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April 2005


Meera's ?Kiss'a!

Popular Pakistani actress Meera is used to being the cynosure of all eyes in her country but with Nazar, she is now in the ?eye' of a storm. The beautiful star's kissing scene with co-star Ashmit Patel in Nazar, her debut film in Bollywood, has caused a furor in her country with people claiming to represent religious groups in Pakistan, making death threats to her. The problem started when some stills of Meera and Ashmit were circulated during the Kara film festival last year. There were reports that the Pakistan government had imposed a fine on Meera and was considering banning Pakistani artistes from working in India. The Pak government though has categorically denied the reports dismissing it as propaganda by vested interests. Said an angry Mahesh Bhatt, one of the producers of this Indo-Pak joint venture being directed by his wife Soni Razdan: "The kiss in the film is the culmination of a romantic scene. And nowhere does Nazar cross the threshold of Jism or Murder."

But the last word on this must go to Meera: "If I have kissed Ashmit, it's like Pakistan kissing India. If I have hugged him, it's as if every Pakistani has hugged every Indian." Touche!

Preity's ?date' with history

Whenever the media linked the perky Preity Zinta to Abhishek Bachchan and Saif Ali Khan, she retorted by saying that she only shared a "warm rapport" with them. It turns out that the lady was right after all for Ms Zinta's current boyfriend is neither Aby's baby nor the chote nawab, but Ness Wadia. And who might he be! Well, the suave guy is the scion of the Bombay Dyeing family and great grandson of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Never known to keep her lovers under wraps, Preity is open about Ness too.

While on Preity, she and Saif will be saying salaam namaste soon to their fans. What we mean is that the two are coming together again in a new romantic comedy titled Salaam Namaste. The film, which also has Arshad Warsi, explores the casual attitude of youngsters these days. So is it an extension of Hum Tum? "No way. Hum Tum was a little more mature but this one is an effervescent, romantic story," says debutant director Siddharth Anand, who happens to be Tinnu Anand's nephew.

Sister act !

After the great onscreen bonding between Kareena Kapoor and Sushmita Sen in Bewafaa, it's the turn of two more ladies to shower each other with sisterly affection. Evergreen diva Rekha and sexy siren Mallika Sherawat will be seen as siblings in Govind Menon's Bachke Rehna Re Baba due for release on April 22. Presented by Boney Kapoor, the film has Rekha in the role of a glamorous con-woman who tricks rich men off their money. Mallika plays her sister and accomplice. But while Bebo and Sush have become the best of friends off-screen, no such thing has happened with Rekha and Mallika. On the contrary, the senior actress reportedly keeps her co-star at an arm's length, refusing to even be seen in her company at film functions. Really, Mallika does manage to rub her colleagues the wrong way! Remember Ashmit Patel and Emran Hashmi?

Brosnan ?bonds' with Bollywood

Talking about Mallika, we hear that Pierce Brosnan made her day at a do in Mumbai hosted in his honor. The Bond guy, who was in Mumbai recently as Omega's brand ambassador to launch the brand's new line of watches, gave the Murder lady a really long and warm handshake. The Hollywood icon also popular as Remington Steele, had his share of Bollywood at the glittering party where he met film personalities like Yash Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhur Bhandarkar, Arshad Warsi and of course Mallika. Brosnan also revealed that he planned to shoot his next film in India.

Incidentally, after Brande Rodericks, Antonia Bernath and Tata Young, it's now the turn of Tania Zaetta to be bitten by the Bollywood bug. There is a strong buzz that the Baywatch babe, who has also acted in popular television shows like Who Dares Wins, has been roped in to do an item number in Shaad Ali's Bunty Aur Babli which stars Big B, Junior B and the current Bollywood queen Rani Mukherjee.

?And news has just come in that Madhuri Dixit and her husband Dr Nene were blessed with another baby boy on March 8 at a private hospital in Denver. Congratulations to the proud parents!

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