Seriously comic
Amit Prasher, the director of upcoming Punjabi movie Tu Mera 22, Main Tera 22, lets his crew ‘be’ as long as they are delivering the goods
Jasmine Singh
Amit explains a shot to Amrinder Gill (in red) and Honey Singh (in blue)
Amit explains a shot to Amrinder Gill (in red) and Honey Singh (in blue) 

He is gazing deep into the monitor, exchanging some quick notes with actors and his crew. Within five minutes he is back on the sets, calling the shot. Amit Prasher, the director of Tu Mera 22, Main Tera 22 directs the one odd remaining scenes of his film that hits the theatres in mid-October. Shooting around Chandigarh and Punjab, the director along with the cast and crew is aware that his movie is being talked about nineteen-to-dozen. For reasons that he wouldn’t mind sharing with us!

Lens eye

It is all about having deep faith in your dreams. And Amit Prasher from Nakodar, Punjab, not only dreamt but dared to fulfill his dreams. Starting with theatre, diploma in film-making from Mumbai, Amit joined as an associate director for the movies Dharti and Taur Mittran Di. This was the beginning and it still is for this soft-spoken, ‘always-ready-to-talk-about films’ director. He smiles, “I don’t think I have achieved anything as of now. Yes, my two earlier projects were a great learning experience. I knew this was my make-it or break-it chance,” he doesn’t let go off the smile on his face. He is cool with his crew, “As long as they are delivering. I like to maintain an easy ambience on the sets.”

Back to his film Tu Mera 22 Main Tera 22, Amit was convinced that his good friend Dheeraj Rattan had written on a good topic. “Comic characters in Punjabi cinema have always been there. Off late, however, this genre has been tried in movies like Jatt & Juliet and Carry on Jatta. I had faith in the subject and due to my inclination towards the genre, I took it on,” says Amit, who wants to direct Bollywood movies as well. In fact, he wants to direct both. “Punjabi cinema is not restricted to the Punjabi audiences only. I sometimes enjoy watching Telugu films, so I guess it is the content that is more important and this holds true for both Punjabi as well as Hindi movies.” For Amit, Punjabi cinema is in a good phase and would get better with new ideas and a fresh approach. “The only way we can avoid stagnation is to experiment with new ideas, new scripts and new marketing techniques. Diljit Dosanjh has done a great job in the film Jatt & Juliet,” adds Amit, who tries to get the best from his actors by giving them confidence and also letting them take charge wherever they think they can add more.

Sing along

Here is the other thing that gets this movie almost 50-80 hits everyday. The rapstar Yo Yo Honey Singh makes his debut as an actor along with singer Amrinder Gill. A story about two brothers, audiences are waiting to see Honey Singh strike a sixer with the flick! As for Amrinder Gill, the singer-actor is a surprise package. With a special appearance in Jatt & Juliet, Amrinder is all for experiments and something new in the role. “This helps break the monotony and I wouldn’t mind doing such roles as long as the script is good,” he says. Amrinder carefully balances his singing and acting, but the singer in him comes out one time too many. “This is what I am essentially, a singer. I would be coming up with a private album in 2013,” he says, accepting the compliment that people have taken to him as an actor.

Poster boy

It is smart marketing that makes Tu Mera 22 Main Tera 22 the first Punjabi movie to be working extensively on posters. Two posters of the film have been released, but none of it shows the face of the actors. Adds Aadeeb, proprietor of Thirsty Fish, the brain behind conceptualisation of the posters, “Punjabi cinema gives a lot more scope for creativity, which to some extent is not possible in Hindi films. For Tu Mera 22, Main Tera 22 we have created a teaser campaign wherein we show the two brothers — one angel and the other the devil — from childhood to their college life,” he says. Aadeeb has done work for Punjabi movies like Yaar Anmulle as well and feels creativity is not confined to only one genre.

Dropping anchor

‘Born to entertain’ is an apt title for Chandigarh boy Gunjan Utreja. An actor, emcee and TV host, he is currently doing three shows from different genres —Aamna Saamna, a reality drama, Taare Masti Mein, a talk show with Bollywood celebs, and New This Week, a show for singers, composers and musicians addressing independent music.

