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Actress Rani Mukerji: Shammi Kapoor loving my act in ‘Yuva’ was a big compliment



Mani Ratnams political thriller “Yuva” was released 16 years ago on this day, and the film has, over the years, attained a cult status of sorts despite not managing to set the box office afire on release. Among the most feted aspects of the film were the performances of Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukerji. On Friday, looking back at the film, Rani was sentimental about all the praise that came her way following the role, particularly from the late Shammi Kapoor.

The iconic dancing superstar Kapoor, recalled Rani, was particularly impressed by her performance in the song “Kabhi neem neem”, and has called her up to congratulate her.

“One of my favourite songs in the film is ‘Kabhi neem neem, kabhi shahad shahad’. It is one of my favourite songs till date! The way Madhushree sang it, the way AR Rahman composed it and of course the way Brinda the choreographer and Mani Ratnam sir picturised the song, and Ravi K shot it — it was just magical,” Rani said.

“I distinctly remember, one of my all-time favourite actors, Shammi (Kapoor)ji calling me about the ‘Kabhi neem neem’ song! He told me how much he loved my performance — especially the part where I am sitting on a chair and reacting to Abhishek’s dance,” she added.

Rani shared she was very close to Shammi Kapoor.

“I was very close to him and I have always been a huge fan of his work, especially his songs. Hence, for him to call me and compliment me for the song was even more special and meant a lot to me!”

In the 2004 film, Rani played the role of the vulnerable yet feisty Shashi. The film also stars Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Vivek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor and Esha Deol.

Rani also talked about Ratnam’s unique style of directing.

“I have very fond memories as it was my first film under the direction of Mani sir. It was an absolute pleasure to work with him. His way of interacting with actors, I thought, was really unique. I think working with a director like Mani Sir helped better my skills,” she said.

“What was fascinating was he used to direct actors in one sentence. He always said, ‘please don’t act’. So, I think that was something that has stayed with me till today,” she said.

The “Mardaani 2” actress says the fact that “Mani sir manages to get natural performances out of his actors is because he works towards making the actors believe that they are those characters, and I think that’s really, really wonderful”.

For the Bengali actress, shooting in Kolkata was obviously special.

“I think of my memories of shooting in Calcutta and it was very special! Loved shooting in Kolkata as it feels like home being in the City of Joy. From the food to my grandma’s house in the city — it felt so much like home,” she recalled.

She shared an anecdote from the location shoot while shooting in Chennai. “I remember eating all the south Indian delicacies during the shoot of ‘Yuva’ which was amazing!” she recalled


Varun Dhawan gets first jab of Covid vaccine




Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan on Saturday posted photos getting vaccinated with the first shot for Covid-19.

Varun posted two pictures on Instagram. In the first image, he is seen getting his vaccine. The second picture features him posing with a “I am vaccinated against Covid-19” frame.

“#VACCINATED Thank u to the wonderful doctors. Don’t be a prick go get the prick,” he wrote as caption.

On the work front, Varun has two projects in his kitty.

The actor will be seen in the film “Jug Jugg Jeeyo”, also starring Anil Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor and Kiara Advani.

He will also be seen in the supernatural thriller “Bhediya”. Directed by Amar Kaushik and penned by Niren Bhatt, the film also stars Kriti Sanon and Deepak Dobroyal, and is slated to hit the screens on April 14, 2022.

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Indian film industry mourns Milkha Singh’s death




Several film personalities took to social media on Saturday to express shock and grief over the demise of legendary sprinter Milkha Singh.

Singh passed away in a local hospital in Chandigarh at 11.30pm on Friday, read a statement from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), where he was being treated for Covid-related complications.

Amitabh Bachchan wrote on Twitter: “In grief .. Milkha Singh passes away .. the pride of India .. a great athlete .. a greater human .. Waheguru di Mehr .. prayers.”

Shah Rukh Khan tweeted: “The Flying Sikh may no longer be with us in person but his presence will always be felt and his legacy will remain unmatched… An inspiration to me… an inspiration to millions. Rest in Peace Milkha Singh sir.”

Anil Kapoor posted a picture with Milkha Singh and his family on Instagram and wrote: “Milkha Singh ji welcomed us into his home and his lovely wife fed us the most unforgettable aloo parathas I’ve ever had… He truly was an incredible sportsman, phenomenal host and above all an amazing human being… will be truly & deeply missed.”

Divya Dutta, who was part of the biopic “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, wrote: “RIP #milkhasingh ji! This has been an end of an era with you!! It s been an honour to have met you, known you.., and have lived a slice of your inspiring life… shall always remember the chai sessions and the gupshup!”.

John Abraham wrote: “A true sporting icon and an inspiration to generations. Rest in peace The Flying Sikh! #milkhasingh”.

Sonam Kapoor, who worked in “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, put up a series of pictures on Instagram story and wrote: “Rest in peace sir! “

Mahesh Babu put up an Instagram story to pay his respect and wrote: “Rest in Peace Legend.”

Telugu actor Aadhi wrote on Instagram: “He was one of the biggest inspirations behind our film #Clap, which is about athletics. Watched many of his videos during the prep for my role. A huge loss for the sports world and the entire nation. Rest in peace #MilkhaSingh sir”.

Earlier in the day, as reported by IANS, Farhan Akhtar, who essayed Milkha Singh in “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, had written a long note on Instagram: “Dearest Milkha ji, A part of me is still refusing to accept that you are no more. Maybe it’s the stubborn side I inherited from you.. the side that when it sets it’s mind on something, just never gives up.

“And the truth is that you will always be alive. Because you were more than a large hearted, loving, warm, down to earth man. You represented an idea. You represented a dream. You represented (to use your own words) how hard work, honesty and determination can lift a person off his knees and get him to touch the sky.”

“For those who knew you as a father and a friend, it was a blessing. For those who didn’t, your story was a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of humility in success. I love you with all my heart,” he concluded.

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Actress Sunny Leone has ‘no time to be blue’




Bollywood actress Sunny Leone looks pretty in blue in a series of new pictures she posted on Saturday.

In the images uploaded on Instagram, Sunny wears high-waisted sky blue pants paired with a matching crop top. She completes the look with blue danglers, white stilettos and subtle make-up.

“No time to be blue!!!” she wrote as the caption, referring to the fact that although her attire is blue, her mood is far from sullen.

The actress currently co-hosts the youth-based reality show “Splitsvilla” with Rannvijay Singha on television. Her upcoming roster includes the psychological thriller “Shero” and the thriller series “Anamika”. Sunny also has a role in the period drama film “The Battle Of Bheema Koregaon”.

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