Murali’s mega maduve

After a series of fun parties in the run-up to the wedding, glam jodi Murali and Vidya tied the knot over the weekend, followed by a reception later.

And in true filmi style the shaadi was held at the Palace Grounds with every detail personally looked into by Vidya — right from the decor, food to the wedding outfits of Murali.

So there were Banarasi paanwalas doing the rounds singing folk songs, an orchestra belting popular hits, live pizza counters and ‘princesses’ distributing sweets! While Vidya looked resplendent in a red and gold embroidered lehenga, Murali was togged in a cream and maroon sherwani designed by wifey. The entire film frat was in attendance to wish Murali and Vidya on their big day.

Cousin Puneet took a day off from his schedule and came all the way from Mysore with wife Ashwini, while Shivrajkumar arrived with mum, Parvathamma. We also spotted Raghavendra Rajkumar, Ram Kumar, Hamsa Lekha, Vishal Hegde (who’s sporting a new look for a film) and Jayamala among others.


Rajeev Menon’s impressed with Ramya

After wrapping up Bhimoo’s Bang Bang Kids, Mussanje Maathu and Bombaat on a back-toback schedule, Ramya’s now bagged a Rajeev Menon film. The actress who plays a character called Sita, is currently shooting in Chennai.

“It’s a simple subject with an impressive storyline. Rajeev Menon who’s also an acclaimed cinematographer (a constant in Mani Ratnam films) is directing this film. Revathi ma’am is also involved with this project. I’m learning so much from both of them,” says Ramya. The actress is awaiting the release of Bombaat, in which she stars with Gani.


‘My dog’s my biggest stress-buster’

My profession demands a lot of commitment and hard work, I get stressed quite often. And since I don’t have a manager I handle my own dates and in the last couple of months, I had allotted dates to way too many films. At the end of it I just couldn’t take it. I was so tired of working everyday and would return home totally drained. The stress got to me, so I decided to take a short break. At other times, I beat stress by doing the most random stuff. Like going out and chopping off my hair. Or I just binge on food or gooey chocolates.

But my biggest stress-buster is my dog Brandy. She’s always able to comprehend my moods — I just have to play with her and all my troubles are instantly forgotten. I also like to sleep over my problems. Music is my other fixation when I’m stressed, especially Carnatic music. Exercise is another option. I like running because it’s such an exhilarating experience — to just run and feel the wind in your face and not think about anything is such a wonderful feeling. It takes away all my worries.


Ramya doesn’t regret her year-long break from movies in 2007 and is now looking forward to five releases

KANNADA actress Ramya has been missing from celluloid for a year. But this week will mark her first release after a long break with Mussanje Maathu. In an industry in which every Friday decides the fate of actors, doesn’t Ramya find the gap too long? “I rejected seven films last year because I wasn’t happy with the roles offered to me. I don’t believe in following rules, so I don’t think it’s necessary to do films all the time. And my two releases of last year, Arasu and Meera Madhavan Raghava, are films I’m proud of. This year, I have five films lined up,” says Ramya.

The Kannada industry is currently facing a shortage of heroines and hasn’t seen competition in a long time — like the kind that existed when Rakshita was also a reigning actress. Does she miss that? “The industry has enough space for everyone, so I don’t believe in competition. And I consider myself privileged because I’ve never felt the need for work. I get what I want, so I’m not worried that my work might go to someone else,” says Ramya.

What about the newcomers, do they make her feel insecure? “I have too much work to worry about who’s in or who’s out. Last year, when I rejected many offers, everyone was speculating if I was going to get married or if I was quitting to join Tamil films. These things don’t affect me. And if newcomers are making a foray into the industry, it’s a sign that the Kannada industry is booming,” she says.

Having made headway in the Tamil industry with the recent hit Polladhavan, was Ramya in a fix during the Hogenakal issue? “The Tamil industry has received me well. And the Kannada industry has nurtured me and helped me grow as an actress. I don’t think films should be connected to politics. We’re artistes and films are a universal medium,” she explains.

