Fast forward
Losing may also be a winning proposition in reality shows if you want to get noticed for future roles. For, these shows are a shortcut to the small and big screens. Our reality stars show us how….
Ashima Sehajpal

“Roadies taught me how to face camera with confidence, thus not much training was required. It reflected my true personality, made me popular and increased my saleability as an actor.”
“Roadies taught me how to face camera with confidence, thus not much training was required. It reflected my true personality, made me popular and increased my saleability as an actor.”

Winning helps, but losing isn’t harmful either. The cause: reality shows that fetch you enough limelight, either ways. The effect: easy entry into television soaps and if luck’s shining, Bollywood isn’t far too.

Want examples? Count on: Mohit Malhotra of Spiltsvilla will be seen in Mitwa, a new series on Star Plus. Vishal Karwal, last year’s Splitsvilla winner is playing the lead role in Bhagyavidhata, a new show on Colors. Neha Marda, Gehna of Balika Vadhu entered the industry through Boogie Woogie. Abhijeet Sawant, winner of Indian idol-I made his Bollywood debut in Lottery, which bombed at the box office and has some more projects in hand.

Amit Tandon, another Indian Idol contestant was seen in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and is currently seen in Dill Mill Gaye. Sufi Malhotra, one of the Roadies this year is being flooded with TV soap offers. Shubi, a Roadies contesant was one of the girls in Chak De India. Shaleen Bhanot, another Roadies contestant was seen in Saat Phere and then went on to win Nach Baliye Season 4.

Ekta Kapoor signed Shambhavi Sharma from Roadies 5.0 for a film. Bani J, a VJ with MTV and a former roadie was seen in the movie, Aap Ka Saroor. Ayushmann Khuranna too was seen in Kayamat.

Reality shows are proving much more than a mere platform to showcase talent. A rather opposite definition comes from Remo D’ souza, a renowned choreographer and a mentor at the Dance India Dance. “It is a launch pad to make a career in the glam world.

But you need talent to utilise that too,” asserts Remo. And the offers raining for contestants, he thinks, are no distraction, in fact, they serve as an incentive and motivation to compete better, “Anybody who can dance, can act as well.

Vrushali is getting offers from South Indian Films, Salman and Mayuresh from Bollywood, Khushboo and Bhavna from TV soaps. This wouldn’t have been the case if they weren’t talented enough.”

Neha Marda, who’s playing Gehna in Balika Vadhu has no hassles in admitting the fact that it was winning Boogie Woogie that gave her exposure to make it to TV, “I was noticed by the Sahara channel while I was still busy with Boogie Woogie and was offered lead roles in two soaps. A direct entry into the serials wouldn’t have been this easy.”

If everything adheres to the demand and supply curve, then reality show stars ruling the television is no different a situation. “The personality and characteristics of the reality show contenders get established firmly on television.

They appear endearing, people love to watch them, hence various channels and even Bollywood bigwigs sign them,” opines Vaibhav Vishal, associate vice-president, Creative and Content, MTV.

The trend might also serve as the inspiration for more youngsters to be a part of reality shows. “Everybody wants to be famous and people who make it to the reality shows capitalise on it to win over audiences,” he adds.

It is Rannvijay Singh’s success in Bollywood that reaffirms the fact that reality shows provide a platform. All set to make his acting debut with London Dreams starring Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan and Asin and with another Vipul Shah’s movie, Action Replay, too lined up, Rannvijay further reaffirms the fact that reality shows are a shortcut to success, “Roadies taught me how to face a camera with confidence, thus not much training was required. It reflected my true personality, made me popular and increased my saleability value as an actor.”

Vishal Karwal and Mohit Malhotra credit their show on MTV for fetching them success so soon. “I realised the benefits of being part of reality shows, when the television industry accepted me so readily after that.

I didn’t have to go around distributing my portfolio at the production houses or take references from people in the industry, unlike other boys. My identity of Vishal Karwal of Spiltsvilla and Couplesutra was enough to work for me.”

So, we can say a break in Bollywood or television is just a reality show away.

Moment of reckoning…

Lux Dance India Dance show participants, choreographer Geeta Kapoor and Siddhesh Pai met Raj Thackeray to seek his blessings before the finale on May 30.

