Once under fire for not doing enough for its impoverished Indian child stars, the makers of “Slumdog Millionaire” said on Wednesday they had bought a flat for one of them whose Mumbai shanty home had been demolished.
Director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson flew into Mumbai after pictures of Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali picking ACthrough the debris of their homes — torn down by the civic authorities as illegal — were splashed in the media.
Smiling and hugging the children, Boyle said a home had been bought for Ismail, 9, who played the character of Salim as a child. He added they would soon buy one for Ali as well, who plays the young Latika.
Boyle, who came under fire for not doing enough for the children who lived in squalor despite the film’s success, blamed the media for raising the families’ expectations.
“Inevitably, the tension and pressure is media generated,” he said, after greeting Ali and Ismail with a hug.
“They were given access to a world, an extraordinary and glamorous world, and they understandably want their lives to be completely transformed,” said Boyle.
“The homes are a concern. That is one of the reasons why we built the trust,” he said.
The “Jai Ho” trust, named after the film’s award-winning track, and set up by Boyle and Colson, is meant to pay for the education and basic living costs of Ismail and Ali until they turn 18.
Boyle, whose rags-to-riches romance about a poor Indian boy competing in a TV game show scooped eight Academy Awards earlier this year, said he was pushing the trust to find a place for Ali before the monsoon rains, due around June 10.
A director for the trust said the apartment for Ismail was “comfortable, in a good neighbourhood (and) near his school” and cost “upwards of 2 million rupees” ($42,000).
“We have been trying to accelerate the process of re-housing the families, and one of the reasons we set up the trust is to deal with emergencies like this,” said Colson.
Boyle and Colson last month also donated 500,000 pounds to a non-profit organisation to support a programme for children in a slum in central Mumbai, where the film was largely shot.
In February, the state housing authority said it would give the two children apartments, but the families have not heard from them, said Rafik Qureshi, Ali’s father.
“The kids have done such a good job. They haven’t got anything. See where the kids are staying,” he said.
Nobody has the passion and heart to buy a stake in Kolkata Knight Riders,” declares Shah Rukh Khan, defying the claim made by mystery blogger Fake IPL Player that the star had found investors for the team. To HT City’s request to comment on Fake IPL Player, SRK simply replies, “I don’t do fake.”
When he returned from South Africa almost two weeks ago, Shah Rukh had sounded dejected over KKR’s performance. But his passion for his team and the game seems to have become even stronger. “You don’t need just money to run KKR — we have our wonderful sponsors for that — what you need is love, and in that department I am the king,” he states.
Rumours that he wants to wash his hands of cricket are just that, he contends. “The pressure to perform is greater now, but when you see Deccan and Bangalore turn it around in a year… I’m sure so can we.” UK-based brand valuation firm Intangible Business, in collaboration with MTI Consulting, has declared KKR the richest IPL team valued at $22 million.
“The valuation makes me smile a bit, [but] it will make me happy when our team provides value to our supporters on the field and makes them proud to be with KKR,” says Shah Rukh. He has a special promise for kids: “I want to promise them again this year… that the KKR shirts will be smaller for them in 2010, but they will never feel small wearing them as supporters.”
As for the performance, he takes the entire responsibility upon himself. “We don’t hate failure enough,” says the man who has seldom failed as a star. “The blame should completely rest on my shoulders. It’s my duty to overcome this year’s performance… how, when, who… too many details for an interview… I don’t like being a loser and I’ll pragmatically and passionately turn this around. Inshallah.”
As of now, it’s back to being Rizwan Khan in Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan, and SRK calls it one of his most intricate roles so far. “It is an exercise in bringing technique and emotions together.”
Every now and then, big names are being tossed around as being nearly signed for this role and now the latest rumour is that Shah Rukh Khan will feature in the role in this action thriller.
A source who claims to be in the know swears, “Yash Raj Films have been going through a lull period as none of their on-the-floor movies or their completed ones are generating any curiosity from the buyers as well as the audiences. SRK has always been a quick-fix solution for the Chopras.
When- ever their mega boat is rocked, good friend Adi Chopra calls on SRK and the actor steps in to bail out his dost.” This last happened with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
Now an insider claims claim that SRK has been approached by the banner to play the main villain in Dhoom 3, “Last week, SRK was called in for a tentative one-line narration; he was impressed and agreed to be part of the film.”
Although one wonders when SRK will find the time to finish this film, which reportedly starts some time next year. SRK is very charged about his superhero flick and Don 2, which he wants to finish in 2010, along with his home production Happy New Year, to be directed by Farah Khan, so where is the time to fit in Dhoom 3? It is also not clear who will direct D:3 as Sanjay Gadhvi has had a fallout with YRF.”
Slumdog Millionaire child star Rubina Ali had to spend a night sleeping on the floor of an Indian hospital after her slum home was bulldozed. The nine-year-old star suffered from flu after spending two days homeless on the streets of Mumbai. She was taken to the nearby Bhaba hospital, but because there were no beds left she had to lie in the arms of her aunt Mohidin on the floor.
