Tag Archive: SRK

Smitten by kkkkk….Khan!


Believe it or not, Shah Rukh Khan compelled author Sonali Ghosh Sen to drive for five hours in snow-bound Geneva 



Supreeta Singh

Sonali Ghosh Sen is desperate. She badly needs a vacation and requires an inspiration for her next book. After a whirlwind tour to promote her first work of fiction, K-K-Krazy About Khan, we don’t wonder why. As the name clearly suggests, the novel is about a young girl called Kriti Kapoor and her obsession with the Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK). Written in a breezy language abound with trivias about SRK’s movies, the fan-fiction is both light-hearted and engaging. We caught up with the freelance copywriter and film critic-turned-author, just ahead of her book’s launch in Kolkata.

You have led a very colourful life.
Yes. My father was in the Army and I went to about seven schools all over the country wherever he was posted. Thankfully, college life was less nomadic. I graduated from the Shri Shikshayatan College in Kolkata. Thereafter, I moved to Mumbai for post graduation in Mass Communication at Sophia Polytechnic. I have worked in several advertisement agencies as a copywriter including Lintas (now Lowe), Clarion (now Bates), Mudra, Nexus Equity and Rediffusion. I was the creative director at Naukri.com, when I moved with my husband to live in Geneva and for a short time in Zanzibar. At present I live in Kolkata. This is where I finally finished writing this book.

How did you decide on the subject of the book?
The two passions in my life are books and movies. I read any book I can lay my hands on and I see all movies whether I know the language or not. I helped organise the Film Festival of the Dhow Countries in Zanzibar in 2004! Bollywood has a special place in my heart. The subject of this book was decided when a friend suggested that since I loved movies so much why not write a story about it. Thereafter, it was my own fondness for Shah Rukh, his background, his struggle and his great fan following that helped me pattern the book.

How long did you take to write the book?

I started writing this book in Geneva, more than three years ago. Of course, within this period I faced the dreaded writer’s block and couldn’t write a single word for about a year! While I quite like chick-lit as a genre that tells a simple story of love and romance, I don’t define this book as such. I think this is more of a fan-fic, or fan-lit.

Writing is a lonely process. What did you discover about yourself while you worked on this book?
True, writing demands a lot in terms of discipline and dedication, as no one else can step in to do your work. The hard part was sitting on the chair in front of the computer every morning, to type at least 1000 words everyday. Some days it was more like 10 words! However, once the characters took shape, they took a life of their own. From then on it became fun and I didn’t mind waking up even at 6 in the morning to write, or not having people around when I wrote. I had the company of my characters with me.

Is the book autobiographical?
Other than some incidental commonalities, such as a career in the advertising industry and love for Bollywood movies, I am not at all like Kriti. It is a story more about people I have seen and heard of but not necessarily known. At the same time, bits and pieces of all characters and incidents have a toehold in some experience or acquaintance of mine. I do have a friend totally into spiritual new age gurus like Amrita in the book. Similarly there are several Palika Bazaar incidents that I have seen happen, which I have incorporated in the book, albeit modified. I have freely used my creative license, thereby sketching characters and situations that fit into this ‘over-the-top’ story.

Since when did you become a fan of SRK?
I have liked SRK from his Fauji days and have followed his career keenly. I think I belong to what I would like to call a Shah Rukh generation. Films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge or other movies made by director Karan Johar are part of a collective movie consciousness and it’s hard not be a fan of Shah Rukh.

Have you really watched all his movies?
Yes, in the first or as close to the first show as possible. It was a bitterly cold snow filled winter when Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was shown in a theatre in Zurich. One show starting at 9 pm was all that was there. We drove all the way from Geneva, a five hour drive under freezing conditions, to reach just in time to watch it.
When I started writing this book, I had to start collecting all of SRK’s movies and watch them all over again – this time with a lot more concentration than what I had done the first time when they were released. However, my book is not a ‘deep’ film analysis of his movies but fun storytelling. I have intertwined his movie scenes, characters and songs within the story, creating an interesting reference layer for the readers.

Did you ever meet SRK? Does he know about the book?
Yes, once. He had come to Paris to inaugurate his wax statue at Musée Grévin. I had an invitation. It was a five-minute opportunity, just enough for a photo op before security took over! I have sent SRK a copy of the book and am waiting for a reply.


