Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Pune

Aamir Khan not only feels the need to take up cooking, but wants to grow his own vegetables as well

By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 02, 2010)


Aamir Khan has two immediate plans when for the future. The actor, who was in Kolkata for New Year’s Eve, is expected to go overseas for a holiday. And when he returns, he has plans to enroll for cooking classes.

Says Aamir, “I’m fascinated by cooking. My mother is easily my favourite cook. She can make everything from exotic dishes to regular stuff exceptionally well. And when I feel like home food, I just drive to Pune to eat it.”

To keep the biwi happy as well, he adds, “Kiran is also a fantastic cook and she loves getting into the kitchen.”

The actor, who confesses that his skills are limited to boiling an egg and making a cup of tea, says he has no cooking prowess. “I volunteer to help Kiran with the dishes if she asks me,” he says.

Talking about his determination to join cooking classes, he says, “I admire people who cook well. It is just one of those things that keeps going on in my head.

Earlier, I didn’t bother with it because I always reasoned this is not one of the equities that I as a star am expected to bring to the table. But now I just feel I must learn to cook. I don’t know how soon I can get around to doing it though,” he says.

Aamir, who is also fascinated by the thought of growing his own vegetables, has said, “I’m seriously toying with the idea of organic farming. Both Kiran and I are fascinated by farming. I think it would be really nice to be able to grow our own vegetables and feed people.”

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Producer Ahmed Khan and lead actor Shahid Kapoor have donated school utilities used for their film to three schools that needed them

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 31, 2009)


Although choreographer-turned-producer Ahmed Khan’s Paathshala’s shooting is over, the props used for the film’s shooting are still in use. Ahmed and Shahid Kapoor, the film’s lead actor, donated the props used for the film – school bags, notebooks, benches and stationery to three needy schools teaching underprivileged children. The film is directed by Milind Ukey.

Paathshala deals with contemporary and socially relevant issues regarding children’s education. Ahmed had erected a massive set of a school at Film City where classrooms, dormitories, the principal’s cabin, staff rooms, huge corridors, a basket ball court, garden, assembly hall, music room and canteen were recreated.

Ahmed says, “We had several benches, school uniforms, school bags, notebooks and stationery that we used for the film. After the shooting, we decided to donate all these basic school utility items to the underprivileged kids studying in schools.”

The items have been donated to two schools in Mumbai, one in Malad and the other in Malvani and a third school (a nursery), on the outskirts of Pune.

“We had several children acting in our film. Some were child actors who auditioned for the part, while others were underprivileged kids from the slums. It was because of the latter that we decided to help the needy schools. Apart from the benches that we made for the film, we made some more benches at our cost and donated them as well. Why not help them out in our small way by providing basic infrastructure?” adds Ahmed. The film also stars Ayesha Takia and Nana Patekar.

Paathshala

By TUSHAR JOSHI (Mid-Day; December 18, 2009)

Koena Mitra was in for a rude shock when someone informed her she was attending an event in Pune on December 19. The actress was puzzled to find her name prominently featured in a Pune newspaper announcing her presence at an event called Toss.

Not approached or in talks
A friend close to the actress says, “Koena was shocked to see an ad in the Pune newspaper and also on some websites announcing her presence at an event named Toss. She was neither approached, nor was in talks with anyone for such a show. After making a few phone calls, it was evident that a local person named Priya Kakre had used her name to make easy money.”

A thousand victims already
The actress found out that the organiser already sold around 1000 passes costing 500 bucks each.  “By using her name, the organisers fooled people into believing that she was performing at the show. They made a quick buck on her name. When we tried to get in touch with Priya she kept giving weird excuses saying she was conned into this by someone else.”

Strong reactions
Reacting to the incident Koena says, “I am shocked and surprised how people can even think about even making a quick buck like this. Cheating people out of their hard earned money is disgusting. I urge people to be wary of such con artists during this festive season.”

The ad, which Koena Mitra insists is for a fake event, featured in a Pune newspaper

Tanushree Dutta’s name is also featured in the ad. She reacts, “I am not a part of this event, neither was I approached for it. This definitely sounds like a scam or an easy way to fool people and make money. I think its sad that someone’s name is used to get publicity and con people who will look forward to watch you perform.”

Sayali Bhagat’s name features in the ad as well. When asked for her reaction, she says, “This is a scam. I heard about it from someone and was shocked that my name is mentioned in the ad. I have been shooting a film for the last three months and no-one else has my dates. Also, if it is an event, I should have been paid and I haven’t been paid.”

Sandip Soparrkar and Jessy Randhawa, who have been seeing each other for five years, will tie the knot on December 12

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 02, 2009)

Sandip Soparrkar and Jessy Randhawa

Dance instructor Sandip Soparrkar and his model girlfriend Jessy Randhawa will tie the knot on December 12. The couple has been dating for over five years. It was Sandip who proposed marriage to Jessy.

Confirming the news, an excited Sandip says, “Jessy and I are getting hitched on December 12. We are having a Hindu wedding at the ISKCON temple in Mumbai, followed by a reception in Pune, where my parents live, the next day. The reception will be in Catholic style with the dress code obviously being gowns and coats. We will also have ballroom dancing.”

