did a U-turn and performed the irst villainous role of her career. And what a vamp she made! As Madam Maya, a gangster who conducts illegal wrestling matches in the US, Rekha was a class act in the middle of all the drama happening around her. The action thriller became one of the highest-grossing ilms of the year, earning several awards for the ilm's antagonist.



he much-awaited action fantasy movie directed by Ayan Mukerji has a stellar star cast. Sharing the screen space in the irst part of the planned trilogy will be real-life lovers Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt along with Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy and southern star Nagarjuna.

Bollywood Insider october 2020




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Hollywood stars’ tryst with


Jaydip Sengupta explain the reverse trend, of top Hollywood actors making a beeline ack in the 60’s and long before the The Householder. While Kapoor went for Hindi cinema? Yes, that is what likes of Irrfan Khan, Anupam Kher, on to feature in more ilms like Heat Anil Kapoor, Om Puri, Amrish Puri, and Dust and The Deceivers - the latter began to happen as some of the biggest names in Hollywood landed Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Aishwarya Rai also featuring ‘James Bond’ Pierce up to play roles in Bollywood Bachchan and Deepika Padukone made Brosnan - the number of Hindi movie a name for themselves in Hollywood, a actors venturing west were few and far movies. While some of them were dashing Indian actor had already left his between even as Hollywood production just cameos or appearances in song indelible mark in English cinema. houses began tapping into the lucrative and dance sequences, there were others which were long enough to Indian market. Shashi Kapoor was indeed the irst remain etched in memory. Here, mainstream Bollywood star to try his It is obviously natural for any Indian Bollywood Insider takes a look at 10 hand in English movies, when he acted actor to aspire for international Hollywood actors who made their in Merchant-Ivory’s 1963 production recognition, but what logic can presence felt in Hindi movies.


Sylvester Stallone – Kambakkht Ishq (2009) The star of blockbusters like Rambo, Rocky and The Expendables was the biggest name among the Hollywood cast that the producers of Kambakkht Ishq managed to rope in. Starring Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles, the romantic comedy also featured ‘Bond Girl’ Denise Richards, ‘Superman’ Brandon Routh and Whoopi Goldberg. And in case you are wondering what Stallone was doing in the ilm, well, he was saving Kareena from goons of course, in true Bollywood style, but even he couldn’t save the ilm from crashing at the Box Of ice.

Will Smith – Student of the Year 2 (2019) I am sure a lot of you may not know this, but the Karan Johar production starring Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria and Ananya Pandey, also featured the redoubtable Will Smith of Men in Black, Bad Boys and Hancock fame. The Hollywood superstar had come to India to shoot for his reality show Bucket List and one of the wishes on his own bucket list was, hold your breath, experiencing a Bollywood ilm shoot and dancing to a Bollywood number! Well, he did both during his stay and was seen in the movie during the number Radha on the Dance Floor, matching steps with twinkle-toed Tiger and the rest of the cast and holding his own against one of the inest dancers in Bollywood.

Toby Stephens – Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005) Who can forget the diabolical Gustav Graves from the James Bond movie Die Another Day. The Bond villain played by Toby Stephens remains one of his most iconic performances in Hollywood. But long before he became known worldwide with roles in The Great Gatsby, The Machine, and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Indian audiences got to know him as Captain William Gordon, who forged a friendship with Mangal Pandey (played by Aamir Khan). The ilm was a biographical historical drama directed by Ketan Mehta and also starred Rani Mukherji, Ameesha Patel and Kirron Kher among others.

Ben Kingsley – Teen Patti (2010) You would expect that a movie featuring the star of Gandhi, Schindler’s List and Iron Man 3 alongside our own Amitabh Bachchan, would set the cash registers ringing. In Teen Patti, which also features R. Madhavan, Raima Sen and Shraddha Kapoor, Kingsley plays a British mathematician who invites Bachchan to a high-rolling casino in London. The plot revolves around Bachchan’s character as an Indian mathematical genius, who is tired being ignored by his community and decides to prove his experiments through real-life evidence using gambling. The ilm received rave reviews, but one only wishes Kingsley had more to do than being just a passive listener.


Sarah Thompson – Raajneeti (2010) Sarah Thompson is best known for her performances in Cruel Intentions 2 alongside Amy Adams, Brooklyn’s Finest with Richard Gere and Babysitter Wanted. In 2010, she played Sarah Jean Collins, the girlfriend of Samar Pratap (played by Ranbir Kapoor) in Raajneeti. Directed by Prakash Jha, the ilm also starred Ajay Devgn, Katrina Kaif, Nana Patekar, Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpayee. Despite controversies, the movie was declared a blockbuster. What caught the audience’s attention was the chemistry between Ranbir and Sarah, with the latter looking completely in sync with the stellar cast.

Brande Roderick – Out of Control (2003) While our own Priyanka Chopra Jonas featured in the movie Baywatch in 2017, back in 2000, it was Brande Roderick who made her name playing Leigh Dyer in Baywatch, the TV series. Roderick became known to Indian audiences in 2003, when she starred in Out of Control, as the American wife of an Indian man (played by Riteish Deshmukh) who, on a visit to India, gets pressured by his family into marrying an Indian girl, played by Hrishitaa Bhatt. Roderick later went on to star in Starsky & Hutch, Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror, Club Wild Side 2 and The Nanny Diaries, besides various other guestappearances.

Clive Standen – Namastey London (2007) The handsome Charles ‘Charlie’ Brown was Katrina Kaif’s preferred choice as she didn’t consider her marriage with Akshay Kumar legal in Namastey London. While the ilm inally united the two Indian actors in true Bollywood style, Clive Standen as Brown did manage to make the audiences sit up and take notice. Standen had been at it well before he was picked for the role, having acted in several American TV series. Though Liam Neeson owned the Taken franchise on the big screen, Standen essayed the role in the TV series, which was a prequel, in 2017-2018. He then starred in Patient Zero and Vault and is currently doing the American TV series Council of Dads.

