Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘ahmedabad

Jahangir Painter, a resident of Jalgaon, decided to power the flour mill with a scooter’s engine. His invention is used by Kareena Kapoor in 3 Idiots

By Sudhir Suryawanshi (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 01, 2009)

Jahangir Painter (50) felt that the power cuts in his area were proving to be rather painful for his wife. It would take her too much time just to grind grains at the local flour mill. And the good man who loves his wife decided to take the matter into his hands: he bought a scooter and hitched it to the flour mill, and voila, there was no need for electricity.

His scooter powered the flour mill and it is so popular that it is now starring in 3 Idiots, where Kareena Kapoor uses it in an area in Ladakh which has no electricity. Painter even got to meet Aamir Khan last week in Mumbai.

Jahangir Painter with Aamir Khan

A resident of Jalgaon (400 km from Mumbai), Painter is in the profession of painting. He has no formal education, but he always wanted to be a mechanical engineer. The nagging problem of power cuts helped him fulfil his dream, at least in part. He says, “I was irritated with this daily problem of load shedding. My wife went to the private flour mill for grinding food grains and the power cuts meant that we had to wait for hours. I went to the junk market and purchased a scooter and  flour mill equipment. I spent a couple of days fitting in both engines and made a scooter flour mill. The load shedding compelled me to do something instead of sitting idly waiting for electricity. Finally, I made the scooter flour mill by just shelling out Rs 3500.”

The innovation has been appreciated widely. He says, “I contacted our city engineering college professors and got the opportunity to exhibit this scooter flour mill model. They appreciated this electricity-free model and suggested that I exhibit it at National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad. Here, such innovative models were displayed and the organiser sought permission to use this model in Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots. I promptly agreed. It was a great promotion for my creativity as Kareena Kapoor uses it in Ladakh where there is no electricity,” says Painter.

Painter has barely completed his primary education, because of his poor financial condition. “Actually, I wished to be a mechanical engineer, but could not study further. Since I was a child, I started working and chose painting as my livelihood. I wanted to prove that no one will stop my creativity even though I have no formal education. Five years ago, I invented a compressor for the washing machine, which was appreciated by former President Abdul Kalam. With one litre of petrol, the scooter flour mill can function for three hours and on gas, it will run for four hours,” Painter added.

He also loved the perks that came with it. He says, “Last week, I had come to Mumbai to meet Aamir Khan. He appreciated my effort and creativity. Aamir even gave me an autograph which I will preserve and cherish. I am happy that Kareena Kapoor and Aamir Khan use this scooter flour mill in 3 Idiots.”

Jahangir’s invention

Just when movie enthusiasts across the globe are eagerly awaiting the release of James Cameron’s magnum opus ‘Avatar’ on Dec 18, multiplexes across India are gearing up to encash on the extraordinary buzz around its release.

Made with a fusion camera developed by Cameron himself, ‘Avatar’ is expected to revolutionize the film-watching experience and multiplexes are investing huge sums in upgrading their infrastructure to bring this extravaganza to moviegoers.

While Avatar will be released in 2D as well as 3D formats, theatre owners are particularly expecting a huge demand for the 3D version.

In the past, 3D Hollywood films like ‘Ice Age 3’, ‘& ‘Final Destination’ have done good business in India.

From the time producers Fox Star Studios screened 20 mins footage of Cameron’s film in August this year, the number of 3D screens in India has increased from around 12 to 40, and 60-70 screens by 18th December.

This covers cities across India including major markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai & Hyderabad as well as smaller centers like Coimbatore, Amritsar, Kerala, Jaipur and Ahmedabad (which is considered a small market for Hollywood films).

Aditya Shroff, AVP – Distribution, Programming and Corporate Sales for Fame Cinemas reaffirms, “I believe that the 3D version of Avatar is going to be the revolutionary movie for this generation & hence Fame is trying to go as wide as possible with the 3D release. Avatar will do to 3D what Reliance did to mobile phone usage in India.

While most multiplexes in Pune and Bangalore are going 3D, single screens like ‘Central Plaza’ in Mumbai and ‘Urvasi’ in Bangalore are also going 3D before the release of release Avatar.

Interestingly, Avatar will be released in 3D in Hindi also.

Cinemax in Andheri (Mumbai) has updated its biggest auditorium that has the capacity of 377 with 3D facility for AVATAR.

Inox will have 3D screens in Pune, Baroda, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur, Raipur, Rajasthan, Indore, and Kolkata before the release of AVATAR.

Commenting on the hype around ‘Avatar’, Mr. Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios India says; “There is an incredible buzz building up for Avatar across the India media, our theatrical partners and the core audiences. The dramatic increase in the no. of 3D screens, as well as the strong interest that we are getting from the Hindi, Tamil and Telegu language markets reaffirms the strong buzz for the film.”

