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Tuesday,15-June-2021

Entertainment

Vindu Dara Singh: Salman Khan is not the person to be biased as Bigg Boss host

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Bigg Boss 3 winner Vindu Dara Singh, who is all set to step into the ongoing 14th season of the show as a connection for challenger Rakhi Sawant in the Family Week, says show host Salman Khan is not the kind of person who would be biased towards a particular housemate.

Vindu’s claim comes soon after contestant Rubina Dilaik, in a recent episode, said that Salman “supports” housemate Eijaz Khan. Social media users, too, have called him biased for supporting Rakhi Sawant’s antics against Abhinav Shukla.

“The host is never biased and Salman Khan is not a person who is going to be biased towards anybody. He does his work and he does it religiously,” Vindu told IANS.

“In Bigg Boss what happens is that Salman Khan is not uttering or saying what his heart wants. There is a team there who see 24 hours of footage of Bigg Boss. So, Salman is not saying whatever he wants. He cannot just favour anybody. Salman has many times told Bigg Boss to send this person in and that person has not gone in. So, Salman is a host and he is supposed to listen to the creatives and what the truth is,” he added.

Vindu further claimed: “Salman will never put down or say ‘isko hi jitna chahiye (this person has to win)’. You have seen how Gauahar and Salman had the worst kind of relationship but she won. If Salman had a say she would have never won. Salman is such a professional that he will never interfere. He loves it and does it from his heart.”

Entertainment

Rape-accused actor Pearl Puri granted bail

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Vasai Court Sessions Judge Aditi Kadam on Tuesday granted bail of Rs 25,000 to TV actor Pearl Puri, who was recently arrested on charges of alleged molestation and rape of a 5-year-old girl.

Following a complaint by the victim’s family, the Waliv Police had arrested Puri on June 4. He was subsequently remanded to judicial custody, creating a sensation in the entertainment industry.

Puri’s lawyer Chetan Patil said that the copy of the bail order is awaited, and his client is likely to walk out of Thane Jail later on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of the complainant contended that the police got no opportunity to investigate the case and said that they would challenge the Vasai court order in the Bombay High Court.

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Crime

Marathi actor nabbed for ‘vile posts’ against Maharashtra minister

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A small-time Marathi actor has been arrested in Thane for allegedly posting objectionable posts on the Facebook page of Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, officials said on Tuesday.

The accused, identified as Mayuresh Kotkar, who has acted in some Marathi serials and films, was nabbed following a complaint lodged by Shiv Sena corporator Yogesh Jankar.

Jankar, in his complaint last Friday, said that Kotkar posted allegedly defamatory and inciteful content on the Facebook page of the minister which could have triggered violence between communities.

Following the plea, the Shreenagar police station investigated the matter and nabbed Kotkar. He was produced before a Thane court which sent him to judicial custody.

The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi has been criticised over Kotkar’s arrest by several prominent personalities on social media.

The posts pertained to the proposal for the naming of the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport after the Shiv Sena founder-patriarch, Balasaheb Thackeray, who passed away in 2012.

Local villagers, comprising the Agri community, are strongly opposed to the proposal and have demanded that the airport should be named after a prominent local leader, Peasants & Workers Party (PWP) senior functionary and parliamentarian, Dinkar B. Patil, who had passed away in 2012.

Last week, the villagers protested by forming a 12-km-long human chain and have now threatened to lay a siege of the Konkan Bhavan on June 24 if their demand is not conceded.

Kotkar had joined the Agri protests and had also made several posts on social media networks, but after the Sena complaint, police deleted some of the objectionable content.

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Bollywood

‘Lagaan’ turns 20: Aamir Khan goes down memory lane

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Aamir-Khan

Aamir Khan tells you he wouldn’t be inclined to relive the mammoth experience of making “Lagaan”, the film that marked his debut as producer exactly two decades ago on this date, struck box office gold and eventually took him to the Oscars.

“If you ask me to make Lagaan again, I will not even attempt it. I will not have the courage to make Lagaan again,” says the superstar-filmmaker, about the Ashutosh Gowariker-directorial that defied every stereotype of the era, in the process reorganising quite a few idioms of mainstream Bollywood in its time.

Perhaps there is a sense of fulfilment that an achiever of his stature experiences while looking back at a work as consummate as “Lagaan” that would bar him from revisiting the film.

Aamir, anyway, is rarely known to repeat what he has scored with once.

Today, as the film completes 20 years, the actor romances the good old days when he shot the film, which eventually became India’s third-ever official entry at the Oscars in best foreign feature film category. While he confesses picking one memory from that incredible journey is tough for him, he recalls a few unforgettable ones.

He remembers actor Paul Blackthorne, for instance, the English actor who played the much-hated antagonist Captain Russell. Aamir remembers Russell as a “gentle giant” off-camera, who would read out “Winnie The Pooh” to everyone.

“Paul Blackthorne who played the villain, in real life he is such a sweetheart. He is a gentle giant and so soft-spoken. He was always laughing, always joking around. We had a massive make-up room where all of us used to get ready. The person who used to be entertaining all of us was Paul. He would sit on his chair and read ‘Winnie the Pooh’ aloud. Every morning, we’d sit, get our makeup done and he’d be reading ‘Winnie The Pooh’ loudly and we’d enjoy it. Captain Russel would read out Winnie The Pooh to us,” Aamir tells IANS, as he bursts out laughing recalling the memory.

Another of Aamir’s favourite recollections is of how the Gayatri Mantra prepared the entire unit for a gruelling day’s shoot ahead.

“There were things that became a habit. We would travel in a bus to the location at 4 a.m. and reach the location at 5 a.m. Every day it became a norm that for six months the ‘Gayatri Mantra’ used to be played. One of the actors just played it (on speaker) in the morning. It used to be dark, and we all had just woken up a while back. It had a good effect on us. There was not a single day that we missed it,” he recalls.

For Aamir, as well as the entire unit, “Lagaan” has been a chapter that will always be integral to their lives. It is a reason why he has stayed in touch with the team.

“I am in touch with Paul, Rachel Shelley (who played Elizabeth), with all other actors. Until five months back we had a Whatsapp group. Then I stopped using a cellphone, so I’m not a part of it,” Aamir says.

For the actor, having his family on the set of the film on the first day is still a beautiful memory.

“I think one of the memorable things for me is that since this was my first film as a producer, my uncle (Nasir Hussain), with whom I have worked as an AD (assistant director), was like my boss. I have learnt under him. He was a producer-director. My father (Tahir Hussain) has been a producer-director. So, that first day of shooting of ‘Lagaan’, when my uncle and aunt had arrived, my parents were there, my grandmother was there, (former wife) Reena’s parents were there. It was the first day that my parents and my uncle and aunt, who had seen me grow up as a child, were seeing me produce a film,” recalls the actor.

He adds: “They came to set, they saw the whole village. We had built the village, we had built the temple on the hill and behind the temple, which you never see in the film because it is on the other side of the village, we had built a huge 10,000 square-foot area for the production site. Costume rooms, lunch rooms — so there was massive space at the back. So, it was a very important moment for me to see my parents, uncle and aunt come to set, look at it and realise that now I have become a producer.”

Aamir says he did not expect the kind of response the film garnered post release. The reaction to the climactic cricket match in the story, which occupies the last hour of the film, was a pleasant surprise, too. “People in the theatres in the last one hour used to convert it into a stadium. The audience would shout, ‘Bhuvan! Bhuvan!’ We didn’t expect this kind of a response. It was a dream response,” he sums up.

Indeed, it is a dream response that the film still continues to see, after two decades.

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