Friday, October 31, 2014

S.D.Burman - The Timeless Maestro

S.D.Burman, the name is synonymous with music that was close to heart, melodious and that was identified by the layman. His tunes were once best described by eminent Radio announcer of yesteryear Ameen Sayani who said that Burman da’s tunes were a heady mix of the innocence of a child coupled with the intoxication of youth. True indeed because if on one hand he had the ability to make a classical folk tune Ore Majhi Mere Sajan Hai Us Paar… (BANDINI) to the Indian Classical number like Poocho Na Kaise Maine… (MERI SURAT TERI AANKHEN) to the naughty numbers like Raat Akeli Hai…(JEWEL THIEF). He had an unbelievable range.

Raaga.Com remembers the great music director on his death anniversary. 

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Born on 1 October 1906 Burmanda’s father was from the royal family of Tripura hence Burmanda could have lead a princely life. However for his passion for music Burmanda deserted the pleasure of royal hood and began wandering seeking training in music. He began his musical education learning under maestros like Ustad Badal Khan. He was also a disciple and follower of the legendary K C Dey (Manna Dey's uncle). He started his career composing and singing for the radio. He made his mark as a light classical and folk singer before taking up composing for Bengali films. 

He came to Bollywood in 1946 on the invitation of Bollywood superstar Ashok Kumar and composed music for Bombay Talkies’s film SHIKARI. Though the movie was a debacle he stuck fortune with MASHAAL(1950) the song Upar gagan Vishal… was a runaway hit. Soon with hit songs like 'Mera sundar sapna beet gaya… (DO BHAI), Tadbeer se bigdi hi tadbeer bana leBAAZI and Thandi Hawayein Lehra Ke Aaye… (Naujawan) S.D.Burman became a name to reckon. 

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In the 50’s he formed an incredible pair with Dev Anand's Nav Ketan Productions and the duo gave musical hits like TAXI DRIVER, NAU DO GYARAH, KALA PAANI, GUIDE, JEWEL THIEF etc.  

Burmanda worked with a wide variety of singers and brought out the best in each of their voices. Whether it was Suman Kalyanpur or Sudha Malhotra or Mubarak Begum he has given memorable songs to all. Singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Geeta Roy, Asha Bhosale, Manna Dey and Hemant Kumar came into prominence singing his tunes. To Kishore, Asha and Geeta he was akin to being a godfather.

He remained at the peak even in his last years. He gave super hit films like TERE MERE SAPNE (1971), SHARMEELEE (1971), ABHIMAAN (1973), PREM NAGAR (1974), SAGINA (1974), CHUPKE CHUPKE (1975), AND MILI (1975). He died on 31 October 1975 in Mumbai.

Bollywood Becoming Victim Of Deadly Dengue

After the news of Bollywoood actress Lisa Haydon, who shot to fame with the movie QUEEN and will be seen sizzling on screen with Akshay Kumar in the movie THE SHAUKEENS, been hit by the deadly dengue, reports have it that veteran Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor has been hospitalised for dengue and malaria at Lilavati Hospital at suburban Bandra in Mumbai. 

The doctors treating Rishi Kapoor, father of younger generation heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor, said, “Rishi Kapoor was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital on Wednesday after he was diagnosed with dengue and malaria. He 

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Reacting to the reports Neetu Singh, wife of Rishi Kapoor confirming the news said, “He was having fever for the past three days and complained of weakness. However on Monday evening his condition became quite sick and had to be rushed to Lilavati Hospital, where doctors diagnosed him for dengue and malaria.” She added, “There is nothing to panic. Chitu (Rishi Kapoor fondly addressed) is getting better.” 

It may be noted that Dengue is a viral infection, transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. High fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, rashes are some of the symptoms of the disease. 

Another Bollywood actor who was hit by dengue this year is Nikhil Dwivedi the actor who made his debut in 2008's with MY NAME IS ANTHONY GONSALVES. The actor has appeared in films including RAAVAN, SHOR IN THE CITY and HATE STORY. Dwivedi had fell ill while promoting for his film TAMANCHEY opposite Richa Chadda 

The film celebrity who became victim of dengue this year in September include distinguished Bengali actor- filmmaker Aparna Sen and mother Bollywood actress Konkona Sen. She was tested positive for dengue and treated at the Fortis Hospital in Kolkata. 

