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August 2003

Ash, Rani part ways

chalte chalte

Aishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherjee, once the best of buddies, don't share warm vibes any longer, no thanks to Chalte Chalte, Shah Rukh Khan's home production. Yes, the irrepressible Salman Khan had rudely barged in on the sets of this very movie and taken off with his then lady love Aishwarya. An angry Shah Rukh had lost no time in replacing Ash with Rani, who he insists was the original choice anyway. Good for Rani because she is truly the queen of the marquee at the moment, with the recently released film fetching her rave reviews. Ash, by the way, is also said to have fallen out with ?good friend' Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

While on Rani, after Urmila (Bhoot) and Tabu (Hawa), it is now the Saathiya girl's turn to see ghosts. The actress has signed Mukesh Bhatt's next film, which will see her play a corneal transplant patient who begins to see dead people.


Sushmita's ?back'

on screen as cop

After a fairly long hiatus, the Bengali SEN-sation Sushmita will be back on the silver screen, a bad back notwithstanding. Sush will soon be seen in Samay (Time), in which she plays a tough police officer in hot pursuit of a murderer. So the lady joins the exclusive club of star celebrities comprising Sunny Deol and Shah Rukh Khan, whose back makes front page news! What's worse, Sush in one of her forthcoming films has reportedly been replaced by her archrival, the hot and happening Bipasha Basu. While the fuming producer says that she was fed up of Sushmita's ?starry tantrums', the former Miss Universe claims that she had to back out of the project because of her back problem. Apparently, she is to be operated soon. One doesn't know the truth but one thing's for sure: Sushmita has a ?backful' of problems now to contend with, especially with the producer threatening to sue her and the sultry Ms Basu having the last laugh.

Shah Rukh Khan meanwhile is undergoing physiotherapy in London after his surgery. He promises he'll be ?back' in action soon.


Aamir in tune with The ?Sur' girl

Aamir Khan is in the news once again for his romantic escapade, this time with the pert Gauri Karnik of ?Sur' fame. But wait, this is neither a real life romance nor a reel one. Rather, its Aamir's first music video that'll be directed by Shabana Azmi's brother Baba Azmi to pay a tribute to his father Kaifi Azmi. Gauri is thrilled to bits about being paired with the Dil Chahta Hai guy, whom she admits being crazy about. Aamir incidentally has shaved off his goatee, acquired a brand new hairstyle and has become trimmer after his return from a month-long stay in London and New York. What's more, he's opened up again to the media. But try asking the otherwise affable actor about his impending divorce and the mystery woman in his life, and you're certain to be met by a stony silence coupled with a look that could kill.

Aamir meanwhile is reportedly considering an Indo-British project tentatively titled Maheen. The leading lady in all probability will be a foreigner. Incidentally, the woman Aamir is supposed to be in love with is also a firang, according to the industry buzz!


A new, improved

Kareena Kapoor

Kareena Kapoor is walking on air these days. Reason: She has been showered with compliments by none other than the critically acclaimed filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Not only does the director of Fire and Earth find Bebo absolutely "gorgeous", she also feels Kareena's face is "like a shimmering river of emotions" and finds it "very fascinating". Above all, Mehta says that she finds her a "very, very nice person". The effervescent actress will work with Mehta in her forthcoming international venture with Rahul Khanna (another Mehta favourite) as her co-star. Buzz is that Kareena is also being considered for Pritish Nandy's ambitious remake of the classic Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam.

By the way, arrogance is no longer Kareena's middle name, but honesty still is. The new Kareena is humility and politeness personified and she openly attributes this transformation to her director Sooraj Barjatya. "Sooraj has taught me the virtue of humility and I'm indebted to him for life," says she.

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