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‘Standing on an Apple Box’: Family beyond reel life, sans controversy

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Book: Standing on an Apple Box; Author: Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 171; Price: Rs 399

For every daughter, the father is a super hero, her first love, greatest admirer, biggest supporter. The bond they share is special.

But how does it feel to have one of the real superstars as a father? How different would the lives of superstar children be? Would they miss having normal lives?

The answer lies in the book “Standing on an Apple Box” written with disarming honesty by Rajinikanth’s elder daughter Aishwaryaa, who brings out her bond with her father — who is looked upon no less than a deity in South India.

Being born in a superstar’s house didn’t make much of a difference to Aishwaryaa as she, along with her sister Soundarya, were kept away from all the glamour and glitz of the movie world.

“My father never behaves like a superstar at home. For that matter he doesn’t behave like one anywhere, except in his movies,” she writes. She had a very normal childhood like any other kid and the credit goes to her “Amma”, Latha Rajinikanth, who brought them up “without any visible signs” of Rajinikanth’s stardom.

Shweta Bachchan Nanda, who she thinks shares a similar bond with Amitabh Bachhan as she does with her father, has written the foreword of the book. Shweta met Aishwaryaa for the first time at a football match.

She writes about the book: “Very often we watch our idols on screen and they take on the superhuman qualities of the characters they portray. What ‘Standing on an Apple Box’ does is lift the curtain and give you a peek at the men and women behind the make-up and the family units that helped to make them what they are.”

Apple boxes are an integral part of movie sets. Hence, the title. “Used as a prop, these boxes are used to increase the height of the camera stand, to support heavy equipment, to make short actors look tall, sit on between shots, to serve tea and coffee. Come to any movie shoot and the light man can be heard shouting for it,” she writes.

Like any other kid she used to visit places accompanied by her mother, away from the paparazzi. She remembers how she “played at Marina beach almost every second day and visited the temples at Adyar and Santhome every week”.

The book takes one down memory lane as an introvert Aishwaryaa recollects several fond memories with Rajinikanth.

She recalled her 18th birthday. She was excited to learn about a club which had opened in “orthodox Madras” but had to overcome “a huge hurdle, My Appa”. To her surprise — and worse than an “outright No” — Rajinikanth himself agreed to take her there.

Aishwaryaa also recollects that while she and her family were on a trip to Paris, she lost her bag. It was her father who came to her rescue and offered her his “lungi” to wear.

When it comes to food and eating habits she writes: “Appa would help himself to only one dish, irrespective of the number of dishes placed before him.”

Rajinikanth also supported his daughters when it came to adopting a pet, whom they named “Tiger Rajinikanth”.

The book is also filled with moments she had with special people in her life, her life-support, and pillars of strength — grandparents in Bengaluru and the days with them, her sister, friends and not to forget her love, actor Dhanush, whom she married at a young age.

She mentions a few incidents when Dhanush impressed her with his modern approach, especially when Aishwaryaa wanted to pursue further education.

However, the book is a disappointment if a reader is looking for some gossip or controversial moments from the superstar’s life. She does draw a sketch of two incidents without directly indicating the protagonist. There’s a love story of a married actor and young actress and a producer’s quest to become a successful director.

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Varun Dhawan dances with fans on Hindi numbers in Bangkok mall

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Varun Dhawan iifa

Bangkok, June 23: From “Tan tana tan” to “Badrinath ki dulhania” and “Palat”, actor Varun Dhawan danced to his popular tracks at a mall here on Saturday.

Fans flocked in huge numbers at the luxurious Emquartier mall here, just to get a glimpse of their favourite star Varun, who looked dapper in a casual white t-shirt, jeans and powder blue shirt.

CHARGE 🏃🏻‍♂️day 2 IIFA @31philliplim @officialslystallone

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As Varun entered, the crowd welcomed him with loud cheers and whistles. He even shook a leg with two children and was heard speaking in Thai.

The actor also reminisced about shooting in Bangkok for his film “Main Tera Hero” in 2014. The film also starred Ileana D’Cruz and Nargis Fakhri.

The “Badlapur” star also gave away six passes to his fans of the 19th edition of the International Indian Films Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards main gala, which will be held on Sunday.

IIFA ROCKS wearing @kunalrawaldstress

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Apart from Varun, several Bollywood personalities like Arjun Kapoor, Bobby Deol and Shraddha Kapoor will be seen lighting the stage in Sunday.

This year’s IIFA commencing will not just feature power-packed performances by celebrities including the evergreen Rekha — performing live on stage after 20 years — but will seek to raise awareness about women’s empowerment, gender equality and plastic pollution.

The event, which will be taking place at the Siam Niramit theatre, will be co-hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Riteish Deshmukh.

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Nick Jonas makes his relationship with Priyanka Chopra Insta-official

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New Delhi, June 23: Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra have just made their relationship Instagram official!

Months of rumours and speculations, finally lead up to this moment of the two lovers going public and what better place than in Mumbai?

Media reports had suggested earlier that Priyanka brought Nick to India to introduce him to her mother Madhu Chopra. Well, the American singer did meet Priyanka’s mother over dinner at an upscale restaurant in Mumbai’s Bandra.

Post the dinner, the two were photographed stepping out of the posh eatery hand-in-hand, adding fuel to the fire.

#priyankachopra #nickjonas ❤️❤️❤️😍😍

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#nickjonas and #priyankachopra today

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By posting a super cute video on his Instagram story, Nick made his relationship with Desi girl Instagram official!

The video shows Priyanka walking toward him while she danced in the rain and he captioned it, “Her” alongside a heart-eyes emoji.

Earlier this month, Nick took Priyanka home to meet his family at his cousin’s wedding in New Jersey. Priyanka also had brunch with Nick’s family members and was seen spending some quality time with them.

Priyanka Chopra nick jonas

The stars first sparked romance rumours at the 2017 MET Gala, when they walked the red-carpet together.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas

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Joe Jackson hospitalized, in final stages of terminal cancer

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Los Angeles, June 23: Joe Jackson, father of Michael, Janet and the performing family, and architect of The Jackson 5, is in the final stages of terminal cancer, a source close to the situation confirmed to Variety.com.

Family members, including his wife Katherine, are said to have visited him in the hospital this week, reports the website.

Jackson, 89, has suffered from a variety of ailments in recent years, including dementia, strokes, and at least one heart attack, according to reports. He was injured in a car accident a year ago.

The famously headstrong Jackson, the father of 11 children, drove his performing family hard and at times subjected them to physical and mental abuse; the original Jackson 5 included sons Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael, although younger sibling Randy also performed with the group and daughters LaToya, Rebbie, and, most famously, Janet also released albums.

Over the decades, Joe has had a contentious relationship with many family members, including Michael.

The Daily Mail claims that Jackson’s “handlers” had barred certain family members from visiting him, which son and former Jackson 5 member Jermaine spoke about to the paper.

The Jackson family patriarch has lived in Las Vegas for several years. One of his most recent public appearances was at the BET Awards in 2015, attending with his daughter Janet as she accepted the ultimate icon award. That same year, he suffered a stroke that reportedly left him with temporarily blurred vision.

IANS

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