“Rubina was out in the hot sun when they knocked down our home and then was exposed to the humid night,” the Sun quoted dad Rafiq Qureshi as saying. “It was extremely stressful for all my family and I am not surprised that this caught up with my daughter,” he added. However, Rubina has been discharged from hospital and is currently staying in a cramped House.
Shilpa Shetty’s cricket team Rajasthan Royals may be bowled out of the ongoing Indian Premiere League in South Africa
but the glamorous actress is not packing her bags. She will join R&B sensation Akon, as he sings his Grammy award winning song “Smack That” at the closing ceremony of the IPL2 at the Wanderers on Sunday, May 24.
It is said that Katrina Kaif too will perform to the Oscar-winning number “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire composed by A.R. Rahman. She will perform with a troupe of dancers from Indian and South Africa, and choreographer Shiamak Davar is taking care of the moves.
IPL2 finale will also witness Caribbean music legend Eddy Grant performing his popular numbers “Walking on Sunshine” and “Gimme Hope Jo’anna.” Renowned percussionist Shivamani and a group of Indian and South African drummers will present a synchronised piece.
The Miss Bollywood IPL South Africa finalists will also be introduced to the audience at the IPL2 grand finale.
Shah Rukh Khan-promoted Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has tied up with soft drinks major Coca Cola for sponsorship during the coming IPL, days after the actor was dumped by rival beverage player PepsiCo as its brand ambassador.
“We are happy to announce that we have tied up with Coca Cola for (a) sponsorship deal for the IPL, which will include using the company`s logo as well as promoting their brand,” KKR Director Joy Bhattacharya told reporters.
He said the contract is especially for the IPL season and Coca Cola`s sparkling drink brand `Sprite` would be promoted as part of the campaign.
Bhattacharya, however, refused to share any more details regarding the deal, including size of the contract.
Coca Cola refused to comment on the development.
Coke`s deal with KKR comes on the heels of PepsiCo terminating its contract with Khan, who was the longest serving brand ambassador for the company.
PepsiCo had, however, said it is “currently in discussions with him to take the relationship to a new phase”.
Yesterday,Shahrukh told media,”Pepsi removed me”.
The plotline begins when PepsiCo dumped its decade-old brand ambassador Khan from its Youngistan campaign last week. Coca-Cola moved in, offering to sponsor KKR, which would have ensured that Khan and his team members — including Sourav Ganguly, also dropped by PepsiCo in 2008, and Ishant Sharma, an existing PepsiCo ambassador — are seen endorsing Coke products.
Coca-Cola, which is planning to push its Sprite brand of clear-lemon drink through KKR, is close to signing a two-year deal with the IPL team, people close to the matter told ET. However, on Tuesday, PepsiCo approached KKR with a counter offer, upping the stakes. ET has learnt that a letter of intent has been signed between Coca-Cola and KKR.
Both parties are meeting on Wednesday to take up the matter. Khan had publicly expressed his unhappiness about the way PepsiCo terminated his contract. As first reported by ET on February 13, PepsiCo had decided not to renew his contract.
Coca-Cola’s sponsorship deal includes merchandise branding rights — T-shirts, jerseys, helmets, caps — in-stadia branding rights on perimeters and dug-outs, aligning with the team as a beverage partner, serving Coca-Cola beverages in home stadiums, and below-the-line and above-the-line promotions by KKR team players. KKR team members and Khan may also feature in Coca-Cola advertising specific to IPL. Every IPL team gets to play seven matches in home stadiums.
Summer is peak season for beverage companies and Sprite, according to a recent study by AC Nielsen, had dislodged brand Pepsi as the country’s second-largest aerated beverage. Neither Coca-Cola nor Pepsi chose to comment on the developments.
PepsiCo has already closed a deal with India Cements-owned Chennai Super Kings and is still in talks with Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai Indians. In IPL’s season one, Coca-Cola had walked away with the cup as its exclusive on-air sponsor.
PepsiCo’s five-year, Rs 50-crore deal with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as the IPL’s pouring rights partner, on the other hand, had turned out to be a damp squib and was later called off.
Though financials of the expected deal could not be confirmed, it is learnt that the deal — KKR’s deal with one of the cola makers — will involve an upfront cash transaction and a brand activation component. This is Coca-Cola’s second sponsorship deal with an IPL team, Delhi Daredevils being the first. The beverage maker is also learnt to be in talks with Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia-owned Punjab Kings XI.
Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan came together on the same platform to raise the issue of the tiff between the film producers and multiplexes over revenue sharing. And both advocated a partnership of equality.”It should be a partnership of equality. Fifty percent sharing is fair. Distributors and exhibitors have to find a way to make it a viable business within their fifty percent. Within my fifty percent I have to make it profitable,” said Aamir at a press conference in Mumbai. “This is one industry and we all can survive only when each sector will earn a healthy share. We are here to find a solution to this,” added Aamir.
