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Sunday,09-August-2020

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Actress Juhi Chawla: Saroj Khan would make her heroines look and perform like queens

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Actress Juhi Chawla is “truly sad” to hear about choreographer Saroj Khan’s demise. She has shared some fond memories of working with her right from “Chandni”, where she had a guest role, to the TV show “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa”.

Going down memory lane, Juhi said: “I have many memories of working with her very early on in my career and right up to ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’, which was a couple of years ago where Vaibhavi Merchant, Sarojji and I were judges on the show.”

“Sarojji was sheer magic, she was head and shoulder above all, she would make her heroines look and perform like queens. Like a lot of choreographers, Sarojji was short, a little plump, not the perfect face or figure but when she would dance you couldn’t take your eyes off her, everybody else around her faded into oblivion. She was mesmerising, she had the finest sense of shot-taking from a direction point of view, her expressions were fantastic – whether it was naughty, seductive, sad, fun or whatever. Her sensibility in every department was top notch. There was finesse in her every shot, she had a fine sense of humour, she was superlative, she was iconic,” she added.

Juhi was called to do a guest appearance for Sridevi-starrer “Chandni”.

“I remember doing a look test beforehand, and then I had to face the camera for the first time in Chandivali Studios for the song ‘Lagi aaj sawan’. I was very new, shooting for Yash Chopraji for a film starring big stars and I was going to do the song… mercifully the shots were just me but then it was with the top choreographer of that time, Sarojji!,” she recalled.

Clearly, Juhi, then a budding actress, was nervous.

“I just hoped everything went well. It was an outdoor shoot amongst the greens, Sarojji would show me the shot and the cameras would start rolling. It was probably my fortunate day because every first or second would be okayed. I remember my staff telling me that it’s not easy getting Sarojji to say ‘okay’; if the shot doesn’t go well you don’t get an okay,” said Juhi.

After the 1989 film the actress got to work with her time and again, at several intervals.

“Some of my most famous songs have been choreographed by her. We have the title track for ‘Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke’, we did ‘Main koi aisa geet gaoon’ from ‘Yes Boss’, ‘Ishq hua kaise hua’ from ‘Ishq’, ‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’, and so many more,” she saidn

“Right after ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’, my career had just taken off and I had to do the song ‘Main teri rani, tu raja’ from ‘Lootere’ where I had to wear just a shirt on the beach and I was nervous thinking how it would turn out as it was an entire image makeover for me to go from wearing ghagra choli in QSQT to just a shirt on the beach. Sarojji handled it and when I saw how she shot it and what it turned out like, I was surprised. I looked like a million. She could make magic out of nothing, she could make everything look classy, it was never just a song, it was finesse in the way she made you look and perform, that was her gift,” she added.

Sharing another anecdote, she said: “We were shooting for ‘Karobaar’ in South Africa, Rakesh Roshanji was the director, we were to do this seductive number and again, I was nervous, I cried and insisted that I will only do the song if Sarojji shoots it. Gudduji was very kind, he called up Sarojji and asked her to come. We waited a day for her in Cape Town as she was finishing her prior commitment and then she came and shot the song for us.”

“Sarojji was superbly busy, she would be overloaded with work because she was the best. She would be shooting back-to-back, do 3 shifts in a row, if possible as all the fine people wanted her because her work was fantastic.”

Juhi simply loved working with Saroj Khan, always nervous and equally excited.

“I knew she would make me do magic, but I questioned myself if I would be able to do that magic. A lot of my songs were also choreographed by Tarun Masterji and Chinni Prakashji, who were from the South and their styles were very different from Sarojji. So when I worked with Sarojji, it would take me a day or two to absorb her style, and by the third or fourth day when I would get her rhythm, the song would get over. I would have to wait another 6 months to work with her and begin the process all over again,” she said.

She thinks the artistes who have totally consumed her were Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit.

