Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan

Presenting the dichotomy kid… Ranbir kapoor

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 05, 2009)


How much of the real Ranbir do we know?


Probably 30 per cent. And that too from the films I do because it’s only then that I actually give something of myself to the character. But when I am doing interviews, there is a certain amount of a façade. If you are an introvert or shy like me, you need to exude some confidence, some belief in what you are doing. But honestly, I am scared. I am not that confident an actor to believe and think that everything I do will be a success.

I believe, the remaining 70 per cent will eventually come through when I reach a point where I can really surrender to a character. I hope that role turns up some day. As I keep saying, I am very ambitious. I have lots of directors to work with, lots of roles to play. I hope to be a working actor everyday of my life, to be able to go on a set. I really don’t know what to do with my time when I am not on set.

// When you are not on your Segway that is…

(laughs) I do that every night. It’s my way of letting go. I know it sounds weird and stupid but it’s kind of spiritual. I do it at 2-2.30 in the night. The roads are empty, the weather is great and you just drive through.

A girl who has worked with you, describes you as a mixture of the three Khans. A bad boy like Salman, charmer like Shah Rukh and focused like Aamir.

That girl might be drunk or on some drug because I am not even close to any of these characteristics. The three Khans are living legends for me. Even using my name in the same sentence as theirs is an insult to them.

So you are saying that you are not a bad boy, charming or focused?

(blushing wildly) Actually I am. But I guess to a much milder degree.

So what is your charm?

I am just a happy person, I like talking to people who interest me. You just have to listen to people, I guess that’s what charm is. It’s not about corny lines, it’s not about the looks that you give somebody. It’s only about the attitude to and the conversations that you have with somebody.

Which Kapoor do you resemble as an actor?

As an actor, nobody. My grandfather, Raj Kapoor, was a stylised actor. I have always preferred him more as a director than an actor. Of course, though he was an amazing actor, his directorial abilities blew me away. Shammi Kapoor again had his own style. Shashi Kapoor had his own style. My father has always been a natural actor. So thankfully, I was never compared because you cannot compare natural acting. I would like to believe I have my own style and I am a natural too. I have my own good and bad qualities and I hope it remains like this. I anyway have the baggage of a lineage. If my acting reminded people of actors who they have worshipped earlier, I don’t think anybody would want to see me at all.

But you do want to direct at some point of time?

Yes, I do but it’s an immature dream. It is something I aspire to do one day. I am extremely passionate about movies, but right now I need to solidify my career as an actor. I need some bonafide blockbusters, I need people to have faith in me so that banks can give me money to make movies.

For a 27-year-old boy, you keep an extremely neat room. How come?

I am basically neat. I don’t like chaos, I can’t work like that. I like silence, I like loneliness. I like everything which is soft. I think because of my docile nature, it reflects in the environment I live in.

Even in your work?

Yes, of course, it just causes less confusion. But where my acting process is concerned, I am not bothered. I could be doing a scene in front of ten thousand people on the road, they could be loud and passing remarks, but it wouldn’t affect me. But I guess when the camera is rolling, you just change as a person.

Do you seek characters that are different from you as a person?

Not at all. An actor can only wish that these roles come to him. You can’t seek them. If I am not excited by a character, I can say no, irrespective of who the director or production house is. I need to connect with the characters I am playing.

One hears you were often beaten up by the principal in school?

My principal used to beat me up because I was very naughty in school. I used to do things which I should not have done as a student. I didn’t do it because I was somebody’s son. It was pure masti.

You were shy and naughty? That’s a strange combination.

I think I am just a confused soul. Confused, complicated and a bit complex. I am often told that. I think I am an amalgamation of everything.

And docile too?

That’s what I believe and that’s what my mother believes. I am just a calm soul.

Have you ever rebelled?

Not majorly, but I do believe that I have a rebel in me. I really don’t like to be told what to do.

