Monday, February 9, 2009

Ayesha Farhan to tie the knot by February end

The latest buzz doing the round of Bollywood is Ayesha Takia and her restaurateur boyfriend Farhan Azmi will finally get married by February end.

The couple was supposed to tie the knot last year on Christmas Eve but they postponed following the terror attacks in Mumbai on 26/11.

Apparently Ayesha who broke down completely after the Taj attack decided to delay her marriage. Apart from that Farhan’s father Samajwadi Party leader, Abu Azmi was in a hospital recuperating after an operation.

According to a close friend of Ayesha, wedding will take place in Mumbai. However the actress is frantically running around shopping for her trousseau.

Being a professional Ayesha will complete Revathy's film which is woman oriented film after marriage.

Kareena refuses to talk about katrina

Kareena refuses to talk about katrina

Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor is not vying for the crown of Bollywood queen despite her hit performances and high profile brand endorsements because she feels that kings and queens only exist in a pack of playing cards.

"I think kings and queens are in cards, not in Bollywood, " Kareena told reporters at an event here Saturday.

On being asked her opinion about Katrina Kaif as an actress, Kareena bluntly said: "I don't talk about other actresses in press conferences."

Kareena was present in the capital to promote a new initiative by hair removal cream brand Anne French.

She is looking forward to the release of a number of films in her kitty including Rajkumar Hirani's "Three Idiots" and Sajid Nadiadwala's "Kambakkht Ishq".

In "Three Idiots", she stars opposite Aamir Khan. In "Kambakkht Ishq", she will be sharing screen space with Akshay Kumar for the seventh time.

About working with the two actors, Kareena said: "I pick up the best from whoever I work with. When you are working with someone, you kind of get tuned to the way that actor is working. I would like to pick up all the best qualities from both these people."

The actress also spoke about her experience of working with Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone and Brandon Routh in "Kambakkht Ishq" and said it was "an honour".

Aishwarya gains a lot from her Rajini Sir!

Ash got special treatment while shooting for 'Endhiran' with Rajinikant. It's not just the big bucks that she's earning from the film.

The film also called 'Enthiran' or 'The Robot' has been shot in undisclosed areas in and around Chennai. They also shot in Vellore or Ennore amidst tight security.

Now whenever the Southern superstar is shooting in Chennai, he gets to eat homemade food prepared by his wife Latha and this piping hot and tasty food is delivered by his aide at the shooting.

And benevolent Rajini shared his lunch with Aishwarya Rai, Shankar, and some other unit members. Ash is a fan of South Indian food and has been asking Rajni's aide as to how each dish is prepared and the right way to pronounce its name!

Rajini also shared books on philosophy with Aishwarya and Shankar! Well, so apart from the big bucks Ash also got lots of knowledge about philosophy, theology and South Indian food thanks to Rajini!

Let's Kiss: Kareena and Saif finally lock lips

Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor are sharing a happy moment on screen. They are kissing onscreen for the first time for their untitled film directed by Renzil D'Silva for Dharma Productions.

A source has confirmed the intimate scene, "Last week, Saif and Bebo shot for their kiss in a Chembur studio. The kiss is part of a song.

The actress who has done kissing scenes on screen before was quite comfortable with the idea of lip-locking with her beau. She even was seen calmly discussing the angle and the intensity with the director."

An insider adds, "At one point it was discussed if the scene was necessary and it looked like the couple had their doubts about the screen smooch.

Rensil looked unhappy and had a word with Saif. The director convinced him to do the scene. Saif in turn made Bebo understand that it was necessary and she agreed."

It took just about five takes to get the kiss right.

John is like my brother, why would he refuse me

We read about John Abraham sportingly pitching in with a song and dance for Bipasha Basu and his newly-found sibling Neil Nitin Mukesh's sake in new director Jehangir Surti's Aa Dekhe Zara.

Nothing there that was hard to believe. After all, John did a walk-on appearance in John Mathew Mathan's Shikhar, for Bipasha's sake.

Couldn't have been for the film's leading man since Shahid Kapoor and John, as we all know, couldn't see eye to eye, thanks to Kareena Kapoor.

