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Mumbai: Singer Sonu Nigam feels devotional music is an important part of Indian culture, and says that not addressing it is a huge disservice to music.

"Devotional music, is such a great and significant part of Indians' blood streams that not addressing it is a huge disservice to music. A lot of my musical education is constituted of devotional music," Nigam said in a statement.

 

The singer spoke about devotional music when he became part of singing reality TV show "Om Shanti Om" as a celebrity judge. In the episode, he will be seen sharing his musical expertise and also perform with composer and judge Shekhar Ravjiani.

The show is aired on Star Bharat.

Talking about the show, Nigam said: "'Om Shanti Om' is a unique concept. Something that has never happened before...It was really amazing to be a part of the show."

Hosted by Aparshakti Khurana, the show also features actress Sonakshi Sinha and singer Kanika Kapoor as judges, while yoga guru Baba Ramdev is the Maha Guru.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai:  Rohit Shetty's "Golmaal Again" is gearing up for its Diwali release. Actress Tabu says she signed the multi-starrer entertainer even before reading the script.

During the trailer launch of the film, Tabu, who is one of the new additions to the 'Golmaal' gang told the media here on Friday about how she always wanted to be a part of the film.

 

Tabu said: "This is a special film for me because whenever I watched the film, it was a laugh riot for me. Whenever I met Rohit at parties, I said that I want to be a part of this franchise. I was ready to even do a cameo. I would like to say, that this is one of the films where I did not hear the script before shooting because I knew they have something good for me... It was like a picnic."

The whole cast and crew including Parineeti Chopra, Ajay Devgn, Shreyas Talpade, Kunal Kemmu, Arshad Warsi and Tusshar Kapoor, Johny Lever, were present at the trailer launch.

Parineeti, who too is new to the franchise, said: "It was a surreal moment for me to be a part of this film because I can remember I was giving exams in school when the first 'Golmaal' released. So yes, it is special! I was in New York when I got a call that Rohit sir wants to meet me. First, I didn't believe it but I want to thank Rohit sir, for casting me in the film."

The film "Golmaal Again" will release on October 19.

 

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi: National-Award winning Rajkummar Rao's latest release "Newton" is India's official entry for Academy Awards in 2018. An excited Rajkummar on Friday took to Twitter to announce the news.

"Very happy to share this news that 'Newton' is India's official entry to the Oscars this year. Congratulations team," he tweeted.

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta, who is a good friend of Rajkummar and has collaborated with him for films like "Shahid" and "Aligarh", took to Twitter to express his happiness and said that "Newton" is the best choice.

"'Newton' is India's entry to the Oscars. The best choice in years by the federation," Mehta tweeted. 

He added: "If films like 'A Separation' and 'Children of Heaven' made it to the Oscar nominations so can 'Newton'. It is our best shot. Manish Mundra go for it!" 

"Newton" revolves around a young government clerk who is sent on election duty to a Maoist-controlled town and how the ideological struggle puts him in an awkward situation.

Directed by Amit Masurkar, "Newton" released on Friday. The film is produced by Manish Mundra of Drishyam Films, the company best known for backing critically-acclaimed projects such as "Masaan" and "Umrika".

Rajkummar will soon be seen in other projects like "Love Sonia", "5Weddings", "Ittefaq: It Happened One Night" and "Fanney Khan".

Popular TV host Jimmy Kimmel will return to host the Academy Awards in 2018. He will host the 90th edition of the awards on March 4.

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai: Veteran actress Jaya Prada, who is making a comeback to Tamil and Telugu filmdom after a decade, says she is glad she chose to return with a good project like "Yaagam", a socio fantasy bilingual.

"People stopped approaching me with offers because they thought I was busy in politics. But the truth is I was on the lookout for good projects all along," Jaya Prada, whose last Telugu and Tamil outing released in 2007, told news agency IANS.