Siddhesh is one the four finalists, the other three being, Alisha Singh, Jai Nair and Salman Khan. Last week, Prince was eliminated from the show after he got the minimum number of votes from public.

Terrence Lewis is mentoring Jai Kumar Nair and Alisha Singh, the only female finalist on the show. Remo D’souza is training Salman Khan. Veteran Bollywood actor, Mithun Chakravarthy is the grandmaster on the show. The live telecast of the show can be seen at 9.30 pm on Zee TV. — TNS

Bachna ae haseen
Deepika Padukone more beautiful than Angelina Jolie 

Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone

Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie is facing competition in the looks department by none other than Bollywood starlet Deepika Padukone.

Padukone who made headlines by debuting opposite superstar, Shahrukh Khan, has been hailed more beautiful than Jolie by The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen, FemaleFirst reported.

“Deepika Padukone is gorgeous and is more beautiful than Angelina Jolie,” Dohen said.

Cohen, whose credits includes The Witches of Eastwick and The Fast and the Furious, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story has even indicated that he is interested in casting the Indian beauty for his next film project, the website said.

Padukone is a favourite in the world of fashion, having endorsed International brands like Maybelline and Levi’s in the past.

She was also the most searched celebrity on Yahoo! India in 2008, surpassing Bollywood favourites Aishwarya Rai and Shilpa Shetty. —PTI

Baaton baaton mein
Aishwarya, Kareena patch up at Karan Johar’s birthday bash
Subhash K. Jha

Director Karan Johar’s birthday bash turned out to be an occasion for a grand reunion between Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor. The two giggled and danced together, ending the long-standing cold war between the Bachchan and the Kapoor families.

The birthday party on Monday evening saw Aishwarya and Kareena laughing, giggling, whispering and behaving like two long-lost friends, adding that extra zing to Karan’s glamour-gorged bash.

The women also took to the dance floor together and ended the cold war between the two families that started when Aishwarya’s hubby Abhishek Bachchan broke his relationship with Kareena’s sister Karisma. The break-up between Abhishek and Karisma also severed relationship between the Bachchan and Kapoor families

But the two families began to resolve their differences after the recent efforts of Aishwarya and Karan Johar.

During the release of Abhishek’s Drona last year, director Goldie Behl also invited Kareena and her sister to the premiere for a patch up. But perhaps the wounds hadn’t healed completely. Karan’s party on Monday did the trick.

Kareena said recently she loved the way Aishwarya conducted her career after marriage and would love to conduct her career the same way.

Now, after the dance of rapprochement it’s only a matter of time before Abhishek and Kareena come together again for a film after Refugee and Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon.

And chances are Karan Johar would design the project. —IANS

It’s a bad, bad world
Dev Patel turns baddy in his next film

Dev Patel
Dev Patel

British-Indian actor Dev Patel, who played the happy-go-lucky slum dweller in the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, is all set to surprise fans with his villainous turn in Hollywood flick The Last Airbender.

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan

Patel sports a mean and grim look in the first photograph released from the film, which is based on the animated TV series about warring element of Air, Water, Earth and Fire, Sun online reported.

The actor plays villain Zuko, his first major role since his debut film, where he played a lovelorn street boy searching for his lost sweetheart in Mumbai’s grim underbelly.

The 19-year-old, who was spotted by Danny Boyle’s daughter to star in Slumdog Millionaire, had charmed millions of fans around the globe with his rags-to-riches journey as a Mumbai slum dweller in the film.

However, it seems that Patel wants to challenge his boy-next-door image with his latest role. — PTI

SRK may play baddie in Dhoom 3 

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan who redefined the Bollywood villain by playing the bad guy in films like Baazigar, Anjaam and Darr is set to do a negative role once again for Dhoom 3, reports said.

Khan has been approached by Yashraj Films to play the villain in the third edition of Dhoom series and the star has reportedly accepted the offer, Femalefirst reported.

“Shah Rukh had been approached by the banner to play the main villain in the most successful franchise of Bollywood - the Dhoom series and he has immediately given the nod,” a source told the website.

