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Telly Bahus Turn Babes

9 Aug

Telly bahus turn babes

The bahus of TV soaps have ventured out of the confines of their homes, away from a scheming saas and the routine day-to-day nitty gritties of running the household to don glamorous image of Vogue’s cover girl. Walking on the untrodden path to the August issue of Vogue are Gautami Kapoor aka Tulsi of Kyunki, Shilpa Sakhlani aka Ganga of Kyunki, Gauri Pradhan aka Gauri of Kkutumb, Shweta Salve, Tina Parekh aka Shruti of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Reshmi Ghosh aka Bhumi of Kyunki and Sanjeeda Shaikh of Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka fame.

Their fashion sense hasn’t been something to write home about. Often criticised for the garish clothes and loud jewellery, the overly done make up and the premature white hair, these traditional belles have undergone a makeover keeping in tandem with the style, glamour and flamboyance that Vogue is associated with. For Reshmi Ghosh, also a Miss India winner, fashion shoot is a way of life, but even she rates the Vogue experience as completely different. “We had the best designers, beauty experts and photographer taking care of our looks. Attention was paid to every little detail. Though I have done cover pages earlier, it was wonderful to be shot by ace photographer Farrokh Chotia,” says Reshmi.

After having always seen Gautami play the ideal bahu draped in yards of cloth, this sure comes as a shock to her fans. “I have always been cast in roles that require me to wear sarees. No one has ever tried to reinvent my look, but in my day-to-day life I always wear western outfits. I hope after this people will see me in a different light,” says Gautami.

However, Shweta Salve, justifies the new look, “Actresses who play bahus are not like that in real life. This new look is not a huge image change for them, but yes for the public it is.”

Tina Parekh agrees with Shweta. “It was a great relief to be a partof the shoot. I could project my real image before the world,” she says.

All the actresses unanimously accede that they feel honoured to be a part of such a reputed fashion magazine, but Reshmi adds, “There are many talented and good looking people in television industry and they should be given exposure through such ventures.”

Acting comes from within for Sonal

Sonal Udeshi, the name might seem new to TV lovers, but for Sonal it has been quite a while in the entertainment industry. The actress, who is playing the character of Rajkumari Ambika in the new series Kahani Hamare Mahabharat Ki has achieved a lot in the field of acting. “I’ve done many serials and short films for Doordarshan. Besides, I also did an international serial Palwasha – The Rays Of Rising Sun in Afghanistan which is currently telecast in 10 countries around the world on Ariana TV,” said Sonal.

So, how was the experience of working for an international project? “More than being an international project, the theme of the story touched my heart. It’s a story of a girl who struggles a lot in her life for freedom to live life in her own way. And, finally she gains victory by becoming the first woman judge of Afghanistan,” she said.

Sonal wanted to be an actor since her childhood, but never joined any course to develop acting skills. “Acting is something that comes from within. It doesn’t need any professional training, but only practice. I always used to participate in as many plays as I could, both in school and college in order to improve my performance,” says Sonal.

Talking about her role in Mahabharat, she said, “It’s exciting to play a historical character. The classy look makes me feel like a princess.”

Though she is happy with the role of a princess, the fact that she doesn’t have to wear too much jewellery makes her even happier. “Though, it’s an epic, the new series is different in terms of the look and character. The characters are mythological, but have been given a modern twist,” she adds.

‘Sex is work I’m not paid to do’

So how does it feel being the unmatched king of Bollywood with a string of successes at the box office? “I feel like a fish out of water. I have worked my whole life to be good and successful at what I do, but it’s not easy being at the top. I am by no means complaining but it’s a shame that with success comes many a sad story. I have always said I would do anything for my people, my fans, and if it means taking the rough with the tumble I’m in all the way. I believe in karma. God is watching everything. No dog’s bark is ever worse than his bite, and I’d laugh if anyone ever tried biting me!” says Akshay in a calm yet determined voice.

So, how did he go about approaching the role of a sardar in Singh is Kinng? “Well I didn’t exactly walk up to a sardar and say ‘Teach me all you know’. I happen to know and love so many sardars in my life that it came naturally to me. It is one of my favourite characters. Wearing a pagdi was so honourable. You feel like a king the minute you put it on,” he says.

Katrina Kaif and he make a handsome on-screen pair and have done many successful films together. Who among the newcomers does he think makes for a great pair with him? “As for the newcomers, they are all on trial till they give me as many hits as our darling Kat has! Just kidding, I’ve just shot with the newest of the newcomers, Deepika Padukone for Chandni Chowk to China,” he says.

So what is his equation with Katrina like? “She’s a dedicated actress but between shots it’s like listening to your 10-year-old baby sister, with the knowledge of a lawyer,” he quips.

If Singh is Kinng’s huge buzz wasn’t enough, Akshay is the best thing on his reality show, Khatron Ke Khiladi. “I had a whale of a time, encouraging my ladies to conquer their biggest fears and being their knight in shining armour.” he says.

Of late Shilpa Shetty and Raveena Tandon – both his exes – have been praising the superstar at every opportunity. “Why shouldn’t they? I’m a nice guy. As long as people are able to say good things about me, I’m extremely grateful. They are both wonderful women with diamond hearts; I wouldn’t expect anything but positive things from them. That’s why I was once with them,” says the player.

Kat races to top slot

You’ve got to hand it to this girl. Three years back, she made a disastrous debut with Boom but today she has made it to the top. No doubt, having a successful boyfriend has played a major role in her success but to give credit to Katrina Kaif, the actress has worked hard to reach the top slot. Today, she has even replaced Aishwarya Rai in the Nakshatra ad, a fact which the news channels played up repeatedly. Katrina, though is a perfect diplomat and dismissed all queries regarding her new role with a politically correct response. “All the people concerned with the brand have done well in the past and I hope to take this further,” is what she commented. Smart gal, you sure can’t get any controversial statement out of her. In yet another televised interview, she refused to be drawn into the childish SRK-Sallu brawl and sweetly added, “I don’t talk about my personal life and things will sort themselves out.” Sensible, for with an on/ off boyfriend Salman Khan it’s best not to comment for even Kat will not be able to predict what Sallu will be up to next.

Right now she is promoting her latest flick, Singh is King and recent promos of a song shot in Egypt somehow evoke a deja vu feeling. Karan Johar had shot that wonderful song Suraj Hua Maddham with Kajol and SRK at the same location. In fact Kajol had also worn chiffon sarees designed by Manish Malhotra and now the designer has given the same look to Katrina in this film too. While it’s too soon to predict, how successful this song or film will be, it’s a pity that our directors can’t really think of original concepts even for their songs.

Yet another actress who seems to have fallen flat on her face is Vidya Balan. The poor girl’s rather desperate attempts at creating a sexy image seem to have backfired on her again. It’s bad enough that FHM magazine decided to do a sensuous cover shoot with her where the actress is only draped in a blanket. The actress, who simply does not have the curves, yet, should have rejected the concept but she didn’t and Headlines Today had a blast poking fun at her. Vidya not just needs a stylist but a good friend who can din some sense into the stubborn actress who needs some serious counseling before it’s too late.

Star leads, Sony back to third

After a difficult first quarter of 2008, Star Plus has substantially improved its lead over Zee in the second quarter. According to week 30 of TAM data, Star Plus delivered 315 GRPs against Zee’s 216. But the picture wasn’t rosy for the leader in the GEC space in February and March – Zee was almost within distance of catching up with the leader with 309 GRPs against Star’s 330.

After the launch of NDTV Imagine in January, Sony had lost its third position to the former in the first quarter and later to 9X in April and May. But in the last two months, Sony too has reclaimed its third position with an average of 99 GRPs over the last nine weeks.

What has led to Star’s improved performance and which shows have helped Sony bounce back in the third GEC slot? Fiction is working great for Star Plus across all slots – weekday prime time, weekend prime and the revamped afternoon weekday delivering better than the competition.

While Kyunki makes its presence felt and Bidaai continues to rule, the fiction shows launched on Star in the past six months have steadily climbed on charts. Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil is leading with 4.6 ratings against Zee’s Maayka. Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat has fought competition and risen to 4.2 TVR. Similarly, Hamari Devrani has boosted Star’s ratings.

Sony too has reclaimed its third slot with weekend shows like CID, Comedy Circus, Boogie Woogie and 10 Ka Dum. Says business head Albert Almeida, “10 Ka Dum has helped improve the channel’s viewership by getting eyeballs for CID and Comedy Circus. Besides, Babul and Kuch Is Tarah have also started showing traction.”


Soha’s tribute to Mumbai

After Rang De Basanti, Soha Ali Khan is doing one more film with a social message. Her upcoming film, Mumbai Meri Jaan, directed by Nishikant Kamat, traces the story of the 2006 Mumbai train blasts and the tension that followed. According to the actress, the film is about communal harmony and national spirit. “The movie shows how in the face of crisis, people came together to help each other. They showed to the world they are Indians first, then Hindus or Muslims,” says Soha. Soha plays a journalist in the movie. “Being a journalist is a difficult job. It’s the responsibility of a journalist to provide people with the right information and truth. But a reporter can also get carried away when there is a lot of passion involved,” the actress says.

Movie, a let down
Filmy Talk

Money Hai To Honey Hai seems to have rubbed many a Bollywood actor the wrong way. Not long back, Tushar Kapoor was angry at the makers of the film for spoofing his sister. Now the quality of the movie has annoyed actress Celina Jaitley. Celina who who was in London for a short vacation saw Money Hai To Honey Hai and was shocked to see a very bad product.

And if that was not enough, even the financiers seem unhappy. After the first trial itself, sources close to the camp revealed that Sunil Lulla took aside Kumar Mangat and Ganesh Acharya and asked them to explain what made them to make a film like this.

With the film evoking such responses within the fraternity itself, it comes as a little surprise that the audience has shunned it.

Paresh scores

After romancing Mallika Sherawat in Maan Gaye Mughall-e- Azam, Paresh Rawal is now all set to romance Konkona Sen Sharma in Fantastic. It’s been almost three decades since Paresh Rawal made his debut in the film industry. But while other actors of his age have reconciled to do side roles, Paresh seems to be getting younger and more happening by the day.

After bagging a role opposite bombshell Mallika Sherawat in Maan Gaye Mughall-e- Azam, the actor has now landed with another role opposite Konkona Sen Sharma. And the same person – Sanjay Chhel – who got him to act opposite Mallika, has offered him this role.ῠ Paresh Rawal, along with Rahul Khanna and Javed Jaffery, will be acting with Konkona in Chhel’s next project, Fantastic.

