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48 Responses to “Veerappan, the rest of the box office”
The new releases Phobia, Veerapan and Waiting opened to a very dull response with the first named registering 2-3% collections and Veerapan getting up to 7-8% due to 10% plus response in single screens in Maharashtra and Central India. Single screens in North and East are as bad as the multiplexes. Waiting was as Phobia but with lowere screen count.
There was another release Fredrick and with a name like that nothing more than washout collections could be expected. Not that titles of Phobia, Veerapan and Waiting are much better. Veerapan will have the best collections on day one but they will be very low and there is not much hope afterwards as these sort of films hold little appeal outside places around Maharashtra.
The Hollywood release Angry Birds managed the best occupancy of around 15% and though the release is not very wide it could turn out to be the best bet this week.
Sarabjit had steady but low collections in Delhi / UP and East Punjab on day eight. The film crashed out in the rest of the country at the start of the second week.
The new releases Phobia, Veerapan and Waiting all fared very poorly. Veerapan had the best collections but also had by far the widest release. The apprx first day collections of the new releases were as follows.
Veerapan – 1.25 crore
Phobia – 20 lakhs
Waiting – 20 lakhs
Over the day it was Waiting which came out with best occupancy so that film should see some growth over the weekend especially on Saturday but from such low figures it will irrelevant.
Veerapan which is the biggest release will have a lower first weekend than the second weekend of last weeks holdover Sarabjit. That sums up the fate of the film.
This is much like a natural disater or terror attack of mammoth proportions which strangely did not make headlines in the main media.
Mahesh Patel will never forget the sight he witnessed while making tea yesterday. The Dombivli resident saw the window grills of his home bend, and mistook the sight for a bomb blast, before realising that it happened because of multiple explosions that occurred at a chemical factory in the suburb’s MIDC Phase II area.
Around 15 fire engines and 10 water tankers were pressed into service at the spot. Pics/Satej Shinde
Around 15 fire engines and 10 water tankers were pressed into service at the spot. Pics/Satej Shinde
At 11.45 am, nearly four blasts shook the area. They killed five and injured 129, of which 9 are seriously injured. Sixty-nine have been admitted in the hospital, while the rest are taking first aid. The explosions also brought almost 1,000 residents on the streets as their homes were badly affected by the impact.
According to senior police officials, the blasts were a result of a chemical reaction gone wrong.
The incident occurred in the chemical factory of Probace Enterprises and later spread to another factory as well.
An intensive search of the debris was carried out to find the people trapped inside. Till the time of going to press, Suresh Shinde, Chief Fire Officer of Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation said three people were still missing and the search was on for them.
Around 15 fire engines and 10 water tankers were at the spot. Shinde said, “The fire was doused at 3 pm. Our officials were at the spot till the evening as the fire kept rising from time to time. We are still trying to control the fire.”
The blast was so huge that its impact was felt even in a radius of two and half kilometers from the site of origin. Some residents said they felt as if an earthquake was coming on, and rushed outside their homes.
Patel, a resident of Puspam Villa, which is 50-meters from the blast site, said, “I was preparing tea and all of a sudden, I heard a huge blast. The window grills in front of me were bent and the plasters came down from the ceiling. At first, I thought it was a bomb blast and we all started leaving the building. Later on, we learnt about the blast [at the factory].”
Ashutosh Dhumbre, joint commissioner of police, Thane, said, “We have registered a case against the owners of Probace Enterprises for causing death due to negligence and other different sections of the Indian Penal Code. It has been registered on a primary basis and we will further add the names of the supervisor and others who were negligent as well.”
According to locals, nearly 100 buildings with almost 1,000 residents and many commercial outlets were affected because of the blast.
The residents are staying in open spaces close to their homes, and various organisations are offering them food. Meanwhile, cops say all the injured and deceased were moved to ICON, AIMS, Shivam, Neptune, and Shashtri Nagar hospitals. The dead bodies were then shifted to Rukmini Bai hospital in Kalyan.
Factory owners missing
Nandan Wakhatkar (32), Sumit Wakhatkar (30) and Snehal Wakhatkar (28) who are the owners of the Probace Enterprises were missing till the time of going to the press.
Shinde said, “The three people are the owner of the firm and are missing. We found that they were present in the chemical factory during the time of the incident. We suspect they would be under the debris and search operation is on as their relatives claimed they were not found in the hospitals.”
He added, “In the evening, we received information that they are in the hospital, but they are yet to be confirmed by identification.”
A senior official from MPCB said, “We cannot comment much into the issue as this matter is related to Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH). The explosion had taken place in the chemical factory located at Dombivali MIDC, due to some chemical reaction. The subject comes under the purview of DISH as they will do panchanama and are investigation into the issue.”
RV Sonje, Chief Engineer, MIDC Dombivali said, “The checking of various permissions and inspections comes under the purview of DISH and they are investigating the issue. We have a fire station at Dombivali MIDC and immediately after the incident, we helped control the situation in the best possible way.”
SP, Kulkarni, joint director of the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) of he Maharashtra Labour Department said, “We inspect various chemical factories on a regular basis and it was done in this case as well. We would also be carrying out inspection of other chemical factories in Dombivali.”
Blasts leave a thousand homeless
Residents of more than 100 buildings in the vicinity where the blasts took place have been forced to move out of their homes, leaving them stranded on the roads
Restaurant glass shattered
Owner, Prasad Hotel
We have suffered a loss of more than Rs 5 lakh because of the explosion. The blast was so huge that all the glasses in the front of the hotel have been damaged. It has also ruined all of the interiors. Three of my staffers have been injured and one of them has also suffered a fracture on his leg.
