The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, April 30, 2000
Bollywood Bhelpuri

Heroes of the party
By Madhur Mittal

SURE, film parties can be terrific fun—but only if they’re organised well.

Bobby Deol and Karisma Kapoor pair up for Hum To Mohabbat Karega — "a tickling romance... a thrilling mystery" according to HMV, producer KP Singh and director Kundan Shah. The venue for the audio release ("and a sneak preview") was the ostentatious Harbour Hall, Hotel Centaur (Juhu). The invite time: 8 pm. Well, I managed to stick around till 11.30 pm and all the activity was around the bar! No snacks, no sneak preview, no stars. I’d have left in sheer disgust if Bobby Deol hadn’t walked in. The mediapersons stopped yawning. The party was on, after all....

Bobby, Abhishek at the Hum To Mohabbat Karega bash And while the PRO, Mr Verma did his best to botch up the celebration, who do you think appeared? Abhishek Bachchan, if you please! Suddenly, there was a riot all around as Bobby and Abhi went about around arm in arm! After cool (brief) chats, I wanted to give my belly some ‘food’ for thought. But dinner had yet to be served! Everyone, it seems, was waiting for Karisma to turn up! I’m told she did — after midnight, when most invitees had gone!!! Including Bobby, Abhishek, Shakti!


Losing his mind?

Losing his mind? What else can I say about a gifted filmmaker like Rajiv Rai who, after the near fatal attempt on his life in Mumbai, had shifted digs to Los Angeles, and is now, after years of lying low, making an attempt to make a new movie?

Yar, Ishq, Mohabbat. That’s title of his new venture. Well, it was supposed to be another lavish, multistar extravaganza like his earlier movies. But now, none of the crowd pulling names like, Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai, Hrithik Roshan or Kareena Kapoor are on the marquee! Even constant buddy, Bobby Deol, has been replaced by newcomer Aftab Shivdasani, which leaves Sunil Shetty, Naseeruddin Shah, Arjun Ramphal and some new girls to make their mark.

Couple coup

Yes, I know the presswallahs were thrilled when they were called for a "Exclusive Press Conference", with Mr and Mrs Ajay Devgun, expecting a scoop. All the Devgun duo had to announce was that they (like just about everybody nowadays) now were entering the software bizbuzz with a dotcom float. Devgan Entertainment & Software Ltd will knock on the door of the capital market sometime in June, with an initial public offering (IPO) of INR 2.5 crore. "Vice Chairman" of DESL, Ajay, added that the Company has an authorised capital of 10 crores (impressed, anyone?) while "Director" Kajol let the gathered mediapersons know that her Company would soon launch a cyberspace portal — the most spectacular ever!" — on the Hindi film industry. "It will be an exhaustive encyclopaedia on the Indian entertainment world and will also serve as a B2B site to people worldwide for just about any kind of information of stars, technicians, locations etc!"

What a relief!

Recently, two headlined news snippets were the talk of the town. The first one, published in the most reverred trade journal, proclaimed that ABCL (Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd) had risen from its grave and was alive ‘n’ kicking again, with a new home production, Janamdaata! Details included the cast — Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and a "family appearance" by Shweta Nanda (nee Bachchan)...! The tongues of even the Bollywood wags were tied! And "absolutely amazing" was the buzzword.

The other "exclusive scoop" carried by a (Hindi) film mag was: "Hrithik weds in secret!" The story went on to give an eye-witness account of Bollywood’s ‘current’ craze, Hrithik Roshan, secretly marrying his childhood girlfriend, Suzzane (the comely daughter of Sanjay Khan and Zarine). Needless to say, the magazine was bombarded with frantic phonecalls from the most anxious, hysterical females between the ages of 6 to 60. It was panic station all over the country, believe me!

Mercifully, things cooled down quickly when the general public realised that they’d been taken for a royal ride on April 1, — All Fools Day!!!