Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Royal King of Dubai capitalizing on Bollywood’s popularity with ‘Bollywood Theme Park’

Gone are the days when Bollywood was a butt of criticism; today the charm of Bollywood is such that it has not only mesmerized actors and filmmakers across the globe but even the Royal King of Dubai is capitalizing on its universal popularity! 

According to reports Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is constructing ‘Bollywood Theme Park’ called ‘Bollywood Boulevard’ in Dubai, a first of its kind that will a unfold glamour and extravagance of Bollywood for the residents and tourists 


Dubai Parks and Resorts, the Meraas Holding Company developing the emirate’s mega theme park project informed that the park is located in Jebel Ali between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Raed Al Nuaimi, chief executive of Dubai Parks and Resorts briefing the media said, “The cultural effect and appeal of Bollywood is universal with a global fan base of over three billion people. Further to give the theme an authentic look of Bollywood we are working with major film studios in Mumbai to capture the essence of Bollywood mantra.” 

Besides Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, popular Bollywood actors Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Arbaaz Khan are also associates in the projects. “I am happy to be associated with Bollywood Parks Dubai, a first-of-its-kind endeavor to recreate the magic of Hindi cinema outside of Mumbai,” quoted Aamir Khan.

Shah Rukh Khan, owner of Red Chillies Entertainments, said, “The UAE is a cultural potpourri. Not only non-resident Indians but Emiratis, Arabs and people from other Asian countries living here are ardent Bollywood fans.”

Spread across three million sq ft, Bollywood Parks Dubai will host 16 rides and five themed zones viz. Bollywood Film Studios, Mumbai Chowk, Hall Of Heroes, Regal Plaza and Rustic Ravine. Bollywood Parks will also include a full-size theatre offering super hit films like 'DON', 'DABANGG', 'LAGAAN', 'SHOLAY', 'ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA', 'KRRISH', 'RA ONE’, 'MUGHAL-E-AZAM', 'ROCK ON!' etc. 

The entrance to ‘Bollywood Boulevard’ will have an ongoing site-wide live entertainment fixture combining dance performances, character interactions and street theatre.

In nutshell ‘Bollywood Boulevard’ will take the visitors to the delightful fantasy that they get to experience on the silver screen.

Amitabh Bachchan: ‘Kathak Legend Sitara Devi was filled with essence of rhythm and movement’.

With demise of ‘Kathak Legend’ Sitara Devi at the ripe age of 94, the dancing world lost its greatest Kathak Queen. Mourning her death Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan lamented, “The death of Sitara Devi is very sad. She was a legendary classical dancer, vibrant, and filled with the essence of rhythm and movement".

Born in early 1920 in a Brahmin family, Sitara Devi inherited the dance form from her father, Sukhadev Maharaj, a Kathak performer and teacher. However in those days girls performing dance were looked down and labeled as prostitutes. However her father encouraged her to continue citing example of Radha dancing for Lord Krishna. Thus for, Sitara Devi, Katha was spiritual and devotional. 

Listen to Amitabh Bachchan Songs on Raaga.com

Though the society discarded her initially as a prostitute but her confidence was boosted when Nobel laureate and great freedom fighter Rabindranath Tagore bestowed her with the title of ‘Nritya Samragini’ or ‘Kathak Queen’ of the India.

Sitara Devi (and later Gopi Krishna) gave a new dimension to Kathak in Bollywood. It was due to her that kathak became integral to the film industry since the 1930s. Their choreography accorded new meaning and relief to the film world. She did many movies like "USHA HARAN" (1940), "NAGINA" (1951), "ROTI" and "VATAN" (BOTH 1954), "ANJALI" (1957) AND THE EPIC "MOTHER INDIA" (1957).

She taught her Kathak style to some of the Bollywood film celebrities such as Madhubala, Mala Sinha, Rekha, Kajol and many more. 

Eminent choreographer Saroj Khan praising the Kathak dance of Sitara Devi, on her demise mourned, “Kathak is an important dance form in Bollywood and it was Sitara Devi, who gave a momentum to this form in cinema. Today we do see actresses performing Kathak but its purity is missing. The purity was visible when Sitara Devi used to dance.” 

Mourning her death India's Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar tweeted “I feel profound grief upon hearing of the demise of famous dancer, performer and singer Sitara Devi. May god bless her soul.”

PM Narendra Modi too recalled her rich contribution to Kathak. 

