Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sonam Kapoor to play Neerja, the daring lady who became India’s Youngest person to win Ashoka Chakra!

Sonam Kapoor after the mega success of RAANJHANAA is quite busy these days doing multiple films. Soon after completing Salman Khan starrer PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO, Sonam will begin work on renowned Ad filmmaker Ram Madhvani’ s biopic NEERJA that is being produced by ace photographer Atul Kasbekar’s company Bling along with Fox Star Studios. 

The biopic is based on the life of 23 year brave heart airhostess, Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life saving the lives of passengers boarded on the unfortunate Pan Am flight 73 Mumbai to Frankfurt that was hijacked by four terrorists of the Abu Nidal terror group on September 5, 1986, when it landed in Karachi. 

Atul Kasbekar in his tweet asked the Indians "Do U Know Who Neerja Bhanot Is? No? Well U Really Really Should..."

Truly the daring tale of Neerja Bhanot is worth admiring because she single handedly faced the terrorist and laid down her life to rescue 41 American on board! 

What makes Neerja’s sacrifice worth saluting is that when the terrorist hijacked the plane, Neerja was the first lady on board to alert the three-member American cockpit crew of pilot, co-pilot and the flight engineer but alas as the plane was on the airstrip all the three American crew escaped caring a damn for their American fellow brothers in the plane but Neerja, despite being an Indian fought tooth and nail with the terrorist. 

According to Ram Madhvani the movie bring forth the courage of woman power and will serve in generating heroism not just among the ladies but among the males as well! 

Narrating the bravery of Neerja Ram informed, “When the terrorist threatened her to collect the passports of the passengers so that they could target just the Americans, Neerja and her team hid the passports. Aggravated at Neerja’s fearless and adamant attitude the terrorist after 17 hours of harassment finally opened fire and set off explosives.”

“But clever Neerja immediately opened the emergency door and helped a number of passengers to escape. Unlike the American pilot crew, who escaped saving their lives, Neera too could have been the first to jump out and save her life when she opened the emergency door, but more than her life, she cared for the lives of passengers as she was on duty and it was her job to take care of the passengers! She finally died a heroic death shielding three children from a hail of bullets.”

Neera’s sacrifice was saluted internationally as the heroine of the hijack. India bestowed upon her the prestigious gallantry award, the Ashoka Chakra, posthumously. She became the youngest Indian to achieve this distinction!

After World Cup Cricket, Anushka Sharma continues to tug-on Virat Kohli in IPL-8!

After being targeted as National Panauti (disgrace) for India’s debacle at the Semi Final against Australia in the recently concluded ICC World Cup Cricket, one wondered that Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma would distance herself from cricket and let her beau Virat Kohli concentrate on his game.

But it seems history is going to repeat itself because after the World Cup Cricket, Anushka Sharma instead on leaving her boyfriend Virat Kohli to focus on his performance has yet again decided to tug upon him in the upcoming IPL Season 8! (Indian Premier League 8) 

According to reports pouring the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), the hosts of the event, are in talks with Anushka Sharma and hope that she would dazzle with her dance numbers on the stage at the opening ceremony of Indian Premier League 8 on April 7 in Kolkata

Biswarup Dey, treasurer of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), briefing media said, “The talks are fruitful and we are hopeful of seeing Anushka for the IPL opening ceremony. The Board is in talks with the actress and an official announcement will be made soon.” He added, “The Board is also in plans to rope in big Bollywood stars like Varun Dhawan and Hrithik Roshan to add glitter and glitz for the opening ceremony.” 

It may be noted that though the organization has not given out any details about her performance, but it is said that they are planning to make it a special moment for Anushka and her boyfriend Virat Kohli, who is also the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore team.

One hopes Anushka Sharma restricts herself to the opening ceremony because if she continues chasing Virat Kohli in the forthcoming IPL Season 8 than there are chances that once again Virat Kohli in her fixation may let his fans down and in turn bring doom to his career! 

Anushka Sharma MUST remember that though it is true behind success of every man there is a woman but it is also true that behind the failure of every man there is a woman!!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Meena Kumari became immortal in SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM

Waqt ne cheen lia hausla-e-zabt’e-sitam

Ab to’ her hadsaye-gham pe tarapta hai dil

(Time has snatched away my fortitude

Now my heart agitates at each advent of grief) 

This sorrow filled verse is penned by none other but the Tragedy Queen of Indian Cinema - Meena Kumari, who gave Indian cinema new heights with her charming performances but lived a live of melancholy and despair. 

31st March marks her death anniversary; Raaga.Com pays her homage and recalls her career best performance in Guru Dutt’s movie SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM that made her immortal!

