Fenil and Bollywood

Archive for September 2009

By Joginder Tuteja, September 30, 2009 – 12:26 IST

Rubina Ali ‘Slumgirl Dreaming’ is a very well written book. And for a celebrity, who is just a 9 year old, this book could perhaps be the first to come out in India. The girl in question is Rubina Ali, one of the many stars in Slumdog Millionaire who hasn’t quite enjoyed a fairy tale outing. From a poor life in slum to international adulation to charges being put against her father for selling her off to being back in a shanty and barely surviving, Rubina has lived a life which doesn’t quite justify a Cindrella reference.

Yes, she has enjoyed her months of glory but before and after that, this star has lived a slumgirl life that has seen dreams coming her way, though momentarily. ‘Slumgirl Dreaming’ gives a blow by blow account of this spirited girl who narrates her journey over the years, especially her experience of shooting for the film, the film’s Oscar run and life post that.

What actually works a masterstroke for this autobiographical tale is the coming together of writers Anne Berthod and Divya Dugar who interact with Rubina to translate her thought and statements into the printed words. They do well in sticking to Rubina’s innocence and childish antics and tell the world from her point of view rather than bringing to fore what they thought of her as a kid who became a star. So the entire narration of this 175 page book happens with Rubina telling her story and writers merely presenting it to the readers by refining it and smoothening the rough edges.

Anne and Divya do add their bit while keeping the essence of Rubina’s world intact. So while bringing to fore the kid’s point of view, they also get into finer details about the slums, the inhabitants there, the shooting experience, the coming together of an international crew, the wide eyed reactions of all the slum kids who were a part of the shoot, the five star hospitality, the return to India, the adulation, media pressure, a change in outlook of people and finally a regular day in the life of Rubina after coming face to face with the world pre-Slumdog Millionaire.

The thoughts remain intact; it’s just that the emotions are projected clearly to make a connection with the reader.

It is this connection factor that makes ‘Slumgirl Dreaming’a difficult book to keep down. 10 pages into this really handy and comfortable book and you want it finish it in two hours flat. One of the major reasons for this is the simplistic writing which would make even a 10 year old connect with the chapters that follow. In fact the book’s target audience is, as the cliché goes, from 6 to 60, as the story moves ahead in a highly engaging manner with just about everything for everyone.

The book aims (and pretty much succeeds) in ‘not’ romanticizing the episodes in Rubina’s life, whether good, bad or ecstatic. Picture this: When the pages take viewer into the filthy surroundings of a slum, you cringe in your seat, get a bad taste in the mouth but still do not get turned away from checking what is in store next. Credit must go to Rubina here who doesn’t paint a sorry picture of herself and plain and simple explains what this world means to her ever since she was born.

On the other hand, the moments of ecstasy too are kept under the control. Whether it is Rubina’s shooting experience or the Oscar celebrations or the luxurious life that she enjoyed for those few days after the ceremony, you know that it is all going to end soon. Even Rubina is shown to be pretty much in check without allowing her emotions go overboard. It is this fair balance that ‘Slumgirl Dreaming’ maintains throughout its journey which helps in the entire ‘connection’ factor, as highlighted earlier.

Some of the many highlights in the book are:

– What had actually transpired when stories about Rubina’s father willing to sell her off to a Sheikh were making the rounds
– Rubina’s love-hate relationship with another slumkid Azhar
– A middle man cheating her of the money that she was promised for Slumdog Millionaire
– The first audition that just required her to run around the room along with other children
– Her fear for the much famous train scene that actually got canned in a single take
– The actual story behind her real mother coming back to take her custody post Slumdog Millionaire fame

One time and again complains that there are no books worthy enough being written for children today. Well, ‘Slumgirl Dreaming’ could pretty much be a gift for your young ones. And for the elderly who want to explore deeper into the past of Rubina and how she has managed to keep a stable head in spite of a roller coaster ride in the couple of years gone by, ‘Slumgirl Dreaming’ has enough meat in it to grab your attention.

Price: Rs. 195/=



BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL: (From top) Stills from Luck By Chance, Kaminey, Love Aaj Kal

Heroines today are much more comfortable with their sexuality than ever before

DEEPALI DHINGRA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; September 29, 2009)

Did you cringe with discomfort when a seemingly innocent child woman Isha Sherwani seduced Farhan Akhtar into bed in Luck By Chance? Or, more recently, when a salwar kameez-clad Priyanka Chopra managed to convince a reluctant Shahid Kapoor to have sex with her in Kaminey, by telling him that she knows ‘homescience’ and that it’s ‘safe to do it’? More likely than not, you smiled at their boldness and prepared for more to come. Seduction was a game played by vamps in Bollywood in the 70s and 80s. Much later, lead actresses like Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra were sexually charged in Jism and Aitraaz respectively. But even then, they were the ‘bad girls’. Well, times have changed — even the ‘good’ girls are taking a turn for the ‘bad’ and the audiences are lapping it up!