Marko Zaror – Sultan (2016) The towering Chilean of Undisputed III: Redemption, Machete Kills and Alita: Battle Angel fame, was inalist Marcus in Salman Khan’s sports drama Sultan. Zaror also happens to be the most successful Hollywood actor in Bollywood after Sultan became one of the top- ive highest grossing movies of all time. The action star will next be seen in 100 years, an experimental science iction ilm written by John Malkovich and directed by Robert Rodrigues. Advertised in 2015 with the tagline “The Movie You Will Never See”, it is due to be released on November 18, 2115. The 100-year span matches the time it takes for a bottle of Louis XIII Cognac to be properly aged before its release to consumers.


Lester Speight – International Khiladi (1999) The man mountain in the Akshay Kumar-Twinkle Khanna starrer, Speight took on the Khiladi Kumar in this sixth instalment of eight movies which had Khiladi in the title. International Khiladi was co-produced by Canadian businessman Ajay Virmani and was shot in Toronto. A former professional American football player, who later turned professional wrestler and inally an actor, Speight irst shot to fame in 2003, appearing in a Reebok commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Thereafter, he bagged roles in Cradle 2 the Grave, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Norbit and Faster.

Gordon Liu – Chandni Chowk to China (2009) The irst Warner Bros. produced Hindi movie featured Mithun Chakraborty with Deepika Padukone in a double role opposite Akshay Kumar in the Nikhil Advani directorial. The ilm also starred Chinese martial arts legend Gordon Liu, famous for his starring role in The 36th Chamber of Shaolin as well as signi icant screen space in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. In Chandni Chowk to China, Liu plays Hojo, a smuggler, who kills the character played by Mithun, a death that Akshay avenges in the inal ight scene. The ilm, despite its stellar cast and beautifully choreographed numbers, failed to set the box of ice on ire.

Bollywood Insider october 2020


Bollywood Stars

and their politics

By Deepali Singh Just like cricket and Bollywood, there seems to be some inexplicable connection between actors and national politics – the former just can't seem to resist the lure of the fascinating world of politics. Some might even go as far to say that actors make for good politicians; after all, there is a lot of scope for acting even in politics.

dialogues from their movies. But some actors have truly gone beyond lip-service and attempted to bring about a change for the betterment of people. Right from Prithviraj Kapoor to Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Nargis, there were many stars who were connected with politics in some way or the other. Bollywood actors such as Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Mithun Chakraborty, Jaya Prada and Rajesh Khanna have all been parliamentarians.

Jokes aside, Bollywood actors do add the much-needed star-power to political campaigns, drawing in crowds with just a wave of the hand and even a few chosen

Bollywood Insider takes a look at the political journeys of a few Bollywood stars in the recent past, who made news for t heir decisions and moves.

Sunil Dutt

KAJOL Dutt joined the CongressInsider party in 1984 at the behest of

One of the most consummate personalities of Hindi cinema,

former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Congress veteran Murli Deora. The actor remained Member of Parliament for ive terms until his death in 2005. In his book Neta – Abhineta: Bollywood Star Power in Indian Politics, author Rasheed Kidwai mentioned that in 2002, Dutt was appointed president of the 'Sadhbhavna ke Sipahi' movement, aimed at promoting a sense of secularism amid an atmosphere of religious intolerance and bigotry following the riots in Gujarat. He was Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports for a year before he passed away in 2005.


Amitabh Bachchan He may be counted among the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema, the megastar could not manage to garner a similar success in politics. In fact, just three years after contesting the Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket from Allahabad in 1984 and winning by a landslide, the actor bid adieu to politics. Calling his decision to enter politics 'emotional', Big B had said, "I wanted to go and help a friend, but when I went there and got into it, I realised that it has nothing to do with emotions. I realised that I am incapable of doing it and so, I left."

Jaya Bachchan Being the daughter of a political reporter, Jaya Bachchan has always been an 'aware' citizen. One of the inest actresses of Hindi cinema, Jaya was elected MP from Samajwadi Party in 2004 and was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha for a fourth term in 2018. Known for speaking her mind, the actress-politician has said that she is inspired to remain in politics in order to see a better future for the younger generation. "Things must change. The country must go in the hands of younger people because their vision is very different. They are thinking more internationally, more progressively and I support that whole-heartedly. That's what I want to see, that's what I support and that's what I want to see my country become."


Kirron Kher The National Award-winning actress joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2009. She was their candidate for the Lok Sabha elections from Chandigarh for General Elections in 2014, subsequently winning the seat again in 2019. While her record as an MP has been described as 'mixed' so far, she did manage to increase the upper age limit for entry into government service, and enhance wages to Home Guards.

Hema Malini The Dream Girl of Hindi cinema enjoyed a successful stint in movies and was one of its reigning queens in the 1970s. The Padma Sri recipient has managed to leave her mark in the political arena as well. After being elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2003 as a representative of the Bharatiya Janata Party, she went on to contest and win the General Elections of the Lok Sabha in 2014 as well as 2019 from Mathura constituency. While there can be enough debates about her accomplishments on the ground, the actress-politician has declared that this will be her last stint in politics. "I want to ful il all the promises that I made to my constituency, that's why I needed one more term. Thereafter, I am inished with politics. I need time for my family and my dancing."

Smriti Irani The former model and India's favourite small-screen bahu has had a long and ful illing stint in Indian politics. Joining BJP in 2003, she has only gone stronger with each passing year. Currently, she is serving in the cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Minister of Textiles since 2016 and was given additional charge as Minister of Women and Child Development since May 2019. The 2019 General Elections marked a career-de ining moment for her when she defeated Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi from Amethi constituency. The career of this political heavyweight has been rife with one controversy after another, but she has managed to sail through troubled waters time and again.