“She did so much work with Srideviji, and I was a fan of both, I would listen to Sarojji’s anecdotes about Srideviji, about how she was so shy, but would light up on the screen, she was so amazingly stunning and well put together. I would listen with wide eyes and try to emulate those things because they were both so good at what they did. I remember her telling us how she started into the industry when she was just 12-13 years old how from being an assistant she took over and became who she did. She was simply magic, you can’t explain it, it’s just there in some people, she had it,” said Juhi.

“I was looking at the songs that I had done with her and realised almost the entire team of ‘Chandni’ has passed away. Now I am almost thinking, are they making a film up there without me? They were all such great people with such superb talent,” she said about the film, which starred late actors Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna.

Bollywood

ED grills Rhea’s brother; both to be quizzed again on Monday

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Continuing its probe in the Sushant Singh Rajput case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has grilled Showik Chakraborty, brother of actress Rhea Chakraborty, for the second time in connection with their financial transactions.

Showik, who went to the ED office around noon on Saturday, was seen leaving after more than 18 hours around 7 am on Sunday.

According to officials, he has reportedly given “evasive or unconvincing replies” to the ED team quizzing him and is likely to be summoned again on Monday.

Besides, Rhea Chakraborty will also be summoned by the ED for another round of questioning on Monday. She had first been questioned for over eight hours on Friday.

Among other things, the ED is investigating the money-laundering angle in the Sushant case after the late actor’s father Krishna Kishore Singh lodged a complaint with Patna Police to question certain financial matters pertaining to his son.

On June 14, Sushant’s body was found hanging at his Bandra flat in what was termed a suicide, sparking a huge uproar in Bollywood and political circles.

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Bollywood

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt hospitalised, tweets to say he is ‘doing well’

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Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was hospitalised on Saturday evening after he complained of breathlessness and uneasiness in the chest.

The medical team attending to the actor at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital has informed that Dutt has tested Covid negative after a rapid antigen test, although he continues to be kept under observation in the intensive care unit (ICU). His condition is said to be stable.

“Just wanted to assure everyone that I’m doing well. I’m currently under medical observation & my COVID-19 report is negative. With the help & care of the doctors, nurses & staff at Lilavati hospital, I should be home in a day or two. Thank you for your well wishes & blessings,” the actor tweeted with an emoji of folded hands, on his official Twitter account, @duttsanjay.

Dutt, who turned 61 on July 29, suffered from low oxygen saturation levels according to a report in indianexpress.com. On arrival at the hospital, he underwent a rapid antigen Covid-19 test and the result was negative. However, the hospital authorities have also collected a swab of the actor for an RT-PCR test.

The actor returns to the screen in Mahesh Bhatt’s “Sadak 2”. The sequel to the 1991 hit, “Sadak”, reunites Dutt with Pooja Bhatt, and also casts Alia Bhatt and Aditya Roy Kapur in pivotal roles. The film is slated to release digitally on August 28.

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Bollywood

Will abide by what SC rules on Sushant probe, says Maharashtra government

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Though the Maharashtra government opposes a CBI probe in the Sushant Singh Rajput case, it will abide by the Supreme Court’s decision in the matter, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Saturday.

In a significant statement, Deshmukh told media persons that the state will follow the ruling of the apex court vis-a-vis the probe into the case, but opposes a CBI investigation on grounds of jurisdiction.

“The Mumbai Police are probing the case very thoroughly and professionally. However, we shall go by what the Supreme Court says at the hearing on August 11,” he said.

In the past week, Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh briefed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, while investigating team members met officials of the Law and Judiciary Department.

The latest stand is different from the Maharashtra government’s earlier stated position that there was no need to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as the Mumbai Police are doing a competent job and probing it from all possible angles.

The CBI has registered an FIR based on the case lodged by Patna police on the complaint of Sushant’s father, K.K. Singh.

Last week, the Mumbai Police had cold-shouldered the Patna police team which was camping in Mumbai for several days for probing the Sushant case.

On Friday, irate over his 6-day long quarantine ordered by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as he reached Mumbai to help the state police team, Patna’s SP, City, Vinay Tiwari hit out at the Maharashtra government after he was released.

“I was not quarantined, but the Sushant probe was quarantined,” he said, before flying back to Bihar as per Covid-19 protocols as directed by the BMC.

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