Rahul Dev Poses with His Son Siddhanth.

Rahul Dev and wife Rina have one child named Siddhanth.

Daddy Cool: Rahul Dev poses with his son Siddhanth.
(Photo/Manoj Kesharwani)

Maria Goretti talks about her Son Zeke Zidaan

Maria Goretti: Life is about changing Dipers

Maria Goretti. Model. Dancer. Veejay. Actress.
Now, she has another career: Full-time mom!
She spoke to Get Ahead about her son, parenting and her somewhat new status as a mother.
The centre of attention, of course, is Zeke Zidaan, her three-month old baby boy.
She says she has no idea why her husband, actor Arshad Warsi, and she named their son Zeke.
All it took, she says, is a search on the Internet, learning that Zeke means 'shooting star', and falling in love with the name!

Zeke is a very, very cute little fellow - a beautiful baby boy. He is adorable.
He was born on August 7. He is a Leo baby and a fire sign, like Arshad and me.
He lies around gurgling the whole day.
Oh yes, he lies around in diapers made by my sister's mother-in-law. My sister had a child just a month before I did.
All Zeke needs are his nappies and a towel to wipe his mouth. No other clothes. All his clothes are lying in the cupboard.
He has a simple schedule. He wakes up at 8 am. Then he has his milk and goes back to sleep.
At 9.30 am, he has his massage and a bath.
I am told that after a massage, a baby goes to sleep. But this boy is full of beans after a massage.
He looks around and stares at everyone.
So I dance around and entertain him.
I remember once, Arshad got home from work and saw me dance for Zeke and thought I had gone mad.
But Zeke is just so cute.

Zeke doesn't get up in the middle of the night. He's pretty much a good child.
He is not a hassle at all.
I can't make out which of us he likes better because he welcomes everyone with a smile and a gurgle.
I think that's why I don't feel like a mother.
But I am enjoying motherhood. I would still say I don't know what it is to feel like a mum.
I am the same I have been. Only now, I have this little bundle of joy to look after and play with.
Maybe the feeling of motherhood will come a little later.
For now, Zeke is my entertainment channel and I am his. I put on the radio and he gurgles back at it.
Nowadays, he sees me talk, and talks back to me. If I am on the phone, he thinks I am talking to him and he talks back.

After my delivery, I was very ill for a week.
It was Arshad who looked after both of us.
Right now, though, Arshad is hardly at home. He is very busy working.
Zeke is usually asleep when Arshad leaves in the morning, and again when he returns in the evening.
There is always something new that Zeke does that Arshad doesn't get to see. So I feel a little bad about that.
I think I will accompany him to shoots so they spend some time together.

For now, Zeke is at a stage where he responds to my voice.
But he does assert himself. He lets me know when he wants something.
We have a couple of dogs who are so sweet to Zeke. They lick his feet and just sit around or run under the bed, so they are not asked to get out of the room.
Zeke is very used to them.
As for me, I am very happy and content. I couldn't ask for anything more.
I look after Zeke morning to night, and I am very thrilled about that.
My friends tell me that, after a while, I will want to get back to work. That this is just a phase.
I don't know. Right now, Zeke really needs me.

Source: Rediff
Dated: 2007

Shopping Out Our Work

Yesterday I ventured out to Pennsylvania to once again teach a workshop with Friend Heather under the auspices of Zuppa del Giorno, our contemporary commedia dell'arte troupe. The workshop took place on Marywood University's campus, and was about five hours long. All of this is exceedingly normal. From our first production, Zuppa del Giorno has been teaching more and more workshops, either as educational appendages to our shows or as independent entities that spread the word of us and hopefully bring in more students, not to mention occasional income. Marywood University is gradually becoming a regular collaborator with The Northeast Theatre (last fall we worked with their theatre department to create Prohibitive Standards), and I have just about learned the routes between New York City and Scranton so well I could probably walk them if I had to (and gas prices being what they are...). This venture, however, had a distinctive element. It represented our first foray into the world of "corporate training."

Several of my friends work for companies that shop actors out into the corporate world to lead seminars in communication and team-building. Some time ago, it became apparent to we lunatics at Zuppa that this was an occupation well within our reach. We have over the past several years taught amazing things to people, I modestly confess. We usually come out of such sessions impressed with how well they went, and what everyone learned not only to do, but about themselves. That learning includes us, I'm hasty to add. Every time I try to teach new people how to execute a reasonable thigh-stand, I learn something new. Crazy? Sure. Crazy gets the job done really well in my little world.

Friend Heather has been particularly interested in getting the Zuppa del Giorno corporate education arm out there and swinging for the fences ever since she picked up and moved to Scranton. By and large, that move has been a good one for her. She's doing more acting work than ever since, and good work at that, and she's finding for herself a particular sense of community that those of us here in New York view with a certain envious uncertainty. ("That seems so great, that kind of intimate society; yet, where would I hide?") Hell: The Northeast Theatre is even ushering in a new era by becoming more of an ensemble company, of which Heather is a member, heralded with a name change and everything. More of that ahead. In the meantime, Heather still owes to Caesar what is owed to Caesar, and her desire is to be paid in full without the addition of another mind-numbing day job. Hence her particular enthusiasm for getting "Corporate Zuppa" to hit a homer.

Now, Thursday wasn't exactly our official corporate debut. In fact, it was a sort of paid audition for the Marywood staff who handle events and marketing, to see if they'd be interested in sort of advertising such workshops as part of what they can offer to private interests. Like most universities these days, every summer Marywood hosts conferences and such to keep up the rent payments and stay active in the commercial community. Our being a part of that would certainly provide a lot of opportunities we might not otherwise have. So we had ourselves a sort of dry run for adapting our skills (audiences only like theatre troupes with skills) to the "corporate" milieu.

It was, um.... It was okay. I think, by the end, everyone had enjoyed themselves at least a little bit. We definitely got a lot of helpful feedback, both from the experience itself and from discussion with the dozen-or-so participants afterward. It was a bit jarring, I must admit, to discover myself teaching a class of people who were required to be there. I mean to say, although we've taught high school classes under similar circumstances, this was a rather new domain. The bosses of the two departments required their employees to attend, and not all of them were happy to be there. In fact, the anxiety was increased by their ignorance of what exactly we were going to be subjecting them to. I was surprised, about two-thirds of the way through the initial warm-up, when I tried to help someone figure out a stretch we were doing. We were stretching our hips and glutes, and she had turned her torso the wrong way from her knees. I informed her she should twist the other way and, misreading me, she prepared to unfold her legs and turn everything in reverse. Realizing my miscommunication, I stood up from across the circle and said, "Oh, no--" preparing to demonstrate just for her. When she saw me coming, though, she immediately went on the defensive, saying, "It's me, I get confused, no, don't touch me!" I stopped in my tracks. "It's okay. I'm not going to touch you. It's okay."

But it threw me. I'm not going to lie to you. What I should have done was take a moment to acknowledge feeling affronted, and then move on both internally and externally. I did okay. I acknowledged she was scared, saying, "It's okay, I'm not going to touch you," and backed away. What I failed to do, however, was either find an alternate way to engage her or to put the rest of the class at ease after that kind of confrontation. I was surprised, to be sure, and it would be easy to chalk up my failure to simple shock over suddenly being confronted. But it was more than that. I took it personally, somehow. I reeled back, at least internally, and Heather took over for a moment or two. It made sense that the woman would respond the way she did. How often does the average person find themselves seated in an uncomfortable, confusing position on the floor while someone standing comes at them? I understood this logically; emotionally, I was offended. I didn't feel I could help it. It's a terrible feeling, that you and your work are unwelcome, and I never get used to it, and actors confront exactly this situation on a daily basis.

As I say, the day resolved itself, and everyone got involved. There was even a sort of blossoming from that particular woman as the course moved on. She went from flicking off her boss (totally permissible given the exercise we were doing) and exclaiming her hatred of having to be there to being one of the more engaged and entertained people overall. I can't take any credit at all for that evolution, and we were assisted by the fact that these people all generally had a rapport prior to the workshop. (I quiver at the thought of working with a group of people who are strangers to one another.) The work, however, does its work, and Heather and I can at least take a little credit for creating the most nurturing environment imaginable for risk-taking (short of installing emotion-sensitive airbags throughout the room [which, frankly, would be hilarious--you could distinguish the moment anyone started to feel insecure in themselves because they'd be immediately engulfed in pillowing]).