Listen to Meena Kumari Songs on Raaga.com

Though Meena Kumari gave number of hit films like BAIJU BAWRA, AZAAD, PARINEETA, DIL APNA AUR PREET PARAYI, KOHINOOR, DIL EK MANDIR, KAAJAL, etc. but she became immortal in Guru Dutt’s classic SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM in the emotional laden role of Chhoti Bahu, who takes to alcohol to please her hubby who ignores her and seeks entertainment with nautch girls at brothels. 

From day one when Guru Dutt read the Bengali novel Shaheb Bibi Golam by Bimal Mitra, he was sure that the role was meant exclusively for Meena Kumari as it partially portrayed her own life and was more than symbolic about her estranged relationship with her husband filmmaker Kamal Amrohi.

However when Guru Dutt approached Meena Kumari for the role he was left disappointed as Meena Kumari was packed with many assignments hence she declined the role. But Guru Dutt was adamant hence he shot the entire film except Meena Kumar’s role as he waited for Meena Kumari to accommodate her dates to him. Eventually Meena Kumari gave her nod and even charged 25 percent more than her regular fees but Guru Dutt paid happily as he had his dream heroine playing the role. 

Kudos to Guru Dutt because his patience paid off as Meena Kumari played the role to a perfect ‘T’ pouring all the pathos and sorrows appositely into the character of Chhoti Bahu. 

The highlight of her brilliant performance was her emotive depiction though her eyes and her baritone. Since like the heroine of the film, Meena Kumari in real life too was alcoholic and miserable hence while portraying the role of Chotti Bahu she brought out her trauma and agony quite convincingly and realistically winning a lot of accolades! She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award!

MNS Chief Raj Thackeray interacts with Bollywood celebrities on Mumbai DP Plan

Eminent Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray organized a convention of renowned celebrities from Bollywood and Marathi film industry to voice out their concern regarding the New Mumbai Development Plan (DP) 2034 which has many loopholes. 

The meeting was held at Rangsharda Theater at Bandra (W) on March 28. It was attended by top film celebrities like Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Riteish Deshmukh , Javed Akhtar and his son Farhan Akhtar, writer Salim Khan, Marathi film maker and actor Mahesh Manjrekar, Bollywood filmmaker Sajid Nadiadwala and others dignitaries that included distinguished architect P.K. Das

Expressing gravity at the New Mumbai DP Aamir Khan said, “The plan has many drawbacks like the mangrove land have been marked as residential area and what is most disturbing is that the Aarey milk colony belt, which is a green zone, but the DP has marked it as ‘white’ zone which denotes an economic zone.” 

“Any step regarding Aarey should be taken with great care because it is home to a lot of wildlife. We have no right to disrupt their home and they are the lungs of Mumbaikars as it provides oxygen. Hence the government must think twice before taking any action,” pleaded Aamir Khan

Agitated at the unsound DP Plan, eminent script writer and lyricist Akhtar termed the DP Plan not less than a noose around the neck of Mumbaikars. 

Appealing the citizens to unite against the Plan he said, “The DP Plan is designed in a manner to destroy the natural blessings like mangroves, saltpans and green zones of Mumbai and hand over to the builders’ lobby. Hence the citizens must think that if the life saving natural resources is throttled than how could Mumbaikars live in Mumbai? Hence it is up to you if you want to cut the rope. If the agitation has to come on the streets, we will bring it on the streets,” threatened Javed Akhtar

MNS chief Raj Thackeray through the meeting called upon the Maharashtra government to involve the people in deciding the DP Plan. He said, "If the government communicates with people about their policies, there will be no need for such gatherings.”

Anand Bakshi -The poet of masses

’Mere sapno ki rani..., Jis gali main tera ghar..., Chingari koi bhadke..., Dil aisa kisine mera toda...’ 

No doubt these songs have been super hits but they have one thing in common. All these songs are penned by the great poet Anand Bakshi, who wrote simple easy to understand poems and hence was called the poet of the masses. March 30, marks the death anniversary of the legendary lyricist; Raaga.Com pays him tribute and discovers how filmmaker Shakti Samanta tapped his talent for poetry.

Listen to Anand Bakshi Songs on Raaga.com

The friendship of Shakti Samanta and Anand Bakshi is an interesting tale. It’s reported that when Anand Bakshi came to Bombay in search of work in Bollywood, he was looked down upon for neither did he come from any family of great poets nor he had attended any mushairas. He was an army man but quit army for his passion for pen! 

Despite giving few super hit movies like JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE and MILAN, Bakshi still could not find a place for himself in tinsel town, until he met Shakti Samanta, thanks to his dear friend R. D. Burman

When Shaktida met Anand Bakshi he could sense his brilliance through his poems that he narrated. Remembering his first meeting with Bakshi, Shaktida says, “I remember the quickness with which he could write any song. For instance in my first meeting when I narrated to him, in brief, the background story of ARADHANA, within seconds he wrote the song kora kagaz tha a dil mera... After ARADHANA, we became close friends and gave a number of hits movies like ANURAG, AMAR PREM, KATI PATANG etc. In fact he became a permanent member of Shakti Films till his expired.”