Ask Sandip whether he is planning to have a special performance for Jessy and he says, “It is a surprise that I don’t want to reveal.”

Jessy’s wedding outfit is being designed by AD Singh while Sandip’s outfit is being designed by Deepak Shah.

The couple has no immediate plans for a honeymoon due to their show commitments. Commenting on their post-marriage plans, Sandip says, “We are planning to have an outing towards the end of December. Instead of a long break, we intend to have small outings, which we hope to work out next year onwards.”

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.

BOXOFFICEINDIA.COM


By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 11, 2009)


Acclaimed actor Om Puri is enormously upset with his wife, journalist-columnist Nandita for highlighting some of his most private sexual incidents to market her biography, Unlikely Hero: The Story Of Om Puri. A discernibly upset Om said, “I don’t care  if she’s my wife. I won’t let her get away with it.

I am in Chandigarh shooting for a film. On Monday I heard Nandita speaking about the biography she has written on me. I was shocked by her revelations. It was so cheap. She was talking about my sexual encounters as though those were my biggest achievements!”

Om’s main reason for being upset is Nandita’s revelation that he had sex with his maid Shanti at the age of 14. She has also exposed Om’s longstanding liaison with a woman named Laxmi with whom Om was sexually and emotionally involved.

Om is livid. “My wife has reduced a very important and sacred part of my life to cheap and lurid gossip. I had shared these dark secrets with my wife as all husbands do. If she chose to make them public at least she should’ve made sure to maintain a dignity about experiences that are a valuable part of my life. Has she forgotten that I have a standing in society and I’ve worked hard to achieve all that I have today? I won’t allow her to throw it all away for the sake of sensationalism.”

Om says that Laxmi was one of the most important women in his life. “This lady whom Nandita talks in such an undignified manner was Laxmi, who raised me and my brother’s orphaned children. My relationship with this wonderful woman was a homage to her loyalty for looking after me unconditionally.” Om doesn’t deny he had sex with Laxmi. “But it was not  a furtive and sleazy experience. It was beautiful. Why make such a tamasha out of these very sensitive moments? Mahatma Gandhi spoke of his experiences with sexuality in The Story of My  Experiments With Truth. But was that all there was to his life? Why highlight these aspects when there’s so much more to me? Do you know, when I was a child, I was travelling by train with my destitute mother. The entire compartment collected money to feed us. That incident remains etched in my mind. I was working in a teashop when I was seven years old. When I came to  the FTII, Pune I didn’t have a decent shirt to wear. I had to borrow one  from Naseeruddin Shah. I had hoped when my life was chronicled it would be an inspirational story.”

Om says his wife insisted on  writing his biography. “I was aware that another lady (Aparajita Krishna) was writing my biography. When Nandita expressed  a desire to write about me I couldn’t stop her because she’s my wife but she has forgotten who she is,” added Om.

The actor complains that Nandita didn’t allow him to read the  manuscript. “Not once did she let me read even one page of the manuscript. How was I to know how she would use the incidents from my life to sell her book?”

When we promised to be discreet in putting forward his anguish and humiliation, Om retorted, “Please don’t be discreet. Has she exercised any discretion in talking about my personal experiences? The final decision to put my life up as a tamasha was Nandita’s. I can’t forgive her.”

Om and Nandita Puri

When we asked Nandita for her side of the story, she said, “This is all such a mistake. My book on  my husband is a biography, not  bl***y pornography. The book is about Om, the man and the actor. Om has all the human foibles, just like all of us. He had sex as an adolescent with his maid and then he had a long liaison with the other lady who was also a maid. This was his way of coming out of his other relationships and demolishing class differences. If Om has any objection to her being called a maid he’s just being unrealistic.”

So are his sexual experiences an integral part of the book? “They are,” admitted Nandita. “But that’s not all.” Apparently, the broadcast journalist who interviewed Nandita picked up excerpts from a weekly news magazine. “She called me on her show and for 20 minutes she spoke only about Om’s sexual escapades. When I thought she’d  question me about other aspects of Om’s life in the book, the show was over. I was horrified. I was even more  horrified when I saw the show,” added Nandita.

Yesterday morning, Nandita received a very angry call from Om who is in Chandigarh .“He was livid. The double escapades with the two maid servants has made Om feel he’ll be compared to Shiney Ahuja. Now my husband is angry, my publishers are upset and so  am I,” said Nandita.

‘FAN’TASTIC: Sanjay Dutt

We hear that a group of die-hard Sanjay Dutt fans will fly down especially from Germany to India to spend time with their idol. The actor, who is currently stationed in Pune wrapping up Mani Shankar’s Knock Out,is pleasantly surprised by their decision. Apparently, it so happened that a couple of recent Dutt films couldn’t find a release in Germany and his fans are most disheartened. So they’re making the effort to fly down, see the films and then spend some quality time with him.

BOMBAY TIMES (October 29, 2009)