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on 2011/10/4 18:22:47

Batukamma Puja in Hyd.

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  • 'Batukamma' shooting in progress
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    Batukamma with Telangana backdrop

    2007/2/2 14:26:02 Batukamma festival, which is quite popular among the Telangana region, would be the theme for a film 'Batukamma' to be jointly produced by Ponugoti Saraswati Rammohan Rao and Dr Vanaja Chandrasekhara Rao on the banner of Kakatiya Films.

    T Prabhakar, who had earlier directed films like 'Rendilla Pujari, Dear Brother, Kishkinda Kanda and Meenakshi' is directing this film. The film deals with the Telangana armed struggle, the lifestyle and living conditions of the people of Telangana then and now, the culture and tradition of the region and other such issues.

    The film would go to sets very soon. Lyrics are by Gorati Venkanna, Guda Anjaiah, Andesri, Nagapuri Rajamouli and Chaitanya. Dr T Rajeswara Rao is presenting the film.

    Telugu Cinema News : Batukamma with Telangana backdrop

    'Batukamma' shooting in progress

    2007/9/14 12:38:37

    The shooting of 'Batukamma' directed by T Prabhakar, presented by Dr T Rajeswara Rao and produced by Ponugoti Saraswati Rammohana Rao and Mokkapati Vanaja Chandrasekhar Rao on the banner of Kakatiya Films with Sindhu Tulani playing the lead is progressing well in the villages of Warangal district.

    The film is based on the cultural heritage of the Telangana region. Director says, 'In Telangana cultural heritage 'Batukamma' festival has a distinct place. Especially the festival is a must celebration for the women of the region. We wove a good story based on the social, cultural, traditional and the living standards of the people in the Telangana region.

    You could find the folk songs, tunes of the region in the songs and music. There are 11 songs and we will continue our shooting in and around Warangal district till September 20. Gorati Venkanna, Vijayabhaskar, Amarendra, Alapati Lakshmi, Surabhi Prabhavati, Riya and others are in the cast. Camera is by Adusumilli Vijayakumar

    Telugu Cinema News : 'Batukamma' shooting in progress

    'Batukamma' in dubbing activities

    2008/1/12 9:52:23

    Shooting and post-production works of 'Batukamma' directed by Prabhakar, presented by Dr T Rajasewara Rao and produced by Ponugoti Rammohana Rao and Makkapati Vanaja Chandrasekhar Rao on the banner Kakatiya Films, with Sindhu Tulani playing the lead role was completed. Director says, 'We launched one set of audio some time ago. The second set of audio would be released during this month.

    We are making efforts to release the film in February.' Chandrasekhar, Gorati Venkanna, Vijayabhaskar, Amarendra, Alapati Lakshmi, Surabhi Prabhavati, Riya and others are in the cast. Cinematography is by Adusumilli Vijaykumar, story, screenplay, music and direction are by T Prabhakar.

    Telugu Cinema News : 'Batukamma' in dubbing activities

    A tale of two sisters

    2010/10/29 13:08:28

    Actress Kajol could not attend Rani Mukerji’s Durga puja, but Rani is still ecstatic with the new addition in the family.

    “It is not true that both of them (Rani and Kajol) share cold vibes. They share a very normal relationship. They are not too close but they are on talking terms and wish each other on family functions,” says a friend close to Rani.

    “This year’s Durga puja has brought in a lot of good news,” said Rani, referring to the birth of Kajol’s son, Yug. Last year, Kajol was seen serving prasad to Rani during the bhog at the Durga puja.

    “The puja was jointly set up by the Mukerji’s during 1947. Our fathers (Rani’s and Kajol’s) had established the Durga puja as a strictly family affair. At that point one needed a pass to get inside the mandalam. All the actors used to come on their own and perform at the cultural functions on all the four days of the Durga puja,” she said.

    Mukerji said that she feels bad about the fact that a strictly family affair has now become commercial.

    “The mahol was different in those days when we used to come and perform at our puja (she’s referring to her brothers and cousin Kajol). Now it has turned into a commercial affair with artists being paid to perform, sponsors et al. I still long for something that I have left behind,” she said.

    Sources also say that a lot of calls were made to Kajol’s house congratulating her on the birth of her son. Most of the calls, sources say, went to her mother Tanuja.