Koena to do some action

Koena Mitra isῠ very busy these days with her international project Karna. Apart from trying to put on a heavy British accent, the actress is trying to get into the best shape of her life. She is working hard for a sexy, athletic figure, but she confesses that she is not interested in becoming a size-zero. “I don’t have to become a size zero to look sexy,” smiles the dusky beauty.

An athletic frame may not be so much in demand when it comes to Bollywood beauties, but Hollywood likes it that way. “My trainer Channel Pereira has helped me a lot. I’ve lost so much weight,” says Koena adding, “I’m down to 15 per cent body fat. The rest is all muscles. I couldn’t have done it without him. This is all for my actionῠ role in Karna.” Koena is the only lady in the all-male action-packed Karna and therefore has to train especially hard.

Bips not in Shilpa’s film

Shilpa Shetty denied rumours that Bong bombshell Bipasha Basu is all set to star in her debut production.ῠ In the past few weeks, reports have been going around that her first film as a producer will be an action thriller named VIP starring herself and Bipasha Basu. “The reports are false. It’s not named VIP. And Bipasha is not in the movie,” says Shilpa. Things will be finalised only after a month.” Shilpa also denied that they have approached any star as yet for the film.ῠ The actress informed that the film will take off by the end of this year.

Horrors of third world nations comes alive
By Sanatan Nehru

This is a romantic tale set across many years which centers around a medical student. He thinks he has found his calling as an international disaster relief worker – until he gets sidetracked by a philanthropic socialite who is entrenched in a troubled marriage.

The two keep inadvertently meeting up, and soon develop a special relationship. Jolie plays a pampered American woman married into a wealthy British family who has her consciousness raised one night in 1984 when an indignant relief doctor (Clive Owen) crashes a London society bash and castigates everyone for their insensitivity to the Ethiopian famine.

Inspired, she joins the doctor in Africa, and then rejoins him in Cambodia in 1989 and Chechnya in 1995 – the long process of their falling in love and we experience the heroic dedication and nightmarish lifestyles of relief workers.

The screenplay misses no opportunity to explain what horrific problems are being addressed by agencies such as the United Nations High Commission on Refugees and NGOs. The film has its heart in the right place.

Jolie and Owen both deliver impassioned performances, intelligent and emotional in equal measure.

Watch it this weekend.

Beyond borders Director: Martia Campbell Cast: Angelina Jolie, Clive Owen

Teejay impresses Bhatt

The so called ‘underdogs’ of Kabhi Kabhi Pyaar Kabhi Kabhi Yaar – Teejay Siddhu, Tina Parekh, and Karnvir Bohra – have managed to surprise all by putting up scintillating performances. Karnvir has not only impressed the judges but also inspired wife Teejay and on-screen partner Tina.ῠ Teejay has worked hard on her dance moves. So impressed was Mahesh Bhatt with her performance last week that he couldn’t resist kissing her. While, Krishna Abhishek, Kashmeera Shah, and Mukul Dev are strong contenders for the title, Karnvir, Teejay and Tina are also proving to be a big challenge.

Dhoni sings on TV

After 18 weeks, 9X’s song-n-dance extravaganza Gini & Jony Chak De Bachche reached its finale on Saturday. The concluding episode was action-packed, as Deepak and Nishtha of the Desi Dhurandhars were crowned winners by ace cricketers mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj, after dancing to the Singh is King song, said, “I enjoy dancing but I’m not half as talented a dancer as these kids!”ῠ Dhoni sang the famous Amitabh Bachchan song Salaam-e-Ishq Meri Jaan. He said, “It is fantastic to see children from smaller towns getting such a good platform to showcase their talents.”

Kavita Kaushik pads up for a cricket show

She is one of the best known faces on television. After carving a niche for herself with shows like Kutumb, Dil Kya Chahta Hai, FIR, Kavita Kaushik is now trying out a different ball game. She will soon be seen in a cricket show on Zee Sports.

“I am pretty excited. I will host a cricket-based show during Australia’s tour of India,” she says. She is being touted as the next Mandira Bedi. But the actress makes it clear that she will be her own unique self. “I will not copy anyone. While cricket is a religion in the country, there is a large population of people who do not watch the game. At least majority of the women do not. And there are some men also. I will add the layman’s angle to it. I will be another normal girl talking about cricket. People should find it interesting and watch the show and take more interest in the game,” she says.

Surprisingly, she herself is pretty ignorant when it comes to cricket, but she promises to brush up on the game before the series starts.

Until then, she is focussing on films. She missed out on Maan Gaye Mughale Azam. “Yes Sanjay Chhel did talk to me about the movie. But it did not work out. Probably it would be better to ask Sanjay what went wrong,” she says.

“I am waiting for something good to come my way. I am in no hurry. I want my entry into films to be worth remembering,” said the actress whose small role in Dil Chahta Hai was edited.

(Snippets by Sanskriti Media Entertainment)

Madhura in Sangam

Sangam has a new Kaveri in Madhura Naik. This Balaji discovery started her career with Kahani and until recently was seen in a negative role in Bidaai.ῠ Naik was roped in for Sangam as a replacement for Nidhi. “I don’t know why Nidhi left the show. I accepted the role because it is a refreshing change from my negative character in Bidaai,” Madhura says.

Trying to step into her character’s shoes, she explains that Kaveri is a modern girl with refined sensibilities.ῠ “Ganga knew of Kaveri’s love for Sagar. But Kaveri is oblivious to the relationship between Sagar and Ganga. Only Kaveri’s father knew that Ganga and Sagar were planning to get married,” Madhura throws light on the complex situation in the story. Kaveri’s father had planned to break the news to her, but his untimely death lead to a new chain of events in the series. “I can’t tell you anything about what’s going to happen next. Besides, a lot will depend on TRPs,” she adds.ῠῠ

Rajshree quits dance show

The Saath Phere protagonist, Rajshree Thakur knew her days were numbered on Ek Se Badhkar Ek since the judges never missed a chance to tell her that she was surviving only because of her popularity.ῠ And just as the competition was heating up with Shayantani, Jasveer, Sanober, Kushal, and Abhishek dancing their best, Rajshree Thakur made a quiet exit, before she could be ousted from the show. Besides being an average dancer, Rajshree is apparently suffering from arthritis. She, however, denies the claims, saying she has a ligament problem and has been advised complete bed rest.

Curtains down on Left Right Left Left Right Left is a story about six youngsters who find direction at an army school. Over time, the show lost its way and is now being cut, especially since SAB has become a comedy channel. And so, curtains will come down on LRL a month from now. “LRL was one of the most successful shows on SAB which is why it is a little hard to let it go. But since we are committed to deliver 24 hours of laughter, an intense drama set in an army background does not fit the mix,” says SAB business head Anooj Kapoor.

‘I want to do relevant roles’

Sour relationships make sweet news for the gossip mills. And television actress Shilpa Shinde has been featuring in that bracket once too often in the last few months.ῠ First, her relationship with her Maayka co-actor, Neha Bamb turned frosty. Then her eagerness to quit the serial because of her over-emotional role created bad blood between her and the producer. And pulling out from the reality show, Saas Vs Bahu, soured her relationship with Shoma Anand.

“Yes, there were problems between Neha and me, but we have buried them. Now we are not friends, but we are good professionals,” says Shilpa. About her problems with Shoma Anand, she says, “We shared good chemistry off-screen. We were to be paired as a saas-bahu couple in a dance reality show, but when I pulled out of it, Shomaji became upset. But I never agreed to do the show, people mistook my silence for an assent.”

Rakhi throws a fit

Rakhi Sawant cannot be cowed down by anyone. She walked out of one of the two shows she was shooting after just six episodes and is throwing tantrums on the sets of the other.ῠ A source from the sets of the show confirmed that Rakhi has abused theῠ the production team and the directorial staff. However, when she sees a star on her show, she keeps her rash behaviour in check.

Like when Deepika Padukone came to the set, Rakhi made her wait, but on seeing her she put up her best behaviour. “Deepika can be a star. But this is my show and I am the star. I will finish doing what I want to do first before I shoot her interview,” she said to a baffled production team.

Deepika was a little upset at the way the interview took place, but was happy that she was gaining some mileage from it on a personal level, since she has to share screen space and her boyfriend with two more girls in Bachna Ae Haseeno.

Raahil Azim to die in Babul

Though Raahil Azim doesn’t admit it, hisῠ act in Babul Ka Angan Chhoote Na was supposed to be a cameo. As his character Swayam appeared, the show’s main story was sent on the back burner. Swayam sees his old flame, Payal, who he wasn’t allowed to marry, in his younger brother’s wife Aastha.ῠ On losing his lady love Swayam becomes a mental wreck. However, on seeing the Payal look-alike, his affiction is cured. Now, Payal has returned to take revenge against Swayam. The revenge angle will be played out in the coming weeks that will see the end of Swayam and a return to the original story.

Malaika snubs Chunky

Malaika Arora seems to be taking her ‘hottie’ image a little too seriously. The actress recently got into a tussle with Chunky Panday on the sets of the reality show Zara Nachke Dikha. Onlookers were taken aback when Malaika snubbed Chunky.ῠ The men versus women format of the show has led to some biases, and Malaika and Chunky have parted ways, siding with their own sexes and scrutinising the participants out of prejudice. Malaika and Chunky haven’t been on speaking terms since the scuffle. When asked about the tiff, Chunky says, “It’s almost like a sexist war. I for the guys, she for the ladies. Though we try and keep our decisions un-affected but῅” We understand Chunky. Now the good news is that both, Maliaka and Chunky, have kept up their professional values, thus, causing no disruption in the shooting schedule.

Solo Reapers

Ask those who’re part of it, and you’ll find that playing in a band is not a bed of roses. There’s the constant need to take the bandmates along, and also the difficult task of striking a balance between artistic freedom and practicality. More often than not, the genius in the band gets overshadowed by his peers, and this leads to a cramping of individuality and differences among the mates, or even a break-up of the band.

Country musician Bobby Cash, who is currently making waves across the southern continent of Ausralia, says being a musician is all about creating an ambience – through music, lyrics and the performance. “Whether it’s one person or five, it doesn’t make a difference. In my case, I realised that being a solo performer has its own merits, and if I could pursue my dreams without having to worry about getting like-minded people to fulfill it, so be it. But I have a back-up band now, because some songs do require multiple instruments.”

Some artistes, however, have become what they are because they didn’t have the option of forming a band. Reenie Rea, the Indian-born, New York-bred pop talent, who recently released an eponymous album, says unlike a conventional band, she straightaway started out by recording with a producer who noticed her songwriting and vocal talent. “I’ve been singing since I was a kid, and I usually write my own songs. The producer was a friend of mine, so I had a bit of luck there. Of course, there were the initial struggles when I would open for other international artistes. But the fast hit came sooner for me,” says Reenie, who is now based in Mumbai and is planning a stint in Bollywood soon. “The only flipside of being a solo artiste is you have no one to fall back on,” she adds.