Will IPL 2015 Prove Disastrous For Second Quarter In Bollywood?

Bollywood trade pundits have blamed the ICC World Cricket Cup for the disastrous failure of many Bollywood films released in the first quarter of 2015. So what is worth pondering is that if ICC World Cricket Cup has been the prime reason for distracting people from thronging cinema halls than Bollywood has reasons to worry as another cricket sensation IPL 2015 is beginning from April 8 and will played up till 24 May! 

Readers may note that the first quarter (From January to March) has witnessed not a single film that has touched the 100 crore mark. BABY (Rs 80 crore), DUM LAGA KE HAISHA (Rs 27 crore) and still seems to be going BADLAPUR (Rs.50 crore) and NH10 (Rs 27 crore) 

Eminent Bollywood analyst and film critic, Taran Adarsh blaming the ‘Cricket Fever’ among Indians said, “The first quarter has not been able to produce a single film that could reach the 100 Crore target, probably the reason could be the World Cup Cricket as Indians are known for their craze for the game as cricket is not less than a religion India.” He added, “In addition the annual examination that are held during February and March could also be the reason for the disappointing start in 2015!”

Another trade analyst Atul Mohan supporting Taran Adarsh said, “There are many factors why films haven't worked. Severe winter in North India, the World Cup, children's exams, etc. has affected the box-office performance of some of the big-name projects."

However contradicting these trade analysts another renowned Bollywood trade guru Komal Nahta believed the first half was disappointing only because the content of the movies was poor. 

He said, “I would say the first quarter has not been good at all, and that doesn't mean any film that deserves to do well, has flopped. All the films that have flopped deserved to flop. It has been a below average year.” 

Appreciating quality movies like BABY, DUM LAGA KE HAISHA, BADLAPUR and NH10, which performed well, Nahata said, “The first half has proved that it is content that matters hence movies like DUM LAGA KE HAISHA despite being made on shoe string budget is doing roaring business.”

Friday, March 27, 2015

Shahid Kapoor spills the beans about his VIVAH!

Bollywood heartthrob Shahid Kapoor tired of the paparazzi that made his life hell pestering to seek information about the new girl in his life finally spilled the beans in front of the media! 

Opening his heart out Shahid Kapoor at the glittering ceremony at Hindustan Times Mumbai’s Most Stylish 2015 awards on Thursday candidly announced, “I am aware that the media is getting restless to know about the girl in my life about whom rims have been written.” 

He continued, "I am not engaged, but what you have been reading is kind of true. Marriage is on the cards sometime towards the end of the year and I think that’s all I can say right now."

Refraining from giving details about his sweet heart Shahid said, “I hope the media respects my privacy but since the media was anxious I thought it was important for me to acknowledge it in front of the media, so I am doing this.”

Speaking about the would-be bride of Shahid Kapoor, Mira Rajput is 21 year and 13 years younger to Shahid Kapoor. 

She has been born and brought up in Delhi. She has done her schooling from Delhi's Vasant Valley School and is pursuing English (Hons) from Delhi's prestigious Lady Shri Ram College. She is in her third year and lives with her family Chhatarpur, a suburb in Delhi. 

Shahid and Mira came together through their parents who are devotees of Radha Soami Satsang Beas and share a close knit relation. 

Thus like Rajshri Production’s movie VIVHA, the marriage is arranged unlike the modern day love marriages!

Will it be a cakewalk for Australia to topple New Zealand?

After trouncing India with a massive win of 95 runs Australia will be gearing to crush New Zealand in the prestigious World Cup final on Sunday and dreaming to write a new history of winning the title Five Times!!! 

However will it be a cakewalk for Australia to topple New Zealand that has been desperate to win the title since many years? 

After breaking the jinx of being defeated six times in the seminal the New Zealand team that has eventually reached their maiden World Cup final defeating the tough South Africa at Auckland's will surely be all charged and like a wounded tiger would be aspiring to pounce upon the Kangaroos!

The highpoint of New Zealand team is that it is riding high with the distinction of a spotless record of winning all their matches in this tournament. To add cherry on cake they have the psychological advantage of defeating Australia in the World Cup pool and that too bundling the mighty Australian batting line-up for a petite score as low as 151 at Auckland. Hence the team looks spirited. 

