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Celebrities wear ‘single parent’ cape with pride



Bollywood celebs single parent

New Delhi, Feb 12: Single parents often face difficulties — social, financial or emotional pressures –, but Indian film and television personalities are taking these challenges head-on, putting spotlights on the ‘superpowers’ behind raising a child or children single-handedly.

Some of these celebrities are unmarried, and some separated; some took the adoption route, while some settled for surrogacy. But single parenting is not something these celebs are shying away from, and now it is more a matter of choice than situation.

Producer Ekta Kapoor being the latest to jump into this band wagon. She Recently the 43-year-old welcomed son Ravie, born to her via surrogacy.

“Everything in life doesn’t go the way you want it to, but there are always solutions to those hiccups,” the TV czarina had written on social media, while announcing the “path-changing” phase of her life in January.

Three years ago, her brother Tusshar Kapoor had opted for the same route to embrace fatherhood. He is a proud dad to a two-year-old, son Laksshya Kapoor. Both Laksshya and Ravie (named after his grandad Jeetendra’s original moniker) are now the apple of the Kapoors’ eyes.

Tushar's son

Tusshar Kapoor with son Laksshya

On life as a single parent, Tusshar told IANS: “Nothing is really challenging if you manage your time well. It is about being focused and not wasting time.

“It is not about single parenting really, but yes, being involved as a parent is challenging because it takes time and energy. However, I plan my day well between work and my son. And most importantly, I enjoy both these aspects of my life thoroughly. I don’t feel pressure at all.”

Filmmaker Karan Johar is another B-town boss, who is a doting single parent. He is the proud dad to twins Yash and Roohi, who were born in 2017. Ever since KJo has given some major ‘dad goals’ to men.

Karan Johar twins Yash and Roohi

While talking of single parents in Bollywood, it won’t be fair to go without mentioning Sushmita Sen, Neena Gupta, Sarika and Pooja Bedi, who have raised their children conquering all odds, much before the current lot woke up to single mom- and dadhoods.

Sushmita Sen Birthday

In an earlier interview to IANS, veteran actress Neena, who recently made a celebratory comeback of sorts with “Badhaai Ho”, spoke about her struggle as a single mother to Masaba Gupta, her daughter with West Indies cricket star Vivian Richards.

“My journey was very tough. I had no money. Money is the most important thing, I have realised in this world. I did not have a husband and relatives. So, it was really tough…but the joy Masaba gave me, the joy of motherhood, was enough to go through anything,” she said.

Apart from Bollywood, celebrities from the small screen are also rocking single parenting.

Actress Dalljiet Kaur, who has son Jaydon, says she is proud to be called a “single mom” as the tag gives her “immense strength”.

“There is no shame in being called a single mom. I am proud to be called by this title. It gives me more strength and courage to fight the hurdles to give my son a good life. I don’t even remember when was the last time I sought anyone’s help.

“Divorce has helped me to grow stronger and more independent. Be it bringing a toy for my son or attending his school functions, I do everything on my own. I don’t rely upon anyone now,” Dalljiet added.

Actress Kamya Panjabi has a nine-year-old daughter whom she has raised alone since her divorce. Kamya wants people to treat a single and divorced mother with dignity.

Kamya Punjabi

Kamya Panjabi

She said: “No matter how much advance and modern we have become, there is still backward thinking prevailing in our society. Women are still discriminated against, especially the divorced single mothers.

“On the face, they will say: ‘Oh, you are such strong lady, you are doing so good for your child’, but behind our backs they don’t even accept us.

“They would not even want a divorced single mother for their son, who might himself be also a divorcee. I agree things have changed, but acceptance is still a long mile ahead.”



Zarina Wahab to play Modi’s mother in biopic



Zarina Wahab

Mumbai, Feb 16: Veteran actress Zarina Wahab will be seen playing the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother Heeraben Modi in the upcoming biopic “PM Narendra Modi”. She says it’s special.

“It’s an honour to play the role of the mother of Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is going to be one of the most special roles I have ever played. I hope the audience like it,” Zarina said in a statement.

Television actress Barkha Bisht Sengupta will be playing Modi’s wife Jashodaben in the film. She had a great experience shooting for the film, Bisht said.

“I am grateful to Sandip Ssingh (producer) for giving me an opportunity to be a part of such an amazing film. I had a great experience working with him earlier in ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela’ and I know playing Jashodaben is going to be interesting too,” Barkha said.

The film also stars Manoj Joshi (as BJP chief Amit Shah), Prashant Narayanan, Boman Irani, Darshan Kumar, Akshat R. Saluja, Anjan Shrivastav, Rajendra Gupta and Yatin Karyekar. Actor Vivek Anand Oberoi will be playing the title role of Modi.