Artistic freedom seems to be the immediate cause for such individual talents to emerge, but there are also other advantages if you are a solo performer. Metro-rockers, as these artistes like to be called, also gain monetarily from such endeavours.

Suryaveer Hooja, a Delhi- based solo artiste who performs regularly at outlets like DT Diner (DT mall), Geoffrey’s, Unitech Country Club, Lifestyle India and RPM, says that solo artistes are a flexible lot and can “fit” any ambience. “I use a high-end synthesizer for my performance, so that obviates the need for fellow band mates. Also, the venues where I perform are not large platforms, so an individual artiste fits their bill perfectly. Then there’s also the added benefit of being paid more.”

Another reason for being a solo performer, according to Suryaveer, is that there is more time available for practice.

Hooja’s repertoire contains covers of popular alternative rock acts like Oasis, James Blunt and GooGoo Dolls.

An album containing his original compositions is also on the cards, but he’s waiting for the right label to come his way.

Underground music comes to the fore

If you have a niche for sampled sounds, loops and turntables, but are in search of a platform that can accentuate your credibility and bring you some recognition as an electronic artiste, here is some good news.

With an aim to make electronica “the music of the common masses”, a bunch of musicians and music producers have taken a pledge to revive the “almost” extinct underground music scene of the capital. Named Delhi Electronic Supply Unit a.k.a DESU (strictly not be confused with DUSU), this association is set to take the Indian electronica fans by storm, and have already started sprinkling their “electro-power” through various gigs in the capital.

“DESU’s aim is to revive the underground music scene of the capital, and provide a platform for the upcoming electro-artistes to showcase their talents,” says Manu Saxena, music producer and one of the founders of the association. Says Chintan Kalra, the bassist of Parikrama, and also the founder of electro-house act Khirki Gharana,

“Today people look at electronica as a corollary to the club culture, and hence associate it with commerce. Through DESU we want to present electronica as a genre of popular music, not just something that gets played only in clubs and other such commercial places.”

On Song

Film: Bachna Ae Haseeno

Aaa aa῅. Sajde mein yun hi jhukta hoon Tum pe hi aa ke rukta hoon Kya yeh sab ko hota hai Hum ko kya lena hai sab se Tum se hi sab batein ab se Ban gaye ho tum meri dua

Khuda Jaane ke mein fida hun Khuda Jaane mein mit gaya Khuda jaane yeh kyun huwa hai Ke ban gaye ho tum mere khuda

Tu kahe to tere hi kadam ke main nishanon pe Chalun rukun ishaare pe Tu kahe tho khwabon ka bana ke Main bahana sa Mila karu sirhaane pe

Ohhh Tum se dil ki baatein seekhi Tum se hi yeh raahe seekhi Tum pe marr ke mein tho Jjee gaya

Dil kahe ke aaj tho, chupa lo tum panahon mein Ke darr hai tum ko kho doonga Dil kahe ki sambhal zara khushi Na nazar laga Ke darr hai mein tho ro dunga

‘I dined at the world’s costliest eatery’

Talking of gastronomical delights is not always easy for a gastroenterologist. Even though I had the opportunity to try cuisines of different countries, I was always particular about staying away from junk food.

East or West, Indian food is the best, so after a few days of trying foreign food, I always manage to hunt down some Indian eatery, be it in France or Scandinavia.

Besides Indian, I like Italian cuisine with its pizzas and pastas, because scientifically, Italian food, with its high carb content, is akin to Indian cuisine. We have done research and found out that Indian people are more suited to carbs and vegetable protein unlike people in the West, who are more cut out for animal protein.

In world cuisine, I prefer Vietnamese food. Their noodles, fish, boiled vegetables and herbal spices taste great even though very little oil is used. Singapore is also very rich in its culinary delights, especially seafood. I also like the Syrian food, the Middle-Eastern shawarma, humus and chickpea.

In India, I find each state has its own special cuisine. I love Punjabi chhole and fish preparations from Bengal. The healthy Maharashtrian poha and Chennai coffee taste great.

While eating out in the city, my favourites are Waterfront for delicious sea food, Golden Dragon, Taj for Chinese and Dakshin, Kakatiya for South Indian food. The MTR tiffin house in Bangalore serves simple, tasty South Indian food.

I’ve dined at the world’s costliest eatery, Case, at Brussels, Belgium. The meal is about $1,000 per person. The dining place is a small kitchen! The price is so high because Beatles, Rolling Stones and other famous groups have visited here.

Among homemade recipes, my mother’s chapula pullusu, (spicy Nellore fish) and my wife’s fish cutlet deserve a special mention.

What I find unique about Hyderbadi cuisine is that it’s a m
lange of the North and South Indian cuisine. Hyderabadi spices are also very special. The biryani is so popular that even if my friends from abroad land here at midnight, they ask me to keep biryani ready.

I would advise foodies to eat carefully six days a week and gorge on whatever they want on the seventh day, just as I do.

(As told to Sulogna Mehta)

We chill out at our canteen

Hangout@the campus and canteen of Maturi Venkata Subba Rao Engineering College

Who all frequent: Students of MVSR – Monika, Nidhi, Aparna, Sneha, Laxmi, Rounaq, Ronak, Navnet, Amit and their class mates.

Cost: Rs 5-Rs 30.

What’s the catch: Our lush green campus offers a pollution-free-cool and tranquil atmosphere. It’s so vast that it never seems crowded even though hundreds of students chill out here. The canteen serves hygienic and tasty food including idli, dosa, manchurian, friedrice, chips, coffee, fresh fruit juices etc., says Sneha Jain, a fourth year student of the college.

Savour snacks with paan martini

Monsoon is one season when the craving for hot piping snacks is at its peak. Taj Deccan is the place to be. Their southern speciality restaurant has come up with starters’ menu available in both veg and non-veg. The platter consists of special snacks found in Andhra Pradesh including Hyderabad and Telengana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.

The non-veg snacks comprises meen kutchi varuval, (crispy fried murrel fish fingers), nandaan kozhi roast is Kerala style spicy fried chicken and venchina vetta mamsam is a dry lamb preparation. The vegetarian items consists of ullipaya pagoda, dumpala ulli karma, cauliflower varuval and vazhakkai mezhukuporatty.

Even for beverages, there are some innovative cocktails. Cocktails, made with a distinct Deccan element – the paan martini, fennel martini and ginger martini – martinis infused with spices that are marinated in vodka. Besides, they have something more for food connoisseurs – paan and rose ice cream. While a bite melts in your mouth, one can find pieces of Benarasi paan and dried rose petals in the ice cream.

Try This

SAbu dana (saGO) PAKODAS

By Shailaja Sehgal, Homemaker

Serves 6


250 gms sabu dana (sago) 4-5 boiled potatoes 50 gms peanuts, crushed 4 tbsp cooking oil 2 green chillies, chopped Salt and black pepper to tasteῠῠῠῠῠ


Soak the sabu dana in water for four-five hours. After the sabu dana is soaked, drain the water thoroughly. Mash the boiled potatoes well. Mix the sabu dana, potatoes, crushed peanuts, chillies, salt and pepper together. Next, make into flat or round balls and deep fry it for two-three minutes till it turns golden brown.ῠGarnish with finely sliced tomatoes and green chillies. Serve the pakodas hot.

Get set for the festivities

Janamastami will be here soon and city shops have stocked up on puja accessories and idols of Balgopal and Krishna. Before the rush begins ensure that you have all the items ready for the puja.Sai Pooja Samagri in Monda Market has a wide range of mukuts for the Lord. Prices range between Rs 200 and Rs 20,000. Jhoolas are priced from Rs 150 onwards. Flutes range from Rs 30 to 400. They also have silver idols of Krishna, simhasan and silver flowers that can be offered to the lord.

Misrilal store in Secunderabad also has idols of Balgopal in myriad shapes. Prices are from Rs 150 onwards. Do check out the mini umbrellasῠ for Krishna at the store. They are priced from Rs 650 onwards.

Also check out the wide variety of aarti stands, incense holders and marble idols of Krishna in Sri Balaji Pooja Stores, on R.P. Road. The aartiῠ stands are priced from Rs 250 onwards and a copper tirtam set could cost you Rs 150. They also have dresses for the idol. Prices range from Rs 30 to Rs 300. Don’t forget to take a look at the brass lamps and bells available in this shop.

Waistcoats, ties rule party circuit

There has been an influx of sleek ties and waistcoats on the party circuit. Wondering where to get the best stuff from? We have just the right information for you. Check out Wardrobe in Banjara Hills. The store stocks an exhaustive range of casual waistcoats both for men and women. Men’s waistcoats are priced from Rs 900 onwards and women’s waistcoats range between Rs 495 and Rs 795. Also on display are casual cotton waistcoats for women. Prices are from Rs 295 onwards.

Take a look at the party waistcoats available in Vogue The V Thing in Nagarjuna Circle and Passion in Style behind Lifestyle Building. Vogue has some interesting waistcoats with kalamkari prints on satin. Party waistcoats are priced at Rs 1,695 onwards. The store also has an interesting range of sleek ties, which are definitely worth a dekko.

Free for all

Spirits were reigning high as all TV stars got together to celebrate the “youthful spirit of freedom” through dance and song. The atmosphere was very lively as the actors and singers performed on stage.

S. Sreesanth was accompanied by Mandira Bedi. The entire cast of Baa, Bahoo Aur Baby was present at the event. Also seen there were Ronit Roy, Anwesha Dasgupta and the Panchvi Pass children Shreya and Dhairya.

Dark knightsῠand divas

Classic, simple, chic – black never disappoints. It’s no wonder that Bollywood’s best choose to tread the “dark line” and carry it off with style. No matter what colour gets called the “new black”, nothing can ever take its place.


 Features of the Week



Deccan Chronicle

The New Parveen In Kabir'S Life

6 Aug

The new Parveen in Kabir’s Life

Kabir Bedi’s charms never fail. Woman magnet and actor Kabir Bedi was recently spotted attending an event for the I Am Change Project organized by Man Movies for filmmakers from across the country.

Grabbing our attention was the latest woman on his arm, Parveen Dusanj, the second Parveen in his life, after the legendary late Parveen Babi. Before Dusanj, Bedi has been in relationships with many beautiful women, but he was reluctant to comment on what he thought is the most important thing to keeping relationships going. “Well! I wouldn’t want to answer this question now. Maybe on a different platform I will,” he said.

All the while that Kabir talked, Parveen stood smiling politely at his side. When asked about the specifics of their relationship, she eagerly answered our questions.