New Zealand seamer Tim Southee believes their team will give a tough battle to Australia in the finals. He said, “Our team has the experience and the firepower to topple Australia in Sunday's World Cup final in Melbourne.” He added, “Our team would be relishing the opportunity of playing in their maiden World Cup final and hunt for a win.”

The only drawback that the New Zealand team has is that it has won all its matches in their home grounds at New Zealand hence beating Australia in Australia is a huge task. Nevertheless Southee doesn’t think so. “It's a dream come true for all the guys. This is as good as it gets, taking on Australia in Australia on one of the best cricket grounds in the world.” He quipped. 

In contrast Australian Captain Michael Clarke denies that having lost to New Zealand has been a setback. Instead he considers the team’s defeat at Auckland by the hands of New Zealand as boon in disguise. In an interview he confided, "I believe our defeat against New Zealand had made us stronger. In fact I believe the defeat was the turning point in this tournament for the Australian team.”

He added, "I think that one defeat gave us a bit of a kick up the backside. Our attitude from that day has been exceptional. The boys have got out of bed every single day to try and become better and the pointer is our result after the defeat!”

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Is Anushka Sharma the prime culprit in India’s defeat against Australia?

Anushka Sharma should be declared National Panauti…..; Not blaming anyone but Anushka…..; Boys have been great until yesterday. Manhoos kahikiiiiiii”; why oh why didn't Anushka have some other surgery to undergo today?

Well these are some of the hate tweets by angry Indians condemning actress Anushka Sharma as the prime culprit behind India’s loss against Australia in the all important World Cup Semi –Final. 

Among the many cricket buffs who took to tweeter and other social media in order to vocal their anguish against India’s loss in the crucial semi-final against Australia, sincerely felt that had Virat Kohli been sincere to his profession and played his natural game India would have surely won the match.

cricket buffs lambasting India’s raising talent Virat Kohli said, “India could have easily chased the total after a fiery start by Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma but alas Virat Kohil yet again failed to live up to the expectation when he was most importantly required to perform.”

Blaming Kohli’s inclination more towards his girl friend Anushka Sharma than to his county and his profession a cricket fan fuming in anger quoted, “India has lost the game only because of Virat Kohli. His obsession for his girl friend Anushka Sharma could be judged from the fact that he neither played with the bat nor was adept at fielding. He also dropped the crucial catch of Australia batsman Brad Haddin.”

Irked at hate tweets and criticism labeled upon Anushka Sharma, she responded stating that she is not responsible for Virat Kohli bad performance in Semi Final of world cup 2015. “Don’t blame over me for Virat Kohli’s bad performance he is responsible for his own field during the matches,” she said in an interview! 

True indeed! What Anushka Sharma says is right because Virat Kohli with recent stardom has lost hold on his ground. He is on sky nine blind with glitter of fame and success! 

If you don’t believe than watch the recent ‘Crash Pepsi IPL’ commercial. You will be surprised to watch that even the commercial advices Kohli to concentrate on his game rather than focus elsewhere? Hope Virat Kohli learns a lesson!!

It’s an honorable ‘Ghar Wapsi’ for Team India!

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan at the end of the thrilling Semi Final between India and Australia has rightly tweeted, “Well played Australia. Thank you to the Indian team for taking us to the semis. Hard luck and well played.”

From a sportsman’s perspective India indeed played a brilliant match against the mighty Australian team and a special kudos to captain M.S. Dhoni for yet again playing a stealer performance in a crunch match, despite key batsmen failing to perform! He kept a straight face and led his side with aplomb.

Dhoni top scored for his team with a run-a-ball 65 but it was in vain as the Indians collapsed to be all out for 233 in the 47th over, chasing Australia's daunting 7 for 328. In his statement after the match, Dhoni confided that the team crumbled under pressure.

He said that the team got a brilliant start, particularly, Shikhar Dhawan playing aggressively. However in the haste for quick runs he committed the blunder of going all out for big shots. Lamenting over the dismissal of Shikhar Dhawan, Dhoni said, “Shikhar should not have played big shots because he was scoring quite freely and with the open field, he should have just batted for a few more over.” 

"But overall, there is pressure when you're chasing 329 runs and we have seen in cricket that pressure makes you do things you don't really want to do," he confessed. 

Praising the spinners Dhoni said, “The spinners performance was good but I feel the fast bowlers could have done slightly better than the result would have been different because the score of 329 was just above par.” 

Giving no excuses for the loss captain M.S. Dhoni seemed quite contended with his team’s overall performance and applauded the boys for playing a positive cricket.

He said, “Overall, quite happy with where we were," he said. "At the start of the tournament, a lot of people didn't really think we'll come so far.” 

True indeed because from being termed as underdogs in the tournament team India has risen like a phoenix from the ashes and deserves applause.

