Cinema, his way 
Vishal Bhardwaj, whose upcoming film Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is already creating a buzz, says he will continue making the kind of cinema he believes in even if his films go minus Rs 100 croresNonika Singh

The maverick film-maker Vishal Bhardwaj is just like the movies he makes. Delightful and brazen with many surprises in tow, predictability is certainly not one of his virtues. Letting us into his unusual creative process, he stands by his convictions, including his fascination for violence. Besides, the man is neither afraid of making mistakes nor of owning them up.

At the NFDC’s Film Bazaar in Goa, he shares how when he thought of casting Saif Ali Khan as Langda Tyagi in Omkara, many felt he was wading in uncertain waters. Why he even had a bet with Irrfan Khan about Saif shaving his head! While to Irrfan he promised, “I will not make the film if he doesn’t agree to; in Saif he sensed a hunger.” The same yearning he found in Shahid Kapoor when he chose him for Kaminey.

Kaminey and its dark frames, which made people complain about invisibility of the film, make him go down the memory lane. He reminisces, “Ronnie Screwwala the producer of the film called me and asked me to leave Mumbai for a distributor in Jammu had decide to sue us for sending just the sound with no picture.” Today, he laughs while recalling the incident but the lessons were learnt. Saat Khoon Maaf, too, he agrees became a ready reckoner in learning. He has no qualms in confessing that things did go wrong with the film, which he thinks he over edited, especially his favourite part of Irrfan Khan. He says, “My films rarely make money, but I have a loyal following. I must have erred for even they didn’t like the movie.”

Not that he makes films for others. Engrossed in the process of making movies, he often forgets the rest of the world. So he couldn’t care less that others might include those who abhor violence. At heart he is still a young boy who loves to play with guns. “Perhaps I am still exploring my childhood,” with these words he explains his reason for choosing violence as a leitmotif in his films and his fascination with makers like Quentin Jerome Tarantino. Of course, the maker that ‘compelled’ him to become a filmmaker is Krzysztof Kie?lowski. He recalls, “I rented FTII Pune for seven days and watched all his films”.

Today as his affair de amour with cinema continues, the only regret he has is — commercial failure. Yet even that can’t deter him from making the kind of films he wants to, even if “my films go minus Rs 100 crores I am happy if these convey what I want to.” His next with a tongue-twister name Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola whose piquant trailer is already creating a buzz seems to be quite a madcap. Inspired by movies like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, he states that in this story of a mad village there is logic that you will have to see and find out.

Method in madness or sheer creative stroke… rest assured he will never cease to surprise.

Master of musical notes

Vishal Bhardwaj, the music composer of no lesser caliber, reveals that he became a producer precisely to ‘employ’ the music director in him. Three back-to-back rejections after Maachis, people dismissing him as ‘one-film wonder’, he recalls those days with bitterness. “There I was going from producer to producer with a ‘peti’ in hand almost like a prostitute, the entire family listening to my music with moist eyes and yet in the end refusing to give me work.” So, he had no option but to make movies and give music too. Today as men like Shah Rukh Khan tell him — your songs are a hit even if your movies are not, his repartee is, “It has taken me 20 years to find the music that sells, 20 years in movie business might make me understand the economics of film-making too.” And then he might just go back to his first love i.e. music.

My films rarely make money, but I have a loyal following. I must have erred for even they didn’t like Saat Khoon Maaf

Melodious affair
Playback singer Alka Yagnik has had a long and successful innings. She is as eager as ever to perform...

It’s a number of elements that come together to make one rise… for super-successful playback singer Alka Yagnik, who has won as many as seven Filmfare Awards and plenty of others, it is god-gifted talent and hardwork coupled with some luck. In city, for the Chandigarh Carnival, Alka shares her perspective.

Musical lineage

Music is what Alka got in virasat. “I was rather lazy in my childhood; it was my mother who motivated me,” she confesses. A singer cannot be made, only be polished, believes Alka, who has given hits for three consecutive decades.


The popular singer is practically living out of the suitcase. Before Chandigarh, she was in Kolkata, Delhi, Israel, Malaysia, Russia and more. Concerts keep her busy and she is surprised to find that each particular country or place has her specific number for favourite. Concerts in Russia...“Yes, there are many Biharis out there who are more rooted there than here in Bihar,” she offers.

Favourite firsts

Taal Se Taal Mila, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kuch To Hua Hai, Gali Mein Aaj Chand, Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya , Mera Dil Bhi Kitna …the list of Alka’s hits is almost endless. But then there are special songs, “I don’t think I have ever had a concert in which I have not sung Ek Do Teen (Tezaab). I like the kind of Raah Mein Unse (Vijaypath) songs, in fact this is my personal favourite, which is really not a stage song but audience enjoy none the less!”

Varied work

Name a composer worth his salt and Alka has worked with all. AR Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Rajesh Roshan, Jatin Lalit and Anu Malik, Alka has been comfortable with everybody. “Adapting to their individual styles has been pretty challenging,” she shares.