 

"When director Narasimha Rao approached me with the script of 'Yaagam', which I really liked, I saw it as a good opportunity to return to two industries. I'm glad I chose this as my comeback film," she said.

In Tamil, she was last seen playing Kamal Haasan's pair in "Dasavatharam". She played a Punjabi character.

Her last Telugu film was Nandamuri Balakrishna starrer "Maharathi".

"Yaagam" has been simultaneously shot in Telugu as "Sharaba".

The film also stars Aakash, Mishti Chakraborty and Napoleon among others.

"It's a very ambitious film. I was convinced with the way the director narrated the story. I don't think I could have made a comeback with a much better film," she said.

She plays Napoleon's pair in the film, which is high on visual effects.

"While the story is about good versus evil, there's a moving sub-plot about a mother and son. I'm sure audiences will like the overall treatment of the film," she added.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai:  Actress Anushka Sharma, who is loved for her chic and simple style, says she is not a slave to fashion.

"I like to dress well. I enjoy wearing good clothes but I am not a slave of fashion. I think it is important to use fashion and style as an extension of your personality," Anushka told news agency IANS over phone from Mumbai.

 

The "Phillauri" star, 29, says it is important to have an individual dressing style.

"For me it's good to know about fashion trends but at the same you cant wear something that doesn't look good on you. So I know what works for me and what doesn't. My fashion sense is very chic, comfortable and simple," she added.

However, Anushka, who is the brand ambassador for sunglass brand Polaroid, doesn't like to over accessorise her outfits.

"So, for me sunglasses are a natural way of accessorising and practical. I think it immediately lifts your looks... That is the job that accessory has meant to do," she added.

The actress unveiled the fall/winter collection of the eyewear brand on Wednesday evening.

Talking about the association with the brand, she said: "It feels special because the brand has completed 80 years and it feels good to be a part of a brand at a milestone like this for them. I am happy that I am their first global brand ambassador."

Anushka says for her it is important that she actually uses the brand that she endorses.

--IANS

 

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi: Actress Celina Jaitly, who has always spoken up for the rights of the LGBTs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), says the Indian Constitution and the mentality of people do not support the community in the country.

"Our constitution promises equal rights to all citizens of India, irrespective of whether they are a minority or a majority. Unfortunately, when it comes to LGBT rights, neither does the constitution support them at the moment and neither does the regressive mentality of society," Celina told News Agency IANS over e-mail from Dubai.

 

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, dating back to 1860, criminalises sexual acts "against the order of the nature". The section was decriminalised with respect to sex between consenting adults by the Delhi High Court in July 2009. But in 2013, the judgement was overturned by the Supreme Court, which held that amending or repealing Section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary.

"Whether India accepts it or not, the fact of the matter is that there are millions of LGBT individuals in our country and they deserve the same set of rights and protection by law as every other citizen," she added.

The actress, 35, says the laws need to "rise above cultures" and make sure every individual's rights are secure.

Celina, who won the Miss India title in 2001, says life of an individual from the LGBT community in India is not easy.

"In a society bound by a rigid set of social and cultural norms, the life of an LGBT individual is anything but easy. While urban India still at least boasts of some awareness thanks to social media and many awareness platforms, most people in our country have no understanding and education of what exactly LGBT is," she said.

"An LGBT person has multiple struggles in all aspects of life, specifically women who in any case have to face many battles in our society," added the actress, a United Nations equality champion who promotes its Free and Equal campaign.

A number of celebrities -- leaders in their respective fields with a commitment to the cause of LGBT equality -- have pledged their support to the Free and Equal campaign by becoming UN equality champions. Over the coming months, they will help spread campaign messages and materials through social media. Some may also participate in campaign-related initiatives, including recording public service announcements (PSAs) for television, radio and the web.

"There is a complete lack of awareness and any talk of sexuality and gender makes people uncomfortable. It makes them resort to dire means like suppression -- and even verbal and physical violence -- to express their discomfort," she said.