Ranjit Thakur, CEO of Scrabble Entertainment says “The demand for 2K Digital & 3D Systems is from all corners of the county. Even the single screen exhibitors want to capitalize on the opportunity of screening Avatar in 3D. ”

Thakur adds “The demand for the film has created a worldwide shortage of digital equipment and even silver screens for 3D are hard to get”.

‘Avatar’ is an epic action adventure film made on a whopping budget of Rs 1200 crores. It is the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.

Avatar releases worldwide on Dec 18 in 2D & 3D. In India, the film will also be dubbed in Hindi, Tamil & Telugu.


Unlike his image in Wake Up Sid, Ranbir has been working hard to accommodate the producer of Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 09, 2009)

On October 1, Ranbir was enthusiastically promoting Wake Up Sid in Ahmedabad, when he got an SOS call from producer Ramesh Taurani, who wanted him to shoot a promotional track for Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani. Strapped for time, poor Ranbir protested that he will reach Mumbai only the next afternoon and catch an early morning flight out to Bhopal the day after.

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani

Ramesh thought that Ranbir could still use the rest of his day in Mumbai to shoot the track. He requested the star to give up five-six hours for the track. Ranbir sportingly agreed.

Unfortunately, for the overworked star, the shoot continued till 6am the next morning. Left with no time to go home, Ranbir sent a boy to collect his luggage and headed straight for the airport. He was scheduled to be in Bhopal for Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti.

When Taurani landed on the sets at 6am, he profusely apologised to Ranbir for taking up double the time that he had asked for. Ranbir graciously waved aside the apology, and did not mind shooting for the track at such short notice.

Gracious or not, all work and no play may just make Ranbir a dull boy!

Crime Branch teams leave for Delhi and Ghaziabad in search of Jitender Kumar, a major player; two top officials of Shemaroo and Reliance Big Cinemas arrested
By Abhijit Sathe (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 25, 2009)

Director and producer of What’s your Raashee? Ashutosh Gowariker

The Bollywood piracy plot is getting more sinister. After arresting employees of major post-production and distribution firms for spiriting out DVDs of new films, Mumbai Police is now on the hunt for a major player in the racket named Jitender Kumar, who is suspected to have links with the Dawood gang.

Crime Branch sources said teams have been despatched to Delhi and Ghaziabad to arrest Kumar, a ‘bigshot from Ghaziabad’ who apparently runs a major pirated material distribution racket in north India. Officials said he also has connections with the two piracy groups now in police custody. The latest arrests are those of Kalapi Nagda, 29, head of overseas distribution of Shemaroo Pictures and Neerav Shah, 30, manager of overseas distribution of Reliance Big Cinema, on the basis of information provided by UFO Moviez associate vice-president Rajesh Chaudhary, who was arrested on Tuesday.

“Afsar Hyder Hussain alias Ashraf, who was picked up on Tuesday, is the link between Kumar and the groups in Mumbai. Though Afsar deals with Kumar to sell and distribute pirated movies, last year, Kumar tipped off the police that Afsar was carrying pirated material and got him arrested at Mumbai airport,” said a senior police officer who did not wish to be named.

Sources said Kumar is involved in distribution of pirated movies in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Gwalior.

Gowariker wants Rs 50 cr in damages from UFO Moviez

Following the arrest of Chaudhary, a key player in the racket, What’s your Raashee? director-producer Ashutosh Gowariker has reportedly sought Rs 50 crore in damages from UFO Moviez. A legal notice has been sent to the firm for leaking DVDs of the yet-to-be-released film.

The police had on Tuesday arrested a group of five persons, who allegedly  bought DVDs from Chaudhary and sent them to one Asif in Pakistan.

Nagda and Shah – arrested on Wednesday – also allegedly bought original DVDs of new films from Chaudhary, who revealed their names during interrogation. “From them, we have seized original DVDs of the unreleased films Fast Forward and What’s Your Raashee? and the recently released Dil Bole Hadippa,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said.

According to Maria, Nagda has contacts in Pakistan and he sent original DVDs with Shah’s help to one Zubair. “For each DVD sold, Chaudhary got Rs 2 lakh, Nagda got Rs 35,000 and Shah got Rs 10,000,” Maria added. “We are checking if Asif and Zubair belong to the same group.”

Maria said Shah knew Chaudhary as he coordinated transport of original DVDs from UFO Moviez to overseas customers. Shah and Nagda were colleagues at Shemaroo Pictures before Shah shifted to Reliance Big Cinemas.

Meanwhile, UFO Moviez has dismissed Chaudhary from service. Top officials of the firm met senior Crime Branch officers and said they would cooperate with the investigation.

