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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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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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