The two first met at a theatre in 2006 where Parveen had gone to watch his play, The Far Pavillion. Since then, for almost two years, the couple has been living together. “I want to be with Kabir for my whole life,” she said, clearly in love.

Open to talking about their relationship, she expounded on the qualities that attracted her to him, “There are so many. It is not possible for me to pinpoint one thing I like about him. Kabir is part of a rare species of this world. It’s very difficult for God to make men like him anymore,” she gushed.

She added that he has a great sense of humour and is a very intelligent and supportive man. “Kabir made me realise how important independence is to me,” she explained, “He is also my source of inspiration. Without any expectations he lets me develop my personality and indulge my passions. He has made me a strong woman.”

What are the passions she indulged in? “I am involved with an NGO that promotes happiness and cheer. I am a consultant in the UK,” she replied.

As of now, Parveen said that the couple was based in Mumbai. Could she speak Hindi? “Oh yes! I am a Punjabi. I am an NRI in London,” she says. Living with Kabir and being a part of his life, Parveen has been developing a relationship with his children, Pooja and Adam Bedi. “Pooja is a darling. She adores me. We get along so well that she took me shopping around Mumbai. Adam too is quite friendly ” Parveen said.

More interested in talking about movies than relationships, Bedi still hadn’t lost appreciation for Bollywood after working on projects in Hollywood. “Bollywood still makes entertainers and traditional films but we are also becoming quite adept at making films. I feel our movies are better than those made in Hollywood.

If Kabir had to make a short film, what subject would he choose? “I’d like to make a film on the judicial system in India. The delay in giving justice to innocent people behind bars actually takes away a big part of their lives. I want to bring out this horrible truth,” Bedi said. And so, returning from Hollywood, all’s well with Bedi and the beautiful woman by his side.

Cyber dating? Time to get realistic

Q I have a strictly e-mail relationship with a guy (we’ve never met or talked on the phone) that started because of a work project. But lately, we’ve been exchanging e-mails throughout the day, making each other laugh and are basically flirting. I’m really curious about him. I wonder if I should suggest that we meet, or just treat this as an e-mail pal.

God bless the Internet. Your question illustrates brilliantly why Al Gore invented this amazing series of tubes and pipes. Here you are flirting with a guy you’ve never met – never even talked to – and thinking maybe, possibly, he might be date-worthy.

So sure, let the flirting progress to actual human interaction. Just go into it with realistic expectations,.

The beautiful thing about e-mail courtship is that it allows people (the nerds, the unattractive, the socially inept, the cripplingly shy) the opportunity to let their inherent goodness shine through.

The problems can start when you leave the digital world and drive to the nearest Starbucks to meet the person. The repartee via e-mail turns into awkward mumbling punctuated by ear-splitting silence. He’s seduced you with his e-mail charm, but when you meet over iced lattes, the stammer, the flop sweat, begin to give you pause. But don’t let that stop you. Because sometimes the playful-turned-flirtatious-turned-scorching e-mails truly reveal your inner selves and serve to overcome whatever physical or personality differences you may have.

Celebs love playing big bro
Rakhi revelry

Erratic schedules, shooting dates and even the most important events take a backseat for doting celebrity brothers, when it comes to spending time with their sisters.ῠ This Rakhi, they talk about the role their sisters play in their life and what significance the festival holds for them.

Tusshar Kapoor on Ekta Our relationship isῠ is full of flavours – we are alwaysῠῠ quarrelling but we are also quick to reconcile. I’m cool and calmῠ while she is temperamental and terse. There have been rumours of our fall out but that’s rubbish. I always respected and loved my sister to bits. Rakhi at home is an as elaborate affair as it is in her serials. I’m planning to gift her a car this year.

Shaan on Sagarika Sagarika means the world to me. It was she who encouraged me to take up singing.ῠ When I was 17, we came out with an album. Even today she takes an active interest in my career and plays manager. Rakhi was always a fun affair. Sagarika used to bully me into giving gifts. This year just the two of us will go out, have fun and relive our childhood.

Saif Ali Khan on Saba and Soha My sisters always complain that I brother them around too much and that I’m too possessive. Rakhi used to leave me bankrupt. Both Saba and Soha along with a horde of cousins in tow used to extort money from me. But of course, I loved the attention too. This year, more than anything, I want to spend time with them just like the old days.

Bhaktiyar on Delnaz Paul Delnaz is as adorable as she is showed on screen. I don’t need Rakhi to show her I care. Since childhood, she complained that I was kanjoos and always made me buy her clothes. Rakhi wasῠ a family gathering as mostῠ cousins used to visit us. I’m gifting her something that she always wanted. I won’t reveal it as it is meant to be a surprise.ῠ

‘I love to cook for my wife’

Ajay Ahluwalia, head of consumer touch point initiatives at Rediffusion DYR, is a workaholic. Apart from work, he loves to spend time with his family. He talks about his life and experiences in OUT OF OFFICE with Nivi Shrivastava

Q How important is family life to you? My family is very important for me. I miss them like crazy when I’m travelling or caught up with work. It’s always a pleasure being together with family and I try to get the most of it whenever possible.

Qῠ How do you like to de-stress and chill out? I am fond of music and books. Normally for de-stressing I spend time alone, with family or good friends. And if I have time, I travel out of town with my loved ones.

Q Your favourite travel destinations in India and abroad? I love to explore mountains, beaches, jungles and occasionally cities, either in India or abroad. It’s fun to discover different places.ῠ

Q What kind of books do you like to read? Anything. Everything. If it’s printed and it’s in front of me, I’ve got to read it. I think it’s a disease of some sort.

Q Any household work you like to share with your wife? You mean is there any household work she likes to share with me? (Smiles) I love cooking and I’m the one who has to have everything in the house just right.

QGadgets you can’t live without? I cannot stay without my mac, wireless router and my music system.

Q If you have just 15 minutes to watch TV, which channel will you switch to? If I have limited time I love to see one of the Hindi pseudo-news channels. They’re very funny.

Q Who are some of your favourite icons? I like Bruce Lee, for his mental strength and how he transformed Kung fu into a household name. In Indian icons, I admire Amitabh Bachchan for how he fought back from near bankruptcy and reinvented himself.

Q Are you a foodie? What are your favourite cuisines? I love cooking. I don’t eat for taste, but for its nutritive value. My favourite cuisines are Chinese and Japanese, anytime of the day.

Q At a family gathering, what are the things you talk about? Mostly in a family gathering we discuss new books we’ve discovered. New authors, movies and good music. We generally stay off politics.ῠ

Q Your message for those who want to make it big in business. Know your consumer. Know your competition. Know yourself. And knowing all these things, get able and act accordingly.

Impress your hosts with party etiquette

Women like men with manners. Parties are the best time to show your etiquette and impress them. Dressing up like a prince and behaving like an idiot is a strict no-no. At any social event, follow these simple rules and be a hit with everyone around.

All set to rock the party tonight? We know you have worked enthusiastically throughout the day and chalked out everything to have a good time. But hold on guys, after you gear up from tip to toe don’t forget that there are certain etiquette that should be followed in any party. Of course, it is a party and you want your hair let down, but it is always advisable that you follow certain etiquette, unless you want to cut a sorry face. So have a ball at the party, but definitely not at the expense of your public image.

Before you start off for the venue, ensure you do away with your weariness and make sure you dab on a nice perfume. Punctuality is a very noticeable quality, so arrive on time for the party and make an appealing entry. Pria Warrick, etiquette expert and president-cum-executive director of Pria Warrick Finishing School suggests, “If the invitation asks you to follow a certain dress code then stick to it and dress accordingly. Once you are inside the venue don’t intrude into the conversations already going on because that is considered impolite.”

If you are feeling a little out of place then do not fret, the best thing would be to wait for a while and let people notice you and then introduce yourself. Smile and look relaxed, introduce yourself to those who don’t know you. If you are not really the sociable type, find someone of the same wavelength as yours and you can have a great evening.

After you have settled down in a group, look for a drink. Drinking etiquette is very important says Pria, “Always hold the glass in your left hand with a napkin wrapped around it and keep your right hand free to shake hands. It is always advisable to avoid any controversial topics which can provoke a heated response.” Drink occasionally and eat within limits.

Occasional joking and initiating conversations is acceptable, but don’t overdo that in an attempt to become the life of the party. Participate if an event or a game has been organised. While leaving the party make sure that you thank the host.

Be at your best behaviour and be subtle. Show your spirit to everyone and you will be amazed at how many people admire you.

Gadget Alert

Genius, a brand from KYE Systems Corp. has rolled out Genius MP 300 handheld multimedia player. This all new product lets the user watch full motion videos on the 2.4 inch, 320×240 pixels, 262k true colour LCD display and uses a unique touch keypad to select all the options. It also plays MP3/WMA audio, AVI (Xvid) video, JPEG/BMP graphic, listen to FM radio and can also enable direct record favourite FM program. It comes with a built-in 2GB flash memory. This chic player has a built-in stereo speaker and MIC and it supports MicroSD/T-flash card. This cool player comes at a price of Rs 4,599 in India, so all you gadget freaks go grab it.


 Features of the Week



Deccan Chronicle

Amitabh Tak Suka Memimpin

3 Aug

BERPENGALAMAN selama bertahun-tahun dan mengharungi suka-duka dunia perfileman, ternyata Amitabh Bachchan masih sukar untuk membuat keputusan sendiri.

“Keputusan saya berlakon dalam filem, saya melakukannya dan mungkin akan terus melakukannya pada masa akan datang. Ia selalu didorong oleh banyak faktor yang meminta saya membuat banyak penilaian. Saya susah dalam hal ini. Memutuskan apa yang saya lakukan adalah tekanan bagi saya,” ungkapnya.

“Saya lebih suka dan memilih dibimbing daripada memimpin. Saya masih dapat membuat keputusan buruk daripada menilai diri sendiri dengan sukarela. Bagi saya, sekiranya saya berhasil bertahan sejauh ini dan sepanjang ia memberikan keuntungan, saya lebih senang tidak berubah. Tuhan tahu apa yang dibawa oleh perubahan,” tambahnya.

Utusan Malaysia

Gutsy Gals Court Khatra

2 Aug

Gutsy gals court khatra

After the Indian audience lapped up spine chilling action and dare devil stunts on AXN’s Fear Factor, now it’s time for some desi action. Khatron Ke Khiladi, Akshay’s Kumar first TV show has the calibre to set the adrenaline rushing.

Indian television’s first stunt reality game show, KKK, which started off with 13 top names from showbiz has just entered an exciting phase with eight gutsy lasses – Yana Gupta, Vidya Malvade, Aditi Govitrikar, Anita Hasnandani, Anjana Sukhani, Nethra Raghuraman, Pooja Bedi, and Urvashi Sharma – fighting it out now for the grand prize of Rs 50 lakh.