We're finding our balance. The course is predominantly aimed at using improvisation exercises to teach communication skills, but we reference acrobalance a bit (I'd like more, but can't quite figure how to do that without excluding injured or more corpulent folks) and are trying to develop ways to communicate the unique collaborative techniques we use in creating shows together. I'd like, frankly, to shift the focus off of improvisation, because I feel it's the least unique training we have to offer and that our enthusiasm lies elsewhere. (Plus improv's got a certain stigma built-in, thanks to its widespread use in such venues and the popularity of The Office [US].) I enjoy improvisation, so maybe it's just a way of incorporating it in a new way. Several times during the teaching I thought of the tremendous success of the Jeepform game The Upgrade that I played at Camp Nerdly 2. Some of the overt game theory applied in that particular improvisation may be a good model for easing people out of their fears and trepidations. Then again, that was another case of having all willing participants.

I'm remaining positive ("yes, and..."), but in so doing avoiding a strong reaction I had to the experience. There was something in that refusal, that fear reaction from the participant, that made me feel a complex wave of negativity. Verbalized that response would, compressed within less than a second, sound something like this, "Okay, I won't touch you! Hey, guess what? There's stuff I'd rather be doing too, but I've come here in spite of my fears and in the hopes of creating something together. I can tell that's unwelcome, and that pisses me off royal. I get enough of that in auditions. In fact, next time you want an actor to lay off, try 'thank you...'. Just like that: 'THANK you...'. Every actor will immediately understand that you aren't buyin' what they're sellin', and get the hell out of there just as fast as he or she can. In fact, maybe I'll do that altogether. No one wants a live experience, no one wants to connect, no one wants a leading man who can't bench press the state of North Dakota. So I'll just go, all right? Will that make your life so much better? Will that make it so much easier? MY. PLEASURE."

I'm glad I didn't go there at the moment it happened, but I'm also glad I went there just now. I'm not looking forward to our next go at corporate training (this feeling always reminds me of my private trombone lessons in high school, which I regarded with inevitable terror), but I'm aware that it's simply a challenge to be overcome step-by-step. I do like challenges. I just don't like when people think they have something to gain by avoiding them.

Viva Italia, Due!

Last I wrote a bit about our journey with the original show, Love Is Crazy, But Good, forgoing a lot of the details about how the show changed in that process and what it finally came to be. That may be an entry for another day. Today, however, I write about some of the interactions we had with our Italian comrades, and the business and theatre opportunities that sprang up around us all like Periwinkle(s?).

Our original collaborators in venturing to Italy were the good people at Lingua Si in Orvieto; specifically, David's friend Piero Salituri. We met with Piero a few times whilst visiting, never for very long, as he is a very busy man (and we weren't sunning ourselves overmuch, either). You walk about Orvieto with him, and good luck making it a quick one, because he will know absolutely everyone you pass. We had an amazing time our first year in Italy, taking classes through Lingua Si and then watching our students suffer through those exact same classes with malicious schadenfreude. Or, in my case, watching them and wondering how they can talk the Italian so good that fastly. It's a great school with great teachers, and their philosophy of cultural immersion as the best route to learning a language goes right in time-step with our approach to introducing commedia dell'arte to American students. This time around, Piero proposed that we help him in an effort to bring Umbrian culture to America's universities. He runs these visiting workshops at universities, with segments about Italian art, language, theatre, cooking, etc., and it sound just like a perfect opportunity to associate our program, In Bocca al Lupo, with the educational communities here. An exciting possibility for promoting two great adventures.

I wrote previously a bit about our work with Angelo Crotti, someone with whom I was very excited to meet, and with whom I was not in the least bit disappointed. We found some common ground with Angelo over the course of several days, bringing him in to the folds of our friendship (and, I hope, we into his) almost as closely as our friend and fellow actor Andrea Brugnera now is. Andrea came to teach and perform in America a couple of months ago under the auspices of The Northeast Theatre (see 3/24/08), and it is our ambitious hope to bring him and Angelo over not just to work with us, but to work with us on our clown'n'commedia version of Romeo & Juliet. More on that ambition anon (Get it? "Anon"? Aw, geez...) but even if R&J doesn't go quite as planned, working with Angelo proved a gratifying experience for everyone, it seemed. It was in the final stages of our staggering toward performing in Il Theatro che Cammina that we really came together with him, finding the common ground in developing gags together. Between that experience and watching his workshop with Andrea's students, we discovered that in spite of differences in training and experience, Zuppa's aesthetic and technique is dramatically aligned with Angelo's. We work in threes, we attempt to make sequences that build, and value clear, specific action executed with a greater emphasis on timing than volume or exuberance. As we worked with Angelo bit-by-bit that Thursday before our performance, it felt like a homecoming to me; this lunatic Italian was doing more of what I wanted to be doing than I was.

Il Teatro che Cammina brought us a couple of interesting new contacts as well. The organizer of the truly impressive affair, Alessio Michelotti, is a very friendly friend of Andrea's whom we didn't actually meet until her picked us all up from the train station in his subcompact (thank God for low production values). We were tense, and perhaps not the best company over lunch. At lunch, however, we did meet Natalie Ravlich and Miner Montell who, together, make up the circus/theatre company Tilt. In the nature of festivals, we ran into Natalie, Miner and Alessio severally through the day into night, which was very, very good, because it afforded us the opportunity to seem marginally more normal and sociable. Alessio left us feeling informally welcomed back to the festival next year, which we take to mean we did good (enough). David suggested to me, upon viewing the rest of the entries to that spectacular spectacle, that the best thing to bring to it would be something very physical and trick-heavy, without too much effort toward character development and such. My mind instantly hoped for a space in the schedule/budget for fledgling circus and street-theatre productions. As to Tilt, it's hard to say if our paths will ever cross again, but I felt very at home with them and hope they do. They reminded me of circus friends back in New York.

It might have been easy, after the first Saturday of only two, to take the rest of the time to rest on our laurels. Well: It was. Very easy. And we loved it. All twenty-four hours of it. Then it was back to work with meetings of various kinds with Piero and Andrea to discuss specifics for upcoming ventures. Though we didn't exactly have a meeting with her, we did spend some time with Hanna Salo, when we also taught a class to Andrea's students at Teatro Boni (in Aquapendente), a theatre that is rapidly becoming The Northeast Theatre's sister stage. The class was utterly fascinating to me, so you'll forgive me getting briefly off-topic here with business, though it may be largely because of that class that our connection with Teatro Boni in general was left as strong as it was. Essentially, Heather and I taught some tumbling and acrobalance to eight Italian-speaking, predominantly non-actor young students. The language barrier was not absolute, but it was present, and we had to begin without Andrea to help translate. It was an amazing experience, and we owe a great deal of it to the willingness and gradual enthusiasm of the students. David excitedly video-recorded our journey that day, starting with a warm-up, basic tumbling, then moving on to basic acrobalance. To make up for my horrid Italian, I had to keep demonstrating movements in various ways, so I was utterly exhausted by the end. It was, however, very much worth the effort.

Perhaps the most personally exciting possibility for me as regards our work with Teatro Boni has to do with a space we visited (read: broke in to) last trip around -- the outdoor amphitheatre at Aquapendente. Last visit, this space was under refurbishment. That work is just about done, and Teatro Boni is working to get the equivalent of grant money to allow us to perform Romeo & Juliet there on our return next year. It would be a tremendous experience. The space is beautiful and ideal for Shakespeare. Just the thought of performing there motivates me to work as hard as possible to make it happen. In November, Heather and David are aiming to return to Italy to perform and to cement opportunities. I will probably not be joining them, seeing as how I will have just tied the knot, thereby missing a lot of work, being very poor and wanting to spend some time with my wife that is not spent planning a wedding (by then we'll be moved on to planning the honeymoon). November, however, is when a lot of important groundwork will be laid.

All of that was a lot, and we earned ourselves a much-deserved break, which we planned to spend sight-seeing in Sienna and Florence, and did so. The next day, not feeling quite so much like traveling again, we opted for more local fare. Marybeth had yet to see Civita di Bagnoregio, one of our favorite locations, and Heather and I had planned to take photographs there for R&J promotion, so on our second-to-last day we returned to "Civita."

