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Shabana Azmi, Lalit Pandit & Hariharan Remember Bhupinder Singh

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Shabana Azmi: Bhupinder had a unique voice . The first time I heard him sing  was in Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat. The song Hoke majboor mujhe ussne bhulaya  hoga  which was picturised on him was written by my father Kaifi Azmi and set to music by Madan Mohan .Then I  remember  another song written  by my father  Rut jawan jawan raat mehrban  . His voice and his face were  a class apart.Many years later I sang a duet with  Bhupinder  in Muzaffar Ali’s Anjuman. I was nervous and terrified as  I have never trained as a singer .But he was very  patient and  kind . I am sorry for his  passing away  and offer my heartfelt condolences to his wife Mitali.”

Lalit Pandit “This is such a sad and shocking news!!Bhuppiji,as we called him was a very close family friend.He has sung  the beautiful duet  Boliye sureeli boliyan  along with my sister Sulakshana Pandit  in Basu  Bhattacharya’s Grihapravesh .He  had also sung for me in my very first film Yaara Dildara the song ,Hamare papa aur hum ,milakar rakkhen jo kadam along with Amit kumar.He was a wonderful artist singer and one of the great guitarist who did a lot many solo acoustic  guitar pieces in many of  R D Burman’s  immortal songs like,Chingari koi bhadke,phoolon ka taron  ka,and others had Bhupindarji playing the 12-string guitar solo pieces!!One of  Bhupinderji’s  most unforgettable songs  composed by Madan Mohan ji was a duet  with Lataji  in the  film Mausam:  Dil dhoondhta hai. Bhupinderji  had at the start of his carrier acted in a film Haqeeqat  and sang the song  Hoke majboor mujhe usne bhoolaya hoga along with Rafi saab , Manna Dey and Talat Mehmood saab !We have indeed lost a legend.I was a fan of Bhupiji also as a guitarist as I knew the wonderful guitar pieces he played in many wonderful  R d Burman songsI  had spoken to Bhupinderji  about this and he had agreed to tutor me to play advance guitar during the time he was singing my song for Yaara Dildara.Bhupiji was a great friend to the family during Sulakshana Didi’s reign as a singing actress.He would address her as Munni,Sulakshana Didi’s per name at home.Bhuppiji would add tremendous small meaningful guitar sections in hundreds of  R D Burman’s compositions  and I would by ear be able to tell that it was Bhupiji playing.I knew his style so well !He had a unique Punjabi tone in his voice and later over the years he composed ghazals and sang them.He was a wonderful composer of ghazals and enjoyed his music till the very end .He leaves behind a legacy of songs some of which will remain timeless specially the songs with Gulzar Sahab and Lataji.”

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Hariharan “Bhupinderji was   an amazing singer , a unique voice which had romance, nostalgia, soothing ,caressing , sentimental ,Soulful all rolled into one .he has sung some of the most classic songs of yester years ! He was great composer of Kabir bhajans and lot of ghazals .Very gifted guitar player .A smile so warm , yes he did smile from his heart .He had a gentle caring soul .I knew him from 1977 .I looked up to him .God bless his soul.”

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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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Pathaan Collects 55 crore nett in India On Day 1

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Pathaan

YRF’s Pathaan has apparently wiped out all previous records as it collected 55 crore nett in India and recorded the biggest ever Day 1 for a Hindi film. The total collections of Pathaan on Day One is 57 crore nett (Hindi – 55 crore and dubbed versions 2 crore).

It is the widest Hindi release of  all  time in India and also the highest grossing 1st Day for a   Hindi film.It is  also the  highest grosser  on the  first first for a  non-holiday release. Pathhan is  also the highest  opener for Shah Rukh Khan.

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Akshaye Widhani, CEO of Yash Raj Films, says, “It is a historic day for Indian cinema and we are humbled to see the love and appreciation that is flowing for Pathaan globally. For Pathaan to shatter records in this fashion on a non holiday, just proves that the theatrical business is here to stay, provided we make films that entice people to come to the cinemas to witness a never seen before experience that entertains them thoroughly.“

He adds, “We, at YRF, are thrilled with the start that the film has got across India and we are hopeful that Pathaan brings joy to cine-goers globally in the days to come! Pathaan is the fourth film of our YRF Spy Universe and we are thrilled that we have been able to elevate the cinematic experience of audiences with each film from this franchise. We humbly share this moment with all the stake-holders of the film who have given their blood, sweat and tears to give people a movie-going experience like never before.”

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“Professionally, What  A Year It Has Been For Me,” Raveena Tandon On Her Padma Shri

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Raveena Tandon

Raveena Tandon  feels  she is in a dream. “I woke  up  today to the  news that  I have been awarded the Padma Shri by  my Government. I felt all my years  of hard work  has  finally come to  fruition.I can’t wait to get  back to Mumbai.”

Raveena  is  in Bhopal attending a  wedding.  “I woke  up  on Thursday morning to the good news. My husband(film distributor Anil Thadani) who is in Mumbai had no clue about it. I had to inform him that his wife is now Padma Sri Raveena,” she laughs heartily.

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She then grows  melancholic. “The past one year has been a whirlwind  for me. Professionally, it couldn’t get any better. My webseries Aranyak on Netflix  and  then the bigscreen  blockbuster KGF 2 where I played one of the protagonists , became huge  successes.Sadly,it  was  also the year that  I lost my father(well-known producer-director Ravi Tandon). It was  the severest blow of my life.I am still processing the loss. The Padma Shri would have made  my Dad so proud.”

Remind her  she is  still young and already a Padma winner and Raveena expresses  her  happiness. “I guess I am lucky to have received the honour at the  midpoint of my life and career. I am also very happy that M M  Keeravani Sir has  also received the Padma Shri.His Naatu naatu has  the  world dancing to his tune. But even  before Naatu naatu he has done such exemplary work.”

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Getting nostalgic Raveena  says, “I started working when I was 17.I have done every kind of  cinema, balancing out a Chote Miyan  Bade Miya  with  a Shool, a Rakshak with a  Ghulam-e-Mustafa,  a Bulundi and a Khauff with a Daman and an Aks. It’s  always been  my endeavour to be be seen in escapism and  real cinema. Some people think dancing around trees  and  doing the masala  stuff is easy.  It is  not!  In fact  being real on screen is far easier.”

Raveena feels the  good days  are  back in the entertainment  industry. “I saw Pathaan and  I whistled  and clapped the loudest. It is  an out-and-out mass entertainer and bound to revive the  sagging fortunes  of  our industry.  While the Padma Shri is a personal triumph,  the success of Pathaan  is  a happy occasion for the entire industry.So yeah, I am on top of  the world,”

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Raveena’s fans  would like to know her khubsoorati  ka raaz.

She  laughs, “It’s nothing more than sleeping and eating right. I  try to eat  correctly. I have only  organic  food. More  importantly,I am happy and secure in life. If you are content within it is  bound show on your face.”

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