    “Rani’s family is very much in touch with Kajol’s mom, Tanuja and she took the congratulatory calls on behalf of her daughter,” says the source.

    Bollywood News : A tale of two sisters

    YS – from CM to God!

    2008/4/14 8:41:03 Chief Minister YS Rajashekar Reddy now has turned into God. Several people in the state are now offering puja to him for launching various schemes like rice at rupees two a kilo, free current, Indirmma housing etc. A farmer from Nalgonda district P Raju plans to sell off one acre of his land and construct a temple for YS on the banks of river Krishna.

    Another farmer Subbaiah from Arur in Nellore district is also conducting daily puja to the portrait of YS. He was neck deep in debt and wanted to commit suicide as he could repay the loans taken from the bank. But he was pleasantly surprised when he learned that all his loans were waived off by the government! He is grateful to YS for giving him a new lease of life. He has installed a portrait of YS in his puja room and is offering daily prayers.

    Andhra News : YS – from CM to God!

    Bapu's film launched formally with puja

    2007/7/6 8:18:34

    Directed by Bapu and produced by K Aparna on the banner of Chaitra Cine Circuit (C3) with Naresh and Charmme in the lead was formally launched with the puja activities at the C3 office on July 5. Chaitra, daughter of the producer, performed the puja. Srikanth and Naresh handed over the script to director Bapu after the puja.

    National award winning music director Vidyasagar is scoring music for the movie. The film would go for regular shooting on July 10 at Ramoji Film City and would completed in a single schedule by shooting at RFC, Rajahmundry, Vizianagaram and Bobbili and its surrounding areas.

    Prema is playing the role of heroine's mother, while Sunil Sharma, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Ranganath, Vizag Prasad, Sangeeta, LB Sriram, Kondavalasa, Gauthamraju, Pruthvi, Duvvasi Mohan and others are in the cast. Story, dialogues and screenplay are by Mullapudi Venkata Ramana, art is by Satyanarayana, editing is by Srikara Prasad and cinematography is by TRK Raju

    Telugu Cinema News : Bapu's film launched formally with puja

    Thousands watch Kumari worship at Belur Math

    2011/10/4 18:15:27

    Thousands of devotees from all over the country and abroad watched 'Kumari Puja' or the worship of a prepubescent girl on Mahashtami Tuesday at Belur Math -- the global headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.

    People thronged Durga Puja pandals (marquees) across West Bengal to make offerings and participate in the worship of pre-pubescent girls. Chanting hymns, the young and the old offered anjali (prayer) and stood in long queues before idols of the goddess Durga.

    Belur Math in Kolkata's twin district Howrah, about 10 km from here, saw a sea of humanity as people watched the monks worship a Kumari as the 'Mother Goddess'. The sacred ritual is an integral part of Mahashtami.

    According to Hindu mythology, Kumari Puja was started to establish the value of women. The maiden who is worshipped symbolises the power that regulates creation, stability and destruction on the earth.

    Kumari Puja was resurrected by spiritual leader Ramakrishna Paramahansa in the late 19th century.

    National News : Thousands watch Kumari worship at Belur Math

    Fatwa issued against Salman for attending Ganesh puja

    2007/9/20 12:04:36

    King of controversy Salman Khan is in trouble yet again. A Muslim organisation has issued a fatwa against Salman for attending a Ganesh puja.

    The barely-based Daarul-Ifta-Manjar-e-Islam has acted against Salman after the actor took part in the Ganesh Puja celebrations in Mumbai.

    The organisation said unless Salman reads the Kalmas all over again, he would not be considered a Muslim.

    The order was issued as Islam prohibits all kinds of idol worship. Salman, who had just been out of jail in the Chinkara poaching case, celebrated Ganesh mahostav with his family on Monday.

    The Khan family had brought home Ganesh idol for one and a half days. Salman matched steps with his step mom Helen with his nephew on his shoulders.

    The actor went out dancing during the procession before immersing the Ganesh Idol into the sea.

    Bollywood News : Fatwa issued against Salman for attending Ganesh puja

    Chiru launches Son

    2007/2/6 14:27:53

    Megastar Chiranjeevi has launched the film career of his son Ram Charan Teja. The launch however was an hush hush affair. The puja was held at the office of the Vaishno Academy where the megastar blessed his son and commenced the work formally.

