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August 7, 1998


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Hex symbols

Madhuri Dixit. Click for bigger pic!
It used to be kind of a jinx. No film in which Madhuri Dixit was to work with Amitabh Bachchan -- Shanakht, Rishta and Bandhua -- ever made it to the theatres.

Now the duo hope to break the hoodoo, with Madhuri doing an extended guest appearance in Chote Miyan Bade Miyan. That works out to one song and seven scenes.

AB apparently hopes Madhuri will provide added oomph to his film, considering heroines Ramya and Raveena aren't quite in top form. Problem, of course, is that not everybody else is betting on Madhuri either.

So, if the hex isn't real and if the film works they would have helped each other.

Very iffy, don't you think?


Amitabh Bachchan. Click for bigger pic!
Poor choice, the industry prophets said, morosely shaking their heads. A historical is hardly a film to launch a son in, they told the Bachchan. And the ageing hero, more mindful of opinions these days, paid heed.

So, with an alacrity that would have been surprising a few years ago, he apparently got J P Dutta's Aakhri Mughal shelved.

But that doesn't mean Dutta's out. For Abhishek Bachchan is to be launched under the same director, opposite Kareena Kapoor, in a yet unnamed ABCL film.

Meanwhile Abhishek and Amitabh will also be doing a film together as father and son, details of which are being worked out.

Shotgun wedding anniversary

Shatrughan Sinha. Click for bigger pic!
That was a bad choice of words, maybe, but irresistible, since it is Shatrughan Sinha's 18th annual reminder of matrimonial vows that we are discussing.

On the occasion, he threw a party for near and dear friends at the new Mexican hotel, Sheriff, in Bandra, Bombay.

Shatrughan is very caustic when the occasion demands it, but found that it didn't -- this time. So he and wife Poonam were the epitome of hospitality, tending to each and every guest personally.

Of course, the guests were all worth attending to. There was Madhuri Dixit along with her sister and her secretary Riku, Jackie Shroff, Pritish Nandy, Zeenat Amaan, Poonam Dhillon, Neena Gupta, Vivian Richards, Soni Razdan, Tej Sapru, Priti Sapru, Anju Mahendru, ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas and his wife, Shekhar Suman and his wife Shobha, Ramesh Sippy, Kiran Juneja, Gulshan Grover, Nagma, Pahlaj Nihalani, Ranjeet, Prem Chopra... Do you mind if stop the proxy name-dropping here?

Shatrughan's sons Luv and Kush, who study at Kodaikanal, were also hauled out of school for the occasion.

In fact, the party went so well, some guests wondered if the 18th wedding anniversary wasn't more memorable than the event it was supposed to commemorate.

Anand hi Anand

Dev Anand. Click for bigger pic!
Writer-producer-director-bubbly director Dev Anand makes his point again.

His Main Solah Baras Ki premiered yesterday in London, with the proceeds going to the Prince Charles' Business Youth Trust. It's to be released all over India today.

He's had to make some cuts in the film, particularly ones showing him inebriated. But that's all right, he said equably, after the initial indignation. And slice them off he did.

Never a slouch, Dev Anand's chucked his laurels already, to now start work on his next two films, Censor and Beauty Queen.

Indefatiguable is the word.

Labour replaces a lost love

Mamta Kulkarni. Click for bigger pic!
He's finally got Mamta Kulkarni behind him, arguably the best place to leave her.

Now Tinnu Verma is consoling himself, doing a film all by himself.

He's already played a villain. But now he feels he's beyond co-ordinating action sequences and quite capable of direction too.

So with Sapna Art's Bajrang, he takes on Sunny Deol, Karisma Kapoor, Satish Shah and Danny Dengzongpa.

Just hope he and they know what they're getting into.

Remorsefuly yours

Urmila Matondkar. Click for bigger pic!
When it comes to making up, Govinda does it best.

So following a tiff with Urmila Matondkar, they got together again for David Dhawan's Kunwara. So when Dhawan got too involved in work elsewhere, Govinda himself signed -- and got Urmila too to sign -- Hum Tum Pe Marte Hai, directed by Sooraj Barjatya's ex-assistant Nabh Kumar Raju.

For trivia collectors, the others in the film are Dimple Kapadia, Paresh Rawal, Nirmal Pandey, Himani Shivpuri and Johny Lever.

But it's the Govinda-Urmila pair that should finally decide the film's fortunes. And to ensure that, Govinda'd better have patched up well with Urmi, wot?

Taking on the tube

Pooja Bhatt. Click for bigger pic!
Pooja Bhatt's stuffed to the gills with films. After movies like Daddy, Prem Deewane, Tamanna, Kabhi Na Kabhi and her own home production, Dushman, the Bhatt babe is seeking more moderate pleasures.

So she's playing the lead role in Samay, a serial by Raman Kumar (of Tara fame). The story's based on Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.

The male lead, Heathcliff to Pooja's Cathy, is being played by boyfriend Aly Khan. Man's having a great time since the serial, Yeh Hai Raaz. But he could be biting off more than he can chew, trying to recreate the passionate Bronte character? For one of the more famous films based on the book starred Laurence Olivier ...

Sons and rhythms

Aditya Narayan. Click for bigger pic!
Top musicians today want to ensure that their kids do what they did best -- make money.

So soon after Anuradha Paudwal moulded her children Kavita and Aditya into a singer and a music director respectively, Udit Narayan is also getting his son behind the mike.

Besides, there's also Shravan, of Nadeem-Shravan fame/notoriety, currently promoting his sons Sanjeev and Darshan in the bhajan circuit. They've already recorded one album, Swami Narayan, with Amit Kumar, again a singer son, singing.

And don't forget ol' Bappi Lahiri. His son Bappa Lahiri (yup, that's the name, all right) has recorded his first song for an untitled production this week. Bappa is already an established singer, only that he had no records to his name. Now he does.

A plump Cyrano

Sourabh Shukla. Click for bigger pic!
You must have seen that film about the fat man who falls for a pretty girl.

After breathing heavily, swallowing and generally making a mess of himself, he finally approaches the object of his affections just around the time he's to see her for the last time. And he finds she also has this soft corner for him. And they coo together, even get married. Kind of makes your day, this kind of story -- if you're the romantic type.

Well, to get to the kernel of the story, that's what happened to that talented story-writer of Ram Gopal Verma's Satya, Sourabh Shukla.

The chap, who played that great role of the loveable gangster Kallumama in the film, is apparently not so tough off camera. And he died and swooned every time Barnali, Verma's assistant director, told him to get on with it and shoot another gangster.

Well, now they are married and, hopefully, should live happily for about 70 years or so. Shooting all the while.

-- V S Srinivasan

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