Thursday, March 22, 2012

Will Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif make a good pair in ‘Mehrunissa

Will Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif make a good pair in 'Mehrunissa'?

There is a strong buzz that Kat has almost bagged the title role in the prestigious project. Will she be convincing as Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor's love interest? We wonder…

There has been a lot of speculation about Mehrunissa ever since Sudhir Mishra announced his ambitious project. The names that came up for the title role included Chitrangda Singh, Katrina Kaif and Vidya Balan.

Sudhir, co-producer Nikhil Advani and representatives of producer DAR Motion Pictures chose to stay tightlipped, but now we hear that Katrina has been finalised for the role. Apparently, since Dhoom 3 has been postponed yet again, Katrina has several free dates in her diary – the same dates could work very well for Mehrunissa. She is almost done shooting for Ek Tha Tiger and is currently busy with Yash Chopra's still untitled project (no, it's not London Ishq and thank God for that!) while Dostana 2 is still in pre-production stage. Kat is quite keen to do Mehrunissa, but the question is: will she be able to?

Mehrunissa, as you probably already know, is the story of a female actor in the 1970s. It traces her journey from the age of 20 to the present when she is 62. Sudhir had wanted to model the younger Mehrunissa on yesteryear actor Waheeda Rehman. Mehrunissa will have two suitors – to be played by Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor. Now we know Kat can play the ingĂ©nue with alacrity: she has done it in Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani and to some extent in Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya. But can she play the sedate older woman? It requires a lot of skill to essay the role of a mature senior citizen and Kat's acting skills leave a lot to be desired. Also, we just can't imagine Kat and her accent fitting into the scenario of 1970s Bollywood. Deepika Padukone managed to do it in Om Shanti Om, but we seriously doubt if Kat can pull it off.

Then there's the other factor. Katrina will be paired opposite two actors who have actually lived through the 1970s and ruled the box office then. Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor have agreed to play heroes to Kat. While we have no doubt that the veterans can make us believe in their love for Mehrunissa, we can't say the same about Kat. Can she convince us that she is capable of romancing older and experienced actor like Rishi and Big B? At this time it's impossible to imagine that she could!

And don't forget, the credit or discredit for Kat's performance ultimately goes to Sudhir. It's public knowledge that Sudhir fought hard with the then-Mehrunissa producers UTV Motion Pictures to not cast Katrina. When his first choice Chitrangda opted out, he took the project to Vidya, but refused to cast Katrina. He was supported in this by co-producer Nikhil Advani. Now Nikhil has flown all the way to London where Kat is shooting just to narrate the script to her. He has agreed to wait till she returns to Mumbai to finalise the details. Will that be enough for her to overlook the initial opposition? Or will this cause friction on the sets, hindering her performance?

We just hope that in the end Mehrunissa will be worth all the trouble it has taken Sudhir to get his ambitious project off the ground.

I seek the goodness of those greats that have through centuries

Jalsa , Mumbai                  Mar  21 ,  2012                       Wed  11 : 30 PM

  I seek the goodness of those greats that have through centuries spent years in understanding society, building norms, and blessing us with the writings and words and thoughts that they leave behind. What nature of men and women must they have been ? What would have been their inspiration and desire to put all this down for it to be followed in the shape and form of a practiced religion ? How did religion give birth ? What did the sacred writings mean to humankind when they first encountered it ? What motivated some to follow in one direction and others to follow in another ? How did the belief and the practice of it become rigid and firm and committed ? Firm to the extent of giving their lives for its furtherance or its defense. It has been centuries since … but even today we do not change, despite the social and moral changes, despite the understanding and the scientific maturing of many of the beliefs. Where and how did this learning come from. Some believe it was the Guru's and the Saints that wrote it. Others believe it was a revelation from the God's above. That there was divine introduction to all that the belief believed in. What a stimulating and wondrous period of humanity that must have been … the setting of norms and scriptures and worship and its modalities … ones that have survived through all these centuries without change. Yes there has been a tributarisation, directions have differed, codes and construct has evolved … but … the basic belief has never changed – the existence and the reverence it has deserved …

Atheists, theosophists and their like shall be gathering to challenge and debate this … the good and the bad, or the bad and the good shall face each other .. resulting in an even stronger show of what each believes in … or not …