Missing something

Alka has started singing less and less for movies… “They are not making my kind of songs anymore,” she rues. Soft, romantic is her style and today its time for loud, peppy numbers that can be played in discs. No meaningful lyrics, no soulful melodies, isn’t it a bad time for music?

“What can I say… composers say audiences want it, the latter claim that this is what is offered! I guess it’s just a phase. I am waiting just like you for melody to return.”

Real take

Alka has been a popular reality show judge as well. Are these shows any real help to singers?

“Well, they are just a platform. Some have made it big from here: Sunidhi Chahan, Shreya Ghoshal and Kunal Ganjewala. But then it totally depends on individuals —how they take it forward,” says Alka, who loves doing Little Champs, a show which is fair, she claims.

Language logic

Alka has not only sung in Hindi but also Assamese, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Oriya, Manipuri, Telugu and more. “I ascribe it to my training in Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu. If one knows any of the three languages, I am sure one can sing in any language.”

Looking ahead

Apart from the concerts that take her all over, she also has an album in offing. She already has two Rabindra Sangeet albums to her credit. “Though I am a Gujarati, I consider myself to be more of a Bengali for my upbringing has been in Bengal.” Her next album is at a conceptual stage as of now.

Happy with her Chandigarh stint, she is off to repeat the feat in some other part of the world!

It’s official!

The occasion was the release of the 5th edition of the Members’ Directory—2012 of the Merchant Navy Officers Association Chandigarh, recognised as the largest and most active merchant navy officers’ association in the country with 554 active members, and counting.

The gala evening, planned in Chandigarh recently, proved a resounding success with more than 250 people, including members, their families and some guests, turned out in their best attire. Beautiful ladies wearing trendy dresses, bubbly children attired in colourful hues, and the officers’ themselves made it an occasion to cherish.

While blaring music saw the children taking enthusiastically to the dance floor, KJ Singh, an expatriate guest from Vancouver, Canada, set the tone for adults to an enjoyable evening with the popular yesteryears song Rang dil ki dharkan bhi laati to hogi, yaad meri unko bhi aati to hogi, which he dedicated to his wife back home.

Capt Prashant Rangnekar, General Manager (India Operations) of Fleet Management, one of the largest ship management companies in the world, released the members’ directory, which is updated every two years.

Association president Ajit Singh said the association has been declared the most active association in India twice in the last five years. The last few years have been quite rewarding with the strength of its members growing by 85. — TNS

Coat unquote
Tweed coats to military-style double-breasted jackets —winter fashion is all about making a masculine statement 
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

The winter does not limit fashionistas to any one segment. And this winter is more about vintage, gothic and professional styles when it comes to the main apparel for the freezing cold (read coats).

Tweed jackets see a revival this season. The emphasis is on masculine look with a variety of double-breasted and strong shoulders, and bigger the size of the panels, the better. Belts are everywhere. But the most fashionable coats for this season will be oversized ones in thicker fabrics so you can stay warm.

“Fitted and waist-tucked jackets that made an impression last year are no more to be seen this year. Big is now beautiful and the coats available are extremely easy to adapt to your particular style. Buttons, zips and belts will be a mainstay for this line of style, especially for the coats and jackets.

There is a lot of flexibility in colour choice this season. From khakis to royal blue to red! Purple is big this season too,” says Akhil Duggar, creative head, Madame.

Purple of course is the shade of luxury, passion and is known for its vibrant flair. Vogue fashion editor has said, “Historically purple was only worn by an elite few, but in autumn/winter 2012-13 it will be for everyone, it is undoubtedly the colour of the collections.” So, go for the colour.

This season is also about baroque brocade. So, you will see a hint of sparkle and a flash of gold in apparels, but mind you it does not have to be an over-all effect, even a small glint of gold would do.

“Coats have to be stylish this winter and it is military motion in fashion once again. So, military pattern and button and belted coats that are a must-have. Subtle and delicate stitching and bolder details make for a striking ensemble,” says an employee at Pantaloons, Paras Down Town Square. Well, a look around the city stores and you come to know that dizzying optical patterns are also part of the trend. Fur is hot and is seen as an embellishment either on the collars or cuffs. Quilted jacket style coats too are in vogue and chunky knits along with wild stripes, diamonds, squares and other assorted graphics are a match made in heaven, creating a bold look that is the very essence of this season.

Go retro

Vintage, gothic and professional styles are in for coats this winter.

Tweed jackets see a revival alongside coats where the more oversized the panels, the better.

Belts are everywhere, so is the emphasis on a variety of double-breasted and strong shoulders.

From khakis to royal blue and red, purple is big this season too.

Fur is a hot trendsetter and is seen as an embellishment either on the collars or cuffs (remember Katrina in Jab Tak Hai Jaan where she is sporting a quilted jacket with fur on the neck).

