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Kareena Kapoor a Hit on Pakistani Billboards | James Cameron Wants to Work with Aamir Khan | New Mom Padma Craves Peace and Privacy | Golden Kela | Hot and Sultry | Date with Shammi | Reality Show | Getting Serious | Amitabh in Orissa | Tragic Loss | MNIK Biggest Grosser in UK

Kareena Kapoor a Hit on Pakistani Billboards

Kareena Kapoor in “Kurbaan.”

Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor is the latest Bollywood beauty to have caught the imagination of the people of Karach8i as she stares out of hundreds of billboards in the city.

Firdous Lawns, one of Pakistan's leading textile manufacturers, said it paid the actress around 30 million rupees to feature in their advertisement.

"There is nothing illegal about it. We made her an offer for the campaign and she liked the idea of advertising for a Pakistani company and she came down to Dubai for the shoots," a spokesman of the company said.

The billboards show the 27-year-old actress sporting dozens of different designs of the new lawn fabric of the company.

The company said that it opted to advertise their products with the Indian actress as she was a popular figure in Pakistan.

"She is like a breath of fresh air to Pakistan's advertising agency," the chief executive of a leading advertising agency, Prestige Communications, told PTI.

Four years back a Pakistani company had put up billboards of superstar Amitabh Bachchan for a quiz show and had to face problems when people reported the matter to the city government. Bachchan's image was used without his permission.


James Cameron Wants to Work with Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan, flanked by Narayan Madhavan and Sharman Joshi, in “3 Idiots.”

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan is on top of the wish list of Avatar director James Cameron who is keen to cast the actor in one of his films.

The director of two of the highest-grossing films in the history of cinema, Titanic and Avatar, Cameron shared the stage with the actor known as 'Mr Perfectionist' at the India Today Conclave 2010 here and said that he was honoured to do so.

"I am honoured to be sharing the stage with Aamir Khan. He is on top of his game and it is his birthday tomorrow and he chose to attend the session with me foregoing his birthday, so I consider that a great honor," said the 55-year-old director.

When speaking about the meeting of Western filmdom with India's own Bollywod, Aamir said that he has not yet been a part of a Hollywood film, to which Cameron quickly replied, "We could fix that as soon as possible."

Aamir expressed his admiration for the Terminator director, saying that he came to listen to him and learn as much as possible.

The two were speaking on the topic “Future of Cinema” at the conclave, where the audience included Cameron's wife actress Suzy Amis and Bollywood actors Ranbir Kapoor and Asin among others. 


New Mom Padma Craves ‘Peace and Privacy’

Padma Lakshmi

The whole world is waiting for her to confirm that the father of her baby is venture capitalist Adam Dell, but Indian American supermodel Padma Lakshmi wants the media to stop hounding her.

"I have a newborn! I just want some peace and privacy," she told People magazine.

The Top Chef host, who gave birth to her daughter Krishna last month, has been mum about the identity of the father ever since she announced her pregnancy in January.

But a source close to her admits it is indeed Dell who has fathered the child.

"They had an on-and-off minimal relationship that ended many, many months ago. There already is a very fair agreement in place. She doesn't want anything from him. She's juggling all of this with motherhood and preparing to go back to work and it's a lot to handle," said the source.

Dell and Lakshmi are said to be negotiating visiting rights to Krishna.

Lakshmi married controversial author Salman Rushdie in 2004, but they divorced three years later.

It is a "miracle" baby for Lakshmi, who feared that she may not be able to ever conceive having struggled for years with endometriosis.

Padma decided to call her one-month-old child Krishna Thea Lakshmi as she had planned to give her a "classically Indian Sanskrit name."


Golden Kela

Harman Baweja in “What’s Your Rashee?”

Kareena Kapoor's turn as a man-hating supermodel in Kambakkht Ishq won her the title of Worst Actress, while Harman Baweja's search for a bride in What's Your Rashee led him to the Worst Actor trophy at the second annual Golden Kela awards, the Indian version of the Razzies of Hollywood.

The award attempts to honor the "best in worst made films" and the irreverent occasion was presided over by funnyman Cyrus Broacha.

The awards were given away in 20 categories, including, Bas Kijiye Bahut Ho Gaya (Please stop, it’s enough) which went to filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar who was asked to stop making films.

Even Hollywood stars were not spared at the mock fest with Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards winning the Baawra Ho Gaya Hai Ke (Have you gone nuts?) Award for being a part of the super flop film Kambakkht Ishq.

The worst supporting actor (male and female) went to Ranvir Shorey and Deepika Padukone respectively for their roles in Chandni Chowk to China.

The worst film went to Kambakkht Ishq and Ashutosh Gowariker was declared worst director for What's Your Raashee?