Jaya Biswas

Film: Tees Maar Khan
Director: Farah Khan
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Akshaye Khanna, Ali Asgar, Apara Mehta, Aman Verma, Murli Sharma, Sachin Khedekar
Rating: Poor

As the title suggests, the film is about the sharpest conman of all Tabrez Mirza Khan alias Khanon mein Khan’ Tees Maar Khan (Akshay Kumar). Here Akshay is a master criminal who learns to steal even before he is born, the foetus fed on crime thrillers his pregnant mother watched.
What begins as a regular comedy gradually becomes the story of the great Indian train robbery undertaken by Tees Maar Khan for the conjoined conmen, played by MTV’s twin baldies, Raghu and Rajiv. They assign Khan to retrieve their loot which the government has seized. Khan pretends to shoot a patriotic train robbery film, Bharat Ka Khazana, while managing the act for real. He also picks a village and casts its inhabitants to act in his film; bluffs them into participating in a crime.
And in all this, Tees Maar Khan deceives the audience by claiming to be a funny movie. If you’ve seen the promos, you know the brand of humour (or the lack of it). And when it comes to the business of conning, it’s only talk and no shock! Though the first half is bearable, the second half becomes Tashan — Part 2, if you know what I mean.
The film’s story, put together by Farah’s husband Shirish Kunder, is a complete mess. But you can’t blame him either. After all, he had to take care of background score, screenplay, story, editing to refreshments on the sets and God knows what else, evident from the credits.
The dialogues written by Shirish Kunder and Ashmith Kunder desperately try to be humorous but fall flat at most instances. Sample this: Tube se nikli huyi toothpaste aur Tees Maar Khan ki di huyi zubaan kabhi wapas nahin jaati or Mere nange haath tumhare nange gaal par — you don’t expect such scary lines in a Farah Khan film.
There is a lot of screaming, grimacing and heaving. Here is an example of the level of the jokes — Khan as Hollywood director calls himself Manoj ‘Day’ Ramalan (Grrrr…)
The eponymous role is custom-made for Akshay Kumar and while he plays it effortlessly, he is clearly getting repetitive in his comic act (a concoction of Hera Pheri 1 & 2, Tashan, Khiladi series et al).
Akshaye Khanna as Aatish Kapoor, an Oscar-hungry actor, whose only mission in life is to groove on the Day-Ho number (akin to Anil Kapoor’s joyous leap on Jai-Ho when he was called to receive one of the Oscars for Slumdog Millionnaire), is brilliant. He is expected to act terribly and he does that with such perfection, that it gets on your nerves.
Farah’s fascination for Manoj Kumar (remember Om Shanti Om controversies?) continues in this one too. It’s high time the filmmaker realises that spoofs don’t work — not always!
Composer duo Vishal-Shekhar’s music has mass appeal. As Khan’s girlfriend in the film, Anya (Katrina Kaif) is categorically roped in only for her sex-appeal and she has oodles of it. Anya, a struggling actress is also cast by Khan in his fake film and her role in it is as questionable as her role in TMK. But Farah Khan’s raunchy choreography of the item number, Sheila Ki Jawani, portrays Kat at her sexiest best. Apara Mehta is a cheap imitation of Kirron Kher in Farah’s previous film Om Shanti Om.
Sachin Khedekar, Aman Verma and Murli Sharma as police officers are hardly amusing on screen. Salman Khan shows his ‘jalwa’ yet again in a cameo. TMK may take a smashing opening at the box office, courtesy Sheila and her jawani, but there is every chance of it fizzling out soon.
Though funny in bits and pieces, too much of hamming makes it a boring watch.



Jaya Biswas

Film: Band Baaja Baaraat
Director: Maneesh Sharma
Cast: Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh
Rating: Very Good
There is a lot to like in this new Yash Raj venture. The story about two wedding planners, Shruti Kakkar (Anushka Sharma) and Bittoo Sharma (newcomer Ranveer Singh), has a natural charm and sweetness that’s been missing from YRF movies for a long-long time.
Debutant director Maneesh Sharma, who has also written the story, takes us out of the artificial studio settings into the lanes and by-lanes of the national capital. The dialogues and screenplay have been written by Habib Faisal, who directed the charming Do Dooni Chaar.
Set in Delhi, Band Baaja Baraat (BBB) is all about two 20-years-old young graduates set to enter the real world. Shruti and Bittoo are as different as chalk and cheese. Shruti hails from a middle class background. She is ambitious, determined and focused and has set goals for herself as she reaches final year of college. On the other hand, we see Bitto as a freeloader with no aim in life. He is more interested in having fun with friends than attending classes.
This rom-com revolves around these two characters as they meet by chance and happen to become business partners. No, BBB has nothing to do with Jennifer Lopez starrer The Wedding Planner.
At first they hesitate to work together considering the complications, as Shruti aptly puts it, Jisse wyaapar karo usse kabhi na pyaar karo (you shouldn’t fall in love with someone you do business with). But they can’t resist taking the plunge, however, pledging that they would never mix business with pleasure. Will they or won’t they is for you to find out…
What makes BBB worth a watch are believable characters and a milieu exuding authentic Delhi texture. When Bittoo speaks of reaping sugarcane in Saharanpur, he plays the character to the tee. The actor is just perfect as an uncouth but good-hearted small-town loafer, who doesn’t have any qualms speaking with his mouth full or pronouncing business as ‘binness’. But when it comes to managing business deals and convincing his clients, he is better than many. As a newcomer, Ranveer is not at all camera conscious.  In fact, at times he reminds us of Ranbir Kapoor in Wake up Sid!!
The first half, in which Bittoo and Shruti set up their company, Shaadi Mubarak, is great fun. In terms of performances, Anushka, who has been ‘okay’ in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi or Badmaash Company, finally comes into her own as the ambitious Delhi girl, who can take on the world.
Unlike other Yash Raj films, the music is average in this one. Save for the song Ainvayi Ainvayi, sung by Salim Merchant and Sunidhi Chauhan, rest have little recall value. Ainvayi is pacey and totally ‘Punjabi’ in essence. This song is sure to have you tapping your foot.
Sadly, the second half drags with too much of altercations between the protagonists, stretched-out wedding sequences and even an item number where Bittoo and Shruti fill in for Shah Rukh Khan!! Can you beat that?
Overall, Band Baaja Baaraat is entertaining. It’s definitely one of the best films you’ll have in theatres this weekend.