“These two characters were one of the most crucial ones in the film. I am glad that Zarinaji agreed on doing it as no one other than her could have done a better job. Barkha is playing his wife and she is doing a great job,” Producer Sandip Ssingh said.

“PM Narendra Modi”, the biopic will discover the journey of Narendra Damodardas Modi from his humble beginning to his years as Gujarat Chief Minister onto his landmark win at the 2014 general election, finally becoming the 14th Prime Minister of India.

It is being directed by National Award-winner Omung Kumar. The biopic will be shot extensively in Gujarat and across locations within the country.


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How come Jhansi Ki Rani can dance but not Rani Padmavati?



Manikarnika Padmaavat

New Delhi, Feb 16: Director Krish Jagarlamudi is done with the bickering with Kangana Ranaut.

“I’ve had my say. No more. If she wants to believe she directed all of ‘Manikarnika’, so be it. Everyone knows the truth,” asserts Krish and vows to not get into any more war of words with the film’s aggressive leading lady and co-director.

However, one major issue that needs to be addressed is the singing and dancing that the Queen of Jhansi is seen indulging in with her subjects. In an elaborate song and dance sequence, Rani Laxmibai embarrasses the hell out of her husband, the King of Jhansi (played by Jisshu Sengupta) by dancing with the people of their state in a pregnant condition.

A source very close to the film says that the song and dance during times of raging battles was Kangana’s idea.

“Ek toh Rani, opoopar se garbhbati (firstly a queen and above it, pregnant). How can she be shown dancing in that unbecoming fashion? Krish was totally against the idea. The song-and-dance was added on by Kangana after Krish left,” the source says.

Significantly, when another Queen, Padmavati in an epic film in January 2018, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmaavat”, got up from her throne to take to the dance floor with her ladies-in-waiting, all hell had broken loose.

Deepika’s Rani Padmaavati was shown dancing to the Ghoomar song in the most graceful and queenly manner in a closed environment with the women from her durbar.

Bhansali said: “We wanted the Ghoomar song and dance to retain its purity since this was being performed by Rani Padmavati. Every step and every move in the dance form celebrates the grace of royalty.

“This is our dance tribute to the brave Rajput women of Rajasthan. I heard how little children performing the Ghoomar dance at a school in India were stopped.

“I’d like to tell those disruptive elements that you can’t stop something as beautiful and innocent as this from reaching out to the hearts of people across the world.”

Bhansali’s heart swells with pride to see Ghoomar reaching into the hearts and feet of American kids.

Says the director: “What better illustration of Prime Minster Narendra Modiji’s Make In India policy? I feel our culture is so rich and varied. We’ve so much to give the West. Why not take our culture and art forms to the West rather than continuously borrow their lifestyle and culture?”

All hell had broken lose with fringe groups demanding that the song-and-dance be removed or else they would cut off Deepika’s nose.

Says a source very close to the “Padmaavat” team: “When we showed Deepika dancing in the Queen’s inner chambers, we had to digitally cover Deepika’s midriff before the censor board allowed the Ghoomar song.

“Now in ‘Manikarnika’, again about a Queen, Kangana’s Rani Laxmibai jumps off her seat and breaks into a street-side jig with the commoners. That was okay? What is good enough for Rani Laxmbai is not befitting for Rani Padmavati? Please figure out that one.”

When pressed for a response, Krish said: “I don’t know where the singing and dancing came from. It wasn’t there when I was directing ‘Manikarnika’.”

The question remains: Why was it not right for Rani Padmavati to dance when everyone seems okay with the Rani Of Jhansi shaking a leg, midriff forgotten?


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Michael Jackson cheated death on 9/11 attack



Michael Jackson 9/11 attack

London, Feb 15: Late pop legend Michael Jackson escaped death during the terrorist attack in the US in 2001.

Jackson could have been one of the victims of the 9/11 attack in which almost 3,000 people were killed when terrorists crashed planes into the Twin Towers. The singer overslept that day and missed his appointment which was scheduled to take place in the Towers, reports

“Thankfully, none of us had had a clue that Michael was due at a meeting that morning at the top of one of the Twin Towers,” the “Billie Jean” singer’s brother Jermaine Jackson wrote in his biography titled “You Are Not Alone: Michael: Through a Brother’s Eyes”.

It is also written in the biography that on the night of the attack, the King of Pop overslept after staying up late to talk to his mother Katherine.

“‘Mother, I’m okay, thanks to you,’ he told her. ‘You kept me up talking so late that I overslept and missed my appointment.'”

Despite surviving one of the world’s biggest terrorist attacks, Jackson died eight years later after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 50.


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