Chunky knits in graphic patterns and bold details too are in fashion.

Home safe home

Your home is a place that gives you the feeling of being most secure. But in today’s times, are we as safe and secure as we probably assume to be? When it comes to the safety of our homes and family, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Emergencies happen sometimes when we least expect them, and having a monitored home alarm system is an asset. Alarms play an important role in our lives today. Whether it’s protecting our homes against burglars or fire, they alert us to the dangers in time to take quick action and minimise the damage.

Home alarm systems and security companies are a valuable asset to keeping homes safe.

Home alarm systems can either be monitored 24 hours or home burglary alarm systems can be connected to the homes phone lines and only become activated when the homes security is breached. Some of the most popular alarms systems have motion sensory and are triggered when someone enters the home while the alarm is activated.

Wireless alarm systems are most advisable to use for the security of your homes. One of the advantages you can get from this kind of alarm system is the fact that it is a wireless device.

Unlike wired alarm systems, you need not bother about hiding all the wires that are part of the alarm system. This comes in handy when you a huge property to take care of. Also wired home alarm systems used electrical wires to send out signals, where as wireless home alarm systems and devices make use of lithium batteries. Home owners can rest assured that the device is not going to stop when there is a power failure because the whole thing is powered by batteries. Another advantage is that these wireless systems are easy to install and maintain.

A monitored system is one where a private company watches your system 24 hours a day, every day, alerting the police if something goes wrong and you cannot be contacted.

Unmonitored systems have on-site sirens and flashing lights that alert your neighbours of a break-in, meaning that you’ll be relying on them to contact police if you aren’t home. The best security comes from monitored systems, because their vigilance is constant. A few companies in India are now providing such services, especially in big cities.

Home security is incomplete without the installation of smoke alarms. The risk of not having a fire alarm installed is simply too great. Fires can rampage through a building at incredible speed, and once they have grown to a certain size, they become hard to put off, resulting in huge damages and loss.

While security systems are a way to ensure additional protection for your home, it is not foolproof. You still have to be vigilant!

(Sukhmani is a Chandigarh-based interior and landscape designer)

Doc Talk
Winter woes
Controlling acne during the colder months is difficult 
Dr Vikas Sharma

It is painful when one wakes up in a cold morning and finds bumps on the nose as well as the cheeks. Acne during the winter is tougher to manage. Acne is now the most frequent skin condition that affects the lifestyle of many in India. Every year, about 80 per cent of adolescents have some form of acne and about 35 per cent of adults experience acne.

Acne are of various types, the mild form can be easily managed but the severe forms are the one that require a very specific treatment approach otherwise can lead to permanent facial disfigurement.

To get complete independence from this difficult disorder it’s important that is one is clear in his/her mind about the disease. So one should be aware of the various myths and facts about acne.

Myth no 1:
Poor hygiene causes acne

A lot of people think that acne is caused by dirty skin. Such patients end-up washing their face numerous times a day, sometimes scrubbing vigorously and using harsh astringents. In fact, washing skin too frequently and too aggressively can make an acne breakout much worse.

Ultimately, this can lead to irritated, traumatized skin that looks worse.

Instead, wash your face twice a day with lukewarm water, a mild cleanser, in a gentle motion — no scrubbing or harsh abrasive products needed.

Myth no 2:
Squeeze those pimples

When that pimple sprouts, one may not be able to resist the temptation to squeeze it out to try to bring it down to size. Some squeeze pimples to open up a clogged pore. However, this usually leads to further inflammation, which makes the acne look worse and last longer. This also increases the incidence of scar formation.

Myth no 3:
Junk food causes acne

You may have heard that eating greasy foods, pizzas, burgers, chips and candy can cause an acne breakout. Though there are some links between diet and acne, the relationship isn't quite what one may think it is.

Many people with acne have oily skin, so for a time people thought that greasy foods should also be avoided. However, a number of studies have shown that downing foods like French fries, cheeseburgers, and chocolate doesn’t have any impact at all on your skin's health. Greasy foods may be off the hook, but there could be other diet culprits behind your acne breakouts. Other studies have shown that a low glycemic index diet that’s high in fibre and fruits and vegetables is beneficial for acne.

Myth no 4:
Acne goes away on its own

One doesn't have to suffer silently with acne — there are treatments available to clear up acne breakouts and help prevent future pimple problems.

Don't just leave a pimple to swell and mark your skin. It’s better to treat early rather than getting prone to scar formation.

Myth no 5 :
Sun exposure clears up acne

Studies have shown that UVA light, which is the major light wavelength from Sun, does not benefit acne.

There are other acne myths out there as well. Ignore them, and talk with your dermatologist about acne treatments that will work for you. Treating acne is a systemic and specific process according to the type and grade of acne; there is no overnight remedy but one can be fully assured that he/she can get complete independence from this skin condition by sticking to the treatment regime prescribed.

