Oct 162017

On Monday, at MAMI there were only women panelists belonging to varied fields. It was a treat to watch such talented women talking about women empowerment and speaking their hearts out about the drastic gender inequality in the field of Indian cinema. ‘Lights, Camera, and Equality’ is the motto of Oxfam- an international confederation of the charitable organization. Bollywood members like Shabana Azmi, Kiran Rao, Nandita Das, Manisha Koirala and Kriti Sanon amongst others were present at this occasion. Ecstatic about the collaboration, Kiran Rao says it’s a great ‘synergy’. Further talking about Oxfam, Rao adds, “Oxfam’s initiative is to get together women and talk about gender issues and how much change you are going to make to the world.”

Veteran Shabana Azmi affirmed that the change has started, though it’s just a ‘drop in the ocean’, it has begun. So, as an extension to this topic, mid-day exclusively got in touch with the actresses present at the Oxfam Best Film on Gender Equality.

When quizzed Kiran Rao, who does she considers the powerhouse of an actress from Bollywood, with the immense crowd-pulling potential to cinema halls, she said it would be difficult to take names, but spoke about the actresses who made a mark with their roles.

“People like Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee, Kangana Ranaut, Alia Bhatt are the ones, who’ve chosen roles that are outside of the expected game. When a very very glamorous actress decides that she wants to be a farmer, a house-help in the film. Maybe they’ve chosen a role, which is not like the stereotype, we see in Hindi films. I think they are definitely pushing the envelope.”

Rao spoke at length about Kangana Ranaut. “With every film she does, she tries to do something. She chooses films where women play a crucial part, and it’s not that they are extremely heroic. They maybe anti-heroes. You see a woman thinking big and making decisions for their layered personality, their character. I think those are the women who are pushing the envelope.”

Neha Dhupia, too, mentioned Kangana amongst other actresses, for being influential women. She determinately said, “I think there’s Alia Bhatt, Kangana Ranaut, Deepika Padukone. I take Deepika’s name again and again because I was floored by what she did in Piku. That’s one of her best performances as far as I’m concerned. Yes, there’s this opportunity of magnum opus like Padmavati waiting to watch out, but she played it even beautifully in a small film, so I think these three women can for sure.”

The 90s diva Manisha Koirala, too, considers Kangana Ranaut as a powerful actress apart from Deepika Padukone. “There are some really strong actresses coming forward and portraying themselves in a different way. I love Deepika Padukone very much because she’s upper-talented and spoke about depression. She was able to come out of that glamour and class and finally put across her issue and she could have had a real problem…”

“And of course, Kangana has always been there. More and more women could come forward and stop playing blame-game and (was she hinting at Hrithik Roshan and Kangana row?) probably finding a creative solution to the situation because I believe there is more way of coming out with peaceful solutions to every problem,” added Manisha.

However, present at the Oxfam event was a young actress from the current crop, Kriti Sanon, who went the neutral said, ” I think we are in a time where content is something that pulls the audience to the cinema halls. I think that’s a good change, where the film is not actor-dependent, it is but not so much, and that kind of balances out the equality thing that we have.”

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Aug 072017

SRK_AAmirActor Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao have contracted swine flu, and both of them are being treated at their residence in Mumbai. Mr Khan, through video-conferencing during the ‘Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2017’ event organised this evening in Pune by his NGO Paani Foundation, revealed that he has been diagnosed with swine flu.

The 52-year-old actor was scheduled to attend the event, but had to skip it due to the infection.

“We really wanted to attend the ceremony, but recently, after a test, I was diagnosed with H1N1, that is swine flu…I have been asked to take rest and cannot go and attend any public function so I am skipping the event so that others do not contract it,” Mr Khan told the audience.

His wife Kiran Rao, co-founder of Paani Foundation, was seen sitting next to him during his video address.

A source close to the actor told PTI, “Today, during the video conferencing of Paani Foundation he confirmed that he has got it (swine flu). He is getting treated at home”.

“Kiran contracted it from Aamir. As a result of the infection, they (Aamir and Kiran) were not able to remain present for the most important day of Paani Foundation- the annual prize distribution,” the source said.

The actor’s spokesperson said both have been taking medicines at home and are recovering.

Actor Shahrukh Khan attended the event on Aamir Khan’s behalf.

“Since today is friendship day, I requested my friend Shahrukh to attend the function on my behalf and he readily accepted,” said Mr Khan said.

To fill in for Aamir’s absence, ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ actor Shah Rukh Khan who made his way to the event expressed his gratitude to Aamir and Kiran for giving him the opportunity to stand in for them with a post on his Instagram account. He wrote, “Thanks #AamirKhan & Kiran for giving me the honour to stand in for u. @devendra_fadnavis ur concern for farmers is touching.”

The ‘Lagaan’ actor congratulated all the villages, who took part in ‘Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2017’.

Maharashtra Chief minister Devendra Fadanvis, Reliance Foundation founder Neeta Ambani, industrialist Rajiv Bajaj were also present at the event.

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Aug 062017

Aamir Khan and Kiran RaoAamir Khan and Kiran Rao

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and wife Kiran Rao have been infected with the swine flu virus, as informed by their spokesperson. Bollywood’s Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan was scheduled to attend an event organised by the Paani Foundation in Pune but decided to pull out owing to this sudden development.

Aamir Khan informed the gathering through video conferencing, about his inability to make it to the event owing to him and wife Kiran Rao being diagnosed with swine flu. Friend and fellow Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan attended the event in Aamir Khan’s place at Aamir’s behest.

In his video message, which can be viewed below, Aamir admitted to have contracted swine flu and was hence skipping the event as he didn’t wish others to get infected.

#WATCH Pune: Aamir Khan says “have contracted Swine Flu and are skipping the event so that others do not contract the same”. pic.twitter.com/xIa4keG2Mz

— ANI (@ANI_news) 6 August 2017

Noted film critic Anupama Chopra even tweeted about Aamir Khan’s abscence at the event due to his condition. Read her tweet below…

.@aamir_khan & #KiranRao couldn’t be here because of swine flu. So he requested @iamsrk to come. @satyamevjayate Water Cup! #inspirationpic.twitter.com/mKiNZY1UVs

— Anupama Chopra (@anupamachopra) 6 August 2017

The event held in Pune has also been attended by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, among other dignitaries.

Aamir Khan has tackled various social issues through his show ‘Satyamev Jayate’. In order to highlight the issue of water shortage, Aamir Khan had started the ‘Water Cup’ competition, which has received favourable response across Maharashtra.

The winner of the competition was to be felicitated at this event, which is being held in Pune, with Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan initially being touted as the special guests. But, owing to his and wife Kiran Rao’s sudden diagnosis of swine flu he was unable to appear at the event and hence sent out the video message. 

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