neil-bipashaWith Neil Nitin Mukesh and Bipasha Basu’s latest flick ‘Aa Dekhe Zara’ coming soon they released the music of the film in a very unique manner. The duo chose to launch their music on the sets of Indian Idol. The music in the film has been given by the Pritam. The title song from the film has already become a chartbuster. The film would have many reasons to look upon like watching the two hot stars of the industry together on the screen, watching Neil especially after his brilliant performance in ‘Johnny Gaddar’, with the title song sung by Neil himself and of course the suspense thriller in it. Neil truly seemed to be a flatterer as he just could not stop raving about his music director and the hot bode Bipasha Basu. Neil also stated Indian idol as the perfect stage to launch any music.

The film releases on 27 March and is directed by Jehangir Surti The film also stars Amrita Arora, Koena Mitra, Rahul Dev and Sophie Choudhary.


For a change, tarot card reader and actress Munisha Khatwani is not seen acting or doing predictions on TV shows this time.

munisha-khatwaniThe girl is busy hosting T-10 gully cricket reality show with the well-known cricket commentator Charu Sharma. “Cricket is a religion in India which gets maximum exposure,” she says excitedly. “Plus, Charu Sharma was the host.

Besides, this show is giving me a chance to travel to parts of India where I’ve never been. When all the good factors like money and dates fell into place I thought why not take up such a good opportunity,” she says.

Talking about her switch from tarot card reading and acting to hosting, she says, “I wanted to have a different identity and do something different from what I’ve been always doing. Thankfully I’m not doing any predictions on the show! I’m the glamour quotient on the show and get bytes from players,” she says.

So does she hope that her first reality show and that too on cricket will change her fortunes as it did for Mandira Bedi? “Of course, I really hope that it changes my image as it did Mandira’s. Mandira became more famous after hosting a cricket show. If this show does something like that to me, I’ll be very happy,” says Munisha enthusiastically. Of course, one hasn’t seen her in noodle straps, but the costumes have been trendy as planned, she says.

On the personal front, as a tarot card reader she predicts that 2009 will be a good year for her in terms of stability in her career. And marriage? “Well, I feel that marriage will happen after 2010 onwards. Till then, I’m enjoying all the male attention,” she laughs.

Glacxy Ferrao TNN

Tapasya aka Ishita and Ichcha aka Sparsh are the two latest heartthrobs of Indian television.

ishita-sparshSeen in a soap which is being telecast these days, the kids recently visited Lucknow to promote their serial. Needless to say, they stole our hearts too.

As we sat to chat with them the two brats rattled off answers to questions they were expecting. “I am Ishita and she is Sparsh, I study in 5th standard and she is in third,” says Ishita. Sparsh chips in, “My father is an Army officer and my mother a teacher and Ishita’s parents are doctors.”

Just when we are gathering our wits at their smartness they fire another volley in unison. “Our favourite actors are Shahid Kapur, Kareena Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar and the film we’ve liked lately is Rabb Ne Bana Di Jodi. Now ask us any other question you want to,” they say.

What next? We wonder. So we begin with asking their birthdays. “That is an original question,” says Ishita, sounding impressed. And with all starry airs and gestures in place she tells us, “Mine is on 1st December and…,” “Mein apni khud bataungi ,” butts in Sparsh, “…Meri 11th October ko hoti hai.”

The senior of the two, Ishita, doesn’t fail to tell us of her achievements. “I have modelled in several ads and done a film Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi and a few serials while this is Sparsh’s first serial.”

And are the two just as friendly off screen as they are on screen? “No, we never fight. We are like sisters. She is my younger sister and I look after Sparsh.” Meanwhile, Sparsh herself says, “I fight with Ishita but we make up quickly.”

What about the lovely dresses and toys that Ishita keeps getting in the serial? Doesn’t Sparsh feel left out? “But I share them with her na?” says Ishita, plucking her eyebrows. Why are you doing that, we ask and she says, “This is for a wish and I’m wishing that we get something to eat and then sleep soon,” says she while Sparsh yawns.

What do the girls like to eat? “I love chicken tikka,” says both. And what else do they like to do, we quiz. “We love to dance,” say the two. “You know, we dance on Dance Pe Chance Maar Le together and everybody on the sets loves it,” says Sparsh.