(Dr Sharma is a Chandigarh-based consultant dermatologist & dermato-laser surgeon)

Par Excellence
 Jesse Grewal 
Allow the arms to fall freely

The arms have very little active role in the golf swing. They move the club upwards in the backswing and after that they do almost no work. The downward action of the club is done by gravity. This coupled with the centrifugal force created by the rotation of the body helps us generate club head speed. If either of the forces are missing the club head will not have the desired speed.

To hit the ball far we would need considerable force. Yet all golfers know that when they hit a bad shot they blame it on ‘too much force’. This actually does not make sense as it has a negative co-relation. It gives us an understanding that to hit the ball far we do not need force which scientifically does not make sense. The feeling of using too much force obviously would mean the wrong type of force or a mistimed force. This is when the arms try to create the force to hit the ball. The role of the arms is to transmit the

force which is created by the body’s turning action. Therefore the arms have to feel loose and free. This is why we call it a golf ‘swing’ and not a golf ‘hit’.

If the arms do not fall freely the following faults could occur – If the arms are stiff and tight the club would not drop freely and we would hit ‘thin’ or ‘topped’ shots.

If you hit down instead of dropping the arms we could ‘duff’ the shot. Throwing the arms or hitting with them causes ‘casting’ or an ‘early release’ leading to ‘duffed’ shots and loss of speed. Hitting from the top of the swing with the arms creates and out to in swing which leads to ‘pulled’ or ‘sliced’ shots.

(Grewal has coached several national champions and professionals apart from being coach of the Indian golf team for the Eisenhower Cup (World Cup) in 2008. He is currently the Director of National Golf Academy of India and CGA Hero Honda Golf Academy. If you have any queries get in touch with him at

Simmi Waraich
On the neutral ground

I get very angry and lose control at times. I am a 38-year-old farmer. My father also used to get very angry and among all us brothers and sisters he used to single me out and often beat me when I was a child. I was naughty but his beatings were quite harsh. I have been divorced twice and have problems with my current marriage too. I get angry over small things, that is what my family tells me, like if my wife does not keep the kitchen clean etc. I do want to control this. Can I do something?
— H Singh, chandigarh

Children who face violence as children often grow up to repeat the same. It is a strange thing. Freud called it repetition compulsion when one repeats certain behaviours again and again despite knowing that they are wrong. It occurs so spontaneously that it takes time and effort to change it. Human behaviour is complex yet simple--if mistakes are followed by punishment they decrease but the punishment should be reasonable, like sending a child to bed 30 minutes early or restricting TV time that day or a run around the park etc. However, hitting a child is not an acceptable punishment. As it teaches them that hitting is okay. To change your own behaviour now, you may need to have a few sessions of anger management over 2-3 months. First, keep a list of what made you angry and why? Then see what else you could have done in the situation instead of what you did? For eg, even if your wife did not keep things clean, is it that important? People view things differently and she may have her own way of living. Could you talk to her more? Note what you say to her on a daily basis. Then analyse it--is your conversation mostly negative or critical? Try and change it to more neutral topics. You could see how others communicate with each other. Keep working on it--change does not happen overnight but practice and persistence pays off. 

I am in love with a South Indian boy. I am a Sikh girl. My parents have not accepted this and are against this. They say they will disown me if I get married. The boy I like was married before and is divorced. However, we have been working together in Bangalore since 2 years and I have met his parents too. I do not want to hurt my parents and so am waiting for them to agree. I am 29 years old and I do want to get married. I will not marry anyone else. At times I feel very hopeless. 

Harleen, Chadigarh 

In Indian society we are brought up to follow our parents and our immediate society’s wishes. Also, girls are more often brought up to believe that they should not answer back and should do as their parents say. While this may not be bad overall girls are also not given property rights and supposed to get married. Often this does not apply to the male children. You are 29 years of age. You do not need any other person to give you advice. You are an adult and probably know what to do already. See if you enjoy things with this man- Is he worth it and will he be worth it after 10 yrs? Is he adjustable? Keep talking to your parents- wait it out a little bit- If the man cares for you, he can wait a little bit. Be patient with your parents- talk about other things- see what is going on in their life and be there for them. A little understanding goes a long way- often we take parents for granted. Tell them they are important to you. If they still do not agree after some time then see- can you leave them and get married or if you cant , then slowly adjust to them and do as they say. Eventually it is your decision. Noone else can take it for you. 

(Waraich is a Chandigarh-based  consultant psychiatrist) 

Crossover culture

Allen Solly - the original makers of 'Friday Dressing', has launched Friday Footwear in India. The brand that liberated corporate dressing from its predictable and boring hues of blue, grey and whites, with bright yellows, reds and greens in the mid-nineties, is now set to take the footwear market by storm. Just like its apparel line had gone on to become the pseudonym for free-thinking, free-spiritedness and unconventionality at work place, the range of Friday Footwear with Crossover style tip toe on the cusp of work and play is all set to take the mantle of modern men's accessorisation need. Sooraj Bhat, brand head-Allen Solly, says, "Shoes clearly are the most important element for completing the look properly. Today, the consumer is conscious of how he/she co-ordinates everything they wear. Accessorisation plays a big role here. Also, the footwear market is currently underdeveloped and we believe it can take some credible players at the premium end."