Work keeps him very busy, but Gunjan is grateful for all that has come his way. Having done schooling from St. Anne’s Convent, he pursued journalism and later dramatics from Panjab University before moving to Mumbai. “Anchoring has been my hidden dream,” he says. Hidden? “I believe I have this gift of the gab. The connect with the audience is so natural that it’s divine, but before taking up anchoring I didn’t know there is so much to explore,” he says.

Having hosted more than 1,500 shows across the world, Gunjan thinks an anchor can put so much more life into a show. In fact, he is also the creative director of New This Week. “I am doing this show for a web portal and it’s independent music that we talk about, not the Bollywood music that gets all the attention,” he says. Taare Masti Mein gets him to chat up with Bollywood biggies; it was Kareena and Madhur Bhandarkar he interviewed last, Ranbir and Priyanka for Barfi are next on his show, followed by Sridevi. But Gunjan’s approach is different. “My show is fun. No personal controversies, but light-hearted conversations.”

His third show is in a different league all together. “Aamna Saamna is a scripted reality show that brings real people, facing problems in daily life, to the screen. Emotions run high here,” he says. This show has earned Gunjan recognition as well, “Now people do stop me to ask if I am Aamna Saamna’s host and it feels great to be recognised as well as complimented.”

A fan of Javed Jaffrey and Roshan Abbas, he is inspired by Ellen DeGeneres and Conan O’Brien. “I certainly look up to them but have never imitated any of my favourite anchors. I am blessed with spontaneity and guess have never repeated myself on stage,” says Gunjan.

In Mumbai, he has found great opportunity and wishes to explore more. “Anchoring is my first love. I am totally caught up with three shows till the end of this year, but have plans to explore movies in the coming year.” Proud that he has carved a small niche in the fast-paced city of dreams without any godfather, Chandigarh still remains close to his heart. “I visit my hometown every two months or so.”

And how do the two cities compare? “I enjoy Mumbai. Everyone is doing something here. But yes, it doesn’t have the fresh air, the option of having paranthas any hour of the day or night and the luxury to laze around as in Chandigarh.” But then this anchor has taken the new place in his stride for he wants to earn a name for himself!

Sculpted look
Manpriya Singh
Dr Vikram Jeet Singh Dhingra<p>Photo: manoj mahajan
Dr Vikram Jeet Singh Dhingra
Photo: Manoj Mahajan

It’s an endeavour to airbrush and photoshop yourself, not just in pictures but beyond. Reconstruct the nose, define the lip-line, remove the wrinkles and anything else that you may want to be taken care of.

Meanwhile, those in the profession have coined a term Bridalplasty, a term that explains the trend of growing acceptance of cosmetic procedures to look picture perfect. While Dr Vikram Jeet Singh Dhingra, MD, Body Sculpt, explains the trend. “We weigh the positives and negatives and accordingly advise the customers. For instance, we discourage anybody going in for a cosmetic procedure a month or two before their wedding.”

Even though most of them involve the prick of a needle, a tuck here and there. “Dimple creation is an increasing trend. Not just on both the cheeks but also on chin.” Five years exclusively in the profession of cosmetic surgery and he’s witnessed a sea of changes. “Earlier, people would come only for burn marks or if they had some deformity. Now majority of the people walk in because they want to improve on their appearance and want a perfect score. “I even have mothers themselves bringing in their 12 year olds for dark spot reduction.” He adds, “The child shouldn’t grow up with the depressed feeling or any complex. If cosmetic surgery builds their confidence and brings happiness, without any side effects, then it’s worth it.”

As for wedding surgeries, he doesn’t mince words on hymenoplasty. “During wedding season, the number of patients walking in increases. Last month I must have received at least four to five cases.” Among the countless procedures, hair transplants, botox fillers, breast implants, male breast reduction, liposuction and tummy tucks, remain the most resorted to. “It’s just a myth that only women are increasingly going in for cosmetic options, just as many men walk up to my clinic.”

Aishwarya Rai’s face is the most idolised and imitated structure, while Dhoni’s hair transplant is a hit. “I have men coming up to me and specifically saying that they want hair transplants like Dhoni and not like Sehwag.” 