What about school? Do they get as much attention there, we inquire. “Not as much. In my school there are children of several celebrities, so for them it’s nothing unusual I’m doing,” says Ishita while Sparsh says, “Children at my school initially were quite impressed but now they are okay.”

Ok! but what about the times when they step out? Do they like the crowd that gloats over them? “Sometimes it’s nice, at other times it’s not so,” says Ishita but Sparsh says she loves it. And do they get requests for autographs? “Yes, and I write ‘With love from Ishita’,” says Ishita. “I just write my name, but now I will also write ‘With love from Sparsh’,” quips in the younger one.

What do they like to do in their spare time, we get inquisitive. “I like to play chess and study,” says Ishita “And I like to watch movies and study,” says Sparsh. Study? But most kids don’t like to study, we say. “We are not like other children,”says Ishita adding, “We love to study. I want to become either a doctor like my parents or an actor and to become either I will have to study,” says she. Meanwhile, Sparsh adds, “Education is very important for us. Only then can we progress in life. It’s for my own good.”

With so much gyan imparted to us by the girls, we bid them goodbye as Sparsh lays her head in Ishita’s lap in exhaustion and the latter sings her a lullaby and strokes her head.

Reporter – SHREE MISRA , TNN

shaktimanThe personalities of children in Mumbai may soon be moulded along that of the fictional superhero, Shaktiman, if a certain proposal lying on the BMC desk gets a nod. Mukesh Khanna — popular among children for his role in the television series Shaktiman — has requested the civic body to allot him a vacant municipal school building at Jogeshwari (east). He said the school will impart to students the “teachings of Shaktiman” and stress will be laid on developing the child’s personality.

The vacant building at Mogra Village has been constructed on a 15,000 sq ft plot by a private builder. The building is to be handed over to the BMC’s education department as the plot has been reserved for school education.

Last week Khanna met municipal commissioner Dr Jairaj Phatak and deputy municipal commissioner Chandrashekhar Rokde. Khanna wants the BMC to help him in his endeavour to spread quality education by leasing the building to him for 30 years. “I plan to open a school in Mumbai, with the aim of using the income from this school for at least four free schools in rural areas in the state, which will provide education at par with private schools,” he said.

Khanna is associated with the Dolphin Foundation that has 22 schools in Raipur and surrounding towns in Chattisgarh. “I want the [Mumbai] project to materialise soon. We have been corresponding with the civic body for the last two months,” he said. Khanna’s will be a private school from pre-primary to Class 10 and will seek affiliation from the CBSE. He feels the present education system can be made stress-free by including sports, music, dance and other activities that will enhance the overall personality of a child.

Rokde said, “We will examine the possibility of starting a civic school first. If we find that there are enough BMC schools in the area and there is no possibility of new students enrolling then we can think about Khanna’s proposal.”

Reporter – GEETA DESAI , TNN

Sunjoy Waddhwa, the producer of Balika Vadhu, is coming up with a new show. “Jyoti unlike Balika Vadhu is a different show”, says the producer of the show, Sunjoy Waddhwa.

He continues saying, “Jyoti is a show which salutes all woman. The story traces the journey of a young woman Jyoti; the eldest of the three daughters and the sole bread earner of the family who sacrifices her dreams and aspirations to fulfill every need and desire of her family”.

When asked why he didn’t prefer to make another show similar to Balika Vadhu, when others are copying the concept and banking on it?

“You see, I don’t like to follow others. I started a new trend with Balika Vadhu and everyone followed it and now I am starting a fully new concept with ‘Jyoti’ and let others follow it. I am a trendsetter just like in the fashion Industry where one leads and others follow”, quips a happy Sunjoy.

‘Jyoti’, a Sphere Origins production, sees almost an entirely new cast with Sneha Wagh playing ‘Jyoti’ as the main lead. The talented actors who will be the characters of Jyoti are Sneha Wagh, Sriti Jha, Sanjay Batra, Zaida Parveen etc. The story has been written by the noted writer Purnendu Shekhar and will be directed by Siddhartha Sengupta. The show is produced by Sunjoy Waddhwa from the renowned Sphere Origins. ‘Jyoti’ launches from 16th February, 2009, every Monday-Thursday at 8.30 p.m. on NDTV Imagine.


amit-sarinNow that Radhaa ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhayengi is going off air, actor Amit Sarin who had joined the show recently is naturally very disappointed. “All of us were very sad and emotional. Few were even seen crying because the cast had all bonded well like a happy family. It was great to work with them though I was there for only a few months,” says Amit.

