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A.R. Rahman gets encore on Tamil song in New York

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New York, July 15: It was an encore all the way for A.R. Rahman as he performed the original Tamil version of his “Urvasi Urvasi” chartbuster for the IIFA Rocks audience here as he celebrated his 25-year journey in the Indian film industry with a two-hour concert.

The scenario at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey was far removed from his July 8 London concert where fans reportedly walked away complaining that his performance was dominated by Tamil instead of Hindi songs.

“Once more, once more,” shouted out the fans at the MetLife Stadium, even as the clock struck 2 a.m. here on Saturday morning.

“It’s too late right…,” commented Rahman, but broke into the rocking “Humma humma” nevertheless.

The audience joined in as an ensemble of singers including Hariharan, Kailash Kher, Jonita Gandhi, Benny Dayal, Mika Singh and Neeti Mohan jammed it up with the music maestro on stage.

With a list of songs largely dominated by Hindi tracks, Rahman also sang around three to four numbers in his mother tongue, and the audience wasn’t complaining.

“Rahman’s performance was every bit worth it. We had no problems that he sang in Tamil because we believe one should preserve their culture,” Rajan Panda, who has been staying in New York for 30 years, told IANS here.

A Nepalese couple that has been staying here for the last 15 years also said language can never be a barrier in music.

“We enjoyed the show very much. We came for Rahman. It’s music, it’s universal… It doesn’t matter what language it is in,” Arjun Awaley, a software engineer, told IANS after the show.

Rahman kept saying “I love you friends” and “Love you too” to the crowd that swayed to, clapped to and even danced to his tracks.

Even the rain which came pouring down right before Rahman took the stage — and mid-performance too — didn’t make fans go away here.

In a silver sequinned jacket, the Mozart of Madras, who started his film career with “Roja” back in 1992, took over the stage.

His set started with instrumental renditions of his popular songs, and then came “”Dil se re”, “Nadaan parindey”, “Jo bhi main”, “Dil hai chhota sa”, “Kinna sona”, “Mangal ho”, “Agar tum saath ho”, “Tu hi re”, “Nahi saamne”, “Aye hairathe”, “Tere bina”, “Kaise mujhe tum mil gayi”, “Heer toh badi sad hai”, “Maiyya maiyya”, “Tanha tanha”, “Yaayi re” and “Sachin” — tracks either sung and/or composed by him.

The crescendo came with “Jai ho”, which had won Rahman an Oscar for the Best Original Song in 2009.

In the prelude to the culminating performance by Rahman, singers Kamaal Khan and Diljit Dosanjh took the stage to belt out popular numbers and got the audience grooving.

IIFA Rocks host Riteish Deshmukh and Manish Paul were quite a damp squib with tongue in cheek comments, toilet humour, some jokes around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaigns and some audience engagement involving stars like Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif and Varun Dhawan.

All in all, IIFA Rocks rocked with the music, but more so once Rahman was on stage.

The event was a part of the ongoing Bollywood extravaganza — the 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards — which will end with the final awards ceremony at the MetLife Stadium on Saturday evening.

IANS

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Proud of being part of Salman Khan’s ‘Bharat’: Sunil Grover

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Mumbai, April 21: Comedian-actor Sunil Grover, who has bagged a role in superstar Salman Khan starrer “Bharat”, says he is proud to be a part of the project.

The film’s director Ali Abbas Zafar welcomed Sunil to the film’s cast, headlined by Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra.

“Welcome Sunil Grover to ‘Bharat’,” Zafar tweeted.

Sunil replied: “Thank you sir for giving me the visa. I am so proud of being part of this project.”

On television, Sunil Grover is currently part of his new TV show Dhan Dhana Dhan, which airs over the weekend.

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“Bharat” which is scheduled to release on Eid 2019 will mark the return of Priyanka Chopra to B-Town after a long time.

She is looking forward to work with Salman Khan after a gap of 10 years, and with director Ali Abbas Zafar.

