Ek hasina hai

Kishwar Merchant must have had a long innings in television, but she still looks fresh. Her recent portrayal of a grey character in Ek Hasina Thi is being truly appreciated

Kishwar Merchant has portrayed many roles on small screen—a doctor, lawyer, cop and a woman in love with her best friend's husband! It's the last one that has got her quite a fan mail lately. Playing Raima Maheshwari on Ek Hasina Thi is what Kishwar really didn't see herself doing.

It was Raima's grey character that intrigued Kishwar a lot. Not sure if she wanted to play 'a woman in love with her best friend's husband' but she said yes for she loved the soap's plot and wanted to be part of the show.

Looking beautiful every inch, the lithesome actress opens up on this Star Plus' show and much more in Chandigarh, on Friday.

Kishwar tackles all the questions pertaining to the role she is essaying deftly telling how the plot justifies it and it's just fiction and things can happen in a show…and if it impacts society, she goes, "Are you going to blame me for this? Please no…it's not a good idea."

She defends her character as someone who falls in the shades of grey and not completely negative, but she accepts that it's not been easy. "On the show I and Ayub sir keep laughing, but do our shots. Somehow Raima has found favour with the viewers and also the show that's pretty different than the stuff doled out generally and TRPs prove that."

Long 17 years on the telly, Kishwar has seen things change. "There used to be very progressive shows. I remember essaying the role of a doctor in Dhadkan. I actually saw an open-heart surgery. A panel of doctors on the show actually taught us the basics and were always on call if we got stuck at some medical term's pronunciation or procedure."

She is happy that Ek Hasina Thi offers a break from the regressive saas bahu shows that have ruled the tele world for long. As an actress she strives for variety. "I have done many episodic shows like in Crime Patrol I played a cop." Currently, if she has Ek Hasina Thi on one hand, it's Akbar Birbal on the other hand a historical comedy. "I don't want fans to typecast me in a particular role."

In her long innings, Kishwar has seen many ups and downs. There have been times, when she had four to five shows at a time and also phases when she had no work. "But all in all, I am happy with the kind of work I am getting," says the actress, who has maintained herself well. She doesn't shy away from sharing that how her contemporary Vatsal is still playing the lead while she has 'Raima aunty' in her kitty, "People do say I still look young and I am happy about it," she says.

On maintaining her looks, it's green tea she swears by. "Shows leave us little time, there is no time to gym, so I bank on my green tea."

Kishwar is content with her run on the telly and has no big screen plans. She is happy enjoying her professional and personal space, and, yes contrary to the reports, she is still unmarried and just dating co-star Suyash!


Wild card
Manpriya Singh

If Na Aana Is Des Laado, Sawaare Sabke Sapne Preeto and Junoon-Aisi Nafrat Toh Kaisa Ishq made actor Aditya Redij a household name, then his upcoming serial Darpan is going to establish him as a mature actor

What is worth raising a toast for is the fact that prime time television slot has been allotted to a plot that takes a detour from kitchens, kanjeevarams and all the other sorry trends started by the letter K. ZEE TV's latest prime time offering, titled Bandhan, is the story of a little girl Darpan, who accepts Ganesha as her little brother, save for the fact that it is the most unlikely brother. A baby elephant!

"Should I share a little secret with you? Ganesha, the two-year-old elephant, is actually a female," television actor Aditya Redij proudly takes a backseat to announce the real star of the serial and is happy to take any queries on the animal. So, while the tagline accompanying the serial-saari umar humein sang rehna hai -is likely to conjure up clichéd images of the celluloid siblings, the promos underscore the unusual bond that the child and the animal forge. "There have been several films and shows where animals have been a part but

what makes this serial different is that the elephant not just plays a part but is an important character," he shares, while in Chandigarh for the promotion of the show, which goes on air in September. He adds, "Moreover, we shot at real locations in forests of Gujarat." While he couldn't recall the name of the forest but the elephant comes from Rajasthan. "Ganesha's training happened on the sets itself."

Reel-y mature

Having already starred in serials like Na Aana Is Des Laado, Sawaare Sabke Sapne Preeto and Junoon-Aisi Nafrat Toh Kaisa Ishq, Aditya this time steps in as Darpan's father, a kind hearted and upright forest ranger and also a liberal father. "I did not have any apprehensions of playing a father. In fact, it felt good that the makers thought my acting was mature. These kinds of roles people get after years of experience, I got to play it comparatively early."