Jackky Bhagnani and Shruti Haasan were declared the worst newcomer actors for their roles in 'Kal Kissne Dekha' and 'Luck' respectively.


'Hot and Sultry'

Tanushree Datta

She created a buzz in Bollywood with her debut in Aashiq Banaya Aapne but Tanushree Dutta's career soon fizzled out and the actress blames the judgemental nature of the film industry for it.

Dutta, who is back on the silver screen after a gap of almost two years with the horror flick Rokkk, says that she was unduly stereotyped as mere eye candy who could do nothing but "hot and sultry" roles.

"The surprising part though, is that even though I have worked in different genres of movies, I was slotted in a certain bracket. I was told that people expected me to be a hot and sultry woman in each of my films," she told PTI.

But the 29-year-old former Miss India is excited about her new innings which promises to show her in a different light.

"I can see that today, there is a different perception about me in Bollywood. Yes, it has taken some time but I am happy that I am reaching there," said Tanushree, who is now looking forward to the release of her next film Apartment.

She was one of the hottest debutants in Bollywood  when she enjoyed double billing in Aashiq Banaya Aapne and Chocolate which released within a fortnight of each other in 2005.

The Bengali beauty, who is still remembered for a steamy love scene between her and Emraan Hashmi in Aashiq Banaya Aapne, said that the audience will see her in a whole new avatar in Jagmohan Mundhra's Apartment.


Date with Shammi

Deepika Padukone in “Housefull.”

Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone, who is on Twitter, got the surprise of her life when she was asked for a coffee date by none other than veteran actor Shammi Kapoor on the microblogging website.

Twitter is a favorite haunt of Bollywood celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, Arjun Rampal, Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra and Karan Johar but Deepika said she did not know that Kapoor had also joined twitter. The actress is now planning to meet the 78-year-old star.

"I've met Shammiji a couple of times and always felt this warmth towards him and I can feel the same from him. Even his wife has been very nice to me. Apparently he was tweeting me and I didn't even imagine that Shammiji would be on Twitter. But that happened just before I came here so when I go back I'll have my coffee date with him," Deepika told PTI in an interview.

The 24-year-old actress is currently in Delhi to shoot her film Break Ke Baad, with debutante filmmaker Danish. Produced by Kunal Kohli of Hum Tum fame, the film sees her opposite Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, Deepika is awaiting the release of her upcoming film Housefull. She has tried her hands at comedy for the first time in the Sajid Khan directed movie.

"Comedy is one of the most difficult genres for an actor because I think comedy is all about timing and spontaneity. But it’s been great fun and I am really happy that I worked with Sajid and Akshay who are brilliant when it comes to comedy," said Deepika who was in the capital to launch power biking at Anatomy Lifestyle Health Club.


Reality Show

Priyanka Chopra in “Pyaar Impossible.”

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, who is all set to replace actor Akshay Kumar as the host of reality show Khatron Ke Khiladi, insists she can never step into his shoes.

"I can never step into his shoes because they are very big shoes to fill. Akshay is the original 'Khiladi'. He is super good at what he does," Priyanka told PTI.

"He has taken the show to a different level and my effort will be to take it forward from there. He has already made my job easier," she added.

The actor was the host for the reality show in 2009, which had 13 women — models and actresses — taking part in it. Akshay popularized the show with his daring stunts, which is an Indian version of the US reality show Fear Factor.

Now Priyanka will be anchoring the special Indian Premier League Edition of the show on Colors, which will have 13 Indian and international cricketers competing with each other.

The 27-year-old actress had made her Bollywood debut opposite Akshay in 2003 film Andaaz and also went on to star with him in films including Aitraaz, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Waqt: Race Against Time.

The national award-winning actress, who was in the capital to launch four new body wash variants from Lux, has three films in the pipeline.

"My next film Anjana Anjani will release in July or August. I am also starting work on Saat Khoon Maaf with Vishal Bhardwaj and once Khatron.. is finished, I will start shooting for  Don 2," said Priyanka.


Getting Serious

Arshad Warsi in “Hum Tum Aur Ghost.”

After making a career out of doing comic and light hearted films, Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi is now all set to take a serious route.

The actor, fresh from the success of his film Ishqiya, has taken up a stark thriller delving into the issue of corruption, which will mark the debut of filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar who has been an assistant to Mani Rathnam for the past many years.

Arshad, popularly known as Circuit, his screen name in Munnabhai movies, will play a out-of-job cop in the yet-untitled film which revolves around a hit and run case.

"This is a serious, issue based film and I can't explain how much I am looking forward to begin work on it. After all, how many comedies can one do in a lifespan? It was high time that I did a film like this as well," Arshad told PTI.

The 41-year-old actor, who is also gearing up for the release of his first ever production Hum Tum Aur Ghost, said that he decided to become a part of the project as soon as the director narrated the synopsis to him.