Though team India’s impressive winning streak in World Cup 2015 came to an abrupt end breaking the hearts of billions of cricket buffs across the globe but what must be applauded is that the men in blue gave a tough battle to Australia, the team that boosts having been a three-time World Cup Champion ((1999, 2003 and 2007). It may be noted that Australia has the distinction og having played in the most final matches (six out of ten: 1975, 1987, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007). 

In nutshell, I will conclude it’s an honorable ‘Ghar Wapsi’ for Team India!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fans Favor India While Bookies predict Australia!

The edge of the seat thrilling Semi-Final between India and Australia has generated much fervor among the fans and bookies. The colossal clash between Australia and India in the Cricket World Cup Semi-Final in Sydney on Thursday is thus awaited with batted breath. While the fans are favoring India to win, the bookies predict a win for the Kangaroos.

Interestingly the Semi -Final between New Zealand and South Africa witnessed a similar scenario. The match was played at Eden Park in New Zealand and obviously the packed stadium of over 40,000 supported the home team but the bookies thought otherwise. 

According to reports the odds for the game stood at 75/100 (Seventy five paisa for one rupee) for a South Africa victory, while for the New Zealand, it was 1.30/100 (one rupee and 30 paisa for a rupee). Lower the odds, higher are the perceived chances of a team winning. Everybody is ware about the result.

Hence it is established from New Zealand’s victory that the bookies are not always right. Another lesson that we learn from the match is that while the bookies may not be always right but the fans that cheer a team play a pivotal role in motivating the players and ultimately decide the fate of the match!

The Semi-Final between New Zealand and South Africa is yet again the pointer to this fact because in the last over when New Zealand was in a tight spot with five runs to win from last two bowls, New Zealand batsman Grant Elliott looked cool and at ease. He displayed his self-confidence by hitting a massive six in the second last ball of the last over thus taking New Zealand to the finals. 

Speaking his heart out at the end of the match New Zealand’s hero of the Semi-Final, Grant Elliott, candidly admitted, “With 40,000 home crowd cheering for victory I was pepped with energy and I felt no pressure at all.” 

Coming to the India – Australia Semi-Final, yet again the bookies are in favor of Australia winning the Semi-Final. Hence the bookies are said to be offering 50/100 (50 paisa for a rupee) on Australia, and for India, the value stands at two rupees for a rupee, as reported by India’s largest selling national daily. 

However the good news is that while the bookies may not be in favor of India’s win but the fans are supporting India. According to reports Indian fans are likely to outnumber their Australian counterparts despite the match being held in Sydney. 

Organisers believe that 70 percent of tickets at the sold-out 42,000-capacity Sydney Cricket Ground have been bought by India fans, who would be leaving no stone unturned to stimulate Indian players for a much anticipated win! 

So Indian cricket buffs can keep their figures crossed for an Indian win, if we compare the scenario of the Semi-Final between New Zealand and South Africa!

Aamir Khan expresses concern over derogatory content for children in films

Aamir Khan, who is known for making socially revenant movies like LAGAAN, TAARE ZAMEEN PAR etc has expressed his concern over the derogatory content being dished out by filmmakers for the children. 

Speaking at the annual FICCI Frames event in Mumbai he said, "If you look at our children's content, it's almost negligible, and the little that I see is very scary. It scares me to see the kind of children's content they are making.” 

The FICCI Frames was attended by Bollywood personalities like Kamal Haasan, Chairman, FICCI MBEC South, and Ramesh Sippy, Co-Chair, FICCI Entertainment Committee etc.

Lamenting at the falling standards of virtues and honesty among children Aamir pondered, “Today, unfortunately, we are in a time where dishonesty is looked upon. How do we bring in a quality that people can admire?" “Nevertheless it is high time we as a creative industry or media understand our responsibility in building the nation and transform the younger generation,” he advised. 

Aamir Khan’s concern is worth pondering because in recent times the whimsical world of children films has practically vanished with just a few exceptions like TAARE ZAMEEN PAR, STANLEY KA DABBA or BHOOTHNATH because film producers claim that children films don’t have a commercial angle.

However a look at some of the great all time hit children films like BOOT POLISH, DOSTI, GHAR GHAR KI KAHANI, PARICHAY, HATHI MERE SATHI, KUWARA BAAP etc it can be concluded that whenever a good children film has been made it has not only done good business but done extraordinary business. 

It’s not that just 60’s and 70’s witnessed some good children movies. Even in the 80’ and 90’s there have been good children films like CHOTA CHETAN, MASOOM, MR. INDIA, ANJALI, HUM HAIN RAHI PYAAR KE etc. 

Further with MADKEE, IQBAL, KOI MIL GAYA, THE BLUE UMBRELLA etc doing brisk business at the box office it is crystal clear there is enough space for children films but the key is how the filmmakers presented the subject.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kangana Ranaut wins National Award for QUEEN!