Secretary, Pushpam Villa
It was a very huge blast that made us deaf and confused for more than five minutes. The house is complete mess because of the explosion. We were forced to leave it. Will it be safe to live in our home now?
Resident, Chintamani Darshan Society
We reside on the ground floor. The blast broke the window panes and cupboard glass in our house. My mother Nanda suffered a head injury. She was having tea on the table near the window. Just then, the blast took place and pieces of glass hit her forehead.
Dombivli has completed changed within a few minutes of the explosion. Most of the shops and buildings were shut. All of the residents are out on the streets.
Sanjay Kumar Jaiswal
Works at AWRS India
I work as a tunnel fitter at AWRS India Private Limited [located behind the factory] and live there as well. I was working inside when the incident took place. My son Yuvraj has suffered a head injury. My boss Ismail Shaikh has suffered eye injuries and is in the hospital.
Resident, Pushpam Villa
My wife Anita has suffered leg injuries while my daughter Gauri and I suffered minor injuries. We came out after the first blast. When we came near the door, all of the plaster including the iron sheet fell on us. The house is a total mess and we don’t have any alternative residential arrangement.
The impact of the blast was such that it claimed a 42-year-old passer-by. Auto driver Raju Shirgiray died of a cardiac arrest at the spot upon hearing the blasts. “Raju was brought dead to the hospital. He seemed to be a patient of blood pressure, and got stunned by the sudden loud noise. This resulted in a cardiac arrest,” said a doctor.
Sushant Kamble (26), who had joined the firm in March, has gone missing since the blasts. His wife Sonal claimed that he hasn’t returned any of her calls. The couple has a daughter (2). Sonal alter informed her father-in-law Krishna at their hometown in Pimpri. Sushant parents rushed to his Dombivli residence and have searching frantically to locate their son. The Kambles claimed they visited every hospital the blast victims were rushed to, but are yet to find the family’s sole breadwinner. “I have searched all the hospital, but to no avail. I am begging the officials to give some information about him,” said Sushant’s mother Chaya
Four-year-old Sanskriti Ramesh Gurva sustained grievous injuries to her face due to the vortex force of the blasts. Sanskriti was playing near a window inside her residence in Pushparivar building. The force shattered the windows and the broken pieces of the glass fell on the little girl. She girl is currently undergoing treatment in the ICU at AIMS hospital.
Unmed Prasad (45), an employee of the Acharaya chemical factory that is adjacent to the blast site in Sonar Pada, was rushed to the Icon hospital. “Glass pieces fell on his face, injuring the mandibular part. He also sustained head injuries and is a patient of high blood pressure. The patient is critical but stable,” said Dr Rashmi Sonar, physician at Icon hospital. Speaking to mid-day, Prasad said, “I was working in the first shift when the blast occurred. Most of us sustained injuries. I found myself in the hospital upon regaining consciousness.”
IT manager Ravindra Walavarkar (41), who works for a Mumbai-based firm, was rushed to Icon hospital for treatment. “I was getting ready to for work, when the blast occurred. My immediate reaction was to switch of the AC. It was here that another blast took place and the next thing I know is that glass pieces from the window pierced my body. I assumed it to be either a bomb blast or a transformer explosion.”
Nyandev Mahadik (38), a resident of Sanghvi Garden, said, “I took an off to complete some work. I was on my way home form a general store when I heard a big bang. Out of nowhere, a few stone hit my left leg.”
Seventy-year-old Bikaji Babadi said that his wntire body was covered in his own blood after shattered glass fell on his body after the blast. “The intensity was such that it crumpled the main door,” he added.
Irrfan: It pains me when an actor or a cricketer is a youth icon. They are not heroes
Anshul Chaturvedi | TNN | May 29, 2016, 01.00 AM IST
Our definition of heroes needs to change, but our definition of good cinema might already have, says Irrfan – Hollywood could pose a serious threat if Bollywood does not provide better content.
You are one of the few global actors India has. What are you doing with a film titled ‘Madaari’ – like it’s one of those snake charmer/monkey trainer cliches?
Chhoti si kahani thi, joh itni hit kari ki sochte rahe, yaar, yeh film ho sakti hai kya? We sort of explored it a little bit and then we thought yes, there is a film. It’s the reality, reality of our country.
There were certain important things that I want to address. Aisa nahin hai ki ab subject mil gaya toh film banao. Subject kis liye hai? Kya hai? Subject kar kya raha hai? Hum kyun banana chahte hain usko? Uske liye kuch cheezein thi important. There is a fact that we don’t realise sometimes – that a hero lies in every man and in every woman. And most of the times, 99% of the times we die, we perish before realising it.There is something lying inside, dormant, which could ignite, which could awaken at any point. But maybe aapke saath woh adversity nahin hui hai, woh inspiration aapke paas nahin aaya hai, maybe aapka realization nahin hua hai, maybe aapke filters kabhi khatm nahin hue hain – the conditioning of human beings, usne hi aapko jakad ke rakha hai aur usi mein aap mar jate hain.And the other thing is the accountability of our system. Kisi bhi ek aam aadmi ke saath kuch hota hai, toh where does he go? The courts are so overloaded that hamara CJI gets emotional and breaks down in front of the PM. Where do we go?There are certain facts which are very, very, very disturbing, and it concerns everybody. So, this film addresses that and we could not find the title of the film till we were halfway through the film.