Shatrughan Sinha Shatrughan Sinha entered politics in 1992 to contest a by-election in Delhi against his friend Rajesh Khanna, losing both the election and his friendship with the superstar. Later on, he was member of the Rajya Sabha for two terms, and then won election to the Lok Sabha in 2009. He was re-elected in 2014, but later lost favor with the BJP bigwigs and not given the ticket to run in the 2019 parliamentary election. Quitting BJP, he joined the Congress party, ran against the BJP candidate, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, lost the election by a huge margin and quit politics.


When Actors Put Money Where Their Mouth Is Deepali Singh Filmmaking in India, or anywhere else for that matter, is a risky business. The biggest of superstars, top-level production values and at times, even the most well-intentioned meaningful story cannot guarantee a ilm's success at the Box Of ice. This is why, it is a heartening trend to see more and more actors turning towards production in the past few years. Some of the top stars of today, including Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Deepika Padukone, Ajay Devgn and John Abraham among others, have put their might behind projects they have believed in. In the 50s and 60s, actors such as Guru Dutt and Dev Anand also produced ilms under their respective banners. But unlike today when the primary emphasis is on economics, making pro its came secondary to telling a compelling story. However, the business of cinema has changed vastly since the days of Dutt and Dev. The stakes are much higher than they were.

Minimizing risks, maximizing prots In a big Bollywood production with an A-lister, a major chunk of the budget goes towards paying the lead actor. "After a certain point in one's career, some actors command a staggering fee that can burden the ilm, and increase the risk-factor," says trade analyst Amul V Mohan. When an actor steps in as a co-producer, he or she reduces their normal fee and takes a percentage from the pro its. "It reduces the risk and makes the project more viable. In that sense, it is a good trend," adds Amul.


that need to be told

That said, economics isn't the sole criteria when it comes to greenlighting a project. Believing in the story and what it wants to say, is as important. Everyone knows that Aamir Khan stepped into production with Lagaan, one of the biggest blockbusters of Bollywood. But the story behind it is that no producer was willing to back such a hatke project until Aamir decided to take the reigns of production in his own hands. "I had seen my father struggle and his problems as a producer and he had never wanted me to be one. But, Ashutosh's script was so good that I could not resist myself from taking the th plunge," he had said at the 10 anniversary celebrations of his banner Aamir Khan Productions. The superstar went on to produce critically-acclaimed ilms such as Taare Zameen Par, Peepli Live, Delhi Belly, Dhobi Ghat and Secret Superstar among others. With a higher say in the creative input, actors add value to the project with their experience as well as their brand equity and helps market the ilm better.


Creating an impact When an actor on the top rung of the hierarchy puts his/her might behind a subject that is considered taboo or needs more attention, the impact is manifold. Eminent ilm business and trade analyst Girish Johar cites the instance of Pad Man, inspired by the life of social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham who created a low-cost sanitary napkin machine. "When someone like Akshay Kumar - who starred in the lead role and was also a co-producer – does a ilm on menstrual hygiene, it helps normalise the subject. The audience is more accepting of the change," he says. Aamir Khan's production Peepli Live made a case about farmers' suicides while Deepika Padukone stepped in to co-produce Chhapaak, a ilm based on acid attack-survivor Laxmi Agarwal. On turning producer with Meghna Gulzar's directorial, Deepika had said, "When I heard this story, I was deeply moved as it's not just one of violence, but of strength and courage, hope and victory. It made such an impact on me, that personally and creatively, I needed to go beyond and so the decision to turn producer." Trade analyst Amul believes that with Chhapaak, the A-list actress managed to bring in the much-need conversation about acid attacks out in the open. "A lesser-known star would not have managed to create that impact," he states.

Making movies with heart

If there is one thing Katrina Kaif has her heart set upon, it's to start her own production house soon. The gorgeous actress wants to join her female counterparts like Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma and Priyanka Chopra Jonas in telling relevant and meaningful stories. But the way was paved for them years ago, by Fatima Begum, the irst female producer in Hindi ilms, who set up her own production house in 1926. Since then, there haven't been that many female producers on the scene, but things seem to be slowly changing for the better. Actors like Dia Mirza, Chitrangda Singh, Lara Dutta Bhupathi and Preity Zinta have also joined the league of female producers.

Priyanka, who has produced regional ilms under her banner Purple Pebble Pictures, has received three National Film Awards for her Marathi ilm Ventilator. Says she, "Almost all directors we have worked with- seven I think - are new directors. My route is very different and it's a personal journey. The ilms that I make are important to me and I have a point of view that our entertainment has commercial value and it has a story." While the presence of female producers guarantees a change in the way women are projected on screen, Girish tells us that they also bring a lot of heart to any project. "They are passionate and work closely with the project. Everything comes straight from the heart, while giving economics its due. They are all making good and successful ilms. At the end of the day, the audience is more invested in watching good cinema, irrespective of the gender of the producer," he says.


Bollywood Insider october 2020

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Bollywood Insider october 2020

VOTE FOR TOM SUOZZI Tuesday November 3, 2020

Re-Elect A Great Friend of the Indian Community C O N G R E S S

2 0 2 0

SUOZZI e Indian American Voters Forum is pleased to endorse Hon. Tom Suozzi for re-election to US Congress. All of us - Friends of Tom Suozzi named below – urge each and every member of the Indian American community in the third congressional district of Queens, Nassau and Su olk to vote for Congressman Tom Suozzi on November 3rd.