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut added yet feather in her cap by winning the prestigious 62nd National Award for her effortless performance in Bollywood hit film QUEEN. At a young age of 28 years Kangana Ranaut has bagged her second National Award. She had earlier received the National Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as the drug-addict model in FASHION.

Karnataka actor Vijay gave a major setback for Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor, who after winning almost all the popular film awards was heavily banking to grab the country highest honor for his critically acclaimed performance in HAIDER. Nevertheless the jury settled for Vijay, who deservedly won the Best actor award for brilliantly portraying a transgender in the Karnataka film NAANU AVANALLA, AVALU ((I AM NOT A HE, BUT SHE)

The highlight of this year’s National Award is that the awards have been brilliantly dispersed among different state. The Best Film Award has been bestowed upon debutant Marathi film director Chaitanya Tamhane, for his Marathi film COURT. Interestingly the film COURT has won multiple International awards that includes at 71st Venice International Film Festival, 16th Mumbai Film Festival (International competition) and at 51st International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.

Bengali director Srijit Mukherji won the Best Director award for CHOTUSHKONE. The Supporting Actor awards were begged by Tamil actor Bobby Simha for JIGARTHANDA and Baljinder Kaur for Haryanvi film PAGDI - THE HONOUR.

Priyanka Chopra’s MARY KOM was named the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Vikas Bahl's Queen has been named the Best Hindi film. 

Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj’s HAIDER that created flutter at all the popular film awards nites did created its magic at the National Award by winning as many as five National Film Awards but tragically the most awaited award for its lead actor Shahid Kapoor for his mesmerizing performance went unnoticed! 

HAIDER won Best Male Playback Singer for Sukhwinder Singh for the song Bismil; Best Dialogues and Music Direction for the film's director Vishal Bhardwaj; Best Choreography for Norway-based Sudesh Adhana; and Best Costume Designer for the effervescent Dolly Ahluwalia.

Elated at winning five awards Vishal Bhardwaj briefing media said, "We have got more than what we expected. I am overwhelmed," However deep layer of melancholy could be noticed on his face for Shahid being ignored. "I am a bit disappointed for Shahid. His performance was really good in the film. I feel sad for Shahid," he confided. 

It was also a moment of pride for Marathi cinema, as another Marathi film ‘KILLA’ directed by Avinash Arun, also bagged honours in India Gold section of the festival.

President Pranab Mukherjee will hand over the awards to the winners on May 3 in New Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan.

The complete list 

Dada Saheb Phalke Award: Shashi Kapoor

Best Feature Film:Court (Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati & English)

Best Popular Filmfor Providing Wholesome Entertainment: Mary Kom

Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director: Asha for Jaoar Majhe

Best Direction: Srijit Mukherji for Chotushkone (Bengali)

Best Actress: Kangana Ranaut for Queen

Best Actor: Vijay for Nanu Avanalla Avalu (Kannada)

Best Supporting Actor: Bobby Simhaa for Jigarthanda (Tamil)

Best Supporting Actress: Baljinder Kaur for Pagdi The Honour (Haryanavi)

Best Male Playback Singer: Sukhwinder Singh, for Bismil, Haider

Best Female Playback Singer: Saivam (Tamil) and Uttara Unnikrishanan (Song: Azhagu)

Best Costume Designer: Haider (Hindi) Dolly Ahluwalia

Best Music Direction Songs: Haider

Best Music Direction Background Score: Nineteen Eighty Three (Malayalam)

Best Choreography: Sudesh Bismil, Haider

Best Assamese Film: Othello

Best Bengali Film: Nirbashito

Best Hindi Film: Queen

Best Rabha Film: Orong

Best Haryanvi Film: Pagdi The Honour

Best Punjabi Film: Punjab 1984

Best Tamil Film: Kuttram Kadithal

Best Telugu Film: Chandamama Kathalu

Best Malayalam Film: Ain

Best Marathi Film: Killa

Best Odiya Film: Aadim Vichar

Best Kannada Film: Harivu

Best Konkani Film:Nachom - IA Kumpasar

Special Mention: Killa (Marathi)

Best Film on Environment Consevation/Preservation: Ottaal (Malayalam)

Best Educational Film: Komal & Behind the Glass Wall

Best Exploration/ Adventure Film: Life Force - India's Western Ghats

Best Investigative Film:Phum Shang 

Best Animation Film: Sound of Joy

Best Short Fiction Film: Mitraa

Best Film Critic: Tanul Thakur

Danger of rain looms large over India vs Australia semi - final!!!

History has it that whenever an important cricket tournament is being held rain is known for playing spoilsport. A picture of this bitter truth was noticed at the crucial semi final between New Zealand and South Africa played on Tuesday! 