But with Neil Nitin Mukesh it was different. John apparently dotes on the younger actor. When they were shooting in Philadelphia for Kabir Khan's New York they were so chummy they became inseparable twins, gyming swimming and bonding in the freezing cold and flourishing fabulously on a fish diet.

John, in fact, urged Bipasha to work with Neil in Surti's Freeze, now entitled Aa Dekhe Zara. Bipasha too is very fond of Neil.

So it came as no surprise to know that John had agreed to do a song and dance in Aa Dekhe Zara, for his mashuka and chote bhai's sake.

But here comes the clanger. John is no longer doing that song. Why this change of plan, and that too at the eleventh hour? Has John opted out?

According to Neil John's presence didn't fit into the song. "John has not opted out of the song. It so happened that the song didn't fit in correctly. But it was sweet of him to have agreed.

Like I said John didn't fit into the film's situation. He had agreed. And there was no reason for him to opt out. There's Bipasha and now there's me, his younger brother. He'd have gladly done the song for us."

However Bipasha tells another story. "John was never supposed to be part of any song in Neil and my film Aa Dekhe Zaraa. That was wrong news."

Even my Bikinis and zero figure make news: Kareena

Even my Bikinis and zero figure make news: Kareena

Her confidence and attitude might reflect on her face but Kareena Kapoor seems to claim that she's not arrogant at all.

She's said, "The world is yet to understand what is it like being Kareena Kapoor. They are busy making speculations. Let them do so."

She makes it clear that she's not happy about the fact that her flop films make a lot of unnecessary news.

She's said, "When any of my film flops, every news channel would run it as a ticker. I guess the case is that I was never an underdog.

People and media like those who come from small towns and make it big. They don't like people who are something and manage to achieve bigger things in life. We have to keep innovating ourselves constantly but they enjoy running us down."

She's proud of 'Tashan' for which she flaunted her size zero look throughout 2008.

She says, "Irrespective of the fact that the movie worked or not; every single bachcha knows about the film — my bikini shot, orange juice diet and… zero figure. Even my daughter will know about the film."

Only talking about the love of her life Saif warms her up.

She says, "He is too relaxed. He is in his own industry. Saif will never sign a film until it interests him to the core. Not even, if it calls for sitting idle for a year. He only works in films he believes in. And one of them is the upcoming Saif's home production, directed by Sriram Raghvan where we'll act together."

Come what may and whatever the world says, this gal loves to pull a Kapoor and flaunt her attitude every single time. That's Kareena Kapoor for you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Size doesn't matter to me!!!

It would be a double celebration for Aishwarya and Abhishek in New York this week.

On 3 Feb it was the premiere of her latest international film Pink Panther 2 followed by Abhishek's birthday two days later. The couple plans to bring in his birthday in style.

In New York, Aishwarya is looking forward to the release of her film.

"They wanted me to be here for the film's promotion from earlier on. But I couldn't because of my prior commitments in India. We've a series of premieres lined up beginning with the one in New York on 3 Feb.

From there it's a crazy whirlwind trip that will take me to several countries and continents from Paris to Berlin to Moscow to Madrid. The final destination for my 15-day trip will take me to a screening of the film at the Berlin film festival. Then I'm back and I go straight to resume Mani Ratnam's film."

Aishwarya will be returning to India on Feb 14. "Abhishek is in New York with me. But he won't be able to accompany me for my other premieres because he has to be in India for the promotion of Delhi 6."

A part of the press has been writing about how minuscule Aishwarya's role is in Pink Panther.

Sighs the diva, "It's a bit silly and exhausting to even talk about the length of my role based on what's seen in the trailers. Did anyone question my role in Khakee when there was only one shot of me in the promo? Isn't that a very myopic view of contemporary acting? In my very first film Iruvar I thought I transcended this footage fetish, "

She makes it crystal clear thar footage is not a burning issue for her. "The choices I've made in my career aren't just about footage but an opportunity to work with actors directors and technicians who enrich my life.

Believe me working in Pink Panther was a joy. It was a wonderful experience working with a stalwart like Steve Martin and the rest of the cast and crew.

Why spoil it by questioning how much footage I have? So many Indian actors have worked in international ensemble casts."