Ramya also has Gautam Menon’s Varanam Ayiram coming up next in which she plays a role that spans the gamut from a 14-year-old girlfriend to a 25-year-old wife opposite Surya. Does she feel she has a better choice of roles in the Tamil industry? “I’m not doing Tamil films with the hope of carving a niche for myself, nor do I want to clinch the number one position there. My only priority is to do good films, irrespective of the language,” she sums up.

Anushka Sharma

Bangalore girl Anushka Sharma announced as Shah Rukh’s latest leading lady

THERE’S no doubt about it: being picked as a Yash Raj heroine is a dream come true for most Indian girls. Throw into this heady mix the badshah of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan as your hero, and it’s the ultimate fantasy. For Bangalore model Anushka Sharma, 19, this dream is now a reality. She’s been announced as SRK’s leading lady in the latest Yash Raj film, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, which commences shooting on May 16 and is slated for a December release.

Anushka is the second Bangalore model to star opposite SRK in a super-hyped film. Earlier, Deepika Padukone who was cast opposite him in Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om hit the fast track to fame when the film became a hit. Will it be the same for Anushka? The tall, pretty, fair model certainly has oodles of star quality, say those who know her well.

Bangalore’s style guru Prasad Bidapa says this star quality was evident even when Anushka was brought to him by her parents when she was just 13. “She was very tall and beautiful even then,” recalls Prasad. “Her parents were keen she should do some modelling without losing out on her studies, so she started off very easy and gently. Even then, one look at her and you knew she would hit the big time soon.” Prasad credits much of her inherent dedication and discipline to her services background. “Look at Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta. The services life prepares you well for this kind of work.” But more than her poise, it was her willingness to listen to advice that struck the right note with industry pros. “She would never come late or party too hard the night before a shoot. Sometimes models tend to go a little crazy when they enter the glamour line. Not Anushka.”

Fashion designer Wendell Rodricks is one of those who says he spotted a special something in the young model years ago in Bangalore. “I recognised that quality she had — innocent yet beautiful — and took her to Mumbai to the fashion week to model for me. Anushka has an expressive face that can look tragic at times — almost like Meena Kumari — and youthful and shy at other times. I have seen so many models that I can recognise star quality when I see it — and I saw it in her long before most others.”

Fellow model and good friend Zoheb Yusuf feels that Anushka deserves her big break. “She’s a very talented girl and a gorgeous person inside,” he says, describing her as self-motivated and ambitious, yet full of fun and very sporting. “This is a superficial industry, but Anushka is good at heart. And I believe that good things happen to good people.”

As for the much discussed age difference between the two — SRK is 43 and Anushka 19 — Zoheb believes it won’t matter. “They will look great together. Shah Rukh makes stars. In Om Shanti Om, the age gap between him and Deepika didn’t show.” Adds Prasad, “We’re used to seeing older male stars romancing younger heroines. Look at Sivaji The Boss — it’s the ultimate suspension of disbelief. And it’s so great! There’s no reason Anushka can’t pull it off like Deepika did.”

Shahrukh Khan's new film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi to be produced by Yash Raj Films and directed by Aditya Chopra will have a new heroine who hails from Bangalore. She is Anushka Sharma, who has been a successful model. Aditya Chopra who directed block busters like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Mohabbatein is returning to wield the megaphone after a long gap.

Eighteen year old Anushka Sharma who is still studying for graduation in Economics has a set of expressive eyes which paved way for her selection as Wendell Rodrick's finale model at the Lakme Fashion Week. After getting this recognition, Anushka has done major campaigns for Silk & Shine, Whisper and Fiat Palio.

Though modeling work excites her, this new development in which she will play the heroine to one of the top stars of the Indian film industry may well take her to the top line in films. And she will be the second heroine from Bangalore who will be pairing with King Khan. Deepika Padukone had played Shahrukh's heroine in Om Shanti Om. Sources say that Chopras found a spark in her which paved way for her selection.

Sources in fashion industry in Bangalore say that Anushka left for Mumbai to pursue her modeling career and was not keen on films. "I will venture into films only if I am picked for a good banner. I will be happy modeling. I can not think of any other profession now. As for as I remember, I only wanted to be a model," Anushka is reported to have told some of her modeling colleagues.

