Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘javed akhtar

Here’s what we suggest you bring out the popcorn for
MUMBAI MIRROR; January 01, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik

Farhan Akhtar’s next film is a story of a lovable loser whose chance meeting with his namesake changes his life forever. Karthik Calling Karthik has a star-studded credit list which includes Deepika Padukone, Javed Akhtar and Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. Considering Farhan acts in the movies he either directs or produces, it seems like he is bent on wanting to typecast himself as the underdog. Weird but true!

My name is Khan

Bollywood’s biology lessons continue with My Name Is Khan. With 9/11 as the backdrop, the movie follows Rizwan Khan (SRK) who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. This is an autistic disease that makes the victim devoid of empathy. This, of course will give rise to many comical situations, just like Paa did. The film brings together the electrifying pair of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol back on the silver screen. Add Karan Johar to the mix and you have a surefire hit. But come on, what is the film industry going to explore next, the common cold?


A modern-day political rendition of the Mahabharata, Raajneeti boasts of an A-list star cast – Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Vivek Oberoi, Manoj Bajpai and Katrina Kaif. The movie will use the dilemmas the characters in the book went through, and draw parallels with it in reel life. Katrina Kaif is reportedly playing the role of Sonia Gandhi in the movie. After all both of them are quite similar: accent – check; powerful woman – check; foreign descent – check; relationship with Salman Khan – no one really knows.


Kites follows the story of Hrithik Roshan, a salsa dancer who falls in love with his student. Language barriers don’t matter here, love conquers almost all. But ‘something’ happens and it’s up to another student Kangna Ranaut to save the day. Maybe Sussanne walks into the movie or some other terrifying event occurs, we don’t know yet. But we hope the movie does better than Hrithik’s personal life.


A modern day rendition of the mythological text, Raavana will get Aishwariya and Abhishek on the silver screen together for the first time after getting hitched. The movie has been plagued with problems – floods, elephants stomping around the set, maybe a higher power is sending a message through all of this. We won’t say anything, let the box-office decide.

Action replay

In Action Replay, a man ages backwards… Hmm, let’s see where have we heard this story before? A clear rip-off of the Hollywood hit, Benjamin Button, the film will feature Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai. Director Vipul Shah is back with Akshay Kumar and hopes his dream run will continue.

Teen Patti

As much as producer Ambika Hinduja denies it, Teen Patti’s plot seems like a rip-off of the Hollywood blockbuster 21. The film features three ace actors, Ben Kingsley (supposedly not doing a cameo), Big B and Madhavan. With the help of a unique algorithm, Amitabh who plays a mathematical genius leads a team of college students to make a lot of money. Does Amitabh hold the algorithm for the movie’s success or will this be just another failed spin-off?


Akshay Kumar has a slew of releases lined up next year and Houseful, the laugh-riot is one of them. The story follows Akshay who is very unlucky in life and is trying to find true love. The women helping him achieve this goal are Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan. In real life, however, we think it’s the other way around. Akshay will end up teaching Deepika more than two expressions, Lara how to sign movies and Jiah Khan how not to be dropped from the one-odd film she has signed.

No Problem

Anees Bazmee has three mega comedy films lined up next year. One of them is No Problem which has quite a star cast – Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Sushmita Sen, Kangna Ranaut, Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty. The film is a love story of impossible proportions. Another impossible proposition is Kangna actually makes people laugh after making them weep all these years.

Well Done Abba

Shyam Benegal has been travelling the world with his latest film, Well Done Abba. The satirical movie sees Boman Irani play two roles. Fitting two Bomans in one shot is a feat in itself and a testament to Benegal’s directorial skills. The movie follows the journey of Armaan Ali, a driver from Mumbai, who is out to find his daughter’s (Minissha Lamba) beau. Minissha, who has been alternating between commercial and semi-art house cinema, is reportedly playing a strong role in the film.


