Friday, November 20, 2015

Shabana Azmi takes a jibe at Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani

The recent remark by eminent actress Shabana Azmi alleging that the kiss scene trimmed in the recent James Bond movie SPECTRE is arbitrary has once again raised the question about the competency of censor board members. 

Shabana Azmi made this remake during the ongoing ‘Women In The World’ summit when she was asked to comment about the status of censorship in India.

Taking a jibe at the Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, Shabana Azim said, “Our very honourable chief of the board of film certification has recently ordered an arbitrary cut in the length of a kiss scene in James Bond film SPECTRE from its actual length to half its length, without consultation of the members.”

Mocking at the decision Shabana said, “Pahlaj Nihalani thinks 50 seconds is enough to watch a kissing scene. I don’t understand? What is the right length? If you have objection with a particular scene, simple delete it. What is the logic in showing the half baked scene?” 

Recalling her bold film FIRE, which portrayed lesbian love relation and had a passionate kiss between her and Nandita Das she said, “Despite a bold subject of love relation between same sexes my film FIRE was released with a single cut because censor board in those days understood the nuance of the scene and they just did not arbitrarily trimmed the movie.” 

Besides Shabana Azmi, there is a strong dissent against Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani and his post seems threatened!

Music legend Ilaiyaraaja uses IFFI’s platform to urge government to make music compulsory in schools!

maestro Ilaiyaraaja, who was conferred the 'Centenary Award for Indian Personality of the Year' for his outstanding contribution to the music industry at the opening ceremony of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on Friday in his humble request has urged the government to make ‘Music’ as a compulsory subject both in schools and colleges. 

While receiving the award from the hands of Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley and Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, a simple down to earth, Ilaiyaraaja on the occasion said, “I know it is not the right place to ask something. But I still want to go ahead and ask the government to do something. I want them to make music compulsory in schools and colleges."

It may be noted that this not the first time when Ilaiyaraaja has opened his heart about making Music compulsory in schools, he has been advocating this since past many years because he believes the simple and easy solution to the growing religious intolerance and violence and terrorism is Music. 

In an interview he had once said, “Music alone has the power to bring down violence. It discourages the wandering mind and helps in focusing one’s thoughts.” 

Ilaiyaraaja plea reminds me of the great Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, who was a Master of playing Sarod and admired as ‘National Living Treasure’ in India.

In an interview he had said, “My father learned from a great teacher, and we always keep the traditional thing – from father to son, son to grandson, teacher to student – like that. What my father learned, I don’t want that to die. It must spread all over the world!" 

Like Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, Music Maestro Ilaiyaraaja, who has acquired immense knowledge does not wish his treasure of music to die with him hence he has rightly made an appeal to the government to make Music a part of the curriculum in school and colleges so that like the literary genius like William Shakespeare, Munshi Premchand etc Music also becomes immortal and musical stalwarts like Naushad, Pandith Ravi Shanker, etc and their precious musical knowledge be explored by the coming generations!

Will Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Midas Touch’ break Ranbir Kapoor jinx?

Ranbir Kapoor is quite nervous at the release of his forthcoming film TAMASHA. He has publicly confessed, “There's a sense of insecurity and I don't know what's happening with my career.”

Though Ranbir Kapoor may be going through a lean phase with three films BESHARAM, ROY and BOMBAY VELEVT bombing at the box office but Sajid Nadiadwala the producer of TAMASHA is going great guns with 10 movies in a row being super hit. One wonders will the golden luck of Sajid help in breaking the jinx of Ranbir Kapoor’s failure?

It may be noted that like Ranbir Kapoor, Sajid Nadiadwala too was in a tight corner because after the mega hit films JUDWAA and MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI both staring Salman Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala was bogged down by a lean phase with two films HAR DIL JO PYAR KAREGA (2000) and JAAN-E-MANN (2006) failing at the box office.

But as the saying goes – ‘After dusk there is a dawn’ thus soon Sajid’s nightmare was over and with HEYY BABYY (2007) his career got a major boost. Since then he has been giving hit after hits HOUSEFULL , HOUSEFULL 2, ANJAANA ANJAANI, HIGHWAY, HEROPANTI, 2 STATES, KICK, PHANTOM are few examples. 

It may be remembered that his last release PHANTOM proved a saving grace for Saif Ali Khan and brought him out of the jinx that had plagued his career since 2013. Remember his string of flops GO GOA GONE, BULLETT RAJA, HUMSHAKALS, HAPPY ENDING, DOLLY KI DOLI .

