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Dear Kapil, Let Me Know When You Come Back To Earth

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Dear Kapil

I know you will snigger at this letter. You will probably tell your hangers-on, chamchas and yes-men that I am jealous of your success.And never mind that I’m not a stand-up comedian and I do not aspire to make the world laugh with me.

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Once upon a time, not too long ago in Laugh  Laugh Land, you ruled supreme. You still do, I guess, though I’ve stopped watching your show and many like  me have also stopped. In your journey to comic nirvana you somewhere lost your sense of equilibrium. I saw it happen. I saw the change. Almost like a physical transformation of a beast from domestic to predatory.

Something seriously went wrong in your journey to superstardom. Initially when we first interacted your show Comedy Nights WithKapil had just begun its meteoric rise. One day I got a call from your childhood friend (I wonder if he is still your friend) and he introduced us.

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Kapil, you were simple, down-to-earth,unaffected by your sudden if belated success.And when I told you that I had begun to watch television again after years just to see your show, you seemed genuinely happy.That’s how our all-too-brief camaraderie started.

Kapil, you won my heart when you told me it was your ambition to bring Lataji on the show. I realized we both worshipped the Goddess Of All Melodious things. It bonded us even better. Your calls would come at the oddest hours…at 5am in the morning…when you were returning after an exhausting night of recording an episode of Kapil.I loved  the warmth in  your voice, your sincere attempts to reach out, to remain as close to your Amritsar roots as possible.

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When you had differences with your television channel over Comedy Nights With Kapil you would tell me how you stood your ground  with the Bosses and let them know your worth. I loved that. We small-towners hate to be treated as walk-all-overs.

Then suddenly the calls stopped. I thought you were busy.Weeks passed, then months. I  messaged your friend to ask about you. One morning I got a call  from you and I was much relieved.Not suspecting what was coming, I asked you where you had been for nearly six months.

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Your answer left me confounded.

“Iss baar toh six months mein phone  kiya agli baar six years meinphone karunga,” you said in a cold curt voice.

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The change of tone was so abrupt and so contrary the kinship you have built with me that I  thought you were joking. I laughed. I got no return laughter from you.All I heard was an icy coldness, that sent a chill up my spine—not for myself but for you. I knew that you had begun to change beyond recognition.

I warned you for your own sake.But the descent into megalomania was unstoppable. Your colleagues told me about your drinking problems and how rude you had become. When your first film Kiss Kiss Ko Pyar Karoon was released there were stories of how you much you troubled the producer over the promotions.

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I kept hearing of the change in you.It saddened me . One day recently I tried reaching out to you on email.Your arrogant response made me regret my reconciliatory gesture. But some hours later I  got another far more restrained and respectful response .

This confirmed my worst belief. A  lot of your recent actions have been taken when you are not in your senses.You must stop whatever you are doing before it destroys you.Your team mates are already upset with you.What will you do when those who laugh with you begin to laugh at you?

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PS. Lataji wants to know what has happened to you. I don’t know what to tell her.

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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Jamuna Had A Love-Hate Relationship With  Bollywood

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Jamuna

Veteran  Telugu  actress  Jamuna who passed away on Friday, shared an uneasy relationship with  the Hindi film industry.She did eleven Hindi films including the iconic Milan in  1967 where Jamuna  agreed to play the  second lead, or the  supporting role if you will, to Nutan.

 Jamuna as Gauri was the Other Woman who craved for the hero Sunil Dutt’s attention whereas  he had  eyes and devotion  only for Nutan. In later  years  Aruna Irani played a similar  role in  Caravan.

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 In Milan Jamuna  was not keen to  do a supporting role. Producer L V Prasad tempted her with three chartbusting songs. Besides, Jamuna had played the same role in Mooga Manasulu, the  Telugu original  of  Milan. But it  was the songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal  which convinced  Jamuna to  take up the second lead in Milan.

 While  Nutan had no solo songs  in Milan, she did have the chartbuster duet  Sawan  ka mahina . Jamuna on the  other hand,  had two  splendid Lata Mangeshkar solos: Tohey saawariya naahin khabariya  and   the magnificent Ghazal Aaj dil pe koi  zor chalta nahin.Not only  these, Jamuna  also had a  hit duet  with Mukesh  based on her character  Gauri:  Bol Gauri  bol tera kaun piya.

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But  then, fate  intervened. After the film released  one of Jamuna’s solos, the poignant and memorable  Aaj dil pe koi zor chalta nahin was  snipped  out of the film.

Here is what  happened:  the  Ghazal , one of Lataji’s all-time greats, was very much a part of Milan when  it released on 17 March 1967. But then  it was seen to hamper the  flow of the  film and  edited  out. The  beautiful song occurred right after intermission. Producer  Prasad, a shrewd  filmmaker, got to know that audiences prolonged their  loo breaks as there was  a song after the break. Hence the sacrifice  of  a seriously  sonorous melody.

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Jamuna hardly did  Hindi films after Milan. Her last  Bollywood appearance  was in  Raj Kumar  Kohli’s Raj Tilak  where she  was lost in a multistarrer as  the royal  queen.

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Karan Johar Moves Alia Song From Switzerland To Kashmir

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Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani

The  romantic duet in  Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani  Ki Prem Kahaani  which was to be  shot in Switzerland and which was  delayed  due to the film’s leading lady Alia Bhatt’s motherhood, is now being relocated to  Kashmir.

Purely out of  the  love for  new mom Alia.

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Says a source in the know, “Karan loves Alia  like his own daughter. He would do anything for her. He postponed  the  release of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani as the love duet could not be shot before Alia’s maternity leave. Karan had decided to shoot the song in Switzerland  after Alia’s maternity love. But now he has relocated the song to Kashmir  as Alia doesn’t want to leave her  baby girl behind for  long stretches.”

And as Karan Johar argued, snow is  snow. How does it matter whether it is  Switzerland or Kashmir?

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This  song would be Karan Johar’s tribute to  his  idol Yash Chopra. Alia would be dressed in chiffon sarees while  Ranveer, for  a change, would be seen in  formals.

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Bobby Deol’s Switchover To Villainous Roles

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Bobby Deol

After  Prakash Jha’s webseries Ashram where Bobby  played a sleazy  godman, and Love Hostel  where  he was a ruthless assassin,   he is playing the villain to Ranbir Kapoor in  Sandeep Vanga’s  Animal.

Bobby says it is not conscious career decision to play negative characters  but a conscious  decision to play interesting characters. “ I don’t look at  characters as positive or negative.When I watch  films there is always  one character  that stays  with you. I want to play that  character.”

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Prakash Jha’s Ashram proved a gamechanger for Bobby.  He admits finding  challenging roles is tough.  “I am trying. I  am doing Sandeep Vanga’s Animal with Ranbir  Kapoor , Parineeti Chopra. Then I am doing the family film Apne  2 which I am  very excited  about.”

 In an  earlier  interview with  this writer Bobby spoke  about his   long absence  from screen  before Prakash Jha’s Ashram.  “My fans   would ask why I wasn’t being seen on the screen.And I couldn’t tell them it was  because  I wasn’t getting good roles. But my fans  stood by me. They gave me  the strength  to  keep looking for the right roles. Thankfully I found the roles I liked. My new  films have given  me  some new fans. I am  thankful  I am still here. Yeah , I am in a good space right now.”

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