Watch newcomer Mahie Gill throwing herself in full abandon at Abhay Deol in a mustard field in Dev. D and you’ll know what we’re talking about. Trade analyst Komal Nahta says he isn’t surprised at this change. “Films, after all, are a reflection of today. Girls are proposing to guys, they are using seduction as a tool even in real life. The major composition of the audience comprises youth, so they have to show what the young generation identifies with,” he says. So Kareena Kapoor playfully hands Akshay Kumar her
bra in Tashan and Konkona SenSharma suggests a quick bout of love-making to Rahul Bose in Dil Kabaddi before they turn in for the night and Deepika Padukone has no qualms with Saif Ali Khan kissing her full on the mouth in the car in Love Aaj Kal. Agrees Mahie, “Reel life follows real life. Women today are more vocal about their sexual desires than what they were about a decade back. The audience today wants to see characters they can identify with. That’s why the boldness depicted by the newer lot of actresses has been accepted.”

According to film director Onir, a growing section of audiences in urban centres are accepting this change. “Independent working women watch these films with their male friends and colleagues who treat them as equals and therefore, accept their portrayal on screen as well,” he says. Also, the younger generation of filmmakers who have grown up seeing women as friends and colleagues, are showing female characters as they are, says Onir.

Maushmi Udeshi slaps a miscreant who misbehaved with her on a recent flight

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 29, 2009)

We reported yesterday that Bipasha Basu was groped at a public event held on Saturday, but she chose not to talk about it. Here is a similar incident, except, the victim is vocal about it. A miscreant pawed at model-turned-actress Maushmi Udeshi on Wednesday night when she was on a flight from Delhi to Mumbai. He was later identified as Khan Mehfooz.

Maushmi Udeshi

Maushmi tells us, “This man who was sitting behind me caressed my shoulder and started making lusty noises. It became very embarrassing.” When Maushmi fidgeted and tried to change the manner in which she was sitting, Khan grabbed her by the shoulder. Unable to take it any longer, Maushmi got up and slapped him hard.

Maushmi then realised and was shocked that he was the same man who had tried to push her twice when they were in a queue to board the flight. She adds, “The whole thing became uglier when I saw that he had two friends sitting beside him, and they started laughing when I got up to face him. I thought such incidents were common in buses and trains, but flight mein bhi aisa hota hai? How can a guy get so lusty and be disgusting in public? He was a desperate, slimy b*****d.”

Khan was made to change his seat after Maushmi made a noise. She elaborates, “The in-flight crew was very supportive. He initially denied that he touched me, but they fired him and called the security as we landed in Mumbai. Nobody was allowed to leave the plane till he was handed over to security. At this point, he suddenly fell at my feet and begged for forgiveness. He was detained at the airport and they asked me if I wanted to file a police complaint. But I chose not to get into more jhamela.”

The airline confirmed the incident.

Trisha, who is being launched in Priyadarshan’s Khatta Meetha with Akshay Kumar, will play two characters

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 29, 2009)

Southern star Trisha is being launched in Bollywood with a lot more footage and hoopla than most heroines in Priyadarshan’s films. She plays two characters in the forthcoming Khatta Meetha, starring Akshay Kumar.

Priyadarshan says, “I launched her in Tamil cinema ten years ago in Leysa Leysa. Now I’m launching her in Hindi in Khatta Meetha and that too with my sure bet, Akshay. It’s responsibility. Trisha has two different avatars in the script. But it’s not a double role. Trisha would have to go into two different time zones.”

This is a far cry from Priyadarshan-Akshay films in the past where heroines were mere props. No wonder Asin refused Priyadarshan’s De Dana Dan with Akshay Kumar as she did not want to have limited space. Katrina Kaif finally stepped in because of her warm rapport with the hero.

The director admits that there’s more to Trisha in Khatta Meetha than meets the eye. “Unlike my other films with Akshay, Khatta Meetha is not a comedy. It’s a family film on the lines of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee films, with lots of scope for Trisha,” adds Priyadarshan.