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The film is an official adaptation of 2014 South Korean film “Ode to My Father”.

It is produced by Atul Agnihotri’s Reel Life Production Pvt Ltd and Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series, will release on Eid 2019.

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Abhishek posted painting of wife Aishwarya & himself on 11th Wedding Anniversary

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New Delhi, April 21: Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai have been married for 11 years now, and there couldn’t be a better way to celebrate the occasion.

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One of Bollywood’s most-favourite couples Abhi and Aish married on April 20, 2007, in a private ceremony in Mumbai.

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Every year on this day, Abhishek thanks his fans for their wishes and posts a picture with Aishwarya. This time, he shared a painting made for them by one of their fans and captioned it as, “11 years,” adding a heart emoticon. (It’s 11 years, already? Wow).

Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya met during the shooting of Dhoom 2 in the year 2006, and their friendship blossomed.

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They announced their engagement in January 2007 and later tied the knot in April 2007.

They have co-starred together in several films and 2010’s Raavan was their last movie with each other. They are parents to a cute daughter Aaradhya, 6.

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They didn’t celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary due to Aishwarya’s father Krishnaraj Rai’s death in March. Abhishek simply thanked their well-wishers with a tweet. “And just like that, it’s been 10 years. Thank you all for the wishes for Aishwarya and I. Lots of love,” he wrote. Later in the day, Aishwarya and Abhishek had visited the Siddhivinayak Temple with Aaradhya.

On their ninth wedding anniversary, their fans were treated to a beautiful picture of the couple. In the picture, Abhishek and Aishwarya shared a warm hug and he captioned the post as, “9 years of togetherness, love and hugs!”

9 years of togetherness, love and hugs!

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On the work front, Aishwarya will be next seen in ”Fanne Khan” while Abhishek is shooting for ”Manmarziyan”.

Here’s wishing you both a very happy 11th wedding anniversary.

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‘Sanju’ teaser starring Ranbir Kapoor to release before IPL match

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Mumbai, April 21: Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju – a biopic on Sanjay Dutt starring Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor is one of the most awaited films of 2018.

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Ranbir Kapoor, Rajkumar Hirani and Sonam Kapoor pose on the sets of Sanju.

It was earlier speculated that the film’s teaser will release during the IPL match on Tuesday evening. However, Rajkumar Hirani, who is currently wrapping up the post-production work on the film, confirmed that the Sanju teaser will not release during the IPL match, but release in the morning of April 24.

Hirani said: “It is not a correct news that it is going to be released during the Indian Premier League (IPL) match. As far as I understand, we are launching the teaser before that.

“It will be in the morning of April 24. In the evening, it will be shown during the IPL match.”

Hirani said this while interacting with the media on Friday, along with Subhash Ghai at the 5th Veda Session organised by Whistling Woods International Film Institute.

There were reports earlier that Hirani would release the first look of the biopic on Sanjay Dutt before the April 24 IPL clash and a teaser would be shown in the presence of Ranbir and Sanjay on the Cricket Live show on Star Sports.

When asked whether “Sanju” would help to re-establish Ranbir again, the “3 Idiots” and “PK” director said: “He was always a Superstar. He never went away.

“He is fantastic actor and I really enjoyed working with him and in future, I would love to work with him again on a film.”

Talking about the need of more film institutes in India, on the lines of Whistling Woods Institute, Hirani said: “I think we need more number of film institute’s as we have very less.

“There are channels, we are making so many films in a year. We are the largest producer of films in the world. There are television shows and now there is the digital platform as well, so, for all that, we need good technicians.

“I feel Subhash Ghai is doing a commendable work through his Whistling Woods Institute by imparting knowledge to film students. My son also studies here so it is inspiring to see the kind of work happening here.”

“Sanju” is a biographical drama, written and directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The film is based on the life of actor Sanjay Dutt, with Ranbir Kapoor portraying the role.

“Sanju” is set to be released on June 29.

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