‘Madaari’ nachaye ja raha hai?
Connotations wohi hain. Ki matlab jamura aur Madaari ka khel hai. Zindagi mein kayi baar aap madaari hote hain, kayi baar jamure hote hain. That’s how ‘Madaari’ came.
Is the film art or mainstream?
Now, art films don’t exist. What do you call art film? Where is the art film?Main art film ki den nahin hoon, main aisi film ki den hoon jiski definition media ne dhundi nahin hai. It is now not about art, it was not about mainstream. What would you call ‘Piku’? And ‘Talvar’? There is art in ‘Talvar’. A film which does not have songs, which does not make too much of noise, people start calling it art film, that is the tragedy of our times. This is a new kind of cinema which is emerging, and I think it has to pick up and it has to become bigger before Hollywood actually gulps you. Hollywood is coming with so much speed that you can’t even understand!
Gulps you like Ka? ‘The Jungle Book’ has earned more than Rs180 crore in India – I suppose that’s more than SRK’s ‘Fan’?
Yes! This is the first time that has happened. And another first is that Hindi version ka business zyada tha. Can you see the appetite of the audience which is desperately wanting to be engaged? That is where our film industry is on the back foot, where it is often not able to provide.
You’ve said earlier that you were paid less in Hollywood but you were working there because you wanted to change your working style. Their writing style is so much superior, it is much more detailed – you can practically smell the character that they are writing…
I would like to add to that. See, Hollywood is America and the soul of America is marketing. The whole nation is built on marketing, so they understand it. And baaki unki koi bhi industry kuch bhi kar rahi ho, but the game (sports) industry and cinema industry – they have captured it and specialised in it the world over. And many big countries, industries have been gulped by them. European cinema ko poora Hollywood kha gaya hai – UK khatm ho gaya, France khatm ho gaya, Italy… Their kind of craft knows how to engage people.
Hamare yahan actors star nahin hain. Wahan actors stars hamesha se rahe hain. Chahe woh Clint Eastwood ho, Al Pacino ho, Robert De Niro ho ya Brando ho. Jo hamare yahan tha pehle.
Joh behtareen actor hota tha wohi superstar hota tha… till that changed in the ’80s-’90s?
Yes, and then there was decadence. After Rajesh Khanna there was a strange kind of degeneration, with films mostly creating heroes indulging in self-pity, who make melodrama about self-pity, about how much pain he is in, that is when Govinda and all happened. You can’t see that in isolation. That happened because theatre was dying down, VCR was introduced, middle class was not coming. The audience was gone. There was a particular kind of audience, and cinema was catering to them. The whole atmosphere was like that.
We went lower in search of the consumer?
Because the consumer was like that. People only liked that. Once, during a shoot, Bhatt sahab aaye, chillaye mere par – ‘Arey yaar Irrfan, gandi acting kar, spoon-feed them. Spoon-feed .Yeh achhi acting se nahin chalega, dukan band ho jayegi’.
What movie was this?
‘Kasoor’ – pehli film thi yeh. And he had a point. He was addressing that audience, he has a great communication with that audience that’s not interested in nuances. Cinema was not capturing those nuances, so there was this space for nuances.
Fortunately, now, the audience is exposed to world cinema. They want similar things from India. That’s why Talvar , that’s why Piku . All these films are being lapped up by the audience. 4 crore ki film 70 crore ka business kar rahi hai. Aur jahan tak Hollywood ke craft ka sawaal hai – even when they make films for kids, it’s not just the kids who can enjoy it, even parents can. Like Jurassic World or Jungle Book. We have not made any successful horror film or a successful children’s film. We are still lagging behind.
From ‘Snow White’ to ‘Jungle Book’ to whatever… they are retelling the same tales and making billions. Humare yahan chahe woh Akbar-Birbal ho ya Tenali Rama ho, cinema mein woh cheez kabhi la nahin paye.
Yes. This is the best time for a producer to be alert and just pick up talent and take a little bit of risk. When we had Madaari’s script with us, I could not go to the corporates. I went to one or two corporates, and I understood that we will not be able to convince them what potential this film has. That’s because they are evaluating a film through a formula they have, and they don’t know how to look beyond that. That’s why I came on as a producer for the film. I thought, let’s make it and then we will go to the corporates.
The system is changing. You will be surprised by the way things will change. The way Priyanka has suddenly gone there, Deepika has gone there – things are moving in a very interesting direction as far as India is concerned.
Is it easier for Indian actors to get a footing in Hollywood after the sort of work people like you or Priyanka have done?
No, no. It is not easy. It is fifty times more difficult to break into Hollywood than it is here. An actor who gets one or two auditions there is exhilarated. Just two auditions. If he gets them, he thinks he is there. Uss industry mein break in karna is not easy. I don’t think that they are looking at India and saying aao ji aao.
How has Priyanka made a mark this early?
I don’t know. I have seen people – some famous stars also, I don’t want to name people – who have spent so much time trying. Chappalein ghis gayin, as we say, but kuch nahin, nothing. Kuch actresses do-do saal tak wahan padi huin hain aur kuch dhele ka kaam nahin mila. How something happens – there or here – there is no formula to it. That is the mystery of cinema!
Luck, destiny, those words?
I’d like to quote something joh humein bachpan mein kaha gaya tha – izzat aur zillat aap ke haath mein nahin hai.Waqt deta hai.
Waqt deta hai, nature deta hai, ya kaun deta hai, pata nahin… Lekin woh aap ke haath mein nahin hai. Aur main iss mein believe karta hoon. Isliye I cannot take the credit for anything. I am just trying to make sense out of this existence which has been imposed upon me. I did not choose it.
