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Kites Opens in Top 10 at U.S. Box Office | Shah Rukh, Salman to Play Cricket Together at IIFA | Man Friday's Wedding | Skipping IIFA | Wants a Child | Thyroid Awareness | Romantic Solo

'Kites' Opens in Top 10 at U.S. Box Office

Barbara Mori and Hrithik Roshan in "Kites."

Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan and Mexican star Barbara Mori's action-romance Kites has become the first Bollywood film to debut in the North American top ten on opening weekend racing to the number ten spot.

Released by Reliance Big Pictures, the Rakesh Roshan-produced film grossed an estimated $ 1 million for the period of May 21-23, ranking just behind the ninth-place film How to Train Your Dragon which has grossed over $210 million.

Directed by Anurag Basu, Kites has been praised by U.S. film critics and has generated the most number of mainstream reviews ever for a Bollywood film on opening day.

It has earned an exceptionally high 85 percent score on RottenTomatoes.com, a popular film review aggregator Web site in U.S.

In India, Kites soared to the second biggest opening day gross in history trailing only 3 Idiots. In addition, the film has opened at number five at the U.K. box office.

On May 28, an international version of the film titled Kites — The Remix opened in select theaters in the U.S.

Presented by Hollywood filmmaker Brett Ratner, it focuses more on the action and runs only 90 minutes in length.

Some theaters across North America will be playing both versions simultaneously, giving fans a choice in their viewing experience.


Shah Rukh, Salman to Play Cricket Together at IIFA

Salman, Sanjay, Shah Rukh and Saif in “Om Shanti Om.”

Their infamous row has hogged headlines for a long time but Bollywood superstars Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan will come together for a charity match during IIFA this years.

The actors, who have not been on speaking terms for two years, will unite to face Sri Lankan cricketers during the match, which will help raise funds for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers.

The actors became bitter enemies after their fight during the birthday party of actress Katrina Kaif in 2008.

Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu and Sanjay Dutt will flip the coin for the toss during the match, which will be organized on day two of the IIFA weekend.

Shah Rukh, will also perform during the three-day-long extravaganza to be held in Colombo June 3-5, after a gap of five years.

Other celebrities to attend the event are Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Vivek Oberoi.

Apart from the main award ceremony, a global business forum, a fashion extravaganza, a film workshop and premieres of upcoming films will also be held.

Boman Irani and Lara Dutta will once again host the awards gala.


Man Friday's Wedding

Aamir in “3 Idiots.”

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan is a perfectionist not only at work. He is equally good at maintaining personal relations.

The actor cancelled all his commercial shoots and other professional commitments May 23 so that he could go to Bengaluru to attend his man Friday Sachin Gowda's wedding.

Sachin, who stays four hours away from Bangalore, has been working with Aamir for the past ten years and the actor-filmmaker attended the wedding with wife Kiran Rao.

"This entire week was kept aside for Aamir to finish shooting some commercials. But he suddenly had to cancel all his work commitments as he heard of Sachin's marriage. The wedding date got finalized just a week ago so Aamir decided to cancel all his shoots and attend the marriage," sources close to the actor said.

Aamir was keen to attend the two-day wedding celebrations despite his pre-planned work schedule as he considers Sachin to be a part of his family. The actor immediately contacted ad filmmakers to cancel his shoots.

"It was just a three to four hour shoot for the patchwork shoot of a commercial which could also be done at a later date. Aamir's other commitment was a look test for another ad. Both these appointments have been put on hold for two days and didn't really create much of a problem for the ad makers," a source said.


Skipping IIFA

Abhishek and Aishwarya in “Sarkar Raj.”

Bollywood's star couple Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan are likely to skip the IIFA Weekend to be held in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo in June.

Aishwarya, who is back from shooting in Chennai with Rajnikant for Robot, will travel to Paris in the first week of June.

"She is going for a Longines (international watch brand which the actress promotes) commitment to Paris where she will be attending the French open," her spokesperson said.

Abhishek's spokesperson said the actor will be shooting for Abhinay Deo's Game in Istanbul. Abhishek's father and megastar Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador of International Indian Film Academy since the event began ten years ago.

There are speculations that the Big B too may give the event a miss this year following two incidents of demonstrations by some Tamil groups in Mumbai outside his home to protest against the choice of IIFA venue.

However, Bachchan has not made any statement about his schedule so far.

The IIFA is scheduled to be held June 3 to 5 in Colombo.


Wants a Child

Sushmita and Govinda in “Do Knot Disturb.”

She is already a mother of two adopted girls but Bollywood diva Sushmita Sen now wants to have a biological child as she feels the "clock is ticking for her."

The 34-year-old actress, who adopted Renee in 2000 and a three-month-old girl named Alisah this year, is also open to adopting more children.