Civita is a beautiful, tiny city on a hill, which you can find pictures of everywhere. (In fact, the moment after I got home I spotted it all over a frickin' DiGiorno commercial.) Our first visit there, over two years ago, was a big contributing factor to inspiring the Romeo & Juliet production. When you visit, you can see why. It's ancient, established by Etruscans (or earlier) and surviving through the Romans on into the eighteenth century, when an earthquake took out three-quarters of the place. In recent years it has been rebuilt and refurbished, some of it to the detriment of its particular history. Nevertheless, it is uniquely appealing, and captures everyone's imagination. We visited twice, once while it was still light out, then another time to walk off yet another incredible meal at Hostaria del Ponte. David disappeared for a time during our evening visit, a thing surprisingly easy to do in such a small town, then showed up with a light on inside. He had run into some people and chatted them up. Turns out they were among the very few people who not only lived in Civita, but had grown up there. As he was leaving their company, one of them said (in Italiano, of course), "You should do a show here."

So. The next day we returned, talked to people in charge, photographed the town square for staging purposes, and tried to get the mayor on the phone (he was out of town that day on business). Everyone we spoke to, however, seemed optimistic and enthusiastic about the idea. In November, Heather and David will meet with the mayor and whomever else, and on our next return we hope to bring an environmental staging of a clown'n'commedia Romeo & Juliet to Civita di Bagnoregio's public square.

Of course, we haven't built the show yet. But when has that ever caused us problems before?

Naseeruddin Shah's Son, Imaad With Aamir Khan and Nephew Imran Khan

Imaad Shah With Aamir Khan and Imram Khan

The icing of friendship
Naseeruddin Shah's son, Imaad Shah(right) and Imran Khan (Aamir Khan's Nephew) were thick friends. So much so that they never cut their respective birthday cakes without each other. So on Imran's birthday, Imad too is seen cutting the cake along with the birthday boy. Their relationship was indeed very deep as they not only shared their friendship, and love but also shared their cakes and clothes. The kurta worn by Imaad here actually belongs to Imran.

Imaad Shah - Son Of Naseeruddin Shah

Interview Dated: Sep 2007
Tell us little about your background. What has been the journey been like?
The journey has been most interesting. To speak about my background of inclinations, I have always been in the middle of a theatre company, (Motley) almost by default. I was in the crowd of my first play when I was 3, and then have ended up doing several more. I also consider myself to have a background of music. I play the guitar and perform in bars, singing.

What was your initial reaction when Manish Tiwary came to you with Apurv role? What made you go for it?
Manish Tiwary (and Pawan Sony) had written a crisp and an intelligent script. I was also attracted to it because it is a film set in Delhi, a city I love.

What is the film "Dil Dosti Etc' about?
It is for me, about a set of people at one of the most delicate phases of life trying to make sense of their environment and relationships.

What's the character of Apurv like? His aspirations, dreams and values, please tell us something.
Apurv, even if slightly self-centered is fascinated by the world. His "values' though unacceptable to some, are built on natural needs and instincts. Through the film we see Apurv searching for meaning in life through his various experiences...

How did you get into the role?
By being myself and reading the script over and over.

Did you do any kind of preparation – by way of manners, accent, and gestures?
Very few in that department, because Apurv's manners and gesture I guessed, would be reasonably close to my own. The preparation was more based around being comfortable with a body language and trying to communicate with fellow actors through Anamica Haksar's workshop.

And what's the relationship you share with Shreyas Talpade
We share a great rapport. He is a good influence to have while working because he has an ability to keep people together and to keep them happy and light hearted even while shooting in stress. He is, needless to say, a skilled actor too.

What was it like working with Smriti, Ishitta and Nikita? What do you feel about them as actors, and their role in this film?
Working with Smriti was interesting. I feel that she has pulled off a good performance. We shared a lot of preparation and workshop time and built our characters together. Ishitta and Nikita were fun too.

The entire shooting took place in Delhi, what was it like to shoot in real locations? It was fantastic. This film would have worked no other way. Delhi is an enjoyable and beautiful city for me and I feel strongly that films should be shot on location as far as possible. Some of the locations we worked on in old Delhi were chaotic shoots but made for interesting moments in the film.

What do you remember most about shooting in the Hindu College Campus and Delhi in general?
The North Campus of Delhi University is a place full of characters. I'm glad we used it.
A lot of supporting actors in the film were college students from Delhi. It was great fun spending time with them. So whenever we had time off we would hang out at their regular college addas - drinking chai, eating momos...

Any lighter moments on the sets? What else did you do on the sets besides working?
Though this was not a light moment then, it is now. Some boys broke into our costumes room and stole all of our costumes. Many of my own clothes went.
Besides working I played lots of cricket, read, drank chai and smoked.

What has it been like working with Prakash Jha Productions?
They have been very kind to me. It's been a great learning experience working with them.

How has the film shaped up?
The film fulfils several of the promises that were made in the script.

Adhyayan Suman With Dad Shekar Suman

Read on to Know what dad Shekar Suman thinks about son Adhyayan's debut film

'Adhyayan has been cheated'- Shekar Suman
Shekhar Suman is angry with producer Kumar Mangat and director Anil Devgan for reducing his son Adhyayan's role to a guest appearance in his debut film, Haal-E-Dil.Says Shekhar, "Adhyayan has been cheated.

He didn't get a chance to prove himself with his one-and-a-half scene and two-song role. I blindly trusted Kumar Mangat because I thought he had made a powerful and wonderful film like Omkara. Now I've realised that it was Vishal Bhardwaj and not Mangat who made Omkara. Mangat only made a film like 123.

"Shekhar adds, "When Mangat approached Adhyayan, we thought it would be his dream debut. I didn't even read the script and neither did Adhyayan. That was our mistake.

"Shekhar says though he has had over a decade of experience in the wily ways of the industry. they still "trusted Mangat blindly. I thought it was his daughter, Amita's debut so he wouldn't shortchange my son. I didn't even watch the rushes as I don't want to be perceived as an interfering father. At the film's premiere, my wife Alka and I were aghast!"

Shekhar says he had an inkling of what was happening when Adhyayan was shooting for a song in Ladakh. "Adhyayan asked for a full script for the first time. After he saw it, Adhyayan called me and cried like a baby.

He said, 'Dad, I have no role. I want to walk out!' Adhyayan was told at the beginning that he was to be the male lead. Instead, they made Nakuul the lead and my son was reduced to a character actor. In spite of the injustice done to Adhyayan, I told him to stick around as it would be unethical to back out on a producer halfway."

Blame game
Adds Shekhar, "I don't know whom to blame Mangat or director Anil Devgan. So many producers from Tips to Sunil Shetty and Mahesh Bhatt found Adhyayan promising and had wanted to launch him. Mahesh Bhatt, who has an uncanny knack of discovering talent, wanted to sign Adhyayan for three films. Adhyayan's next will be a solo lead with the Bhatts. It's a Rs 20 crore deal and the role of a lifetime."

Has Shekhar expressed his displeasure to Mangat? "I haven't but I will. I won't fire or abuse him but will tell him that 'I trusted you and you committed a breach of trust. You let me down.' Twice Adhyayan postponed important schedules of Raaz 2 in which he is acting because Mangat wanted to have media meets.

I am the last person to interfere but today I want to ask Mangat why was he wasting Adhyayan's time and using Shekhar Suman's name to promote his film when he wasn't even there in the film?"

Shekhar has learnt his lesson. He vows, "From now on, I will not trust anyone even my instincts. I will listen to Adhyayan's scripts and teach him how to deal with them till he learns. I have realised that a good production house, director and technical team are most important. For Adhyayan, Haal-E-Dil was an internship. Raaz 2 will be his launchpad!"

Shekhar on Kangana and Adhyayan
"Aditya Panscholi's insinuations on Kangana and Adhyayan are very unfortunate and baseless. I can't understand why we are being dragged into this. When the rumours of a link-up between Adhyayan and Kangana started, I did ask him if it was true. He said, 'Dad, no way! I have a girlfriend and it's the last thing I want to be dragged into as I am focusing on my career.' Adhyayan's so young and impressionable.

I was angry initially angry with Aditya's allegations but later, I laughed it off. Kangana is not our bahu, nor is Adhyayan getting married in the next 10 years! It wasn't necessary for Aditya to drag our family into such a mess without knowing the truth."

Source: Mid-day
Date: 23 June 2008

I Hate Maths: Shruti Kamal Hassan


1. I was an athlete.
2. I had my hair braided in Africa with beads and everything, so I looked like a little Rasta girl.
3. I used to be a roller-blading addict.
4. I used to make comic strips of most things that happened in my life.
5. I hate math and never ever passed a math exam.

Keeping the Kids Saif - Saif Ali Khan Had to Babysit His Kids Sara and Ibrahim in London

The London outdoor of his first home production being directed by Imtiaz Ali proved to be quite tedious for Saif Ali Khan.