The stunts involve jumping from a 17-storey building to performing dare-devil tasks, while spiders and cockroaches are crawling all over you.

So what led dainty these ladies to take on scary feats? Nethra Raghuraman, fashion model and a leading competitor on the show, says, “The show gives me an opportunity to perform tasks that I would otherwise shirk from. I wanted to experience how it would be to deal with creepy crawlies as I am petrified of them.” But this brave girl did put her fears to rest as she fished for a key in an aquarium full of cockroaches. “The show has helped me get over my phobias. I don’t know what came upon me and how I did it,” says Nethra.

There’s no room for chickening out. Tupur Chatterjee was shown the door when she refused to crawl down on a rope from a 17-storey building. The model says, “I have a phobia of heights and it was impossible for me to do the stunt.”

This reality game show has proved to be different from other reality shows in the conspicuous absence of bickerings, back-bitings and bitchiness. On the contrary, the show has helped the women bond better. Aditi Govtrikar, Mrs World 2001, says, “The show put me with my colleagues on an entirely different platform and this helped us develop a different kind of bond. We stood by each other.” Nethra agrees with Aditi on this account. “This show helped me understand my colleagues better, I got to know their strength and will power,” says Nethra. This bonhomie was the best part of the show according to Tupur. “There was no groupism or negativity,” she says.

All the ladies have been unanimously lavish in their praises for the host Akshay Kumar. “He has a great sense of humour and is very down to earth,” quips Nethra.

Iqbal averse to reality shows

An intense lover in Kaisa Ye Pyar Hai, a patriot in Choona Hai Aasman, and now actor Iqbal Khan is geared up to portray an underworld don in the serial Waaris on Zee TV.

So, what attracted him to a role like this? “I am a competent actor and doing something different is always good for one’s career. Moreover, there are a few characters that I think I can pull off nicely. The role of Shankar in Waaris is one such character,” said Iqbal.

And is it true that the serial is inspired from Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar Raj and his character from that of Abhishek Bachchan’s?

“A daily soap can’t be inspired from a two-and-a-half hour movie. But it might be possible that there is some influence of the movie’s characters in our roles. Besides, working in a production house headed by Smriti Irani, who has successfully produced serials like Viruddh, is in itself reason enough to choose this role,” said Iqbal.

The actor, who recently quit Choona Hai Aasman despite having a strong character, thinks that the channel was not promoting the show well. “There’s no point sticking to a show that is not doing well among the audience. When I first read the script, it fascinated me, but things became worse with time,” he said.

So, isn’t he planning to participate in any reality show with his wife Sneha? “If you participate in a reality show, your personal life becomes public. I want my private life to be my own,” he said.

And does he want to do any saas-bahu drama? “First of all, I want to do only one serial at a time. Moreover, I’d really like to maintain distance from the regular family drama on television. Male actors rarely get to play meaty roles in these typical saas-bahu shows,” he said.

Shaan ready to play host
By A.L. Chougule

Well known playback singer and host of Star Voice of India Shaan feels talent hunts began with noble intentions but have become commercial properties. However, he still finds them as good platform for deserving singers

Eight months after he anchored the first season of Star Voice of India (SVOI), Shaan is back on television with the show’s second season which went on air recently. While post-SVOI Star Plus immediately launched Chhote Ustaad, Shaan preferred to stay away from the competition for kids and decided to enjoy his break with his family besides doing playback singing. “I don’t like to work like a robot. I am a singer first. Anchoring is just an extension of my singing talent and it comes and goes. So I decided to take a break,” he says.

While he has nothing against talent hunts for kids, Shaan doesn’t like shows that feature children on a competitive platform. “We are living in a commercial world. If channels want to do shows for kids to increase their business, so be it. But I find competition between children bit odd. It’s too early to expose them to pressure of competition and limelight. Kids need time to learn and grow,” he reasons. He adds, “They start seeing success and failure too early and if they are successful then parents also start expecting better results from them. I think it’s wrong to use children for the purpose of entertainment.”

Nevertheless he was impressed with the young talents on Chhote Ustaad. “Anvesha and Aishwarya are very good singers,” says Shaan who can also easily sit in the jury’s chair on talent hunts instead of only hosting them. After all, singers of his age and experience are doing precisely the same. But Shaan says he is comfortable hosting talent hunts. “I don’t think I can make a good judge because I am too conventional in my thinking and have a narrow perspective. I don’t understand today’s trend in music,” he says. He adds, “I know what is good but I can’t say who is better.”

He also doesn’t find any fault with the way contestants are judged on talent hunts. “There are no pre-set parameters for judging singing. It’s very subjective. Each one has his own perspective. There can be differences and arguments. My job is to keep things together,” he explains. He also doesn’t get emotionally attached to the participants. “I do help them. Before every performance I talk to them but I keep myself detached,” he says. According to him, talent hunts began with noble intentions of giving platform and opportunity to deserving talent. “But somewhere down the line the whole thing became commercial,” he regrets.

However, he feels talent hunts are still of great help for deserving singers. “If my son wants to become a singer he will have no problem in meeting the right people. But the same is not true for someone who lives in a far away small town or city. Talent hunts at least open doors for deserving talent. Some get break in playback singing while others get busy with stage shows,” he concludes.

Sajid-Riteish spat on show

Anything new always draws attention and the freshly launched channel Colours is no exception. They do have a pretty decent range of shows. In fact the serial Balika Vadhu is already quite popular with viewers as it deals with child marriage. While one might assume that child marriages are no longer prevalent in the post-modern world, the serial provides an eye-opener to a practice which continues to be prevalent in rural India. The story which is set in Rajasthan explores this age old tradition even as it tries to educate the viewer on the de-merits of child marriages. One hopes that the villages where this custom exists have access to this serial for it sure is a great way to educate the masses.

On the same channel, Sajid Khan hosts his rather pompously titled chat show, Sajid’s Superstars and the latest episode feature Riteish Deshmukh. Considering that Ritiesh career is nowhere close to that of SRK, wonder how he qualifies to be called a superstar? It’s obvious that his proximity to Sajid coupled with the fact that he is doing another film with the director after Hey Baby is responsible for his being there.

But to be fair to Sajid, the show is interesting and he also has the courage to ask uncomfortable questions on television. When Sajid asks Ritiesh whether he is gay, the actor looked upset and even attempted to walk out. Sajid apologised and placates him. But once Ritiesh is back on his seat, Sajid promptly asks him whether he is gay and both burst out laughing. So one is not quite sure whether the anger was stage managed. One thing’s for sure, this show seems to have filled a gap left behind by Koffee with Karan as Sajid has managed to rope all the top stars to make an appearance on the show.

Speaking of shows, yet another fun song and dance show is Zara Nachke Dikha which pits female TV actors opposite their male counterparts and is being judged by Chunky Pandey and Malaika Arora Khan. The actors are all having a blast as they perform to different Bollywood numbers and the whole atmosphere is healthy and non-political. Credit must go to both Chunky and Malaika who are both fun and have not allowed any politics to creep into the show. The recent episode featuring a Jeetu-Sridevi dance number performed by Delnaz (looking cute in her pattu pavade) and Ali Asghar was a riot. The two actors brought the house down with their splendid imitation of the original song. They are both good artists and Ali is known for his mimicry skills and one could sense that the entire set was having a blast. This is such a wonderful change from reality shows filled with negativity and an overdose of ‘crying’ sessions. Let’s have more fun on TV please!

‘Ram is the ideal man’

Q. How did you bag the role of Ram in Ramayan? The Sagars offered me the role after they saw me in Mayavi on Jaya TV. They had auditioned several actors but were not satisfied with the result. But when they saw me in Mayavi they asked me to give an audition. I am lucky that I got selected to play Ram because I am a staunch Ram devotee and it’s a dream-come-true for me.ῠῠῠ

Q. How did you bag the lead role in Mayavi? I was a stage actor and have done theatre for two years in Jabalpur before I got to play the lead role in Mayavi which I had to quit when I was selected to play Ram. I didn’t think twice before accepting the role.

Q. How did you prepare yourself? I had several meetings with the channel’s programming team and the Sagars. Anand Sagar who was involved in the making of Ramayan for DD is also part of this project. He made me understand the character and his mannerisms. It took me almost a month to prepare for the role.

Q. Don’t you see the danger of getting typecast in mythological shows? The days of typecasting are over. Arun Govil lived with the image of Ram for a long time because in those days there was only one channel. Today there are many channels and many shows. A good actor can easily come out of any image.

Q. Does the character give youῠ scope to prove your versatility? Yes, it does. Ram is called Maryada Purushotam. He was not only an ideal man and King but also a warrior. The range of the character is huge and has many shades.

Shilpa smitten by Raj

Raj Kundra is one lucky man. This UK-based NRI entrepreneur is currently dating the sexy Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. After months of claiming that they are just good friends and share only a professional rapport, Shilpa recently admitted that she is indeed in a relationship with the London-based businessman.

The much-in-love Shilpa confirms that in Raj she has found a very supportive partner. “He is proud of my achievements and he encourages me in all my endeavours. In turn, I learn so much from him every day. I have grown as a person,” says Shilpa.

The actress, who will be soon starting her production house, says that she is in a state of bliss. “Professionally, this is a rewarding phase of my career and I am looking forward to upcoming ventures. Personally, also I am very happy with Raj,” she says with a smile.

Singh on a roll

Even before its release, the film, Singh Is Kinng, has caught the fancy of the nation. Be it for creating a positive impact or for attempts being made to sabotage the film, the movie has so far managed to be in news. Though his clean-shaven look created a controversy, Akshay Kumar’s pagdis have become quite a rage. Shopkeepers in Ludhiana have been busy selling the neon pagdis that Akshay wears in the film and especially in the song Ji Karda.ῠῠ But while the film seems to head towards a good opening, attempts are being made from certain quarters to sabotage it. Allegedly, senior executives of a music company, which was refused the music rights of this film, have been sending SMSes rubbishing the songs.

No more Sarkars for Ramu

Ram Gopal Verma will not make any further sequels of Sarkar. Putting rest to rumours that the next film will even have Jaya Bachchan, Ramu says that he has no plans of making a Sarkar 3.

“I am done with Sarkars and I am not making a Sarkar 3,” says Ramu. “Sarkar Raj is technically a better film than Sarkar and it was a thrilling experience to make the movie. But I am not doing any more sequels of this movie.”