    The reason for holding the puja to launch the film career in total secrecy is baffling the media pundits. It is no secret that the megastar has a well-oiled media network and even a small incident concerning him tends to grab the headlines. Wait and see for more updates on the matter.

    Telugu Cinema News : Chiru launches Son

    Bole toh, Khopdi hai!

    2006/10/1 13:43:16

    It's ironic. It is Durga puja time and all the Bongs from Bollywood are away from the city. Rani Mukherji was cribbing from the US that she was missing the puja revelry and looking for a place where she could binge on bhog. Likewise, the Sens, Riya, Reema, Raima, Rimmi and Sushmita, are all out of town too.

    Singer Shaan was heard cribbing about the fact that he had to perform at the Lokhandwala Durgostav when he actually wanted to be at home to usher in his wife's birthday. Ditto Shreya Ghosal, who wanted to leave the same venue early. "I am leaving for Rajasthan and this is the only day I am in Mumbai. I want to be with my family for the puja," said Shreya.
    So with such mass absentia, it was left to the non-Bengali celebrites to liven up these pandals by their presence. Dream girl Hema Malini performed her Durga ballet at the pandals. "This is the only time I get to perform 'Durga' in Mumbai," she said.

    The other actor who made his presence felt was Sanjay Dutt aka Munnabhai who visited the Lokhandwala pandal. While there, he enjoyed the puja and was in no hurry to leave the venue. What struck us most was Dutt's necklace. As soon as he became conscious of our gaze, he said "Mamu, yeh khopdi hai re." The small beads were in the shape of little skeletons, the ones you find with tantriks. Later, when singer Abhijeet, playing the dhak (drums) and asked Dutt to sing along, he said, "Sab bhaag jayenge." It just shows that even in the face of adversity, Munnabhai has not lost his sense of humour.


    Bollywood News : Bole toh, Khopdi hai!

    Bhoomi Puja for Jagan’s hunger strike!

    2010/12/15 17:32:04 Many of us might be familiar with ‘Bhoomi Puja’ ceremony which is very common before constructing a house or some building by a person. But, now this ritual extended to dharnas and hunger strikes also. YS. Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced that he is sitting for a two days hunger strike on 21st and 22nd of December at Vijayawada city, demanding the government to help the farmers who lost their paddy due to the recent heavy rain fall in the state.

    Ever since, he declared his decision his followers and some decedent congress leaders were on search for a suitable venue for his hunger strike and finally selected banks of river Krishna for it. Before erecting the stage and making necessary arrangements, all of them have performed Bhoomi Puja at the site today, probably wishing a grand success of his hunger strike? Soon, we may witness all other politicians who have plans to sit for hunger strikes and dharnas, adopt this new practice which is very helpful in drawing the attention of the media and public. Especially, KCR who plans for a big fight in the coming days for Telangana cause has to note this point.

    Andhra News : Bhoomi Puja for Jagan’s hunger strike!

    Ganesh idols getting ready

    2007/7/2 10:29:24

    The most eagerly awaited festival; Ganesh Chatruthi is still far off – September 15 to be exact. But the activity has already started at several places in the city. Puja pandals which put up big idols of the elephant god are already in the process of making the idols. Artist from all over the country descend in Hyderabad for making the idols.

    The Hyderabad police have urged the puja pandal organizers to restrict the size of the idols to 10 feet. However the organizers at Khairatabad are putting up a big idol of about 40 feet. The Khairatabad Ganesh is the biggest in the city and attracts people from all over the region during the nine day festival.

    Andhra News : Ganesh idols getting ready

    'Mukkanti' in third schedule

    2007/4/21 8:29:59

    The third schedule of 'Mukkanti' directed by Raj Krishna and produced by KK Usha on the banner of Amritalaya Creations with Nandamuri Tarakaratna, Samna and Puja Gandhi in the lead is in progress simultaneously on Telugu and Tamil languages.

    Producer KK Usha says, 'We shot some scenes in Hyderabad, Rajahmundry and Chennai and its surrounding areas. Samna and Puja Gandhi are being introduced to the Telugu films through this movie. Puja Gandhi played heroine in successful Kannada film 'Mungaramalai'.