Master Chef
Cups of health
Manju Dewan

Fibre and vegetables are the ingredients which make our food healthy and light. Even in the ancient times basic offshoots of wheat were used in making different snacks. Like our dalia and poha, couscous is also technically a wheat product, made from crushed and steamed wheat. Now available in all supermarkets, it combines very well with food stuffs to give us another easily digestible tasty dish or snack.

Couscous cups ingredients

5 tomatoes

1 red pepper (chopped)

1 yellow pepper (chopped)

2 tbsp avocado (chopped)

1 onion (chopped)

2 garlic cloves (chopped)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup couscous (soaked in water)

1 tsp white vinegar

Fresh basil

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste


  • Slice off the top of the tomato. Scoop out the pulp and sprinkle little salt in the shell.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Add garlic, vegetables and sauté. Add couscous, salt and black pepper and mix well.
  • Fill this mixture in the tomato cups and line them on a greased baking dish.
  • Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 200 degree for 20 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

—As told to Poonam Bindra

Fresh and exciting 

Karan Johar is back with his new flick Student of the Year. The cast, including Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra, gives freshness a new definition. The duo Vishal-Shekhar has given some super-hit musical hits. With the ravishing promos, the music definitely is exciting and entertaining. The song which is a raze now is The Disco Song. The lyrics have been written by Anvita Dutt Guptan. It is an updated version of Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan’s Disco Deewane which came out in the year 1981.

Simply addictive

It is a high-beat disco song which is very addictive. The lyrics have been reworked on and some of the original ones have also been restored.

Seerat Kaur, housewife

Raw energy

The song just gives one a feeling to step into ones dancing shoes and hit the dance floor. This track is a perfect treat for all disco lovers. Also, it is raw and fresh which infuse life to this album. The song is so apt for the fresh cast.

Payal Sharma, housewife

All about moves

It is a party song and can make anyone dance. I’m in love with the video which has fun disco choreography. Benny Dayal and Sunidhi Chauhan’s done wonders to the song.

Heena Suri, student, GGDSD College

(As told to Sabia Talwar)

Celeb point
It’s not an easy life
Divya dutta

I was told by a leading trade analyst that out of 100 people who arrive in Mumbai, 99 want to become actors or models. That’s the craze people have for joining the industry. Instant fame and money! Bas one film and you are a star!

It’s when you come close that you realise it’s not that easy. I had this friend who wanted to see shooting. When I took her to the sets and she saw one shot being taken thrice, she told me, Oh My God, how many times do you keep doing this? Isn't it tough and boring? Well, for the one who watches, may be, but for the one involved, either as an actor or a technician, it is a matter of getting the perfect shot. That requires loads of effort for it—right from set construction to the lighting which takes hours, to costumes, makeup and rehearsal!

Sometimes if you have the liberty, barely a few shots are taken in the entire day. The in-between waiting period during the shots is very tiring! You do have the comforts of your vanity van but waiting in your costumes for hours for your shot is a test of patience and your love for your work! After all the hard work you have put in, comes another big thing—promotion of the film where you hammer your film everywhere, whether you like it or not. You are treated as a commodity to be marketed well so the product (read the film) works well. It’s not easy to live in and out of a suitcase, smiling away for media coverage, changing costumes, waking up early, sleeping late and yet trying to look fresh! After all that one thinks one has arrived! But no! Obviously if the film flops, you are back to square one. Or out! It’s a harsh world. If you are saleable and hit, you are the toast of the season. But even if your film is a hit and you become successful, it is a struggle of another kind, to maintain it. Choose and find the right films. Promote yourself well, have the right people around to be your publicists, it’s an ongoing never-ending bhaag daud! To keep yourself going, to keep making you the commodity, more and more saleable and bankable! It’s a rush and in the process we forget that we are human, with small joys of being mere normal people. Yes it’s a tough line but yes it’s a very fulfilling too. So come into it if you have the passion, patience and persistence. If you can it’s worth it and if not, then I guess a few out of the hundreds will think again before boarding for their ticket to Bollywood! (Dutta is a Bollywood actor)

License to listen

On a crusade: Savio D’Souza

With each development that comes with technology, its darker sides too emerges as ferociously. With the advent of computers, human beings are now being called lazy and information overload is causing a fresh set of problems.