The film that is loosely based on Whose Life is it Anyway? has Hrithik playing a paraplegic radio jockey.  The film seems like a cry-till-your-tearbuds-dry-out movie – it explores the dilemma of euthanasia. Hrithik who believes in challenging himself till the cows come home, reportedly, spent hours in the wheelchair when not required to shoot, to get into the head of the character. Hrithik and Aishwarya reunite after Dhoom 2, and with Sanjay Leela Bhansali directing, it becomes one of the most awaited films in 2010, never mind Saawariya.

Road, Movie

Indian cinema has been through many fascinating twists and turns but none quite as romantic as touring cinemas.  Essentially this means that the owner of one mounts the film projector on the back of a truck and the projectionist travels the length and breadth of a state with the truck, stops wherever there is a pilgrimage or a mela and projects the films he is carrying onto a white curtain which is then viewed by the locals sitting on both sides of the screen. Dev Benegal has made Road, Movie about one such projectionist (Satish Kaushik) and the young owner (Abhay Deol) and the adventures they have as they show their movies. The film has been very well received on the festival circuit.

Anjaana Anjaani

After playing twelve characters in What’s Your Raashee?, we’re sure Priyanka Chopra has become a stranger to herself, especially after the film tanked. Siddharth Anand, director of Ta Ra Rum Pum and Salaam Namaste, tries a romcom with Anjaana Anjaani. Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka, the film shows two strangers who fall in love and the journey they take together.


Abhay Deol’s love for Delhi continues with his Bollywood release, Aisha where he plays another spoilt, rich Delhi brat. His character is modelled on Mr Knightly from Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. The movie is a romantic comedy that explores horrible mismatches. It also has a strong female role that has been bagged by Sonam Kapoor.  Whether Sonam is strong enough for the film after two failed films (read: Saawariya and    Delhi-6) is another matter.

Khelein hum jee jaan sey

Ashutosh Gowariker is no stranger to large canvasses (think Lagaan, Swades, Jodhaa Akbar) so it’s no surprise that he is now filming another humongous project, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, which revolves around the Chittagong Uprising in the pre Independence days. After What’s Your Raashee?, this is another film adapted from a book, Do and Die by Manini Chatterjee. Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone lead the star cast and Nitin Chandrakant Desai leads the crew. Hopefully Ashutosh’s version of history will not be challenged,  the way Jodhaa Akbar was.

Knock out

Inspired’ from the Hollywood masterpiece Phone Booth, Mani Shankar will look to re-create the magic in Bollywood. A man is trapped inside a phone booth, not because the door is stuck, but an assassin has a sniper rifle trained on him.  Kangna plays the role of a journalist, Irrfan plays a cop and Sanjay Dutt the assassin.

I Hate Luv Storys

A true-blue rom-com, I Hate Luv Storys brings together the very glamourous Sonam Kapoor and the man with the melting eyes, Imran Khan. Described as a love story not meant to happen but which does happen, it is the story of a man who does not believe in love and a girl who does. They meet on a film set; a milieu the director Punit Malhotra is very familiar with, having cut his teeth on Karan Johar’s sets as an assistant director; and sparks fly.


When you have a tag line that says, ‘From the makers of Ghajini and Jaane Tu…’ you know you’re in for a commercial roller-coaster. Abbas Tyrewala dons the director’s hat for 1-800-LOVE again and the music score is Rahman’s handiwork. A telephone call connects two people – one who wants to die, the other who is searching for meaning in life. They meet, fall in love, yada yada… If you are watching the movie and you get bored of John Abraham’s three expression repertoire, close your eyes and maybe the music will do the trick for you.

Tees Maar Khan

Tees Maar Khan has gotten more publicity that it ever dreamed of just because Shah Rukh Khan is not playing a role in Farah Khan’s film. But it does seem like SRK has rubbed off on the new lead actor, Akshay Kumar. Kumar plays a ‘stylish’ (metrosexual) conman in the film. He will be joined by Akshaye Khanna, but the female lead has not yet been confirmed.

Hook Ya Crook

Finally, Bollywood gets a movie that shows hope in combining two things that Indians love best – cinema and cricket. Viraj Pradhan (John Abraham) dreams of being a cricketer but is a repeat offender who gets thrown into a maximum security prison. The jail is a haven for cricket players, but Viraj wants much more, he wants to be part of the men in blue. The film has reportedly roped in Indian cricketers for the movie but going by the ads on TV, the word ‘acting talent’ isn’t part of the Indian cricket team’s vocabulary.