Getting somewhat indignant Aishwarya Rai, "I didn't work in Pink Panther 2 because it was an international project. I got the script. I chose to be happily be part of the film. They shot exactly what I was offered.

I don't need to work with stardust in my eyes. Of course Pink Panther is a Steve Martin vehicle. Is that something to question?

All the rest of the wonderful cast including Jean Reno and Andy Garcia play supporting roles. I treasure the experience of working in Pink Panther 2."

Interestingly Aishwarya was offered the lead opposite Will Smith in 7 Pounds which opens in Mumbai this week.

"Will Smith and I will work together for sure, " laughs Aishwarya. "There have been a number of offers. Dates just don't work out. If he's keen to work with me, so am I."

I am a very sexless person: Kangana

I am a very sexless person: Kangana

In all her movies she has exposed and stripped with no inhibitions. From 'Gangster', 'Woh Lamhe', 'Metro', 'Fashion' to her latest 'Raaz', Kangana has effortlessly done that.

So it's but natural if people think that Kangana wishes to flaunt a blatant sexy image. But the dame begs to differ.

She's been saying, "Even though I have worn fewer clothes, I don't think I look vulgar. I am a very sexless person. I have never tried to create a sexy image of myself. From the very first day, I have been clear about my objectives. I am an actress and I am here to do my job."

So basically she means to say that though she sheds her clothes, she doesn't compromise with her acting.

That's not the only thing that Kangana denies. She says that there are no differences between her and her boyfriend Adhyayan's dad Shekhar Suman.

She's said, "Nothing serious happened on that particular day and the media has just spiced up the entire issue. The argument took place between Shekhar and Mohit and the media had unnecessarily drag her name to make the news spicier." Kangana sure knows how to be a part of controversies and spice up her life.

She's already done a good job of it. No wonder she's survived so well in B-Town.

Me married to Salman? What rubbish: Katrina Kaif

A report in a Marathi paper that she's married has the actress incredulous with disbelief.

"It's complete rubbish and the paper is denying it. When I marry the world will know. Right now I've no such plans."

But she isn't denying that she's with Salman. In fact one of her abiding regrets is that she and Salman have not been able to form a saleable pair on screen. Katrina had hoped Yuvraaj would work, so that she and Salman would be a saleable pair and filmmakers would sign her with Salman as eagerly as they do with Akshay Kumar and Ranbir Kapoor.

Apparently Subhash Ghai kept writing the script as the film progressed.

After a pause Katrina says, "I'd like to stick to a bound script from now on. The time has come for the entire film industry to get completely organized. A script helps both the director and the actor to connect wth each other and with the plot. I'm not going to be shy about insisting on a script.

Tell her she had very little space in Yuvraaj, and Katrina admits, "Yeah, that was something I grew gradually aware of. I didn't have that much to do. But that's okay."

Katrina's sister Isabel is not getting into Bollywood. Not right now.

Says Katrina, "That was something which was blown out of all proportions. At the moment she's too young to take up an acting career. In fact my sister is off to drama school. Something I never got to do, and I wish I had. Not being a trained actress bothers me me and I am happy that my sister is taking that route."

However, not attending school doesn't make Katrina feel inadequate as an actress. "I think I had to undertake my own journey and do things my own way. I learnt on the job. I think I've acquired knowledge of the camera on-camera.

So no regrets about not attending any acting school. If I had regrets about any aspect of my career I'd be the most ungrateful person on the planet. Look at the level of acceptance I've received in so little time. Some people don't get this kind of success after working all their lives."

Katrina is nonchalant about not being considered a lucky mascot any more after the failure of Yuvraaj. "I think that's just people talking a lot of nonsense. Actors far more intelligent and talented than me have had to deal with ups and downs. Sooner or later I'd have had to deal with failure. No point in brooding about it. I've learnt my lessons from the Yuvraaj experience."

Commenting on the constant speculation on their relationship Katrina says, "That's bound to happen. If you're a public figure and at the end of the day neither of the party is clarifying anything, there's bound to be a lot of speculation and unnecessary comment. But I'm not going to get provoked into giving explanations. Because once they start, they never end."