    Raj Kiran, who gave extraordinary performance in films like 'Pandem Kodi and Muni' is playing a special role in the movie. Abhinayasri would dance in an item number. Like this, there are many specialities in 'Mukkanti'. Hero Tarakaratna says, 'I am playing the role of a clever boy who looks quite innocent. In fact, I am awaiting one such role all these days.' Director Raj Krishna says, 'This is my debut film as director.

    I earned good experience in direction by working in association with noted director Selva Bharati.' Asish Vidyarthi, Pashupati, Anuradha, Brahmanandam, Ali and others are in the cast. Presented by JK, the film has Aruldas as cameraman, fights are by Dalapati Dinesh, music is by Srikanth Deva and editing is by Sai Suresh.

    Telugu Cinema News : 'Mukkanti' in third schedule

    Durga puja with traditional gaiety

    2011/10/4 17:00:39 Bengalis from the State Capital were attired in their traditional best as all roads on Tuesday seemed to lead to the Ramakrishna Math in the backdrop of the picturesque Indira Park in the heart of the city.

    Draped in their festive colours, women were all over the route radiating smiles that appeared contagious and sporting big bindis on the forehead.

    It was a mini-Bengal with the usual pomp, pageantry and gala celebration intact. The Berngali Samiti made all arrangements to usher in the Durga Puja festival with religious fervour.

    The road alongside the Math was illuminated fully and one could see elders and youngsters exchanging pleasantries. The highlight of the evening was a mesmerizing Oddissi rendition by a troupe that was specifically called in for the day. (INN)

    National News : Durga puja with traditional gaiety

    Bollywood's Bengalis live it up during Durga Puja

    2007/10/18 8:31:06

    It is that time of the year when their hearts yearn for Durga Puja festivities back home. But with 100-odd pandals in Mumbai and its outskirts, Bengalis in Bollywood and elsewhere plunge themselves into the celebrations here.

    Be it actors Bipasha Basu, Kajol or Rani Mukerji, singer Abhijeet or director Basu Chatterjee, the festival time is always special. For there is nothing like Durga Puja to elevate the sprits of Bengalis living outside Bengal.

    Festivities range from the very sedate Khar Ram Krishna Mission puja to the more elaborate community and private pujas at upmarket Lokhandwala and Bandra.

    With the five-day puja kicking off Wednesday, both tinsel town and local Bengali associations have recreated "the magic back home".

    Singer Abhijeet and his Bollywood colleagues, including director Anurag Basu and some A-list Bollywood actors, have turned the upmarket Lokhandwala puja in the western suburbs into one of the most talked-about here.

    "The reason I convene this puja - that is in its 16th year at Lokhandwala - is I recall it as the only major annual event in my hometown Kanpur. It was the only time when we non-resident Bengalis got together and celebrated the festival in a heart-warming way," Abhijeet told IANS.

    "When I came to Mumbai, I missed this puja spirit, so in 1989 I decided to start this puja in Lokhandwala. During the festival, which is unlike any other, I ensure that everything is perfect."

    Bipasha too pines for the 'para' (neighbourhood) puja back home in Kolkata but will be going to the puja organised by the Mukherjee family - of Kajol, Tanisha and Rani - in Santa Cruz.

    "Though I will miss our para puja back home in Kolkata, I am very happy that I will be going to the Mukherjee family puja. In fact, my parents have gone to Kolkata for the pujas, but work has kept me back in Mumbai this year," Bipasha said.

    "I will be there to offer anjali on 'ashtami'," she said.

    That is where Prashanta Kundu, a journalist from a Bengali TV channel, is headed too.

    "If you want to see the largest congregation of Bengalis in Mumbai, then you should go to the Podar School puja organised by filmmaker Ram Mukherjee (father of Rani) and his brother Som Mukherjee (father of actor Kajol and Tanisha)," says Kundu.

    "You can catch Jaya Bachchan, Moushumi Chatterjee, Rani Mukerji, Kajol and a host of other Bollywood stars offering anjali together.

    "Yes, that is true. This is the 50th year of the family puja. It is like an annual family pilgrimage when the entire Mukherjee clan gets together," confirmed Ram Mukherjee.

    But Abhijeet plays down the rivalry between pujas organised here.

    "Why, don't they have puja committees competing with one another in Kolkata? Aren't awards given for the best pandals there?" Abhijeet asked.