"The reality is that our society needs to evolve on a lot of levels until we can call ourselves the world's largest democracy."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai:  Actor Harshvardhan Kapoor, who will play shooter Abhinav Bindra on the silver screen, says his father Anil Kapoor has already started prepping for his role to essay Apjit Bindra, father of the Gold medalist at 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Harshavardhan on Tuesday shared a photograph of Anil and Apjit, where they are seen raising a toast.

 

"The reel and real life dads met and raised a toast to the start of this amazing project. Dad beat me to the meeting with Bindra senior and has already started his prep! Can't wait to be back and start work on this full swing!" Harshvardhan captioned the image.

Abhinav won the country's first individual gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The biopic is scheduled to go on floors by October and will reportedly focus on the relationship between Abhinav and his father.

Harshvardhan, 26, made his debut in Bollywood with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Mirzya". He is currently shooting for Vikramaditya Motwane's upcoming film "Bhavesh Joshi", which is expected to release later this year.

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai:  Filmmaker Hansal Mehta salutes the fearlessness of his “Simran” actress Kangana Ranaut, and says he would love to work with the “one-of-a-kind” artiste again.

Mehta opened up about the controversies surrounding his reported ‘stormy’ collaboration with Kangana and about “Simran”.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. While muck has been flying all around you, you’ve been very quiet. How do you look back on all the controversies surrounding “Simran”? Do you regret not speaking out when writer Apurva Asrani raised a stink about his credit quotient in “Simran”?

I said whatever I had to then and there is nothing more that I will say in the public domain. I was definitely saddened but I will continue to remain silent.

Q. A lot has been said about how Kangana “took over” the project “Simran” from you and virtually ghost-directed the film. Please clarify once and for all about the extent of Kangana’s contribution?

Kangana has collaborated closely on the film and I have always seen that with a lot of positivity. There is a lot her contribution has lent to the final film and I would rather celebrate that than respond to insinuations and hearsay. After having spent 20 years making many different kinds of films, I feel I don’t need to clarify this matter any further as it gives unnecessary attention to people who thrive on spreading malice.

Q. Tell us very frankly, what was it like working with Kangana Ranaut. Would you work with her again?

Kangana is a very fine artiste and one of the best actors we have today. If I have a subject that both of us agree upon, I would love to work with her. We know each other and our respective working styles well enough and there is no reason to not continue making films together whenever the opportunity arises.

Q. Do you approve of her speaking on her personal life and the men she loved at events meant to promote “Simran”?

I’ve said before that she answered the questions that were asked of her. She answered those questions unflinchingly and I salute her fearlessness. She is one of a kind and we should celebrate that. I wish the wise persons who raised these questions about her personal life would also be asked the same thing – did they have nothing else to ask her?

Q. What was it like shooting a film so far removed from your normal reflective brooding style?

As a filmmaker, I wanted to challenge myself, do something that pulled me out of my comfort zone. I try doing that with every film. Hence, “Aligarh” was very different from “Shahid” in terms of tone, pace and treatment. Similarly, “Simran” had to be a departure from “Aligarh”. What is common in each of my past films is their focus on the characters and their spaces.

That focus remains in “Simran”. I’m proud of the fact that a migrant Indian girl’s life and space are explored with authenticity. “Simran” remains an intimate portrayal of the Indian diaspora living in the US. Hence the claustrophobic spaces, the blue-collared jobs, the reconditioned cars and distant suburbs.

Q. The censor board asked for 10 cuts in “Simran”. Did that surprise you considering the Pahlaj Nihalani factor had been replaced by the Prasoon Joshi element?

I’ve always maintained that we have to rise above individuals if the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) has to be effective. That will only be possible if the outdated guidelines that govern censorship in India are changed keeping in mind the times we live in and the digitized world we inhabit. Until that happens, we will keep lamenting cuts ordered by CBFC and nothing will really change.