"We are calling Allen Solly shoes the Crossover Style Shoes. These shoes can be teamed as effortlessly with a pair of Chinos as with denims or semi-formal trousers. All designs are at the cusp of work and play. So irrespective of where your day starts, Friday Footwear is ready for a change of plan," says Sooraj Bhat. 

The collection has over 30 options ranging from chukka boots, brogues, derby shoes, deck shoes, loafers and sneaker styled shoes. The range showcases classics that boast of handcrafted leather and long lasting soles made from anti-skid Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR). 

Friday Footwear is available in 35 exclusive Allen Solly outlets across 18 key cities. The range starts at Rs 3499 and goes up to Rs 4499. —TNS

Star track

I am a learner in front of Aamir and SRK: Rani 

Having been part of the film industry since 1995 rendering memorable movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Yuva, Black and No One Killed Jessica, actress Rani Mukherjee says she treats herself as a learner in front of senior actors Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.

Rani has done two films with Aamir — Ghulam and Mangal Pandey — so far and will next be seen with him in Talaash, while she has done Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Chalte Chalte, Veer Zaara, Paheli and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna with Shah Rukh.

The actress reveals that it is Aamir and Shah Rukh whose suggestions she follows. "I have always treated myself as a youngster or learner in front of two people — Aamir and Shah Rukh. I do look up to them. I may not be shy in front of them anymore but I learn a lot from them," Rani said in an interview here.

"When they suggest anything its important for me to take it. Because I know what they are suggesting is for my own good," she said.

Rani feels Aamir is one such actor whose films people compulsorily go to watch as they know it is going to be good.

"Aamir is like somebody whose film is like compulsorily to be seen. If you know it is an Aamir Khan movie then you have to go and watch, irrespective of whether you like the promo or not," Rani expressed.

"If people watch Aamir Khan film it is because he has created an image for himself. That is because of his single-minded focus for his work and his dedication. The kind of films he chooses to do have made an impact in peoples' lives," she added. Rani is all praises for the way Aamir promotes his films and says she would any day go to watch the film. "The strategy with which Aamir promotes his films, we cannot deny the fact that he is a very intelligent person. And if he decides to do it in some way, probably he knows what he is doing," she said.

Rani first teamed up with Aamir in 1998 for Vikram Bhatt's Ghulam. "I am a huge Aamir Khan fan. I had a crush on him when I saw Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. When I did 'Ghulam' with him I used to look at his shoes as I used to be tensed and nervous. I was very nervous while doing romantic scenes with him," the actress said.

"I would look at his shoes because I couldn't look into his eyes. But now I look at his eyes, keep gazing until he asks me not to do it," she said. Rani insists that now she has become good friends with the 'perfectionist'. "Over the years, Aamir and I have built a friendship which, I would like to believe, is for life. I think I will be attending his 80th birthday," she said. Now that Rani would be again seen opposite Aamir in Reema Kagti's upcoming suspense drama Talaash, she feels Aamir has become a more bigger star today.

"When I was a newcomer he was a huge star. And today I work with him after 17 years, he is still a much bigger star," she said.

"His focus, dedication and sincerity towards his craft, his approach towards filmmaking, performance and character, I think that has only become greater and bigger with time. He was as focused and dedicated then, as he is now," she mentioned.

Rani is geared up for the release of Talaash on November 30. "I would love to discuss the story, the character, the different shades, the layers but I can't speak a single word," she said. Talaash is directed by Reema Kagti, but Rani feels it does not matter if the director is a woman or a man. "Be it a male or female it doesn't matter. It's people's mindset. The only difference is of a good and bad director. In this case, Reema is really good," she said. — PTI

Bipasha goes sci-fi

Actress Bipasha Basu, who has experimented with various genres, is all set now to be part of a sci-fi film directed by Vikram Bhatt.

"Bipasha Basu is one actress in Bollywood who is ready to experiment with different genres. Besides, Bipasha suits the role for my sci-fi film," said Bhatt, who recently worked with the actress in Raaz 3. "She is a fabulous actress, and is very enthusiastic about her work. I can't think of anyone else other than Bipasha for my film. She is perfect," he added.

Bhatt has earlier directed Bipasha in films like Aetbaar and Footpath.

Asked if he considers Bipasha as his lucky charm, he said: "Nothing as such. I don't think (of her as) lucky charm, but she is definitely one actress who has evolved over the years and has proved herself." Bhatt says the film will go on floors next year. —IANS

Thrills & chills

Bollywood actors Rajeev Khandelwal, Tena Desae and Paresh Rawal promoted their upcoming action thriller film Table No.21 this week. The film is likely to send chills down your spine, with Rawal playing a negative character and donning a baldpate.

