Sunday, March 1, 2015

Will Sonam Kapoor’s Swine Flu effect film industry abandoning shooting in India?

The deadly Swine flu has taken the nation by storm and what’s worse is that even film stars shooting at outdoor locals across India are becoming its victims. 

Eminent Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor is its first victim, who tested positive for swine flu, while shooting for Rajshri Production’s upcoming film PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO. 

Dr Kamal Parikh, Medical Director of the Sterling Hospita, Rajkot, where Sonam Kapoor was rushed after she had complaint of fever and cough, informed media, “Sonam Kapoor has been tested positive for swine flu and has been shifted to Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital as per her parents’ request.”


Readers would be surprised to know that even Salman Khan, who was shooting along with Sonam Kapoor at Gondal in Rajkot was tested for the lethal disease but thankfully he tested negative. 

It may be noted that according to Health Ministry of India, the fatal disease has claimed 965 lives so far, while the total number of people tested positive till February 25, 2015 has also increased to 16,235. Rajasthan and Gujarat have been the worst-hit states so far with 234 and 231 deaths, respectively.

Incidentally, both Gujarat and Rajasthan are favorite location of film industry. In fact Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan and Deepika Padukone are shooting Malvan region of Gujarat for their film PIKU. While actor Akshay Kumar has began shooting in Bhuj district of Gujarat for his upcoming film AIRLIFT. 

After Sonam Kapoor being detected of swine flu there is panic in the film industry, particularly among those filmmakers who are shooting at outdoor locations. 

One wonder will the film industry abandon film shooting in India, until swine flu resides?

Film Federation of India (FFI) to protest against rise in the service tax

Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikanth and a horde of film stars from Bollywood and regional cinema would parade to Delhi to voice out their disconcert against the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who left the film industry disillusioned with his budget. 

Aggravated at the disappointing budget by the Finance Minister, the Film Federation of India (FFI) plans to protest against the rise in the service tax that has been increased from 12.36 per cent to 14 per cent

Briefing the media J P Chowksey, President, Film Federation of India (FFI) lambasting the budget said, “The Finance Minister has cheated the film industry. Forget exempting us, the service tax has been increased and this will affect the film industry badly at all levels.” “We will be mobilising all the stars from Bollywood and regional cinema and make our voice heard, “he informed.


Chowksey, said, “Prior to the budget we had several meeting with the Finance Minster and he heard our woes attentively. Hence we were expecting reforms in entertainment tax, incentives to build new theaters and screens in India. But the budget has left us distressed.” 

He added, “According to UN standards, the country needs 30,000 film theatres however India has just 9000 single screen. We had tried to explain the Finance Minister that on an average the collections for the first week for a film were Rs 100 cr but if there were more theatres, the collections could become Rs 1,000 cr. And because of this, the government's revenue would also increase. But all our efforts have gone in drain.” 

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit, a member of censor board was quite sarcastic in his comments. Hitting at the government he tweeted, ““Films besides entertaining generate nation's economy and government considers it to be non-existent in the budget.” He added, “Government uses film stars to promote their states and their events but doesn't even consider it to be worth a mention in the budget.” 

Film Directors Hansal Mehta, who made the thought provoking film SHAHID too came hard on the government. Criticizing the budget he said, “Already films are not making much money and on top of this increasing service tax is like rubbing salt on injury.” He added, the government wants to control what we say or show in our films. But do nothing for us with the money they collect from us.”

Friday, February 27, 2015

The eternal friendship of Ravindra Jain and Mohd. Rafi

Tera mera saath rahe... Tera mera saath rahe

Jeete ji, mar ke bhi, haath mein haath rahe

The above super hit song from Rajshri Production’s movie SAUDAGAR suit aptly to describe the friendship of music maestro Ravindra Jain and singing legend Mohd. Rafi

February 28 marks the birthday of the legendary film music director Ravindra Jain. He turns 71 today; Raaga.Com wishes him birthday greeting and recalls the eternal friendship of Ravindra Jain and Mohd Rafi and how they admired each other. 

After music legend Naushad, if there is any music director, who has nurtured Indian Classical music, it is indeed, Ravindra Jain. If fact when Ravindra Jain landed in Mumbai, Music director Naushad had offered him to be his assistant but Jain wished to embark his journey as an independent music director.