Dino Morea is back with fashion designer Nandita Mahtani, after his break-up with Lara Dutta
By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 29, 2009)

Dino Morea and Nandita Mahtani

After his bitter break-up with Lara Dutta, it would seem that Dino Morea has moved on. There are reports that he is once again dating his ex-girlfriend, fashion designer Nandita Mahtani. According to reports, this time both are extremely serious about each other.

Our source said, “Dino and Lara broke up about eight months ago and ever since, Dino and Nandita have become close again. They have always remained friends and Nandita’s constant presence in Dino’s life was always a worry factor for Lara. After Lara and Dino broke up, Lara moved on to date tennis star Mahesh Bhupati, while Dino was single for a few months. However, he became close to Nandita again and they have been dating for a while. They have been extremely comfortable with each other at private parties; however they have been mum about their relationship to the media.”

It’s not clear how long the couple expects to keep their relationship under wraps, as they seem rather comfortable together at public events. Our source adds, “During Arjun Rampal’s restaurant launch in Delhi about a month ago, both of them came together and were seen hand-in-hand at the party through the evening. Even on Sunday night during an awards event, they were extremely comfortable with each other. Dino came late as he had gone to attend an Acid Factory promotion event while Nandita had already reached the venue. Dino came with his close friend Baba and the three of them were together after that. They even had dinner together.”

Dino remained unavailable for comment.

Salman and Shah Rukh take their rivalry to the ramp at the upcoming Couture week. While SRK will walk for Karan Johar, Salman counters the move by roping in Aamir Khan
By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 29, 2009)

Aamir Khan

The Khans, when not on good terms, can take their rivalry to new levels. There has been a history of Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan trying to outdo each other and they have fine-tuned it to an art. When Mumbai Mirror reported that Shah Rukh and Gauri will walk the ramp for Karan Johar, Salman’s immediate reaction was to launch into a contest of one-upmanship. Not content with just using Katrina Kaif as a counter-attack for Gauri, he has convinced Aamir Khan to walk the ramp for his charity, Being Human.

Shah Rukh and Salman are both keen that their show is the grand finale for the Couture Week, which will be held from October 11-16. The final decision is yet to be taken and it will be a tough choice. It will be a rare treat though, to watch Aamir on the ramp. A source confirms the story, “Aamir Khan doesn’t usually walk the ramp. As Salman has personally requested him, he has agreed to do so. Also, since it is for a good cause and charity.”

There is a greater cause than charity though: now it’s two Khans versus one. The war has intensified. Shah Rukh, increasingly isolated, is now pitted against two formidable adversaries: Aamir, a shrewd strategist, and Salman, who will never make it as a diplomat to any country.

Salman khan

Though Salman and Aamir are great pals now, they hadn’t shared a good rapport during the shoot of Andaaz Apna Apna. Salman had taken the surprising initiative to make-up with Aamir when he gifted the latter two paintings of Ghajini a few days before the release of the film. This broke the ice, which was good news for the two stars, but not-so-good news for Shah Rukh.

In the glam world, where showstoppers make all the difference, will Shah Rukh walk away with the glory? Or will Salman triumph with his trump card, Aamir? After all, wanting to come out on top is only being human, isn’t it?


Meena Iyer | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 28, 2009)

Mumbai: Bollywood is no stranger to hiding behind the anonymity offered by private numbers and leads the pack with the most connections. But initially a facility provided to preserve the identity/security/privacy of a person, private numbers in tinseltown have fast emerged as status symbols, flaunted mostly by wannabes keen to make their importance felt. A-listers, many of whom do have a second phone equipped with the caller line identification facility, don’t think it is a big deal.

Superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar usually don’t call from private numbers though most of them have two numbers, one private which they prefer to use sparingly. And
the big stars who do use their private numbers often, are clear about the purpose. Sanjay Dutt uses a private number because he doesn’t wish to be disturbed by all and sundry. Another top actor who has a second phone with a private number says, “I don’t want this number leaked out.’’

Star stylist Hakims Aalim who styles Sachin Tendulkar, Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Dutt has a private number because he gets at least 50 phone calls a day, which are a huge distraction at work. Hence, he adds, he doesn’t want his number compromised.

Then there are other uses too of calling from an unidentified number. A star secretary who has a private number, thanks to his actor-politician boss, jokes that when producers don’t pay up, calling from a private number helps be
cause they don’t know your identity and pick up the call. “Otherwise they refrain from answering the phone knowing you want a payment,’’ he says.