This film by Bejoy narrates the tale of a cop who is brought into a case when a few drunk rich kids run over pedestrians. The incidents doesn't just shock the nation but also snowballs into something bigger in days to follow.

"This is going to be a hardcore film about corruption which is prevalent in our society. In fact if you ask me to describe the genre of the film, it comes quite close to the likes of Ab Tak Chappan, Shiva, Yuva or even my own Ishqiya. It is going to be real life, stark, intense and won't really revel in cinematic liberties," said Arshad.


Amitabh in Orissa

Amitabh Bachchan in “Rann.”

After seeking blessings of Lord Jagannath at Puri, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan appealed to the people of Indian state Orissa to accept him as "Jamairaja" (son-in-law) of the state.

While addressing a function in Bhubaneswar marking inauguration of Vrindaban Gurukul developed by flute maestro Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, the Big B said since he married a woman from the neighboring West Bengal and enjoyed status of "Jamai Babu" there, the people of Orissa should accept him as Jamairaja.

"I cannot call myself Jamairaja of the state. But in the adjoining state I am the Jamai Babu. Therefore, please do consider me as your Jamairaja," Bachchan said to the laughter from the audience.

"If ever there is any occasion you require my service as Jamairaja, I commit myself to do it, today," he said.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Chaurasia's son Rajiv Chaurasia had described his father Hari Prasad Chaurasia as Jamairaja of the state since his mother hailed from Orissa.

Jaya Bachchan, however, did not like an artist to be belonging to any particular state or region. "An artist belongs to the entire nation and the world," she said.


Tragic Loss

Vivek Oberoi in “Mission Istanbul.“

Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi suffered a tragic loss when he was young as the actor lost his childhood love to cancer when he was 18.

"When I was just 18, I lost my first love. My childhood sweetheart since the age of 13 died of cancer," Oberoi wrote on his Twitter page.

The actor admits he is proud to be the brand ambassador of Cancer Patients Aid Association with which he has been working for 8 years and feels that he is honoring his lover's memories by helping the needy.

"Every time I help CPAA, spend time with the patients going to the hospitals on Rose Day or celebrate my b'day with terminally ill children, I feel I am honoring her memory," Oberoi, who recently walked the ramp as the showstopper at a fashion show for the cause, wrote on the Web site Twitter.

"I was devastated when I lost her, but by helping save the ones who can't afford the treatment and medicines, I feel she's alive in their smiles. My mother taught me, the best way to honor the memory of someone you've loved and lost is to reach out and ease someone else's pain and misfortune," said the actor who is awaiting the release of his film Prince.


MNIK Biggest Grosser in UK

After winning over the U.S. box office, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan starrer My Name Is Khan has become the biggest ever Bollywood film at the U.K. box office, grossing over 2.5 million pounds, according to movie bosses.

The Karan Johar directed film surpasses the previous record set by Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in 2001, which also starred Shah Rukh and Kajol in the lead roles.

"I am thrilled that with My Name is Khan we have raised the bar for box office performance in U.K. by going past the previous record which also happens to be my film. The Fox team believed in the film and got behind it which helped us set new benchmarks for Bollywood in the U.K.," said Johar.

MNIK, which reunited Shah Rukh and Kajol on screen after eight years, has been produced by Fox International Productions and Fox Star Studios in association with Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment.

"We always thought we had a chance of becoming the biggest opening Bollywood film ever, but to become the No 1 U.K. Bollywood film of all time is a tremendous achievement. We have been most fortunate to have had full support and that our film has been so well received from the U.K. audiences," said Andrew Turner, director of sales at Twentieth Century Fox.



Click here to read the Current Issue in PDF Format

Hungry for Coal:
India’s Soaring Imports

As the Indian economy continues to grow and domestic production lags, imports are surging in India’s relentless pursuit of coal, writes Siddharth Srivastava.

Remembering Faiz:
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Urdu aficionados delighted in an afternoon of remembrance that poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and singer Iqbal Bano, writes Ras Hafiz Siddiqui.

Cricket Tamasha:
IPL 2010

The Indian Premier League has degenerated into a bizarre spectacle with unbridled commercialization gone berserk. A Siliconeer commentary.

EDITORIAL: India’s Hunger for Coal
CELEBRATION: Chhandam Marks 30 Years
SUBCONTINENT: Another Arms Race?
REAL ESTATE: The April Program
RECIPE: Hariyali Paneer Tikka
SUBCONTINENT: India's Climate Change Policy: Debate in Strategy
LAW: Estate Planning
PERSPECTIVE: Passage to America
TRAVEL: Mt Madonna Center, Calif.
AUTO REVIEW: 2010 Jeep Compass
BOLLYWOOD: Film Review: Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?
TAMIL FILM REVIEW: Kacheri Aarambam
FESTIVAL: Rang Barse!

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