Varinder K Bhalla

Chairman, Indian American Voters Forum

FRIENDS OF TOM SUOZZI Dr. Ajay Lodha Dr. Riti Sunshine Bhalla Sekhar Nelanuthala Girish Patel Hargovind Gupta Anu Jain Dr. Anil Gupta Dr. Gunwant Singh Dr. Pratichi Goenka Dr. Renu Jain Dr. Vijay Arya Ajit Abraham Ashima Ghosh Dincil George Gurmit S. Hira Jaydip Dattaray Kaushik Ghosh Maya Mazumdar Nisha Mehra Rajinder Singh Sagorica Rudra Sukumar Haldar Tarlochan Singh Bhatti

Dr. Dipak Nandi Dr. Bhupi Patel Dr. Harshad Bhatt Jyoti Gupta Gobind Bathija Indu Gajwani Dr. Arun Aggarwal Dr. Kamalpreet Butar Dr. Purna Atluri Dr. Sanjeev Bansal Dr. Vinita Aggarwal Akbar Himani Beena Sahdev Elizabeth Paulose Harcharan Sachdev John Joseph Koshy Oomen Maya Patel Nitin Manjrekar Rajiv Rudra Sandy Rambharose Sunil Rehal Thomas Cheriyan

Animesh Goenka Mohinder Taneja Dr. Himanshu Pandya Pinky Jaggi Dr. Ajey Jain Gunjan Rastogi Dr. Avtar Singh Tinna Dr. Kusum Vishwanathan Dr. Rajesh Patel Dr. Saroj Gupta Abha Bhatnagar Amber Vaswani Bobby Mathews Falguni Shah Inderjit Kaur Kaiser Mazumdar Dr. Anuj Goenka Minnie Chadha Pammi Kaur Renu Mahindru Satya Korlipara Sunita Manjrekar Varinder Khass

Ravi Bhooplapore Bobby Kumar Shashi Malik Kal Varughese Bina Sabapathy Ashi Chabbra Dr. Deepak Nanda Dr. Mala Desai Dr. Rajiv Bansal Dr. Sonal Goenka Abha Rihal Anupam Goenka Chandrika Dattaray Geeta Shukla Indira Patel Karunya Sabapathy Malini Kumar Misthu Dattaray Paramjit Singh Bedi Rimli Roy Shalini Nanda Swaroop Arora Varughese K. Joseph

Ratna Bhalla Satnam Parhar Dr. Sunil Mehra Neeta Bhasin Vijay Verma Neelima Madan Dr. Dipali Pandya Dr. Moolchand Chugh Dr. Reena Nandi Dr. Swaran Gupta Abhijay Goenka Arti Majithia Deepika Modi George Parambil Janak Shah Kasturba Mitra Mandip Singh Shahi Neetu Chabra PrasadKambhampati Sabina Himani Sonia Anand Swatick Mazumdar Virender Verma

‘Paid for by Suozzi for Congress’


When one actor's loss was another's gain By Deepali Singh You don’t have to mention anything other than the words ‘Khiladi Kumar’ to know that it is Akshay Kumar being spoken about. Post the success of his ilm Khiladi in 1992, the superstar went on to do eight movies with Khiladi in the title. But, what if we were to tell you that AK wasn’t the irst choice to play the role that catapulted him to fame and earned him the moniker? That’s right! In a recent interview with ilm critic Anupama Chopra, ilmmakers Abbas-Mustan revealed that they wanted to cast Ronit Roy for the role, but ultimately went ahead with the newcomer who was yet to prove himself in the ield of acting. And we all know how that newcomer went on to become one of the biggest superstars of today. Destiny has often played a role during casting. Many a times, it is the actor who has not seen eye-to-eye with the director’s vision. Legend has it that Raaj Kumar was offered the lead role in Deewar, but rejected it because he didn’t like the smell of director Prakash Mehra’s hair oil! Today, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Amitabh Bachchan mouthing those intense dialogues as Vijay. At times, actors have not been able to say yes because of date hassles or personal problems. Many of these ilms have gone on to attain iconic status and the actors who have ultimately played those characters, have carved a special place for themselves in cine-goers’ hearts. Bollywood Insider did a little digging and came up with some interesting trivia on which actor’s loss was another one’s gain.

Danny Dengzongpa as Gabbar Singh (Sholay) It is next to impossible today to think of anyone other than the wonderful Amjad Khan mouthing those powerful dialogues from the 1975 blockbuster ilm Sholay. Would they have sounded more menacing had Danny Dengzongpa delivered them? Now that’s something we may never ind out, but we do know that Danny was the original choice for the iconic role that eventually was performed by a newcomer. The former could not take it up as he was busy shooting for Feroz Khan’s Dharmatma in Afghanistan. In an interview many years later, when Danny was asked if he had any regrets about losing out on the role that catapulted Amjad to the pinnacles of fame, he said, “If I had done that ilm then that wonderful actor called Amjad wouldn’t have been there. It bene ited me and all of us because Amjad became such a huge star after Sholay that the character actors and villains’ prices went up six times.”

Aamir Khan as Rahul Mehra (Darr) Shah Rukh Khan terrorised an entire generation of teenage girls, who couldn’t answer the phone without thinking of someone on the other end going ‘K-K-K-K-Kiran’! As Rahul Mehra, SRK excelled in the negative avatar. But originally, it was Aamir Khan who had greenlit the role of the obsessive lover. While it was assumed that he walked out of the ilm due to personal reasons, the superstar revealed later that he was, in fact, dropped from the movie. “I did not walk out of Darr. I was removed from the ilm because I asked for a joint narration with Sunny Deol. Initially, the director agreed, but later I don’t know why he changed his mind. When I persisted, he phoned to say 'Aamir, let's work some other time.' So I said, 'Fine'," he said.

Twinkle Khanna as Tina (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) In her brief career as an actress, Twinkle Khanna has delivered many Box Of ice duds – a fact she good-naturedly admits to. Who knows, if she had said yes to Karan Johar’s offer of playing Tina’s role in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, her career might just have taken off in the right direction. The story goes that ilmmaker KJo, who is also one of her best friends, had written the story with Twinkle in mind, but she rejected the role as the character dies in the middle. On the 20th anniversary of the much-loved ilm that released in 1998, the author and producer jokingly revealed that she did them a favour by not doing the ilm as it would surely have lopped because of her presence! As for Rani Mukerji, who went on to play Tina in the movie, the sky was the limit thereafter.