Among other actors who use private numbers are Upen Patel and Isha Koppikar. Producer Madhu Mantena says, “In Hyderabad most celebrities use pri
vate numbers. They see it as a status symbol.’’ Mantena also says that private numbers are exasperating because you don’t know how to return a call and sometimes miss an important one.’’

Getting a a private number is no easy task. One has to visit the service provider’s office and give a written application requesting a private number and stating reasons why it should be granted to the person. The application is studied by an expert team at the company and a copy is forwarded to the police commissioner. If both the service provider and the police commissioner are convinced of the applicant’s bonafides and reasons for seeking a private number, he is allotted one. Alternatively, a letter from either the chief minister, deputy chief minister or home minister may also do the trick.

Can you track private numbers?
In many countries you can dial *69 or *71 and track the last private number that called you. However this method varies with each country

Can you bar a private number?
Phone companies offer services such as call block or call rejection

By Renu Chawla, September 29, 2009 – 10:02 IST

Pooja Chopra After romancing Miss India International Vaishali Desai in his debut movie Kal Kissne Dekha, Jackky Bhagnani will now be seen opposite Miss India-World Pooja Chopra. The model is making her debut with Vashu Bhagnani’s Faltu.

After the debacle of Jackky’s debut vehicle, papa Vashu is very careful about his next. A source reveals, “They auditioned for a couple of new faces but have zeroed down on Pooja. She was finalized in an audition that had at least a dozen Bollywood aspirants contending for the role. Having done a couple of commercials, Chopra had the perfect face; the production house was looking for.”

The source continues, “It is gen x movie talking about the story of youngsters of today. They wanted a fresh face opposite Jackky and chose Pooja Chopra for the same.”

Jackky however claims, “Talks are on with Pooja but nothing has been finalized as yet.”

The movie has Sanjay Dutt playing the main protagonist of the dean of the college. One will also see Riteish Deshmukh in a cameo. The movie will go on floors in November.


By Subhash K. Jha, September 29, 2009 – 09:29 IST

Madhu Mantena Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan!

These are two of the names being seriously considered for the Hindi remake of the Telugu super-blockbuster Magadheera directed by S.S Rajamouli.

Released in July this year, the film has already grossed over Rs. 65 crores in India alone and is said to be the second-biggest Telugu hit after Ghajini which holds the record for being the biggest hit ever in Andhra Pradesh.

With this Telugu remake into Hindi that is expected to take off early next year, producers Allu Arvind and Madhu Mantena who also co-produced Ghajini in both Telugu and Hindi, hope to raise the bars for action-drama cinema in Hindi once again.

The remake, to be budgeted at Rs. 70 crores, is deeply ambitious. The Hindi version of Magadheera is expected to star Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan.

While in the original Telugu film which is set in 17th century and in today’s times, the hero Ram Charan Teja plays a double role, the remake, it is reliably learnt, will split the hero’s personality into two parts. Apparently, Hrithik will play the 17th century Samurai while Aamir will play his present-day avatar.

Says Madhu Mantena, “Yes. Allu Arvind and I are remaking Magadheera in Hindi. As for the cast, it’s too early to talk about it. But Magadheera is definitely planned to be bigger than Ghajini.”


By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 26, 2009 – 13:25 IST Kajol, Shahrukh Khan
Continuing Bollywood’s traditional famous line ‘Ek se bhale do‘, the latest edition of Vogue has given (read ‘gifted’) the readers with not one, but two of India’s biggest superstars: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol on the cover! For starters, it is this pair who will be seen in My Name Is Khan, one of the most-awaited films currently. And nothing could be twice more exciting than having these two torchbearers of the silver screen, on the cover page of the second anniversary special issue of Vogue! And the man leading the path is none other than the ace director Karan Johar, who not only reunites the stars in his new film but also talks to them exclusively for Vogue about what it is like to have the Midas touch.

Needless to say that, if the cover of this issue is any indication of what to expect inside, the readers are bound to celebrate Diwali much before its arrival, add to it, some amazing photographs of the two superstars! Talking about this pairing, Priya Tanna (Editor Vogue India) says, “Vogue is a year older and what better way to convey the ‘Power of Two’ theme that runs through (and electrifies) this issue than by bringing together Bollywood’s ultimate pairing, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. His legendary charisma first met her quirky effervescence in 1995 on a Eurorail in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and the entire nation fell in love. Karan wore an interviewer’s hat for Vogue, deconstructing the chemistry behind their magic.”

We just couldn’t argue on that! Simply bring on the October issue of Vogue folks pronto!