Mumbai Filmdom

Actor Sooraj Pancholi has now decided to venture into the hospitality business by opening a health cafe in partnership with his sister Sana, who already owns a fine dining restaurant in Goa. “A major part of fitness is what you put into your body and I see massive potential in this. Whenever I travel abroad, I always seek out and visit health cafes, something we don’t have enough of, here,” Sooraj said in a statement. The actor says he is currently working on a fitness application in collaboration with his trainer. “I always wanted to do something in the health food space,” Sooraj added. The actor, who made his Bollywood debut with the 2015 film Hero, says as of now he has only decided to open a stand-alone cafe. “We will offer a variety of health foods like salads, smoothies, wheat-based pancakes and healthy desserts. We plan to tentatively start off by year-end or in early 2018,” he said.

Richa Chadha recently found herself in midst of chaos in Abu Dhabi when a sudden storm struck across UAE, leading to massive delay in flights. Richa who was on her way to LA, to discuss the work on her next international project, was stuck in Abu Dhabi for almost 18 hours. The airline she flew by had several women with infants and children, senior citizens and three injured passengers who weren’t given instant help by the airlines, until it was highlighted several times. Only a couple of hours later did the airline official took some step to give basic food and water. Most passengers due to the unforeseen delay didn’t have enough money or local currency to buy food or water and some exhausted their money in the first few hours. In a situation where the airline is meant to give accommodation, it wasn’t provided to anyone, barring those few who had the resources to check into the transit hotel at the airport. Richa came to her fellow passengers rescue through social media by reaching out to airline authorities and even helped the passengers by giving them basic aid. Speaking about the experience, Richa said, “It was a nightmare. I did my best to help out wherever I could. I wish it was handled better.”

Actress Bipasha Basu has denied all rumours about being pregnant and says curiosity about it is a “tad annoying”. There were reports stating that Bipasha, who tied the knot with actor Karan Singh Grover last April, is expecting her first child. Taking to Twitter, the 38-year-old actress shot down rumours and said that whenever it happens she would share it with her fans and followers.

“The curiosity about me being pregnant…is sweet and a tad annoying. I am sorry to disappoint the people who are so eager for this to happen,” Bipasha tweeted. “We are not planning to have a baby right now. When we do plan, it will be joyous news which we will share with our well-wishers then,” she added. The actress, who was last seen on screen in the 2015 horror film “Alone” starring alongside Karan, said that she is a straightforward person. The constant guessing game is tiring as I am more than straightforward person. So, please do not believe anything that gets written. Thank you all, she added.

Actress Parineeti Chopra says working in Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal Again is a matter of honour for her. “We are having loads of fun shooting Golmaal Again. It is the best set I have ever been on. Rohit and his entire Golmaal gang is just mad. The film is big, so I am having a fun time with the entire team which has become like a family,” Parineeti said here on the sidelines of the HT Most Stylish Awards on Friday night. Golmaal is a legendary series. Kareena (Kapoor) has worked in two of them and now I am also working in it, so it’s a thing of honour for me. I think people will be entertained a lot because it’s a hilarious film, added the actress. She won the Youth Icon of the Year (Female) award at the event. Talking about it, she said, “I didn’t expect that I will be leaving my mark on any style awards, but I really worked hard with my stylist and I am so glad that I am winning today because style is something that didn’t come naturally to me. Now, I think I am doing better.” The youth icon of the year (Male) title was awarded to Ayushmann Khurrana, who is playing the main lead with Parineeti Chopra for Yash Raj Films’ Meri Pyaari Bindu.

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone says she won’t be seen walking the red carpet of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May as she is focussed on her film project Padmavati.

There was a buzz that Deepika, who has reportedly bagged an international endorsement deal with a cosmetic giant, will represent the brand at the film jamboree. Asked about it, Deepika told the media, “No. Right now all my energies are focused on Padmavati.” The actress, who featured in Hollywood film xXx: Return of Xander Cage, looked very stylish as she stepped out for an Awards here on Friday night. She also spoke about how an actor’s style has got a lot to do with the team and stylists that work relentlessly behind the scenes, as well as the filmmakers who envision the actors to look a certain way. Deepika seemed to gel very well with her former beau Ranbir Kapoor’s mother Neetu. She also congratulated Neetu and her husband Rishi Kapoor for winning the ‘Most Stylish Timeless Couple’ title. “Today, I was very happy to see Neetuji and Rishiji win. I think they have always been extremely elegant and so well turned out always. They are elegant not just in the way they dress, but even in the way they conduct themselves. So, it was nice seeing them,” she said.

Wondering what happened to the remake of Sai Paranjpye’s 1980s cult comedy Katha? Well, the truth is to be read between the lines. According to director Khalid Mohamed, “It’s an experience best forgotten. I can only say that all the lead actors worked with tremendous inspiration and the film’s principal shooting was completed within 35 days. I invested over a year in the scripting and post-production. My sole idea was to pay a tribute to Sai’s masterpiece.”

The remake, produced by Anjum Rizvi, features Maniesh Paul, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub and debutante Sharmiela Mandre in the roles played by Farooque Shaikh, Naseeruddin Shah and Deepti Naval in the original and had Sai’s approval. Rizvi acquired the creative rights from Said, who still has to be paid the full amount as contracted. Khalid owns the rights to the film from the original film’s producer Suresh Jindal. Anjum admits that the film has been delayed due to financial constraints and adds, “I am trying to sort it out and hopefully, we can release it this year. It’s just a matter of time. Every film has its destiny and will be released when it’s destined to.”

Gurmeet Choudhary and Debina Bonnerjee have been in love with each other since they were teenagers. And their love story is still fresh. The latest one is a surprise for Debina herself. Recently, Gurmeet suprised her by buying a plot amidst the scenic beauty of North India as a pre-birthday gifts. A source says, “During their holidays in Himachal Pradesh last year, they thought about buying a place there, as Debina feels it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. They have been to the state often on vacation or for work. Gurmeet is fond of adventure sports, and one can indulge in many adventure sports in the region. So, it was ideal to get a farmhouse kind of place in the state.” Gurmeet, who will be next seen in Laali Ki Shaadi Me Laddoo Deewana is sure as hell deewana about his own shaadi to Debina. He says, “Debina is very fond of visiting exotic locations in Himachal Pradesh and always wanted to own a house there. So, this birthday, I thought of gifting her a beautiful house located in a small village near Manali and we plan to build a house there soon.” End he said.           

       – Anil Merani.