Was it low TRPs that resulted in the show being pulled off? “Well, I think the channel took a call with the current revamping and reshuffling phase going on right now. TRPs could be the reason. But, I really don’t know as the show was doing quite well. Probably they want to introduce shows with different concepts,” says the actor.

Does he have any shows on hand at the moment? “No, not yet. I had received two offers to play negative roles. But, I declined both of them because I want to get back to my natural basic instinct for some time now… of playing a positive role,” says Amit.

Talking about insecurities that telly actors face, he says, “A show going off air is sad, but one has to move on in life. An actor has to learn to live with every phase in his career. After all, at the end of the day, the audiences The only thing was that it happened all of a sudden. Anyways, I’m hopeful and I’m looking towards new horizons,” signs off the actor.

Glacxy Ferrao, TNN

Television actors Amit Verma and Benaf Dadachanjee chose to have an interactive and fun session. So they decided to interview each other when they were in town recently… 

You know her as sweet and bubbly Baby (Benaf Dadachanjee) and the understanding, smart Birju (Amit Verma) from the popular television show Baa, Bahu aur Baby. They both were in Ahmedabad to celebrate 500 episodes of their show and they also happen to cut a cake as they are getting engaged.Not in real life but in reel life! “I had been to Ahmedabad few years back but couldn’t see the city, hope to see something this time,” says Amit. While for Benaf this is her first visit to the city and she wishes to explore it. With long shooting hours, it gets really impossible for actors to interact even if they spend most of their time on the same sets. We found out that both the actors enjoy each other’s company and wished to tell the audience more about each other. We caught them in a jovial mood having fun and cracking jokes with each other.

Benaf puts Amit on a hot seat


How did you feel when you dress up like a woman in the show?
Amit: I felt horrible. I wasn’t even wearing a wig. It was a pathetic feeling.

Which is your favourite song?
Amit: I love the title song of Singh Is Kinng.

How did you feel when we did our first romantic sequence together?
Amit: I love romancing on the screen. I was into the character but you kept laughing instead of blushing. I really enjoyed the sequence.

I keep telling you that you have lost weight though you may have or not, how do you feel?
Amit: You are a total smart girl — you know I am dieting and have put on weight, you make sure to give me so much food that I stuff myself and then can’t shoot. And whenever you want to have a burger, you just want me as company.

What if one day you have to do a show that has timings from 7am to 7pm?
Amit: I have signed in all my contracts that I will not shoot early in the morning. But if I have to do a show, God bless the channel, production house and my swollen face — my face gets blotted when I get up early in the morning.

What do you think about me?
Amit: An absolute Mumbai girl — chirpy, bubbly and talkative. But you also have a big heart — you can never see anyone in pain. You are emotional and a very good human being from inside.

Will you do a show with me again as a couple?
Amit: Why not! I would love to do shows with you.

Amit shoots back

amit-birju-bbbDoes it really affect you if you don’t get the correct measurement of salt in your food?
Benaf: It doesn’t affect my diet at all, but I get cranky. I am mad about food and I want it perfect.

For what do you come on the sets — lunch break or shooting?
Benaf: When I come on the sets, I just keep waiting for the pack up time. I hate make-up, it’s so dirty.

What happens to you post 10 pm?
Benaf: I laugh aloud and spread the laughter everywhere.

As you are on a diet these days, will you come out for lunch with me?
Benaf: Just one week is left and then I can eat everything. I will surely go out with you and show you my will power — how I can gorge on food. And well I also workout, so I can eat and exercise.

What do you think about me as an actor?
Benaf: You are wonderful, understanding and very nice. I can’t forget the way you taught me how to romance on screen —patiently and nicely.

Who has a better body Gautam Rode or me?
Benaf: Of course Gautam. He works really hard on his body, while you don’t and that is what I like about you.