Last year vector borne infection also struck Ranveer Singh and so the music launch of his film ‘RAM LEELA’ had to take a back seat. Besides actor Imran Khan’s wife Avantika Malik, was also struck by dengue.

Dengue is a dangerous disease and it was this dreaded disease that took away the life of eminent filmmaker Yash Chopra, a void that can never be filled.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Madhuri Dixit Gives Momentum To Short Films On Women Safety

The latest crusade by Bollywoood filmmakers to highlight Women Safety Issues through short films depicting various women sensitive issues like rape, eve teasing, sexual harassment, domestic violence etc have got a new momentum with Bollywood Diva Madhuri Dixit joining the bandwagon.

In her short film titled START WITH THE BOYS, Madhuri Dixit tackles the sensitive issue of domestic violence meted on women. The movie directed by Vinil Mathew, who made the movie HASEE TOH PHASEE brings home the ugly truth how Indian boys since infancy are taught at every stage of their life that ‘Boys don't cry’ and inculcated the practice of physical abuse and mental harassment to their female partner. 

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The movie depicts how an innocent woman is tortured by a man, either her husband or partner and in the backdrop is shown Madhuri Dixit giving the important massage "From the beginning, we teach boys not to cry. Perhaps it time we taught them not to make others cry!". 

Madhuri Dixit, who has given earlier power-packed performances in films like LAJJA and MRITYUDAND and is even today playing such women centric roles like the crusading activist in her upcoming film GULAAB GANG believes in the feminism that stems from within. She says, “I do believe women should have their own voice, they should be independent, and they should stand on their own. I do believe in feminism.” 

It may be noted that short film depicting social message has become a trend. Eminent Bollywood Anurag Kashyap, who made the brilliant short film THAT DAY AFTER EVERY DAY, depicting how women are made to keep tight-lipped after being raped or molested believes that Bollywood stars in short films giving out social messages receives instant attention and helps in a big way to reach out the message instantly. 

The other short films that have taken the nation by storm include Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt’s, GOING HOME, Kalki Koechlin's RAPE: IT'S YOUR FAULT and East India Comedy's I AM NOT A WOMAN.

Playback Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya Opens His Heart About His Row With Shah Rukh Khan!

Bollywood playback singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya popularly known as the voice of Shah Rukh Khan after he gave a series of hit songs like Suno Na Suno Na… (CHALTE CHALTE), Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaaon….(YES BOSS), Baadshah O Baadshah…(BAADSHAH) etc. turns 56 today. Raaga.Com wishes him birthday greeting and takes a look why his popular Jodi with Shah Rukh Khan took an ugly turn. 

Abhijeet Bhattacharya has several hits to his name but his association with King Khan aka Shahrukh Khan has a special place in the annals of Indian cinema thanks to his long association in SRK’s umpteen films like YES BOSS, BAADSHAH, PHIR BHI DIL HAIN HINDUSTANI, CHALTE CHALTE, ANJAAM, ASHOKA, MAIN HOON NA and OM SHANTI OM. 

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However after Abhijeet sung the hit song Dhoom taana… in Shahrukh Khan’s OM SHANTI OM there has been some misunderstanding between the two and since then Abhijeet has never sung for SRK. On being quizzed Abhijeet has always ignored the question saying he is fed of being the voice of Shah Rukh Khan. However the reality is different. 

In a recent interview Abhijeet opened his heart and narrated why he has been away from Bollywood for six years.

Victim of being the maltreatment meted out to playback singers in Bollywood, Abhijeet blasted the filmmakers for not giving due credits to playback singers. He lamented, “What hurts me most is that playback singers who are a key element of film industry are not given the desired due. My notion became concrete when during the end credits of MAIN HOON NA, my name appeared right at the end. I was highly disappointed most because Farah Khan, the director had the courtesy of showing the chaiwalas to dress men in the end credits but she had no respect for the playback singes.”

He continues, “After a disgusting experience Farha Khan repeated the same blunder with OM SHANTI OM. My family saw the film and felt betrayed. I conveyed my disappointment to Farah Khan and Shah Rukh Khan and decided to quit.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Will HPY Prove A ‘Career Booster’ For Jr. Bachchan Like AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY Did For Sr. Bachchan?

Abhishek Bachchan is on sky nine thanks to the tremendous applause and appreciation that he is gathering for his fabulous performance as Nandu Bhide, a tapori in Farha Khan’s super hit movie HAPPY NEW YEAR. 

