Veena Malik to quit acting?
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Pakistani actress Veena Malik has announced she is quitting commercial films and will only take part in projects with religious and social messages as an Islamic cleric has changed her life completely.
"I have quit the show-biz industry. From now onwards, I will not perform in Pakistani and Indian movies and plays," said the 29-year-old actress.
"I am also going to refuse Indian film producers with whom I had agreed to work in their movies," she said in an interview to a Pakistani journalist in Saudi Arabia, where she had gone to perform Umrah with her Dubai-based husband Asad Bashir Khan Khattak and his family.
Malik said she would continue to "engage in any project which aims for welfare or social development" but would not be part of any new films.
She said religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel had changed her life completely. "Maulana sahib made me promise not to take off my dupatta (head scarf). And I will fulfill this promise for the rest of my life," she said.
Malik said well-wishers from across the globe, including Indians and Pakistanis, have been congratulating her and Khattak on her decision.
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Image: Veena Malik
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar
Lata remembers 'Aye Mere Watan' on its 51st anniversary
Veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar says it is hard to believe that 51 years have passed since she sang Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon in front of prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963.
"Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon is completing 51 years. I really don't know how these many years passed away but it still reminds me of the sadness of that time...
"I presented this song on January 27, 1963 in front of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru in the memory of those martyrs. Everybody's eyes were moist. The poignant song was written by poet Pradeepji and was composed by Ramchandraji. How can we forget our martyrs. I remember them every year and salute them," Mangeshkar tweeted.
One of the most memorable patriotic numbers, the song was written as a tribute to Indian soldiers who died during the Sino-Indian War in 1962.
Mangeshkar, 84, famously sang the song in the presence of Nehru at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi, just a day after the Republic Day.
The veteran singer is being felicitated by BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at a function to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the song.
Modi is the chief guest at the function being organised by Shahid Bharat Samiti and Lodha Foundation.
The organisers said Lata will not sing but she might hum one or two lines when over one lakh people sing it in chorus.
Image: Lata Mangeshkar
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar
Dhoom time for Bollywood in Pakistan
As Bollywood films continue to provide a lease of life to cinema owners and the entertainment-starved people of Pakistan, some domestic producers have stepped up efforts to impose restrictions on their import.
Sixteen Bollywood movies were widely screened in Pakistan last year, marking a high after a four-decade ban on Indian films. Dhoom 3, starring Aamir Khan, has done roaring business and is still pulling people in droves to cinemas across the country.
"It is because of Indian movies that new cinemas are being built in Lahore," Ramzan Shiekh, the owner of two state-of-the-art theatres, said.
"I am going to build another one in the city. Both my existing halls were booked for four daily shows of Dhoom 3 and still people kept coming to watch the movie."
The box office receipts for Dhoom 3 from 56 screens on its opening day was around Rs 20 million, almost double the record set by the Pakistani film Waar with grosses of Rs 11.4 million. Ram-Leela, Aashiqui 2 and Chennai Express too did good business at the Pakistani box office.
However, critics of Indian movies have opposed their exhibition and moved courts for a ban.
Film producer Syed Noor, who has for long campaigned against Bollywood products, claimed: "Some people with vested interests don't want our industry to flourish. In the presence of multi-billion budget Indian flicks, ours can't compete.
"I am not anti-Indian films. But being a patriotic Pakistani, I am trying to save the national cinema."
Noor said a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Pakistani producers and exhibitors promises "50 per cent adjustment", meaning theatres have to screen a fixed quota of Pakistani films.
Image: Movie poster of Dhoom 3
Priyanka Chopra wishes luck to Harman Baweja
Priyanka Chopra wished luck to actor Harman Baweja for his upcoming action film Dishkiyaoon.
Dishkiyaoon, also starring Sunny Deol in the lead, marks the debut of actress Shilpa Shetty as a producer.
"Congrats Harman.. And good luck to the team Shilpa Shetty Show some love twitterverse," Priyanka tweeted.
Priyanka, 32, and Harman, 33, starred in films like Love Story 2050 and What's Your Raashee? and there were rumours that they dated briefly.
Dishkiyaoon is about the Mumbai underworld and is expected to hit theatres on March 28.
Image: Priyanka Chopra
Photographs: Abhjit Mhamunkar