He is not only flying in and out to be with ladylove Kareena Kapoor who is busy with her commitments elsewhere, but also had to babysit his kids Sara and Ibrahim who were with him in the UK.

Uma goes missing
It is learnt that as the children had their school vacations, they decided to accompany the actor for the outdoor. All was fine till their maid Uma, who has been them for years, was around. But suddenly, the domestic help disappeared without warning; forcing Saif to look after his kids, especially Ibrahim, who is quite a handful.

Saifu manages
Says a unit source, "After the maid vanished, Saif was forced to take time off from the shoot. He requested the director saying that he wanted to take a day off to be with the little Khans. Uma had been around for almost eight years. Her decision to leave without warning or notice hassled Saif a lot. He somehow managed."The yet untitled film has Deepika Padukone as Saif's co-star. It is also his first project as a producer.

Gayab ayah!
Stars always travel with the nannies to look after their tots. This isn't the first time that a maid has gone MIA on a visit abroad. Karisma Kapoor had a tough time when her maid pulled a disappearing act while holidaying abroad a few years ago. Even her aunt Reema Kapoor lost her nanny in a foreign country. It is believed that the nannies are wooed by Indian families living abroad with better pay and facilities, and they leave their starry bosses.

Source: Mid-day
Date: 24 Jun, 2008 06:38 AM

Ranbir and Riddhima With Parents

Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh With Children Ranbir and Riddhima.

Ranbir Kapoor was born on September 28, 1982 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Viva Italia!

Ciao, bello/a. Come stai? Buono/a. Io? Bene, bene, grazie. Ma ho stancissimo, perche sono "jetlagged." Forse. Anche forse perche molto movemente questa volta in Italia.

Believe it or not, my Italian has improved, despite the evidence to the contrary that I willfully submit above (the which is all kinds of wrong, and took me about an hour to put together). It is still woefully inadequate, though, and I'll have to do something about that in the coming months, because Zuppa del Giorno's prospects in Italy -- not to mention other work in conjunction with Italian artists -- is blossoming. We are in the springtime of our, uh . . . soup.

Sorry. Still blaming the jetlag.

Well. I really wanted to catalogue the whole trip day-by-day, as I did last June, but since I killed my laptop in the (actual) spring, and as we tend to go a bit rustic when we visit Madonna Italia, it was not to be. I could try to recreate that effect but, well, it would be pretty boring. Not because we did so little, but because we did so much of the same thing in our first week. We WORKED. As you know from my last entry, Heather and I had to throw a show together specifically for this visit and (as you know from either experience or my previous writings or both) such a process takes exactly as long as it takes. No rushing it. Which means you either give it the time, or you don't. We did, and to the greatest extent we could manage between two American cities and mired in the swamp that is jetlag.

The flight out was delayed an astonishing four hours, all told. It was just Heather and I -- David and the theatre's stage manager, Marybeth Langdon, had preceded us on the 6th. For those of you who've never flown overseas, let me tell you: There is no good time to do it. I thought we were all set, flying overnight. I would just sleep through the thing, losing hours left, right and center, and awake at about noon in sunny Italy. Instead, I slept for maybe a combined hour-and-a-half and awoke around 4:00 in a somewhat less-than-sunny Italy. In fact, it rained daily for the entire first week, and some nights we built a fire in the divinely-bequeathed fireplace our little villa provided. Altogether oddly arduous. But enough of the fluff; on to the stuff.

We've developed our own little community of artists and business folk in central Italy, and that became evident as it determined our schedule on this trip. Rehearsals for Love Is Crazy, But Good were broken up with (and, in one case, integrated into) daily meetings with various of our contacts. Normally these were meetings that coincided with meals or coffee, which is the nice thing about our particular experience of Italy. And, because the US-dollar exchange rate is horrible horrible horrible at present, this often meant inviting folks to lunch or dinner at our place out in the country. (Fortunately for us, David Zarko is a masterly amateur chef.) And that meant that Heather and I spent a lot of time on the patio, either eating or developing the act.

One of our most exciting departures from this scene was to spend time with Angelo Crotti, a new friend there whom we met through Andrea Brugnera. Angelo is an Italian actor specializing in commedia dell'arte and other forms of comic physical theatre; he's been practicing it all his life, and it shows, as he travels internationally to perform and teach. Our introduction to him was to watch him teach a class in traditional commedia dell'arte forms and lazzi to some of Andrea's students, the day after Heather and I arrived. He did some fascinating stuff, that we'll promptly steal and incorporate into our workshops. Perhaps unavoidably, we eventually got wrapped up in the action, in spite of our jet-lagged states. He showed us some incredible animal forms that demanded serious physical commitment AND conditioning, and we were generally working up quite a sweat for a while. LOVED IT. Then we made the mistake of sitting down on a break, and both Heather and I promptly engaged in a struggle against overpowering needs to sleep. That was okay, we figured, because Angelo began the next section with brief lectures on the commedia masks and their corresponding characters. As the comfortable Italian speech pranced merrily over us, he moved on to asking the students to take a mask and perform a solo bit of dialogue with the audience in it. Good, good . . . watching students . . . mustn't take their time away from them, now . . . just . . . watch . . .

Huh-uh. We sure did get called on. "No, no," I feebly protested in my pigeon Italian, "Studenti. Studenti. No occupado (was that Spanish, Jeff?) questa volta." They weren't having it and, frankly, I was a little sick of myself as I said it, too. But, damn, was I spent. It turned out the students were working with Angelo the next day as well, so there was plenty of time for everyone, and up I went to choose a mask from the edge of the beautiful Teatro Boni stage. There they all were, and I waited for one to speak to me. I'm pretty familiar with commedia masks, but have trouble distinguishing sometimes, mainly owing to a certain amount of misinformation I've processed in the years of my informal education on the subject. For example, I had learned at some time that Pantalone had a long nose, because he was "nosey" and a phallic character. Well, he often is, but it turns out that Capitano is the one more famous for having a prominent phallus on his face, and Pantalone can have a hook or squarish nose as well. So I stood there, throwing out my presumptive conclusions, and just picked a mask which appealed. It was yellow-brown-er than the rest, with no hair accents, but lots of wrinkles and a hook nose. The point of the exercise was to improvise the mask's nature based on how it looked and felt, but I felt obliged to announce I didn't know who I had gotten as I left the stage to make my entrance. Turns out I had gone right ahead and picked up Pulcinella.

Pulcinella holds a certain fascination for me, not the least of which is owing to a desire Heather and I have to someday create our own show based on the Punch & Judy puppet theatre of Victorian England ("Punch" was inspired by commedia troupes' various "Pulcinelli"). He's also a tricky one, as his overall shape seemed to evolve from a couple of different regions of Italy, and thereby his personality can be a bit more mercurial than some. Plus he rarely gets mentioned in what I've read and heard about the standard characters; he's well-known enough, but somewhat amorphous. Typically--from what I understand--he's a trickster, with a hunch back and a prominent belly. At that moment, however, I tried to wipe all that from my mind and briefly regard the mask offstage (as Friend Patrick taught me to do) for clues about who he would make me before breathing in and putting him on.

Let me just interrupt myself to say that, though it read as a certain groggy fear at the time, it was an absolute thrill to step out on a classical Italian stage and perform in mask for a couple of actors trained in commedia dell'arte.

My mask (for truly, I made no effort toward Pulcinella once I set foot on stage) worked pretty well for me, I think. Everyone performed through a sort of guided interview with Angelo, which was interesting in this case owing to his emphatic English and my god-awful Italian, but we did get along. I began as a rather obstinate fellow, with a supportive cushion of arrogance around him that held up his body in quirky ways -- a hip raised, hands bent outward from the wrists, bird-like neck, all very vain, yet through energy instead of ease. It was (I believe) as though I knew I was the greatest, yet also knew I had to convince everyone else of it as well. I thought of the Italians (to generalize grossly for a moment) and how they all seem to be great about putting what they've got out there and loving it, and so I did that as a guy who really didn't have anything to brag about, but didn't know it. Eventually Angelo quizzed him (me) on how to seduce a woman, and I claimed complete expertise, saying and demonstrating all it took was a rapidly thrust hip from me. He had me bring up a couple of students and work it on them, and I got to play with success, selling something as success, and undeniable failure which is promptly denied. It was great fun.