After we get married in the show and if I have to leave the show, will you miss me?
Benaf: I will miss you a lot. I will tell you to come on the sets so that we can have lunch together — even if the food is not good, atleast I can enjoy good company. 





smriti-iraniThere are many ways to introduce this firebrand lady. Smriti Iraani — the television actress who has occupied mind space of millions of couch potatoes as Tulsi; the activist and politician who always spoke her mind regardless of the outcome; and the tele-serial producer who readily took upon the might of her powerful mentor Ekta Kapoor.

Smriti has always lived up to her screen image of an upright matriarch, who will not put up with any nonsense. It is this attitude, which has made her successful in all her roles on screen as well as in life.

Progressing well

With the serial Kyunki… Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi… being taken off air rather unceremoniously, Smriti has not been seen on screen for quite some time now. Ask her about this, and she says, “There are serials, which would go on air shortly, I have finished with the shoot, and the post production work is on now.” And, what about the Bollywood debut that she was to make in a film on Sai Baba (Malik Ek) this year? “There too I have finished with my part of the shoot. The film should release this year,” she informs.

Mentioning that her political roles are progressing well and her party has entrusted her with an important role, she says, “I’m a member of the national executive body of my party, which is the highest decision-making authority. I feel that is progress enough!”

Party responsibilities

Smriti had joined politics when her serial and, more so, her character Tulsi was extremely popular. Doesn’t she feel that too many things came together at the same time, making it difficult for her to divide time? She explains, “I think I have been able to manage my time and work in a very organised fashion, and it is perhaps for this reason that my party too, appreciating my organisational skills, gave me such a big post. I personally feel I’ve been able to do justice to everything that was put in my care.”

And, finally how has she divided herself between television and politics? “My commitments to television have been taken care of and delivered for the time being. At the moment, I’m concentrating on politics,” she signs off.


Barkha Mathur, TNN


gaurav-chopra_narayani-shastriIts’ rather surprising that after having agreed to do a Valentine day special dance show with exboyfriend Gaurav Chopra and his current heart-throb Mouni Roy, Narayani Shastri suddenly chickened out of it. Why? According to our source, the two-hour act was to be shot last Friday and Narayani pulled out of the show two days before the shoot. It was a great loss of time and money for the production house as the costumes were tailored for Narayani and the act was choreographed to suit her style of dancing. However, after hunting for a replacement for Narayani, they managed to rope in Sayantani Ghosh.

Narayani simply denied the story and said, “I was not approached for any such program.” Mouni refused to comment stating several health issues. Gaurav too maintained that he had no clue about it and said, “It was never meant for Narayani, but, if at all she was part of the same sequence, I have no clue. It was always Mouni, Sayantani and I.” 02mouni

However, our source from the production house insisted that Narayani had indeed ditched them at the eleventh hour. Said our source, “Star Plus has planned a two-hour Valentine day special called Love Ne Bana Di Jodi. In one of the acts, a dance sequence involving two girls and a boy, one of the girls is jealous watching her boyfriend dance with another woman.

For this act, the production house wanted to cast Gaurav, Narayani and Mouni. Though Mouni and Gaurav were initially reluctant, they agreed to do the show after a bit of persuasion. But Narayani had a condition. She told the production house that she would participate only if Mouni was eliminated. But the production house refused to agree to her condition because now Gaurav and Mouni are together.”

Mumbai Mirror

mohinder-amarnathVeteran cricketer-commentator-analyst Mohinder Amarnath, known for his performances on the cricket field, is set to show his dancing skills on a reality show.

Amarnath, 58, also known as “Jimmy”, will be seen shaking a leg in the third season of the dance reality show “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa”. It is going on air Feb 27 on Sony channel.

The show brings together celebrities from different walks of life such as sports, films, fashion and music among others to perform with professional dance partners.

This season will also see TV actors – Parul Chauhan, Ram Kapoor, Gauhar Khan, Karan Singh, Monica Bedi, magician Ugesh Sarcar, “Chak De!” girl Shilpa Shukla, actress Bhagyashree, composer Anand Raj Anand and singer Hard Kaur.

Juhi Chawla, Vaibhavi Merchant and Saroj Khan will judge the show.

Mona Singh was the winner of the first season, while “Rock On!!” girl Prachi Desai was crowned the winner in the second season.