ALSO READ:  REVIEW: Watch it for Ranbir-Priyanka’s awesome chemistry

BY Jaya Biswas

Paparazzi, eat your hearts out, celebs are on a roll capturing their candid moments all by themselves and uploading those on the internet to connect with fans What were Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor up to when they were shooting for Anjaana Anjaani in the US? Has Karan Johar finally managed to find a title for his new film? So, how do we know? Well, they are just a click away… And that is not all. One can also find Imran Khan enjoying a piggyback ride on Sonam Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan shaving, Akshay Kumar sleeping in the isle of an aeroplane and all these are supported by interesting titbits posted by the stars who want to share their personal moments with their fans. Not bad at all! From updates to promotions, film stars have wisened up to all the right tactics to engage and interact with their prospective audience. The latest being Twitpic – the new photo uploading section on Twitter. In India where Bollywood is as good as religion Twitter’s popularity amongst celebs is a definite indication of its rising popularity amongst the masses. There are many more to go in this list, Preity Zinta, Shahid Kapoor, Uday Chopra etc. are all hooked on to Twitter and Twitpics now. Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan is always on the move. Though sometimes he takes a commercial flight, SRK generally takes off on a private jet. When he is not abroad promoting his latest films, he enjoys time with his family and friends. Check out the Twitpic posted on his page. Starlet Sherlyn Chopra made it to the headlines yet again! This time she posted her nude photos on Twitter to lure voyeurs. Twitter is used to organise impromptu get-togethers between celebrities and their fans just before the release of any film. Karan Johar was one of the first few filmmakers in Bollywood to post the sensational first look of Kurbaan poster which was picked up by the media and fans in no time. When quizzed, KJo replied on his Twitter page, “I like the concept. I love to get an instant feedback from across the world.” Says Radhika Nandi, a BMM student from Mumbai, who was lured into accessing Twitpic by her favourite stars tweeting personal pictures, “When I came to know that SRK and Karan Johar have been regularly uploading pictures about their forthcoming ventures, I had to join. You wouldn’t get to see these pictures in magazines or on TV. It makes the stars seem approachable and accessible too. It’s great.” Fahmida Rahman, a school teacher from Garia, Kolkata, is a die-hard Salman Khan fan. Ever since she heard of Salman joining Twitter, she has been following him to collect his candid pictures. Fahmida sincerely believes stars’ getting closer to their fans is a good idea. She reasons, “When Sallu joined Twitter and started posting his photos from the sets of his new movie, I was thrilled. I also learnt about his humorous side when he tweeted ‘I’m with a fan of mine’ and it actually was a picture of an electric fan.” The best part about the whole exercise is one can download these pictures without any copyright hassle. Actress Gul Panag reveals, “The internet has unleashed a tsunami of data about stars and fans are spoilt for choice. Copyright? It’s a grey area. Anything to do with the law in India is cumbersome, painful and utterly slow.” One of the most active Bollywood celebs on twitter with 12,849 followers, Gul not only keeps posting updates, she responds to tweets of her fans on a regular basis. Despite no release, Gul because of her tweets is definitely a hit among the tweeple. National Award winning director, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury shares his side of the story. “I was very excited to join Twitter. I agree it takes away people’s privacy to some extent but I suppose it also helps filmmakers like us to let everyone know about our work. But then there are two sides of the coin. We shouldn’t misuse our resources,” he says. How to promote subtly could be learnt from Priyanka Chopra who tweets in a way where she manages to promote her upcoming movies by interacting with her fans. Actor-turned-filmmaker Kabir Sadanand believes in enjoying freedom with responsibility. He shares, “The world is opening up every minute to some new technology. It’s a great to touch base with your audiences. Join the ride or you will be left behind. Copyright can fly out of the window but some amount of discretion is a must. You need to be aware and accountable enough to use the medium.” Considering the influence which stars have on Indian consumers we wonder if the next trend will be celebs endorsing brands on Twitter or promoting services among their followers. What say?

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