The bad news is that it seems rain will continue to play spoilsport between the ‘All Important’ semi final between India and Australia because according to weather reports rain will pose a major threat during the India vs Australia World Cup semi-final tie to be played at Sydney on Thursday

Cricket fans may agree that rain proved fatal for the South Africans in the Tuesday’s semi-final because prior to rain South African team was going great guns when they were halted by rain. According to cricket experts had the rain not intervened the South African could have amassed a mammoth total crossing over 350 plus. Also due to rain the pitch became wet and South African bowlers had hard time bowling.

When they play resumed South African total was rounded to Duckworth-Lewis target of 298. Grant Elliott scored a match-winning 84 off 73 to power New Zealand (299/6) to their first ever World Cup final, beating South Africa (281/5) by 4 wickets (D/L) in a cliffhanger heavily affected by rain.

Coming to the critical semi final between India and Australia weather reports reported that it has been raining in Sydney since Tuesday morning and the fear of rain looms large over the important semi –final on Thursday!!

According to the Weather Department rain is predicted to hit on Tuesday as well as on Wednesday. The only relief for India is that Weather Department has forecasted a clear weather for Thursday, when the two teams meet to battle out the crucial final. However the good news ends here because even if it remains clear on Thursday the ground conditions and the pitch are likely to be badly affected. 

Meanwhile team India was seen utilizing innovative tricks to counter the fast pace attack of the Kangaroos. Just as Dhooni countered the lethal attack of Pakistani tall pacer Mohammad Irfan by employing support staff standing on stools to give the batsmen throw downs likewise Dhooni this time adopted a unique tennis racquet training method. To prepare his batsmen to handle bouncers, Dhoni served Suresh Rana, known for his weakness to handle short ball, with the tennis ball and later he too practiced in the same fashion. 

Hope the rain does not play spoilsport.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Actor Shashi Kapoor bestowed with Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor, on Monday became the third in the Kapoor clan to be bestowed with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award in cinema. This award is given to a person for his or her ‘outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema’. 

Prior to him the award has been bestowed on Shashi Kapoor’s father Prithviraj Kapoor, popularly recognized for his splendid performance as King Akbar in K.Asif magnum opus MUGHAL-E-AZAM. In addition the award has also been conferred upon Shashi Kapoor’s elder brother Raj Kapoor, the great filmmaker and actor. 

Responding to the award Shashi Kapoor’s first reaction was "Me? I got it? And then he chuckled."

Listen to Shashi Kapoor Songs on Raaga.com

Frankly speaking Shashi Kapoor’s reaction is valid because the film industry has never taken Shashi Kapoor seriously. In his career ranging over four decades he has always been written off by critic despite giving hard hitting and sensitive performances in movies like DEEWAR, KABHI KABHIE, JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE’, KALYUG, JUNOON etc. 

The Filmfare awarded him just one award for his superlative performance in DEEWAAR but that too Shashi Kapoor declined to receive as he was awarded Best Supporting Actor award. Shashi Kapoor argued he was the hero as he not only played a pivotal role but also had two songs with the heroine (Neetu Singh). Hence he did not accept the award. 

Though the so called popular awards discarded Shashi Kapoor, the National Award was kind to him as he won three national awards, two national awards for his brilliant performances in offbeat movies like NEW DELHI TIMES (1986) and IN CUSTODY (MUHAFIZ In Urdu) (1993). Shashi Kapoor won one national award as Producer for making a masterpiece movie JUNOON (1979). 

Kunal Kapoor, son of Shashi Kapoor, who played the protagonist in Shashi Kapoor’s movie VIJAYTA commenting on his papa’s reaction said, "I think he must be quite chuffed because his father won it as well.” 

Rishi Kapoor, nephew of Shashi Kapoor elated at his uncle receiving the honor said, "I don't think the award is delayed honour. Shashi Kapoor was a visionary who did films that were ahead of their time."

Who will break the jinx - New Zealand or South Africa?

New Zealand and South Africa are once again the Semi- finals of World Cup and aspiring to break the jinx! 

While New Zealand has been into the semi- finals six times, South Africa has been three times and incidentally both the teams have never been able to reach the finals! However this time, both the teams are confident of breaking the jinx when the two clash at the beautiful Eden Park in Auckland on Tuesday with a hope to end years of pain and near-misses.

The jinx is sure to break because one team is certain to go into the finals but the million dollar question is – which team will qualify to the finals? 

Both teams are playing aggressively, playing an entertaining style of cricket and both teams are trying to win key moments rather than not lose them.