You are most written about for your affairs…

It really hurts me that my affairs are being written about. I am suddenly acquiring this new image. It is not me. I have been in very few relationships in my life. Few have worked, few haven’t. And I am extremely sad about the ones which haven’t worked. I am not this lover boy, people think I am. The character I did in Bachna Ae Haseeno is not me. I am quite a romantic at heart, but at the same time, being in a relationship or being with a girl is not my priority. I do believe there are great things in store for me. I need to believe that if I need to move ahead. Women are lovely. I love and respect them, but that’s not my true calling in life. My true calling is cinema and acting.

Five films I can see again and againnd again:

1. Shree 420

2. Kaagaz Ke Phool

3. Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

4. Sanjay Bhansali’s Devdas

5. Andaaz Apna Apna

Six books that I can read again:

1. Songs That My Mother taught me by Marlon Brando

2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

3. Dreams from My Father – A story of race and inheritance by Barack Obama

4. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

5. Ingrid Bergman’s autobiography

6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It is cinematic in its writing. I could actually smell the kebabs in Afghanistan.

Six people whose lives I want to see chronicled in pictures:

1. Charlie Chaplin

2. Raj Kapoor

3. Michael Jackson

4. Amitabh Bachchan

5. Sachin Tendulkar

6. Lata Mangeshkar

Five songs always on my Ipod:

I can think of just one… Kisi ki muskuraahaton pe ho nisaar


IN BAD SHAPE: John Abraham. For more pictures of the hot actor, log on to http://photogallery.indiatimes.com
John Abraham’s injured ankle threatens cricket climax for David Dhawan film

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; September 12, 2009)

Poor John Abraham. The Bollywood hunk, who has been bedevilled by injuries often, has now been declared hors de combat following an ankle injury he suffered a couple of months ago. The actor, who’s busy in London doing 1:800 Love for Abbas Tyrewala, recalled he was last laid low by a virus that hospitalised him during the shooting of Kabul Express in Afghanistan. But this time, the threat is more serious.

The ankle he fractured is refusing to heal. And not only have all potential action films featuring
John been put on hold, but the climax of David Dhawan’s Hook Ya Crook is awaiting completion as well. Doctors have prescribed months of rest for him. “For an athletic, outdoors guy like me, this is like death,” groaned John from London.

“Outwardly it qualifies as just a broken ankle. But actually breaking that bone is a very serious matter,” revealed John. If he continues putting pressure on the leg instead of resting it, as he’s doing now, John may well end up with a limp for life!

Incidentally, the climatic scene in Hook Ya Crook — in which film John plays a cricketer — requires the actor to undergo a rigorous cricket camp with Team India greats like Yuvraj Singh, M S Dhoni and Harbhajan
Singh. “I can hit a sixer. But to look convincing, I’ve to play like a professional. For that I need to train. Then I also need to run very fast. My ankle just won’t be able to take the strain. I’m hoping it will be better by November,” said John ruefully.

He’s fortunate Abbas’s film doesn’t require much physical application. “It’s mostly about emotions,” sighed John, who returns to Mumbai to resume shooting for 1:800 Love next week. “We’re all in that mellow, romantic mood and would rather complete Abbas’s film in one stretch when I’m not physically up to doing anything else,” added John. After two months in London, he is itching to get back. “Has Mumbai missed me,” he asked.

By Subhash K. Jha, June 27, 2009 – 11:13 IST

Adnan Sami First his father and now fellow-musician Michael Jackson is gone in less than a week. This hasn’t been a good time for Adnan Sami. “I was working on an album with Janet and Michael Jackson. I’m producing and composing the album. But now I wonder what happens to it!” wonders Adnan.

Describing Michael whom Adnan met a number of times for the album as a childlike genius, Adnan says, “His life was troubled. But his music was his solace. Artistes who suffer always seek an escape route in their art. Ask me, I should know”

When Adnan first received a phone call from Michael and the Jackson brothers they discussed Adnan’s music in detail. “The Jacksons knew every detail about my songs. They had studied my music in detail. I listened quietly to them talk about my music. These were the same guys whose music I grew up on.”

How did it happen? “Michael’s brother Jermaine’s wife Halima is from Afghanistan. For some time she lived in Chandigarh. She got acquainted with my music while in India and she took my music to LA and introduced her husband to it. And then Jermaine introduced Michael and Janet to my music.”

