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



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.


After kissing controversy, Papon steps down as judge on Reality Show




Mumbai, Feb 24: Singer Angarag Mahanta, popular as Papon, has decided to step down as a judge on the singing reality show “The Voice India Kids” after a complaint was filed against him for “inappropriately kissing” a minor.

“Since I am in no mental state to fulfil most of my professional obligations, I have decided to step down as a judge on the show till the matter in which I have been falsely implicated is fully resolved and the investigations are over,” Papon tweeted on Saturday.

“I have full faith in the judicial system and eventually the truth will prevail. In the interim, I would appreciate that my privacy is respected,” he added.

Earlier this week, a video in which Papon is seen planting a kiss on the lips of a minor girl contestant of the &TV show became viral online.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Friday issued notice to both the singer and the channel.

The film industry is divided on the issue. While some came out in support of the singer, others slammed him.

Actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthi tweeted: “If anybody behaved with my daughter the way Papon did with the teenage girl I would slap him several times in such a way that no one dared behave that way again.”

On Friday, Ppaon had said in a statement: “I might have done it spontaneously but in today’s environment, to touch a girl child, however innocent your thoughts are, is not advisable. I am sorry for that.”

Actress Raveena Tandon tweeted: “Whatever the situation, accidental, unintentional, affection, love, though it is sad the Papon controversy happened, it will be an eye opener and lesson for all to not getting carried away, and not crossing a line which can be seen as inappropriate.”

Singer Monali Thakur, who sang the female version of “Moh moh ke dhaage” that was also crooned by Papon, tweeted in his support: “I got so many calls yesterday for this ridiculous misinterpretation of a man’s gesture of affection! I am a girl and I know what is sexual perversion in a man! And Papon is anything but that! Leave aside for a kid! Lotsa love Papon. #iStandbyPapon”

Apart from that, #pervertpapon is also trending on Twitter.

Read More: Complaint against singer Papon for inappropriately kissing minor on reality show


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I really want to be a legend: Shah Rukh Khan




New Delhi, Feb 24: Shah Rukh Khan, who is touted as one of the biggest superstars of the Hindi film industry, says he is done with the tag and now wants to be a legend.

Shah Rukh was here on Saturday at the fourth edition of Global Business Summit to speak on “Bollywood’s Digital push: What it means for the stakeholders”.

Image result for shah rukh khan Global Business Summit

“I am 26 years old in the film industry which is half my lifetime really. From here on I am going to spend time in the world of cinema than the outside of it… I realised I should do away with the tag of being a superstar instead I should work towards tag of being a legend,” he said.

He added: “No megastar… as egoistic and self-centred like me will fade away into the past without trying to wedge his or her foot into the door to the future. So even I want to put myself into the future of cinema like I have been in the past 25 years.”

The actor, 52, who has been in the Hindi film industry for over two decades, stressed that he really wants to be a legend.

“I really want to be a legend.

“Unfortunately, there are no articles or books on how to be a legend. So, I rummage through my personal library… I found a book on the history of human kind called ‘Sapiens’ and going through the book I found that the only reason homo sapiens have dominated the rest of the species is because of one thing — because we gossip,” added the superstar.

The actor said that the spreading of ideas is a way of story telling.

“Genuinely, story-telling has anchored communication between human beings. Even entertainment is actually a derivative of story-telling. Whether you music, art or poetry all of these things are a form of story-telling,” he added.

The modern art of story telling is of course filmmaking, he said.

“I think there has been radical change in cinema and content over the years. A change even in the way we consume films. But right now I think we are witnessing the greatest change. The greatest change of this century has been the evolutionary revolution that has taken over the human kind is the opening up communication, information on the digtised platform,” he added.

Shah Rukh says that the future of cinema will be changed through the advent of digitisation.

“There will be a lot of changes on how we consume cinema and watch it. But mainly the changes is going to be how we market cinema…

“The second change that there is going to happen is that there is going to be… there will be radical movement away from the content itself… Instead of waiting for loans there is going to be a lot more crowd funding,” he added.

Shah Rukh says there will be a big change between the viewer and how an individual watches the film.

He added: “Right now the movie that attract us, it’s a momentary catch of emotions or expression but soon movies will itself become an experience. They will be interactive.”

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and visual effects all these are so important that roles of actors and stars will diminish, stressed the actor.

The access to cinema will be more easier.

“It is going to be on your mobile…there will be no more appointment cinema. Cinema will be at will — whenever and where ever you want to watch. I do not think cinema theatres will close down,” he said.


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Disgusting: Celebs react over Papon kissing minor



Papon raveena gauhar

Mumbai, Feb 24: Celebrities like Raveena Tandon and Suchitra Krishnamoorthi have come out against Papon after a video emerged of the singer inappropriately kissing a minor girl.

The shocked celebrities feel that it’s disgusting and shameful and that the singer should be arrested.

Raveena Tandon: Disgusting! Shameful! Perverse! This man Papon should be arrested ! The girl’s parents succumbing to pressure! The explanations given are ridiculous! Haven’t felt such anger and shame to see this happen and some on tv debates actually defending the act.

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi: If anybody behaved with my daughter the way Papon did with the teenage girl I would slap him several times in such a way that no one dared behave that way again.

Gauahar Khan: Wasn’t smothering a child’s face with your palm rubbing colour all over it for four seconds enough as fatherly love, that you had to pull the child’s face then to strategically peck her on the lip. There was no wrong camera angle or the child moving her face mistakenly.

Ashoke Pandit: Papon body language and his brash attitude while abusing the child is a sign of arrogance and complete disregard for the law. This is a benchmark trait of every powerful sexual predator.

On Friday, 23 February, Supreme Court lawyer Runa Bhuyan filed a complaint with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights against Papon. The singer has been booked under POCSO as it is a case of assaulting a minor girl. 

In a video shared on Papon’s official Facebook page, the 41-year-old singer is seen celebrating Holi with few of the contestants of ‘The Voice of India Kids Season 2’, a singing reality show of which he is a jury member. He is seen applying colours to a contestant and planting a kiss, apparently, on her mouth.

Calling himself an “extremely affectionate and expressive” person, Papon claimed that “both of our families are being destroyed forever” because of the controversy surrounding the matter.

“Not to say I haven’t made a mistake. I might have done it spontaneously but in today’s environment, to touch a girl child, however innocent your thoughts are, is not advisable. I am sorry for that,” he wrote in his statement, which he uploaded on his Twitter.

He said that he can be called “naive and stupid” for the “accidental move” which he claimed was “not a sexual assault”.

Meanwhile, MoS Women and Child welfare, Vidya Thakur, has reportedly directed the Mumbai Police Commissioner to investigate the incident, reported The Staesman.



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