She has awarded with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1969, the Padma Shree award in 1973, Kalidas Samman award in 1995 and Nritya Nipuna award. She has awarded for performing at the Royal Albert and Victoria Hall in 1967 and for prestigious Carnegie Hall, New York in 1976.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Salman Khan’s Fixation for foreign girl friends

True Salman Khan left the world flabbergasted by the regal wedding of her dearest sister Arpita Khan but what took the media by storm is that the wedding also witnessed Salman Khan’s Latest Girlfriend!

According to an insider who attended the wedding Salman Khan introduced Lulia Vantur to his family. Introducing the Romanian model-actress Lulia Vantur to his family Salman Khan said, “Meet my girl”!

Listen to Salman Khan Songs on Raaga.com

Salman Khan was seen sharing a gala time with Lulia Vantur during the wedding and was daringly moving hand in hand. 

Salman Khan is known for his fixation for foreigners. Prior to Lulia Vantur, he has had many affairs with foreign actresses and models like American actress Ali Larter in MARIGOLD, German model Claudia Ciesla, British model Lisa Lazarus, Swedish-Greek actress Elli Avram, British model Hazel Crowney and our dearest London based-turned- Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif.

Listen to Salman Khan Songs on Raaga.com

Salman Khan fell in love with Lulia Vantur when he was in Dubai shooting for EK THA TIGER. Bowled over by her stunning beauty Salman Khan lured her break in Bollywood. The Romanian got charmed by the offer. Thus began the love story. Back in Mumbai Salman Khan kept his promise and offered Lulia Vantur an item Atul Agnihotri’s movie O Teri. Readers may note Atul Agnihotri is Salman’s brother-in-law aka Alvira Khan’s husband.

Aamir Khan: ‘Cinema is not just limited to entertainment’

If after thespian Dilip Kumar, Bollywood has produced an actor who has taken cinema not just as entertainment but as medium to educate and create awareness on social issues is unarguably Aamir Khan

Like Dilip Kumar who selected his films after scrutinizing the pros and cons of the movie and did experimental movies like NAYA DAUR, PAIGHAM, DAAG, GUNGA JAMUNA etc. likewise Aamir Khan selects his movie and lays emphasis on the content, more than the commercial element. His movies like LAGAAN, 3 IDIOTS TAARE ZAMEEN PAR etc. are pointers. 

Listen to Aamir Khan Songs on Raaga.com

Recently speaking at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit held in New Delhi, Aamir Khan lamented, “Cinema is a beautiful medium to tackle sensitive issue and seek solution but alas today both the actors and filmmaker are just running after achieving one-billion mark.” 

Aamir Khan added, “Frankly speaking the filmmakers and actors fear of experimenting and innovation when the fact is that cinema is an art. Films should allow creativity and the story should rule the heart.” 

Targeting the media Aamir said, “I think to a certain extend even the media needs to be blamed for such mindless movies because they play a role in encouraging these filmmakers by allowing them editorial space and writing ‘goody goody’ reviews thus helping the movies to increase box office collection.” 

Commenting on the reformation of the cinema Aamir Khan said, “I once made an American writer and was left dumbfounded when she asked me ‘what does the creative person give to the society?” Thus cinema is a creative medium and is not just limited to entertainment. Our responsibility is to create heroes, motivate people, touch the good and make the audience glow. We also need to infuse fresh oxygen into this country - this is my vision for this country.”

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Controversial Cricketer Sreesanth replaces Randeep Hooda in Pooja Bhatt’s CABARET!

It seems happy days are here again for the controversial cricketer Sreesanth, who after passing through the tribulations of being banned for life by the BCCI for his alleged involvement in spot-fixing in IPL is back in news. 

Sreesanth after making waves in TV reality Dance show JHALAK DIKHHLA JA HAS with dancing skills has been roped by yesteryear actress and film producer Pooja Bhatt for his upcoming movie CABARET. Readers would be surprised to know that initially the Pooja had signed Bollywood hunk Randeep Hooda for the lead role but Randeep Hooda being busy, she has zeroed in upon Sreesanth.


Confirming the news Pooja Bhatt said, “Sreesanth is a bigger assert for the film because those who love him will surely watch the film but even his who are hate him will watch the movie.” 

Pooja Bhatt added, “The movie required an actor who has mastery in dancing skills and has Sothern accent. To be precise the protagonist is a Malayali dance teacher, who helps the heroine to make a mark in dancing career.” 

She continued, “In fact initially we were looking for a Malayali actor that’s when Sonu Lakhwani, the film’s executive producer, happened to see some pictures of Sreesanth and was impressed. When I saw the snaps I had no second opinion and went straight to Sreesanth’s residence and signed him.” 

