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January 5, 2000


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Abhishek, Kareena quit Aryan

Salman Khan Once Abhishek Bachchan saw the outcome of Hello Brother, he decided to opt out of Aryan. Kareena Kapoor followed suit. Which left director Sohail Khan with little more than a title in his hands.

Of course, brother Salman stepped in, but insisted the heroine opposite him had to be a new face. So Sohail and partner Bunty Walia have decided to launch a nationwide search.

But if you think that Kareena's walkout has affected Salman's relationship with Karisma, you're sadly mistaken. They continue to be good friends and great chums at that. Why, Karisma goes for shows only with Salman and nobody else.

Karan Johar signs on Amitabh, Jaya, Shah Rukh, Hrithik

Hrithik Roshan When Karan Johar announced his decision to make a film with three generations, because he was said to be "very, very impressed by Yash uncle's Kabhie Kabhi, which ranks amongst one of my favourite films," all eyes focused on his film.

However when buddy Aditya Chopra commenced Mohabbatein with Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh and three new boys, everyone assumed that this was the film that Karan wanted to make... and that Karan had loaned Adi his idea and subject. But soon it was clear that Aditya's film was not about three generations. The story revolves around a college principal (Amitabh), with Shah Rukh as one of the professors and the three boys, of course, representing today's generation.

And now that Karan has announced his cast, it is clear his film is still the one he wanted to make, with the three generations. The cast finalised so far includes Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan. Jaya Bachchan has been signed opposite the Big B, while the rest of the cast is still to be finalised.

Controversial Kareena

Kareena Kapoor The lamb may or may not have gone wherever Mary went, but problems sure seem to end up wherever Kareena goes. She has barely set her foot in tinsel town and controversies are dogging her. When last heard, she was trying her level best to throw schedules into a tizzy.

The latest one, as usual, concerns her dates. Apparently, she was trying to shift the dates of the Abbas-Mustan film in which she stars opposite Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol. But the director duo threw such a fit that supreme commander Babita, who handles Kareena's dates at present, had no other option but to stick to the committed dates. The incident, though, only sheds light what one can expect in the immediate future.

Mahesh repeats Namrata in Astitva

Sanjay Dutt and Namrata Shirodkar in Vaastav By stepping into the role of the prostitute in Mahesh Manjrekar's hit film Vaastav, Namrata Shirodkar endeared herself to the film-maker. Now he has eyes only for the beauty queen.

In fact, Mahesh has cast Namrata in his home production, Astitva, where she will pit her talent against national award winner Tabu. Who, incidentally, is feeling slightly insecure in the face of Mahesh's obvious partiality towards the beautiful Namrata.

Tabu loses Water to Manisha

Tabu Tabu must be fuming. She played her cards right, went out of her way to dub a few lines for aunt Shabana Azmi (since Shabana was held up abroad and Fire was due for release), kept in touch with Deepa Mehta and not only sent feelers but personally expressed her desire to work in the director's next venture.

Everything seemed to be going in her favour until a shocked Tabu heard that Deepa had opted for Manisha Koirala. Akshay Kumar will also star in the film.

Akshay may not want to know this, but he bagged the role by default. Deepa's original choice was Rahul Khanna, who had to refuse the offer because of prior commitments.

A girl called Preity

Preity Zinta If there is one thing she refuses to be, it's hypocritical. While our heroines still colour their drinks with Coke or Pepsi and go to great lengths to hide their marriage, Preity is a whiff of fresh air, almost like the image she presents of herself. Like, when she was recently invited for this star cricket benefit match to Bangladesh, Preity asked for an extra ticket for boyfriend Marc Robinson.

"Why should I not take him along, what is there to hide?" she argued with a close friend who was advising her against it. Preity feels if a producer or film-maker does not want to cast her only because she has a boyfriend, to hell with that film. "Then that guy doesn't think I am capable enough," is her argument. Meanwhile, wherever it is that Preity goes, Marc is sure to go.

Govinda's ganji

Govinda Is Govinda really getting desperate? Or has brother-film-maker Kirti Kumar put him in a further financial mess? 'Cos, guess what Govinda is modelling for these days? The plain and simple ganji (inner vest)!!

It is another matter that, not only did he charge them a bomb, but he also made them run around for days on end for the shooting dates. "People like Shah Rukh and Aamir and Salman are hounded for major products, apne paas to koi bhi nahin aata -- jo aiye usi mein se to choice karna padega na (no one approaches me -- I have to choose from whatever is offered to me)," is what Govinda told a close buddy of his.

Sadder and wiser

Jackie Shroff has wisened up! His next home production, which was to have a non-stop shooting schedule in Mauritius, will now shift locales and be shot in a more convenient and congenial atmosphere closer to home -- Goa. Which will also allow him to keep his promise of carting along the star's family. Jackie is said to have changed his decision about the locale when he saw Govinda's list of accompanied and unaccompanied baggage.

Raj Kanwar wants to direct Esha's debut

Now that Boney Kapoor has managed -- thanks to his lucky mascot, Sridevi -- to sign up Esha Deol, he has made more enemies than before, primary among them being Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Raj Kanwar. Both of them are still wondering how Boney succeeded and they failed.

Of the two, Sanjay is more annoyed since he had almost succeeded, thanks to his connection (one of his good pals and dance directors is choreographer Bhushan Lakhandari who is also Hema Malini's personal dance master).

When last heard Raj Kanwar was still chasing Hema to listen to the story he had in mind, which he felt suited Esha better. Will his desperate attempts get Esha to change her mind? Only time and Hema will tell...

How awards snag stars

Award functions have become such a sham. Recently, one was organised in the capital by a leading multinational. And, believe it or not, even the award winners were paid to make an appearance. Kajol, a probable winner, wanted an assurance that she was bagging the award besides the sizeable Rs 1.1 million she was getting for her presence.

And there is this other publication giving awards for the millennium! For days on end, they found themselves running after the secretaries to get the stars to make an appearance at the press conference held to announce the awards. Twinkle Khanna and Sonali Bendre demanded Rs 500,000 for a mere appearance. Finally, the organisers had to settle for Aftaab and Sohail Khan.

From moth to butterfly

Ramgopal Varma has turned a dapper man. Gone are the loose tee shirts and jeans. Now it is cargo pants, tee shirt and a loose, unbuttoned shirt for the bespectacled -- oops, those are gone as well!

Apparently, Ramu has not just been visiting Manish Malhotra's boutique, he has also been to a well-known doctor for corrective vision treatment. After the operation, Ramu has done away with his silver-rimmed frames and wears goggles, almost similar to the ones Urmila sports.


Everybody's talking about Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai's secret rendezvous in Goa. Yet, Ash still manages to bag the best of banners. Why? Because she is such a professional. One never hears of her cancelling her dates or upsetting schedules in favour of her love life. Wherein lies the secret of her success...

-- The Insider

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