However a close monitoring of the two team’s performance reveals that New Zealand has won all the matches and looks fierce; on the other hand South Africa has lost twice in the group matches. Hence the New Zealander’s have an upper edge. Another added advantage to New Zealand is that they are playing in front of a passionate home crowd of 40,000 at Eden Park! 

And last but not the least, New Zealand are on the most glorious of runs: nine ODI wins and counting. Each match of this tournament has thrown up new heroes: Brendon McCullum, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult and, latterly, Martin Guptill can be known as the Super Six, while they have had more than a little help from their team-mates.

In contrast South Africa's tournament has not been anywhere near as seamless with the notable group-stage defeats against India and Pakistan, the latter of those at Eden Park. However, their overwhelming performance in the quarter-final against Sri Lanka - their first World Cup knockout victory - has ensured that, at least for a short while, AB de Villiers can experience something his predecessors have not. Winning a crunch game! 

Another jolt for South Africa is that when the two teams met in the knockout stages four years ago - the quarter-final - New Zealand won by 49 runs in Dhaka. Thus overall New Zealand thus has an edge over South Africa. 

However Proteas captain AB de Villiers discards the past. He said, "It's silly to focus on the match played in the past. I believe if we play to our full potential, nobody is going to stop us in this tournament. We're confident in our abilities as a cricket team. We've played some really good cricket in New Zealand. In the last five ODIs we've come out on top, and that's what we focus on now."

A confident New Zealand Captain McCullum said, "The way we've been playing is pretty exciting, For us to win World Cups in crunch games, we need to remain true to that and I wouldn't expect that it will change on Tuesday."

Shilpa Shetty booked in conning case!

Eminent Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and her husband Ripu Sudan Kundra, popularly recognized Raj Kunder has been booked by Kolkata Police under the grave charge of conning naive investors by promising them to multiply their investment 10 times!

According to a FIR lodged by a Kolkata based company MK Media Private Limited the duo Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kunder through its company Sports and Media Private Limited lured investors with lucrative schemes.

Director Debashis Guha of MK Media Private Limited in his complaint reported that the duo operated their conning business from a posh office at Bandra in Mumbai.

Debashis Guha briefing media said, “The duo approached me and promised me to multiple my Rs 9 Crore in two years. They gave allotted me 30 lakh equity shares but when I found the shares to be bogus I lodged a complaint.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police Murli Dhar in its statement stated, “We have registered a case against Shilpa and her company on the charges of criminal breach of trust, cheating, extortion, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy.”

Police have slapped sections 120B, 406, 418, 420, 388, 389, 506 of IPC in the case. The Kolkata based company had earlier filed a suit with the Calcutta High Court.

It may be noted that earlier in the IPL season 2013 Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra had been accused of betting and match fixing. The Supreme Court in its 130 page verdict had declared Raj Kundra guilty of betting.

Will Sydney Cricket Ground be a boon in disguise for India in WC Semi Final?

The Australian cricketers are known to be bigheaded and haughty hence there is no wonder that they are eyeing to put brakes to India’s winning streak during the coveted and thrilling World Cup semi-final clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday. In a statement Australia batting star Glenn Maxwell boosted, "India haven’t won a game against us all summer. I hope that is pretty clear in their memories. We've been dominant all summer in the ODI format. Hopefully we can continue that."

However the good news is that the semi final is being played at Sydney Cricket Ground, which is known for its pitch's reputation as a spinners' paradise. Hence even Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq believes that India has a edge over Australia in the semi final because the match is being played at Sydney Cricket Ground and the ground is known to favor spinners.

Misbah said, “India have got a chance because they are playing in Sydney and the Sydney pitch, everybody knows, there's a little bit for the spinners, and both their spinners R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are bowling well.” 

To emphasis his point he pointed, “When we played against England there the spinners got great success. Similarly in the quarter-final at the same stadium when we played against Sri Lanka our ace spinner Imran Tahir got wickets. Hence Australia might be in problem. Also, playing against spin has been the weak point of the Aussies.” 

However Australia captain Michael Clarke disagreeing with Misbah-ul-Haq said, "Even if the ground supports spin, we've got spinning options in our squad. I am confidence that whatever 11 is selected, we will play our best cricket and give ourselves every chance of winning that game in whatever conditions."

India, on the other hand has shown grit and confidence. The way Dhoni has led the team to amazing consecutive wins cannot not be mentioned in words. Truly how Indian have metamorphosed into a legend team in the making with their performance in the ongoing tournament is remarkable. 

Come March 26 and India awaits semifinal glory and even though stats pit Australia as favourites, don’t count the Men in Blue out.

If they’ve broken the South African jinx in the World Cup, taming the kangaroos, which lack that experienced spinner, would be the tramp card that Dhoni and company would be working! Let’s hope Sydney Cricket Ground becomes a boon in disguise for Indian cricket team in WC Semi Final?