All the three play pivotal characters in the film, which revolves around a live game. The tagline of the film is ‘If you die’.

Rawal, who is well known for his perfect comic timing experiments, this time plays the role of a suave game host, who keeps his guests on tenterhooks all the time. While speaking to reporters, he said that he had never attempted something like this in his career span and added that there was a suspense element as far as his role in the film is concerned. “My role does not have the same kind of negativity that you visualise when you see the promos of this film. This kind of a negative role is different and in some ways justified. When you see the film, you will get to know, whether my role is negative, positive, grey or what,” he said.

Khandelwal, who has earlier worked his magic on the silver screen with offbeat films like Aamir and Shaitan, said that the script of this film was demanding and required him to do a lot of homework to excel in this role.

He has also had a successful television career, as host of the popular reality show Sach Ka Saamna, a truth and lie game.

“For me, it was like, I couldn’t see myself. I said I just can’t do this. The script was too demanding,” he said. Desae looked elegant in western attire and happily posed for shutterbugs. Directed by Aditya Dutt and produced by Viki Rajani and Sunil Lulla, the film is shot in the picturesque Fiji islands. The film is slated for a worldwide release on January 4. — ANI

Wicked & happy

Actress Rachel Weisz was thrilled to land a role as the Wicked Witch of the East in The Wizard of Oz prequel because it gave her the chance to play a villain.

The 42-year-old actress stars alongside James Franco as the wizard in upcoming movie Oz: The Great and Powerful, which is based on the books of L Frank Baum and tells the previous story of Judy Garland's famous 1939 film. Actress Mila Kunis plays Theodora, the Wicked Witch of the West, while Weisz tackles the role of Evanora, the Wicked Witch of the East.

"It's the prequel to The Wizard Of Oz, the genesis of how he became the Wizard and got to Emerald City. There are huge, fantastical special effects — and I can fly. I'd never done anything like that. I play Evanora the Wicked Witch of the East. She's so bad, so it's a total departure (from my other films)," Weisz said. The Mummy star now prefers to tackle smaller, independent movies, but she is always open to returning to blockbusters to give her a break from the emotional intensity of her more challenging roles. "Working with a green screen (on blockbusters) is easy. It's just like being a kid. But it's not nearly as satisfying. I prefer smaller movies because they tend to be more about character than about story... (But) you can't plumb the depths (of emotion) all the time."

Write direction

Devil Wears Prada star Anne Hathaway had once attempted to write a screenplay for a film she hoped would feature fellow actress Sally Field.

The two actresses recently met up for a round table discussion organised by a leading entertainment magazine and Hathaway, 30, told the veteran about the project.

"You don't know this, but I tried to write a movie for you, about a spy. I thought, 'Sally would be amazing, because who would ever think she was a spy?'" she said. After her brilliant performance in The Dark Knight Rises, Hathaway will be seen next in musical drama Les Miserables.


Cut out for acting

Saqib Saleem started as a model and turned to acting with Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge. He agrees that modelling is an easier job but says he enjoys facing the camera for movies more. The 24-year-old made his Bollywood debut in 2011 and says the variety of different characters that one can play is what excites him most about acting.

"When I was a model, I used to enjoy it. But now, I feel acting has given me so much to do... there is so much more to perform. As an actor, I get to do so many characters in various films. It is, of course, tougher but much more enjoyable," Saqib said.

He did TV commercials for brands like Pepsi, KFC, Tata Docomo and Bar One before he stepped into filmdom through Yash Raj Films. Saqib says it was his visibility in these advertisements that helped him get noticed.

"The ads I did helped people to start noticing me and I got calls for audition. To audition with big production houses, you have to have a good background with commercials. I think I got noticed through television," he said.

Asked if he has any dream role in mind, the actor said: "If a script comes to me, I read it and I see what I can do to it. Everybody does a role differently and I give my touch to each role. I can't say that something is my dream role." Saqib is now ready with his second movie - debutante director Ashima Chibber's Mere Dad Ki Maruti. The movie surrounds the life of a Chandigarh-based Punjabi family. Saqib plays Raj, who loses his father's (Ram Kapoor) car.

The promo of the movie looks fun and it seems the movie is loaded with great comedy. Saqib says a good equation with the director and preparation helped him for Mere Dad Ki Maruti.

"I just feel that if you and your director are on the same page, then things become a lot easier. The other actors of the film had a lot of extensive readings. So, once we started shooting, everything got into pace. I did not feel any pressure," Saqib said.

The young actor is all praise for his on-screen father Ram Kapoor, who is a celebrated name on Indian television.

"I think he is just phenomenal. Of course, he played my father in the film but off sets I had a great time. We had a pretty good time shooting (together). He is very supportive.