Shah Rukh Khan as Munna Bhai(Munnabhai MBBS) One of Sanjay Dutt’s most popular and lovable roles in his career was of Munna Bhai, the goon with a heart of gold. But it was Shah Rukh Khan's loss, that eventually became Sanju's gain. Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra had envisioned SRK for the lead role of the Rajkumar Hirani directorial, but owing to his back problems, the Darr actor had to back out of the ilm. Playing the lovable goon gave a major boost to Sanjay's career, who also went on to do the sequel with equal success. After watching the ilm, Shah Rukh is said to have mentioned that he could not have done the role as well as Sanjay did.


Kareena Kapoor Khan as Rani Mehra (Queen) Did you know that Kareena was the irst choice to play the lead role in Queen? The role fell in Kangana Ranaut's lap, who till date is referred to as 'Queen' for her delightful portrayal of the bride who goes on a solo honeymoon after her iancé dumps her on their marriage eve. Bebo has never really talked about her reason for saying no to the Vikas Bahl-directorial, but she has said that she doesn't regret rejecting any of the roles she has been offered. "I never look back. I only move ahead. I have no regrets."

Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai as Bajirao and Mastani (Bajirao Mastani) After working with Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted to cast the beautiful pair in his period drama Bajirao Mastani as early as in 2003. However, the real-life couple broke up, sending the project to the backburner for years. Several

casting options and many years the ilmmaker inally went on to make the ilm with another real-life couple–Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. The visual spectacle was both a critical and commercial success.

Hrithik Roshan as Mohan Bhargava (Swades) If you're a die-hard Shah Rukh Khan fan, chances are that Swades would count among one of his top performances. But the superstar was not director Ashutosh Gowariker's irst choice for playing Mohan, the NRI who returns to his homeland. He had, in fact, approached Hritihik Roshan for the movie. Talking about the ilm which is now considered a cult-classic, Hrithik has said, "I had read Ashutosh's script for Swades. I couldn't see it from the director's perspective, and therefore didn't think I was equipped to perform the part. I wasn't the best person to translate Ashutosh's vision. And this was right after Lagaan, so when Ashutosh came to me, I felt on top of the world. Swades is one of my favourite ilms. And Ashutosh is de initely one of my favourite ilmmakers."

Manisha Koirala as Nisha (Dil Toh Pagal Hai)

Playing second iddle to Madhuri Dixit is not something an actress would readily agree to. So, when Yash Chopra was looking to cast for the supporting role of Nisha in the love triangle, he found it an uphill task. The Nepali beauty, Manisha Koirala was his irst choice, but the actress rejected the ilm. Other actresses like Raveena Tandon, Kajol, Juhi Chawla and Urmila Matondkar, too, were reportedly approached for the role, but they all rejected the ilm on some ground or another. Karisma Kapoor, who essayed the role of Nisha, went on to win a National Award for her sensitive performance. Recently, in an interview to a prominent tabloid, Manisha said she regrets rejecting the ilm, which is considered one of the most beautiful love stories in Hindi cinema. Well, you win some, you lose some!


Bollywood’s indiscretion and gaffes with Medical Science

Prof. V.K. Kapoor In 1979, when I was a resident doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi, I was counseling three sons about donating blood for their mother who needed urgent blood transfusion after a massive bleed. They looked towards each other, rolled up the sleeves of their shirts and lay on the vacant bed next to their mother’s and said “We are ready doctor, go ahead and take out as much blood from our bodies and give it to our mother. But pray, save her life.” No doubt, they had watched Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna

and Rishi Kapoor donating their blood which was transfused directly into their mother Nirupa Roy in Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), albeit without any consideration for checking the blood groups and the mandatory screening for possible transmissible infections. This is just one of the more glaring examples of how the Bollywood movies handle medical issues – with a dose of ‘ ilmy medicine’.

Bollywood movies are usually a pot pourri of romance, action, emotion, melodrama, comedy and tragedy. What can be more tragic than death? ‘Bas thodi sansein hi baki hain’ (just a few breaths are left) the ilmy doctor says and leaves the scene so that the dying actor can then talk to the relatives for the last time. In Simmba (2018), Akruti, the gang-rape victim with intestinal damage is described as very critical who may not survive, but she has just a peripheral IV canula on the wrist – no central IV line, no naso-gastric tube (which is required in patients with intestinal injury), no ventilation (not even oxygen). In Jannat 2 (2008), Emran Hashmi is declared to be critically ill, but he is not even on oxygen mask – lo and behold, he even delivers a few dialogues before he dies. In Arpan (1983), the doctor declares that the unconscious patient is critical, but says that he will regain his senses for few moments (apparently to deliver a few emotional dialogues to the heroine before he dies). Bollywood is not familiar with the medical education system either. In Tere Mere Sapne (1977), Dev Anand goes on to do MD after studying at home. In Yun Hota to Kya Hota (2006), the actor gets admission to the MS course in an American university (UCLA) after completing MBBS in India, but MS (Master of Science) in USA is an engineering degree; there is nothing like MS (Surgery).

In Ghajini (2008) the neurologist is shown to be an MD, whereas the quali ication in neurology is DM. In Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) Sarika, a neurologist, operates upon Shah Rukh Khan, who has suffered a head injury. Operations are a big favorite of Bollywood, but I am yet to see an operation room (OR) with a red bulb outside it. In Yeshwant (1997), as Nana Patekar is being operated, his wife walks into the OR even while the operation is on. In Club 60 (2013), the surgeon (Farookh Shaikh) touches the hand of the patient (Raghubir Yadav) after he has donned sterile gloves. All Bollywood movies (except for the soliloquy Yaadein in 1964 starring Sunil Dutt) have a heroine; pregnancy, therefore, features in a majority of those. The young heroine experiences chakkar (giddiness) and collapses; the ilmy doctor feels the pulse and declares ‘Badhai ho, yeh maa banne wali hai’ (congratulations, she is expecting) striking a blow to the pharmaceutical companies marketing the pregnancy kits. ‘Can save either the mother or the child (but not both!)’ is a frequent plea of ilmy doctors to emotionally blackmail the husband, as in Lamhe (1991).