But even as Sarkar Raj got rave reviews from critics and audiences, RGV’s latest film Contract fell flat. But Ramu does not regret making the movie. “Many people expected the film to be something like Company and Satya. But that was never the intention,” says Ramu. According to the director, he tried to make a film that would be both entertaining and realistic with a strong message. However, the film failed to connect with the audiences and Ramu agrees that there were flaws in the promotion of the movie too, that resulted in its poor show at the box office.

Though he accepts that Contract didn’t live up to the expectation of Sarkar Raj, Ramu is not the one to be put down. The filmmaker is now looking forward to Phoonk, his next venture, which falls in the ‘horror’ genre. After his movie Darling last year, did he feel it was time to make another horror movie? “I don’t make films deciding on a genre. It’s the story that is most important and I only make films when I want to tell its story,” he explains. He goes on to add that is the why he never made another Rangeela.

While Ramu has no doubt endeared himself to the audience with his versatility, his poor show lately at BO – barring a Sarkar Raj – is what is worrying the critics and movie buffs.

A proxy war?

Veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha is all set to star opposite Bollywood’s ultimate diva, Rekha in a film to be directed by Ramesh Talwar.

But trouble has brewed between these two experienced actors which has set tongues wagging in tinsel town that this cold war has impacted Sinha’s relationship with Amitabh Bachchan too.

If sources are to be believed, Big B’s ex-flame, Rekha didn’t turn up for the shooting of the film in which she is acting opposite our bihari babu. While Sinha has been shuttling between the shoots of a comedy-based reality show and this movie, Rekha has been absent from the sets, staying behind at her bungalow Basera.

This meant the unit had to wait endlessly at ND studios. Talwar, a former Yash Chopra associate, is close to many actresses including Rekha and Jaya Bachchan, but chose to cast Rekha in the film opposite Shotgun. Rumours have it that Bachchan’s recent problems with Sinha, where the latter has been going hammer and tongs at Big B, has something to do with Rekha troubling Sinha who in turn troubled the Bachchan senior. This sure is interesting.

Vivek Oberoi makes amends

While Salman Khan is still to be trying to get over his feelings for Aishwarya Rai and fought with Shah Rukh Khan over the issue recently, Vivek Oberoi seems to have learnt from his past mistake.

The actor admits that he has gone through some difficult times, but is content with his personal as well as professional life now. “I have overcome everything,” he says. The actor even agrees that his behaviour has been at fault in the past and he is doing his best to undo the wrongs. “I have apologised to everyone whom I have hurt in the past,” says the actor, who has publicly apologised to Salman Khan and also showed his support for the Bachchans when Teji Bachchan expired.

“My attitude towards my work has changed now,” says Vivek and also expressed a desire that his fans will give him a second chance too.

Modern day fairytale enchants audience

This film is a live-action story about a fairytale princess from the past who is thrust into present-day Manhattan by an evil queen. Soon after her arrival, Princess Giselle begins to change her views on life and love after meeting a handsome lawyer. Tale follows the beautiful princess Giselle as she is banished by an evil queen from her magical, musical animated land and finds herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern-day Manhattan. Shocked by this strange new environment that doesn’t operate on a “happily ever after” basis, Giselle is now adrift in a chaotic world badly in need of enchantment.

But when Giselle begins to fall in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer who has come to her aid, even though she is already promised to a perfect fairy tale prince back home, she has to wonder: can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?

One of those rare pieces of “all ages entertainment” that will actually work for all ages, Enchanted succeeds most of all as a showcase for its superb leading lady. This is the kind of movie that will be around for a while, and it just might earn a place of honour next to the fairy tales that inspired it. This is an out and out family entertainer. Don’t miss out on it.

The Enchanted Director: Kevin Lima Cast: Amy Admas, James Marsden Genre: Adventure/ action/ comedy

Big Boss 2 ropes in Sherlyn Chopra

Sherlyn Chopra and Shakti Kapoor will be a part of the second season of Big Boss 2. After fiery Rakhi Sawant in the first edition, they needed a similar character to spice up the second edition as well. The controversial actress, who acted in Vinod Pande’s Red Swastika seems to be the right choice. The subject of India TV’s sting operation Shakti Kapoor too has a very controversial record till date and we are sure that this sequel is going to be a humdinger with Shilpa Shetty being the host on the show.

Abhijeet stays, Kishen quitsῠ

It was rumoured that Abhijeet Bhattacharya,ῠῠ judge of Ek Se Badkar Ek, had decided to quit the show because he didn’t approve of Pakistani singer Mussarat participating inῠ the show. However, the channel claims otherwise. They say that Abhijeet was sacked after he raised an objection to Mussarat’s entry in the show. But, thanks to the contract and its legal implications, the playback singer is back on the show after apologising to Zee. However, host Ravi Kishen is quitting the show on mutual consent with the channel.

Column inpires Oolta Chashmah

The humorous column Duniya Ne Undha Chashma, written by eminent Gujarati writer Taarak Mehta in the popular Gujarati magazine Chitralekha, has been the inspiration behind Sab TV’s new show Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah.

The show, which was launched on Thursday, is about the fun side of life. Asit Modi, owner of Neela Telefilms, who has produced famous comedy shows like Hum Sab Ek Hain and Meri Biwi Wonderful is the brain behind this show. Modi remarks, “Forty years ago, a chawl came into your imagination from the pages of Chitralekha, now we are bringing it to your house through the television.”

The show revolves around Jethalal, who is an uneducated Gujarati businessman and Taarak Mehta is his neighbour, in whom Jethalal finds a friend.

Barkha turns tapori

Life has become a little tough for actor Barkha Bisht these days. The lead actress of Doli Saja Ke on Sahara One is struggling to learn the tapori language to portray her newly introduced double role in the serial.

“Portraying two characters at the same time and on the same show is great fun. I’ve been enacting the character of Anupama for a long time and suddenly adapting to this roadside character Tia is a bit difficult. The language she uses is the most difficult for me to learn,” says Barkha.

However, she enjoyed the scene where Tia, a character influenced from Sridevi’s role in Chaalbaaz, enters the serial. “I had to perform a dance sequence on a song from Chaalbaaz. I was too scared, but the energy of Aroona Irani, director and choreographer of the song, took away all my fears,” she says.

Reshmi walks into Kayamath

Reshmi Ghosh is well known for playing negative roles, thanks to her Bhumi act in her debut show Kyunki, which made her a household name. Keeping with her image, Reshmi is essaying yet another negative character in Kayamath. Her entry in the show as Mallika will cause some ripples in the relationship between Prachi and Milind. “Mallika is an ambitious and cunning business woman who achieves everything she sets her eyes on. Brimming with attitude, she is glamorous and uses her power and personality to lure Milind into a relationship,” says Reshmi. While she says Bhumi of Kyunki has shades of grey, Mallika is outright negative and self-centered. “Bhumi can differentiate between right and wrong but Mallika has no qualms about doing anything for her personal gain,” she adds.ῠ

Dance to win a dream wedding

Onscreen love birds Ronit Roy and Shweta Tiwari along with Apara Mehta will play love gurus on screen and help couples have a dream wedding in a new reality show Aaja Mahi Ve where they play judges.

There is no dearth of dance-based reality shows on television. But Star Plus believes that they can get it right with one more reality show because Aaja Mahi Vay is a dance show with a difference – it promises a fairy tale wedding to the winning couple.

The show offers real life couples with a penchant for dance, a golden opportunity to make their dream come true. The stage is set for 11 real life couples to battle it out on a dance floor week after week from August 1 onwards. “We believe in putting the best foot forward. We are quite confident about the show, it has good content and will provide wholesome entertainment,” says Star’s executive vice president Keertan Adyanthaya. According to Abhimanyu Singh of Contiloe Entertainment, lot of hard work went into finding the real life couples.

“We held auditions at several centers over a three-month period to showcase 11 unique love stories. They all are great dancers too and more importantly, each couple has an interesting story to tell. Viewers can look forward to some fabulous dancing, compatibility games and loads of emotional content, apart from lots of fun and tears too.”


Karnvir bares it all

He was Manoj Bohra before changing his name to Karnvir Bohra. Now once again he has got a new name for himself and this time it’s not him but his colleagues on the dance reality show Kabhi Kabhi Pyaar Kabhi Kabhi Yaar who have christened him. Karnvir’s costumes on the show have plunging necklines that reveal his well-toned body. Ever since judge Sameera Reddy paid him compliments on his well-toned chest, Karnvir’s co-contestants have nicknamed him ‘Cleavage Kumar’.ῠ Going by the blush he has on his face, we are sure Karnvir is certainly not complaining.

Jas in Singapore with new soap

After small roles in Monsoon Wedding and Chalte Chalte, former model and actor, Jas Arora, was appreciated for his acting in the television serial, Dharti Ka Veer Yodha – Prithviraj Chauhan. But, it has been quite some time now that he hasn’t been seen on the small screen.

So, what’s keeping him busy these days? “I’m doing a show for Singapore television titled Aachar. It’s a story of a Chinese girl married to an Indian guy and the trials and tribulations they face in that marriage. I’m really enjoying it and it has a refreshing theme and a great storyline,” said Jas. Does that mean he doesn’t have time for domestic projects? “Of course, I do. But it’s my commitment towards Singapore television that’s stopping me from taking up work anywhere else. It is a three-year commitment out of which I have completed two,” he smiled.

So, how does it feel to be a part of an international project? “It’s amazing. But more interesting is that I’ve been selected as the ‘Face of Singapore Television’. It’s a huge achievement for me. I feel like a conqueror when I see my face among so many Chinese faces,” he said.

Dhoni, Yuvi on Chak De

They didn’t win the IPL trophy for their respective teams but the swashbuckling and stylish big hitter Yuvraj Singh and poster boy of one-day and Twenty20 cricket Mahendra Singh Dhoni are all geared up to rock the stage on the concluding episode of Chak De Bachche this Saturday. The stage is set for a grand finale between the Metro Rockers Varun and Loria and Desi Dhuranders Deepak and Nishtha. As the two jodis battle it out in the three-hour final episode, the little kids will have the cricketers rooting for them. While Yuvraj will lend his support to the Metro Rockers, Dhoni will back Desi Dhuranders.ῠ

Ayub turns bhai on sets too

Ayub Khan who plays Bhai Raja in the afternoon show Rakhi takes his screen name quite seriously. Not only is he playing big brother act to the hilt to his onscreen sister Nupur but also to the entire production team as well. The unit members keep pestering him for sweets and Ayub obliges them by ordering ice cream on the sets. Says a unit member, “Ayub is a nice guy. Given his age, he is like an elder brother to everyone. All of us respect him and whenever he is in mood he treats us to ice cream.” However, the actor modestly says, “It’s not a big deal, just a small gesture for my team members.” Snippets by A.L.CHOUGULE

Snippets by ALC

Chowta loves to play jazz

For those who remember Satya, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya and Dum, the thread that brings these films together is the music. And the man behind it is Sandeep Chowta, the Ghana-born, Nigeria raised and Chennai-based musician, who is making waves not just by composing music, but also with music videos and a short film. He was in the capital for a brief recording stint. In an interview he spoke on making music, the changing music scene in Bollywood and more.