Sreesanth also has a Tamil movie coming up, but his priority is the Hindi film. Reacting to the news an elated Sreesanth, said, “The movie is perfect launch for me because it not only exposes my dancing skills but I play a South Indian character hence the broken Hindi that I speak is the strength of my character.” 

Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, who is making his directorial debut with “Cabaret”, has also composed the songs for the film.

According to a reliable source the movie is a remake of a yesteryear super hit Malayalam film, which was quite controversial at that point of time.

Shah Rukh Khan attends Salman Khan’s sister’s reception, Aamir Khan Skips!

Salman Khan's sister Arpita Khan's wedding reception was a star studded affair in Mumbai’s Taj Land Ends Hotel. From thespian Dilip Kumar and his wife actress Saira Banu to Shah Rukh Khan the entire Bollywood fraternity descended to bless the newly wedded couple. However yet again the paparazzi were left let down, as Aamir Khan who attended the wedding, skipped the reception. Thus disappointing the paparazzi from clicking the elusive picture of the three Khan’s together. 

Listen to Salman Khan Songs on Raaga.com

Salman Khan along with papa Salim Khan personally welcomed the thespian Dilip Kumar, who arrived with his beautiful wife Saira Banu early in the evening. It may be noted that Dilip Kumar these days do not make public appearance due to his ailing health but he made sure he makes his presence at Salman Khan’s sister wedding because both Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu adore Salman as their son. 

Shah Rukh Khan who became a butt of criticism after he skipped the wedding extravagance held at the royal Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad made it a point to attend the reception. Though Shah Rukh Khan reached the reception at 2 a.m. in the night but he made the reception memorable by dancing and singing. 

An invitee said, "Shah Rukh Khan came very late, but he was in his elements even at that time of the night. He chatted with the bride and her husband, with Salman-Arpita's parents and danced with Salman."

Listen to Salman Khan Songs on Raaga.com

Besides Dilip Kumar and Shah Rukh the evening was glittered with Bollywood stars Govinda, Farhan Akhtar, Asha Parekh, Vinod Khanna, David Dhawan, Varun Dhawan, Subhash Ghai and Salman's other good friends, including Ajay Devgn, Riteish Deshmukh, Genelia D'Souza, and Shraddha Kapoor. Shatrughan Sinha and daughter Sonakshi were also seen, as were Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty.

However strangely no one from the Bachchan clan was present for the reception but the Kapoor clan was represented by Randhir Kapoor and his elder daughter Karisma. Kareena and her husband Saif Ali Khan were reportedly on a holiday to London. 

Besides Bollywood from the business world Mukesh and Nita Ambani were present. The surprise element was Smita Thackeray with her son!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Raju Hirani – The director with Golden Touch!

The 50’s and 60’s witnessed legendary filmmakers like Bimal Roy, Mehboob Khan, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor, who had the amazing potential to infuse art and commercial elements in the making of a movie thus making potboilers like MADHUMATI, MOTHER INDIA, PYASA, AWAARA etc.

Decades later Rajkumar Hirani better recognized as Raju Hirani has attained the same credentials as the above mentioned legends. His movies have the same ingredients that keep people in splits straight till the end with just the right amount of emotions. November 22, marks the birthday of Raju Hirani , who is making waves these days thanks to his upcoming movie PK. Raaga.Com wishes Raju Hirani happy returns of the day and pray he continues to entertain with quality cinema.


Readers would be surprised to know Raju Hirani is perhaps the only film director in Bollywood who has the prestige of giving a hat trick of successful films viz. MUNNA BHAI MBBS (2003), LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI (2006) AND 3 IDIOTS (2009). Even the legendary Bimay Roy could not achieve this feat. His first two films PARINEETA (1953) AND DO BIGHA ZAMIN (1953) were super hits but his third film NAUKARI (1954) was a dud at box office.

With PK Raju Hirani’s credentials are at stake because if he hits the bull’s eye yet again at the box office with PK then he will prove why he is called- The director with golden touch! 

On being quizzed 3 IDIOTS did 200 crore business will PK break the record. Raju says, “ For me a movie makes Rs 100 crore or Rs 200 crore is a number, nothing more. Yes, a movie should do well business-wise, as, after all, it is an industry but not at the cost of good content.” He adds, “ For me a good content is more important than money. It’s sad a movie’s success is judged only by the money it makes.” 

Hirani, who shares a warm relation with Sanjay Dutt on being asked about the biopic on Sanjay Dutt said, “The movie is only one tenth of Dutt's life which the world knows. In the same breath he also added that, despite everything he has gone through, there is an honest child inside Sanjay Dutt.”