Anushka was the show-stopper for designer Wendell Roderick’s Spring Summer 07 collection. She has also promoted hair-products in television commercials, and not to forget the Fiat Palio Stile Meri Sapno Ki Rani ad, which is currently playing on television

Pamashree Madhuri Dixit

Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit was in the Capital to receive the latest addition to her kitty of awards, the Padmashree. Awarded the Padmashree, for her contribution to Indian cinema, Madhuri Dixit had a long list of people to thank.

"I feel elated. It’s wonderful. But i have a lot of people to thank. Right from my hair dressers, to the make up to the technicians, everybody has a share in this and i want to thank all of them today," says Madhuri.

Q: Do you think Padmashree should have been bestowed on you much earlier, may be at the height of your career?
Madhuri Dixit: I don’t know. A lot of people ask me that. I believe that whenever I have worked in movies, it has been with all my heart and honesty. I have never really worked towards any awards. That has never been on my mind. Now that I am receiving this award, it is a great honor. I don’t care if it is late or early. I just appreciate that fact that I don’t live here anymore. I am in the US and people still think about me. They gave me this honor. I accept that very humbly.

Shiamak Davar Dancer and choreographer

“Have feet, will dance”

Choreographer of movies like Bunty Aur Babli, Dhoom 2, and Taare Zameen Par, Shiamak Davar shares his views on the correlation between dance and fitness......

Dancing and prayer are the primary ways with which I stay healthy. Dance is a cardiovascular activity, thus it keeps my heart healthy. The warm up and strength training required to be a dancer also ensure that you build and maintain muscle. Prayer, for me, means visualizing and offering thanks for all the positive things in your life.

The benefits of dance are four-fold: Your body stays healthy because you are exerting your muscles as well as increasing stamina, endurance and energy levels through dance.

Dance is one of the rare activities which activates both sides of the brain. While performing this athletic activity, you must also be able to communicate a mood, emotion, thought or abstract idea to your audience. So you make your mind dance too!

Along with the mental and physical benefits, your body releases hormones called endorphins, which give you a feeling of lightness and happiness. The positive energy released helps people deal with the normal pressures of life too.

Most importantly, dance provides a connection to the ‘self’.

I like to eat fruits and eggs for breakfast. For lunch, I eat a vegetable dish and two chapattis, or some chicken. Dinner is usually light, unless I am going out with friends. If I feel like a snack during the day, I like to munch on popcorn or water chestnuts.

I love to listening to music, and spending time with friends. If you laugh and keep your spirit light, it is easier to relax through the day. I also enjoy playing with my dog, Elsa.

Spirituality to me is not about ritual or religion. It is about belief in a higher power, and through this belief, a sincere surrender of the ego. Most importantly, spirituality is about consistency. Guidance came to me through my spiritual guides, the Bhavnagris, and I believe that we are all instruments of a loving and just God.

My motto in life is ‘Have feet, will dance’, which means that it does not matter who you are, which language you speak, how old you are or how much money you make. Just put on your dancing shoes, and let God guide your feet.

Our happiness is our own responsibility. So the next time you are unhappy or low, don’t blame the world, but look within and tap your inner power.


Shiamak Davar's Profile:

Shiamak Davar is an Indian choreographer.

He was born on October 19, 1961 into a Parsi family.
He started his career as a chorus dancer.

He was trained at the Pineapple Dance Center and Guilford School of Acting and Dance in London and has also attended master classes at Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre and The Broadway Dance Center in New York and Third Wave Dance House in San Francisco.

In 1989, he organized a group of potential dancers and formed the Shiamak Davar Dance Company who would perform with him for the live shows.

In 1992, he established his own school of dancing called Shiamak Davar Institute for the Performing Arts (SDIPA). The institute offers training mainly in western dance forms like Jazz, HipHop, Rock’n Roll, Salsa and others.

He has choreographed various stage shows, Indian Movie Awards Nights and Bollywood movies like Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Taal (1999), Kisna (2005), Bunty Aur Babli (2005), I See You (2006), Dhoom 2 (2006) and others.