In an earlier interview some years back, you had spoken about the baba in Jaipur who saw your kundli in 1983… (a minute’s break for laughter)… and you said he told you you’ll be famous only after 2000. So he gave you a 16-17 year waiting period. It’s been 16 years since 2000. How does life look from this vantage point? Do you ever ask about your future now?
Yeh joh art hai, iska kuch percentage sahi jaata hai, dekhne wala hona chahiye. Like a doctor who is able to diagnose accurately because he knows how to assess you. But it is suicidal to depend on it. It deprives you of facing life spontaneously. Sometimes, what is predicted happens, sometimes it doesn’t happen. But to take life spontaneously, to be prepared for whatever is going to happen – that enriches you. If you know, or think you know, or if I knew ki ab se yeh hoga, 2000 se aisa hoga, aur waisa hua – it hasn’t done good to me. It shows some kind of insecurity within me. I am insecure, which is why I depend on that. It shows that I don’t trust the process of life. That’s a folly, that’s a weakness.
Like knowing where a bowler will be pitching the ball before he bowls it?
Exactly! And if the ball is an outswinger – and you were told it will be an outswinger – aur aap ne uss pe shot maar diya, toh aap ko aage, kahin na kahin, apni ability pe question mark rahega. Ki woh faculty joh meri thi, agar main judge kar ke maarta, woh exercise nahin hui.
Given that you came to Delhi to watch the IPL eliminator – KKR vs SRH – I was thinking of the extremely interesting logic you had once used in explaining that you had wanted to be a cricketer, but then thought that there is scope for only 11 players, while there can be any number of actors – so you opted to be an actor!
Yes, that is exactly how I thought in my naive mind then.
I had to break out of that mould I was in. I don’t know where it was from – but the desire I had was to escape from the perception people had of me. That was the basic desire. In my school days, I used to dislike how people looked at me, what they thought of me. I wanted to escape that. I think that made me come out of my shell and express myself. You are looking at me in a particular way – and I am not that. I am something else. What am I – I don’t know.
So you were clear about what you did not want to be. And then you began to find out what you wanted to be.
Yeah, yeah. That’s why cricket. That’s why acting. That’s why trying to find out what I wanted to be. Once I was watching an Ashok Kumar film – Mamata. And I was fascinated by the role of a barrister, and I thought that I’ll become a barrister. I was always looking for things that would take me away from where I was.
Pata nahin yeh interview mein bolna chahiye ki nahin… Jab main teenager thaa, hamare bagal mein ek showroom hua karta thaa, Jaipur mein. Wahan angrez aaya karte thay. Unki airconditioned bus hua karti thi. Mera cousin wahan neeche khada hua karta thaa kabhi jab woh buses ja rahi hoti thi, aur aise hi khade ho ke hi-hello kiya karta tha tourists ko – uska intention hua karta thaa ki woh shayad use kuch de dein. And I was part of it! I still remember that time – my mental makeup. How we were fascinated by these people and they looked like they were from another planet. I just wanted to get away from there, from being that.
In a previous interview, you’d said that you ‘felt like a nobody’ after watching a shooting as a child – did you want to be on the other side of the shooting someday, be a somebody?
Nahin, tab woh khayal hi nahin aaya thaa. I was too young. Maine Bachchan sahab ki shooting dekhi thi. And I felt very bad, I felt like a nobody. Ghar aa kar maine yeh incident apni mother ko bataya. She said ‘Mujhe bhi aisa laga thaa. Amer Fort mein Dara Singh ki kisi film ki shooting chal rahi thi, aur mujhe bahut bura laga tha wahan jaane ke baad’. Toh main yeh identify kar paaya ki humari feelings ek jaisi hain – magar woh kyun hai aisi, mujhe samajh nahin aaya.
Uske baad main zindagi mein kabhi shooting dekhne nahin gaya. Zindagi mein kabhi kisi se autograph nahin maanga. Ek baar maangne gaya thaa, (iconic Pakistani batsman) Zaheer Abbas se. Main bhaga bhaga gaya thaa, kisi tarah se mauka mil gaya thaa, friendly match tha, itni strict security nahin thi.
And he just looked at me – and kept walking.
Uss ke baad se I have never approached anyone for an autograph.
Which is why you are so uncomfortable walking away when people ask you for a picture?
Sometimes you don’t have the time, sometimes you’re not in the mood. But I really feel bad sometimes, ki maine kyun mana kar diya…
Abhi do din pehle main Lokhandwala mein ghoom raha thaa raat ko, ek auto ruka aur ek ladka utar ke aisey aaya (arms outstretched) ki maine socha kya ho gaya, koi bam phodne aaya hai kya. He ran towards me. And when he reached me, I saw he was exuberant. ‘Sir, sir, photograph…’ I was in a different mood. I said, ‘Yaar, tu haath mila le, bhai tu photograph rehne de’. Uske chehre ka rang badla aisa ek second mein – woh main bhool nahin sakta. Ab mujhe lagta hai maine gale kyun nahin lagaya.
What irritates you sometimes is that people don’t value themselves sometimes… bahut saste mein jaise apne ko… Aur photo bhi kheench gaya tab bhi satisfaction nahin hai, selfie chahiye. Iss pravritti se thodi uljhan hoti hai. All the time one is not in a zone to do all this.
So you never asked for an autograph. How was it the first time someone asked you for one?