Angelo -- who is also simply an incredibly funny guy, with what seems like a kind word for everyone and an endless need to be active -- also helped us with our piece two days later. The beginning of that rehearsal, I can confidently say, was the lowest point of my mood and confidence in what we were planning to perform on Saturday. We demonstrated what we had first thing, and it suddenly felt woefully inadequate, trite, and a really, really bad idea altogether. It was Thursday, two days before we were set to perform in Il Teatro che Cammina, and it was grim. I was embarrassed, frankly, and frustrated with the circumstances of our constantly pulling things together at the last minute, never seeming to have the money or time to develop or explore, and all that was really a jagged veneer of emotion covering fear: maybe I'm just not cut out for this work. Ugh. So bad.

Keeping with the Tarantino/Rashomon theme here: The performances on Saturday were not an unqualified success. We had two showings of the ultimately half-hour clown show, the first at 9:00 pm, and the last at 11:00, all as a part of a festival that took over the town with predominantly physical spectacle such as dance, circus-theatre and street performance. (For once, we were probably the least physically eccentric act on the bill.) Our first show made me want to crawl under the stage and hide; David came up to us afterwards and said, "Well that wasn't that bad," thereby straining his otherwise stalwart reputation for honesty. The second show, however, hummed. It had sound failures on both ends, which should have been fatal for a predominantly choreographed show, but the audience was with us and we all had a tremendous amount of fun and at the end, I felt I had earned their kind applause.

What happened between the two shows was this: We intended to use our little break of less-than-an-hour to explore and see other shows and generally try to forget we had another to do. Instead, we were invited into a building next door by some very kind older gentlemen who had a great view of our stage from their windows. They wanted to make sure we knew we could use the bathroom there (which we needed) and while we were there I discovered that the fly on my costume had popped permanently. I tried to ask them for a paper clip or something, explaining my situation through gesture, and they set about raiding office supplies for me. One withdrew a binder clip. "I don't think that'll work." Then he pulled out a stapler, jokingly. "Ci, ci! Parfetto!" I cried, and he, hesitating somewhat, handed it to me. I promptly stapled my wool pants closed with the knowledge that within the first ten minutes of the show I'd tear them off anyway. They found that pretty amusing, and then one of them reached into a drawer and pulled out scissors, gesturing mischievously toward my crotch. Here we were, almost completely incapable of communicating with language, and the lazzi was flowing. From there they invited us all to sit with them, and Heather worked her Italian magic on them. A friend of theirs, Silvano, the oldest yet, visited, was introduced to us, then came from out of the back room with wine and water for everyone. We relaxed. We laughed. And, after all that, Silvano worked to rope audience in to our space for the second show, possibly single-handedly ensuring us that our little courtyard performance would be full for its closing.

The hours spent working with Angelo on our piece were similar to our time with the old men, and this commonality was also in the spirit Heather and I found in our second performance. Angelo took us through what we had in terms of structure, and broke it down into bits -- bits we had already, and bits we inspired him to add. Given a little time to overcome our initial shame and frustration, we found with him a familiar game of discovery, getting excited about our connections and ideas, and really building from one moment to the next. It was brilliant. It reminded me, suddenly and unexpectedly, and from the midst of a recent history of disappointing efforts on my part, of what I love about this work and what keeps me excited about it. With Angelo we returned to our sense of play, with the old men we rediscovered our love of people, of communication, and in the final shot at the show we finally figured out how to have fun with it, and with our audience. Hell: It even happened in a three, looking at it that way!

That performance wasn't the be-all-end-all by a long shot, but it was shot of life that I had certainly been looking for lately. Maybe our enthusiasm had something to do with knowing we were being relieved of a great stress after our final show, and maybe our ease with the audience had a lot to do with their greater numbers and better understanding of what to expect. Nevertheless, coincidence or hard work or that lovely synchronicity of the two, it was a beautiful thing. And it didn't take much longer for the sun to start shining in Umbria again.

Shruti Haasan on why her Tamil debut opposite Madhavan got shelved

‘There were creative differences’
... says Shruti Haasan about why her Tamil debut opposite Madhavan has been shelved

SHE hasn’t started shooting for her debut yet, but Shruti Haasan already seems to be pretty comfy in front of the camera. At the opening of a clothes store in the city recently, she strutted her stuff, struck several poses and looked every inch the film star people expect her to be, what with her star lineage. But once in her ‘regular’ clothes —a Tshirt, jeans and sneakers — and sipping a diet cola, she looks pretty and well, regular. When asked if she was relieved to be out of the killer heels she was wearing for the show, she replies, “Well, it’s different, but I didn’t mind it at all.”

And she takes the same diplomatic tack when bombarded with questions from journalists about whether she’ll be doing films with her parents. “You’ll have to ask them because their schedules are much busier than mine,” she says firmly but politely. One would expect that she’d make her debut in a Tamil film, which she was supposed to do in a movie opposite Madhavan. Is it true that she had a problem with the leading man and wanted to be paired with someone else? “I had creative differences about the film,” is all she’ll say. Instead, her first stop on the road to stardom is Bollywood. Her first filmi outing will be in the film Luck, starring Sanjay Dutt and Mithun Chakravarty. Is it going to be an action movie? “So I’ve been told. We’ll start filming in July,” she responds.

In a year when everyone’s talking about star sons making their debuts, Shruti is the only high-profile debutante. Is that daunting? “I’m not sure if Lucky is going to release this year; only the producers can answer that. And I haven’t thought about it. But work has to speak for itself and you can’t go on preconceived notions about whose daughter or son you are,” she signs off.

Source: Times of India

Arshad Warsi and Maria Goretti with Son Zeke Zidaan.

Arshad Warsi and wife and mdoel Maria Goretti, have taken great pains to give their kids unusual names - Zeke Zidaan and Zene Zoe

Warsi says My son's name is Zeke Zidaan Warsi. Zeke is not just a sound. In Aramic, it means a shooting star. In Arabic, it means memory of God. I thought it was a cool name. In school, I thought it would be better if he said my name is Zeke Zidaan, rather than Abdul Rahman!'

And Zene means beautiful in an African language.

Junior Warsi goes with his dad for television shoots and Zeke, by the way, has already made an appearance in films when he did a cameo with his mom and dad in Salaam Namaste.

Smita Patil and Raj Babbar’s son Prateik Babbar

Not just another star son!
Smita Patil and Raj Babbar’s son Prateik makes a quiet debut

The late actress Smita Patil and Raj Babbar’s son Prateik Babbar makes his B-Town debut in Abbas Tyrewala’s Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na, produced by Aamir Khan.

Very chotu role
The star son is, however, missing from the film’s posters and promos. “That’s because I have an extremely small role,” points out Prateik.

He has no reservations about making his debut in such a manner. “I am 21 and when the time is ripe, I will act. At this age, the girls can make an entry but the guys have to wait for a while. This bit of acting is like testing the waters before the dive.”

Heroine ka bhai
In Jaane Tu…, Prateik plays the character of Genelia D’Silva’s brother. “I am there in a few scenes trying to solve her problems. My character is called Amit and he is a painter. I try to figure out if the guy she is with is right for her or not.”

Thanks to Pakhi
The film came his way through Abbas’s wife Pakhi, who is also the casting director of Jaane Tu… “She called me for the role and after auditioning, I was cast as the heroine ka bhai!” he laughs.

Currently, Prateik is undergoing an acting workshop with half-sister Juhi Babbar and her mother Nadira Zaheer Babbar of Ekjute troupe. “All this while, I would just hang around at their workshops but this time I have enrolled as a student. I hope to hone the craft now.”

He has also learnt salsa from Sandeep Soparrkar. “At this stage of my life I am just learning and absorbing whatever I can and yes I am looking at acting and completing my education as well.”

With both his half sister Juhi and half brother, Arya Babbar, also into acting there are lots of notes to be exchanged on the home front as well.

Smita Patil (1955-1986) is remembered for both her arthouse films like Bhumika, Bazaar, Manthan, Chakra and Ardh Satya as well as for commercial potboilers like Shakti and Namak Halal. She straddled both the worlds of cinema with aplomb in the ’70s and’80s. She was as favoured by a Mrinal Sen as she was by a B R Chopra.

She began as a TV news reader on DD and was discovered by Shyam Benegal. Smita was also a women’s rights activist and became famous for her roles in films that portrayed women as capable and empowered.

She was caught in a media storm when she wed the much-married actor Raj Babbar from whom she had a son, Prateik. However tragedy struck within days of the delivery as Smita died as a result of childbirth complications on December 13, 1986.

Source: Mid-day
Author: Shaheen Parkar
Date: 17 Jun 2008

Adhyayan Suman With Parents Shekhar Suman and Alka

Shekhar has acted in almost 30 films. He married Alka (Kapoor), on May 4, 1984 after a two year courtship. They have a son, Adhyayan. Adhyayan will soon ne making his debut in Bollywood with the film Haal-e-dil directed by Anil Devgan and produced by Kumar Mangat.