Student of music stalwarts like Pandit G.L. Jain, Pandit Janardhan Sharma, and Pandit Nathu Ram Jain's inclination towards Bhartiya Shastriya Sangeet was immense and it was his this command over Shastriya Sangeet that brought him close to Mohd. Rafi

Recalling his first meeting with Rafi, Ravindra Jain said, “I first met Rafi-saab in Kolkata in a program but due to his hectic schedule we could not have much conversation but when I got my first Bollywood assignment for the movie LORI, Rafi Sahab was kind enough to sing my debut song “Ye silsila hai pyar ka chalta hi rahega…. However the movie could not be released.”

“Next I was signed by N.N.Sippy for the film KAANCH AUR HEERA. Once again, I approached Rafi sahab and he obliged. The song was Nazar aati nahin manzil….Unfortunately the film didn’t do well, but this song became very popular,” he informs. 

He added, “After this N.N.Sippy gave another break with CHOR MACHAYE SHOR. I took the movie as a challenge and yet again I relied on Rafi sahab. Interestingly all the songs became hit. Remember Ek Daal Par Tota Bole...; Paon Mein Dori...” 

After this the two shared a good rapport. Paying tribute to Rafi sahab, Ravinder Jain, in his typical poetry quotes - 

Nagme Mein Mere Kuchh Bhee Na Thaa 

Lekin Aye Rafi Aawaaaz Ne Teree Use Heeraa Banaa Diyaa!

(My songs had nothing special in them but Rafi, your voice turned them into diamonds!)

Sunny Leone not alone to replicate Zeenat Aman’s SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM avtar!

Hot and seductive Indo-Canadian actress Sunny Leone’s upcoming erotic period film EK PAHELI LEELA is making waves thanks to its scintillating dance numbers and Sunny Leone’s excessive skin display. 

To draw the audience the makers have added another ace to their film by draping their lead actress Sunny Leone in the transparent white sari akin to what yesteryear sex bomb Zeenat Aman had worn in Raj Kapoor’s magnum opus SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM.

According to reports Sunny Leone’s desi sexy avtar has made her fans, particularly the male go wild. Already the trailer of EK PAHELI LEELA released on February 5 has garnered over 1 crore mark on YouTube and with the publicity of Sunny Leone draping Zeenat Aman attire, the number is bound to boost.

Listen to Zeenat Aman Songs on Raaga.com


Speaking about Sunny Leone’s new attire Bobby Khan, the maker of EK PAHELI LEELA, diplomatically defending himself said, “We have not plagiarized the Zeenat Aman costume because if you watch SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM closely you find Raj Kapoor has depicted Zeenat Aman much bold. She is topless draping just a white transparent sari.”

“Instead we have draped Sunny Leone in more modest style draping her modesty as though our movie is bold and glamorous but we have picturised the movie within the limits of Indian culture and ethics,” he informed. 

Interestingly besides Sunny Leone many other sex bombs have tried to recreate the Zeenat Aman avtar like Dipannita Sharma, who rose to fame with Pizza 3D is supposed to replicate the Zeenat Aman’s SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM’s famous white sari in a dance number in her forthcoming film IKKA. Reports have it that Dipannita Sharma’s special outfit has been designed by an Italian designer. 

Supermodel Ujjwala Raut's sister Sonali Raut’s character was modelled on Zeenat Aman in SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM in Himesh Reshammiya's suspense drama ‘THE XPOSE'. To entice film buffs a poster of Sonali inspired by Zeenat's attire was also released. 

Likewise T.V. actress Shweta Tiwari too tried to expose her beauty and grab publicity with her first item dance in the Bollywood film BIN BULAYE BARAATI.

Rekha’s Charisma leaves Katrina Kaif dazed!

Among the yesteryear actress the only actress who has maintained grace and elegance is unarguably Rekha

Recently Katrina Kaif, who has got the opportunity to work with Rekha in Abhishek Kapoor’s upcoming film FITOOR, was smitten by Rekha’s charm and charisma. 

Amazed at Rekha’s sophistication and zeal for life Katrina said, “Every time I have met her, I have been amazed by her warmth, her grace and her immense enthusiasm towards life. I am sure we will have a great time filming together and I am looking forward to it."

Termed as ‘Original Diva’ of Bollywood, Rekha is truly an inspiration for everybody. Readers would be surprised to know when Rekha made her debut in the early 70’s in Bollywood, she was severely criticized for her dark complexion and her plump body.