Video-meet decides DVD price

The suspects in police custody have revealed that the price of pirated DVDs is decided by video-conferencing between film suppliers and distributors. Tanzim Sayed alias Aman used to act as a mediator between suppliers like Afsar and distributors. “The DVD price and suppliers’ commission was decided according to number of copies of the movie made. Defaulters would be eliminated,” a police officer said.

Ahmedabad Mirror’s page one story rescued Imtiaz Ali at the airport after his wallet was stolen and he had lost his identity proof
By Ashwini Deshmukh (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 31, 2009)
As we had reported, recently, when Imtiaz Ali was at Ahmedabad to promote Love Aaj Kal, somebody at the event managed to flick his wallet. After being robbed, Imtiaz was left with nothing to show as identity proof to the airport officials when he was to take a flight to Mumbai. He then thought of an innovative idea and decided to carry the July 23 edition of Ahmedabad Mirror as proof. Ahmedabad Mirror had published the news that Saif Ali Khan and Imtiaz were victims of theft on page one with the headline ‘Amdavad Mein Chori Aaj Kal’.

The unfortunate incident took place at the press conference at a multiplex in the city. The story reported that Imtiaz’s wallet and Saif Ali Khan’s favourite shades were stolen. The wallet contained Imtiaz’s debit cards, credits cards and his driving license. Imtiaz had no qualms about losing the cards or the cash, but his real worry was lack of any identity proof, which he needed to produce at the airport.

Imtiaz Ali confirmed the story, “I was roaming around with the newspaper as it was the only proof of identification. I showed the airport officials my photograph in the newspaper, explained to them that the person in the story whose wallet was stolen was me, so obviously I wouldn’t have any identity document with me. I had to go to the security control room with the paper and convince them, but finally I was sent to the airline officials who authenticated that I was indeed the same person. I was finally allowed to fly back to Mumbai.”

Saif Ali Khan’s hip Dolce & Gabbana glares and director Imtiaz Ali’s wallet were stolen yesterday during a press conference in Ahmedabad
By Aadal Arasi (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 23, 2009)

Imtiaz Ali & Saif Ali Khan before he lost his glares

When an advertisement in a newspaper invited Amdavadis to meet their much-loved Saif Ali Khan ‘Kal Nahi Aaj’ at a local mutiplex on Wednesday, fans gathered to meet their favourite star.

Youth (interestingly, more boys than girls) from across the city were gathered at the multiplex to get a glimpse of the Love Aaj Kal star when suddenly Saif realised that his prized Dolce & Gabbana sun glasses were missing.

So, while fans everywhere wanted to get a click, one of them managed to flick. A ‘fan’ laid hands on Saif’s favourite pair of Dolce & Gabbana glares and disappeared much to the chagrin of the actor, who had matched his glares with his white T-shirt.

Saif, who had walked in to the venue with shades, tucked them onto his T-shirt when the lights dimmed. Soon, Saif got comfortable and kept his glares on the table. That was the last he saw them. Just as he was making a hasty exit, he remembered his glares and came back to pick them up from the dais.

But he wasn’t quick enough. Someone had taken a liking to Saif’s possession to cherish it as part of ‘flicked’ memorabilia.

Commenting on his loss, Saif said, “I was quite fond of the Dolce & Gabbana shades that were picked up during a crowded press conference but I console myself with the thought that a fan wanted it as a memento, which he managed to get. Actually I am happy for the fan. It’s okay, it’s not the end of the world, life goes on.”

And this wasn’t the only thing that was flicked. Director Imtiaz Ali lost his wallet with all his important cards. He said, “The worst part is that I had my driving licence in the wallet and now, I’m left with no identity proof.” A dignified Imtiaz didn’t create a scene but went about blocking all his cards. What lies ahead is the mundane process of getting a new licence.

Recollecting the episode, Imtiaz said, “We were entering the very crowded venue when I felt someone touch my posterior. The next thing I knew was that my wallet had been filched. There was not much cash in it, about Rs 2,000 and some credit and debit cards that I have got blocked. But the biggest loss is my driving licence, which will take some effort to replace. It hasn’t put me off Ahmedabad in the least because this is really my fault. I was the irresponsible one. Then again, this is something that can happen to anyone.”


Did the founder of any religion ever preach violence? Did any of these holy men give his followers an allowance to kill people of other faiths? NO is the answer. Yet, our country has faced riots and serious communal tensions, most of them in the last 100 years. The people have prejudices against a particular community and with such an atmosphere, peace can never exist. Politicization of religion has further ruined the whole picture. Firaaq, a bold attempt by Nandita Das, throws light on the trauma faced after communal riots.