Ever since the movie hit the cinema hall Abhishek Bachchan is being bombarded with praise and admiration from all quarters of the society. He has become a hit among movie buffs for his hilarious performance that has taken the cinegoers by strom.

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From hard core critics to the layman people are taking to the social media to voice their praise for Abhishek Bachchan’s brilliant act. Though Shah Rukh Khan is the chief protagonist of the movie but it is Abhishek Bachchan who has taken the cake. Both the audiences and critics alike are lauding him and he is being touted as the one to watch out for in the multi starrer. 

Even the industry folks are going gaga over his incredible performance. Karan Johar ‏tweeted, "junior bachchan AB you were absolutely amazing in the film!!!! Nandu on a roll!!!!!”

The kind of applause that Abhishek Bachchan has attained in the movie is similar to what Abhishek Bachchan’s father Amitabh Bachchan had obtained for his performance in Manmohan Desai’s multi starrer AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY. Incidentally, in AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY, Amitabh Bachchan too played a similar tapori role, with tongue-in-cheek comedy. 

Another important similarity that Abhishek Bachchan shares with Amitabh Bachchan is that both HAPPY NEW YEAR and AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY are multi starrers, yet despite the ensemble of many top stars both Abhishek Bachchan shares with Amitabh Bachchan stood out in the respective movie. 

One wonders just as AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY proved a turning point in Sr.Bachchan’s career, will HAPPY NEW YEAR prove a career booster to Jr. Bachchan?

Shah Rukh, Salman And Akshay Kumar In Run For KATHTHI Bollywood Remake!

The Tamil movie KATHTHI starring Tamil Superstar Vijay and directed by AR Murugadoss, who directed Aamir Khan Starrer GHAJINI in Bollywood, is the new South movie that is being eyed by Bollywood filmmakers for its remake rights. Reports have it that Bollywood top stars Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar are in race to garb the lead character essayed by Vijay in the original. 

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Despite tough competition from Shah Rukh Khan’s multi starrer HAPPY NEW YEAR, KATHTHI opened in South Cinema to packed houses last week. According to trade pundits the Vijay and Samantha starrer hit the bull’s eye on day one itself as the movie became the highest grosser as it collected Rs. 36 crore in just five days in Tamil Nadu, a record not matched by even superstars like Rajinikanth nor Kamal Haasan

Besides India, KATHTHI has also set new trend at the box office collections in the International market! Reports revel that KATHTHI has grossed £40,000 during its opening days in the UK and by the end of the week, the movie collected a total of £222, 526. Thus making Vijay the numero uno star as KATHTHI suppressed the box office collection of south mega stars like Rajinikanth's SIVAJI and Ajith's ARRAMBAM. In fact Vijay has out beaten his own record as KATHTHI has broken record collection of his own movies like JILLA and THUPPAKI.

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KATHTHI is commercial potboiler with elements of action and a message exposing the corrupt system. Thus the movie is ideal for Bollywood too. Insiders from Bollywood claim the movie is apt for Salman Khan looking at his action image but some feel Akshay Kumar is ideal as he is at his peak.

What is most interesting is that Shah Rukh Khan, who till now has never shown any penchant for South remake is being wooed as filmmakers. Filmmakers believe that the movie will prove a gold mine if Shah Rukh Khan plays the lead because of his mass appeal and his star status will give a tremendous impetus to the film.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Set Of Balaji Telefilms’ Serial YEH HAI MOHABBATEIN Gutted In Blaze

On Friday 24, 2014 when the nation was celebrating Diwali bursting crackers and rockets in merriment, Mumbai’s renowned Killick Nixon Studio owned by Ekta Kapoor CEO of Balaji Telefilm and maker of numerous hit TV serials like Jodha Akbar; Pavitra Bandhan; Kumkum Bhagya; Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh etc. was gutted in a violent inferno. 

According to reports the fire broke out at around 9.30 p.m. at night. Fortunately due to Diwali celebration there was no shooting. Hence nobody was injured nor was any causality reported. Nevertheless the fire engulfed the electrical wiring, others important equipments like the light, sound systems, furniture and clothes. The fire was so intense that eight engines and four water tankers were required to extinguish the fire. 