In most of the films (Satya, Dum, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya), your compositions are quite unlike the run-of-the-mill potboilers in Bollywood. How did you determine the music for that?

Well, that’s the director’s call. He’s the one who decides what theme the music should be set to. Most of Ram Gopal Varma’s films have explored the darker aspects of life. So the music had to be somewhat on the same lines, although not entirely. Yes, you also need to break the monotony if there’s too much of emotion. The other thing is, in Bollywood, there’s a hierarchy you have to follow to determine what kind of music the film has. It has to be approved first by the director, then the producer, and now I think even some actors are trying to throw in their two cents. So you have all these factors working for or against you.

You draw your musical style from a smattering of genres. Which one is the closest to your heart?

I follow, play and love jazz. But that’s strictly a personal thing and if you’re about to ask me whether I incorporate it in the music I make for films, no.

You were planning on collaborating with FatBoy Slim. Will it be a experimental exercise, a meeting of jazz and African Rhythms with electronica?

This was a long time ago when I was in London. Yes, we discussed some projects and had plans of collaborating. But somehow it never took a concrete shape.

What do you think about the transition of music in Bollywood, from playback singing to OST-like scores?

Yes, playback singing days are over. I think it all started with Himesh Reshammiya, when suddenly the nation was obsessed about this nasal-singing chap with a cap. You don’t get to see lip-synced songs in any movie, it’s become more like a background score, not unlike Hollywood.

Don’t you think it’s easier to be a musician in Mumbai, owing to Bollywood as a potential buyer? What should bands in Delhi do to make it big?

Of course, which producer or director would want to fly back and forth to Delhi to use a band’s songs for a film? Even for the music composers, it doesn’t work like that. When you have a baby, you tend to be always around it. You can’t do long distance projects because of feasibility issues. And making it big can be a very ambiguous term.

Do you mean the money they make, or the success that comes when your work is recognised by the audience? If it’s money, I think there’s a market for every genre, every musician. You just have to keep at it and not worry about the outcome.

You’ve donned many hats as a music video director, short filmmaker and music composer. How do you find time for all that?

Whatever I’ve done is just an extension of music. Santosh, the choreographer once told me that if ever I was doing something for a long stretch, it pays to take a break and do something totally unrelated to it. So I thought of making a music video and a short film. I’ve found that this re-approach works wonders in boosting your creativity.

Reality shows fascinate Javed

Javed Ali may not a very well-known name in the music industry, but his songs Ek Din from the movie Naqaab, Nagada Nagada from Jab We Met and Jashne Bahara from Jodhaa Akbar speak highly of his talent. Javed who has made a niche in Bollywood with his amazing songs was in the capital recently to perform at the Kamani Auditorium.

Talking about his journey as a singer, he said, “I used to sing since the time I was a kid. My father is my mentor. Observing my keen interest in music, my parents enrolled me in a professional singing course. Later, my hard work and love for music made me who I am today.” And, how did his first interaction with Bollywood happen? “Kalyanji (of composers, Kalyan-Anand duo) noticed my singing a few years back and took me to Mumbai. My first song was for the movie Beti No.1,” said Javed.

Though Javed has sung for many movies, it is only recently that he got recognition. “I always wanted to be slow and steady. With every song, I tried to improve my performance. Though fame came to me a bit late, I never had a paucity of assignments,” he said.

And does he have a godfather in the industry? “Many people have appreciated my singing and I respect many of them, but whatever I’m today is because of my talent. I try to give my own touch to every song I sing. I don’t have any godfather in the industry,” he said.

Moreover, Javed thinks he is lucky that he has a different voice. “It’s an advantage for me that my voice is different, at least after listening to my songs, people can distinguish between me and the other singers,” he said. The trend of choosing singers from reality shows fascinates Javed. “I think it’s a good trend. At least, it gives a chance to talented people to show what they are best at. Moreover, no matter how well a person sings, it takes a lot of time to become a playback singer, and get recognition at the same time,” said Javed.

Has he ever thought of composing music? “No. And I even don’t intend to give it a try. Singing is my first love and I want to stick to it. I want to concentrate fully on my singing so that I can give my 100 per cent to each and every song,” he concluded.

On Song

Its Impossible Bul Its Possible῅ Its Impossible Bul Its Possible Its Impossible Bullshit῅.

Mission Mission Mission Istanbul ( 4)

Yeh Mission Nahin Aasaan Yeh Mission Istanbul Jaayegi Is Mein To Jaan Yeh Mission Istanbul Hai To Yeh Dariya Aag Ka To Par Karenge Isko Lekin They Say Its Impossible We’Ll Make It Possible Oh Ya We’Ll Make It Chaaho To Rok Na Yeh Sochna Bhi Hai Na Mumkin And That We Cant Do All We’Re Gonna Blow Some Balls And Turn In On Them

Its Impossible Bul Its Possible (3) Its Impossible Bullshit῅. Mission Mission Mission Istanbul (4) Now Its Getting Deeper With All These Secrets That I Keep On My Mind..What The Ffff (2)

Kar Le Tujhse Jo Ho Sake Aaj Nahin Bach Paayega Tu You Say There’S No Way Out Without A Doubt We’Re Gonna Bang Our Way Through Go Go Go We’Ll Surely Go We’Re Gonna Blow Your Heads And Then Right We’Ll Kick Ya Aaja Tum Saamna Zara Dekhne Hai Dum Kis Mein Kithna

“I ate ice cream Dosa”

My friends consider me a foodie (thankfully not a glutton). I take a lot of time savouring every dish that I order. So, often I am the last one to finish when it comes to dining out with friends.

I believe in the power of foods to alter mood, so when I feel dull and depressed, I munch on fruit and nut chocolates, garlic bread, pizza and dosa.

I also sometimes experiment with strange combos. For in-stance, I have tried curd rice mixed with mango juice and ate ice-cream dosa (dosa dipped in ice-cream).

I also experiment with cooking. Besides tomato-spinach dal, my mother makes the best alu fry and it inspired me to come up with carrot fry, (don’t be sceptical, it really tastes better than alu fry and healthy too).

I am also fond of sweets, especially rasgullas and Baskin Robin’s banana flavour ice cream with strawberry toppings. At Melting Moments, Jubilee Hills, I ate the yummiest chikoo flavour ice cream.

When it comes to eating out, I prefer going to Ohri’s at Raj Bhavan Road, Pizza Hut, Pizza Corner and Chutneys. Chutneys prepares excellent varieties of dosa, like the fluffy oil-free Cheeranjeevi dosa, with different types of chutneys. At Quality Bliss, Nampally, I also ate a rare dish, geena lola brigitta, made of white wine and various herbs and vegetables.

I had also eaten a rare kind of samosa (stuffed with fresh vegetables, curry, tomato and cucumber on board a flight.

At Nellore, I ate dosa at hotel Padmavati. The dosa was laced with layers of masala made of mirchi powder and onion. I miss it dearly in Hyderabad.

Although our city has come up with global cuisine, it doesn’t have enough standard hotels catering to cuisine from other districts of AP.

Among other Indian states, I love traditional Rajasthani and Gujarati thali of Vaishali, in Ahmedabad. The dal makhani at Pappaji ka Dhaba in Bangalore, the rasam at Sangeeta restaurant in Chennai and the bisibele bath I ate at Mysore deserve special mention.

Our canteen caters to all taste buds

Hangout@the canteen of Marri Laxman Reddy Institute of Technology

Who all frequent: Students of MLRIT – Harika, Shalini, Neeraja, Sweta, Ravi, Rajsekhar and their friends.

Cost: Quite pocket-friendly – Rs 5-Rs 30 approx.

What’s the catch: From Chinese to South Indian, our canteen caters to a wide variety of taste buds. Whether it’s during tiffin break or at lunch, or evening snacks, there’s something new on the menu everyday.

The seating arrangement both inside as well as outside the canteen is quite comfortable. Healthy and tasty fruit salads, mixed fruit juice, grape juice, badam milk, Manchurian puffs and samosas are a big hit with students, says J.Shalini Mudiraj, a fourth year B.Tech student of the college.

Try This

Grilled paneer kebabs

By Seema Khandelwal, Businesswoman

Serves four, preparation time 20 minutes. Monsoon makes us crave for fried stuff. The health conscious can try this delicious paneer recipe, which uses just two drops of oil.

Ingredients 100 gms paneer (cut into small pieces) 50 gms thick curd (properly hung, water drained out) 1 capsicum 1 onion 1 tomato (The vegetables are cut in triangle shape 1 tsp cooking oil)ῠῠ Chaat masala to tasteῠῠῠῠῠῠῠ

Method Soak the paneer in hung curd for 10 minutes. Take the vegetables and cut them in small triangular shape. Put two drops of oil on a kadai and fry the vegetables for about five minutes till light brown.ῠ

Take a tawa. Put a little oil and place the paneer on the heated oil. Cook till it’s reddish brown in colour. Take a toothpick. Arrange capsicum, onion, tomato, paneer on it followed by the vegetables once again. Add a little chaat masala to the colourful kebabs to make them tastier.

Munch on yummy Italian brunch

If you believe in spending Sunday in a holiday mood, then make your way to the Deccan Pavilion at ITC Hotel, The Kakatiya. The brunch here starts at 12:30 pm.ῠ Tantalise your taste buds with a perfect symphony of foods grilled to your liking, ranging from Au bleu to Biencuit and fresh fruit cocktails.

One can try the most traditional dishes from world cuisine. Italian dishes like bruschetta, involtini with smoked chicken, gnochetti with pesto, marinated artichokes, North Indian cuisine like kebabs, dal makhni, with world’s best wines to complement the gourmet.

Besides, exotic and exciting flavours of ice creams and toppings make the brunch a truly memorable one. One can have desserts ranging from sugar free to eggless desserts and also fresh cut fruit platter with more than 30 such selection of desserts. Chocolate mousse and Gwalior kulfi are other must-have desserts. Round it up with pomegranate martini.

Raksha Bandhan

Rakhi, the celebration of the unconditional love and bond that a brother and sister share, is on August 16. If your brother is out of station its all the more reason to start shopping for it now so that your rakhi reaches him on time. City shops have a wide range of options.

Passionate on Kharkhana Road has rakhis for all age group. Rakhis with cartoon and fairytale characters are apt for your kid brother. These rakhis are reasonably priced in the range of Rs 10 to Rs 50. Heavily embellished rakhis made of silk threads and stones are also available. These rakhis priced at Rs 50 onwards.