(Laughs) I don’t exactly remember it. I have got things very gradually. Raaton raat meri zindagi kabhi tabdeel nahin hui. Jab main shuru mein pehchana jaane laga toh apne characters ke naam se pehchana jaata thaa. They didn’t know my name. Yeh daur chalta raha koi 7-8 saal jab main television kar raha thaa. Mujhe Kumar ke naam se jaante thay, Badrinath (from Chandrakanta) ke naam se jaante thay. Sometimes people would say, ‘Arey, dekh dekh woh TV mein aata hai na!’ But you realise ki yaar naam ke liye to nahin aaye thay.
In an interview a couple of years back you’d said ‘Wanting fame is a disease.’
Yes, I still think that. One day I will want to be free from this disease, from this desire. Where fame doesn’t matter. Where just experiencing life and being okay with it is enough. Right now, you can say I am a patient of the disease. In the very beginning, that was all I wanted when I thought of being an actor – ki bas main famous ho jaun.
Are you currently at peace?
Comparatively, I think I am. But our industry is such that we keep propelling ourselves in new directions. I don’t have formulas, but I have landmarks to achieve. To do the kind of films that I want to do. To engage audiences in a larger way. To redefine things. That is my basic concern – things need to be redefined.It pains me when a film actor or a cricketer is a youth icon. I don’t have anything against them. They are great entertainers; they are useful to the society. They contribute to people’s lives. But they are not heroes. We haven’t redefined heroes. Heroes are different people. Heroes are people who sacrifice their own concerns and do something bigger, who change people’s lives. We film stars and cricketers shouldn’t be aspirational in such a big way for the healthy growth of the society. It’s a sign of consumerism at its extreme. That’s why I find it so cool and so hip to see that photograph of the women scientists of ISRO celebrating a launch. That’s heroism. That’s cool, that’s hip! Lekin main agar kahin se udhaar le kar, kuch bana ke, thodi der ke liye aapka time pass kara de raha hoon, just because I am famous, you aspire to become me – that’s not cool, that’s pathetic.
Arijit Singh Reveals What Offended Salman Khan at Award Function
Indo-Asian News Service
| May 28, 2016 17:42 IST (Mumbai)
Singer Arijit Singh, who has been in the news for posting a public apology to Salman Khan on social media, said that he has no regrets about the impact of his action, and that he is hopeful that the actor will “forgive” him someday.
Excerpts from his interview:
Ques: Your fans did not like your public apology to Salman Khan?
Arijit Singh: I have no regrets about it. I know where my fans are coming from and I understand their concern. But I did what I had to do. This song in Sultan( Salman Khan’s film ) which was deleted was very important. When you see the film, you’ll get to know why it’s so special. And it’s really not just about the song.
Ques: Then what is it about?
Arijit Singh: See, I told everyone associated with the song that they shouldn’t record it with me because Mr Salman Khan is not on cordial terms with me.
Ques: What exactly happened between the two of you?
Arijit Singh: This was my first award function. I wasn’t prepared to go for it because I was editing a song for my mentor Pritam da (composer Pritam Chakraborty) but Mukesh Bhatt ji, who was a jury member for that particular awards function, insisted that I should come for the function. And since the Bhatts’ Aashiqui 2 was actually the beginning of my career in Bollywood, I couldn’t say no to him.
Ques: And then?
Arijit Singh: I was working for Pritam da in my casuals and I had a flight to catch. So I went in my casual chappals and clothes to the function. I didn’t realise that a lot of people would feel I was insulting the function.
Ques: Once you reached the function in your chappals, then what happened?
Arijit Singh: I was on my seat and very tired. So I dozed off. As you know, these award functions go on for hours. When my name was announced for the award, someone had to wake me up. I know it was wrong. But I was tired and I dozed off.
Ques: So why did Salman Khan take this personally?
Arijit Singh: While I was walking up to the stage, they started capturing my images in my chappals and casuals. On stage, Salman Khan was laughing in disbelief saying, ‘Tu hai winner’ (You’re the winner)? When I got on stage, he asked me if I had fallen asleep. In my nervousness I blurted out, ‘Aap logon ne sula dia’ (you all put me to sleep). I immediately bit my tongue.
Ques: Is this what has upset Salman Khan?
Arijit Singh: I think so. I don’t know of any other insult. I shouldn’t have done what I did.
Ques: Did you apologize to him?
Arijit Singh: At that very moment, when he handed me the award, I whispered ‘sorry’ into his ear. I couldn’t say more there. When I came down from the stage, I couldn’t find my seat. So I just started walking away. Salman sir saw that and commented, ‘Look at this guy. He has collected his award in chappals and now he’s walking away.’ I got really scared and didn’t know what to do.
Ques: So what did you do?
Arijit Singh: That night when I was in my flight, I kept thinking about the incident and felt sorry about it. When I reached Kolkata, I texted him. He texted me back saying I shouldn’t have gone so casually and I shouldn’t disrespect awards. I was happy that he rebuked me as a senior and that he had got the anger out of his system. I didn’t know he was still angry.
Ques: When did you get to know that he was still angry?
Arijit Singh: When I recorded a song for the Meet Brothers in Kick, they called me saying that Bhai doesn’t want to keep the song. I realized that he was still angry and started apologizing again and asked him whether I could meet him to apologize personally. I told him not to be angry and that I was just a newcomer. Then came Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
Ques: That too had a song by you?