What about that damning picture of Katrina with her face covered as she entered her birthday party last year?

"That wasn't when I entered the party. The picture was atken was while we were leaving. I was tired….and yes, I was disappointed. I didn't want it to be turned into tamasha. It wasn't meant that to be.

I realize I can't be talked about only for my work. You can't have things exactly the way you want them to be. You can't have fans and now get blown away by the breeze once in a while."

Don't cook up controversies about my past: Preity

Don't cook up controversies about my past: Preity

Does Preity have a British ancestry? A story doing the rounds on websites that Preity Zinta is of British parentage has the actress who turns a year older on Jan 31, completely flummoxed.

But this isn't the first time that Preity's lineage is being questioned. "Some years ago there was this rumour that I was related to Dharmendra. I didn't mind that at all since he's so goodlooking."

The bit about the Brit has Preity less amused. "I don't know where that come. I'm a full-on pahadi girl. Both my parents are from Himachal Pradesh. I'm a complete Rajput girl. And yet I've been flooded with inquiries about my 'British blood'. Arrey yaar, who's spreading these strange rumours? And they erupted so suddenly. I wonder who's responsible."

A section of Preity's supporters see this as a ploy to discredit her lately-vocal tirade against the vote-politics of the nation.

Preity wants to stay away from politics of every kind. "For those who feel threatened because they feel I'm getting into politics let me assure them I've no intentions of getting into yet another alien territory. Movies are my life. And now there's cricket and the IPL. Politics is not my scene at all. There's no need to cook up controversies about my past."

I hate Valentine Day : Neha Dhupia

When all are gearing up to celebrate this beautiful day, Neha shocked us by saying that she hates Valentine Day. She informs that V day is just another day for her. Interestingly Neha has been dating her childhood buddy, a famous squash player Ritwik since long time.

But then what is the reason to hate such a lovely day? “I think it’s really stupid concept. I don’t understand why do we even need to celebrate that day? It’s not a festival to celebrate?

I don’t see the significance of that day? No one knows who was Valentine, was he a man or priest? We still celebrate it so blindly. I am not doing it.” She reacts.

Is that the reason for not celebrating such a beautiful day? Neha recalls a funny memory related to this day. “I was very fat when I was in school I was very ugly. On every Valentines every girl used to get chocolates except me. That’s how I hate V Day.

Now all those boys must be regretting for not giving me gifts on that day.”

I was physically abused: Neetu Chandra

"What does it take for a woman in the film industry to work with her dignity intact?" asks the anguished actress Neetu Chandra who last month was allegedly, brutally abused and manhandled by Telugu director Rajshekhar and his producer-wife Jivitha Rajshekhar.

And now Neetu has hired the services of a Mumbai lawyer Jamshed Mistry to fight for what she thinks is her right to work with dignity. She has sent strongly-worded letters of complaint to Women's Rights and Human Rights commission and is all set to meet the Commissioner of Police in Hyderabad to apprise him of this situation and of her further, legal, actions.

Neetu says she's suing the director and his wife for "Threatening to kill...mental torture, physically (sic) hitting and abusing, defamation, harming my work..."

According to Neetu, while working for a Telugu film Satyamev Jayate, the lead Rajshekhar and his director-wife Jivitha tortured and threatened Neetu, physically abused her and insulted her in front of the unit, made her work for inhuman (15-20 hours) per day and forced her to shoot when she could hardly stand.

Things came to a sordid head on December 22. "My left eye turned blood red because of lack of sleep, stress and strain, and I contacted the director informing her about this.

Jivitha herself gave me a doctor's number in Hyderabad. We were shooting in Ramoji Rao Film City, which is 90 minutes drive from Hyderabad. I tried dragging myself to the shoot as much as I could and the call time still remained early.

We shot till 2:30 at night again with that infected eye and by this time I was down with fever too. Before the pack up when I asked my director Mrs. Jivitha Rajshekhar about the next day's schedule, she said, 9:00 A.M. sharp."

However, Neetu was in no condition to shoot the next morning.

"Four days of round-the-clock shooting had completely exhausted me, working for 18-20 hours a day was inhuman and my body could not take it any further because of the infection in my left eye, and I was also suffering from fever.