Check out the rakhi stalls on Ma Kali Street. These small stalls sell rakhis of different hues and shapes. They are made of a variety of material like foam, wood, plastics etc. The prices start at Rs 5. Also on display are flower rakhis, made of mainly silk or plastic flowers. These rakhis come in different sizes.

Madan Fancy Emporium, near Charminar has some interesting rakhis in stock. Especially the lumba or the Rakhi for bhabhis. These rakhis symbolise the beautiful relationship that exists between a bhabhi and her sister-in-law. Prices start at Rs 20 onwards. Also on offer are minute pooja thalis and shagun items like small plastic coconuts that can be easily mailed to your brother staying at a distant place. These items are priced at Rs 10 and the thalis at Rs 45. Also take a look at the beautifully decorated rakhi thalis of different sizes to suit your needs.

If you want to pamper your brother on this day then do take a look at the silver rakhi studded with precious stones available at Dinesh Jewellers in Abids. There are exquisite rakhis to choose from.

Store with an EYE for fashion, comfort and style

There’s a bit of good news for people who shipped eyewear from elsewhere due to lack of enough options in the city. Odyssey India Ltd, owner of the retail brand Odyssey, has launched an end-to-end eye solutions store called the Eyewear Store. Not only does it take care of the fashion quotient but also offers the best in eye care facility.

The store offers a plethora of prescription frames and sunglasses; from popular brands to the some of the biggest names in fashion. The products on offer are suitable to every conceivable taste and budget.

The store also has a state-of-the-art eye testing machine, highly trained staff and advanced contact lenses clinic to take care of your needs.

You can pick and choose from over 600 designs from brands like Ray Ban, Fastrack, Poloroid; to the sporty range from Levis, CAT, Vogue; as well as the designer range from Ferrari, Versace, Mont Blanc, Bvlgari. Prices range between Rs1,500 and Rs 35,000.

The interiors of the shop have been designed by keeping in mind the comfort of the customer. There are strategically placed mirrors on the wall units, which allows a wearer of the frame two views of his face – one view from the mirror which is placed at the eye level and the other inclined at the top. This helps the customer decide which frame suits him/her better.

The customer friendly staff is well versed with the brands they handle and offer the right advice to the discerning customers.

The store also has a dedicated eyewear unit for kids. On offer are glasses in funky shades that would appeal to tiny tots. There are also a series of reading glasses by some of leading brands in the segment.

As part of the inaugural offer, the store is offering attractive discounts on brands like Ray-Ban, CAT, Speedo, Manish Arora, and Bausch & Lomb.

Eyewear Store 8-2-686/K/1/2, Kimtee Square, Near ICICI Bank, Road No. 12, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

Sales & Exhibitions

*ῠTake a look at the Assam cane and bamboo furniture exhibition at Lepakshi Show Room at R.T.C crossroads. Items on display include sofa sets, center tables , dining tables, baskets and lamp shades.

* Check out the end of season sale at Kappa store in Begumpet. Avail up to 60% off on the merchandise on display. Kappa shoes now start from an affordable price of Rs. 999

* Check out the Furniture fair in Hitex Exhibition ground Starting from August 8. Also on display are home accessories.

A Lazy Sunday brunch

Hot and cold – these are the words thatῠῠ well describes the ambience at the brunch held at Zenzi on Sunday. It was hot in the outdoor section with the flames from the stir-fry wok adding to the heat. Inside, it was a different story, with the AC on full blast. Holding a conversation was next to impossible with the trance music blaring so loud that one had to send out texts to communicate with friends.

Making their presence felt was the model brigade of Bhavna Sharma, Carol Gracias and sisters Pia and Binal Trivedi. The fashionable crowd also included Narendra Kumar Ahmed who was recounting his fond memories of a recent visit to a farm in Croatia where he chilled out and drank the local brew. Others spotted at this Sunday beer brunch were Sameer Malhotra in a hat and Zenzi’s Matan Schabracq back from opening a Zenzi in Mexico and Vivek Chhabra of Asia Pacific Breweries in Singapore. After the long beer brunch, a relaxing foot massage was the perfect way to end an indulgent afternoon before stepping out into the rain.

All for charity

The Indian Cancer Society completed 57 years of service to those afflicted with cancer and living below the poverty line. To gather support for its “Care To Cure” initiatives, it organised a mega charity dinner at a hotel on Sunday. Child cancer survivors showcased a special dance performance, which was followed by some splendid musical performances. Some of the guests present at the event included Sabina Chopra, Simone Tata, Vivan Bhatena, Divya Palat and Sikander Kher.


 Features of the Week



Deccan Chronicle

Amitabh – Selebriti Vegetarian Terseksi Asia

27 Jul

AMITABH BACHCHAN terpilih sebagai jejaka vegetarian terseksi Asia, dalam satu analisis pendapat yang dijalankan oleh People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Sementara itu, aktres penyanyi Hongkong, Faye Wong, terpilih sebagai wanita vegetarian terseksi Asia.

Antara artis Asia lain yang tersenarai termasuk bintang drama Taiwan Barbie Hsu, aktres Hong Kong Maggie Q, dan penyanyi Cantopop serta aktres Stephy Tang.

Menurut pengarah PETA Asia Pasifik, Jason Baker, menjadi vegetarian merupakan cara terbaik yang dapat dilakukan bagi menjamin kesihatan.

“Tak ada cara termudah untuk tetap ramping dan seksi. Lihat sahaja Amitabh sebagai buktinya,” tambahnya.

Utusan Malaysia

Oriental Whirl: Friend In Love

13 Jul

Vivian Hsu is rumoured to be dating Stephen Fung (left), who split up with Karen Mok (right) early this year.
Vivian Hsu is rumoured to be dating Stephen Fung (left), who split up with Karen Mok (right) early this year.

TAIWANESE singer Vivian Hsu is playing down rumours that she is dating Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Fung.

Lee Da-hae was admitted to hospital for severe fatigue.
Lee Da-hae was admitted to hospital for severe fatigue.

Ayumi may be going deaf in one ear but she's still going ahead with her concerts in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei.
Ayumi may be going deaf in one ear but she’s still going ahead with her concerts in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei.

“We’re just friends,” protested the demure artiste.

The gossip mill worked overtime after photos of them together appeared in a Hong Kong magazine recently, showing Hsu in shades and Fung wearing a cap.

The magazine claimed the handsome couple had been dating for a year already. Fung and singer Karen Mok split up early this year after a nine-year romance.

Fung was reported to have said recently that “she’s so beautiful. I can’t claim to be her friend”. How does one read into that?

The sultry Mok seemed nonchalant when asked for her reaction to the magazine’s report, only saying “very good”.

In an earlier report, Mok remarked that life was “like a live show” and “one is unable to predict what will happen.”

After ending the relationship with Stephen, she reportedly cried in front of her family but still hopes to be good friends with him.

Incidentally, Mok was once Stephen Chow’s girlfriend, he of Kungfu Hustle and, more recently, CJ7 fame.

Hsu, meanwhile, had once dated F4’s Vanness Wu but they broke up about three years ago.

῕ DATUK Michelle Yeoh has set up a management firm in Hong Kong called Stellar Entertainment Ltd with film producer Terrence Chang as well as veteran journalist Tang Yang.

Artistes in their stable include Kelly Lin, Zhang Fengyi, Pace Wu, Zheng Haonan and Hong XiaoLing.

The idea for the management company was apparently mooted during the filming of John Woo’s Red Cliff.

Its aim is to develop artistes for the film industry in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

῕ RETIRED songbird Faye Wong was named “Asia’s Sexiest Vegetarian” recently by Peta (that’s People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), following a poll. Last year’s winner was sultry Maggie Q.

Wong’s male counterpart for the “title” was Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.

῕ KOREAN star Lee Da-hae was admitted to the hospital recently for severe fatigue, the result of a punishing training schedule for new drama East Of Eden.

For her role, Lee had to undergo almost three hours of physical training every day. In East Of Eden, she plays the daughter of a tycoon embroiled in a political tsunami.

Song Seung-heon and Yeon Jung-hoon are the other stars in this much-awaited drama.

῕ JAPANESE pop queen Ayumi Hamasaki will be holding concerts in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei in the coming months.

She will enthral fans in Hong Kong on Sept 20, the Shanghai Grand Stage on Oct 18 and the Taipei Arena on Nov 1.

There had been reports of her going deaf in her left ear since the beginning of this year but it looks like her popularity has not waned nor has her enthusiasm for singing and performing.

The tour, celebrating the 10th anniversary of her singing career, started in Tokyo last April 5. Her concerts across Japan have attracted some 230,000 people thus far, according to one report.

῕ GUEY Lun-mei, the demure lass and Jay Chou’s love interest in the movie Secret, is actually a tomboy. At least that’s what she claims in a recent online report, saying that being a tomboy is the “real Guey Lun-mei”.

In the interview, she also confessed to liking guys “who act like kids” and hoped to star in a period drama in the future. As for Chou having a crush on her in real-life, she had this to say: “No way!”

῕ VETERAN actor Andy Lau has been appointed a JP (Justice of the Peace) by the Hong Kong Special Administration Region government.

Via his publicist, Lau, noted for his active involvement in charity work through the years, called it “a great honour.”

He is the second JP in Hong Kong’s entertainment industry, the first being actor Michael Hui who received the appointment in 2004.


New Straits Times

Amitabh Elak Bertemu Salman

6 Jul

MUNGKIN perkara ini disengaja, mungkin juga tidak. Namun Amitabh Bachchan (Big B) dilaporkan meninggalkan majlis pelancaran muzik filem Singh Is Kinng tepat ketika Salman Khan datang. Filem tersebut dibintangi Akshay Kumar dan disebabkan Akshay tidak dapat hadir, penerbit filem ini, Vipul Amrutal Shah merasmikan majlis tersebut.

Salman Khan, yang menjadi bintang utama filem arahan Vipul, London Dreams juga diundang dalam majlis pelancaran album tersebut.

Laporan mengatakan ketika majlis sedang berlangsung, Big B pergi dan meninggalkan majlis. Bertepatan dengan itu, Salman datang dengan kekasihnya, Katrina Kaif.

Katrina sendiri merupakan pelakon utama filem tersebut. Sebuah sumber mengatakan bahwa Big B dan Salman tidak mempunyai masalah apa-apa dan tidak ada alasan untuk saling menghindar satu sama lain.

“Hakikatnya, mereka berdua bekerjasama dalam filem God Tussi Great Ho dan selama penggambaran, hubungan mereka baik sahaja,” tambah sumber tersebut.

Utusan Malaysia