Filmy treatments are very novel. In Clerk (1989), Ashok Kumar, suffering from a heart attack, marches out of the bed after hearing a ‘desh bhakti ka geet’. In Rowdy Rathore (2012), water poured on an injured head prevents brain hemorrhage. In Vivah (2006), Amrita Rao has extensive burns all over her body, but not even an iota on her face and hands. Violence and bullets are an essential ingredient of the Bollywood recipe. Bollywoodically speaking, extraction of the bullet is absolutely essential and it must be dropped by the surgeon into the steel tray making a tann sound. While the cronies of the villain and the poor policemen succumb instantly to just one bullet, the hero (and the villain) not only survives a barrage of bullets, but also walks a distance or delivers a couple of dialogues before becoming unconscious (or dying). In Dashavtar (2008), a bullet takes away the cancer from the voice box while leaving the voice intact. A blow to the head cures a brain tumor in Jimmy (2008). Cancer makes a good recipe for creating a scenario of gloom. But in Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Raj Kumar is operated upon after lung cancer has been diagnosed for 3 years. Even Hrishikesh Mukherjee committed a medical faux pas when he showed the pernicious anemia of Jaya Bachchan to be incurable in Mili (1975).

‘Jigar ka tukra’ (a piece of liver), a favorite phrase in Bollywood dialogues and songs, preempted the concept of liver transplant. In Suhag (1979), however, a repentant Amjad Khan donates his (both) eyes to his son Shashi Kapoor. Which ophthalmologist would dare to remove (even one) eye from a living donor? In Diya aur Toofan (1995) Suresh Oberoi transplants the brain of dead Mithun Chakraborty into the skull of Madhoo; a feat not achieved in medical science as yet. Most Indians are medically illiterate. Bollywood movies have a wide reach and can be an effective medium to spread health education and awareness Barring a few exceptions, most movies dealing with medical issues have, however, failed in this regard and lost a golden opportunity to spread a message and educate the lay public. Correct depiction of medicine and healthrelated issues in Bollywood movies is important. Review of every movie by a medical board may be a preemptive step; a medical advisor to the Director of the movie would probably be an easier and a better option. Dr. V.K. Kapoor is a Professor of Surgical Gastroenterology at Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS)

Bollywood Insider october 2020

RE-ELECT TOM SUOZZI FOR CONGRESS Tom Suozzi has stood by the Indian American community for the past two decades, as Glen Cover Mayor, as Nassau County Executive and now as United States Congressman.

On November 3rd , let us all vote for Congressman Tom Suozzi and re-elect a great friend of our community. INDIAN AMERICAN VOTERS FORUM

I have always valued the relationship between India and America. Our shared values are the foundation of our bond and a great hope for the world. Congressman Tom Suozzi

“I cherish my longstanding friendship with the Indian American Community.”

Paid for by Suozzi for Congress


Bollywood Insider october 2020

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Celebrity designers and their Bollywood muses

Jaydip Sengupta Have you ever wondered who designs those resplendent out its that our Bollywood stars launt on camera? If you are thinking Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren or Gucci, you may be a bit off the mark here. While it’s true that our uber-rich actors do have a penchant for catering to high-street brands, our desi fashion designers occupy a very large place inside a celebrity’s wardrobe. I remember watching an episode of Kapil Sharma’s show which featured Shah Rukh Khan and Abhishek Bachchan when the duo was promoting Happy New Year. On being asked what he found unique about the Bachchans, King Khan remarked that he always marveled at how the whole family was always so well-attired, even when at home. So you see, it is not just the actresses who take extra care about what they are wearing to an awards show or a premiere. The men too know how to look elegant and be at their sartorial best. And in Bollywood, it is important to make the correct fashion statement. Of course, for that they have their stylists and their go-to designers. On their part, these high- lying designers have their favorites, their muses. So, here’s a look at the Top 5 fashion designers and their favorite Bollywood celebs to dress up.

Manish Malhotra Manish Malhotra entered the Bollywood industry to pursue a career in modelling. After he failed at it, he began designing clothes and today, he is one of the top Bollywood celebrity designers. The star bridal couturier has had many muses across his long career. Among his two favourite are his two closest friends, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor Khan. The beauty queen, for Manish, is not only a dear friend, but has also been his muse for many years now. According to the designer, Aishwarya embodies beauty, sensuality and glamour, and is a timeless epitome of grace and effortless style. Kareena too has always turned heads, not only with her striking appearances, but also with her innate sense of style. The diva has time and again turned muse for her designer friend.


Sabyasachi Mukherjee Sabyasachi Mukherjee started his designing career in 1999. This Kolkata-based designer has been in luenced by his root and heritage and this can be seen in some of his designs. He excels at designing traditional Indian out its with detailed work done on it. Over the last twenty years, Sabyasachi has dressed countless brides from across the globe, but his best work came when he dressed Priyanka Chopra Jonas for her wedding. The all ‘Sabyasachi red’ lehenga stole hearts all over the world and became an inspiration for many brides of the future. His other favourite muse is Deepika Padukone whom he has dressed up in saris with a contemporary look. Deepika might not opt for a sari regularly, but when she does, it is almost always Sabyasachi.