The story of the movie: The story is set in Ahmedabad, a month after the horrible Gujarat riots in 2002. The story has six parallel characters:
1. Muneera (Shahana Goswami), married and has newborn baby, and is shocked because her house was burnt down in the riots. She has a friend-her only confidante who is a Hindu.
2. Muneera’s husband Nowaz (Hanif) who is angry of being the victim of Hindu atrocities and along with few of his aides, wants to seek revenge
3. A battered Hindu housewife, Aarti (Deepti Naval), has an anti-Islamic husband Sanjay (Paresh Rawal). Aarti is helpless with whatever is happening around her. She feels the guilt but can’t overcome it.
4. Sameer Sheikh (Sanjay Suri), married to a Hindu lady Anuradha (Tisca Chopra), fears due to his Muslim identity, and wants to run away to Delhi.
5. Mohsin (Mohammad Samad), a young boy, who has lost almost all his family members, is wandering on the streets, searching for his missing father.
6. Khan (Naseeruddin Shah), a musician, a saint, who has his own set of ideas he strongly believes in until the riots turn his world upside down.

Firaaq’s first scene is scary. In fact, there hasn’t been any such chilling scene ever before in any film. While the film may be dubbed as showing only one side of the entire incident, it’ll be completely wrong to term it as pro-Muslim. Sure, the film shows the trauma faced by the Muslims, but it doesn’t become judgmental at any point or takes sides.

All characters in the film are well-sketched. The developments that take place in the narrative are highly engrossing. Also, the film is just 100 minutes long, but packs in so much in such a short duration! Though the film is highly applauding, it is the climax which seemed too inappropriate, especially in Shahana Goswami’s track.

Prior to the film’s release, a leading political party wanted to ban the film and criticized that a film of such a nature is being purposefully released during Elections with the help of a rival political party. I don’t know whether this is the truth but I am really glad that Firaaq released at such a time. The film shows the hard, bitter truth of the situation during the Gujarat riots. The film indirectly helps us get our facts right and choose the right government. Any government or its head involved in such heinous crimes and activities doesn’t deserve at all to get a chance to run the country at all.


Performance-wise, each actor gave his best. However, four actors were outstanding-Shahana Goswami, Mohamaad Samad, Deepti Naval and Sanjay Suri. Shahana Goswami was splendid. She was completely into her character and it’s difficult to believe she was the same actor who was there in ‘Rock On!!’. She is surely a powerhouse of talent and has a long way to go!

Mohamaad Samad’s innocent sad face mirrors the harsh atrocities of the riots. Surely, a mind-blowing performance! Watch out for him in the final scene. Deepti Naval, too, was fantastic and did a perfect job. Same for Sanjay Suri. Both Suri and Naval essayed a role which was strong and both of them did total justice to it.

Naseeruddin Shah as always gives a splendid performance. Paresh Rawal was perfect as the Gujarati businessman. Tisca Chopra as usual did a great job. It was a great to see her after a long time, after Taare Zameen Par. Nowaz did a fine job and was amazing in the pre-climax. Amruta Subhash as Jyoti was excellent. Raghuveer Yadav, Dilip Joshi, Sumeet Raghavan and Sucheta Trivedi were good.

Rajat Dholakia and Piyush Kanojia’s background score completed suited the mood of the film. Ravi K Chandran, the talented cinematographer who has worked in Ghajini, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Saawariya, Fanaa etc was outstanding. It’s great to see him working in such a film even after having worked in big-budget films.

Gautam Sen’s art direction was authentic. Same can be said for editing and sound design. Dialogues were brilliant and the film also has lots of Gujarati and English dialogues (sub-titles included) to give it a realistic feel.

Nandita Das and Shuchi Kothari wrote the story and screenplay of the film (the latter is from Ahmedabad and had witnessed the riots). Both of them came up with a brilliant plot, based on hundreds of real incidents which took place during the riots. What’s unique about the story is it focuses on the impact of fear, anxiety and prejudices on relationships during such turbulent times and not on the course of the riots.

Nandita Das’ direction was simply awesome. She had already proved her worth as an actor, having acted in many controversial films and being critically acclaimed. Her choice of story for her first film itself is worth applauding. She’ll surely be counted as one of the finest directors of Indian film industry in near future!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1. The first scene
2. All scenes of Shahana’s track
3. Anuradha and Sanjay’s collision
4. Hanif and his aides’s plan to kill Mehul
5. Khan Sahab with the doctor
6. Sameer revealing his fears
7. Sameer at the omlet seller’s
8. Raghuvir Yadav injured
9. Hanif and his aides inside the shop and the chase by the cops
10. The final scene of Mohsin

On the whole, Firaaq is a brilliant docu-drama. It’s well executed and gives a wonderful account of the shameful incident. Some of the scenes shock and hits the viewer like a pile of bricks. It raises several questions, one of which being-is our country really secular?

My rating-**** out of 5!

(This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Firaaq-164253-1.html)