As a forest ranger there wasn't much work to take back home because. "There were no nitty gritties or technicalities to deal with on the show. It is essentially about family bonding and the forest ranger's personal life. "Rather, I chose to spend time with the co-stars so that the understanding and bond developed and it reflected onscreen as well."

There is something else too that goes deeper than just the character. "In real life, I'm an avid wildlife enthusiast. I have relatives in Nagpur and every time I go and visit them, I first take off to forests before meeting anybody else.'

One at a time

Currently, Bandhan it is and nothing else for no other reason except time. "I am doing only this show at the moment because for every serial I like to develop a certain look and devote my hundred per cent. One can't be shuttling too many looks at the same time."

Err… and anyway Hindi serials never end. Would he like to defend his fraternity?

He laughs, "That's a dangerous question."


Punjabi scope
Out of control
Jasmine Singh

Movie: Control Bhaji Control 
Director: Gaurav Singh
Star cast: Karan Kundra, Sangram Singh, BN Sharma, Upasna Singh, Savita Bhatti, Chandan Prabhakar, Rana Jung Bahadur, Sandeep, Simran and Nachattar Gill.
Rating: *

Two’s company: (L-R) Sangram Singh and Karan Kundra

Control bhaji control…this apart from being the name of the film is also something we would want to tell the director. If only bhaji could put some control on the haywire story and screenplay, if only bhaji could control the useless dialogues, if only bhaji could have added more content than songs, if only bhaji could have Googled the meaning of laughter and if only the director Bhaji could have just seen his work at least twice before handing it to the audience…the film could have been a zillion times better.

Directed by Gaurav Singh, who makes his directorial debut with Control Bhaji Control, it is clearly an immature attempt. Gaurav hasn't put any control on anything in the movie. Apparently, he has also written the story of the film, which smells fresh of so many Govinda-Sanjay Dutt films that you have seen. The director seems to have 'snatched' inspiration from Andaz Apna Apna, drawing the part of mistaken identity of Karisma Kapoor and Raveena Tandon, and using it for the Sandy and Mandy of Control Bhaji Control. How about making us laugh with something original or if not, how about working a little on the technique of inspiration?

The film has an ensemble cast of actors, including Karan Kundra, Sangram Singh, BN Sharma,Upasna Singh, Savita Bhatti, Chandan Prabhakar, Rana Jung Bahadur, Sandeep, Simran and Nachattar Gill. And if you have pinned your hopes on any single actor, we assure, each one of you have gone the extra mile to dash your hopes!

Karan Kundra, the actor who added 'real' emotion to the TV series Gumraah, has been wasted by the director. Sangram Singh has made some good faces but when it comes to acting, the audience will probably make a face. It is the same old BN Sharma here as well, trying hard to squeeze humour out of outdated jokes. Savita Bhatti and Rana Jung Bahadur have also been wasted in the film. If there is someone who manages to pinch your laughter bone a little, it's Upasna Singh. Nachattar Gill is a fabulous singer, but needs a control on acting.

The songs in the film fall randomly, only you will never figure out why they are falling without reason! The songs have been picturised and also fitted in the film pretty mindlessly. So, after watching the film you will whisper to your heart aal izz well. Or you might want to tell yourself control yaar control sab theek ho jayega!

Bounce back, each time
Somya Abrol

When life throws you down in the ditches, what do you do? Well, you shave off your moustache, shed your 'uncommunicativeness' in the company of women, decide to suddenly become resourceful and learn to play the guitar — meet the protagonist of Vivek Atray's second book, Dubey Ji Bounces Back.

An enviable employee at Mumbai's Bonny Bank, Raghav Dubey is struck by the beauty of Avni, and suddenly, the 26-year-old decides to stop being meek and morose, and start being awesome instead! So, is it a true story? "I will stick to fiction. Non-fiction is not my cup of tea," shares Chandigarh-based civil servant and author Vivek Atray. But, he does draw inspiration from the people he comes across on a daily basis, being a civil servant: "I do not base my characters entirely on the people I meet. Like most authors, I pick up the traits I like and compile them into one when framing my characters." With this book, Atray wants to deliver a simple yet oft-forgotten message. "No matter what happens in life, we all have the capability to bounce back. My protagonist is like you and me, or anyone else we meet on the street. Bouncing back is an ability we all shroud," says Atray.