"I will go for a biological baby this time because clock is ticking for me," Sen told reporters on the sets of I Am She here.

"After that (biological baby) I can mother as many babies as possible as there are a lot of babies who want the love of a mother," the former Miss Universe added.

Even as her desire to have a blood child triggered the possibility of the diva entering wedlock, Sushmita preferred to keep mum on possible marriage plans.

"I said the clock is ticking... I never said anything about marriage," Sushmita said, responding to a question whether her wedding was on the cards.

The actress said like every girl she too is waiting for a prince charming.

"Every girl wants her prince charming. Though I stopped thinking about it long time back I still want to meet my prince charming," the Bengali actress said.

Terming herself as politically incorrect at times, Sushmita said that she takes decisions based on her instincts. "I love being me," she quipped.

Sushmita, who won the coveted crown 16 years back, is now training 30 girls after Tantra Entertainment became the India franchise for the Miss Universe event scheduled in December this year.


Thyroid Awareness

Kajol in “My Name is Khan.”

On World Thyroid day, Bollywood actress Kajol has come forward to create awareness about thyroid disorders and its symptoms, urging pregnant women especially to undergo tests to keep the disease at bay.

The 34-year-old actress has joined hands with Abbott India Limited, a healthcare company, to create public awareness for thyroid disorders.

"Most Indian women are unaware of the symptoms and impact of thyroid disorders. I urge them to undergo thyroid tests to ensure a healthy life. Let us all come together to raise awareness of the thyroid disorder symptoms so that women are empowered to take timely medical advice," said Kajol.

The My Name Is Khan star emphasized on the need for pregnant women to take extra care to avoid being a victim of thyroid disorders, said a company release.

"Above all, expectant mothers should mandatorily go for thyroid tests as a thyroid disorder during pregnancy may lead to lower child IQ. Think thyroid think life," said Kajol.

According to the Indian Thyroid Society, it is estimated that 42 million people in the country are suffering from thyroid disorders with almost 90 percent undiagnosed.

"Even with the efforts in the past decade, we still have a long way to go in terms of thyroid awareness. As part of a precautionary measure, women should check their TSH level as soon as pregnancy has confirmed," said R.V. Jayakumar, president of the Indian Thyroid Society.


Romantic Solo

After starting his career with a love story like Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai, Tusshar Kapoor went on to star in a string of comedy films but actor is all set to don a romantic role once again in Barjatyas’ upcoming project.

Tusshar has bagged a solo romantic lead in Barjatyas' Rajshri Productions. Amrita Rao has been signed as the leading lady opposite Tusshar in the film. This would be her second film with Barjatyas after Vivah where she had Shahid Kapoor for company.

"Yes, I have signed this film with Rajshris. It is a romantic outing and I am glad that it is also a solo hero project. It has been ages since I did one," Tusshar told PTI.

Tusshar's last few films have all been multistarrers. Whether it was Life Partner, Golmaal Returns, One Two Three, C Kkompany, Dhol or Shootout at Lokhandwala — each of them has featured two to three other lead actors.

"This is a young love story and would be pretty much identified by the youth in India today. It talks about the romance and relationships in the lives of today's youngsters. Also, at the core of it all, there is family drama as well," said Tusshar.

The film would have an urban setting to it, unlike the small town setting that last two films by Rajshri Productions — Vivah and Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi — boasted of.

"It is today's film but at the same time, just like any other Rajshri film, this one too would have a definite Indian feel to it," said Tusshar who is currently neck deep shooting for Golmaal 3.



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Cricket Tamasha:
The IPL Scandal

Hype, big money and now scandal — the Indian Premier League has it all, but purists lament that cricket has gotten lost in the shuffle. Priyanka Bhardwaj reports.

Undue Hardship:
New Visa Rules

A retroactive Indian visa rule regarding the surrender of Indian passports upon acquisition of U.S. citizenship puts undue burden on Indian Americans, writes Inder Singh.

Don’t Give it Currency:
The Yuan Debate

India should not become a party to the China-U.S. dispute over China’s under-valuation of its currency, writes Arvind Panagariya.

PROFILE: Minister Jairam Ramesh
SUBCONTINENT: Carbon Credit: Green India
IMMIGRATION: Hi-tech Green Card
THEATER: Naatak Presents Tughlaq
HERITAGE: Know India Program
ENVIRONMENT: Sustainable Mining
RECIPE: Sweet & Sour Stir Fry Veg
REAL ESTATE: Cause for Optimism? The Housing Market
TRAVEL: A Trip to Britain
AUTO REVIEW: 2011 Ford Fiesta
BOLLYWOOD: Hindi Film Review: Kites
TAMIL FILM: Kanagavel Kaakka
CINEMA: Bicycle Bride
COMMUNITY: News in Brief
BUSINESS: News Briefs
COMMUNITY: May Day Dance

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