As for the cuts ordered in “Simran”, they were minor cuts that did not hamper the film’s narrative in any way. I carried them out because I did not see the point of fighting what was essentially the result of the dated guidelines and their ambiguous interpretation by members of the examining committee. What surprised me was that this news was all over the place the moment I left the CBFC screening of “Simran”. Obviously, somebody within the board was gleeful that they had got me by the b**ls and had already informed all and sundry about the cuts. I’m actually glad that whoever ‘spilled the beans’ had his/her moment in the sun.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mumbai: From taking up films like "Chameli" at the start of her career, going on a size-zero spree, talking her heart out in chat shows and working till the last trimester of her pregnancy -- Kareena Kapoor Khan has always chosen her own personal or professional path. Now that she has become a mother, she says work is her priority, but family is very important too.

As her son Taimur Ali Khan will witness his first Diwali this year, she was asked about how she plans not to miss the occasion keeping in mind her shooting schedule for "Veere Di Wedding". Kareena told IANS in an exclusive interview over email: "We will be finishing our Delhi schedule a few days before Diwali, so I will be spending time with my family. Work is a priority but family is very important to me."

 

Taimur was born to Kareena and her actor husband Saif Ali Khan in December last year.

The Lakme brand ambassador, who considers Taimur as the most amazing and cutest child, says he loves hanging out with the family.

"I'm sure (he) will enjoy the family gatherings. Apart from getting him goodies and gifts for the season, I would love to play dress-up with him and get him into the most adorable traditional outfits," the fashionista said.

"Also, he is a fan of Indian sweets. So, I am sure he would have a fun time trying the very many festive specialties," said Kareena, who comes from a family of foodies.

Festive season tends to be a time for over-indulging in sweets and savouries. So, what's the plan for coping with all the extra calories?

"All of us are big foodies. So, I eat everything and enjoy them, but then I make it a point to not miss my workout. I drink lots of water and eat in moderation. Also, I think everyone has become conscious of changing times and has inculcated a responsible sense in us," said the actress.

Kareena, who has many successful films to her credit including "Jab We Met", "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham", "Talaash: The Hunt Begins...", "Yuva", "Omkara" and "Udta Punjab", is also considered one of the flawless beauties in Bollywood.

So what's her make-up and skincare regime for the festive season?

"Festivals come around a confused season when it's still hot and humid, but also dry and scaly. So, prepping my skin and giving it the moisturisation and nourishment it needs is very important.

"Also, I am a big foodie, but the aftermath of the yummy, oily delicacies just scares me. So, I follow a three-step prep regime to prevent my skin from breaking -- hydrate, nurture and exercise. And the new Lakme Argan Night Serum is an added bonus to this regime, as it gives all the TLC (tender, love and care) and rejuvenation my skin craves for," she said.

She also says she is a huge fan of dark, smokey eyes.

"For make-up, I always try to keep it simple, clean and fun. Smokey eyes, bold bright lips and dewy skin are my favourite go-to looks," she added.

"Kohl is my all-time favourite. I absolutely love sporting a bold, red lip. Lastly, the new Lakme Argan Foundation has gotten me hooked for the nourished, dewy finish it gives," she said.

 

 

 

-IANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Delhi:  Away from the hustle bustle of Mumbai and from the humdrum of movie shootings and promotions, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar says a visit to the Golden Temple here left him feeling surreal.

"A chance visit to the Golden Temple, listening to the Gurbani and watching the world go by. Only word that comes to mind now: SURREAL. #blessed," Akshay posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

 

Accompanying his post was an image in which he is seen sitting by the 'sarovar' under the night sky and looking at the glisten Golden Temple, a religious place which attracts several people from all across everyday.

The actor has been on a career roll with films like "Rustom" and "Toilet: Ek Prem Katha". He will be seen on the small screen with "The Great Indian Laughter Challenge" and on the movie front, he has "PadMan" and "Gold" lined up.

 

 

 

 

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