About why he chooses to stick to humour, Atray says, "It's a genre not many choose to explore. In the monotony of our stressful lives, we often forget to smile. For instance, I met a woman the other day who laughed at something I said and suddenly said to me, 'I don't remember the last time I laughed. It must have been a good 25 days or so!' The idea of writing humour is to spread cheer without being too goofy or slapstick. Besides, everyone seems to be writing love stories these days."

Atray, however, is a self-confessed romantic at heart: "With this book, I've also tried to explore bits of romance. And apparently, romance sells!"

For his next piece of fiction, Atray plans to delve deeper into human relationships. Humour, however, would remain his preferred medium of self-expression. Published by Wisdom Tree Books, Dubey Ji Bounces Back is priced at Rs 195, and is now on the stands.


The right moves
Mad About Dance

Directed by Saahil Prem, Mad About Dance stars Saahil Prem and Amrit Maghera in the lead roles. This is Saahil Prem's debut as a director. Essentially a dance film, it focuses on the youth, their dreams, anxieties, disappointments, and hopes for their future. The film is based in the quaint and beautiful university town of Sheffield, and brings to light the stories of Asian students who leave their home and country and go and study abroad…their struggles, their heartbreaks, their trials and triumphs.

Dancing diva

Amrit Maghera is the only reason why I went and watched the film; she has not been disappointing at all. She looks stunning and dances like a diva, but the film, according to me, is not really all that good. Those who like dancing may fancy it.

— Amanbir Singh, student

Loose ends

The storyline of the film is not all that good, but I love the dance sequences. Also, I think the film could have been a little crisper.

— Jaiveer Singh, student

(As told to Amarjot Kaur)

first-day-first show
One woman, strong show

Directed by Pradeep Sarkar and produced by Aditya Chopra, the film Mardaani features Rani Mukerji in the lead role, with Jisshu Sengupta and Tahir Bhasin appearing in supporting roles. The film tells the story of a female cop whose interest in the case of a kidnapped teenage girl leads her to uncover secrets of human trafficking by the mafia.

Must watch

I believe every Indian must watch this film, as it shows one of our significant social and national problems —child trafficking and sex trade. It's an interesting watch and very illuminating too.

— Vantika Sharma, student

Very intense

It is an interesting film with a very compelling storyline. The dialogues, screenplay and acting, everything works in the favour of the film and what I love the most is the intensity with which it builds up on the concept of child trafficking.

— Niharika Shukla, student

High octane

I really love the film. It has power-packed performances by all the actors, specifically Rani Mukerji. Also, I appreciate the way the makers of the film dealt with the concept of child trafficking and sex trade.

— Himanshu Kappal, musician

In sync with tradition
Amarjot Kaur

Mohiniyattam dancer Gopika Varma, in Chandigarh for a performance, wants to spread knowledge about the dance form far and wide...

Even though she pursues a traditional dance form, Mohiniyattam, which is marked by extreme grace and fluidity, transmitting radiance through movements and expressions of nostalgia, purity and sanctity, Gopika Varma displays a geometrical precision and technical finesse. On the first day of the three-day Chandigarh Dance Festival organised by Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, we engage in an interesting banter with Gopika Varma.

Gopika started learning Mohiniyattam at the age of two. "I was trained by Girija and Chandrika Kurup, both senior students of Kalyani Kuttyamma, for 10 years and later specialised in the art under Kalyani Kuttyamma herself and her daughter, Sreedevi Rajan," she says. However, her interest in Mohiniyattam was kindled by her mother, who was also an accomplished Mohiniyattam dancer. "My mother has always been a great source of inspiration. What I truly love about Mohiniyattam as a dance form is the Abhinaya, which is the quintessence of the dance form," she shares. While Gopika has gleaned a wealth of knowledge and professional training in the Sopana (traditional music of Kerala) style of performance from Kavalam Narayana Paniker, a veteran in Indian theatrics, she is presently training under Kalamandalam Sugandhi.

Gopika, who has performed extensively at various art festivals, sabhas and temples nationwide and internationally, she does not quite fancy the neo-classical fusion dance forms. "Mohiniyattam is a very traditional dance form, which allows little and sometimes no flexibility at all. And even though I like watching all sorts of dance forms, I am not very fond of the fusion becoming the new contemporary dance form," he says.

Presently, Gopika is running a Mohiniyattam Dance School named Dasyam in Chennai, Pune, and Bengaluru, with a vision to promote and develop Mohiniyattam dance outside Kerala. "I want to spread the knowledge of Mohiniyattam, and with the schools that I have started I am noticing that people are taking a lot of interest in the dance form. I already have 150 students in the school," she says. Gopika Varma, as a professional performer and teacher, has received various awards. She was the first Mohiniyattam dancer to be awarded Yuva Kala Bharathi by Bharat Kalachar in 2001 and has also received The Outstanding Performance Award by the House of Commons, London, in 2003.


You’ve got mail!

Anshul Goyal has a love for exclusives. The proud collector of rare coins (heard of Rs 1,000 one?), an envelope that once contained the ticket of the ill-fated Titanic and much more. Managing director, email.biz, this 31-year-old Ludhiana lad is happy at the response his venture has gathered in one year. With two lakh users already, he is happy to let you customise your e-mail IDs from as many as 25,000 options. In Chandigarh, on Thursday, Anshul opened up on the project close to his heart. "When I started sending emails from my exclusive ID, my friends appreciated; I thought of extending it to them too."

Not only can you sync up to four mail IDs at email.biz, you can send up to 500 MB size of attachment, get you own webpage…all free to begin with. "With time we are going to launch our chatting application and online storage space too," says Anshul, who is a bachelor in commerce and a self-taught software expert.

"So has been everyone in the field, right from Steve Jobs, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg to Bill Gates," he quips. Now that he is happy with feedback, he is soon going to launch a music album to promote email.biz. With nine songs in total, one in English and three in Punjabi centre around the venture, while there are other five that are typical Punjabi numbers. "I guess songs are the best way to catch attention," says Anshul. With his family in the real estate business, Anshul is happy in his software business ever since he was 20. He is aiming at a bigger market now, with Yana Gupta to be the face of the brand. "We offer services in four languages now - Hindi, Arabic, Spanish and English. We are aiming to expand more soon," says Anshul.


The buzz

  • Customised e-mail username
  • You can sync up to four mail IDs and access all at one click
  • Create your mail ID in your native language
  • Exchange attachment up to the size of 500 MB
  • Sign up for an email and get your website free

Star track
From temple to stage
Chitrangada walks the ramp in traditional attire

Dusky beauty Chitrangada Singh dazzled the ramp, showcasing traditional attire for designer Harshita Chatterjee Deshpande at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014. "I was told that this collection is inspired by temples and it is very different. I love the vintage and traditional collection and I am a huge fan of Indian style. Even the small detailing that she has done for this outfit has been encrafted from South," the actress said. Donning a blood-red lehenga and golden blouse with long sleeves, Chitrangada put the ramp on fire. Complimenting the entire look were jewellery which included heavy golden neckpiece, nose ring and bangles. The collections were inspired by the temples of South India and the rule of the Chola dynasty and Peshwas over the city of Tanjore. Designer Harshita says the collection is about "devdasis".

Harshita says: "My collections are inspired from Devdasis... it's about her freedom, and journey within. The carvings of the temples I have used as a motif. I have used kanjivarams, tussars and creations by hand."

Harshita's collection revisits the ancient looms of Kancheepuram to tell the story of a woman who is in search of herself. The core fabric is the hand-woven Kanjeevaram silk from the looms of Kancheepuram, while chanderi silk and soy net has also been used as fabric. The collection also had ancient zardozi in antique gold and dark metal tones, inspired by gold temple jewellery and design of ornaments of the gods.

Farhan rocks

Farhan Akhtar's online concert or webcert was a huge success. The show was called the Stroke of Midnight and his band, Farhan Live, was seen performing on August 14 at 11:30pm. He has struck a cord with the youth at large and the footfall at his concerts have increased. The webcert has added to his fan mania. A lot of young people logged in to watch his show and were all praise for the performance.

Rani in City of Joy

Actress Rani Mukerji recently visited Kolkata for the promotions of her film Mardaani. She visited the famous Kalighat Temple and St. Xavier's College.

Reading session

Shahid Kapoor is reading Shakespeare again after reading Hamlet for Haider. He is reading the other works by the famous author and they help him understand human nature and nuances of different characters.

Tiger is his own stylist

Tiger Shroff wears his own clothes and does not follow anyone or have a stylist. He lives in track pants, but chooses jeans and tees or formal wear for events.

Aamir’s attire

Take a look at the second poster of PK featuring a fully-clothed Aamir Khan in Rajasthani attire carrying a Sousaphone. The film has many stars like Anushka Sharma and Sushant Singh Rajput. It will release on December 19.


Chatter box
When dreams take flight

For those who learn to overcome their fears, freedom beckons. Bringing alive this emotion of freedom, Colors recently announced the launch of Udann—the tale of Chakor, which is about a free-spirited young girl whose existence is pawned by her helpless and poverty-stricken family when in her mother's womb, as collateral for money. Through Udann, Colors brings a heartwarming story addressing the social issue of bonded labour, which is widely prevalent in the world even in the 21st century. Conceptualised by ace director Mahesh Bhatt, Udann marks the journey of seven-year-old Chakor as she rises like a phoenix for her dreams and showcases a mind without fear. Produced by Dhaval Jayantilal Gada and Guroudev Bhalla Productions Pvt Ltd, the show has been written by award-winning writers Robin Bhatt and Javed Siddiqui.

Set against the rustic backdrop in the hinterland of Uttar Pradesh where bonded labour is dominant, Udann is an honest rendition of life and society. Bringing to light the innocence of a young but sharp-minded child, Chakor, whose unhindered zest for life strengthens when faced with challenges at the hands of the Rajvanshi family headed by the zamindar Kamalnarayan, her story celebrates the spirit of survival and hope.

Witness the zest for life of seven-year-old Chakor every Monday to Saturday at 8:30 pm on Colors.

Bebo dazzles at Tussauds

Actress Kareena Kapoor recently visited her wax figure at Madame Tussauds London and styled up her wax model in the beautiful red sizzling Ra.One saree. The statue now wears the red saree of Chammak Challo song from Ra.One, enhancing the beauty of the wax statue.

Kareena is delighted to see the outcome of the redress and she posed with the statue giving a satisfactory look. Fans can visit the statue for a limited time frame before this summer, before it returns to Madame Tussauds Blackpool in the Autumn. The statue was initially dressed in Mauja Hi Mauja style. "It was an honour to welcome Kareena Kapoor to Madame Tussauds London to visit her redressed wax figure, particularly as Kareena donated the new outfit herself. Seeing Kareena alongside her figure was a real treat, and I know that fans who saw her today were delighted," said Ben Sweet, Madame Tussauds London's general manager. Kareena said, "The sari looks really pretty, really spectacular, and I always think that the figure's eyes are just like mine. I wanted my fans to see my wax figure in an outfit that was known and loved from one of my films, and my favourite outfit to wear out is a sari, so I jumped at the chance to redress my Madame Tussauds figure in one. This is a moment I'll treasure forever."

Going on air

The new-age Indian woman is making a mark in stronghold male bastions. The finest example of this is the aviation industry where till recently, women were air hostesses and the coveted pilots of the aircraft were men. Breaking this stereotype, STAR Plus is all set to launch Airlines—Har Udaan Ek Toofan.

The story of Flight Officer Ananya Rawat forms the central theme of Airlines, as she personifies the aspirations and ambitions for most young Indian women. Set in Delhi, the show features the journey of First Officer Ananya Rawat who navigates through a world of gender discrimination and regressive attitudes embedded in the modern and glamorous aviation industry. The show marks the TV debut of Tulip Joshi who plays Ananya and VJ- turned-actor Yudishthir aka Yudi essaying the role of Captain Akash. It has been produced by Miditech and written by Advaita Kala, who has also authored the recent hit Kahaani.

(Airlines will begin on August 24, 2014, at 9 pm)

I live on my own terms: Aamir

Aamir Khan spoke about the Young Inspirator's seminar about life and success and here is what he had to share...

Mistakes of life

This has been a fascinating thing right through my life. While making every important decision of my life, all people who are important to me, close to me, had told me, 'You are making a mistake, don't do this'. I had always been told that.

No compromise

I always listened to them carefully, I never ignored them. But I finally did what I felt like doing and when I look back after 25 years of being a professional, I think that is the one thing that I feel happy about. I lived on my terms. Today, I am successful, but I may not have been successful as well. But I am happy that I never compromised. Whenever I was offered something I was not happy with, I didn't do it.

Standing by PK

PK is one of my favourite films in my entire career. I have other favourites like Sarfarosh and Taare Zameen Par. I stand by everything that I have done for this movie and by the movie itself. We are promoting it in a very unique way by releasing motion posters and each of them will tell a story.

Guetta returns

One of the world's biggest DJs, David Guetta will return to India this December to play two shows in the country. Universally accredited with being one of the first DJs to open up the world of electronic dance music to global audiences, David has established himself as a true, modern-day dance icon with a huge following in the subcontinent. The man behind tracks like Titanium and Play Hard will perform in Delhi on December 19 and Bengaluru on December 21 (venues will be announced soon). — TNS

Name game

Actor Manish Raisinghani has changed his name from Manish Raisighani to Manish Raisinghan and the reason behind this change is numerology. The actor was guided by a numerology expert to drop the letter 'I' from his last name for better prospects in the future. "I am a fan of science and my first personal encounter with a science called numerology made me drop the last 'I' from my surname. The advice came from an export," he shared.

History calling

After Ssharad Malhotra playing the grown-up Maharana Pratap's role in Contiloe Telefilms, now Rachana Parulkar, who did Ek Mutthi Aasmaan earlier, will be playing an important role in the show. She is in consideration for the role of Ajab De.

Defending love

Srishty Rode is angry about accusations made by her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend Muskaan Arora. After recent reports that her boyfriend Manish Naggdev two-timed Muskaan, Srishty has come out in defence of him saying that isn't true. Manish is seen as Shashank in Pavitra Rishta.

What a chance!

Hollywood-based Indian producer Ashok Amritraj will host a show on DD. Called Chance of a Lifetime, the eight-episode TV series is in collaboration with the United Nations.

Exciting jodi

After bringing Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar together, now Ekta Kapoor is planning a love story with Sakshi and Ronit Roy. Everything about the show is kept under wraps as of now. But knowing Ekta, it will be a smashing show. Ronit hasn't done a fiction show in a while, so this jodi will be exciting.

Weighty issue for Gauhar

Gauhar Khan, who is turning a host with Honey Singh's India's Raw Star wants to lose weight. Apparently, post Bigg Boss last year, she has been travelling a lot and wasn't able to devote much time to fitness, but now she is working hard to get the extra kilos off.

Mika likes Shahid

Mika Singh is all praise for actor Shahid Kapoor. Mika apparently loved his O2 Arena performance and complimented the energetic and handsome actor. They have had many hits together like Mauja Hi Mauja and Saj Dhaj Ke from Shahid's movies.

Bang on target

The still from the song Tu Meri

What happens when you put together scintillating good looks, sizzling chemistry, pulsating music along with breath-taking dance moves? The lethal combination of Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif makes the first song of Bang Bang titled Tu Meri, an absolutely sensational dance number.

Here is an exclusive teaser picture for you from the high octane Tu Meri which was launched on August 22. Composed by Vishal-Shekar, we are told that this track is one of the most energetic songs in the film.

As Bang Bang gets ready to set the screen on fire on October 2, we can't wait to see what else awaits us!

In the top slot

Deepika Padukone is at the top of her game. She is topping many surveys and power lists because of her hit films, her high profile relationships, work ethic, brand endorsements, upcoming films, and more. God bless her, she is a complete package! She deserves all the success.

When the stakes are high…

Many actors and directors have major releases this year with a lot riding on them, from money to reputation, and more. Take a look

Ringside view
Priyanka Chopra:
The A-list actress loves pushing herself out of her comfort zone by doing challenging roles even though she can easily pick comfortable blockbusters. She has poured her sweat and tears into making Mary Kom, based on the real life boxer and has a lot riding on the fate of this film. We think she will impress one and all and so will the film.

Searching happiness 
Saif Ali Khan: He was once the top hero of romantic comedies. He needs to redeem himself after the failure of movies like Bullet Raja (we thought it was a good film) and Humshakals (plain terrible!) with Happy Endings in which he plays an author and the movie is a romantic comedy with pretty women too. So we wish him well.

Bald move
Shahid Kapoor: He was known as a chocolate boy but movies like Vivaah, Jab We Met and Kaminey proved that he was a versatile actor. After the success of R...Rajkumar last year, Haider is a crucial film for him because it will push him to his acting limits. He shaved his hair for the same, and it is an offbeat film. If it does well, it will push him into the big league.

Commercial success
Anurag Kashyap: Anurag Kashyap has become a commercially viable name in the last few years, after Dev D and a successful producer and brand ambassador too. His most ambitious film, Bombay Velvet, releases later this year and it is also his most expensive film so there is a lot at stake for him. The success of this venture is crucial to the entire team.

Leading lady
Anushka Sharma: She was last seen in Jab Tak Hai Jaan nearly two years ago and after that she has been in the limelight for her romance with Virat Kohli. She has two huge releases this year—PK and Bombay Velvet. She is the female lead in both of them. Let's see how they benefit her.

Astro turf 
P Khurrana

ARIES: Make sure you are doing your best in all situations. You can be in line for a promotion or recognition in the form of an award. Employment affairs are satisfactory.

Tarot message: Competition will push you to do your best.

Lucky colour: Beige.

Magic number: 52.

TAURUS: Friction at the workplace can slow down production and frazzle everyone's nerves. Words said in the heat of the moment may not be true expressions of real feelings.

Tarot message: Balance in all aspects is recommended.

Lucky colour: Pink.

Magic number: 25.

GEMINI: Feeling of love and strong impulses come together in an exciting but frivolous mix today. Take it easy. It will be pointless to attempt to force the pace, so go slowly.

Tarot message: Play your cards close to your chest.

Lucky colour: Orange.

Magic number: 40.

CANCER: You are unlikely to reach very far if trying to put new plans into operation. An illness can force you to take the day off work. Putting energy into your domestic life can give you a lift.

Tarot message: Take no chances despite the assurance of people.

Lucky colour: Golden.

Magic number: 61.

LEO: Sacrifices made today can put you in a far better place for the future. Bring a breath of fresh air into your life by rearranging your environment. Go shopping for some interesting artwork.

Tarot message: Be creative.

Lucky colour: Brown.

Magic number: 24.

VIRGO: Make an early start today and get to work as soon as possible. Not only will you impress the boss, but you will feel an immediate sense of achievement.

Tarot message: A positive and caring attitude heals old wounds.

Lucky colour: Blue.

Magic number: 33.

LIBRA: You can find it too easy to get bogged down in the daily grind and caught up in your natural ambition to get ahead. Problems of others may have to be attended too. So do not run away from them.

Tarot message: A penny saved is a penny earned.

Lucky colour: Green.

Magic number: 62.

SCORPIO: A day of heavy spending. Patience and time are important to make progress. The advice of elders, professionals and people with greater experience than yours can make all the difference.

Tarot message: Plan your life better to avoid delays.

Lucky colour: Yellow.

Magic number: 59.

SAGITTARIUS: More income means more luxuries of life to enjoy, so savour them all. Socialising and attending gala events can be costly. You will have much energy today, so make the most of it.

Tarot message: Strive for perfection at work.

Lucky colour: Red.

Magic number: 63.

CAPRICORN: Grinding through committee crowds and grid lock traffic will be annoying. Someone you meet today will give you a useful business tip. Go over accounts.

Tarot message: Involve yourself as much as possible in a new project.

Lucky colour: Golden-yellow.

Magic number: 57.

AQUARIUS: Early part of the day is most exciting. Today should see many of the policies that you have been following bearing fruits. Do not allow friends or family to distract you during study hours.

Tarot message: Do not leave things to chance.

Lucky colour: Cream.

Magic number: 50.

PISCES: Finance and income are in the spotlight. Matters involving spending, saving and borrowing are all worth examining. Be sure to grasp any opportunity that comes your way today.

Tarot message: Don't be too certain about obtaining a clearance.

Lucky colour: Sea-green.

Magic number: 41.

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is August 23...

You will have a clear outlook towards your career and work towards attaining your goals. Finances will improve with your wise approach. You can aim at significant progress in relationships; however, personal life can involve some aggressiveness. Therefore, be patient. Stomach ailments are possible, so take care. Your biggest asset is your sense of humour; try to use it to cure your illness. Don't take your life for granted. You must fight for your right to be creative because your talents might be the only way for you to get out of the pit. Goals that seem simple will be more complicated than you think.

Positive colours: Green, Turquoise.

Select days: Wednesday, Friday.

Favourable numbers: 5, 6.

Gems recommended: Emerald, Ruby.

Charity on birthday: Donate utensils to the needy.

You share your birthday with Munni Badnaam Hui fame Malaika Arora Khan (August 23, 1973, Mumbai), wife of actor Arbaaz Khan. She will prove a versatile actress due to the magnetic vibrations of Mercury and Venus. Malaika has a long innings to play in future.

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