Masaba Gupta The celebrity designer daughter of cricketer Sir Vivian Richards and Bollywood actress Neena Gupta has become a big name in the fashion industry and runs her own fashion brand, House of Masaba. Her design aesthetic has been de ined as a blend of contemporary and traditional with modernity taking the upper hand. She specializes in ethnic wear for women. Sonam Kapoor was one of the irst Bollywood stars to wear Masaba’s collection, making her the go-to actress for the young designer. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Masaba considers Bollywood’s own style diva and the favourite of many other top designers as her eternal muse. Of late, though, Masaba has also enjoyed dressing up Shilpa Shetty, gushing about her perfect body and how she carries off her dresses with utmost poise.

Manish Arora When we talk of fashion, we inevitably think of women’s fashion, but one Bollywood actor who has turned fashion on its head is the inimitable, effervescent and oftentimes outrageous Ranveer Singh. Unsurprisingly, Ranveer is the muse of Manish Arora, one of the most well-known names in the global fashion circuit from India, having been the creative director of French fashion house Paco Rabbane. Arora, who has preferred to ply his trade in Paris and has generally stayed away from Bollywood choosing instead to make his mark in international fashion shows, is unabashed in his praise for Ranveer, saying, “It’s always fun to dress him! I’ve always believed in being fearless in terms of self-expression and I don’t think there can be a better spokesperson than him!”

Ritu Kumar An extensive knowledge of art history and musicology made Ritu Kumar, a revivalist in the ield of fashion. Ritu’s designs focus on natural fabrics and traditional printing and weaving techniques. The 75-year-old designer, who was conferred with the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2013, is also known to dress up beauty contestants and young and upcoming Bollywood actresses, choosing as her muse newcomers like Kiara Advani, who modelled for Label Ritu Kumar for the Autumn Winter collection last year. Later in the year, at the Lakme Fashion Week, Ritu chose Tara Sutaria to be the showstopper for her segment, having also given the likes of Disha Patani and Aditi Rao Hydari the chance to launt her creations.


Bollywood Insider october 2020

BHAGWAN SHREE LAKSHMI NARAYAN DHAM “With the entry of light, darkness disappears. With the presence and practice of Cosmic Sound Secret, suffering disappears.” “Ice and water are two forms of the same substance. e only difference is that whilst one has form and colour, the other is formless. at is the exact difference between God and a Master. One has a form, and the other is formless."

Brahmrishi Kumar Swami Ji being honored by President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind.

Bollywood Insider october 2020

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Insider Scoop and Snippets Eid release for Satyamev Jayate 2 The much-awaited John Abraham & Divya Khosla Kumar starrer, Satyameva Jayate 2, is ready to be released next Eid. The Rocky Handsome star shared a poster of the film on his social media account and also announced the release date. Directed by Milap Zaveri, the film is scheduled to release on May 12, 2021. Along with the poster the actor wrote, Jis desh ki maiyya Ganga hai, wahan khoon bhi Tiranga hai! #SatyamevaJayate2 in cinemas on 12th May, EID 2021. #SMJ2EID202.” The trailer of the film is out on YouTube.

Irfan's unfulfilled wish - A girl child On the eve of ‘Daughter’s Day’, late actor Irrfan Khan’s wife Sutapa Sikdar, on her social media account, revealed that the couple wanted to have a girl child. “Me and Irrfan wanted to have a daughter so desperately that on my second delivery my doc could not utter the word son and said instead ‘congratulations!! Healthy child!!’ I was disappointed…. yes, I was. That day for us and today, I feel sad that a girl child got deprived of Irrfan’s parenting of a girl. Because just giving freedom is not enough to a girl child,” she wrote on her Facebook handle. She also shared a video of an ad campaign, about a girl child and further said, “Whatever is happening around makes me say freedom is not about only being vocal, it’s not about treading on other’s freedom only. Let’s get up beyond being voyeuristic, beyond the so-called emancipation and do something more concrete and meaningful for India.”

Cryptic Kriti Sanon at it again! Hinting at the ongoing fights and chaos in the industry at present, actress Kriti Sanon posted another cryptic message after sharing a post on “karma.” Her recent message was aimed at the controversies and continuous heated arguments among celebrities post SSR’s death. This time, the Raabta actress wrote, “They fight for you, then they fight with each other. An unstoppable chaos. And it’s not about you anymore, it’s about them. May be it always was….” Her post went viral on internet and in no time, fans started responding to her comment.

Bollywood divas face the NCB music Rhea Chakraborty finally got bail, but not before the Narcotics Control Bureau summoned actressesDeepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh for questioning. As per the reports, some personal chats came under the scrutiny of NCB mentioning the initials of the individuals with ‘D’ and ‘K’. While D has allegedly been identified as Deepika Padukone, ‘K’ is Karishma, a KWAN Talent Management Agency employee. The drug law enforcement agency got the leads on Sara and Shraddha after it was found that they went on an island near Pune multiple times to party along with Sushant Singh Rajput.

Insider Scoop and Snippets Ambulance driver convinced of SSR murder The ambulance driver who took Sushant’s body to the hospital from the deceased’ actor’s residence on June 14, stated that the actor was murdered and it was not a suicide. In an interview, the driver reportedly said that despite the medical reports stating no evidence of poison was found in his body, it is certainly a murder. He maintains the statement by adding that if at all it was a suicide, there were no chances of the actor’s leg being broken.

Gully Boy, Article 15 bag SWA awards After a big break from award shows and ceremonies on television due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Screen Writers Association on Sunday, organised it’s first-ever virtual award show— SWA Awards 2020. This OTT show was hosted on Facebook and the famous television couple Varun Badola and Rajeshwari Sachdeva anchored the show. Actor-writer Vijay Maurya bagged the “Best Dialogues” for Gully Boy, while Anubhav Sinha and Gaurav Solanki were awarded “Best Story and Best Screenplay” for the movie Article 15. ‘Teri Mitti’ from Kesari by Manoj Muntashir topped the “Best Lyrics” category.