A fire official briefing the media said, “We received a call at 9.30 p.m. and within ten minutes we reached the spot. However the fire was so insistent that it not just gutted the set of Balaji Telefilms’ serial Yeh Hai Mohabbatein but it moved from the ground and also gutted the first floors within 15 minutes.”

The fire official informed, “The fire that broke at 9.30 p.m. was eventually under control by mid night at 12.20 am and finally doused by 1 am.”

A member of Balaji Telefim told, “Though the fire created havoc like it even destructed the editing room yet the saving grace is that there are no injuries or casualties recorded at the location, but the reason behind the disaster is yet not clear and known.”

This is not the first instance of fire at Bollywood studios. Readers may recall that last year in the month of September eminent stand-up comedian, Kapil Sharma’s set of 'Comedy Nights with Kapil' had caught fire in Mumbai’s Filmcity and was reduced to ashes. 

However the worst accident till date has been on the sets of Sanjay Khan Production’s famous TV serial ‘The Sword of Tipu Sultan’ at Premier Studios in Mysore on 8 February 1989.

Kiss - The Best Marketing Gambit In Bollywood

Chumma or Kiss scenes have been the easiest mode to garner publicity by filmmakers before the movie’s release. With the intention to grab eyeballs and stimulate film buffs with curiosity ahead of their movie’s release, filmmaker cunningly let loose footage of intimate kiss scenes in the movie. Needless to say such wild-passionate kiss works wonders for the movie. 

In the recent case filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee has shot an intense Kiss scene between in its lead actors Sushant Singh Rajput and co-star Swastika Mukherjee in his forthcoming movie DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY. The scene is reportedly been termed as the longest kiss on celluloid.

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According to its film director Dibakar Banerjee he wanted to capture a kiss with a difference, a typical ‘Hatke’ in Bollywood lingo. He said, “The kiss scene I needed to portray was of betrayal, deception and an element of shock that throws the hero in bewilderment. But despite over six to eight rehearsals I could not get the accurate expression on actor Sushant’s face hence I asked Swastika Mukherjee to kiss Sushat on his lips passionately taking unaware. She did as instructed and the scene turned out as per my expectation.” He added, “Nevertheless, Sushant was quite angry and he was taken aback by Swastika Mukherjee intimacy. But when I revealed the truth he was contented.” 

Readers may recall prior to this a similar story had been circulated about Vir Das and Kangana Ranaut kiss scene in the movie REVOLVER RANI. Before the release of the movie there were reports that the movie has a violent kiss scene where Kangana Ranaut has been so violent in the kiss that she actually damaged Vir's lips in the process, keeping true to her character of a violent, out-of-control gangster woman. 

Likewise prior to the release of Parineeti Chopra and Sushant Singh Rajput starring release SHUDHDH DESI, it was widely published featuring as many as 27 kisses. 

Last year, Deepika and Ranveer sizzled the screen with their lip-locks in SLB’s ‘GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA’ and gathered great published. In addition who can forget about Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in DHOOM 2 and Mallika Sherawat-Emraan Hashmi in MURDER.

Thus time and again Bollywood uses Kiss as the best marketing gambit to garner publicity.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Eminent Playback Singer Anuradha Paudwal Turns 62

Anuradha Paudwal the great playback singer of the 90’s who gave super hit songs like Nazar Ke Saamne … (AASHIQUI); Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin…. (Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin); Dhak Dhak Karne Laga… (BETA); Mujhe Neend Na Aaye….. (DIL) turns 62 today. Raaga.Com wishes her birthday greetings and takes look at her unbelievable success story that has been filled with utter competition and disillusion. 

Readers would be surprised to know that Anuradha Paudwal, who made her debut with the legendary music director S.D.Burman in the movie ABIMAAN in 1973, had to struggle for over two decades until music magnet Gulshan Kumar of T-Series music cassette discovered her and made her a star. 

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Recalling her first encounter with S.D.Burman Anuradha Paudwal in an interview said, “My husband Arun Paudwal was a music arranger for S.D Burman but he never took my singing abilities seriously. Also it was that period when Lataji and Ashaji were rulings the industry. However my father-in-law was my source of inspiration. He would constantly keep telling my husband to make me sing but he would retort, ‘It's not so easy, look at the competition.’ 

She continues, “However one day Arunji recorded a shiv sholka in my voice because S.D.Burman wished to have the opening sequence of ABIMAAN with a shiv sholka. Since Lata Mangeshkar was out of country for an important assignment hence Arunji insisted Burmanda to listen to my voice. Listening my voice Burmanda was bowled over and gave me a chance. The sholka gave me much recognition because listeners felt it was sung my Lataji.” 

