Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘sharin wader butani

ALL SET: Akshay Kumar.
Winter Olympics torchbearer Akshay Kumar leaves for Toronto tonight…

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 15, 2009)

Akshay Kumar’s packing his bags. The Khiladi leaves tonight for Toronto where he will be the only actor among 14 international celebrities to run with the XXI Winter Olympics torch on Thursday. Akshay, who received the torch from Canadian Prime Minister Steve Harper in Mumbai last month, is the Indian ambassador at the Games which are slated to start on February 12, 2010. Over 80 nations participate in the Winter Olympics and the competition is held in eight sports including ice hockey, figure skating and Alpine skiing. India, which sent a four-member team to the last Games that were held in Turin, Italy, in 2006, came back with no medals for our efforts in the luge, crosscountry skiing and Alpine skiing. Clearly, the country’s pride now is Akshay at Toronto! The actor, when asked why he was chosen for this great sporting honour on an international platform like the Olympics, replied, “I definitely didn’t get nominated because of my cricket skills… I may be a celebrity, but with great power comes even greater responsibility. I have put a lot of effort over the years supporting and being brand ambassador for the ‘Special Olympics’ in India. I would go to any lengths to promote sport in my country, my efforts have been appreciated worldwide, and I am touched that India shares my enthusiasm. To be honoured to carry the Olympic torch is so prestigious in every country, you can’t ask for this honour, you can only be recognised for your true love and dedication to children, to sport, to bettering your country’s involvement in the world. You can’t imagine how grateful I am. And how nervous as well!”

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CREATING MAGIC: Deepika Padukone and Farhan Akhtar in a still from the film
Farhan Akhtar is fida over his hot co-star Deepika Padukone…

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 9, 2009)

It’s difficult to separate the director-producer and actor in Farhan Akhtar, for he’s forever honing his acting skills, thinking of a marketing strategy to promote his films or of different angles to make his stars look larger than life. But today he’s in a different mood. He keeps aside the Don 2 script he’s been working on and gets talking about his hot costar from Kartik Calling Kartik, Deepika Padukone. “There are no words to describe her beauty, she’s extremely beautiful. Many will identify with me when I fall deeply in love with her in the film. In the hot quotient, she ranks among the top three actresses in Bollywood… need I say more,” he asks.

Farhan feels that the two share a wonderful chemistry but he wanted to be doubly sure so he held a focus screening where he invited people from different age groups to come and watch it. “I called my driver’s children and their friends, college students, housewives… and they felt the same,” he says. Once on the show that he was hosting, Deepika had turned up as his guest, standing tall, towering over him. “In reality, we are of the same height. I actually measured her with a measuring tape,” he laughs and adds, “she’s got long legs, her pose and posture make her look tall… unfortunately, I have neither.”

In all his films, Farhan has always given his actors a “hair-raising” experience, thanks to his wife, hairstylist Audhuna. Aamir had the spiked look in Dil Chahta Hai, Hrithik sported a crew cut in Lakshya while Preity Zinta went bob, Arjun Rampal had to grow his hair and Farhan himself was seen in a hairband in Rock On. And for KCK, Deepika had to chop off her hair. “I have a secret pact with Tirupathi Balaji, I cut their hair and send it there… but for Arjun in Rock On, we made hair extensions from the hair that we had cut during Dil Chahta Hai,” he laughs. “My actors shouldn’t look the same in my film the way they did in some other film. The audience should be able to see the character than the celebrity in them,” says Farhan, who plays a lovable loser in KCK. “I can relate to the character because in the past, I have been one myself. Like the crush I had on this girl but never admitted for the fear of being rejected,” says Farhan, who will be playing a fullfledged romantic hero in the film.

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)
IN STYLE: Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Aishwarya Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra. 
The actress’ Mughal-e-Azam look has made her fashionable once again

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 30, 2009)

Don’t know if you’ve noticed but Vidya Balan, who’s making a big comeback to Bollywood with Paa this week, is suddenly one of the nattiest dressers in tinsel town. And, just by repeating stylish variations of the same Indian garment once popularised by Madhubala as Anarkali in Mughal-e-Azam. Vidya, who was notoriously considered Bollywood’s worst fashionista after her disastrous wardrobe in Heyy Babyy, has glamourously reinvented herself. And, by choosing to wear the Anarkalistyled churidaar in different avatars, the actress has inadvertently become a trendsetter of sorts. Several Bollywood divas have been spotted wearing the Mughal-e-Azam look after Vidya.
Aishwarya Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor carry it off well, and so do Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra, Rani Mukerji and Sonam Kapoor. Even some telly stars are seen in the long flowy garment these days. Vidya refused to take credit for this new fashion trend and said, “I’m flattered. It feels good to know that women are liking it.” She has always preferred ethnic wear to western. “Though the Anarkali covers you from head to toe, it’s still very sensuous… like the saree,” said Vidya who has an Anarkali in almost every colour and style. “I might have brought it back in vogue,” she reluctantly accepted “but Indian women have always been wearing one.”