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By Bollywood Hungama News Network, December 31, 2009 – 12:22 IST

Best Film
3 Idiots
Dev D
Love Aaj Kal

Best Director
Anurag Kashyap – Dev D
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
R Balki – Paa
Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Actor (Male)
Aamir Khan – 3 Idiots
Amitabh Bachchan – Paa
Ranbir Kapoor – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Ranbir Kapoor – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Saif Ali Khan – Love Aaj Kal
Shahid Kapoor – Kaminey

Best Actor (Female)
Deepika Padukone – Love Aaj Kal
Kareena Kapoor – 3 Idiots
Katrina Kaif – New York
Priyanka Chopra – Kaminey
Priyanka Chopra – What’s Your Raashee?
Vidya Balan – Paa

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male)
Abhimanyu Singh – Gulaal
R Madhavan – 3 Idiots
Rishi Kapoor – Love Aaj Kal
Rishi Kapoor – Luck By Chance
Sharman Joshi – 3 Idiots

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)
Arundhati Naag – Paa
Divya Dutta – Delhi-6
Gauhar Khan – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Neha Dhupia – Raat Gayi Baat Gayi
Shahana Goswami – Firaaq

Best Actor in a Negative Role
Amole Gupte – Kaminey
Boman Irani – 3 Idiots
Kay Kay Menon – Gulaal
Mahesh Manjrekar – Wanted
Manish Choudhary – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year

Best Actor in a Comic Role
D Santosh – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Omi Vaidya – 3 Idiots
Paresh Rawal – De Dana Dan
Sanjay Mishra – All The Best
Vinay Pathak – Raat Gayi Baat Gayi

Best Background Music
Amit Trivedi – Dev D
Ilaiyaraja – Paa
Salim-Sulaiman – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Shantanu Moitra, Atul Raninga, Sanjay Wandrekar – 3 Idiots
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Music
A R Rahman – Delhi-6
Pritam – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Pritam – Love Aaj Kal
Pritam – Tum Mile
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Playback Singer Female
Kavita Seth – Iktara – Wake Up Sid
Rekha Bhardwaj – Genda Phool – Delhi-6
Shreya Ghoshal – Zoobi Doobi – 3 Idiots
Shilpa Rao – Mudi Mudi – Paa
Sunidhi Chauhan – Mere Sang – New York

Best Lyrics
Amitabh Bhattacharya – Emosanal Attyachaar – Dev D
Irshad Kamil – Chor Bazari – Love Aaj Kal
Javed Akhtar – Sapnon Se Bhare Naina – Luck By Chance
Piyush Mishra – Ranaji – Gulaal
Prasoon Joshi – Man Ko Ati Bhavey – London Dreams

Best Story
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots
Anurag Kashyap, Aparna Malhotra, Raj Singh Chaudhary, Sanjay Maurya – Gulaal
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
Nandita Das, Shuchi Kothari – Firaaq
R Balki – Paa

Best Screenplay
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra – 3 Idiots
Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane – Dev D
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
Pankaj Advani – Sankat City
R Balki – Paa

Best Dialogue
Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots
Imtiaz Ali – Love Aaj Kal
Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane – Dev D
R Balki – Paa
Vishal Bhardwaj – Kaminey

Best Editing
Aarti Bajaj – Dev D
Aarti Bajaj – Love Aaj Kal
Anil Naidu – Paa
Meghna Manchanda Sen, Sreekar Prasad – Kaminey
Rajkumar Hirani – 3 Idiots

Best Sound
Bishwadeep Chatterjee, Nihar Ranjan Samel – 3 Idiots
Dileep Subramaniam – Love Aaj Kal
Sanjay Maurya, Allwin Rego – Dev D
Shajith Koyeri, Subhash Sahu, P M Satheesh – Kaminey
Tapas Nayak – Paa