Apart from Aamir, industry veterans like Ronnie Screwvala, Mukesh Bhatt and Karan Johar were present, among others.Shah Rukh Khan, however, stressed that the press meet should not be seen as a “power show”.”This is not a power show. We haven’t gathered here to threaten multiplexes. It’s a show of coming together,” said Shah Rukh who also felt that there should be equal sharing of revenue. “We are here for fair rights for Friday nights,” he asserted.
The tiff between the producers and multiplexes started early February. And after several failed discussions, the producers decided to go on strike. From April 4 they have stopped giving release rights of new big-budget movies.
For the first time, the audience at the 2009 LFW was laughing their hearts out, shouting, screaming, clapping and yelling, “Love you, SRK” to which the superstar replied, “Thank you, darling!”
From Vikram Chatwal, Preity Zinta, Hrithik Roshan and wife Susanne, Kareena Kapoor(not with Saif), Tusshar, Genelia, Sridevi with Boney and daughter, Arjun Rampal with his stunning wife Mehr, Anu Dewan, Gauri Khan (of course), Rita Dhody with Nari (we think they are more than just friends) to Anaita Shroff Adajania (who was seen chatting with Sabina and Anil Chopra) and Parmeshwar Godrej.
Shah Rukh, in a black coat and chocolate brown dhoti pants with a designer gold sling was the showstopper. He walked the ramp and then unlike any showstopper before him, started talking, because he doesn’t do anything without a mic!
“This was gooood!” he exclaimed, “For formality sake, I want to thank the Lakme Fashion Week for having me here because I am neither tall nor good looking. You are very kind people. I would also like to thank all the models who were very kind to me backstage. Thank you everyone as you made me feel that I could do this and my Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) team. Since our growing years, we have been taught to believe in the notion that models can’t act but my handsome, beautiful and very talented friend Arjun Rampal has proved them wrong. Then there is Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham who has muscles everywhere, Dino Morea and even Zeenat Aman has been a model. All you models are wonderful and talented. Thank you”.
“I would also like to thank my beautiful friends Kajol, Kareena, Preity Zinta, Boney and Sri and my wife Gauri. She said she would talk to me the next morning no matter how I do now. I would like to thank Preity because she has joined KKR now,” he laughed
“Choreographer Lubna Adams has done a great job and she tried to make me look good. She told me to give her my ‘good looking face’ and I showed her and said, ‘This is it. So she said ‘Well, you will have to change it by sucking in your face, pouting and looking very angry.’ So I showed her like this and she said ‘You look like a fish that is starved of sex.’ I didn’t mind the fish part but well, I am a Khan and I have some reputation! Then Karan tried to show me and he asked me to look as if I didn’t give a beep!” he said and everyone burst into laughter.
Lastly he introduced and welcomed designer Manish Malhotra on stage. He said, “He designs for the wonderful and beautiful boys and girls on screen but he is the first designer in the history of mankind and in the world to design a sling. If you guys (LFW) give away Filmfare awards, then he should get it for making a sling. Thank you very much, guys.”
Glam doll Katrina Kaif will be the Indian face of the new Celebrity Barbie. Aishwarya Rai had reportedly been approached first, but declined due to lack of time.
“Mattel [the toymaker] proposed that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan endorse the Barbie doll, but as her prior commitments stretched her for time, she had to decline,” says a statement issued by Aishwarya’s spokesperson. Kat is quite happy to lap it up; she endorses Barbie in the iconic doll’s 50th year.
“It is so much fun to endorse a Barbie doll,” Katrina says to HT City. “Almost every girl has grown up playing with the doll and so have I, so it feels great. My sisters would be really happy to know that I am endorsing this brand.”
The diva is delighted to have walked the runway as the showstopper at a special show dedicated to Barbie at the Lakmé Fashion Week in Mumbai. The show, Barbie — All Doll’d Up, was held yesterday afternoon, and had several Indian designers showcasing Barbie-inspired outfits.This was a competition segment, and Katrina wore the dress created by the winning designer.
There could not have been a better opening of the Fall/Winter 2009 Lakme Fashion Week than the spectacular “Barbie All Doll’d Up” show that rocked the ramp. Dress the Barbie contest attracted 75 entries from top designers in the country from which the 20 short listed creations were showcased on the ramp at the dazzling show. I
t was the winning dress by Nishka Lulla that Bollywood’s glamorous star Katrina Kaif modeled as the show stopper of the day.
Katrina Kaif will be the Indian celebrity on whose likeness a Barbie doll will be created by Mattel Toys India Pvt. Ltd. The Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Mumbai with the extra long ramp was dressed in hundreds of metres of the characteristic Barbie pink silk with the famed Barbie logo all around. The venue almost resembled Barbie’s pretty house and it was a place where a girl of any age would have loved to be.