Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happy New Year team received a lot of love on the sets of Comedy Nights With Kapil.

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The Happy New Year team received a lot of love on the sets of Comedy Nights With Kapil.
The Happy New Year team -- actors Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah and directorFarah Khan -- will promote their upcoming film on television this weekend.
When they arrived on the sets of Comedy Nights With Kapil, they obviously couldn't get enough of each other, and went on a hugging spree.
Here's a look:
Shah Rukh Khan Deepika Padukone
It all started with Shah Rukh Khan hugging his film's leading lady Deepika Padukone.
Boman Irani and Deepika Padukone
Deepika, in turn, hugged and even kissed Boman Irani.
Abhishek Bachchan and Kiku Sharda
Abhishek Bachchan hugged Kiku Sharda's Pallak.
Kapil Sharma hugs Farah Khan
Comedy Nights host Kapil Sharma hugged Farah Khan.
Boman Irani and Sumona Chakravarti
Boman Irani then hugged Sumona Chakravarti, who plays Manju Sharma on the show.
Shah Rukh Khan and Sunil Grover
Sunil Grover's Gutthi couldn't get over Shah Rukh.
Happy New Year
The show concluded with SRK's signature hug, with the superstar leading the proceedings, followed by Ali Asgar's Dadi, Abhishek Bachchan and Sonu Sood.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Deepika, Sonakshi, Kajol, Big B: It's a fashion parade at this awards show!

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Bollywood's A-listers arrived at the first Star Box Office awards, held in Mumbai recently, dressed in their absolute designer best.

Take a look.

Deepika Padukone was a total knockout in her slinky black outfit. Bet they sewed the dress on her!

Her contemporary Sonakshi Sinha was at the top of her fashion game too, except that her look was more vintage.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Deepika, Shah Rukh and SLAM! tour take San Jose!

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Farah Khan and her lead stars from her upcoming film arrived in San Jose with yet another show as part of their ongoing SLAM! tour.

Here's how the star-studded show went!

Leading lady Deepika Padukone looks resplendent in her sparkly attire.
Another onstage routine saw the leggy actress strike the perfect pose with her posse of backup dancers.
Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika recreate their crackling screen chemistry for their San Jose fans.
Director Farah Khan shares the stage with her close friend and Happy New Year leading man Shah Rukh.
With the SLAM! tour, cast member Abhishek Bachchan's has consistently proved that his sherwani game is top notch, even if his dance moves are nothing to write home about.  
The lovely Malaika Arora Khan strikes the perfect dancer's pose for her own stage turn.
SRK and Sonu Sood lend a helping hand to Boman Irani, who looks all set to rock out, as costars Vivaan Shah (extreme left) and Bachchan look on.
Meanwhile, singer Kanika Kapoor gets down with it with British dance duo Suleman Mirza and Madhu Singh, who go by the moniker Signature.
Boman Irani and Farah Khan get their goof on. 
Vivaan Shah, the youngest member of the HNY cast, joins the duo on stage.
The entire team gets on stage before the grand finale with the hit Chennai Express numberLungi dance.
Shah Rukh Khan strikes one of his signature poses.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Deepika dared to challenge the norm

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It began with an innocuous, angry tweet two weeks ago, but the storm in the coffee mug simply refuses to die down. Claims and counter-claims have kept the debate brewing for much too long. In what was otherwise nothing more than a case of 'common' web content practice, the internet arm of a major media company put up a post showing Deepika's cleavage from a much older event with a screaming headline. Without doubt, it was done with the express desire to grab eyeballs: the 'item' had no news worthiness since it was more than a year old image. But in a domain where the pressure to 'increase' your viewership is so high and where the unofficial belief is that unless it is hard news, a bit of sensationalism is quite okay, this shouldn't have been a problem at all.

The truth is that for most part it would have gone unheeded had it not been for Deepika's tweet. It is, after all, not the first time a female actor has been 'commodified' thus. The difference being that in the past, nobody really had the gumption to stand-up and say: enough is enough.

That is where the Deepika trouble began.
While much energy has been spent in debating the legitimacy of the case, it also brings to light another issue: the confrontation between media (or at least a section of it) and Bollywood. We do not have too many instances of Bollywood biggies locking horns with big and powerful media houses. However, there have been instances in the past where the two have crossed swords. Here are a few famous examples:

Big B and 15-year-media hiatus
Back in the 70s, when the only superstar of the day, Rajesh Khanna was on his way out and Amitabh Bachchan was on the cusp of superstardom, the latter is said to have had a major fracas with a Mumbai-based gossip magazine. Such was the animosity between the two that they ended up boycotting each other... for the next 15 years! Here's how it all happened. In 1975, when Amitabh Bachchan's stars were on the ascend, the magazine invited him to a public function. Big B decided to skip it and instead, it is said, visited Dilip Kumar to discuss what could be done to handle what Bollywood saw as 'yellow' journalism. Infuriated at the slight by a rising star, the magazine is said to have imposed a ban on the actor. It was decided that Bachchan would henceforth never be interviewed by the magazine, and even his images wouldn't ever be published.
Soon, it came to light that a few other magazines too decided to blank him out. It was a popular, but unsubstantiated, claim that given the Big B's proximity to the then Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi, he had a role to play in muzzling the voice of the media during the infamous days of Emergency.
Infuriated at the accusation, Bachchan also reportedly imposed a self 'ban' and refused to speak to media.
It was another matter that once his stars started to shine the brightest, famous French critic and one of the founders of the French New Wave Henri Truffaut mockingly coin the term 'one-man-industry' and the media lapped him up with open arms.