Best Special Effects
Charles Darby – Aladin
Prime Focus Ltd – Blue

Best Cinematography
C.K. Muraleedharan – 3 Idiots
P.C. Sreeram – Paa
Rajeev Ravi – Dev D
Shankar Raman – Frozen
Tassaduq Hussain – Kaminey

Best Art Directon
Acropolis, Rajnish Hedaa, Sumit, Snigdha Basu – 3 Idiots
Sabu Cyril – Aladin
Samir Chanda – Delhi-6
Samir Chanda – Kaminey
Sukanta Panigrahy, Helen Jones – Dev D

Best Choreography
Ahmed Khan – Prem Ki Naiiyya – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Avit Dias – Aal Izz Well – 3 Idiots
Bosco- Caesar – Zoobi Doobi – 3 Idiots
Prasanna – Marjaani – Billu
Baawre – Vaibhavi Merchant – Luck By Chance

Best Action
James D Bomalick – Blue
Huan-Chiu Ku – Chandni Chowk To China
Shyam Kaushal – Kaminey
Tinu Verma – Acid Factory
Vijayan Master – Wanted

Most Promising Newcomer (Male)
Amole Gupte – Kaminey
Chandan Roy Sanyal – Kaminey
Navin Kaushik – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Omi Vaidya – 3 Idiots

Most Promising Newcomer (Female)
Gauhar Khan – Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year
Giselle Monteiro – Love Aaj Kal
Jesse Randhawa – Gulaal
Kalki Koechlin – Dev D
Mahie Gill – Dev D

Most Promising Debut Director
Ayan Mukerji – Wake Up Sid
Nandita Das – Firaaq
Pankaj Advani – Sankat City
Shivajee Chandrabhushan – Frozen
Zoya Akhtar – Luck By Chance

Best Child Artiste
Jahan Bativala – Little Zizou
Iyanah Bativala – Little Zizou
Rahul Kumar – 3 Idiots
Parzan Dastur- Sikandar
Pratik Katare – Paa

Best Ensemble Cast
Luck By Chance
Sankat City


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Farhan Akhtar declines an offer to star with Abhishek Bachchan in Rohan Sippy’s next

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 01, 2009)

Rohan Sippy’s film requires three leading men. While two of them, Abhishek Bachchan and Pratik Babbar, have been finalised there is another crucial third character, whose role is parallel to that of Abhishek.

Apparently, Abhishek and Farhan Akhtar were the first choices for the two parts and since director Rohan Sippy, Abhishek and Farhan are childhood friends, no one saw any problems in the casting.


Farhan Akhtar Abhishek Bachchan

Rohan’s film is being produced by his father Ramesh Sippy, a close family friend of Farhan’s father Javed Akhtar.

Although both Rohan Sippy and Farhan Akhtar remained unavailable for comment, a source close to the project said, “Farhan was indeed the first choice to play Abhishek’s co-star. The on-screen partnering was patterned on those Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor films that Farhan’s father once wrote. Farhan declined the offer, much to the dismay of Rohan’s team, which hadn’t thought of anyone else.”

Since the role is as important as Abhishek’s, Rohan and Abhishek have now zeroed in on John Abraham for the same role.

“The problem with Abhishek-John is   that audiences will immediately think of Dhoom where again, Abhishek played an undercover cop, as he does in Rohan’s film. Rohan’s film is not a light bantering caper like Dhoom. It’s dark and does an expose on the drug racket in Goa which ends with one of the principal politician characters being exposed as the kingpin,” said the source.

CREATIVE: Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 20, 2009)

Remember how hatke Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani were about their venture Rock On? The filmmakers took the same passion with them to Istanbul when they went there along with director Abhinay Deo on a recce for their film Crooked with Abhishek Bachchan. Taken up by the beauty of the place, they drove around thinking of a song that would suit the location, then called up Javed Akhtar and asked him to compose one and send it to them in 24 hours. Javed got Shankar Mahadaven to compose his lyrics and sent the song to Istanbul, where they continued driving around playing the song in their car, until Abhinay found a spot he thought the sequence would look best. The film goes on the floors on January 14. And Farhan and Ritesh are now on the lookout for a new face to play opposite Abhishek. The hunt is on for a girl, but not on foot or in a car all over Istanbul. Which is a pity, because the women there are of exceptional beauty as well.

