One of the first Bollywood personalities to tweet his personal tribute to Pandit Birju Maharaj was the veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai.
Remembering the days when he was organising a college festival where Maharaj ji was performing, Ghai remembered how he “expressed a romantic conversation” between Lord Krishna and Radha with his eyes doing the talking.
“I learnt ‘DANCE’ means the body but the soul is in the eyes. That’s why he was a Jagat Guru in Kathak,” tweeted Ghai, who’s back in the news for making his debut as music composer for the upcoming film ’36 Farmhouse’.
Among the cultural personalities who mourned the passing away of Maharaj ji was the sarod maestro, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan Saheb, who tweeted that it marked the end of an era for Indian dance and Kathak.
“For me it’s been a personal loss,” Khan Saheb wrote. “He was loved immensely by my family and his memories live in our hearts forever. The heavens will dance for him today and everyday!”
Along with his tweet, he carried a rare picture of a young Birju Maharaj playing the tabla to his sarod. Besides being a renowned dancer, Maharaj ji was a talented percussionist and was also well-known for being a Hindustani classical vocalist.
Maharaj ji, in fact, composed the music and sang for the two period dance pieces in Satyajit Ray’s historical drama ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’, starring Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffery and Amjad Ali Khan.
Describing Maharaj ji as “a true legend” and “Kathak exponent par excellence”, the Bollywood veteran and Lok Sabha MP from Mathura, Hema Malini, tweeted: “His ghungroos were on his ankles till he breathed his last. I always admired and respected him as a giant of the medium of Kathak and will miss his presence on the firmament of dance.”
Maharaj ji was closely associated with the world of cinema. He choreographed the ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe’ track picturised on Madhur Dixit in the 2002 version of the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Devdas’.
And he won the National Award for choreographing ‘Unnai Kaanadhu Naan’ in the Kamal Haasan multi-lingual megahit ‘Vishwaroopam’ and the Filmfare Awards for the Bajirao Mastani number ‘Mohe Rang Do Laal’.
Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Prithviraj’ name changed to ‘Samrat Prithviraj’
The title of Bollywood star Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film ‘Prithviraj’ has been changed the film is now called ‘Samrat Prithviraj’, according to a letter issued by Yash Raj Films.
The letter has been sent to the Shree Rajput Karni Sena. The move comes after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by Shree Rajput Karni Sena, through Advocate Raghavendra Mehrotra.
The letter reads: “We, Yash Raj Films Private Limited, have been one of the leading production houses and distribution companies since its inception in the 1970s and continue to grow as one of India’s largest film studios. We have produced some of the most iconic films in the history of Indian cinema and have goodwill from over 50 years in the entertainment industry.”
“We are committed to constantly creating and producing content for enjoyment of all audiences.”
“The letter further read: “We sincerely appreciate your effort in alerting us about your grievance in relation to the current title of the Film, and assure you that we did not, and do not, intend to hurt the sentiments of any person(s) or disrespect the late king and warrior, Prithviraj Chauhan.
“In fact, we wish to celebrate his bravery, achievements, and contribution to our nation’s history, through this Film.”
“As per the multiple rounds of discussions between us, and to peacefully and amicably resolve the raised grievance, we will change the title of the Film to ‘Samrat Prithviraj’.
“We are highly appreciative of the mutual agreement reached between us that you have no further objections with regards to our Film and that all other points raised by you earlier are no longer a point of contention between us. We thank Shri Rajput Karni Sena and its members for understanding our good intentions pertaining to the depiction of the great warrior in the Film.”
Is ‘Adhikari’ the title of Ram Charan-Shankar’s film with Kiara Advani?
The upcoming big-budget film starring Ram Charan and directed by Shankar Shanmugham has been in the works for some time. There are rumours aplenty now that a tentative title has been circulated.
According to online sources, the tentative title for ‘RC15’ is ‘Adhikari’. The title has been well received in social media, as it is appropriate for all of the languages in which the film is being produced.
Ram Charan plays an IAS officer and the plot revolves around politics. Kiara Advani, who previously appeared alongside Ram Charan in ‘Vinaya Vidheya Rama’, will also be seen with the Telugu star in this political drama.
Ram Charan, who made national headlines with S.S. Rajamouli blockbuster ‘RRR’, has shifted his focus entirely to this film with Shankar following the failure of ‘Acharya’, where he appeared with his father Chiranjeevi.
‘RC15’, which is being bankrolled by Dil Raju, has been written by Karthik Subbaraj of ‘Petta’ fame.
Varun Dhawan, Kiara Advani enthrall fans in Delhi with ‘The Punjaabban’ song
Bollywood stars Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani got a warm welcome in the national capital as they were greeted with loud cheers, hoots and whistles.
The actors were in New Delhi on Friday for launching their new number ‘The Punjaabban’ song from their upcoming film ‘Jug Jugg Jeeyo’. Officially dropping on Saturday, in an exclusive showcase to media and fans of the two stars.
Varun and Kiara also danced and showed their fans the hook step of the number, which also stars Neetu Kapoor and Anil Kapoor, in the Connaught Place area of New Delhi.
‘The Punjaabban’ song is the same number which recently got pulled into a controversy as Pakistani singer Abrar ul Haq accused filmmaker Karan Johar on Twitter on “copying” his song ‘Nach Punjaban’ in his upcoming production without his permission.
Addressing the copyright issue at the song launch, Varun said: “T-series has put out an official statement about this they legally licensed the rights. I think when you have international companies like Youtube, Spotify … When they are playing music they have very strict laws about copyrights. It’s no joke. All the processes have been followed.”
Slated to release in theatres on June 24, ‘Jug Jugg Jeeyo’ is directed by Raj Mehta.
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