Papparazzi, Dharmendra and Devyani Chaubal
Back in the 70s, things were very different from what they are now. In one reported case, Dharmendra's two sons, Sunny and Bobby Deol, reportedly thrashed a woman journalist, Devyani Chaubal, for writing what they claimed was an unsubstantiated report on their father. This is how it panned out.

Dharmendra, as we all know, had a long and protracted romance with Hema Malini, whom he eventually married. But Garam Dharam was a married man with a wife and four kids. The romance meant that gossip factories worked overtime and the duo was constantly under scrutiny, much to the angst of their families, the lady in question and the actor himself.
In this case, Sunny and Bobby are said to have trailed Chaubal for writing something they didn't like. During the course of a party, attended by Chaubal and the Deol siblings, there was an argument and things went completely out of control. Chaubal reportedly left the venue in a huff. Not the ones to take things lying down, the two brothers waylaid her soon and thrashed her for showing their father in 'bad' light.
Who Devyani? Well, if you've seen Vidya Balan's Dirty Picture, you'll remember the character Anju Mahendroo plays. The journalist's character is loosely based on Devyani Chaubal.

Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn and the awards
Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn have for long boycotted every single media awards. While the popular perception is that most of these nominations and awards are 'fixed' the two haven't come out and spelt out their reasons why they've decided to skip the award nights.

Controversy 'kid' Salman Khan and photojournalists
A couple of days back Salman Khan, Bollywood's very own enfant terrible, ran into a rough patch with film photographers. During the launch of a song Devil from his film, Kick, his bouncers reportedly got tough with some photographers gathered there. This led to section of Mumbai photojournalists' fraternity issuing a ban on him. Haider girl Shraddha Kapoor too had a run-in with photographers recently at promotional event which lead to photographers boycotting her too.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Why Deepika versus Bombay Times may not be a real war at all

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If I were a gambling man (which I am not), I would offer odds of 10:1 that the controversy between the Bombay Times and Deepika Padukone is a fix, and both Bombay Times and Padukone will emerge winners and all the voyeurs of the drama, the twitterati, the columnists and the bloggers are just mugs in the game.

If you re-read the previous paragraph, you would notice that I've said Bombay Times twice and made no mention of The Times of India.

Deepika Padukone. AFP.Deepika Padukone. AFP.
That's the first inference that leads me to say that it's a fix, the fact that the battle is playing out in Bombay Times and not in the main paper, The Times of India. If this was indeed war, the so-called defence that we saw this morning would have played out in the main paper and not in the supplement. When Bennett, Coleman and Company wants to make a statement on an issue that concerns a position, it's up there on the front page, or, at the least, on a right hand nation page. The IRS stories play out there, as do the BARC or TAM stories. Why is this one in a supplement? While the story is about an actor, and, logically deserves to be in BT, the issue that is currently being aired (I hesitate to say debated) is (ostensibly) a far more important one: how media needs to cover and comment on women. 

The second pointer to my belief that it is a fix is the fact that, in the red corner, ladies and gentlemen, we have Deepika Padukone and in the blue corner, we have Priya Gupta.

Deepika Padukone Vs Priya Gupta? That's not a battle of equals. That's hardly Fischer vs Spassky or Ali Vs Frazier. Hell, it's not even George Telegraph Vs Howrah Union.

If this were a real battle, we'd see some heavy lifters in the blue corner: The suits from the BCCL stable, the spokespersons who step in on industry issues, such as Ravi Dhariwal. If BCCL decided to maintain their church and state position, we'd see the editor of The Times of India pulling on his gloves.

The third provocation is BCCL's ambitions and interest in Bollywood. Can BCCL afford to piss off the actor community, even as they have yielded ground to Wizcraft on the IIFA Awards and are playing catch up? If a body of actors stands up for Deepika and refuses access to the BCCL stable of newspapers and magazines, refuses to appear at BCCL events, refuses to engage with BCCL radio stations and TV channels, it's a loss of no mean proportions - and that causes my cynicism and scepticism to increase.

I'll believe it's a real battle if we see a spokesperson from the management side making a statement on the issue. I'll believe it's a real battle if the story is discussed in the main paper tomorrow. And if it is a real battle, let's strap ourselves in for a long, bloody war, with all of Bollywood and feminists in one corner and the entire bouquet of BCCL products in the other. 

That's when I'll believe it.

Till then, I'll say well done, Bombay Times and Deepika, and well done, MediaNet. All of you have got great bang for the buck.


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