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September 17, 2017


Munna Bhai once more

Good news for all those who are admirers of the iconic films Munna Bhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munna Bhai: the third movie of the series is on the anvil. This means that the scripting for the film has begun, and once the director of the series Rajkumar Hirani is finished working on the Sanjay Dutt biopic (in which Ranbir Kapoor is playing the part of Sanju Baba) the camera will start rolling for the third installment.

A few years back, a teaser for the project titled Munna Bhai Chale America made people speculate that this time round the story will take the famous characters of Munna Bhai (Sanjay Dutt) and Circuit (Arshad Warsi) to the US. Nope. Sanju Baba, talking to a pen-pusher, has dispelled this notion because he “can’t get an American visa” — the story takes place in a different locale. Koi baat nahin … let’s not lose hope. Bhai log don’t need visas to travel anyway.

Paparazzi bashed

Showbiz photographers are often criticised for intruding into stars’ private lives. Check this out: last week Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and her uber-rich husband Raj Kundra went to a swanky restaurant to have dinner. When they stepped out of the eatery, two shutterbugs started taking their pictures. Shilpa S didn’t mind and struck quite a few poses for them.

Once the couple left the scene, the restaurant’s bouncers rushed towards the photographers and beat the pulp out of them. When Shilpa S came to know about it, she posted a message to her social media page saying she was “appalled” by the incident. Tch, tch … so much trouble for someone who hasn’t accomplished great feats in acting! Imagine what would have happened had they taken pictures of an actual A-list actress.

Kangana on the loose

My oh my, she is a feisty woman with the proverbial devil-may-care attitude. It is difficult to judge at this point in time what Kangana Ranaut will achieve or lose by ruffling so many feathers in the Indian film industry.

Her latest tirade against Aditya Pancholi (who she says took advantage of her when she was trying to find her feet as an actress) and Hrithik Roshan (who she claimed had an extramarital affair with her) has stunned showbiz wallahs. This has resulted in a few female stars of Bollywood speaking out against her. Farah Khan was quick to respond and said Kangana R was trying to exploit her feminism. Then singer Sona Mahapatra wrote an open letter to her saying she’s doing a disservice to the cause of feminism by baring her soul to the world.

This prompted a strong reply from Kangana R’s sister Rangoli who called the singer a black spot on womanhood. Talk about crossing the line. Cool it, ladies! It all sounds like a catfight in a dog-eat-dog industry.

Not his India

A.R. Rehman doesn’t like to talk much and stays away from the media glare. It’s usually his music that does the talking for him. But he couldn’t help it when on Sept 5 a distinguished journalist Gauri Lankesh (who was very vocal about Hindu fundamentalism in India) was brutally killed.

The Oscar-winning music composer expressed his feelings in a statement with regard to the murder arguing “It’s not my India” and that he wants his country to be progressive and kind. Absolutely, sir. The menace of intolerance seems to be eating away at the very soul of this region. Hope things improve.

He’d like to be an actor

This is super-interesting. It’s been quite some time since Sunny Deol delivered a box office hit. The good thing about him is that he doesn’t give a hoot. There’s a reason for it: he prefers to be called an actor rather than a star. Yes, that’s how he is analysing his more-than-two-decades-long-career these days. Seriously! Well, if he considers acting as the art of pointing his index finger at fellow actors and screaming at the top of his lungs to emote, then he is a formidable actor.

Wedding bells

So it turns out that Hollywood big shot Ben Affleck and TV producer Lindsay Shookus were seeing each other even when they were married to their (then) spouses. Yeh toh cheating hui …

Well, whatever, the fact is that the two are having a whale of a time together and marriage is on the cards. Apparently they’re thinking of tying the nuptial knot. What are they waiting for? They are waiting for Ben A’s and Jennifer Gardner’s divorce to be finalised.

Darn this finalisation process. Sometimes it takes such a long time that passions begin to fizzle out … passion for getting a divorce, that is.

Published in Dawn, ICON, September 17th, 2017