The Nightingale stuns: With the recording of the `alaaps` and snatches for the background score last month, Lataji completed her singing for Yash Chopra’s eagerly awaited Veer-Zaara. “Now I can breathe easily,” she laughs. Those who have heard the prestigious music album (released on the newly launched Yashraj label on September 18) say she sounds 17.
“I’m two weeks away from 75. But doing Madan Mohan Bhaiyya’s songs for Veer Zaara I felt I was back to my beginning as a singer when at age 12-13 I’d go out for work, sing grownup songs and then come home and play with my dolls. I’ve been planning to go to my home town Kolhapur for a while. Now that Yashji’s music is over I‘m finally free to do so,” she laughs. Incidentally Lata Mangeshkar and Yash Chopra were born a day apart. “Maybe that’s why we’re so fond of each other,” she quips.
Akshay puzzled by rumours: A screaming headline in a daily newspaper declaring that he altercated with Priyanka Chopra’s secretary has Akshay Kumar scratching his head in London where he’s holidaying with wife Twinkle and son Aarav.
“No such thing happened. Priyanka’s secretary Prakash Jaju came with Shabnam Kapoor for the dates of her seven-year old project Purab Ki Laila Paschim Ka Chaila. I couldn’t immediately accommodate her. We had an argument over that. `Bas`. What’s this raised voice and slapping business? Earlier I was supposed to have slapped Priyanka’s makeup man. Now I’m supposed to have slapped her secretary. Who’s next? Her spotboy? Please bring him forward. I’ll do the needful.”
Though he doesn’t say so, Akshay has apparently decided to go easy signing films with Priyanka Chopra. “I won’t do anything that stresses me or my family out,” he warns.
Madhur Bhandarkar moves on from Page 3: Bhandarkar has selfadmittedly moved on from `Page 3` to the headlines. Now Bhandarkar is already moved on to his next subject. “It’s called Extra, and it’s a very bold subject about a father and son and a woman. After Page 3 I’ve realized my forte is the dark human dimension. I can’t afford to make films that audiences don’t identify with me.” Will Extra star Bhandarkar’s Chandni, Tabu? “I’d love to work with her again. Let’s see.” Tabu is right now preparing to work with her third woman director Zoya Akhtar. She has earlier done films with Kalpana Lajmi (Darmiyaan) and Meghna Gulzar (Filhaal).
Manisha, with love from NY: Manisha Koirala was in New York doing a three-month course in filmmaking. “And I’ve never been happier. It’s like going back to school,” she exults. “I feel completely rejuvenated. I had some of the best days of my life there. I was treated like just another student of cinema. After my decision to be an actress, learning filmmaking is the best decision I’ve taken in my life. I love Mumbai. But I also love my life here. Everyone should try to break away from the routine, try and do things that they’ve secretly wanted to do for a long time. I had to do this. I was getting stagnant in Mumbai. Now I feel re-charged about Bollywood too.” Manisha made her first student film and is very proud of it. “I hope to show it as the Museum of Modern Arts. I also intend to become a part of Independent Filmmakers’ Association.”