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Despite such a important break a later many more songs in movies of 70’s 80’s lady luck smiled on Anuradha Paudwal when she met Gulshan Kumar. Recalling her meeting with Gulshan Kumar Anuradha confides, “I met Gulshan Kumar at a point where I had been singing for 12 years and still struggling. I was not getting the kind of top quality songs that I felt I should be singing and the top recording labels were still loyal to Lataji and Ashaji.”

Her meeting with Gulshan Kumar ended her long struggle as she reaped rich dividends with successful movies like DIL HAI KE MANTA NAHIN, AASHIQUI, JEENA TERI GALI MEIN AND MEERA KA MOHAN to name a few.

With this success other top notch music directors worked with her like Jaidev, Shiv-Hari, Ravindra Jain, Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji, Rahul Dev Burman, Rajesh Roshan, Bappi Lahiri, Anand-Milind, Nadeem-Shravan, A. R. Rahman, Anu Malik, Jagjit Singh, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, 

She also sang beautiful duets with her co-singers from south, notably Dr. K. J. Yesudas and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam.

‘Haider’ Becomes India’s First Film To Win ‘People’s Choice Award’ At Rome Film Festival

Shahid Kapoor’s much applauded Vishal Bhardwaj's directed movie HAIDER has become India’s first Film to win the prestigious People's Choice award in the Mondo Genere (World genre) category at the Rome Film Festival. 

Out of the seven films like A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (US), QUANDO EU ERA VIVO/ WHEN I WAS ALIVE (Brazil) and LA PROCHAINE FOIS JE VISERAI LE COEUR/ NEXT TIME I'LL AIM FOR THE HEART (France), which featured under the genre, HAIDER was the only Asian film selected across the globe.

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Elated at the award, Shahid Kapoor tweeted, "It’s a moment of immense pride that the movie has got this award at the festival.” He added, “HAIDER is the First Indian film to win the main category of People’s Choice Award at Rome film festival!” 

Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj briefing media said, “It is really amazing that the movie was watched by over 90% Italians, when the truth is Indian films are usually ignored by the foreign audience.” He added, “The movie captivated the audience as few who had visited Kashmir, were bowled over by the authentic presentation of the trial and tribulations of Kashmirs depicted in the movie.” 

"The award proves that if you put your heart in a movie, it can move people beyond borders,” quipped Vishal Bhardwaj.

He added, “HAIDER focuses on the vital issue of Kashmir and I wished to take the issue at world level. Thank god with this award I have been able to reach a small section and hope to reach worldwide.” 

Actress Shraddha Kapoor, who played Shahid’s love interest in the movie, also shared the good news with her fans. She tweeted, “We WON! #Haider – the 1st Indian film to win the main category of people’s choice award at Rome film festival! So humbled, grateful and proud!”

it seem this is the first award of the season for HAIDER and the list is sure to be long when the film awards races begin next year from January 2015.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sahir Ludhianvi Lives On Stage In A Play ‘Parchhayiyaan’

Eminent poet and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi, was truly one of the most gifted poets Indian Cinema has ever witnessed. The greatness of Sahir, as a poet, lies in his mastery over vocabulary. Unlike other contemporary poets of his era, Sahir’s language was his command because it could be easily understood even by the layman.

Be it a romantic song (Kabhi kabhi Mere Dil Mein Khayaal…); a political satire (Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kaha hai….); , genuine grief (Woh subah kabhi toh aayegi….) or a blunt rage (Yeh mahalon yeh takhton…), Sahir expressed every emotion in powerful words that made him the people’s poet and also one of the most favorite and the highest paid lyricists of Bollywood

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His popularity does not end here, even 34 years after his demise on October 25, 1980; Sahir continues to live among his fans in a play aptly titled Parchhayiyaan - A tribute to Sahir Ludhianvi. Written and directed by Suhail Akhtar Warsi’s the play is attracting Sahir Ludhianvi admirers in India.

The 90 minutes takes the audiences through Ludhianvi’s life - from a difficult childhood, using that melancholy to turn into a poet, to a tumultuous love life, being a part of the Progressive Writers Movement and his grand success as a lyricist in Bollywood

Tom Alter better recognized as the Bollywood’s only actor to perform most Englishman role in Bollywood movies like KRANTI, KARMA, SHATRANJ KE KHILARI etc. re-lives Sahir on stage. Though Tom Alter played Englishman roles but few know that he has a mastery over Urdu language hence Suhail Akhtar Warsi zeroed upon him. 