Arijit Singh: I didn’t sing. I was helping Pritam da with the music. When a particular song was being considered for me, Bhai (Mr Khan) vetoed it. Pritam da told me that he won’t record any song with me because he might have had to remove my voice. I stopped working on the music of Bajrangi Bhaijaan with Pritam da. I again apologized to Salman Bhai. I thought time would heal the hurt. I hoped it would be fine in five or ten years. I left it at that.
Ques: Then what?
Arijit Singh: I was out of Mumbai when I got a call from Vishal Dadlani saying that I have to come to Mumbai immediately to record a song for Sultan. I was really excited. I felt Salman sir has finally forgiven me. I went to Mumbai and recorded the song. It’s an amazing song. Vishal called to say Salman sir also liked the song. I thought everything was okay. I planned to dedicate the song to Salman sir after the release, go to his house and thank him. Then I got an sms from Vishal Dadlani. He informed me that my song couldn’t be kept in Sultan. Vishal said Salman sir had forgiven me but I couldn’t sing for him.
Ques: Why didn’t you leave it at that?
Arijit Singh: If I hadn’t sung it right, I would’ve left it. I asked Vishal Dadlani if I should try to talk to Salman sir. He said I should. But it wouldn’t change the status quo regarding the song. I kept thinking about the situation. At Nita Ambani ji’s son’s birthday, I met Salman sir. I had left the party when someone informed me that Salman sir had arrived. I went back. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to talk to him.
Ques: He ignored you?
Arijit Singh: No, we spoke. I again apologised. He said he was okay and that it was all good. But I could sense the coldness. After the Sultan song incident, I tried calling him and texted him not to remove the song since I had worked hard on it. I wanted to sing for Salman sir.
Ques: What is your thought on the situation now?
Arijit Singh: I’m really hurt. If I had not sung the song well, I would have been okay. But there’s no reason for getting it removed. When I was told that it was removed, I wasn’t in Mumbai. If I would have been, I would have gone straight to his home. Rather than trying to reach him through mutual friends, I decided to write my apology on Facebook. I knew it would go viral. It happened in an hour. I knew the impact of my action.
Ques: So no regrets?
Arijit Singh: No regrets. I have no shame in saying that I wanted that song in Sultan. I knew some would misunderstand my Facebook apology. But it doesn’t matter. For me, the song is important. And my relation with Salman sir is important. He has to forgive me some day. I didn’t mean to insult him.
On Tuesday, Arijit Singh posted a lengthy Facebook note addressed to Mr Khan apologising for having insulted him and pleading in favour of his Sultan song.
Do you remember the time you went to single-screen theatres and saw the placard ‘Housefull’ at the ticket window? Wasn’t that a different thrill?
Of course, it was. We have grown in theatres like Chandan, Gaiety-Galaxy and Maratha Mandir. I have such lovely memories of watching movies there. For all the industry kids who have grown up together, if it was somebody’s birthday party, they would inevitably have a trial of one of their father’s films. It was superb to watch films along with treats like choco-cones, samosas and Gold Spot (orange drink). Those single-screen theatres were our temples, we grew up there. It is such a high watching films with the audience. I distinctly remember sitting in the projection room of a single screen theatre and watching my first few films. It’s a huge learning experience. The first thing it teaches you is that somebody who is completely dispassionate about what you have done is watching your film and they don’t care about what turmoil you’ve gone through or what sacrifices you’ve made. If the film is not entertaining they are going to let it be known. I go to watch most of my films in single screens, now it’s like a tradition. The truth is that you have given the film your blood, sweat and tears, and somebody who is completely unrelated to that emotional journey is going to come and decide its fate. It is educational and refreshing and every actor should experience it. For actors like us who have grown up watching films in these theatres, it is still exciting to ask, arre Chandan mein kya reaction tha?
The new releases Phobia, Veerapan and Waiting were all disasters at the box office. The apprx first weekend collections of the new releases were as follows.
Veerapan – 4.50 crore
Phobia – 1.50 crore
Waiting – 1.25 crore
Three three films between them actually managed to cover 2000 screens but played to practically empty houses. Veerapan had a flat weekend and the other two managed growth on Saturday but it was multifold growth of 300-400% which was needed,
If all goes well, perfectionist Aamir Khan will be making his TV debut with Anil Kapoor’s 24: Season 2. Even though Aamir technically has made his debut already with Satyamev Jayate, if Aamir agrees to be a part of the second instalment of 24, this would mark Aamir’s debut in the fictional space.
A leading daily has reported that Aamir Khan is scheduled to launch the show along with Anil Kapoor at a press conference in June. And Anil Kapoor wants Aamir to do a cameo on the show and talks with Aamir are on in full swing.
Aamir and Anil share a friendship and comfortable camaraderie from the time they starred together in Mann in 1999. They come a long way. And according to the newspaper, Aamir was also praising Anil for all of the later’s efforts for 24: Season 2.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to watch Aamir in a fictional space on television?
Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan is likely to make a special appearance on the second part of hit TV series ’24’, according to reports.
Aamir Khan was last seen hosting Satyamev Jayate on small screen. If reports are to be believed, the actor will be seen on show’s launch with Anil Kapoor . The show will be launched in the first week of June.
Anil Kapoor plays the role of ATS Chief Jai Singh Rathore, a character who is torn between loyalty to his family and to his country. The discussions between Aamir and the show’s makers are still on and Mr Perfectionist is thoroughly reviewing each aspect before giving it a nod.