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 12, 2009)

Anil Kapoor

Although Anil Kapoor’s maiden production, Gandhi My Father, won three National awards (Feroz Abbas Khan for Best Screenplay, Darshan Jariwala for Best Supporting Actor and Special Jury Award), Anil is miffed about his film not bagging a major National Award. It niggles at him that Akshaye Khanna did not bag the Best Actor award.

The buzz is that the actor-producer is so upset on missing out the major awards that he even skipped his close friends Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar’s bash on Thursday for the National Award winners.

Actress Shefali Shah who did not win the award for Gandhi… but won one for The Last Lear attended the party. So did the Gandhi… director Feroz Khan. But Anil didn’t. Apparently, decades of proximity to Shabana and Javed were not a good enough reason to attend the party.

When asked about it, Shabana said, “Anil couldn’t attend because he’s in Delhi for his daughter’s film’s shoot.”

Considering that Anil is shuttling constantly between the two cities, it shouldn’t have been too difficult for him to catch a flight and attend the party, provided the touchy actor wanted to.

According to friends, Anil feels snubbed by the National Awards. “He seriously wanted Akshaye Khanna to win the best actor for his film. Anil thought Akshaye was brilliant as Gandhiji’s wayward son, Harilal. Even Shefali who played Kasturba got the award for another film. So Anil isn’t too upbeat about the National Awards,” said a friend.

When we asked Anil why he wasn’t present at the bash, Anil’s cryptic response was, “I was in Delhi for Aisha’s shoot.”

Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi

The bash at the Akhtars was attended by Yash Chopra and his wife Pam Chopra, Karan Johar, Vidya Balan and David Dhawan, along with Farhan and Zoya Akhtar. Shabana’s brother, Baba Azmi, who will soon direct a film for Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s production house with Harman Baweja in the lead, was also present.

Pakistani musicians, Zeba and Haniya, sang for the gathering.

The highlight of the evening was Shankar Mahadevan singing the award winning song Maa from Taare Zameen Par which had Javed sobbing like a baby.

Amitabh Bachchan to do voice-over for album paying homage to 26/11 terror attack victims
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 30, 2009)

Amitabh Bachchan

Even as we see a tribute to the legendary Michael Jackson by the cream of Bollywood fraternity in a recent video, composer Aadesh Shrivastav is busy putting together a video as his tribute to the victims of the terrible disaster that brought Mumbai to a standstill on November 26. Aadesh is creating an album of peace to pay homage to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks. And he has roped in Amitabh Bachchan to do the voice-over for it.

Aadesh believes that Big B’s voice will do the best justice to the album which will have tracks sung by various classical and pop artistes not just from India, but abroad too. He wants to make the powerful voice a binding factor. Aadesh says, “No one else can do justice to this album. Only Amitji can serve as the perfect common thread to all the national and international artistes who are coming together for my album.”

To speed up things and make sure that he can release the album in November, the first anniversary of the blasts, Aadesh is flying down to Singapore where Amitabh is enjoying a holiday.

Aadesh’s album will also bring together Amitabh and Javed Akhtar on the same project after a gap of nearly two decades.

NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE: Sonam Kapoor. For more pictures of the actress, log on to http://photogallery.indiatimes.com

… says Sonam Kapoor, who is taking off in an altogether fresh direction

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; August 25, 2009)

Sonam Kapoor is single in real life, but she will be wooed by three men in her next film Aisha, a romantic comedy based on Jane Austen’s Emma. The film is being produced by her sister Rhea under their father Anil Kapoor’s banner. And, it has current favourites Abhay Deol, Arunoday Singh and VJ Cyrus Sahukar pitching for the 22-year-old actress who, at two films, is already a celebrated name in Bollywood.