Suhail Akhtar Warsi says, “My first choice for the role was Farooq Sheikh. Since Sheikh wasn’t comfortable with a lot of poetry, the role went to Alter. But I must confess Alter has added strength and energy to the character.” 

Alter applauding the play said, “The play brings to the stage the life and times of a man who lived large and wrote some of the finest lyrics the Hindi film industry has heard. I am very lucky I got the opportunity to do the role. However my only regret is that I could never really get a chance to meet Ludhianvi.”

Farha Khan Enlivens Manmohan Desai In HAPPY NEW YEAR

Shah Rukh Khan’s much anticipated HAPPY NEW YEAR has opened to a mixed response. While some critics credited it as a masala flick packed with entertainment minus ideology others have booted it out as a below average film. Nevertheless the movie opened to 95-100 per cent occupancy with SRK fans going gaga over the film. 

A film enthusiastic tweeted “HAPPY NEW YEAR is a good watch....loved the film!! Storyline is shallow but @TheFarahKhan managed to make it a complete entertainer.”

According to a famous Bollywood trade magazine from Mumbai, “The movie has garnered Rs 40 crores on its first day at the box office. The magazine added, “The movie is bound to create new record in terms of business looking at the festive crowds and the weekend.” 

Farha Khan, the captain of the ship, who has directed her third film with SRK apart from MAIN HOON NA and OM SHANTI OM seems highly influenced, particularly for HAPPY NEW YEAR from Manmohan Desai, the Ustaad of ‘Masala Flick. Like Desai’s umpteen film having nonsensical stuff with no logic or sense HAPPY NEW YEAR too follows the lines of Manmohan Desai and it seems once again Desai’s formula has succeeded. 

Ashish Saksena, COO Big Cinemas said, HAPPY NEW YEAR has taken a cracker of an opening. The fact that it's the solo release of the week has added to the fun. This could well be the film that will take the highest opening ever." 

For the younger generation, who may not know about Manmohan Desai than let me inform that Manmohan Desai is regarded as Bollywood’s Numero Uno commercial filmmaker. He was the first filmmaker to bring out Amitabh Bachchan from his Angry Young Man’s action image and experiment with comedy in AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY. 

Later along with Amiatbh Bachchan he gave several blockbusters like SUHAAG, NASEEB, COOLIE, MARD etc. Many a times Amitabh Bachchan would laugh at the weird situations that Manji would create in his films but Manmohan Desai would ask him to silently follow and Manji would have the last laugh because he knew the pulse of the cinegoers.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Who Is The Greatest Gambler Of Bollywood?

While releasing a film during Diwali is regarded as the best bet to earning good revenues likewise playing cards during Diwali is a tradition which is consistently being observed over the years. 

A card bash at eminent star residence is a trend and is much awaited. During these Bollywood ‘Patta’ (Cards) parties amounts running into several lakhs are won and lost. 

It may stun the readers but Mr Perfectionist turned Samaj Sewak (thanks to his socially awakening TV show Satyamev Jayate), Aamir Khan's Bandra home turns into a party mood during Diwali. According to an inside source, “ Half a dozen card tables are put up at his first floor Union Park residence in Bandra, where Flush, Poker and Rummy are played. The stakes, they say, ranges from Rs 5 a point to Rs 5,000 a point.” 

While Aamir Khan is yet to send the invites, reports have it Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and the twins Amin and Karim Haji are on the guest list. His director friends Rajkumar Hirani, Karan Johar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Ashutosh Gowariker and Ayan Mukerji are also likely to be present.

Among the yesteryear stars actor Jeetendera is considered as the king of card parties and continues to rule the roost. His sprawling bungalow Krishna is crammed with tables on two floors giving it the feel of an Atlanta casino. Jeetendra maintains, "It is a tradition every Diwali." 

From papa Jeetendra the party is now conducted in style by daughter Ekta Kapoor. She usually has gala affairs and this time, she will be joined at the card table by close friends like Karan Johar, Neelam Kothari and actors she has worked with, like Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra, Emraan Hashmi, Sonakshi Sinha, Shraddha Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor.

