Paint the town pink
It was a sight to behold. Abhishek Bachchan sharing a long and relieved hug with his wife, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, in the owners-VIP box at the recently concluded Pro Kabaddi tournament when his team, the Jaipur Pink Panthers, convincingly defeated the home team of Mumbai to lift the winners trophy. It’s been a while since Bachchan had a win he could relish. The success of his last release, Dhoom 3, was credited mostly to Aamir Khan and not him. But as the only film personality to step into the court and support a Kabaddi team, Bachchan is certainly a hero among these undervalued players. Next for the actor is the launch of the Indian Soccer League, but this time he has competition from colleagues including Salman Khan, John Abraham and Ranbir Kapoor, all of who have invested in football teams. In fact, Kapoor recently also invested in another entertainment related venture – the online music site Saavn, and he was quite the hit at the launch party when he sang a few bars of Bedtimes Dil on stage with Pritam and danced with the guests in the audience. It’s good to see Bollywood stars help shift the spotlight away from cricket towards other sports and other forms of entertainment.
The plane truth
Shah Rukh Khan recently flew to London along with his son Aryan who would have been returning to a new school year in his British boarding school. The excitement among other passengers on the same flight was palpable to the point of being deplorable. One passenger on the flight recounted how father and son chatted away non-stop about all things from books to football while the crew fawned over them. Once the lights were dimmed, SRK raised his privacy partition and tried to catch some shut-eye before touching down in London. But even at night, in the dimmed lights of the cabin, zealous fans sneaked into First Class, and snapped pictures of a sleeping (and oblivious) SRK. On landing, while the crew offered to escort SRK off the plane first, the superstar insisted the elderly disembark before him. But once he was in the terminal, SRK was visibly in a hurry to get through immigration and out of the terminal, no doubt gasping for a smoke after a long flight, leaving his son and entourage to collect their luggage.
Darshan to pack a punch?
While Priyanka Chopra is clearly the one who is going to pull the punches in Mary Kom, the movie about the Olympian boxer, releasing this week, the actor to watch out for will be Darshan Kumar. The Delhi boy who has trained in theatre and acted on stage before transitioning to cinema is all set to make his Bollywood debut in this biopic directed by Omung Kumar. Darshan Kumar plays Mary’s supportive husband K Onler Kom. In a recent interview, he said, “Whatever Mary Kom has achieved in her life, her husband has a huge contribution in that. Her husband’s journey is equally important.” While there has been some criticism of the filmmaker’s choosing not to cast an actress from the North East to play the titular role, Kumar’s looks do allow the Delhi boy to pass off as a Manipuri. Darshan has also finished shooting for Navdeep Singh’s thriller on-the-road movie NH10, starring Anushka Sharma and Neil Bhoopalam. While he plays Sharma’s husband in the film, he is not an entirely likable character.
So, it looks like the principal casting for Soni Razdan’s return to direction (after nine years) is complete. Kalki Koechlin, Arjun Rampal, Gulshan Devaiah and Chandan Roy Sanyal headline the cast of Love Affair, a film based on the dramatic Nanavati murder case that rocked the country in the 1950s. The KM Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra case became historic as it led to the abolition of jury trials in India.