“But hello,’’ says Sonam, who is flying to New Delhi to start work on the film, “women outnumber men on this project.’’ The director is Rajshri Ojha, screenplay writer Devika Bhagat, dialogue writers Ritu Bhatia and Devika, production designer Shruti Gupte, costume designer Pernia Qureshi, my sister Rhea is the producer and I’m the lead actress. Of course, there are a few talented men on the project — like Javed Akhtar saab (lyrics), Amit Trivedi (music) and Manu Rishi (dialogues) but, by and large, it’s going to be one big hen party.’’

What’s more, almost the entire cast and a major part of the crew are in the age group of 25-26. “I thought I was one of the youngest girls in Bollywood,’’ says Sonam. “But when I started work on Aisha, I realised almost everyone on the set is my age or even younger than I am.’’

Sonam, who has been having readings for the film with Abhay, says of the actor, “He is supertalented. I can’t tell you how excited I am to work with him.
He is playing Mr Knightley in Aisha and I can barely wait for shooting to begin.’’ What’s more, as soon as she wraps up Aisha, she will join Imran Khan on the sets of Karan Johar’s romantic caper I Hate Luv Stories directed by debutant Puneet Malhotra. “Both films are very different from each other,’’ says Sonam, and yes, she is fully aware that she makes a swinging pair with the light-eyed Imran too.

“I’m thrilled with the direction my career is going,’’ says the youngster unable to keep the excitement out of her voice.

Understandably so. Sonam has had a couple of glitches in the initial stages. But one thing that was never in doubt is her talent. In that area, she reigns supreme.

By Subhash K Jha (MID-DAY; August 21, 2009)

In case you and the rest of the industry were wondering where Farhan Akhtar is, we’ll tell you. It appears that Farhan has for the last two months insulated himself against the outside world to write the screenplay for the sequel to Don.

A worthy successor
Says a source, “Farhan is in competition with his own father. Trying to equal, let alone  better what  Javed Akhtar wrote  in the first Don, is not an easy task. He has to get the writing right to make the sequel a worthy successor to the remake of the original Don.”

Locked away
Though Farhan is unavailable for comment for the first time (not even his wife and children are allowed to disturb his creative endeavour), Farhan’s business partner Ritesh Sidhwani confirms that Farhan is completely locked away from humanity. “He wanted to write a sequel that goes beyond the first film. And I think he has cracked it. The  script for Don 2 rocks.”

While the core cast – Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani and Arjun Rampal – remains unchanged, a large part of the crew including the Director of Photography and the production designer, will change. Don 2 begins shooting in Germany from the summer of 2010.

FLAT ROW: Actor Emraan Hashmi, along with director Mahesh Bhat , addresses the media on Friday

Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; Aug 1, 2009)

Mumbai: The beleaguered Emraan Hashmi, who was recently shown the door by a housing society in Pali Hill allegedly because of his religion, has help coming. Minister of state for home Arif Naseem Khan has decided to intervene in his case. “I was really surprised to know that people are not given a house because of their religion,’’ said Khan, who has received a complaint from Hashmi. “This is completely unlawful. I have already instructed the joint commissioner of police to look into the matter.’’

Joint CP Rakesh Maria, who has been asked by Khan to initiate action under Sec
tion 153 A of the Indian Penal Code (promoting enmity between religious groups) and Section 295 A (insulting a person’s religious beliefs), said the crime branch would make inquiries and take action accordingly. Hashmi and members of the housing society have also been summoned by the state minorities commission for an inquiry on August 10.

The actor filed a complaint on Thursday with the commission, alleging that the committee members of Nibbana, a plush housing society on Pali Hill, had refused to give him an NOC even after he paid a token 1 lakh towards a flat. When told the society members’ explanation—that
they had refused him an NOC because his father had barged into the room while their meeting was on and behaved inappropriately—Hashmi replied that his father was the last person to do something like that. “He had gone there with a proper appointment,’’ he said. “The society has been using various tactics to keep us out of the building from the word go.’’

Broker Farhad Khan, who has been bringing clients to Nibbana, had warned Emraan about the problem. “I have been clearly told by the society not to bring Muslim clients to the building,’’ he said. A media professional corroborated this, saying that he too was told by the society office-bearers that they did not rent out flats to Muslims.