The ‘Peshwa’ battle is certainly on! Tellychakkar.com was the first to report about Sony TV and &TV eyeing at recreating the magic of Bajirao Mastani on the small screen. Well, &TV has put out the first teaser for the show. But seems like the makers of the magnum opus on Sony TV are not worried about this development. Yes, it is a race against time and the makers of the Sony TV project…
We hear that this ambitious 100 crore project will be helmed by Sphere Origins and creatively produced by Nilanjana Purkayasstha’s company Invictus T Mediaworks (the same association as of Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani). This will be the most expensive historical show made on TV screens till date.
And we also hear of the show having a huge star cast, not just from TV but also the big screen.
Well, we have an exclusive piece of news of the first big name to be roped in to the show.
And that happens to be the beautiful B-town actress Isha Kopikkar.
Yes, you heard it right. The actress who got noticed for her roles in movies Girlfriend, Darling, Shabri, Kya Kool Hain Hum, 36 China Town, Don and many more will play one of the important characters in the show.
As per a credible source, “Isha is very excited to be part of the project. She will play a queen and a beautiful warrior, and will have a very meaty role to portray.”
Family quarrels that follow throw up that one question every immigrant dreads: If India was so great, why did they give up their Indian passport? Was it not just for the money and the good life? It was not like there was war there. The result is passport shame.
Two discourses emerge to cope with this passport shame. One leaning to the Left: We left India because it is the land of Brahmin oppressors. One leaning to the Right: We left India because the glory of Hinduism was being destroyed by Nehruvian socialism and its reservation policies. Both these discourses meet with American approval, for America is all about democracy, freedom, and fighting the forces of evil, evil being all things non-Christian and communist.
The arrival of Modi adds a new dimension. “He embodies what we were escaping,” say the Left-leaning Indian Americans, clinging to their American passports, joining the chorus that equates Hinduism with Hindutva, and reduces Hinduism to casteism, feudalism and patriarchy. Significantly, many of these Modi-baiters have Brahmin surnames, who know in the race for power in academic circles they will eventually be shouted down as Savarnas seeking to appropriate Dalit heritage.
The Right-leaning Indian Americans, who also cling to their American passports, argue differently, “Modi is the saviour of all that is good and noble in India and Hinduism.”
This group cares more for their unique version of Hinduism than India, but realises it is difficult to separate the lived experience of Hinduism from India’s geography and history. They are not equipped to handle the complexity of Hinduism that eludes even the experts. They prefer the simple version of ill-informed parents and agenda-driven gurus. So with the gall of the ignorant, they construct and cling to a fabulous but empowering vision of a pre-Islamic, purely Hindu India where there was no caste, no misogyny, no hierarchy. They bark and snarl at anyone who contradicts them, especially American academics (the outsiders!) and Indian Americans who criticise Hinduism and India (the traitors!). The worst is reserved for Indians who actually live in India, and have felt no need to emigrate (the brainwashed anti-national, colonial sepoys and Macaulay-putras!).
At a superficial level, the California textbook controversy is certainly about erasure of Dalit, Hindu, and Indian heritage from history books by a country repeatedly accused of cynically manipulating the doctrine of democracy for its capitalist goals. At a deeper level, however, it is more about the passport shame of Indian Americans who voluntarily chose the American Dream over the Idea of India, but still feel loyalty towards the land, its religion, even its atrocities and injustices, that they left behind.
One of the dumbest and poorly-researched ‘articles’ of all-times: perfectly aimed at getting a shot in NYT ‘guest op-ed’ column. Jesus, when are these ‘scholars’ going to come up with something original?? This ‘article’ is literally like a check-box of sentences: Modi-attack – check; NRI Indians – check; NRI Indians/Brahmans/Internet-Hindus-check – social-media abused by ‘Bhakts’ – check.
Congratulations Mr. Patnaik; your article is on the automated-queue for a BJP-ruled minority-smashed and history-altered India. Would you like a Jameson or Dewars? On the rocks or neat?
** I paste this link here as a response to Dhoni’s comment about how pathetic Aamir was in his interaction with Ian. Now I understand the compulsive need of SRK and Salman fans to bad-mouth Aamir, but take a look here for yourself if Aamir is ‘interfering’ with Ian and comes off as someone trying to show-off his own stuff. And what a lively, witty show by Ian!! Unmissable.**
Sir Ian McKellen shared his experience of learning how to act and the art of acting while talking to Aamir Khan at the launch of Shakespeare on Film with BFI and British Council, a global tour, and MAMI Film Club in Mumbai. Here’s what they said (are you taking down notes?
I am a free speech proponent but I also like to show respect to people who have achieved so much in life…I don’t want to stop the guy from making or showing video but the video is lame.
I am not sure how would Sonam react if Anil Kapoor was at receiving end. Rishi Kapoor has been making all the right noises now on twitter but If I remember his family was angry at vitriol towards Ranbir in press vis-a-vis Deepika and Sonam interview. I guess people have different parameters if their skin in not in the middle.
Hope this current debate gets it proper due process because after a long time free speech involves two stalwarts who are literally idolized by most Indians.This trimurti would be complete if Tanmay Bhatt was to include Big B….another god of mammoth proportions ! In a diverse nation like India a lot many controversies/ debates are not able to reach the rightful conclusion due to involvement of various other factors and prejudices whether it is due to cast,creed ,color, religion etc……and after a brief upheaval, its all swept under the carpet !
I feel this kind of internal spat / debate is good and will come up every few months until vast majority are on the same page. There is a section in India which has access to internet/ ipad / YouTube and is fully hooked up and Americanized and considers themselves as the Jon Stewarts and John Olivers of India but then they don’t realize the vast majority is still stuck up to the roots and follow established practice.