"I am new and he was very helpful with how I should be facing the cameras and how I should be in front of the light. When I did something correctly, he appreciated it. So it feels great that an actor like Ram Kapoor liked my work," Saqib said.


Marriage on the rocks?

Hollywood star Ben Affleck's marriage with wife Jennifer Garner is reportedly going through a rough patch after the actor not being able to spend much time with wife because of his professional commitments. The pair, who raise three children together, have spent little time together recently due to the growing success of Affleck's latest flick Argo.

"Ben really wants to win an Oscar for this film, and he's become pretty obsessive about it. With Ben on the road promoting his movie, he and Jen are spending a lot of nights apart. They're at a breaking point right now.

"While Jen is trying to be supportive, friends say they aren't sure how much longer she'll be able – or willing – to juggle the kids and her career without Ben's help. Is he does win that Oscar, he'd better thank Jen first!," a source said. Affleck, 40, tied the knot with Garner, 40, on June 29, 2005, in a private ceremony in the Caribbean. — PTI

Chatter box

Sharing all moves

Gurmeet Choudhary, who is playing the lead in Zee TV's Punar Vivah, is on a high these days after winning Colors' Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5. The actor will soon be seen in a Punjabi movie Yaar Mera Rab Warga and will also step into Bollywood.

Talking about life post Jhalak, Gurmeet says, "I am thankful to God for giving me so much. Life post Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa has been amazing and I have been applauded for my work. Jhalak has been a learning curve for me and I have started to love dancing. I now attend classes and love to dance with my wife Debina (Bonnerjee). A dance show with her will be an icing on the cake."

"We both are crazy people; we are the best of friends, we laugh, fight and patch up the very next minute. I am a reserved person and spend most of my free time on the sets reading books. Debina is also reserved, but is an extrovert while I am a total introvert. However, I am the one who usually apologises after we have a fight," he adds.

Fit 'n' fine
Actor Taaha Shah shares his fitness mantras with us

Communicate with your body

Fitness to me is a means of communicating with your body. It's not just the muscles that I train, but all my senses along with it. Being physically fit is very important. I train everyday in funk jazz and contemporary for two days a week. I practice martial arts and acrobatics for two days in a week, and the remaining days I go to the gym.

My diet

I've been observing the reaction of my body to food since I was 18 and have made up a plan. For breakfast, I eat a bowl of fruits; the more colour the better, and a big glass of tomato juice. I keep eating something every two hours such as dried fruits or dates. For lunch, I stick to half a grilled chicken with brown rice, two vegetable side-dishes; a small plate of cucumber, carrot and beet-root. And finally for dinner, which is always before 8 pm, I eat two parathas, with vegetables, curd and grilled chicken. Two hours later I have a protein shake, and take my daily dose of multi-vitamins and omega 3-6-9.

My mantra

A strong body and healthy mind is essential. Educate yourself on the anatomy of the body. Looking athletic is just a mind-set; one can achieve it with discipline.

Karan’s fan following

Karan Singh Grover aka Asad of Zee TV's Qubool Hai did some stunts while shooting in Bhopal for the show. He indulged in water sports, stunts with cars and bikes, and even jumped off a cliff, but he didn't realise that one woman was following him everywhere. When the unit noticed, they spoke to her who claimed she was his biggest fan. After days of following him around, Karan decided to talk to her. Once he did and even clicked pictures with her, she left.

Break time

The television industry certainly keeps actors a lot busy given the erratic nature of its functioning. But whenever they get a window, in terms of leisure hours, they make the most of it by spending some awesome, chilled-out moments.

Well, the scenario is no different for actor Ram Kapoor who has wowed everyone with his superb acting prowess as Ram in Bade Achhe Lagte Hain. Ram, who apparently has a passion for adventure sports - scuba-diving to be precise - recently had a gala time in the deep blue sea.

The exhilarated actor tweeted, "Back home finally after 10 days good to be back. What a trip!! Did some amazing scuba diving my second passion in life!" Fun, isn't it?


Roopal Tyagi aka Gunjan in Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke on Zee feels lucky that she got such a cool break. She totally loves the role of the flamboyant and modern girl. The actress began her career as a choreographer but when she got this offer she took it up.

Fight for the right 

Buzz is that actors on Balaji's Bade Achhe Lagte Hain are unhappy. Though the show is popular, actors like Jai Kalra, Tarana Raja, Sumona Chakravarti and Mohit Malhotra feel they aren't getting enough screen time and their roles hardly have a growth. 

New role

Samir Sharma earlier seen in Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki and Geet now are looking forward to his new show Chabbis Barah on Life OK. In the show he will play the role of a scientist. The story will be about a fictional terrorist attack.

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is November 27...