Akshay Kumar, Bollywood's original Khiladi is also good in cards and usually walks away with huge booty. 

Bollywood top notch filmmaker Karan Johar too participates in these parties but says, “I play cards only because it is a tradition during Diwali, though I end up losing most often.” 

Shilpa Shetty and millionaire husband Raj Kundra's are also known for their lavish card parties. Shilpa Shetty, says, “I play cards as it is customary." However her husband, the grapevine goes, has a terrific winning streak at the tables in Vegas. And he can beat anyone at Poker. "Yes," says Shilpa, "I have learnt to play Poker from Raj. While I am a novice, he is very good.'' 

As regards Salman Khan, he loves to have card bash for close friends but is poor at the game. 

And last but not the least the Cards Party at Amitabh Bachchan’s Juhu residence Jalsa, is the most esteemed affair as it witnesses the who’s who of Bollywood. Big B is seen in full mood as he celebrates Diwali and enjoys the customary card party along with his close friends.

Kapil Sharma’s Tagline 'Babaji Ka Thullu' Plagiarized In HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Celebrated standup comedian Kapil Sharma’s super hit punch line 'Babaji Ka Thullu' in his Comedy TV Show ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ has been plagiarized in the upcoming Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone much anticipated film HAPPY NEW YEAR!

According to reports the movie directed by famed filmmaker Farha Khan was censored by Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) with a U certificates but the censors objected to few punch lines that they felt were indecent and offensive, hence were altered or deleted. One such dialogue in the film was 'Babaji Ka Ghanta'. The Censor objected to the term ‘Ghanta', pointing at its derogatory meaning.

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A member of the crew of HAPPY NEW YEAR acknowledging the report said, “It is true that we had to alter the phrase 'Babaji Ka Ghanta' to 'Babaji Ka Thullu' to satisfy the censors.” 

He added, “In fact initially we had plans to adopt 'Babaji Ka Thullu' but later we dropped the notion as we thought people would allege plagiarism charges against us for lifting the tagline from Kapil Sharma’s Comedy Show. However the irony is that ultimately we have been obliged to use Kapil Sharma’s Babaji Ka Thullu.” 

The punch line Babaji Ka Thullu which has taken the nation by storm has become a kind of national anthem in India. Truly the punch line in the movie HAPPY NEW YEAR will add to the movie’s entertainment value and will bestow more fame to Kapli Sharma’s popularity. 

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Kapil Sharma is on sky nine these days. His heydays are at its best because his TV show Comedy Nights with Kapil has become a rage on Indian Television. It is the only show that has been used as a platform to promote Bollywood films from Amitabh Bachchan (BHOOTNATH RETTURNS) to the elusive Rekha (SUPER NANI)! 

In fact even the entire team of HAPPY NEW YEAR was present with its entire lead team to promote the movie recently at Kapil Sharma’s Comedy Show.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

‘Happy New Year’ To Be Released In Record 6000 Screens Across Globe

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is leaving no stone upturn to make his upcoming home production HAPPY NEW YEAR a grand success. 

In its latest bid to ensure the movie crosses the minimal Rs 100 crore mark in its first weekend itself, Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment and Yash Raj Films, the distributers of the film are releasing the movie in 6,000 screens worldwide, the most ever, to bank on the Diwali holiday weekend rush! 

According to sources HAPPY NEW YEAR will be released in 5,000 screens in India and 1,000 abroad. Thus breaking the record of Aamir Khan’s biggest blockbuster DHOOM 3 released in 2013 which was released in 4,500 screens in India and 800 abroad. The trend was later followed by Salman Khan’s KICK (2014) and Hrithik Roshan’s BANG BANG (2014) both reaping rich harvest. 

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Applauding the clever marketing strategy Kamal Gianchandani, chief operating officer, PVR Ltd, said, “Diwali has always been a boon to film industry. Besides releasing a film on maximum number of screens guarantees huge returns due to the festive occasion of Diwali.” 

He added, “The movie has all the ingredients of a successful film and seems to hit the bull’s eye. The team of SRK and Farah Khan has been hit in the past with MAIN HOON NA and OM SHANTI OM. Also SRK and Deepika’s Jodi is most favorite among the masses as proved by the mega triumph of OM SHANTI OM and CHENNAI EXPRESS. And last but not the least the hardcore marketing and wide release may insure a minimum of Rs 30 Crore on the first day of the movie’s release.” 