The last few days there has been a lot of buzz that Saif Ali Khan has signed the dotted line for the same role but it seems they were just plain rumours, the source added.

Dhoom 3 is slated to go on floor early next year, but the director is yet to be decided. Reports suggest that either Sanjay Gadhvi or Aditya Chopra might direct the the third edition of the franchise.

“The shooting of Dhoom 3 may start early next year.

However, it is not yet clear who is going to direct the film as the original director of the film, Sanjay Gadhvi, after the first two films hay moved out of the YRF camp,” the source added.

The superstar will follows in the footsteps of John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan who have both played villains in the Dhoom series opposite cop Abhishek Bachchan. — PTI

All in good rumour
Adhyayan-Shahana link-up may be a publicity stunt
Subhash K. Jha

On screen they are playing siblings in Jashnn and off screen Adhyayan Suman and Shahana are romancing. Some suggest it’s all a publicity gimmick to support the film but Mahesh Bhatt scoffs at the idea.

“I find the idea that Vishesh Films started the rumours amusing. Because the move would be counter-productive to our film. Adhyayan and Shahana play brother and sister in Jashnn. And since it’s not about incest how would the link-up help our film?” asked Bhatt.

Jashnn is Adhyayan’s third film afer Haal-e-Dil and Raaz - The Mystery Continues The young actor finds it strange that rumours regarding Kangana and him floated during the release of Raaz 2 and now when Jashnn is around the corner.

“These rumours seem to be centred on Jashnn. Earlier, I was linked with Anjana Sukhani and now Shahana. I don’t know whose idea of good publicity for Jashnn this is, but it’s disgusting. Shahana is a pal. There’s nothing more to our friendship. I’ve a girlfriend. Kangana is very beautiful in her heart. I’m not the kind of guy who has affairs on the side,” Adhyayan said.

So where do these rumours come from?

“Search me!” shrugged Adhyayan. “I’d never blame the Bhatts. Mahesh Bhatt saab is like a father. He has taught me so much,” he said.

Adhyayan also admits that Shahana was banned by the co-directors Raksha Mistry and Hasnain Hyderabadwala from the sets of Jashnn although she plays a pivotal part in the film.

“I protested on her behalf. You can’t do this to her when she’s the film’s female lead. Bhatt saab had to intervene to allow Shahana to come on the sets as and when she liked,” said Adhyayan.— IANS

Aam zindagi!
Whatever the name, whatever the form, you can never have enough of this king of fruits
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Call it Malgovas, Mangot, Manga or Mangou - Mango certainly remains the undisputed king of fruits. Juicy, bright yellow in colour; this is one fruit that can draw crowds and tantalise the taste buds. Be it then alphonsos, raspuris or dussheris, summer means mango and no wonder nearly every dish at home contains mango during the season. And if you think mangoes are just for eating raw or drinking as juice, we get for you a true blue mango meal that start from starters, to sandwiches, juices, to chaat and then dessert.

Says Nikhil, owner of Nik Baker, "Mango is one fruit that can be added to any dish and tastes well. In the summer we almost make 10-12 dishes that have mango in it. Right from sorbet to mango cheese cake, one can make smoothie, fruit punch and even sandwich from a mango."

Well, a sandwich; that sounds interesting. Nikhil elaborates, "Slice a mango and add cucumber, onion and tomato. Mix and add black pepper, salt and lemon juice. Spread the mix on a slice of bread layered with mayonnaise and cheese and you have a wonderful cold mango and cheese sandwich ready to eat."

Mmmm…, that is sheer mango pleasure!

For people in the North, a mango, of course, is a mango, but mango chaat is something different altogether. Cut mangoes in cubes and sprinkle some chaat masala on it. The sweet taste of mangoes and the tangy and peppery masala give the dish an unorthodox taste. 

When talking of the sweet and salty combination, people of Kangra district in Himachal Pardesh eat mangoes with kachories, stuffed with urad dal. A sheer delight, mango is a must accompaniment with this dish.