Indoo Ki Jawani wins race to the theatres Owing to the pandemic, many filmmakers of small and big-budget flicks took the OTT route to release their films, while there were others who sat back and decided to wait for the cinemas to reopen. Indoo Ki Jawani, starring Kiara Advani, will now be the first Bollywood project to have its release in cinemas. Reportedly, the film will be released next month and the theatres will also be reopened in the month of October. Apart from Kiara Advani, Indoo Ki Jawani also features Aditya Seal and Mallika Dua. It is directed by Abir Sengupta and produced by Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani, Nikkhil Advani, Bhushan Kumar, Divya Khosla Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Niranjan Iyengar and Ryan Stephen.

London calling for Bell Bottom after Scotland tryst Akshay Kumar recently wrapped up shooting for Bell Bottom in Scotland and shared a happy picture on social media with the team. The picture included his wify Twinkle Khanna, their son Aarav, actress Vaani Kapoor, actor & producer Jackky Bhagnani, Deepshika Deshmukh and other crew members. The Padman actor captioned the picture as, “So many happy faces in one frame...that’s the result of a good schedule. Goodbye Glasgow, hello London #BellBottom.” (sic).


Insider Scoop and Snippets Sonu Sood overjoyed after UN recognition For his extraordinary humanitarian work throughout the pandemic, actor Sonu Sood has been honoured with the prestigious SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a virtual ceremony. The Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi star helped thousands of migrant workers reach their home safely during the lockdown. Thanking the UNDP for this gesture, the actor wrote, “This is a rare honour. A UN recognition is very special. I have done whatever little I have done in my own humble way for my fellow countrymen without any expectations. However, to be recognised and awarded feels good. I fully support the UNDP in its endeavours to achieve SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) by 2030. Planet Earth and mankind will greatly benefit from the implementation of these goals.”

Bollywood's most wanted Bhai shoots again The much-awaited Salman Khan-starrer Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, featuring Disha Patani, Randeep Hooda, Jackie Shroff and Gautam Gulati in key roles, will begin its shoot in October. Based in ND Studios, this action-thriller will have its set in Karjat, fully equipped with all safety measures including a doctor and an ambulance. It is a 15-day schedule followed by the final one at Mehboob studios. The team has booked a hotel near Mehboob studios to avoid travelling and to stay safe.

Kangana turns her attention back to films Controversy queen Kangana Ranaut has finally shifted her focus back to movies with her dance rehearsals. The Panga actress started shooting for her upcoming film ‘Thalaivi’ which is a biopic of the political stalwart, J. Jayalalithaa. The actress has taken to her Instagram story to share pictures with her choreographer where she can be seen wearing a ‘FRIENDS’ t-shirt. The choreographer’s post read, “Finally back to work! Started with #dancerehearsal for the upcoming #legendary film #thalaivi #jayalalitha Mam biopic.”

Emraan's Harami heads to Busan Emraan Hashmi-starrer Harami will premiere at Busan International Film Festival in October. Directed by Shyam Madiraju, this “hard-hitting street saga” has the Jannat actor playing the role of a merciless crime master in Mumbai who controls a gang of pickpocketers. Sharing the trailer on social media, the team wrote, “Official selection to New Currents main competition section of Busan International Film Festival 2020. Harami is a hard-hitting, visually striking street saga of youth crime and broken destinies, love and redemption, played out against the vibrant backdrop of chaotic and relentless Mumbai.”

Insider Scoop and Snippets Richa not all at sea when it comes to poetry Richa Chadda never ceases to amaze her fans. This time, the Fukrey actress shared a poetic post on her Instagram handle which read, “I invited the sun, to toast my body evenly, And my skin rose to the challenge, like expensive dough. Touch without permission and it may break into a million tiny crumbs - crisp but inedible. Because when growing up away from the ocean what one longs for is sand between your molars, not bread… #attemptatPoetry #dontsteal #askbeforeusing #personal #goa #tanlines #waterbaby (sic).”

Ananya, Ishan stun with own stunts for Khaali Peeli As per reports, the Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday starrer Khaali Peeli, whose trailer was recently released on internet, has all the actions and stunt scenes performed by the stars themselves. The film also has an interesting third character- ‘cabs of Mumbai (fiats as taxis called kaali-peeli)’. The filmmaker said, “Ishaan and Ananya are young, energetic and smart actors to work with. Ishaan has performed all his stunts by himself, no doubles were used. Ananya also did her own action scenes. She is very polished and young. For this role I wanted someone who was rustic, who can deliver Mumbai language and she invested in a workshop for it. Everyone on the sets would speak to her in the colloquial Mumbai language and not English. It was a blessing to work with them.”

Another feather in Shekhar Kapur's cap Recently, the FTII announced Shekhar Kapur as its new President. The filmmaker will also have an added responsibility as the Chairman of the institute’s governing council. The Information and Broadcasting minister, Prakash Javadekar, tweeted to confirm the news, “Happy to inform that renowned international film personality #ShekharKapur has been appointed as the President of FTII Society & Chairman of Governing Council of FTII. @narendramodi. @shekharkapur.” Mr Kapur, who has a vast experience, will add more value to the Institute. I am sure everybody will welcome his appointment (sic).”

Big B works overtime even at 77! Bollywood’s veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan, at the age of 77, doesn’t seem to relax. Big B, who is currently busy shooting for the quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati 12, posted a picture before heading for shoot and captioned the picture in Hindi language, “Chale hum bhaiya, kaam pe, pehne pangolin mask. Pandreh ghante kaam karna hai, yahi hai apna task (Off to work, wearing a Pangolin mask. Have to work for 15 hours, as our task).” The Baghban actor had recently recovered from COVID-19 in August. Abhishek, Aishwarya and his granddaughter Aaradhya, had also tested positive but have since recovered.


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