He has also represented India at various world events including the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (2006), Indo-Japan Friendship Year 2007 innaugural event in Tokyo and Indian Economic Forum (2007) in Rome, Italy.

Shiamak is also a gifted singer and has performed with the legendary singer and song writer ‘Sting’. He has also launched pop albums of his own like Mohabbat Karle Le (1997) and Dil Chahe (1999). He won the best music video award for album Dil Chahe (1999) which he directed, designed and choreographed. He was one of the three judges of Jhalak dikhlaaja2 on Sony Entertainment Television channel.


For Mother’s Day, Bollywood’s stars reveal some of their best lessons were learned from Mama herself.

Shabana Azmi: My mom taught me compassion, generosity of spirit, and to not make an issue out of everything in life. I’ve also inherited my taste in clothes from her. (Her mother forgot to advise not to broke any wedding.. :) remember javed - honey)

Abhishek Bachchan: My mom taught me to try and be a good human being.

Urmila Matondkar: Mom taught me not to be judgmental, to love and accept people as they are, and that if you’re patient the best is bound to happen for you.

Shilpa Shetty: Mom taught me the importance of dignity in my conduct. And never to let anyone trample on my self-respect.

Lara Dutta: To be brave and resilient in the face of adversity, to sacrifice love for the greater good of the country, and to constantly stretch myself beyond the call of duty.

Hema Malini: My mother’s motto in life was simple.Work hard and reach the goal. She made sure I followed that.

Chitrangadha Singh: That family and work are both important and should be given due importance in life.

Ayesha Takia: My mom taught me everything! Especially the value of dignity and to have the courage to be myself.

Himesh Reshammiya: She taught me that it’s not just talent but destiny and the blessings of well-wishers that makes one successful.

Arshad Warsi: She taught me that knowing how to cook is very important in life.

Tusshar Kapoor: To be patient and not get provoked by anything, the value of time, and not to postpone the work at hand.

Raveena Tandon: My mom taught me to keep family together and run our house through highs and lows.

Jiah Khan: Everything I know, especially my prayers and my spirituality. (Her mom forgot to suggest exposing is not a short cut for success.. alas... :( ....)

Sameera Reddy: My mother has given me the strength to leave the past behind and keep moving forward.

Celina Jaitley: Everything I know about being a dignified, complete woman .

Anupam Kher: Patience, gratitude and compassion.

Rahul Khanna: To express gratitude even for the smallest acts of kindness. To respect others’ time and money.

Zeenat Aman: To be selfless and dedicated to my children, to believe in myself, to be fair to others and not do anything expecting to get something back in return.


All eyes on Nayantara

She is sharing screen space with superstar Rajinikanth in Kuselan, Vijay in Singam and Ajith in Aegan. Nayantara has arrived in Kollywood as the numero uno heroine

Nayantara never ceases to surprise. With her latest film Yaaradi Nee Mohini (YNM), she once again proves that she’s one actress who can guarantee an opening entirely on her own steam. She’s also one star who has, in a span of five months, delivered back to back hits (Billa & YNM).

In her home state Kerala, she is all the rage as young fans hungrily devour her dubbed Telugu films and turn them into Malayalam super hits! Even the sports world has claimed her as its own. She, along with actor Vijay, is IPL’s anointed brand ambassador for Chennai Super Kings. Working with all top actors in Tamil film industry, Nayantara is the current ‘it’ girl who’s riding a wave of popularity and super stardom. “I just can’t fathom my popularity though I’m loving every minute of it,” she responds, when asked it feels to be number one. “At times, I am surprised by the love and affection showered by my fans,” says Nayantara nonchalantly with a smile.

Popular belief is that it was the glamourous role of Sasha in Billa that made her hot property in southern cinema. Elaborating on that phase of her career, Nayantara says, “It was a bold decision to do Billa as the role required me to wear Western outfits, including a scene where I had to walk in a swimsuit. Before this movie, my image was essentially the homely, sari-clad girl-next door type, thanks to my role in Chandramukhi. I wanted to rid myself of being typecast as I believe that an actress should be versatile enough to do glamorous as well as girl-next-door roles. That’s when Billa came my way and I’m happy this decision has reaped rich dividends!” Does she have any role models? “Yes, of course,” she replies.