Further there is a huge language barrier to these sort of jokes and the way we use it…….to me ‘Backchodi’ will always remain troubling whereas bullshit / crap-talk etc is a term I can use without any inhibition. Somewhere replacing ‘chod’ with ‘fuck’ which literally means the same is at the root of all this cultural mishmash / relativism.
Ideally I would like to be in RGV space of thoughts with regards to this controversy.
Ram Gopal Varma @RGVzoomin May 30
AIB spoof on Lataji is in very bad taste but isn’t AIB about that only?
Ram Gopal Varma @RGVzoomin May 30
Though I love Ashaji’s singing better I respect Lataji as much as anybody else but more than both of them I love free speech
this last tweet here is well written by rgv which also forms the crux of this debate in India.
Ram Gopal Varma @RGVzoomin May 30
Tanmay’s AIB is a mirror to hypocritical multiple standards of a degenerate feudal mindset which masquerades as a free speech democracy
Rocky, I may have missed this whole episode as it never got much traction in media. ( okay to please you will accept liberal media bias is real)! Just googled the story to know the story and apparently it was in retaliation to Azam Khan calling all RSS members homosexuals. Bahut sahee…..i don’t know how gangsta azam khan got away saying all that !
Any religion which takes offence to such utterances about Ram, Rahim, Jesus, Mohammad is weak and chaos is mostly created by propagandist to further their agendas. Inki dukaan isee se chalti hai. On personal level have already stated – to me my religion is my own personal belief and my own personal dialogue with God. In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.
My comment above is exactly this point that in our country most of the times this free speech debate takes a religious turn and we never come to any proper conclusion. In Tanmay Bhatt’s case, after a long time there is no such angle involved and we can all have an educated debate and test our limits to free speech.
Workers in countries like India and Bangladesh employed in supplier factories for global retail giants Walmart, Gap and H&M face “intensive labour exploitation and abuse” including non-payment of wages, sexual harassment and unsafe work environments, according to advocacy groups.
The Asia Floor Wage Alliance, which released a series of reports by trade unions and advocacy groups on the working conditions across the companies’ supplier factories for Walmart, H&M and Gap in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Cambodia, includes over 70 organisations representing garment industry trade unions, NGOs, consumer groups and research institutes.
The report ‘Precarious Work in the Walmart Global Value Chain’ said that across the 24 Walmart producing factories surveyed in India, workers reported violations of international labour standards including a “range of wage practices, including payment of wages below their skill level, denial of legally stipulated over time rates, illegal deductions, late payments and non-payment of wages”.
Some workers in India were also make to work on Sundays and national holidays “in sweltering heat, without adequate supply of clean drinking water or any breaks”.
Information for the report was collected through interviews and focus group discussions with 344 workers engaged in Walmart supply chains in Bangladesh, Cambodia and India; and a case study, spanning 8 months, of working conditions in an Indonesian Walmart supplier employing 3,800 Indonesian contract workers.
In India, field research included interviews with 105 workers producing garments in Walmart supplier factories across three garment manufacturing regions in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
The report said that workers in Walmart supplier factories face a “range of coercive practices that make them particularly vulnerable to forced labour”, including “threats of termination levied against temporary and contract workers for refusing to work overtime hours or for exercising their right to freedom of association”.
In all four countries, contingent workers are required to work excessive hours with the threat of losing their jobs if they refuse.
The report said use of contract labour is most pervasive in Delhi-NCR with an estimated 60-80 per cent of the garment workforce employed as contract workers.
Casual and contract workers lack job security, social security benefits and freedom of association, it said.
“This facilitates the sidestepping of statutory obligations by employers and creates a constant state of insecurity for workers,” it said.
The report further added that health consequences faced by workers in India’s garment industry include respiratory illnesses including silicosis from sand blasting, tuberculosis, ergonomic issues such as back pain, reproductive health issues and mental health problems including depression and anxiety.
“While major accidents are not common, minor incidents such as puncture wounds from needles are a daily occurrence.
Other hazards include extended exposure to heat, noise, dust and chemicals; and biological vulnerability due to poor nutrition,” it said.
Women garment workers routinely face violence in the workplace, including sexual harassment and physical and sexual violence, the reports said.
Among the Walmart supplier factories in India investigated for the study, sexual harassment from supervisors is “widespread” and women do not report enduring sexual harassment because complaints most often lead to termination.
Maternity benefits are also granted inconsistently – ranging from none at all to well below statutory requirements.
In the Gap factories investigated for the study, workers reported they are forced to do overtime and that they cannot refuse it.
“Reported penalties for refusing overtime include dismissal from work and physical and verbal abuse,” it said.
Most Cambodians in Walmart supplier factories work under “highly exploitative” contracts that “leave them susceptible to unsafe working conditions, low wages, denial of benefits and harsh penalties for engaging in union activity — including termination of employment”, it added.
This includes “forced overtime” during Cambodia’s hottest season, leading to “mass fainting episodes resulting from over exertion, exacerbated by inadequate nutrition”.
The report cited the April 2013 Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh, when 1,139 workers were killed in the collapse of the eight-storey commercial building.
Following the devastating collapse, 200 brands signed the 2013 a legally binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh but Walmart refused. The report said that instead of signing the Accord, Walmart, together with Gap, founded the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety is a voluntary measure rather than a contractual commitment but to date, Walmart has refused to make a contractual commitment to ensuring safe working conditions for Bangladeshi workers.