“We all need to work together to combat piracy,” said Savio D’Souza, secretary-general, Indian Music Industry. D’Souza was in Chandigarh to launch the Music Mobile Exchange (MMX).

The mobile licensing arm will fight piracy as mobile store owners will be able to acquire legitimate licenses from the rights holders and then sell the music without violating the Copyright Act.

Working on an enforcement-cum-business model, the model was first launched in Andhra Pardesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. “These states have a rich culture in regional music, so the probability of illegal exchange of music goes higher,” he says.

Fact file

The Indian Music Industry (IMI) is a trust that represents the recording industry distributors in India. It was founded on February 28, 1936 as Indian Phonographic Industry (IPI). It is the 2nd oldest music industry organisation in the world that was involved in protecting copyrights of music producers and supporting growth of music entertainment industry.


itsy bitsy
International fan mail

Star Plus’ most popular show Diya Aur Bati Hum has gained worldwide recognition. A special event was organised to welcome Sooraj aka Anas Rashid after he won the cooking competition in Singapore on the show.

The welcome event had Sooraj along with his wife Sandhya aka Deepika and his parents waving to hundreds of fans. Anas was taken aback by one foreigner who had travelled to the location of the event only to meet the star. “I am in love with Sooraj. He is so charming and down to earth. I am an ardent follower of their show and I am happy I got a chance to interact with him. He made my trip to India worthwhile,” says the lady. “I am thankful for the amazing welcome; the support of my fans is overwhelming. I am more than happy and touched that my show is not only enjoyed by Indians but also by foreigners. I feel like a superstar now.” says Anas Rashid.

All work no play

ten on Ten: Rashami Desai

Rashami Desai is working really hard for her performance, which is giving her sleepless nights. Apparently, she does not want to score below 30, so she plans to impress the judges with an aerial act.

The harness is causing her physical pain and as Deepak is strict while rehearsing, she hardly gets time to rest.

star track
Sonakshi to romance Saif?

Step forward: Sonakshi Sinha

She has romanced Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar in Dabangg and Rowdy Rathore. And now, 25-year-old Sonakshi Sinha has been signed opposite Saif Ali Khan, 42, in Tigmanshu Dhulia's Bullet Raja.

Interestingly, since the film is based on the UP mafia, the actress will be seen as a Bengali damsel. She has earlier played the rustic northern belle.

It is said that as soon as Saif returned to Mumbai, Dhulia got into a lengthy discussion with him on the casting of the heroine. He was very keen on having Sonakshi on board and was convinced that she could pull off the role. The actress is super excited to play a Bengali girl, which would be very different from her village belle avatar in Dabangg and Rowdy Rathore. Bullet Raja is expected to go on floors by November this year.


On a singing spree

Once more: Ayushmann Khurrana 

Ayushmann Khurrana is working with Rohan Sippy on a movie. The director has reserved one song for the actor to sing to. Pani da rang from Vicky Donor became a huge hit. The song will be recorded soon.

Feel good factor

Happy hours: Siddharth 

Siddharth Malhotra is one of the three debutantes in Karan Johar's Student of The Year. He talks about what it takes to make it big.

New beginnings

I totally love all the attention everyone is showering on me. Relatives and friends, who had not spoken to me in years, have got in touch with me. I am nervous and confident at the same time. I have a dream debut because Karan Johar has directed the movie.

Personality test

I am a quiet person and think a lot before doing something. Karan says that I ask too many questions. Naturally, Sid is my nickname and everyone calls me that. People think I am quite handsome! I don't take that too seriously. I take time to get comfortable around people. Karan has based my character on me in some ways.

Delhi diaries

My father is from the Merchant Navy, so I travelled a lot. My heart lies in Delhi, though. My parents are so happy for me to be working with Dharma Productions. 