Another common drink in every North-Indian household is the traditional Aamras, diluted mango juice. However, this good old mango drink gets jazzy in its latest avatar as mango mocktails. "There is a variety that can be made out of mangoes, especially drinks and salads," says Rohini Walia, who runs her cooking classes in Sector 35. She adds, " Mango mocktail is one great drink for the summer. Made out of khus syrup, lemon juice, Roohafza, vanilla ice cream and soda or sprite, this drink can refresh you after a long hard sunny day."

Want to try a mango salad? Says Rohini, "Mango salad is made of raw, green mangoes and green papaya. One can add veggies according to their choice." And the recipe reads,

"Grate the mangoes and green papaya. Mix well in a bowl. Add olive oil, oregano, paprika, cucumber, yellow bell peppers and mix. Mango salad is ready to be served."

Well, mango delicacies are endless to list and include things like mango mousse, mango tart, amarkhand (mango puree with frozen sour yoghurt), mango pastry and mango stuffed lychees with ice cream. 

But for mango lovers, you must bake a mango cheesecake. It contains a layer of cheese and a layer of mango yoghurt topped with fresh fruits, including mango. The cake simply melts in your mouth and qualifies for the ‘no one can eat just one’.

Bon Appetit
Mango moments
Kandla Nijhowne

Our childhood memories of most everything seem so sharp, so magnified….the buildings we saw seemed colossal, the fall where we skinned our knee, so excruciating, and the food we ate so lip-smackingly delicious! (unless it was a karela or a spoonful of smelly cod liver oil!) The chatakhh spiciness of my naani's achaar is still lingering on my tastebuds after so many years and even the best today, doesn't match that one! 

There was a juvenile delight in smuggling home stolen raw mangoes, gathered in the folds of our frocks, and then pleading with the cook to turn them into chutney. The pebbly, undersised fruit was usually so acidic; your eyes remained permanently closed for several seconds after you ate the resulting kuchumbar! Mango surely is the most eagerly awaited fruit of the available range. From tangy raw ones to the luscious sweet ripe mangoes, don't we love them all! Unlike pickles, the following delights cannot be preserved forever, but do enjoy them while the raw mangoes are hovering around!

Aam ki Launj

700 gm mangoes, raw, unpeeled
½ cup (75 ml) mustard oil
1 tsp panch phoran masala
Red chilli powder and salt to taste
½ tsp turmeric
1 ½ tsp coriander powder
150 gm jaggery (gur)

Heat the mustard oil in a karhaai and add the panch phoran. Wait for it to crackle and then tip in all the ingredients except the jaggery. Sprinkle ¼ cup of water and cook covered for 5-7 minutes. When the mangoes soften a little, add jaggery and another 1¼ cup of water. Cook till tender. Cool and transfer into a clean jar.

Note: Panch phoran masala is a blend of black mustard seeds, saunf, kalonji, fenugreek and jeera.

Aam ka abshola
(summer drink)

1 kg raw mangoes
6-7 sprigs mint leaves, washed
2 lemons, washed
1 cup powdered sugar
Rock salt to taste
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
2 teaspoons roasted jeera powder
Soda or water, as required

Place the serving glasses in a refrigerator to be chilled. Boil the mangoes in a pot on medium heat. Allow to cool for some time. Then, extract the pulp out of each mango by squeezing it between your palms. Keeping a few mint leaves aside for garnishing, grind the rest of them with a ladleful of water. 

In a pan, mix the raw mango pulp, sugar, salt, rock salt and two cups of water. Cook on high heat for a few minutes, then on medium heat for another five minutes. Remove from flame and add pureed mint leaves after the liquid cools somewhat. Strain and add crushed peppercorns and roasted cumin powder. Pour the prepared drink into the glasses. Top it with chilled soda. Garnish with mint leaves and a lemon wedge. Serve chilled.

Know your Mango

Common Names:
Mango, Mangot, Manga,

The mango is native of southern Asia, especially Burma and 
eastern India. It spread early on to Malaya, eastern Asia and eastern Africa. Mangos were introduced to California (Santa Barbara) in 1880. 

World on a platter
Hotel Taj's Cafe-17 takes you on a sojourn to feast on culinary delights from around the world for the next one week. Flavours from seven prominent cuisines encompassing the globe will be dished out in its dinner buffet.