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 25, 2009)

If you thought Deepika Padukone had ducked out of sight and was dodging the media following her split with Ranbir Kapoor, think again. The model-turned-actress herself revealed to BT that she was lying low because she didn’t want to reveal her new look for Kartik Calling Kartik.


In the film, which co-stars Farhan Akhtar, Deepika has got herself a short-short haircut. The actress, who had waistlength hair till recently, has now got it down to her
shoulders. “I last chopped my hair when I was eight,” said Deepika. Apparently Audhuna, the celebrity hairstylist and Farhan’s wife, and director Vijay Lalwani had to convince Deepika to go in for the change.


“They thought with my height, I would be able to carry it off well,” said the actress. But she argued with the director that she would go in for the haircut only if he shaved his head bald. “He didn’t do that but he saw to it that he was present in the salon so that I don’t back off at the last moment,” laughed Deepika. People who have seen her new look, have loved it. Her parents were amazed. “Everybody says it looks good on me and makes me look younger,” smiled Deepika. The actress plays an interior designer in the film. “The scriptwriter had a certain image in mind when he wrote my character Shonali. So I had to do justice to the role,” she said. What about her responsibility as brand ambassador for some hair-care products? Wasn’t her long hair the reason she got those lucrative deals? “It’s okay, I like it this way now,” said the beauty, “Change is good.” sharin.wader@timesgroup.com

KNOTTED: Raj Kundra, Shilpa, Surendra, Sunanda and Shamita Shetty

Raj Kundra takes Shilpa Shetty as his wife at traditional ceremony in Khandala

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 24, 2009)

In London he’s used to zipping around in luxury cars and sports models, but in Khandala on Sunday, UK billionaire and businessman Raj Kundra arrived on a white horse to claim his Bollywood bride Shilpa Shetty. He rode from his hotel to Kiran Bawa’s bungalow, where the blushing bride was waiting, while his baaratis danced around with great gusto. Dressed in a sherwani, heavily garlanded and bearing a sword, Raj was greeted by bridesmaid Shamita at the entrance to the bungalow with a big hug. His men carried bundles of crisp, 500 rupee notes which they distributed to the band while Raj walked to the lavishly decorated mandap for the pheras which was done in the Bunt style with Shilpa looking every inch the South Indian bride. The actress was seen getting emotional after the ceremony and crying as she hugged her father who had discharged himself from hospital following a stomach infection to be there. It was almost 9.20 pm when the couple stepped out to pose for the media. They then left for Mumbai as Shilpa’s bidaai was to be done from her house in Lokhandwala.

Meanwhile, BT’s wedding correspondent reports that all of the 70 guests who were present at the wedding had a hairdresser, a makeup artist, and a chauffeur-driven car at their disposal. Even their hotel rooms were done up with
gift hampers, pink roses and and chocolate fudge. For the two days that the guests were in Khandala, there was buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Bawa bungalow and a wedding menu made up of cuisines from 72 countries! Bridesmaid Shamita Shetty, who lost out on the chance to win her reality show prize money after leaving it midway for Shilpa’s wedding, was disappointed that she could not make up by successfully hiding the dulha’s joote. Raj was apparently supposed to give her Rs 51 lakhs for his shoes!

Yesterday in Mumbai, the couple had their court marriage. Since the saat pheras was strictly for family and close friends, Shilpa and Raj have planned a lavish reception for Bollywood and their business associates today at a suburban five-star. The married couple along with their families will then head to Tirupathi and from there to the Oneness University in Chennai to seek blessings from Shilpa’s gurus, Amma and Bhagwan. They will then come back to Mumbai to leave for their week-long honeymoon at the Bahamas.
WATCH OUT: Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 21, 2009)

It’s enough to make Bollywood sit up in horror… but this is not that kind of rumour. Shah Rukh Khan’s stunning and fashionable wife Gauri is reportedly doing a TV show for a popular channel that’s based on investigative crime stories. Not one to get into the reality show genre, Gauri’s production house is working on short crime stories on the lines of the hit TV show CID. Apparently, the buzz is that the Bollywood Badshah would like to rule Tellyland as well. And after producing a couple of shows for the idiot box, SRK is keen to do one like America’s Next Top Model which is hosted by Hollywood sizzler Tyra Banks. For this, Shah Rukh has apparently roped in Bollywood hottie Bipasha Basu and his show will be called Female Model Hunt.