    Another must see Bollywood puja is that organised by director Basu Chatterjee and yesteryear movie mogul Shakti Samanta on Bandra's Linking Road.

    Yet it is the Bombay Sarbojonin Durgoutsav Committee pandal at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai's Dadar that truly gives the feel of a Kolkata puja.

    Organised by the Bengal Club and in its 70th year, it is one of the oldest community pujas in the metropolis.

    "We organise music and dance competitions in the mornings and evenings for children and dhunuchi dance and shonkhodhwoni competitions in the evening for adults in a very traditional way," said a Hiren Bose, a puja committee member.

    The New Bombay Bengali Association Puja at Vashi in Navi Mumbai and the Bengali Cultural Association too are crowd pullers.

    Organisers here have decided to go eco-friendly this time using innovative materials, including silt, clay, jute, water reed and even spices, for their Durga idol.

    "Our 25-foot-high idol is made of silt and clay brought all the way from the river Ganga in Kolkata. We have not used any plaster of Paris. The idol's hair is made of jute and the attire is made of 'shola', a special water weed found mainly in rural Bengal," said Asit Gosh of the association.

    "We have not used any artificial colours or chemicals to decorate the idols. In fact, white elaichi (cardamom) has been used in the weapons and ornaments (used to bedeck the goddess) and black rye for the hair," said a member of the Bengali Cultural Association.

    There are a 100-odd Bengali pujas in Mumbai and neighbouring Thane. The oldest community puja here is the one at Zaveri Bazaar in south Mumbai organised by Bengali goldsmiths.

    Not to be left behind, corporate Mumbai too has its own Durga Puja, organised by business head honchos at the Tel Pal Hall, adjutant to the historic Azad Kranti Maidan off Grant Road in south Mumbai.

    Bollywood News : Bollywood's Bengalis live it up during Durga Puja

    AK 47s worshipped on Durga Puja?

    2011/10/4 10:50:35 The Durga Puja celebration at the Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) ground in Ranchi is unique in many ways.

    Here the idol of Goddess Durga is not worshipped, but arms and weapons. The idol is given a salute of guns, animals are sacrificed and women worship for the safety of their husbands and sons.

    Weapons like AK-47, INSAS rifles, pistols, mortar, carbine and grenades are placed on the stage, decorated with flowers and worshipped.

    JAP is one of most efficient force of Jharkhand police force. JAP commandos are involved in anti Maoist operations and deployed for the security of many VVIPs. Majority of JAP commandos belong to the Gorkha community, which celebrates Durga Puja with enthusiasm.

    "We worship Goddess Durga for safety of our men. Majority of Gorkha community is employed in JAP and they have to fight with Maoists, criminals and face threats while providing security to people. The safety of our men is our priority," Aneeta Metha, a Gorkha woman, told IANS.

    Echoing her view, Sharmila Thapa said: "Many Gorkha men have been killed in landmine blasts and gun fights with Maoists. Goddess Durga keeps our men safe in the difficult situation."

    Animals are also sacrificed on the ninth day of the puja to appease the goddess, and Gorkhas seek blessings from Durga that their weapons function properly.

    "Our weapons are everything in our fight with Maoists and criminals. We can fight only when our weapons functions properly in the field," Rajesh Thapa, a JAP jawan, told IANS.

    According to local people, idol worship is considered a bad omen among the community.

    According to Gorkhas, weapon worship during Durga Puja started in 1880 at the Bihar Military Police (BMP) ground during undivided Bihar. After creation of Jharkhand, BMP was renamed as JAP. The weapon worshipping trend continued.

    According to locals, a commandant of BMP installed an idol of Goddess Durga in 1953. However, the commandant and Gorkha people faced numerous problems after that. Many Gorkha people, including the commandant fell ill, and a few died in an epidemic. After the 1953 incident, they resumed worshipping weapons which continues till today.

    National News : AK 47s worshipped on Durga Puja?

    Bengal in full festive mood with Durga Puja

    2011/10/2 19:07:29

    Thousands of people decked in their best walked the streets of Kolkata shoulder to shoulder, visiting one marquee after another, as the Durga Puja festivities got off to a grand start under clear skies in West Bengal Sunday.