Listen to Rekha Songs on Raaga.com

In an interview Rekha had candidly confessed how media made nasty gags regarding her looks. She once said, “In fact a leading newspaper had even labeled me as ‘Ugly Duckling’ and interestingly later the same newspaper lauded me for my transformation into a beautiful swan!” 

Few know that to acquire the stunning looks Rekha underwent strenuous makeover regime which reflected in her personal and professional sphere. 

Besides the magical makeover, what makes Rekha’s life a motivation is that despite failures in love life and living a lonesome life, Rekha has not been tucked down instead she lives life king-size. 

Her married life is very tragic. In 1990, Rekha married to Delhi based industrialist Mukesh Aggarwal. A year later in 1991, he committed suicide due to financial loss. 

Later there were rumored of Rekha’s secretly marriage to Bollywood actor Vinod Mehra but Rekha in an interview with Simi Garewal declined the rumor referring to him as a ‘well-wisher.’ And last but not the least her Rekha ‘s failed affair with Amitabh Bachchan is well known but in spite of all the tragedies Rekha continues to live life positively and that’s the key to her evergreen charisma and allure.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Aamir Khan deserts Shanker’s sequel of ROBOT

The lethal combination of south sensational superstar Rajinikanth, Aamir Khan and filmmaker Shanker that was in pipeline since many months has failed to click! Readers may recall earlier there were reports about the trio Rajinikanth, Aamir Khan and Shanker coming together in Shanker’s sequel to his earlier super hit film ROBOT, however now the buzz is Aamir Khan has opted out from the mega project. 

Aamir Khan, who was bowled over by Shanker’s brilliance in ROBOT, had expressed his wish to work with Shanker. Hence when Shanker began work on the sequel of ROBOT -2, he wrote a powerful antagonist role keeping Aamir Khan in mind. Shanker in an interview had confessed, “Since Aamir Khan had expressed to play a villain in the sequel of ROBOT I wrote according to Aamir Khan’s desire and Aamir was quite excited about the role.”


He added, “For the past six to eight months I have been having meeting with Aamir and even Rajini sir had attended few of these meeting but unfortunately since Aamir Khan prefers to do one film at a time he has decided to go ahead with DANGAL, deserting my film.”

A source close to Shanker said, “Shankar sir has completed the script of Robot 2. He is now looking to put together a great team like the one that made the first part and work on the project seems to be picking up pace."

The sequel will be witnessing once again the hit pair of Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

It may be note ROBOT (2010), was one of the most expensive Indian movies and was released in three languages – Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The science thriller was critically acclaimed and received positive responses across the country and overseas.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Subhash Ghai bestowed with ‘Visionary of India’ Award

Subhash Ghai, the brilliant filmmaker who gave a new definition to filmmaking in the 80’s and produced multiple commercially successfully movies like KARZ, HERO, RAM LAKHAN, KHAL-NAYAK etc. was recently felicitated with the ‘Visionary of India’ award at the Vision Summit - 2020 by FICCI - ETNOW with NexIndia in Mumbai.

Subhash Ghai was awarded with honor for his immense contributions as an exceptional filmmaker and an educationist, who with his Whistling Woods International Institute has made India into a brand internationally.


Thanks to glamour and glitz associated with Subhash Ghai’s movies, Ghai had won the prestigious title of Showman of Bollywood, after the demise of the original Showman of Bollywood viz. Raj Kapoor

Besides giving Indian Cinema several blockbusters Subhash Ghai also played an important role in reviewing thespian Dilip Kumar’s career in his second inning. Ghai gave Dilip Kumar a new image of ‘Angry Old Man’ with action thrillers like VIDHAATA, KARMA, and SAUDAGAR.

Speaking on the occasion Subhash Ghai regretted that instead of establishing Indian film fraternity as a brand internationally the industry has been divided into Bollywood, Tollywood or Kollywood. He lamented, “We need to build our brand as an India that is original, not an India that apes others. Personally, I feel that it is a matter of shame when we refer to Indian cinema as Bollywood, Tollywood or Kollywood, and the media also mentions it as a brand proudly.” 

He added, ‘It is our duty to literate the younger generation about the rich heritage of India and review our nation into a superpower by 2020.” 

Though Subhash Ghai made commercial potboilers but from 2003 he started a new division of Mukta Arts, his production company, which encouraged the new era films like JOGGERS' PARK and IQBAL, which won him National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues.