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Actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan, who is geared up for the new season of his social issues-related TV show Satyamev Jayate 2, says he wants to continue to take the right advantages of being a celebrity, who is so loved by his fans. “If a celebrity does some work, there is more attention. But the audience is very sharp, they understand everything. Whatever goodwill I have earned over the years, I’ll (always) take the right advantage of it. I hope many more celebrities do it… the more the better”, said Aamir recently.
The actor clearly didn’t want to reveal much on the topics that he will touch upon in the second season of the immensely popular TV show, saying, “All I can say is that all our topics are very important and all the topics are such that which you will feel that this is important and timely, and it is important to think about this”.
And typically, Aamir did deliver with the very first episode in Satyamev Jayate 2.
‘Heart stirring’ and a ‘real hero’ was how viewers lauded the episode that focused upon the issue of rape in the country. The much-awaited talk show, with the tagline ‘Jinhe desh ki fikr hai’ (those who care for the country), recently aired and host Aamir once again struck the right chord. The show received around 12 lakh missed calls in two hours from people who want to join the fight against rape.
Titled Fighting rape, the first episode began with the narration of the December 16 Delhi gang rape case, in which a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was brutally gang raped in a bus.
With some more cases of acid attack, rape and molestation, Aamir then shared the statistics of rape cases in India and on changes to legislation involving rape.
Aamir also interviewed Urmila Singh Bharti, a Dalit from Madhya Pradesh, as well as Suzette Jordan, who discarded the anonymity of being known as the ‘Park Street rape victim’ to fight for justice. The two rape survivors narrated their respective horrifying tales and fight for justice. It’s heartening that a Bollywood celebrity like Aamir Khan should take up social issues and try to make a difference. So if he wants to use his celebrity ‘rights’ for a good cause, go right ahead, Aamir!
Films, friendships and Nargis Fakhri
US-born actress Nargis Fakhri is still learning the ropes of making it big in Bollywood, where she observes that people are “best friends” with a person till they have work. “I’ve learnt a lot about the ways of Mumbai’s entertainment industry. But not enough yet. The one thing that I’ve sadly realized is when people are working with you, they are your best friends. Once a film is over the friendship is also over. This is a painful process for someone who thinks friendships are for a lifetime”, she rued.
So does she truly feel at home after three years in Bollywood? “I am still a fish out of water. I don’t understand a lot of things here. I am still trying to find my way around this place, trying to ‘belong’. Like I am told that if you are working in Bollywood, you have to use accessories like wigs, false eyelashes and lots of make-up. So I do that although I am totally anti-accessory”, said Nargis candidly.
But does she really need to do what everyone else does? “You do! If you don’t, everyone will accuse you of being difficult”, stated the actress vehemently. “It’s very tough to create a balance between what I am comfortable with and what people expect from me. If I have to survive, I’ve to try to be a conformist”, she added.
There are still lots of things that the young actress doesn’t understand. “What hurts the most is that people here are so friendly when they are working with you and then they become like strangers”, she reiterates. “For someone like me who is very picky about friends, that’s very painful. But a friend told me, ‘You got schooled, not fooled!’ You feel stupid when you are conned by people. But eventually you come out wiser. I never want to get bitter about experiences, no matter how bad”, said Nargis.
The actress had a brief respite from a hectic schedule when her mother visited in January, for the first time since Nargis moved to Mumbai. So did she have to hide the boyfriends and beer bottles? “Not at all. I talk about everything under the sun with my mom. I am a lot like my mom. We’re very close. I take care of her financially and emotionally. She is my best friend. We talk about drugs, alcohol, and sex”, laughed the actress. And people even wrote that Nargis was living in with Shahid Kapoor, she claimed, enjoying the joke!
So is Nargis still partying hard and fast? “I am not doing much of anything else either right now except working. So it’s a depressing life for me”, she retorted tartly.
The Rockstar actress has been appreciated for her role in Madras Café which got good reviews, and Nargis now looking forward to the release of Main Tera Hero. She got along famously with co-stars Ileana D’Cruz and Varun Dhawan, so let’s hope that they don’t become strangers once the film releases. Now Nargis looks forward to Shaukeen, which is in the pipeline.
Here’s wishing the young actress a promising career and lots of ‘real’ friends in Bollywood.
Suneil’s a sensitive son
No films, no commitments, and not even the excitement of his daughter Aathiya’s film debut – Suniel Shetty has put aside his work and priorities for the sake of his father, who is unwell.
To make sure his dad is comfortable, Suniel has even converted an entire wing of his home in South Mumbai into an ICU.
“I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep for three months now. It’s a very mixed kind of feeling for me. On the one hand my daughter Aathiya is getting ready for her film career. On the other hand my father is very unwell”, said Suniel. Aathiya has left to shoot for her debut film Hero with Sooraj Pancholi in Manali.