Adnan had three meetings with the Jacksons in Los Angeles. “It was progressing slowly. They like to work at their own pace. No hurry. The album is like Motown-music-meets-world-music-meets-Indian-music. I’ve brought the Sarangi and the Tabla-Dholak into their music.”

It’s Adnan’s first English-language album, and being produced by the Jacksons. Adnan is also singing one song in the album.

Speaking of the Jacksons Adnan says, “They’re very humble people. Always attentive to what I say, always open to innovations and suggestions. They recognized a component in my musical style, and that is this. I really like strong base lines in my songs. What they don’t know is, that’s something I learnt from the music of the Jacksons.”

This is the first full-fledged collaboration between an Asian musician and major American musical icons. “I can’t believe I’m actually working with the Jacksons. Without Michael it won’t be the same. We’ve completed four songs…I’m really enjoying this. I realize I enjoy playback singing. But the independent albums are where I’m totally able to express myself.”


By Subhash K. Jha, June 17, 2009 – 12:37 IST

J O H N   A B R A H A M

For Saif Ali Khan getting conversant with the holy Quran to play the jehadi in Rensil D’Silva’s film was relatively easier. But John Abraham belonging to an entirely different religion and culture, learning the tenets of the Quran from the scratch to play the NRI Muslim in Kabir Khan’s New York was not easy.

Not knowing a syllable of the Quran, John had to study the holy book in translation. Says a close friend, “John researched rigorously on Islam and its various aspects. His character in New York is detained wrongly for terrorism. John based his character on three such real life Muslims taken into custody in the US for wrongs they hadn’t committed. John and his director Kabir Khan amalgamated the case of three such unfortunate people to create John’s character. He actually lived breathed slept and wept like someone who had been wrongly ostracized.”

So traumatized was he by the experience that John went into a complete shell in Philadelphia where New York was shot.

Says the friend, “He wouldn’t talk to people. He was completely in his own shell. It was life-changing experience. Today, John knows what it feels to be a Muslim and a target of ceaseless suspicion and hostility in the US. He also empathizes closely with the issue of Indian students being racially abused in Australia after playing an Indian abused in New York. He understands the isolation of the minority.”

John studied the Quran closely. Says John’s friend, “He went very deep in the film’s theme of Islamic isolation. His familiarity with Islamic terrorism started when he shot Kabul Express with Kabir Khan in Afghanistan. John spoke to people in Taliban and began to understand the concept of jehad. He understood how dangerous it is to fight for a cause without knowing the history of that cause. He went on the net, found legitimate and proper translations of the Quran. He learnt the proper pronunciations of words in the Quran.”

When asked about the process of acclimatizing himself with the Quran, John says, “It’s part of my larger determination to prepare myself completely for a part. Whether it was New York or now Abbas Tyrewala’s film, I’m taking time off to prepare for the film and character. The audience today understands an honest film. That’s what I want to give. I only want to do roles that take me out of my comfort zone. Through my characters and performances, I want to make people comfortable with what makes me uncomfortable as a human being and an Indian.”

Bollywood Hungama.com

Singer Tochi Rainaa hospitalised for severe depression after websites give credit to singer Toshi Sabri for songs sung by the former

By Ashwini Deshmukh (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 13, 2009)

Tochi Rainaa

What’s in a name? goes the famous line by William Shakespeare. Singer Tochi Rainaa has a bitter answer to this question. For the 42-year-old singer, whose claim to fame is the song Bullee Shah from A Wednesday and O Pardesi from Dev.D, it is a simple error in names that resulted in him being admitted to the Bombay Hospital where he is undergoing psychiatric treatment.

After 28 years of complete dedication to music, Tochi finally got his first break to sing in A Wednesday followed by Dev.D. Unfortunately, his fame didn’t last long. And the reason was something as simple as a mistaken identity by a website. His friend and manager Viraj Jaiswal, who is by his side at the hospital, confirmed and said, “Due to a blunder by an irresponsible website, Tochi has suffered a lot. The credit of Tochi’s work is being given to singer Toshi Sabri, who is a reality show contestant in his early 20s. Everyone who wanted to contact Tochi Rainaa ended up calling Toshi Sabri, because of incorrect details on the website.”

