Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘nicole dastur

BEYOND CRICKET: Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh on future plans that just might include films

NICOLE DASTUR Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 2, 2009)

This was a side of six-six-six king Yuvraj Singh that not many have seen. It was a picture perfect moment to see him, down on his knees to be the same height as the group of children around him, lost in a world that was just theirs and his for that short time. The ace cricketer, who is currently in the city for a match, took time out from his hectic practice schedule to spend an evening with kids with life-threatening illnesses from the NGO Make A Wish Foundation at an event hosted by the Yuvraj Singh Foundation. “Say cheese,” Yuvraj urges the kids to smile at the cameras. “This is the least I can do to fulfill the wishes of these children. I don’t have the power to give them a new life, but I can at least make their existing one a little bit better,” says Yuvraj, adding, “Besides, it’s always nice to be around children.”

Over to his other love – cricket. He’s ‘in form’ right now, scoring half-centuries and centuries in match after match. “These comments about being ‘in form’ and ‘out of form’ don’t bother me anymore. Of course, we go through our bad spells, we can’t be at our best at all times when we’re playing three different formats of the game!” Yuvraj states, matter-of-factly. Speaking of the three formats, which one suits him best? “Test cricket is the basic format of the game, unfortunately, I’ve not played much of it.” But he intends to do just that even as he aims to better himself and his game. “The goals I set are against myself, not against others. I constantly strive to beat myself. It’s hard work, but if you have focus, I believe you can reach for the stars,” Yuvraj says it like it is. And with a mentor like Sachin Tendulkar, it doesn’t look like it will be long before Yuvraj is one among the many cricketing stars in the Milky Cricket Way galaxy. “I always discuss my batting with Sachin and take his advice. Ponting’s a great batsman too, I love watching him bat,” says the humble Prince of Punjab. Where does he see himself 10 years from now? Still associated with cricket, getting into the business of restaurants like most of his teammates or attempting Bollywood? “I’ve never really given it a real thought. Business, nah, I don’t see myself doing that; Bollywood, hmm, well, you never know,” he chuckles, as though hiding something up his sleeve,” and then continues, “But after seeing 2012, I don’t think I’ll be here in 10 years!” (Contributed by Meena Iyer and Sharin Wader Butani)
WE CARE: Ranbir Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Mugdha Godse and Neil Nitin Mukesh
Bollywood stars join Mumbaiites in 26/11 music video

NICOLE DASTUR Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 23, 2009)

Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Ranbir Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Yash Chopra, Boman Irani, Nandana Sen, Neha Dhupia, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mugdha Godse, Ramesh Taurani, Gul Panag — just a couple of Bollywood log who will be part of a special song-cum-music video dedicated to the 26/11 terror attacks. The video, conceptualised and produced by Viraf Patel, directed by Arjun Sablok and composed by Monty Sharma, will go on air on the 26th itself and will also feature the aam junta — Mumbaiites from all stratas of society and all walks of life — besides the Bollywood brigade.

“The song will be interspersed with the stars and the people giving out their own personal, heartfelt messages, the crux of which will be ‘I am Indian’, ‘Main Hindustani Hoon’, ‘Main Bharatiya Hoon’… the variations of the same statement is a deliberate attempt to reflect the diversity and unity of India. Although the terrorists struck Mumbai, every Indian was affected. The aftermath was pan-Indian. The idea of the single is to stir the emotions of every Indian,” says Viraf of the music video which will be aired on all television channels.

MAKING A MARK: (From top) Dia Mirza, Konkona SenSharma, Neil Nitin Mukesh; (below) Abhay Deol and Shabana Azmi. For more pictures of the stars, visit

Twenty stars to do the catwalk for a good cause

NICOLE DASTUR Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 23, 2009)


When Naresh Goyal’s 20-year-old daughter Namrata Goyal, who is Shabana Azmi’s godchild, went to the village Mijwan in UP with the actress-cum-activist for the first time, she came back with an idea. Such was the life transforming experience for her.

To rewind a bit — Shabana Azmi’s NGO Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS), which was started by her father Kaifi Azmi, has been doing noteworthy work for the betterment of the villagers of Mijwan. When Namrata was amidst the villagers, she too was inspired to do something for their welfare. And that’s how
‘Mijwan — Sonnets in Fabric’, a fashion show with a difference was born, to raise funds to set up a District Learning Centre in the village. “I have always believed in the power of youth to act as catalysts for change. Fifty percent of India is under 25 years, they can change the world if they are motivated to get involved and tap into their own reserves of strength,” says Shabana.

SA The fashion contest-cum-show will
also serve as a platform for fashion designing students to showcase their talent. Students from five fashion and design institutes will take part in an inter-collegiate contest where shortlisted students will be mentored by designers Manish Malhotra and Anita Dongre, and their creations will be showcased by top stars and models including Karan Johar, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Abhay Deol, Malaika Arora-Khan, R Madhavan, Konkana SenSharma, Dia Mirza, Prachi Desai, Raima Sen, Boman Irani, Arshad Warsi, Sandhya Mridul, Mona Singh, Tupur and Tapur Chatterjee, Aditi Govitrikar, Diandra Soares, Alesia Raut and Dipannita Sharma. The show, to be held in December, will be compered by Mandira Bedi, styled by Manish and Anita and judged by eminent names. “These stars are youth icons and it will be a huge boost for these students to have their creations showcased by them,” says Shabana, adding that she is grateful to all the stars and designers for being a part of this venture absolutely free of cost. ad
RED HOT: Manisha Koirala. For more pictures of the actress, visit http://photogallery.indiatimes.com
Manisha Koirala’s back in action with a slimmer, oompher look and three releases this year… and she’s ‘happy’ in love too!

NICOLE DASTUR Times News Network (BOBMAY TIMES; July 18, 2009)


You could call this her second innings. In more ways than one. For Manisha Koirala is back in action with three releases set for this year and a handful more in the pipeline. What’s more, she’s lost oodles of weight and gained loads of oomph. She’s experimenting with film roles and is revelling in love. Life’s sunny, she tells us, even in this dullish weather. We get talking about her upcoming movies. First up is Chehere, where Manisha plays a double role of sorts. “It’s the same character, but placed in two different eras and thus having two distinct looks and two contrasting storylines. From a successful actress of the silent era cinema to a fading actress of modern cinema, it is a complex character,” Manisha states. “It was challenging to find a balance,” she adds. But challenges have never been a setback for the actress (Bombay, Khamoshi, Dil Se, Gupt, Company… just a few of her memorable performances), and she’s hungry for more. There’s also Deepti Naval’s directorial debut Do Paise Ki Dhoop, Chaar Aane Ki Baarish and Ek Second… Jo Zindagi Badal De, where she again plays a character who undergoes a complete transformation — “It’s the same girl who leads two different lives.” So, with so much up her sleeve, does she consider 2009 to be her comeback year? “A comeback means you had gone away, but I was right here! I chose to lie low in the middle because the roles I was being offered were not exciting enough,” Manisha candidly admits.

Moving on to the other thing (besides acting, of course) that Manisha has always been in the spotlight for — her relationships. The latest reports on her personal life stated that she was to tie the knot with her American boyfriend Christopher Dorris earlier this year. “That was just wishful thinking on some people’s part! No, I am not married but I am in a steady relationship. I’m happy.” Sunshine through the rain, we told you…
nicole.dastur@timesgroup.com