“The excitement of Aathiya’s debut is sadly diminished. At the moment we’re all focusing on looking after my father”, he added.
His father’s frail health is the reason why Suniel was away from the Celebrity Cricket League matches. The actor is also aghast about the stories that he had an on-field fracas with Aftab Shivdasani.
“How can I ‘come to blows’ with anyone, least of all a guy as sweet and gentle as Aftab? It is very embarrassing to read such stories, specially at a time when I am going through a personal crisis. Right now nothing is more important to me than my father’s health”, he said.
Suniel has been turning down movie offers as well. “There will be many opportunities for work later. The time spent with my father now is much more vital and valuable,” he said.
He is not the least perturbed about his daughter’s shooting schedules outside Mumbai. “I know she’s in completely safe hands. Salman Khan’s production crew is like family to us. They look after both Aathiya and Sooraj like their own children,” he said.
Kudos to Suneil for being such a caring son!
Sonam’s bikini doesn’t faze daddy
Anil Kapoor doesn’t cease to surprise, and the latest is his reaction to his daughter Sonam appearing in a bikini for the film Bewakoofiyaan. Because he didn’t react! While many eyebrows were raised at the daring bikini shot, Anil Kapoor was unfazed. “He knew about that (the bikini shot)! My dad is an artist and he is very open-minded…actually he was the one who encouraged me to become an actress. He didn’t say anything, he just said the film will get a good opening”, said Sonam recently. The tall actress, who was once on the heavier side on the weighing scale, says she didn’t have to go through much stress and strain to look fit enough for a bikini scene. “I didn’t have to work hard because I am playing a regular girl in the film”, she said.
While there has been a lot of talk on whether Sonam has been able to pull off the two-piece garment, she says she always knew about the scene and she was comfortable with it. “When I signed the film, it was my idea. I was briefed that there is a pool and I have to wear swimsuit. I said my body is lean, and it is thin on the waist…so let’s just show that. If you see the shot…unlike the shots in films like Dhoom or Race, the cameras are not panned on the body. It’s a normal shot where I am wearing a swimsuit and jump into the pool”, she added. Directed by Nupur Asthana, Bewakoofiyaan also features Ayushmann Khurrana.
You can bet Sonam in swimwear should be a sight worth seeing!
Rajnikanth an awkward romantic!
Southern superstar Rajnikanth has decimated villians, shaken his booty and romanced lasses on the big screen for decades. But for some reason, his daughter Soundarya Rajnikanth, who has directed him in the forthcoming Tamil period-drama Kochadaiiyaan, said that he was not at ease while shooting romantic scenes with his co-star Deepika Padukone.
“I guess it was because I was around and calling action and cut, dad felt very awkward to shoot some romantic scenes,” said Soundarya who would love to direct her father again. “God willing if I get an opportunity, I would love to direct dad again. I feel blessed to have directed him. I would be really happy to work with him again,” Soundarya said recently.
Also starring Jackie Shroff, Aadi Pinisetty, Shobana and R. Sarath Kumar, Kochadaiiyaan has music by double Oscar-winning composer A.R Rahman and is due for release in April.
But the task of having his daughter direct him in romancing a heroine young enough to be his daughter is one that even the stalwart Rajnikanth would find daunting. Frankly, it boggles my mind! So Soundarya, don’t keep your hopes up…
Artists often talk about the hardships they have had to face in finding their first big break in filmdom, but 1990s diva Madhuri Dixit says she never had to struggle and the offer came to her doorstep in 1984 with Abodh. “I have never struggled for anything in my life because I never thought I will be an actress. The film just walked up to my house with Abodh. We met them (the makers), then my family decided that I will do just one film”, reminisced Madhuri, added that her family used to run away from movies.
But destiny had stardom in store for the young actress and she continued to grace the big screen; however it was the 1998 release of Tezaab that catapulted her into the big league and there was no looking back for her afterwards.
“The struggle was to prove myself, to do my best. I am thankful to whatever I have got in my life, but one thing which is always at the back of my mind, is my dance academy which I would love to see growing”, said the actress whose comeback after a decade of motherhood has been an exhilarating one as she won plaudits for her performance in Dedh Ishqiya.
Much awaited is Madhuri’s next release Gulaab Gang, which will see the actress acting alongside contemporary actress Juhi Chawla. Set to release soon, the film draws its inspiration from the real life vigilante group ‘Gulabi Gang’, which operates in the Bundelkhand area of Uttar Pradesh under the tutelage of Sampat Pal.
Not a dhak-dhak role for Madhuri, but there’s no doubt that she will do it full justice.