Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Taj

BAAP RE BAAP: Amartya Sen and daughter Nandana

Nobel Laureate Prof. Amartya Sen discusses cinema exclusively for BT with actress daughter Nandana Sen in Mumbai

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 25, 2009)


It’s funny, with a daughter like the lovely international actress Nandana Sen, you would have thought Nobel Prize economist Prof. Amartya Sen would be well informed about cinema. But he’s not. He knows just about five people connected with filmmaking. And these he counted for me with much difficulty and some prompting from Nandana. “I knew Satyajit Ray extremely well,” he began, “he and I studied at Santiniketan. I had huge admiration for him. And I know Mira Nair, Shyam Benegal, and, and… what’s his name, Mrinal Sen! I do know Nandita Das and like her films, also. And I met… what’s the name of the guy who acted with you in Rang Rasiya… I shook his hand? Randeep Hooda? Yes, I met him. I also met Amitabh Bachchan, whom I don’t know, and Shabana Azmi, who’s an old friend. I used to like her father’s poetry and now, I like her husband’s. And Salman Khan…”


He was in Mumbai to deliver a keynote lecture for the Indian Philosophy Congress yesterday and I was meeting the distinguished father and sexy daughter at his suite in the Taj. I was drinking coffee. The professor ordered a pot of Darjeeling tea. When it came, he was appalled. “This tea is too strong for Darjeeling,” he grumbled, “it’s got the strength of Assam.” Then to
Nandana, who was busy eating pistachios noisily, he said, “Chuck it in the sink!” He is unintentionally humorous, he speaks in a deep, rumbling voice, and he chooses his words carefully — as if aware that when Prof. Amartya Sen speaks, people hang onto his words even if he isn’t talking welfare economics. That’s his hobby horse. And he travels around the world at 76 on his Nobel Prize ticket, astonishing scientists and academicians with his philosophy on poverty, gender inequality and political liberalism. But I had got him onto cinema. And Prof. Sen was struggling.


“You’re wasting your time, I’m not knowledgeable about
films,” he said trying to discourage me. “You asking me who I like is like asking me a cooking recipe. I’m happy to tell you. But my recipe won’t alleviate the culinary world much!” Nandana, fortunately, was not having any of it. “Baba, you like Sharmila Tagore, isn’t she one of your favourites,” she chided him. “Yes,” Prof. Sen admitted. “And Katherine Hepburn… what a fantastic actress, so sharp and intelligent.” Then he surprised me by saying, “Jane Fonda, I know. I’ve had a couple of dinners with her. Her husband, Ted Turner, started the UN Foundation and was a trustee. So is my wife, Emma Rothschild. And the dinners where spouses gather, are quite impressive. There’s also Nelson Mandela.” But to come back to cinema, he doesn’t see too many films, though he thinks he’s seen all of Nandana’s. Rang Rasiya, in which she plays Raja Ravi Varma’s muse and appears topless in one breathtaking scene, Prof. Amartya saw at the London Film Festival and actually liked. “It’s not been released and nobody seems to know why,” he said querulously. “Has it been made for the archives? It would have been a great success in Europe and the US after receiving favourable notice in London.”


He hardly visits Mumbai. His work brings him to Delhi. And his
heart takes him to Kolkata. Now Prof. Amartya Sen looked out of the window at the Gateway and said, “I’ve not been here since the November disaster, but I have various memories here. The best one is of defeating the Australian cricket team! I was in the health club, exercising on the bike and watching a news channel, when they came in. They wanted the bike and to change the channel. I objected. They were a little assertive and gave me the democratic argument that there were more of them. But I was here first, I told them. Then their captain, Steve Waugh, came. He conceded that I had a point. I thought, no matter how poorly India did in cricket against Australia, I had done reasonably well!”

Will Ram Gopal Varma get into trouble for modifying the Indian national anthem in Rann?
By Bharti Dubey (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 07, 2009)

A still from Rann

What is it about controversy that so attracts Ram Gopal Varma? The filmmaker, who during the 26/11 terror attacks had faced flak for accompanying then Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to the ravaged Taj hotel after NSG commandos had sanitised the building, might face trouble again. This time, Ramu has tampered with the Indian national anthem in his forthcoming Amitabh Bachchan-Ritesh Deshmukh starrer Rann. It is most likely that the song will be banned by the Censor Board of Film Certification.

Vinayak Azad, regional officer of the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), said, “Formal screening (of the promo of Rann) will take place tomorrow. However, as I understand, the lyrics of the national anthem cannot be played around with. In the film’s case, the lyrics of the national anthem have been mixed with other words.”

The CBFC will seek opinion on the promo of the film from concerned authorities in the Home and Law ministry.

Sheetal Talwar, co-producer of the film, said, “We believe the song reflects the current state of the country. Also, according to our constitution, one has the right to freedom of expression and speech. We are not violating any law or dishonoring the national anthem at all. There is no violation of copyright either.”

Talwar is not worried that the song will be banned by the Censor Board. “We believe that it is appropriate for the film and we don’t expect the promos to get banned. If there is a problem, we will take the necessary recourse,” he said.

Director Ram Gopal Varma said, “I have not tinkered with the anthem or treated it in a disrespectful manner. The song has been used to express the angst of some characters of the film against the current situation in the country. It does not say anything that is not true. I think by the words and the visuals, everyone can see the dignity with which it has been treated.”

While the Censor Board has not come across any film violating the national anthem or tampering with it, in the case of Bharat Bala’s version of the national anthem, the Censor Board did seek an opinion from the Law ministry before clearing it.

The modified anthem in RANN: JANA GANN MANA RANN HAI
IS RANN MEIN ZAKHMI HUA HAI BHARAT KA BHAAGYA VIDHAATA
PUNJAB SINDH GUJRAT MARATHA
EK DOOSRE SE LADD KE MAR RAHEIN HAIN
IS DESH NE HUMKO EK KIYA
HUM DESH KE TUKDEY KAR RAHEIN HAIN
DRAVID UTKAL BANGA
KHOON BAHAA KER, EK RANG KA KAR DIYA HUMNE TIRANGA
SARHADON PE JUNG AUR
GALIYON MEIN FASAAD DANGA
VINDH HIMACHAL YAMUNA GANGA
MEIN TEZAAB UBAL RAHA HAI
MAR GAYA SAB KA ZAMEER
JAANE KAB ZINDA HO AAGEY
PHIR BHI TAVA SHUBH NAAME JAAGE
TAVA SHUBH AASHISH MAANGE
AAG MEIN JAL KAR CHEEKH RAHA HAI
PHIR BHI KOI NAHI SACH KO BACHAATA
GAAHE TAVA JAYA GAATHA
DESH KA AISA HAAL HAI LEKIN
AAPAS MEIN LADD RAHEIN NETA
JANA GANN MANGAL DAAYAK JAYA HAI
BHAARAT KO BACHA LE VIDHAATA!!!
JAYA HAI – YA YEH – MARANN HAI
JANA – GANN – MANA – RANN HAI