The controversy deepens

In the eye of storm: Tom Cruise

A lawyer for Tom Cruise has dismissed a magazine report claiming that the Church of Scientology had auditioned candidates for a girlfriend for the star as "tired old lies". A publication quoted sources as saying the controversial church — of which Cruise is the most high-profile member — tested actresses as potential brides in 2004, after his divorce from fellow movie actor Nicole Kidman.

The report included details of a failed match with an Iranian-born actress, who was allegedly dismissed after failing to show enough public affection for the Hollywood A-lister and Mission Impossible star. But Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields dismissed the allegations. "The story is essentially a rehash of tired old lies previously run in the supermarket tabloids, quoting the same bogus 'sources.' "It's long, boring and false," he added, in a statement. Cruise's wife Katie Holmes announced on June 28 that she was filing for divorce to end her five-year marriage to Cruise, who was reportedly taken completely by surprise by the bombshell.

The latest story claims the Church embarked on a "top-secret" project headed by Shelly Miscavige, wife of Scientology chief David Miscavige, to find a girlfriend for Cruise three years after his 2001 split from Kidman.

One of the magazine’s October edition, said actresses who were already Scientologists were called in and told that they were auditioning for a training film.

They were then asked a series of questions, including: "What do you think of Tom Cruise?" Cruise and Holmes married in November 2006 after a whirlwind romance and a proposal beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris. They struck a divorce settlement less than two weeks after her June announcement.



Back with a bang!

Name game: Jiah Khan 

Jiah Khan will be back in Bollywood as Nafisa Khan. She had taken a sabbatical from acting and gone to a drama school. She has signed a three-film deal with I Rock Media, the banner that co-produced Ragini MMS. She is thrilled at her new innings in Bollywood.


Nine-yard mystery

Hit or miss: Anushka Sharma

The shooting of Yash Chopra's romantic saga is almost complete. One Swiss schedule is left. It is a Yash Chopra film so how could it not be shot in Switzerland. Both Katrina and Anushka have worn sarees in the movie. What remains to be seen is that who will wear the iconic white saree? Anushka or Katrina?

Heads or tails: Katrina Kaif 

Robert Pattinson to quit Hollywood?

Bad phase: Robert Pattinson

Twilight star Robert Pattinson is reportedly thinking of quitting Hollywood.

Pattinson, 26, is going through a bad phase as his girlfriend Kristen Stewart cheated on him with director Rupert Sanders.

"Rob has always had a love-hate relationship with his career. He loves earning millions from acting, but he hates the constant intrusion into his private life. He has more than enough money to live very comfortably for the rest of his life. Quitting Hollywood is something he has talked about. When he found out Kristen had cheated, he opened his eyes – people in showbiz just aren't very nice," a source said. — PTI


Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: Don’t be amazed at your good luck. That recent of burst of enthusiasm has run out of steam temporarily and pausing to catch your breath is okay. Make this an easy day. Tarot message: Put your terms and conditions in writing Lucky colour: Fuchsia Magic number: 31

TAURUS: Parents can experience a degree of stress and tension involving their offsprings. Stick to earning a living. You may come to realize that certain recreations are too costly. Tarot message: You find within yourself a fountainhead of will-power. Lucky colour: Rainbow Pastels Magic number: 21

GEMINI: Sweet moments are in store during a pleasant day. Shopping for a gift as a token of affection is a delightful way to spend money. Do not bury disturbing emotions but work through them. Tarot message: Do what is right and watch your best interests. Lucky colour: Yellow Magic number: 61

CANCER: Spending on health makes sense. Enduring relationships can be formed with new people who live at a distance. Stick to your regular job as the best way of boosting your reserves. Tarot message: You are advised to focus on professional changes Lucky colour: Peach Magic number: 55

LEO: Do not get involved in any mutual venture blindly without investigating the economic situation of the other party. Think positively about the future and stay true to yourself. Tarot message: You must share responsibility. Lucky colour: Metallic Grey Magic number: 26

VIRGO: Anticipate a bit of craziness creeping into your day and surprising you like a cosmic jack in the box! Avoid gossiping because it can spoil your chances of success. You are likely to attend a formal event or conference. Tarot message: Think positive and be optimistic. Lucky colour: Pink Magic number: 28

