Yet, a magazine reports that sometime ago Hema Malini, Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi and Meenakshi Sheshadri were asked not to visit Tirumala because it was peak time. In fact, Hema and Sridevi had planned to walk the 22-km up hill road from Tirupati to Tirumala.
Another shrine that attracts innumerable stars is Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple, which became popular with movie men and women after Jaya Bachchan prayed for Amitabh’s recovery when he was grievously injured on the set of “Coolie”. Come Tuesday, Lord Ganesha is bombarded with celebrities, whose right of way is assured over the common folks. Two of the regulars there are Aishwarya Rai and Sanjay Dutt, and both have been trudging to this temple for very special reasons. Maybe, Ash prays that her choice of man this time is right. And, Sanjay probably wishes that he should be excused from serving time in jail.
But is Ganesha happy about this queue jumping? I wonder, for there should be no unequals in the House of God. What do you say?
Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan have taken a cue from the wedding album of Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar. Like the Hollywood couple who sold exclusive media coverage to Hello magazine for a whopping sum of money, Ash and Abhi have done the same, selling the rights of their forthcoming marriage to an international bidder for millions of dollars. This will be the first time that such a deal has been made in India. The Bachchans will walk away with this credit. I feel that sanctity is eroded when something as sacred as the union of a man and woman is commercialised. Hindu weddings are but a series of holy rites performed by the couple with fire as witness. Imagine, placing such a ceremony under the hammer and letting the highest bidder capture such hallowed moments!
But, when are Ash and Abhi getting married? I am told both are busy shooting different films. Abhi is working on “Drona” and Ash on “Jodha Akbar”. So Mr Bachchan Senior has been saying. The latest date is April 19. We will wait for confirmation.
Now for post-nuptial star jealousy. Hrithik Roshan caused a mini scandal when he kissed a scantily clad Aishwarya in “Dhoom 2”. The Bachchans were shocked, and Abhi flinched. Well, it is now the turn of Hrithik’s wife, Suzanne, to feel the heat. She, I am told, is uncomfortable with her husband’s sizzling chemistry with Kareena Kapoor, and this is being cited as the reason for Hrithik refusing to do old-time friend Zoya’s movie with Kareena. This director gave Hrithik a chance when he lay defeated after “Lakshya” crashed. In the meantime, Hrithik has landed a meaty role in the Rs 70-crore “Aladdin”, to be produced by Rohan Sippy. When life is a ball why worry about lesser people.
Tailpiece: Vipul Shah’s “Namastey London” will open on March 23 2007. It is a comedy about a Westernised Katrina Kaif marrying a dehati from Punjab, Akshay Kumar. Some have been saying that it is Manoj Kumar’s “Purab aur Paschim” in a new bottle. Rishi Kapoor, who stars in the movie, said that it reminded him of Mani Ratnam’s “Mouna Ragam” (Silent Note), while Gulzar felt that “Namastey London” resembled “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”. Maybe, Shah’s work is a cocktail of all these. After all, our directors are really good in creating collages. Are they not?
(Webposted March 21 2007)