Her role models are Bollywood heroines Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor because she feels that they do justice to both serious and glamourous roles. “Just as Bollywood actresses are never afraid to experiment, I too wanted to bust this popular theory of South Indian actresses doing the same kind of cinema. The decision to prove myself capable of doing both glamorous and good-girl roles was a tough one. Most of my colleagues wrote me off. But a spate of movies, including YNM, in which I played Keerthi, a character I could relate to as she is very close to what I am in real life too, has vindicated my stand,” she explains.

Harman Baweja

Harman Baweja on his first film, the pressure to deliver and, of course, Priyanka Chopra

FOR someone whose debut film is yet to release, Harman Baweja is unexpectedly media-savvy. And patient too. His debut film, Lovestory 2050, based on HG Wells’s Time Machine and releasing in July, has been in production since 2005, with the release date constantly being postponed. But Harman says, “Films with special effects take time. Even Spider-Man and Superman took about 2-3 years to get made. But since it’s taking so long, everyone’s saying, ‘pata nahin kya ban raha hain’. It’s a family effort. I have been involved in every process in this and I’m not impatient.”

The film is being touted as the first sci-fi film in India. What about Koi Mil Gaya then? “If Koi Mil Gaya is the tip, then this is the iceberg. About 50 per cent of the film has special effects and 1,200 special effects have been created. There’s also a beautiful love story spanning two time zones. Dad (producer-director Harry Baweja) has been toying with this idea for eight years and finally suggested that this should be my launchpad because it’s out of the ordinary,” he says.

But the delay could work in his favour since he hasn’t had to compete with last year’s impressive debutantes like Ranbir Kapoor and Neil Nitin Mukesh. Says Harman, “Every year has its share of good films. Personally, I care only about myself. As long as my film is a superhit, I’m happy. Besides, I’m not the only debutante. There are 25 other actors making their debuts this year. Some of them like Mimoh (Mithun’s son), Sikandar (Anupam and Kirron Kher’s son) and Imran (Aamir Khan’s nephew) are from filmi backgrounds. I think any of us can make a mark, as long as we’re good.”

And with his launchpad made on a whopping Rs 60 crore, and another big budget film on cricket called Victory in his kitty, expectations are high. “Every actor wants to do big budget films. I’m lucky that way. But it also makes me nervous and puts pressure on me to deliver since there’s a lot of money riding on me,” says Harman.

From Kareena Kapoor opting out of his debut film, to bagging big budget projects, it’s been an eventful journey for him. But Harman says, “It felt terrible when Kareena walked out. There’s no question about that. But reports suggesting that Rs 3 crore was offered to her are untrue. She was offered the market price. However, the industry is too small to be nursing grudges. So we’ve resolved our differences and she joined us for dinner at our place a few weeks ago.”

The other story doing the rounds is of Harman refusing to work with Bipasha Basu as he finds her too old for him. But he rubbishes it, saying, “I’m keen to work with Bipasha. She hasn’t aged in the past 5-7 years. She’s getting younger and hotter by the day. I’m extremely fond of her.”
He’s fond of Hrithik Roshan as well, but says he doesn’t imitate him as has been suggested by some quarters. “That was a nasty report. But these comparisons with Hrithik don’t flatter me. I’d rather be myself. I have to be given space and time to grow. Hrithik’s been in the business for eight years and it’s unfair to him to be compared with me,” he says.

So how will stardom affect him? “I don’t see how it’ll change me. My background is very middle class and I know everything can go boom in one Friday, and the next Friday it might all come back. I just want to enjoy the process of working,” he states.

And is there a certain Priyanka Chopra in his life? “The ‘we’re good friends’ line is a cliche. So I’d say she’s a great friend,” he quips, adding, “And a fantastic co-star.”
Is he not telling all? “No,” he signs off, laughing.