    Leaving behind the drudgery of daily existence amid problems of price spirals, corruption in public life and other problems, young and the old joined in the gay abandon as Kolkata looked its finest under lakhs of kilowats of bright lights, twinklers and grand marques.

    The five-day festival - the biggest in eastern India - would continue till Thursday, when the idols of goddess Durga and her sons and daughters will be immersed in the rivers, lakes and ponds across the state.

    Shashthi - the sixth day of the lunar calendar - also marked the beginning of the puja rituals.

    Kalparamvo (the beginning of the Pujas), Bodhan (the consecration of Durga's idol), Amantran (inviting the goddess) and Adhivas (sanctifying the stay of the goddess in the exact spot where the puja is being held) - were performed in community puja marquees and households where Mother Durga is being worshipped with all fervour.

    As per the Ramayana, before attacking Lanka in search of his wife Sita, Lord Rama had performed Durga Puja in autumn - a time when the gods sleep, according to the Hindu religious texts. So Lord Rama had to first wake up the Goddess prematurely, and as such the awakening in the autumnal festival is called Akal (untimely) Bodhan of the goddess.

    However, mythology also states that the Puja celebrates the annual descent of Goddess Durga, the slayer of the demon Mahishashur, accompanied by her four children Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati on earth to visit her parents.

    The goddess, astride a lion and wielding an array of weapons in her ten hands, stays for four days to eradicate all evil from the earth before returning to her husband Lord Shiva at Kailash on Dashami.

    With theme puja being the in-thing and the biggest crowd puller for the last few years, all things from pencils to flutes are being used for making the marquees and also the idols. The marquee at CK-CL block of the satellite township of Salt Lake has been made totally of steel netting giving it a futuristic look not seen before. The pandal is built over 3,000 sq feet area and has 5,000 kgs of steel netting on it.

    "The construction has being done on a superstructure of bamboo and timber. This is a big challenge as no one has done this before. But we want to create an example that artisans of Bengal can do the impossible," said the creator Jagadish Das, who is based out of East Midnapore district's Contai.

    A large number of people also thronged the marquee at South Kolkata's Singhi Park, which resembles the famous Kali temple of Dakhineswar.

    National News : Bengal in full festive mood with Durga Puja

    Special puja for Sanjay

    2007/8/31 8:23:33

    Director Sanjay Gupta’s Versova house was visible from afar, bathed and bedecked in lights. It made for a fitting venue for a special puja that he had organised for Sanjay Dutt. It was also Sanju’s first appearance after he was released from jail on an interim bail.

    Bollywood actors, and producers had turned up in full force to be with their beloved Sanju Baba as he made his first appearance since the time he came home last Wednesday. People turned up in hordes for the mata ki chowky to pray for Sanju.

    Sanju walked in at 7 pm sharp. Dressed in a simple white T-shirt and blue denims, he was a picture of calm. Friends Bunty Walia, Ajay Arora and Paresh Gehlani walked in with him. Manyata, reportedly, was cooking dinner at home for sister Priya’s birthday.

    The aarti started at quarter past seven, with Dutt performing the Jyot Jalana ceremony and tying the holy band (chunni) around Mata’s idol. It was an auspicious day indeed, with Raksha Bandhan and sister Priya Dutt’s birthday falling on the same day.

    Gupta insisted that Sanju was the eldest in the family; and ensured that he performed all the rituals. Brothers Rohit and Ronit Roy came together with their wives Manasi and Neelam respectively.

    Dia Mirza was seen in her usual chirpy mood. Kirron Kher walked in late, probably straight from a shoot and Vivek Oberoi arrived straight from Chennai, at 11 pm. Anu Malek was seen chatting with Manoj Bajpai who was accompanied by wife Neha.

    VJ Sophie was also seen at the puja, along with Koena Mitra, Bappi Lahiri, Sanjay Suri, Suparna Varma, Rakesh Upadhyay, Masumi, Parvin Dabas and Hansal Mehta. After the puja, prasad and dinner were served to the guests.