The couple lost their eldest son, Aayush, in whose memory Shekhar is constructing a hospital in Patna

Adhyayan Suman With Co-stars of Haal-e-dil Nakuul Mehta and Amita Pathak

Adhyayan Suman, son of versatile actor-singer-anchor Shekhar Suman, Amita Pathak, daughter of producer Kumar Mangat of Big Screen Entertainment and Nakuul Mehta, another starry-eyednewbie, are all set to make their combined debuts in Mangat’s new-age film Haal-e-dil(State of the heart) due for release mid-June – and the film is not a romantic triangle!

Adhyayan Suman, (he plays Rohit who will do anything for the girl he loves), is by leagues the most intense of the lot,giving the impression of a pent-up fireball of energy.“Rohit transforms from being a love less rich boy into a serious and mature human being,”he says.“I landed this film by accident but couldn’t have asked for a better debut! For one,the script is brilliant and very different, and two, Kumar Mangatji is not going to leave anystone unturned in promoting his daughter’s debut film!”Adhyayan straightened his hair once at his hairstylist Perry’s salon in Mumbai and was walking out when Ajay Devgan walked in and noticed him.“We passed each other but I never knew that he had noticed me. Half-an-hour later, Kumar Mangat called me up.” Adhyayan’s background and training (“Everything I did from my school days was aimed at becoming an actor!”) makes him approach characters realistically. He preempts the query of how he intends to stand out among so many new star-kids and other new entrants with a “I dont think of competition. It takes focus away from work and hard work is always rewarded sooner or later!”

Alizeh Seen with Salman at a Painting Exhibition

Atul Agnihotri's Daughter Alizeh gets a Kiss From Salman Khan

Atul Agnihotri's Daughter Alizeh With Salman Khan

Arbaaz Khan's Son Arhaan Celebrates Ganeshotsav With Uncle Salman Khan and Grandmom Helan

Malaika Arora Khan With Son Arhaan

Model-anchor-item girl Malaika Arora thanks her five-year-old son Arhaan for whatever she is today. '

Arhaan is the best thing that happened to me. For anyone it's the greatest joy to have a child and for every mother her child is her weakness. And, yes, he is my weakness, ' said Malaika, best remembered as the 'Chhaiya Chhaiya' girl.

Malaika, who was here to launch a store last week, has been married to actor Arbaaz Khan for 10 years and says of her son: 'Arhaan brought a lot of changes in me in terms of the person that I am and to my temperament as well. I really thank him for making me the way I am today'.

The 34-year-old is all geared up for her first full-length role as an actress opposite Arjun Rampal in Suniel Shetty's 'EMI'. 'I am really excited about 'EMI'. I play Arjun's love interest in the film. The film talks about easy monthly instalments (EMI) and how people who take such loans are not able to repay them, ' Malaika told.

On being asked if there are any films with Arbaaz in the pipeline, Malaika said: 'There's no film as of now, but there is a song that I am doing with him. I have done a song with him earlier (for Shubha Mudgal's album 'Dholna'), but this is the first time I am pairing up with him for a film song.' The couple will soon be seen grooving to a number in Indrajith Lankesh's 'Shaadi Ke After Effects'.

Apart from her stint on television as MTV's popular video jockey, Malaika has played judge on reality dance show 'Nach Baliye' and also hosted NDTV Imagine's music show 'Dhoom Macha De'.

Now, brother-in-law Salman Khan has also turned to the small screen as the host of reality game show 'Dus Ka Dum'. 'I have seen the promos of the show. They are really cool and I am sure Salman bhai would do a great job. I wish him all the best, ' she said.

Picture of Sohail Khan's son Nirvaan With Salman Khan

Sohail Khan's Son Nirvaan Seen With Salman Khan

Rahul Bhatt Seen with Sister Pooja Bhatt, Dad Mahesh Bhatt and Dino Morea

Rahul has put papa Mahesh Bhatt on a strict diet and exercise routine; is getting paid handsomely for the same

Mahesh Bhatt has been working out rigorously after being told by doctors to lose weight. And he got help at home itself.

His son Rahul is a physical fitness and martial arts (gojuru) instructor and is attached to Five gym. He plans to open his own chain of health clubs in the near future.

He reveals, “Prior to teaching fitness at Five, I was at Moksha and after that I was in USA and New Zealand for my fitness certificates. So who better than me to make dad lose weight?”

The problem
A concerned Rahul says, “After the alarm sounded, we found out that dad was hypertensive; he had high blood pressure and border line diabetes. After years of neglect, stress had taken its toll and he needed someone to guide him back to good health.

Losing it
According to Rahul, though Mahesh is not conditioned physically, he is very fit mentally. For now, Mahesh is just walking, with some cardiovascular and stretching exercises for the lower limbs. The beta adds, “I have been teaching him for two weeks now and the aim if to lose 4-5 kg a month. At the moment, he is on a low sodium and low sugar diet with more frequency of meals.”

Rahul talks about his training program for Mahesh, “Dad is the best paymaster I have worked with, and he is disciplined in his workouts. Most of my clients pay me Rs 1000 per hour but dad pays me Rs 2500 per hour! He says everyone has a tendency to take families for granted but he won’t do that as it’s my livelihood.”

Looking after his father means Rahul’s plans of starting his acting career are on hold now. “Suicide Bomber is in cold storage now till my father’s health improves. Unfortunately, things haven’t moved much but I am not disappointed or making any hasty decisions. Dad’s health comes first.”

Wholesome time
He trains Mahesh every morning for one hour seven days a week. Mahesh reveals that he has lost three inches on his waist, “Rahul’s regimen is very simple. Apart from working out, Rahul and I are catching up on lost time. I have never exercised in my life and would eat potatoes for all meals, but now I am following a wholesome diet overseen by him.”

Mahesh Bhatt’s diet

Coconut waterOne apple 3 tablespoon oatmeals/One wholegrain toast and 2 egg white omelettes

2 whole grain chapattis
1 green leafy veg Salad

Fruits of his choice like apple or papaya or porridge

Dinner same as lunch but can have paneer
Sweets are a strict no-no

- An Article from Mid-day dated March 5th 2008

Mahesh Bhatt's Son Rahul Bhatt (Picture) Makes his Debut in his Dad's Latest Film, Suicide Bomber.

Here comes another son!

Rahul Bhatt (Pic: Top, in his younger days. Bottom, a more recent picture), son of veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, makes his debut in his dad's latest film, Suicide Bomber.

The film is 'inspired' by the London bombings last year (2007).
"The film will deal with the story of a terrorist and what makes a normal human being a suicide bomber -- what goes on in his mind and why he becomes a destructor," says Mahesh Bhatt. "These are very contemporary issues bothering the world, and my film will try to answer these questions."

Three British muslims of Asian origin and one of Jamaican origin carried out a suicide mission in London that sent shockwaves across the world last year.

"Suicide bomber will deal with the subject of Asian immigrants staying in Western countries and what they go through in their lives to live in that system," adds Mahesh Bhatt.

The filmmaker had launched his daughter Pooja Bhatt a decade ago as an actress in films like Daddy, Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin and Sadak.

He is known to make films that deal with contemporary issues. His last offering, Kalyug, was about the evils of the pornography industry.

Religious terrorism is born from the pain and loss of terrorists, he says. "They are impatient with god, who is slow to respond and does not answer their problems."

In the film, leading man Rahul is born to Asian Muslim parents and is settled in London.
The film will be shot in England and India, and Anurag Basu, of Murder fame, will direct the film.
"After the release of our latest film Gangster in April by Basu, he will start shooting for Suicide Bomber somewhere in June and by the year end, we hope to release the film," Bhatt Senior informs.

Rahul has a tough task -- for two reasons.

Reason One: Living up to his father's track record of making hit films like Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, Sadak, Murder and Zeher.

Reason Two: The subject of his debut film, Suicide Bomber, which deals with terrorism and in which he plays the protagonist. Yes, Rahul makes his debut as a terrorist in the film that is loosely based on the 7/7 London bombings.

And you can imagine how challenging his task is, to gain a foothold in Bollywood with such an unconventional first step.

More than a decade ago, Mahesh Bhatt had launched his daughter Pooja Bhatt with films like Daddy (1989), Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991) and Sadak (1991).
Let's see if he can do a repeat act.

Narmada and Yashvardhan With Parents Govinda and Sunita at IFFA 2008.