LIBRA: Plans for a romantic rendezvous could be disrupted by a call from work. Do not be afraid to get things off your chest. Go along with the wishes of your family members. Do not be too demanding from loved ones. Tarot message: You gain by being practical. Lucky colour: Peach Magic number: 64

SCORPIO: If single, you will find attractive candidates for dating and expanding your social circle. Give more attention to your health. Do not take on chores that would enervate you physically. Tarot message: Focus on your emotional and spiritual well-being Lucky colour: Forest green. Magic number: 30

SAGITTARIUS: Your card “Three of Cups” suggests that emotions have to be controlled. Compassion and forgiveness are needed for love to keep growing. Partners may not agree with your plans. Tarot message: At work, don’t hold back anything from your employer Lucky colour: Purple Magic number: 28

CAPRICORN: Rise early and exercise to get your energy flowing. Walking or running will suit some of you. Yoga or meditation may appeal to others. Education and research projects bring you fresh laurels. Tarot message: By applying yourself you can achieve great success. Lucky colour: Golden brown. Magic number: 59

AQUARIUS: Today attention revolves around your home, property and family. Money rolls after lunch. Keep moving ahead on the path you have already treaded. You will have to modify certain plans. Tarot message: Focus on the better to mitigate the bitter Lucky colour: White Magic number: 33

PISCES: You should be very satisfied with what is being accomplished. Soon enough you will be ready to show the world what stuff you are made of. A relaxed day for senior citizens. Tarot message: You have to push to succeed and your efforts will pay off. Lucky colour: Black Magic number: 27

A still from Raaz 3
A still from Raaz 3

A scary act Raaz 3

Producers: Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt

Director: Vikram Bhatt

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Bipasha Basu, Esha Gupta, Yusuf Hussain, Mohan Kapoor

After Raaz (2002), Mahesh Bhatt, Vikram Bhatt and the dusky Bengali beauty Bipasha Basu have all united for a suspense thriller, 3D Raaz 3. In this movie, Bipasha essays the role of an actress whose career takes a sudden fall because of the arrival of a new actress. She then takes to black magic to get her revenge on her rival.

Raaz 3 is set against the backdrop of glitzy lights, glamour and back-stabbing cruelty of the entertainment world. This horror film has ample human drama and horror in it. It is not gruesome, but the film will definitely scare you. Shot in 3D, the viewers will find thing come flying at them and they are expected to dodge them at least five-six times! Jeet Ganguly, Rashid Firozabadi and Mithoon have sung the songs.

Family drama Chal Picture Banate Hain

Director, Writer: Pritish Chakraborty

Chal Picture Banate Hain is being touted as a beautiful Hindi family drama written and directed by debutant Pritish Chakraborty. It has been edited by another debutant Amardeep Singh Khichi. The film depicts the passionate journey of a person from being an MBA to a film-maker. Rahil Tandon, Bhavana Ruparel, Sandeep Sachdev, Smita Hari, Sheikh Arif, Vipul Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt star in the film.

— Dharam Pal

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is September 7...

Investment should be avoided. Someone may try to harm you. With strong forces working against you, be careful and avoid confrontations. If you ever want to settle your score then it should be done in a dignified manner.

A lot of pleasure is to be gained from getting on with domestic and other routine chores. If you can spare the time you'll enjoy pottering about in the kitchen or throwing out old belongings you no longer need.

You will be in high spirits at the work front. There will be moderate gains in finances and you will not be able to save well. Egoistic tendencies may affect peace in the family. Take care of your food habits. You will be prone to suffer from cold. Number Seven is the deep thinker with spiritual leanings, not very attached to material things but introspective and generally quiet. Ruled by Neptune, you are intuitive, wise and reserved.

Mood: In need of 'across the board' thinking.

Preferred signs: Aries, Leo.

Positive colours: Gold and Orange.

Select Days: Monday and Thursday.

Favourable numbers: 1, 3, 4, 19, 44

Mammootty (September 7, 1953, Chempu, Vaikom, Kottayam) originally   Muhammad Kutty set a trend with his role of a police officer in the movie Yavanika. He made his debut in Hindi films through Thriyathri and his first film as a hero was Dhartiputra. He starred in the biographical film Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. He is famous for action films.

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