Lyricist Javed Akhtar said he was not surprised at the incident. “It’s a common occurrence,’’ he said. “But
the issue will not be resolved if we behave like ostriches. This kind of polarisation in society will only lead to ghettoisation and create more distance. These are the same people who keep harping about wanting the minority to come into the mainstream and then behave in this way. I am glad Emraan has spoken out.’’

Akhtar said the administration and the police needed to get involved in the issue. “The law of the country gives everybody the fundamental right to lead a normal life, which includes the right to live where you want. A person cannot be debarred only because of his religion,’’ he said.

Mumbai: Even being an A-lister in Hindi filmdom cannot save you from religious profiling and discrimination in Bollywood’s Beverly Hills. On-screen serial kisser Emraan Hashmi has just learned this the hard way.

Recently, the actor, who was looking for an apartment in Nibbana Cooperative Society on Pali Hill, was politely asked to go and look somewhere else. Hashmi’s family has been living in the locality for the last five decades.

The actor believes the housing society is discriminating against him because he is a Muslim. He has filed a complaint with the State Minorities Commission (SMC), demanding action against the society members.

Commission vice-chairman Abraham Mathai told TOI that Hashmi had filed a complaint alleging that the society had re
fused to give him a no-objection certificate (NOC) even after he had paid the token amount of Rs 1 lakh. “We are sending summons to the society seeking an explanation,’’ Mathai said.
Hashmi seemed upset with the society’s behaviour towards his parents who had gone to seek the NOC. “My parents went to meet the society members last week along with the seller and the broker. The members refused to meet them, saying they were busy. I found it really offensive. The seller, D N Suvarna, has now informed us that the society will not give us an NOC and it has blocked the sale. We have information that this has been done as they are discriminating against Muslims and will not allow anyone from the community in the society,’’ he said. The society reportedly comprises mostly Hindus, with a couple of Catholic families.

No ban on Muslims, says society secy
Mumbai: J P Chetry, the secretary of Nibbana Cooperative Society on Pali Hill, denied actor Emraan Hashmi’s claims that he was being discriminated against because of his religion. Chetry told TOI that they received a letter last week from the Hashmis but no decision had been taken as the chairman was away. “But there is no ban on Muslims. We know all Muslims are not terrorists. People from all over the country stay here—even I have come from a different part of the country—but one has to know who is coming in,’’ he said.

Actor Anil Dhawan is another member of the society’s managing committee. “I will be more than happy to have him as a neighbour. But I remember his family barging into our office when a society meeting was going on and so we refused to meet them. Being a celeb does not mean you get everything,’’ he said.

But this is not the first such experience for Hashmi. “I faced a similar situation in August 2007 when I was looking for a house in the same area. Residents and brokers told me I would not be able to get a house because I was a Muslim. But I managed to get one,’’ he said.

Hashmi’s family has been living in Pali Hill for the last 50 years. “All the big names of Bollywood live in the area. Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Aamir Khan live here. So do the Dutts (Sanjay and his kin). But we still face such problems,’’ he said.
Hashmi’s uncle, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, said he was
appalled that this was happening in an area like Pali Hill.

Jagjit Arora, who was trying to broker the deal for Hashmi, did try to convince the society. “Mr Suvarna was more than happy to do the deal but he told us we had to get an NOC from the society. It’s sad that no amount of explanation about the family’s antecedents could convince the society members. There are certain societies in the area that do not give NOCs to non-Hindus,’’ he lamented.

Vinod Bachchan, a broker from Juhu, said he knew of such instances in his area as well. “A big star living in Bandra wanted to buy a bungalow in Juhu, but we found it difficult to get one for him as he was a Muslim,’’ he said. “There are societies which take an undertaking from non-vegetarians that they will not eat non-veg food,’’ he added.


Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar have faced problems getting a house in Juhu TV actor Aamir Khan filed a PIL after being refused a house in Lokhandwala

Bharati Dubey-THE TIMES OF INDIA (July 31, 2009)