Govinda With children Narmada and Yashvardhan at IIFF Awards, 2008 - held at Bangkok from June 6-8.

Govinda seen with his children at IFFA 2008

Kamal Haasan’s Daughter Shruti Plays a Tough Girl in her Debut Film 'Luck', Opposite Imran Khan

Kamal Haasan’s daughter Shruti is all set to make her debut opposite Aamir Khan’s nephew Imran Khan in Soham Shah’s Luck. The film also stars Sanjay Dutt and Mithun Chakraborthy. Speculations have been rife about her debut film and now, Soham Shah has finalised Shruti as she fit the bill for the character he had in mind. Luck is produced by Dhillin Mehta of Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision

When contacted, Soham Shah said, “We wanted to cast a new girl opposite Imran and Shruti seemed perfect for the role. We required a girl who would look innocent as well as convincing while doing the action sequences.”

Soham met Shruti in Chennai and she loved the script too. However, she didn’t hesitate to inform that this being her first film, she would like to take her father’s opinion before saying yes.

Soham added, “She wanted to consult her father Kamal Haasan before saying yes to my film. Once she got the nod from him, she was on board.”

Shruti starts shooting from July 8 in South Africa where the film will be shot from start to finish. The story shows all the characters coming from different parts of the world who try out their luck in South Africa. Shruti’s role includes a lot of action as she plays a girl who is tougher than the boys in the film. Shruti, who already has a welltoned body, will take lessons from action director Allan Amin to gear up for the action scenes. “Her body suits the character she plays in Luck and that was a significant factor in casting her in the film,” said Soham. Soham says that he is very happy to have stars like Mithun, Sanjay Dutt, Danny Denzongpa, and Ravi Kishan along with Imran and Shruti in the film. “I am very excited about the film and I know we all will have a great time shooting for it,” added an excited Soham.

Shruti Hassan is The Cover Girl of Verve

They say "Don't judge a book by its cover". But the rebels in us did just that. And guess what; by merely judging the book by its cover, we discovered a raw, rebelliously Blooming Flower!

The moment we got a copy of the latest edition of the fashion magazine 'Verve', our hands just couldn't stop thanking the Almighty for the fortune lines on our palms. The reason is that we believe that it's only because of these fortune lines, did we become fortunate to be one of the early birds to see Shruti Hassan, Tomorrows' Superstar, today! Are we shocked? Man! We are not just shaken but also stirred!

Image Credits and Copyright: Avinash Gowarikar for Verve
Source: Indiafm

Love is Crazy, but Good

It's not my kind of title, but who knows? Maybe it's appealing to Italians. I do appreciate the ambiguous meaning suggested by applying the idiosyncratic usage of the phrase, "but good." As in, "a whole lot" (at least in American slang). This, of course, is the title applied to Zuppa del Giorno's latest original effort, the which I began writing about here.

Friend Heather and I began work on this piece not too long ago, and we're done . . . as far as rehearsing in America goes. Originally, we were scheduled to perform in Italy the day after we flew in, but fortunately saner minds prevailed, and we'll have some three jet-lagged days to focus intensively on further development and polishing before springing this wonder on the unsuspecting Italian audiences. Few people aspire to "develop" and "polish" in the same stroke. Such is the genius of necessity. So when you imagine me sunning myself on Mediterranean shores, sipping grappa and ogling Italian supermodels engaged in their unified quest to avoid any tan lines -- revise that slightly, and picture me instead jumping around and falling down a lot with a desperation to find something, anything, that feels original and worthy of public acclaim.

It's not that bad, actually. We'll have to work our comedic tokheses off, but we're at least in familiar territory thematically. Here then (by which I mean: now) is the present scenario for Zuppa del Giorno's mostly-new, almost-original show: L'Amore e' Mazzo, ma Buona:

Meeting G’ma & G’pa: An old couple enter from back of “house,” arm-in-arm, taking seats if they are available. They can’t see, and move forward, trying various positions. G’pa is sneezy and distracted. G’ma is fussy and protected. They are carrying on an argument. “Apples!” “Pears!” They get to the front, impatient now for the show to begin. All that’s on stage is a suitcase, with two red rubber balls atop it.
Inciting Accident: G’pa accidentally loops G’ma’s handbag on his arm. He rises and tries to disentangle himself, not at all sure how this thing became attached to him, making his way blithely up onto the stage. G’ma follows him up on stage, trying to disentangle him and getting a few good whacks in the process. On stage, G’pa finally gets the thing off, and it lands on the floor downstage of the suitcase. He pokes it with his cane to make sure it’s dead, then shuffles off to greet people, leaving arthritic G’ma to bend down and pick it back up. She does so, very, very slowly, and falls backward. G’pa is oblivious to her efforts, as she rolls back and forth, not quite able to right herself. Eventually she yelps, he notices her, then comes over to point her out to the audience and laugh at her. Whilst he does so, she knocks his cane out from under him. He falls, and she uses the cane to get up. Then she gives it back to him and he gets up with it. They fall against each other and descend to sit on the suitcase, exhausted.

The “Youthenating
Discovery of the Noses: The two yelp as they sit, then extract a red rubber ball (red noses) from beneath each of their bums. The balls falls out of their hands; they’re on strings. G’ma doesn’t know what to make of it, puts it away. G’pa plays with his, swinging it by the string, accidentally hitting G’ma in the head. She swats him back, and he begins sneezing incessantly, which brings him to standing. She rummages in her purse for a tissue and either 1) Pulls out the ball/nose, unaware it’s not a tissue, or 2) can’t find a tissue and chooses to use the nose instead. G’ma puts the nose to G’pa’s face, and he stops sneezing. When she takes her hand away, however, the red nose drops off again, and he begins sneezing again. She tries again, with the same result. On the third try, she notices the string and loops it around G’pa’s head to hold the nose on. It stays; crisis averted.
Nose Conversion: G’pa inhales through the new nose. It feels pretty new. He inhales again, and it draws him upright. He inhales a third time, and he’s young. He clicks his heels and looks around. G’ma is horrified by the transformation. G’pa tries to convert her, convince her to put on the other nose. She swats him away with her purse at each attempt. First his hand, then his head, then his unmentionables. Finally, G'pa winds up from a distance and throws the nose at her. It hits her square in the face. When she rights herself again, the red nose is stuck to her nose. G’pa tenderly wraps the cord around her head. Pause. G’ma “whoop-ee!”s with vigor. The two test out their youthenated bodies a bit, and begin to feel warm. G’pa takes off his hat, facing the audience. G-ma removes her shawl. They get into a turn-taking competition on entertaining the audience with their disrobing, the Woman at one point hiding in the audience to remove something, the Man audaciously flinging his pants off. At the bottom, they are dressed in brightly colored tank tops and shorts or skirt, and they are the Boy and the Girl. The Boy begins a game of tag with the Girl. They play for a bit, then the Boy tags an audience member, and it involves the whole audience. After this calms down (or they calm it down with a whistle) the Boy and Girl applaud the audience and sit exhausted together on the suitcase. [Music: Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano]
Rediscovery: Sitting on the box, the Boy and Girl relax and relive moments from their recent game of tag. Some gentle nudging, some playful imitations. In the midst of this cheerfulness, they pause, and a moment of romantic tension develops between them. [SFX: Sp-kang!] The Boy quickly breaks it, then runs off. Eek! The Girl is left alone, uncertain of the cause.

Solo de la Girl
Lecoq-clown sequence based on interaction with the audience, which incorporates the following:
a) Why did he run off?
b) Is it me?
c) Look better – dressing – bow bit.
d) Audience helps with bow.

Girl Woos Boy
The Boy enters in the midst of ecstatic pretend play, possibly as a pirate, perhaps as some other pertinent P-word. He stops suddenly when he sees the Girl, and disguises what he had been doing somehow. The Girl, with the audience’s help, decides to woo him.
She finds a stuffed dog in the suitcase, and offers it to him. He misinterprets it, playing roughly with it and interacting with the audience. She gets another idea, and begins writing him a love note on several pieces of paper. Meanwhile, he finds himself allergic to the dog and starts sneezing. As she hands him notes, he uses them to catch his sneezes, ruining them. On the third note, he pauses to look at it, then blows his nose in it and tosses it away. Finally, she finds a box of chocolates in the case and offers it to him. He is delighted, and begins trying them as he strolls away. She follows him. He repeatedly bites into a chocolate and, finding it unpleasant, tosses it over his shoulder, hitting her in the head. The Girl gets fed up, pummels the Boy with it all, and exits in a huff.