The slow-cooking techniques of France, to the earthy uncomplicated ways of the Greeks, wonderful flavours amalgamating in the Italian sauces, the fresh curries of Thailand, and the richness and sophistication of Arabic cooking to the real taste of the Americas - come savour it all at the Café 17

Italian Cuisine

The reason so many people fall in love with Italy has much to do with its cuisine. Italian cooking has been influenced by diverse groups of people and places, historically and in modern times. For Italians, dinner is often the main event and the focus of celebrations.

Greek Cuisine

Greek cuisine is typically Mediterranean, sharing characteristics with the cuisines of Italy, the Balkans, Anatolia, and West Asia. Contemporary Greek cookery makes wide use of olive oil, herbs, grains, bread, wine, fish, and various meats, including poultry. Typical ingredients in Greek cuisine are lamb and pork, olives, cheese, eggplant, zucchini, and yogurt. The desserts are dominated by nuts and honey.

French Cuisine

Despite a common pan-Gallic chauvinism, French cooking is not a monolith: it ranges from the olives and seafood of Provence to the butter and roasts of Tours, from the simple food of the bistro to the fanciful confections of the Tour d'Argent. However, it all shares a seriousness about food. Any cook will tell you that French food will not tolerate shortcuts with regard to these fundamentals.

Thai Cuisine

Thai food is widely known for being hot and spicy since almost all Thai food is cooked with basic ingredients such as garlic, chilies, limejuice, lemon grass and fresh coriander leaf and fermented fish sauce (nam pia) or shrimp paste (kapi) to make it salty. —TNS

What’s cooking !

French cuisine May 30
Greek cuisine June 1
Thai cuisine June 2
Mexican cuisine June 3
Italian cuisine June 4
Moroccan cuisine June 5

Art on wheels
It’s an effort to bring art to people’s doorstep

In an effort to provide a platform to fresh talent and promote amateur artists, a mobile exhibition of paintings titled Parents, Power and Progeny by child artist Arun Koli, organised under the Museum Outreach Activity Centre’s programme, is doing rounds at city’s hip and happening places. The show that has already covered many city schools and colleges, showcases works by this young boy of 17 which is being enthusiastically received by the young and the old alike.

Just finished with his Class XII from GMSSS-36, Arun’s works are an interesting amalgamation of issues and emotions. “I have tried to cover various issues like environmental destruction, atrocities against women, gradual drift from our culture through my paintings,” says the young artist. His work has also got him Child Artist Award from the Sankhayan Environment Foundation, Himachal Pradesh.

His fascination for figure form is quite visible and combines with abstract forms to send across a message. From sleeping Buddha to women shaped candle, giving hues to our dreams as well as nightmares, connecting cultures and heritage inspired from China and Egypt and what not. 

“Understanding art needs a total perspective of the society and in my works I have tried to create a mirror for our society,” he says. After impressing even the seasoned artists of the city with his works, he now plans to take things a step further. As for the outreach programme, the next step includes an exhibition by another young amateur artist Vanshish. Another star on canvas, we say! —TNS

Husain under hammer

Works of eminent artists, including M.F. Husain and Satish Gujral, will go under the hammer Saturday to raise funds for the fight against polio in India. Over 90 paintings will be auctioned for the cause, said Krishen Khanna, a known artist, whose works are also included in the May 30 auction.

The collection comprises works of veterans like Jamini Roy, M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, Krishen Khanna, Satish Gujral, Anjolie Ela Menon, and Laxman Pai. Among the upcoming talents whose works are also included in the collection are Hemraj, Nidhi Agarwal and Satya Sai.

"We understand the gravity of the situation and urge the society to rely on us and our efforts to help curb the problem (polio)," Khanna said. The charity auction is being organised by the Rotary International in association with the embassy of Switzerland and India's oldest art gallery Dhoomimal Gallery.

Switzerland's Ambassador H.E. Philippe said: "It is a matter of honour for me and my country that we are associated with Rotary Club in this noble initiative of eradication of polio. It is in fact our duty to honour such a noble cause."

The charity auction will see diplomats, industrialists, art connoisseurs and Bollywood stars. —IANS

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