Religion has such inert strength and vigor .. its beliefs even more commendable, strong and stable. Equally strong are those that do not believe .. that have reason and argument for it … I would not challenge either .. I would wish and hope and pray that peace prevail .. that if sentiment is defiled or hurt, its act should be regretted. It is distressing to observe antagonism and for me particularly to live in it. Once done it shall remain with me for ever .. silently … but present all the same …


Good night and my love …

Amitabh Bachchan 

Inventions in the field of gadgetry are moving faster than I can think

Jalsa , Mumbai                        Mar  20 , 2012                        Tue  11 : 51 PM

Jasmine Jaywant and Kabeer … for today Mar 20th … a wonderful birthday and for tomorrow Mar 21st … happy birthday Meenu Gupta … love and happiness to all ..

Still a decent hour to be able to communicate with the Ef .. Would have been late again but did not visit the studio for recording .. was feeling weak, so stayed back and shall be within the sheets soon ..

Inventions in the field of gadgetry are moving faster than I can think .. for the mind to be active and strong and contained, someone once told me to eat walnuts – after breaking the hard shell the nut, pardon the pun, looks like a replica of the brain .. so walnuts it was in the morning .. was because since the hospital the restrictions on food have been severe, and I wonder if walnuts are a desired element .. it is believed though and often joked about that the other name for walnuts is 'promotional nuts' … give it to the boss to eat, boss falls ill, you get a promotion !!

I wonder then if 'eating one's brains', came from such ..

No but seriously the brain deteriorates rapidly as age catches up. You pick up the phone to dial a number and while you wait for the connection, you suddenly discover you have forgotten the reason for calling. So … the solution, and a home made one at that is that the moment you decide to make that call, pull out the pen and paper and write down what you wish to say to the person you called, so you have reference. Problem really is .. well not really a problem, but a situation .. that when you have written down the agenda, you find you have remembered all that you had wished to say without referring to that little slip of, tree derived residue, at the time of the call ..

Is this the indication of age, or is it that the brain is occupied in so many acts at the same time – multitasking – as we had some time back spoken about – that it takes a while to register reason .. either way its not a most welcome element in life ..

Okaay !! So am getting into the business of acquiring a Sitar and a Sarod soon enough so I may have the pleasure to be pulling a few strings !! These are times I shall look forward to .. my Sitar, my Sarod, my Piano and me … sounds like the title of a really bad book or movie ! ha ! But … even though I may be able to learn the instruments now, just the fact that I shall be holding them and pretending to be some great master, shall indeed be of great interest and value to me. In the early days of mine in the film Industry, someone took a picture of mine … well several pictures of mine holding or playing a Sitar, I think as property for the decoration of the walls of the sets of our film 'Abhimaan' … and now no one is willing to believe that I do not play the Sitar .. 'stop trying to kid us Mr B, we've seen pictures of yours with the Sitar" !! What does one say to such a misconception ! One allows it to breathe its life until it perishes on its own .. many an obstacle in life behaves thus I have noticed .. they all come out looking untrue and false, but battling it has its limitations … at which point of time it would be wiser to just adopt silence, and let preposterous falsehood burn itself out !!!

A tough task for most … easy for those that are in need of sainthood or are pretty close to adopting it !! And since we have spoken of sainthood and astrological indications, we shall distance ourselves from such talk ..

India has been eliminated from the Asia Cup Cricket .. Bangladesh beat Pakistan tonight and since we did not have the required points, we are on our way back. The two teams, BD and P reach the finals and shall battle to win the prestige cup. And the wit and humor on Twitter on this remarkable feat is just .. well remarkable … I would rather refrain from any comment on it … !!


A considerate son returns from London after an event on cinema and gifts me a present. Touched. Presents always bring that smile and feel on our faces. Its not the value of the gift, its the thought, the card, the writing, the packaging, the ribbons and soft hue of tissues for wrapping, that well designed box or bag … just so endearing .. specially when there is no birthday around for miles ..

The Ef keeps doing that so often that I really do not have sufficient words to say just words in response .. but each of you must know that beyond that moment of delivery, beyond that formal acknowledge – that special pen, the paper weight, vou vous, dolls, little curios, cuddlies, a film a book, t shirts, clothing, perfumes … just about every little object of desire that is precious, has great meaning for me … and you must know that …

Love to all ..

Amitabh Bachchan 

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