    Bollywood News : Special puja for Sanjay

    Miss India US is Kamal's new heroine

    2011/11/6 6:09:28 Kamal Hassan's bilingual movie 'Viswarupam' being made in Telugu and Tamil languages is facing several problems from the day one. The first blow comes from its director Selva Raghavan. He failed to take-up this project due to untold reasons. It leads to delay in the shooting and then the heroine Sonakshi Sinha walked-out of the movie as she couldn't wait for the film anymore. Then, the entire project has been handed over to Kamal Hassan and he is now acting and directing the movie. Later, several heroines names come and go but none of them were confirmed so far. Now, a new name has been added to that list. She is Miss India US-Puja Kumar. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri and is staying at New York City. "When, a big star like Kamal Hassan has offered female lead role opposite him, how any girl can refuse it? I am thrilled to bag this chance," said Puja. Hope she is the last girl in the list.

    Telugu Cinema News : Miss India US is Kamal's new heroine

    100 pandals, galaxy of stars - Mumbai ready for Durga Puja

    2011/9/30 13:19:12 Mumbai, Sep 30 (IANS) Star-studded Durga Puja festivities are set to begin in Mumbai and its suburbs at 100 marquees this year, with themes ranging from Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement to Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda. Some organisers are splurging as much as Rs.20 million.

    Up from last year's 85 venues, 98 pandals will celebrate Durga Puja with pomp, where commoners will get a chance to rub shoulders with Bollywood personalities, this city being home to India's entertainment industry.

    "The puja organised by Rani Mukherji and Kajol, with a 15-ft idol, is air-conditioned and the stars and common devotees join together for the afternoon 'prasad' in its cool comforts," said a smiling Prashant Kundu, a social worker running medical camps at various venues.

    Playback singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya will host a star-studded mega-budget event at his Durga pandal in Andheri with a 21-ft tall idol, Kundu said, while Rani's and Kajol's celebrations are at Santacruz West.

    Ace director Basu Chatterjee continues to be the moving force behind the Bandra Durga Puja, started many decades ago by legendary filmmaker Shakti Samanta.

    Besides, yesteryear superstars Joy Mukherjee and Biswajeet also have their own Durga Puja mandals, or organising committees, in the western suburbs.

    Puja will begin for five days Sunday and will see 1.2 million Bengalis in Mumbai and adjoining Thane plunge into religious and cultural festivities.

    Major venues in Mumbai include Charni Road, Kalbadevi, Shivaji Park, Bandra, Kandivali, Chembur and Powai.

    Nearly a dozen of them are organised on extensive budgets, ranging from Rs.5 million to Rs.20 million, while the rest are modestly estimated, ranging from Rs.400,000 to Rs.2 million, Kundu added.

    Durga Puja by the Indian Air Force staff in their housing colony at Sion is on a shoe-string budget, with a 5-feet tall idol of Goddess Durga and home-cooked 'prasad'.

    The Pragati Club, Vasai, will showcase the life, times and works of Tagore at its marquee while its souvenir would be dedicated to Hazare and his recent anti-graft movement, said its president Dipak Biswas.

    "This year, the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore draws to an end while Hazare has fired the imagination of the nation's youth. After paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi on Oct 2, we shall begin our celebrations," Biswas, a retired scientist, told IANS.

    While this year, most pandals in south Mumbai will display themes on Swami Vivekananda whose 150th birth anniversary begins next year, those in the north shall feature tableaux on the Nobel laureate Tagore.

    All Durga Puja mandals organise free community lunches - 'prasad' - in which all are welcome, while a host of cultural and entertainment programmes mark the evenings, said Biswas.

    Only the Bengal Club's Durga celebration at Shivaji Park will have all functions during the day, adhering to the noise pollution restrictions recommended by the Bombay High Court.

    A large group of serving and retired commercial pilots will hold a modest puja, near Amitabh Bachchan's bungalow at Juhu while Bengalis serving in the Indian Navy will celebrate at Navy Nagar, Colaba, south Mumbai.

    The Ramkrishna Mission at Khar is the only venue where a pre-puberty girl is worshipped as Goddess Durga in a "Kumari Puja" on Ashtami Day, according to Kundu.

    Thane district has major Durga Puja venues in Thane city, Vasai, Nalasopara, Bhayander and Navi Mumbai.

    A few Bengali goldsmiths initiated the Durga Puja tradition here 91 years ago in 1920 and now it has become a major calendar event here in the country's commercial capital.

    Tight security measures have been implemented at all the marquees.

    Bollywood News : 100 pandals, galaxy of stars - Mumbai ready for Durga Puja

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