I was shivering and literally shaking. I kept on dragging myself for my shots, so as to not cause any further delay, as it was also the last day of my schedule.

I reached the sets on December 23rd morning at 9:00 A.M., but the shoot started again after 2-3 hours. By 7:00 P.M. I informed the director Jivitha that I was sinking and I could not drag myself further."

Neetu suggested the unit use a body double.

"It has been used for almost every other actor in this film in the past but never for me because I was always there... Mr. Rajshekhar gave me a few drops of some medicine as he's a naturopath but there was no improvement in my condition. However, every time I told her this, the director Jivitha said we will finish it soon. "

The situation snowballed at 12:30 A.M. "My body just gave up and I could not stand. I had two Crocins and my assistant Shravan kept me covered with a shawl.

I tried my level best to stand up for couple of hours. Mr. Rajshekhar, as usual kept on joking around with other co-actors, taking his sweet time in his make-up and hair setup.

I remember while I could hardly stand and still was trying my best, Mr. Raj Shekhar took 10-15 shots for one dialogue. And with every shot, he use to spend at least 5-10 minutes, instead of learning the dialogues well in advance.

He was the only one who completely neglected me whereas, other co-stars of mine including Shivaji, Shiva Reddy and Sherryl Pinto and the whole unit, kept on insisting I rest. I kept on telling my director that I was sinking. After telling her repeatedly no one listened to me, I had no option but to rush to my room... I felt that I was about to faint."

That's when the physical abuse started. "The moment I reached my room, instead of calling me on phone, at-least 7-10 men with Rajshekhar and his wife Jivitha barged into my room, hitting my assistants and threatening me and screaming at me.

He said, 'Who do you think you are?' And Mrs. Jivitha threatened, 'We will make you stand. How dare you?' When I protested Rajshekhar threatened, 'Don't argue and you better stand before I change from a man into something else.'

I was highly unwell, scared by seeing so many people pushing my assistant and threatening me and my staff and Mr. Rajshekhar screaming at the top of his voice which was uncalled for."

That's when the Rajshekhar got really violent with Neetu. "As I started moving out of my bed, Raj Shekhar HIT ME FROM BEHIND. Rajshekhar said, 'You better start moving fast.' He hit me from my room till the lift on the floor, and he kept on threatening to kill me.

Raj Shekhar said, 'I will kill you. You don't know me. What can you do?'When I reached the hotel portico down, I was physically hit and abused in front of the hotel staff, guard and all the others standing there. My body had completely given up.

All these people were standing in the corner waiting for my car. When the car arrived, Rajshekhar again pushed and threatened me and said, 'you don't know what I can do to you.'

I sat in the car and reached the set. I somehow finished the shoot and he kept on screaming and insulting me on the sets in front of the whole unit. The moment I finished, it was around 2:30 A.M., one of the assistant directors came to say that I was done. I quietly got up and left for the hotel."

Neetu was petrified. "All my staff from Mumbai who came with me were so scared knowing that Rajshekhar carries a gun and that he is a local from Hyderabad and we don't know anyone there.

We escaped at around 2:45 A.M. from my hotel. My flight was at 9:00 in the morning and we had to wait for 5 hours at the airport. But we felt safer and secure there.

I took a 9:00 A.M. flight and reached my parents and after that I was under treatment for a week. I was in a state of shock. My mind completely stopped working and now that I feel little better I would like to file a case against both Mr. Rajshekhar and his wife Mrs. Jeevitha Rajshekhar."

Ends Neetu, "I've worked with the biggest of filmmakers Priyadarshan, Madhur Bhandarkar, Dibakar Banerjee, Rahul Dholakia, Raj Kanwar and Vipul Shah. They've all treated with great dignity. This incident has scared the hell out of me. Would Mr. Rajshekhar and his wife dare to behave this way with a male actor?"

Deepika is just another girlfriend in Ranbir's life

Deepika is just another girlfriend in Ranbir's life

Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone came together quietly under dramatic circumstances more than a year back. There were talks that Ranbir was seeing his first co-star Sonam and Deepika was oscillating between Yuvraaj Singh and M.S Dhoni after her break up with Nihar Pandya.