Solo de la Boy
a) The Boy is mystified by the Girl. He enlists audience’s help in understanding it, and making himself more presentable.

Boy Woos Girl
The Girl re-enters, and the Boy does his best to make it up to her. He’s better dressed now, and maybe shows off a little with a cane he’s found. He’s got her interest, but now what?
Valentino Sketch mod (this is a modified form of a sequence from Silent Lives for which we're hoping we can use the audience to be an advisory character, rather than our missing performer): i) Boy enlists various or single audience members to teach him how to woo the Girl.
ii) He follows their examples, badly, making a mess of it each time.
iii) Finally, the Boy simply asks the Girl to dance, which is a success. [SFX: Sp-kang!]

Dance, Dance, Dance
The Boy and Girl dance, slowly at first, then gaining momentum and doing progressively more intricate and impressive partnered movements. Incorporate dance sequence from Death + a Maiden (see 5/29/08 for last performance of this piece, which includes a dance segment). By the end, they have matured, and are now the Man and the Woman. They stand facing one another, holding hands, and the Woman kicks the Man in the shin. He falls immediately to one knee, still clutching her left hand. [The dance music segues directly into Pachelbel’s Canon (and Gigue in D major for three Violins and Basso Continuo)].

Determined Wedding
At the end of the dance, the two are in positions for the bride’s processional. Everything that can go wrong with the wedding, does, including: the bride keeps falling down in her processional, but refusing to be helped up by the groom; once she gets to the head of the church, they have trouble getting her veil lifted, leading to her wearing the Man’s top hat and he wearing her veil; the ring is missing, then the Man gets distracted swatting a fly as he’s supposed to put it on her finger, and she follows his hand with hers as he gestures; in her attempts to put the Man’s ring on him, he keeps sneezing, and they get it stuck on the wrong finger. In trying to get it off, elaborate acrobalance happens. Finally, finally, the two are married, and they sit, exhausted.

White Moment
This kind of moment was explained to Heather and I, when we were learning our clown style, as a suspension in which nothing happens, but something changes. It can be quite powerful. Friend Grey describes it as "the angel passing through."
It's also a terribly handy name for a section in which you have no idea what to do.

They Are Old Anew
The noses disappear, and the final article of clothing goes on, and the two are G’ma and G’pa once again. They start to quibble again, and it’s back to the strife of their entrance. They try to regain their youthful movements, but hurt themselves. They try to run off, but can’t stand properly without one another. G’pa starts sneezing again, and G’ma is out of tissues and starts to curse the heavens. Then she notices something in her handbag. She pulls out two roses, and places one over G’pa’s nose. He stops sneezing. She places the other over her own nose, and they inhale simultaneously. On the exhale, they smile at one another. They exit, and music comes up. [Music: To Vuo' Fa' L'Americano]

il Fino

We've definitely got our work cut out for us, but when you consider that we started with nothing, it's pride-inducing to have this much. (When you consider that we started with four years' worth of collaboration in almost precisely this medium behind us, the result is somewhat less than spectacular, so I try not to consider it that way.) This scenario will definitely change as we continue to work on it across the Atlantic, but I think the general ideas of a couple growing up together and exploring love will remain the same. That's our . . . oh . . . what's that word . . . ?

Idiom, sir?

Yes, yes! Our idiom!

God Bless the US

Last night, after a weekend's worth of rehearsals, I was involved in another staged reading of Justin Warner's play, American Whupass. (You may recall my last encounter with this play [and with the dude from Clerks] over a year ago.) When last we left American Whupass, it was slotted to be performed in New Jersey in the fall of this year. Since I hadn't heard anything more about this production since, I thought to myself, "Aw. They found someone else. Aw. Poop." Exactly like that. I enjoy the play very much, and continually find new things to pursue in portraying "my" character in it, Terry Bowen, campaign-manager savant extraordinaire. To my pleasant surprise--and, I'm sure, Justin's extreme frustration--the play was dropped from production, which is why I hadn't heard hide nor hair since, until Justin emailed me asking me to audition for a new group producing a reading of it. Theatre Resources Unlimited is producing staged readings in the next month for a panel of producers to provide feedback, and AW was put up in this series last night.

The venue is an interesting one. By and large, the intention of the reading series is to give feedback on producing a given play; that is, getting it up in a venue, marketing it, etc. This means that for the first time we were performing the play without the intention of getting feedback for improving the script itself. We were hoping to present the best product possible, in order to win over producers interested in doing just that. It remains to be seen where the play will get next as a result, but Justin is a brilliant worker, and there's little doubt that he'll pursue its production to the last. Incidentally, Friend Todd is appearing in the third installment in this series, which is the conflict that prevents him from joining Zuppa del Giorno in Italy this month. Small enough, world?

I had a hell of a good time working on this play again. I always do, but this time was different in many ways. We've never had so much time to work on the play itself in prelude to performing it, and we had a very insightful and professional director in Nancy Robillard, who saw me personally through a lot of discoveries about my role. (To top it all off, we were rehearsing in a penthouse in Tribeca, which ain't half bad. Bill Fairbairn was amongst our cast, and his apartment ain't half bad, lemme tell you.) American Whupass is a play that deals in logical absurdities, yet it's all grounded in real-life examples and motivations. I've written about its unique quality before, so I won't go on at length, but I will take a moment to observe that it's strange that such a quality should be so unique. People love this brand of comedy, at once ridiculous, yet perfectly believable. It goes back to ancient Greece. Why should it be so rare these days?

It all went down at The Players Theatre, a cool space with a narrow seating area that was very evocative of a sense of depth. (Of course, no backstage space to speak of because we are, after all, talking about New York real estate.) I think the reading went well. We had some good audience reactions, and Friend Kira was in attendance to provide some complimentary words afterwards. It's just possible, though, that I played my role a little too close to the cuff.

Bowen is a duplicitous dude who starts out seeming very Johnny America, only to reveal more and more his win-at-any-cost perspective. I've played him variously over a span of nearly three years now (That's nearly like a quasi-successful sitcom [if said sitcom just featured the same episode with minor variations over and over again]!), and what appealed to me at first is still my favorite aspect: He believes in what he's doing, and that the results make him "the good guy." An actor can get down with that, man! It's also great to play him completely straight in the beginning, when he seems pure, with an awareness of his orchestrations behind the scenes.

However, the play has a kind of "avalanche of absurdity" effect, integrated not only into the writing but also into the dramatic action, and I think I missed the boat on riding that this time around. My affection for playing Bowen straight should have relented a bit more, and I should have let myself get a bit more wrapped up in the action. A classic example: When the daughter of the senator Bowen is trying to keep in the Senate enters the race against him, Bowen tells the senator, "You've got to stop her before it's too late, Wayne. There is no template for this. No template!" I understand this moment implicitly. It's best when "No template!" comes screeching out almost involuntarily. The man's career hangs in the balance, not to mention the public safety of hundreds of the senator's constituents. On Monday, I played the line very sincerely, but failed to allow my voice to crack, which is something that has happened in every other reading of the scene I've ever done. A small thing, to be sure. The devil is in the details.

To what do I attribute this change? I'm so glad I asked. I've been mulling it over for a little while, and have a few possible explanations. The first, and simplest, is just as I've said above: I'm enamored of playing the character straight. He functions well in this way and, oddly enough, feels more loathsome to me by the end (which I relish). The second is that I may be making this change in my performance in general these days; as I grow older, I'm looking for subtler cues and effects, ways of accomplishing the same things without as much noisy energy as I might have opted for in earlier years. This venerable-sounding choice should also be viewed in the light of fairly regular feedback I've received over the years that my choices as an actor need to be "toned down," or that I need to be "calmed down" for a straight play. In other words, the choice may not be all chosen. So we'll call that point of possible explanation "second-point-five." Third and lastly, it may just be my body feeling different. I can't deny that the sensations from my body are a huge part of my acting, and in recent years (be it a result of age or injury or what-have-you) I've needed to work more to generate that more-manic energy that drives screwball comedy.

I'd like to find a way in to that energy again for myself. Recently I've responded better to the clown work in part, I think, because it contains built-in silences and a sensitive response. Sure, it can be back-breaking and impulsive, too, but it feels essentially sensitive to me. Screwball is different, and it's something I can do very well. I don't ever want to lose that. In reading Dan Rice: The Most Famous Man You've Never Heard Of, I gained a new perspective on how our supposed definitions of high- and low-brow culture came about. As a young nation, we screwed that up pretty good, in my opinion, and have stuck to it. Redeem screwball, friends. Go a little crazy now and then.
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