When we met him at the hospital yesterday, the distraught singer said, “I’ve spent 28 years learning and researching music. I travelled not only across India but also Afghanistan and Pakistan to learn music. I’m in Mumbai since the past six years and I finally got a break in A Wednesday. After all these years of struggle, I got recognition but the website spoilt it all for me. Look at the difference in our age and the difference in our voice. I am not blaming Toshi but it’s the website that I have a problem with for giving credit for my songs to Toshi. Because of this, most of my shows and events have gone to Toshi. After so many years of hardship, it’s difficult to survive financially. My brother is suffering from TB and I don’t have any money to help him. My mother died of cancer last year.”

According to Dr Hemant Gupta and Ramona Kakkad, Tochi was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday morning. “He was brought in a state of complete distress. He has a psychiatric problem. The case of mistaken identity has resulted in a complete setback professionally and he is in a helpless situation,” said Dr Aashish Tiwari.

Toshi Sabri

Because of the mistaken identity, Tochi is left with no option but to sing jingles. Recently, he started his own band Bandagi. But it’s not enough to bring a smile to his face and the glint in his eye is missing. “We have sent a notice to the website and are demanding a compensation of Rs 2 crore for the losses suffered by Tochi. We are waiting for their reply,” said Jaiswal.

Anurag Kashyap, director of Dev.D, said, “Tochi is extremely talented. Recently, he sent me a message asking me to meet him but I was unable to do so as I was busy. Today, when I got to know that he is severely depressed and is hospitalised I feel so bad that I couldn’t meet him earlier. I want to meet Amit Trivedi (music composer of Dev.D) and discuss what I can do to help Tochi to get out of this sad situation. I wish I knew about his situation earlier.”

Despite repeated attempts, Toshi Sabri was unavailable for comment.

Saif Ali Khan learns about Islam while preparing for his role as an Islamic fundamentalist in Rensil D’Silva’s forthcoming film
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 05, 2009)
If your jaws dropped on seeing the prim ‘n’ propah Saif Ali Khan speak colourful language as Langda Tyagi in Omkara, you will be even more shocked to see him play an Ismalic fundamentalist in Rensil D’Silva’s forthcoming film.

Born and brought up in a non-conservative westernised atmosphere, this role has been a life-changing experience for Saif. The actor elaborates, “The role has not only made me more politically aware, it has also made me more religious. Earlier, I was more spiritual than religious. I knew a lot of things about Islam and always believed in the higher power. But when I did a lot of reading on Islam, the one most decisive thing that I learnt had to do with Allah. We tend to presume Allah to be the Muslim God. But Allah is the Arab word for the ‘same God’, or the ‘one true God’ that, I thought, was a wonderful thing to learn while doing this character. All religions believe in the oneness of God. So what’s all the fighting about? Whether it’s Christianity, Islam or Judaism, many of the religions have fought a holy war at one time or another. It’s been a part of religious history.”

It’s not often that you come across roles that change your perception about life. Saif admits that his role in Rensil’s film has not just changed his views towards life but also religion. “It’s the most politically relevant character I’ve played. Though my character Langda Tyagi in Omkara was a political creature, his politics was subverted. In Rensil’s film, I play the Jehadi as a very real and suave gentleman, dressed in very dapper clothes like a college professor and hence more frightening. I play an Islamic fundamentalist while Vivek Oberoi plays the more moderate Muslim,” says Saif.

“To me the whole point of being an actor is to become characters I can’t be in real life. My character in Rensil’s film is redeemed at the end. But even if he wasn’t, I’d still say yes to a role that explores my emotions that lie too deep for fears and tears. My character in Rensil’s film has become the way he has because of the way Americans have treated Afghanistan and other Islamic states. I don’t think 26/11 or earlier 9/11 are Islamic acts. No matter what people say, I don’t think any terrorist is a Muslim. Let’s make that distinction very clear. Of course the population of Afghanistan may disagree with me. But I condemn 26/11 as a deed done by non-Muslims,” declares Saif.