They have been officially seeing each other for a while but there have been some uncertainties.

Of late there have been talks about Ranbir getting close to his new co-star Katrina Kaif and Deepika being spotted with some mystery man.

In the beginning, Neetu Singh seemed to be confident about her dear Ranbir's relationship with Deepika. Both Rishi and she seemed to have accepted her as their bahu.

In fact, she was even spotted with Deepika at the Lakme Fashion week and caught the attention of all and sundry.

But now things have changed. Because of the differences they too are uncertain about what the future holds for the young couple.

Neetu has recently said, "Deepika is just another girlfriend in Ranbir's life. Both of them are very young. It's a long way to go before marriage. No one knows what the future holds for them."

The bad thing is that both of them are busy and don't have enough time to sort out things. We too wonder what the future holds for the young love birds.

Has Minissha replaced Katrina in Bollywood?

It seems Katrina’s place has taken by Kidnap girl Minissha Lamba. No we are not talking about Salman and Katrina’s love life neither she has replaced Katrina in any film.

If rumours are to be believed Minissha has got some well wishers in Bollywood who are trying to help her to save her dying film career.

According to an industry insider Akki who used to recommend Katrina to the producers, is now recommending Minissha’s to his producers.

Interestingly both haven’t worked together in single film. Reportedly Minissha’s Kidnap co actor Imran Khan has also recommending her to some producers.

Though helping co actors to make their career is not new in Bollywood. Reportedly Salman and Akshay have done it before for their co actresses. We hope Akki and Imraan’s recommendations will save Minissha’s dying career.

The Salman-Katrina marriage sham

'Saamna', the famous Marathi daily which also happens to be the Shiv Sena mouth piece had claimed that Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif were married which of course came as a piece of shocking news, no less.

Now the news has been refuted by Salman's father Salim Khan who was reported to have said it.

The interview was for the special supplement to commemorate Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's birthday on Friday. During his conversation, Salim Khan had talked about the secular values of his family and their cool attitude towards religion.

He'd said, "I mentioned how Arbaaz was married to Malaika, a Christian, Sohail to Seema, a Hindu, and Salman's girlfriend Katrina is a Muslim."

Salim said he was misquoted by the newspaper and clarified, "The reporter has translated my comment into Marathi saying that Salman was married to Katrina.The Marathi word "jar" (if) was missing in the operative sentence, which wrongly gave the impression that the two are married"

A senior journalist with the newspaper called it a printing mistake on the condition of anonymity.

Katrina's spokesperson termed the report as "baseless" and he said they will be sending a notice to the newspaper demanding a formal apology.

She's said in an interview, "I definitely think that Saamna should issue a clarification if not an apology because it's not a small thing. It's not the news of a movie or some endorsement that one has signed. It's a big think to make a mistake about somebody's life like this.

And I think a clarification is a must because I know for a fact that Salim sahab has definitely not said anything and one should be careful while reporting for such a major newspaper and while writing articles.

My managers have spoken to the editors at 'Saamna' and they were assured of a corrigendum. People who read 'Saamna' are regulars so when they open the paper tomorrow, there should be a clarification in the paper. They should say that they were misinformed or the misprinted and that's it. I think the matter should be ended then and there."

Katrina sure knows what she wants! It's definitely not marriage or talks of a marriage at this point!

Has Minissha replaced Katrina in Bollywood?

It seems Katrina’s place has taken by Kidnap girl Minissha Lamba. No we are not talking about Salman and Katrina’s love life neither she has replaced Katrina in any film.

If rumours are to be believed Minissha has got some well wishers in Bollywood who are trying to help her to save her dying film career.

According to an industry insider Akki who used to recommend Katrina to the producers, is now recommending Minissha’s to his producers.

Interestingly both haven’t worked together in single film. Reportedly Minissha’s Kidnap co actor Imran Khan has also recommending her to some producers.

Though helping co actors to make their career is not new in Bollywood. Reportedly Salman and Akshay have done it before for their co actresses. We hope Akki and Imraan’s recommendations will save Minissha’s dying career.