In addition Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Midas Touch’ also brought a break to the jinx of brilliant director Siddharth Anand. After three back to back flop films SALAAM NAMASTE, TA RA RUM PUM and BACHNA AE HASEENO, Siddharth Anand was able to deliver a hit with Sajid Nadiadwala produced film ANJAANA ANJAANI. 

Let’s hope Sajid Nadiadwala’s golden luck break Ranbir Kapoor jinx as it did for Saif Ali Khan!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ranbir Kapoor must stop making ‘Tamasha’ and take a lesson from the fighting spirit of Amitabh Bachchan!

Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor’s latest statement claiming that after the failure of his last three films viz. BESHARAM, ROY and BOMBAY VELVET, he is under pressure and worried about the success of TAMASHA looks mechanical and a marketing gimmick to garner sympathy from his fans. 

History is packed with many examples when even great actors like Dilip Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan have gone through lean phases in their careers but they never begged for a hit. Instead they have slogged hard and retuned with a bang! 

Just take the example of Star of Millennium Amitabh Bachchan, who has seen not one or two lean phases in his career but witnessed three rough phases and after each downfall he came back with a vengeance.

In the late 60’s after his debut film SAAT HINDUSTANI, when he won the National Award for the ‘Outstanding Discovery of the Year’ and later with ANAND, which fetched him his first ‘Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award’ he was flooded with film offers. 

In the mad rush to mint money he signed whichever film that came his way, without t thinking twice about its consequence. As a result he paid a heavy price for his folly as most of the films failed and a situation came when he had to pack his bag and leave Mumbai. 

But he was not the one to loss the battle so easily hence like a brave solider he continued his struggle and hit gold with ZANJEER, the movie that crowned him with the esteemed title of Superstar! 

In the 80’s when Bachchan was ruling the roost suddenly destiny played a cruel game and Amitabh suffered a near-fatal accident while shooting an action scene for Manmohan Desai's COOLIE at Bengaluru in 1982. 

The accident was so severe that in an interview Bachchan candidly disclosed that for a couple of minutes he was clinically dead but yet again he did not give up and like a phoenix he rose from the ashes.

After his voluntary retirement from Bollywood in the late 80’s after failures like GANGA JAMUNA SARASWATI, TOOFAN, JAADUGAR, MAIN AZAAD HOON etc Bachchhan made his comeback with his own company Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd. (ABCL) but alas all the films like TERE MERE SAPNE, SAAT RANG KE SAPNE, MRITYUDAATA, MAJOR SAAB, AKS etc. produced were disaster. 

Amitabh Bachchan was under heavy debt but once again like a determined fighter he fought back and with Yash Chopra’s MOHABBATEIN he proved that fighters never lose battle and like his father Harivansh Rai 'Bachchan'’s poem… Koshish Karne walo ki kabhi haar nahi hoti…. he is a testimony that sincerity and hard work always succeeds. 

I think its high time Ranbir Kapoor stops making ‘Tamasha’ and takes a lesson from the fighting spirit of Amitabh Bachchan and learn to face the odds!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Is underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim’s son being brought up in Bengaluru?

It may come as a shock but if one is to believe former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar than according to his latest book ‘Dial D for Don’ notorious underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s son born out of a Bollywood actress is secretly being brought up in Bengaluru, in India!!! 

Neeraj Kumar, who claims to have interviewed the Don three times, in his books makes mention about the clandestine affair of a Bollywood actress with Dawood and the couple had a son, who is presently being brought up by the actress’s sister in Bengaluru. While the books escapes from revealing the name of the actress yet it claims that the child born out of the wedlock of Dawood and the actress is 18 years.

Ever since the news has been leaked speculations are ripe that the actress in question must be Raj Kapoor discovery Mandakini, whom he introduced in his film RAM TERI GANGA MAILI (1985) when she was exactly 16 years.

After this she did one or two films which bombed at box office and was next seen with don in Dubai during cricket matches in Sharjah and rumor mills were abuzz about their relationship and reportedly of a son. 

But the question is - if Dawood must have married Mandakini even in 1990 and they must have had a son in 1992 / 1993 then the boy must be about 21 or 22 years and not 18. Hence the boy being brought up in Bengaluru is not of Mandakini but instead of some other unsung actress. 

Neeraj Kumar mentions in detail the lavish lifestyle of Dawood and his weakness for women in the book. He writes, “Dawood has a passion for sex and women. Every night he entertains himself partying with friends watching mujras (soirĂ©es musicales) and pays high sum for women (he prefers Asian women, usually virgins) to quench his sexual hunger.” 