You hate being in limbo. Put pressure on someone to make a decision. If you are being treated unfairly, you have an opportunity to move to greener pastures. Working with a philanthropic organisation will put an end to your struggles. Although it's impressive to work for a prestigious organisation, getting paid has been difficult. Cast your lot with an employer that treats its staff well. A friend can get you an interview with a prominent civic leader. Emphasise on your reliability and work ethic.

You are prone to accidents between December and March; also liable to accidents and other mis-adventures. Trust your instincts about a troublesome colleague. Their secretive behaviour is the result of personal pain. By offering a helping-hand, your work environment will become much more relaxed. By making friendly overtures at this vulnerable juncture, you'll see a dramatic transformation. Everybody deserves a second chance. You're about to witness the power of redemption. Quietly moving forward with a new idea or project is great, but avoid pushing someone's buttons or pushing boundaries. Don't justify yourself for an error you've made; probably, nobody even noticed and it's neither relevant nor important in any way. Have more faith in yourself. Those born after 1980 should cast aside stubbornness and listen to the opinions of others before rejecting them. Otherwise, they will regret their actions. Co-operation is low but not 'all that bad'. There could be some financial pressure. However, you would be able to take control over the situation if you choose to be frugal for the time being.

Sudden travel plans may take some of you to the south or the southeast on a special assignment.

Mood: Aware.

Compatible Signs: Taurus, Virgo.

Lucky Colors: Orange, Purple.

Lucky Days: Monday and Wednesday.

Lucky Numbers: 2, 10, 19, 21, 100.

You share your birthday with Mahie Gill (November27, 1975, Chandigarh), who played the lead actress in Anurag Kashyap's Dev D. She started her career in Punjabi Films before making a debut in Bollywood. Mahi got her first break with the Punjabi film Havaayen and has done a couple of Punjabi films along with theatre. Mars and Venus in her birth chart ensure success in films.

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: Charm, diplomacy, respect and co-operation are far better attributes to employ in dealing with people if you want positive results. Job applications yield good results. Tarot message: Do what is right and watch your best interests.

Lucky colour: Pink.

Magic number: 65

TAURUS: A pleasant day for everything. Be prepared for multiple invitations to social events and gatherings. Your family will be holding a big get-together to renew the spirit of the clan. Tarot message: Don't dismiss advice from youthful origin.

Lucky colour: Royal-blue.

Magic number: 36

GEMINI: Now is the time to distinguish clearly between wants and needs. Your desires seem to have no end, but your bank account will dry up before your wants. Tarot message: Beware of depleting your energy or 
resources on others.

Lucky colour: Cream.

Magic number: 33

CANCER: A healthy competitive instinct can be harnessed for greater accomplishment. There may be trouble brewing in the family that would benefit from a sensible voice of reason before matters spiral out of hand. Tarot message: A quick mind will bail you out of a situation. Lucky colour: Turquoise. Magic number: 64

LEO: An urgent job to deal with a crisis will drag you back to your workplace. Make the best of it by doing what must be done quickly and effectively. A chance encounter with an ex-flame may revive old memories. Tarot message: You find within yourself a fountainhead of a will power. Lucky colour: Saffron.

Magic number: 24

VIRGO: Finances can be increased with extra effort. You should give a serious thought to your business. Decisions that need to be made, especially involving your career, should not be put off. Tarot message: Focus on the better to mitigate the bitter.

Lucky colour: Silver-grey.

Magic number: 54

LIBRA: A major domestic purchase can be made with confidence but will not be available until next week. Be patient, even though you want it immediately. Love life suffers due to family problems. Tarot message: Take limited risks with your capital.

Lucky colour: Sea-green.

Magic number: 60

SCORPIO: Put knowledge into practice or learn how to do something better. Working women: be careful while dealing with the clients. Children may enjoy the company of their parents. A nagging doubt gets cleared. Tarot message: Plan your life to avoid delays. Lucky colour: Peacock-green. Magic number: 29

SAGITTARIUS: Your card Fortune suggests it is a good day on the financial front. Try your luck at a range of speculative possibilities. It is a good day for sportsmen. Tarot message: Use careful judgment while handling issues involving property.

Lucky colour: White.

Magic number: 61

CAPRICORN: Relations with fellow workers are on a high and your popularity will increase. Selling big goals may seem unrealistic. If you shoot for what you really want, it just might happen. Tarot message: Work could pose minor difficulties but don't worry. Lucky colour: Rainbow-pastels. Magic number: 55

AQUARIUS: Avoid getting involved in demanding social issues. It will be the minor pin-pricks that provoke you. Home life will cause some interference. Tarot message: Empty promises are certain, therefore try to put your terms and conditions in writing. Lucky colour: Pomegranate-red.

Magic number: 32

PISCES: Your card Four of Wands promises an excellent day. Do not feel guilty about taking time out to look after your well-being, both mental and physical. Preventing health problem is better than treating them. Tarot message: Delays are the only obstacle in your way to success. Lucky colour: Ebony. Magic number: 42

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