Besides tapping North India and the International market HAPPY NEW YEAR is also exploiting the South India circuit, a trend not prevalent in Bollywood. The movie is being dubbed in Tamil and Telugu versions too taking into account SRK’s popularity in South India after CHENNAI EXPRESS! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

DDLJ Creates History - Enters 20th Years of its successful run!

Yash Chopra’s DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE (DDLJ) was released on October 20, 1995 thus today the movie completes 19 years and enters 20th year of its successful run at Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir Cinema, thus creating a unique record of the longest running movie in the world. Raaga.Com goes memory down lane and traces few untold aspects of the movie.

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Few may know that Aditya Chopra, who made his debut as a director with this movie had written the script when he was in school. In one of his rare interviews he informed that when his father Yash Chopra happened to read his story which was just a rough idea of a foreign boy falling in love with an Indian girl, his father was impressed. But his happiness soon dwindled when Adi told his father that he wished to make the movie in English with Tom Cruise in the lead. However later Adi changed his mind and decided to make the movie in Hindi. 

While everybody knows that Saif Ali Khan was the original choice as the hero few would know that even Shah Rukh Khan had turned down the role when initially offered by Adi. The reason was simple because at that time SRK was then ruling Bollywood as an Anti Hero with movies like BAAZIGAAR and DARR doing excellent businesses. But Adi convinced SRK and rest is history. Readers would be surprised to know that after the amazing success of the movie SRK was so overwhelmed by Adi that he personally signed a Poster of DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE and acknowledged his gratitude in words - Adi Thank You … You have made me a star! The poster with SRK autograph is still a treasure possession at the office of Yash Raj Films.

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Besides breaking all box office records in India DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE also set new International records. It became the second Bollywood movie after Hum AAPKE HAIN KOUN to gross over 1 billion (US$16 million) worldwide! 

And last but not the list the DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE created history at the annual Filmfare Awards too by winning a maximum of 10 Filmfare Awards, the most ever for a single film at that time, as well as the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

Helen - The Ultimate ‘Oomph’ of Bollywood!

When the sex siren of the 70’s Helen sizzled on the screen to the seductive song Ye Mera Dil Pyaar Ka Deewana…… to entice the hero Amitabh Bachchan in the movie DON (1977), the audience seated in theatres went berserk! Believe it or not, according to theatre owners many film buffs saw the movie repeatedly just to get intoxicated by the oozing sex appeal of Helen in the sexy number. On October 21, Helen turns 76; Raaga.Com wishes her many happy returns of the day and reveals how destiny carved a niche for her in Bollywood.

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Born as Helen Jairag Richardson on October 21, 1939 in Burma to a Burmese father and Indian mother, Helen’s family became a victim of World War II. His father was brutally killed by the brute Japanese soilders. To escape the Japanese invasion in Burma, Helen along with her mother, brother and sister came to Mumbai to make a living. At a tender age Helen had to struggle to make a living in Mumbai. Fortunately her passion for dance opened doors of stardom.

Excellent in Kathak and western dance forms, Helen began her career in Bollywood as an extra doing dancing cameos. In an interview she said, “Once I was doing a dance sequence in chorus for the movie SHABISTAN(1951), when Cuckoo, the top notch cabaret dancer of the 40’s and 50’s spotted me and was highly impressed by my dancing skills. She recommended my name to many film producers and I began getting roles in B-grade action thrillers and fantasy movies like ALIF LAILA, HOOR-E-ARAB etc.”

She informed, “The big break came when filmmaker Shakti Samanta was making the movie HOWRAH BRIDGE. Incidentally the movie had a song Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu… and filmmaker Shakti Samanta was looking for a dancer who, was not only an outstanding dancer but had chinky eyes like the Chinese. Fortunately he happened to notice me. He was not only impressed by my dancing skills but my chinky eyes adored him most as it suited the character. Thus he offered me the song and the song proved a milestone in changing my fortune.” 

After this Helen never looked back. Remember her fascinating cabaret songs like O Haseena Zulfowali…. TEESRI MANZIL (1966); Aa Jaane Jaan…. - INTAQUAM (1969); Piya Tu Ab To Aaja… - CARAVAN (1971) and of course who can forget the two most memorable numbers Mehbooba Mehbooba… - SHOLAY (1975) and Mungla Main Gud Ki Dali… - INKAAR (1978).