Akshay Kumar under threat

'Chandni Chowk To China' sank without a trace and many felt that Kinng Kumar's golden streak has come to an end.

It's being said that his well wishers are asking him to not try comedy again.

A source has said "Akshay Kumar has become progressively active in the process of writing scripts and shooting films. He freely makes suggestions some of which, I've to admit, are good.

But quite often he wants to take over the project. When I went to him with another project he offered to co-produce it and to get someone to re-write portions. It's obvious a lot of scenes in Chandni Chowk were re-written. The result shows."

The inside buzz is that 'Chandni Chowk To China' writer Sridhar Raghavan was persuaded to continuously change the scenes until the writer who has good screenplays to his credit in Raj Santoshi's films was a helpless puppet propelling the plot to destinations-unknown.

But friends like producer Sajid Nadiadwala whose 'Kambhakht Ishq' he's doing aren't worried.

He says, "It's an out-and-out rom-com with stunts of an international order. And why are we jumping the gun just because one of his films hasn't lived up to expectations? There could be so many reasons for it. Why should Akshay be blamed for it? Why so much negative criticism about him? Is he the first superstar to fail at box office?"

He doesn't care about the comic element being there or not.

He's said, "The film is what it is. I don't work with my actors based on how their last film did. 'Kambhakht Ishq' will have a lot to offer."

One huge challenge though is that Akshay's pairing with Kareena Kapoor hasn't always done well with duds like Suneel Darshan's 'Talaash', Dharmesh Darshan's 'Bewafaa' and Yash Raj's 'Tashan'.

Vipul Shah's film with Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai which is to be launched in March has no comic element either.

He says, "I don't think the failure of 'Chandni Chowk To China' means that audiences have rejected him in the comic avatar. The backlash is totally uncalled-for. And it looks motivated by reasons other than the box- office. A lot of people have been waiting to pounce on Akshay. This is their opportunity."

Only Priyadarshan's 'De Dana Dan' is an out-and-out comedy but Govinda's buffoonery would be more visible there.

Other than that, Akshay's forthcoming projects will not have much of comedy.

Well things change for better or worse with time. Looks like the hit machine has learnt it well enough by now.

Salman-Shah Rukh clash avoided

Shah Rukh and Salman Khan had a big fight mid last year at Katrina Kaif's birthday party which turned really dirty. After much mud slinging, they have made it a point to avoid events where they might bump into each other.

Now both the big Khans were invited to Preity Zinta's home for her birthday party on Saturday night. Shah Rukh reached the party early and when Sallu heard about this, he decided to not attend PZ's party.

He excused himself by saying that he was shooting but he wanted to avoid any unpleasantness by coming face-to-face with Shah Rukh.

An eye witness says, "Preity had invited Salman since they are good friends but he told Preity that he was shooting in Panvel for Main Aur Mrs Khanna and that he wouldn't be able to make it.

At Milind Deora's reception, where both SRK and Sallu were present, it was easy to avoid each other as it was a big affair but Preity's bash was an intimate gathering of about 20 close friends and it would have been impossible to avoid eye contact. Salman didn't want an awkward situation again and opted out."

There were many other interesting guests at Preity's party like Akshay and Twinkle, Arjun Rampal and Mehr Jessia, Amrita Arora and her fiancé Shakeel Ladhak, Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder, Sanjay and Maheep Kapoor, Chunky and Bhavna Pandey, Karan Johar, Riteish Deshmukh and Farhan Akhtar.

It was good that another big Khan fight and a huge tamasha was avoided right there.

But there were some other spicy sightings. Dino Morea came minus girlfriend Lara Dutta and was seen chatting merrily with ex-girlfriend Nandita Mahtani. Looks like Dino has forgotten how Lara had walked out in a huff when Nandita had sat on Dino's lap and flirted with him at a party sometime ago.

Akshay Kumar made a quick exit after wishing Preity to catch an early morning flight to Delhi. Shah Rukh and Akshay didn't chat with each other. Kinng Kumar's hit machine status might be in trouble after his latest film proved to be a big dud, but there still seems to be some tension with King Khan.

Must say B-Town events never fail to interest all and sundry.