Among his Mistress are many film actresses from Bollywood and Pakistan film industry the book claims.

Can Thala Ajith equal Thalaivar Rajinikanth?

The social media is abuzz with Thala Ajith’s Diwali release VEDALAM. The movie has broken all box office records and has earned a whopping Rs 50 Crore in Tamil Nadu alone in its first week!

In addition the movie is doing brisk business in International markets. What’s more with back to back hit in 2015 i.e. YENNAI ARINDHAAL and VEDALAM and a series of uninterrupted hits like ARRAMBAM (2013) and VEERAM (2014) Ajith fans on social media are so excited that many have began crowning him as the next Rajinikanth of Tamil Nadu cinema but the million dollar question is - Can any star ever come close to the charisma and allure of the great Thalaivar Rajinikanth?

True Thala Ajith is a dashing and handsome actor who during his long spell of 23 years in South Cinema has made a dint for himself and has won the hearts of millions of cinegoers but the fact remains that no matter how many hits films he may give, he can never touch the dizzy heights of popularity achieved by Thalaivar Rajinikanth

Reason is simple actors like Rajinikanth are born once in a blue moon. They are the choicest gift of Almighty to mankind hence they are ‘special’ and every action of there is backed by the Lord. Remember Rajinikanth’s hit film ARUNACHALAM dialogue "Andavan solran. Arunachalam seiran" (God commands, Arunachalam acts!) 

Like Rajinikanth history has witnessed few more exceptional actors like Sivaji Ganesan, N.T. Rama Rao, M.G.Ramachandran, Dr. Rajkumar, Kamal Haasan etc or down in Bollywood actors like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan etc. All these actors are one of their kind; who have no equals and shall never have an equal as they are all prodigies of Almighty God!

Thus whether it’s Ajith or Vijay none can ever equal the genius of Rajinikath - He is the ’King’ and shall remain the ‘King’!!!

How Saeed Jaffery’s dream of acting with legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray was fulfilled!

LUNCHBOX actress Nimrat Kaur in her tweet has paid an excellent tribute to the gem of an actor Saeed Jaffery when she wrote - “Never met Mr Saeed Jaffrey outside of all the amazing men he brought alive on screen... a class actor. ‘Heavens’ are in great company today...”

Truly the ‘Heavens’ must have bowed down to Saeed Jaffery and spread a red carpet to welcome the legendary actor who gave ‘Asian’ actors respectability in the West and opened doors for others Asian actors to display their skill in the Western World of Art and Theatre.

Saeed Jaffrey, who began his tryst with Western Theater in the mid 50’s, is regarded as the ‘First Asian’ actors to make an impact in the West with his acting genius when he was accepted by the world renowned Shakespeare Company. Later he had the prestigious of performing at the Broadway Theatre, where he appeared in the 1958 adaptation of a PASSAGE TO INDIA.

Later the actor mesmerized the West working with celebrated Hollywood filmmakers like David Lean, Richard Attenborough, James Ivory, John Houston and brought pride to India by becoming the First Indian to receive the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions to drama, a rare feat achieved by an Indian.

In India he aspired to work with the legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray and even communicated several times urging him to give an opportunity but Satyajit Ray was known for selecting ideal actors for his characters and when he made SHATRANJ KE KHILADI, he did gave him a chance.

Recalling the experience Saeed Jaffrey, in a candid confession once said, “I always cherished to work with Satyajit Ray, ever since I was bowled over by his Bengali classic film PATHER PANCHALI.”

He informs, “Once I happened to meet him in person at the Beirut Airport in 1972. Fortunately we shared the same Air India flight and I was delighted when he recognized me and applauded my work.”

“Seizing the golden opportunity I requested him to cast me in one of his films. He nodded but later there was no reply. I kept reminding him until four years later in 1976, one day, I was surprised to receive his call asking me to come to India. I was elated and rushed,” he recalls.

His performance of the royal Nawab opposite the great Sanjeev Kumar in the film SHATRANJ KE KHILADI won him rave reviews and even fetched him the prestigious Filmfare Best Supporting actor award.

After this it opened a flood gates of roles in Bollywood that ranged with top notch directors of Bollywood like Raj Kapoor (RAM TERI GANGA MAILI), Sai Paranjpye (CHASHME BUDDOOR), Shekhar Kapoor (MASOOM), Yash Chopra (MASHAAL), Ramesh Sippy (SAGAAR), Rakesh Roshan (KHUDGARZ) etc.

Raaga.Com pays our humble tribute to the actor par excellence and pray his soul rest in peace in Heaven!