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August 11, 2000

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Wheels, and other tales

Salman Khan It happens all the time. You are driving along one of Mumbai's roads early in the morning, and you see this hunk pedalling away for dear life. And you think, hey, that chap looks so much like Salman Khan, even Salman himself could get confused.

But, you add to yourself, it couldn't be Salman. On a bike? No way.

Next time round, tell yourself it is. Salman Khan. In the flesh. The fitness freak has a thing for bikes -- he uses his top-of-the-line bicycle more often than he does his car. In fact, he has developed this practice of pedalling to his shooting locations, with his car and driver following him.

Why not do away with car and driver altogether, then? He would -- but then, he needs it for when he goes courting lady love Aishwarya Rai -- you don't expect her to sit perched behind Salman on a bike, do you, now?

Each time Manisha Koirala begins to think her career is poised for takeoff (to date, her career has taken off more often than the Mumbai-Pune shuttle), up comes a rumour that she is about to get married.

Manisha Koirala The latest on the circuit is that she is marrying the son of a diplomat -- talk that has La Koirala flaring her nostrils in anger. "Rubbish, utter rubbish," she spat out when asked for a clarification. "I don't know why, each time I sign an important film, everyone tries to get me married off!"

As of now, Manisha has Rajkumar Santoshi's Lajja, Sudhir Mishra's latest project, and Mehbooba. The one thing she does not have, she says, is thoughts of marriage.

While on love, romance, marriage et al, wonder what's with Namrata Shirodkar? Conspicuously absent at sister Shilpa's wedding celebrations was Namrata's steady date, Deepak Shetty.

Namrata Shirodkar (centre) Inquiries were met with the rather tame response that Deepak was in the US of A at the time. An explanation that doesn't cut much water, though -- the wedding plans were drawn up months in advance, which gave Deepak all the time in the world to reschedule his foreign jaunt if he wanted to.

So wherein lies the explanation? Could Namrata's teaming up with a colleague be the cause of problems in their relationship?

Bobby Deol Some film folk seem to take their marriages seriously -- and the Bobby-Tanya Deol marriage is high on that list.

Bobby makes a point of spending time with his wife, and recently gave Tanya a surprise when he readjusted his shooting schedules in order to enable him to take her on a short holiday to Singapore and Malaysia.

The only ant at that particular picnic was the fact that right from Mumbai airport, Bobby was hounded by fans throughout the holiday. His films may not have done well but, apparently, his fans are staying loyal.

Raveena Tandon is one lady with the smarts. The other day, she flew in from Singapore, part of a contingent of stars that included Shah Rukh Khan, Sushmita Sen, Juhi Chawla and Jackie Shroff. Raveena Tandon

Mumbai customs officers took their customary pleasure in making the stars sweat. But while the rest cooled their heels and tried to hide their frustration, Raveena put on her sweetest smile and her prettiest behaviour, and sashayed through the customs line in minutes.

It's not what you have, but how you use what you have that counts. That is a lesson Raveena appears to have learnt. And perfected into a fine art.

The Insider

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