If their marriage was a low key secret private affair, the reception of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma was every bit as grand as it promised to be. In fact, there were two receptions, one in Delhi which is where Virat lived. And then one in Mumbai, the base of Anushka and which is also the centre of the film industry.
For the Delhi reception, the prime minister himself was an attendee and it can’t get bigger than that. He came because of Virat who is the Indian cricket team captain. If there is anything that trumps Bollywood then it is cricket in India, though cricketers have a short shelf life unlike movie stars whose careers span a few decades.
In the Mumbai reception, however, Anushka pulled her weight and it saw the entire cream of Bollywood in full attendance – from Amitabh Bachchan to Shah Rukh Khan and even Priyanka Chopra, who is mostly based abroad nowadays. There were also plenty of ordinary starry eyed common folk who tried to gatecrash but they had no chance whatsoever with the security being what it was because of the galaxy of celebrities around.
Tiger Zinda Hai becomes year’s biggest hit
If there was any doubt about Salman Khan’s market value after the debacle of Tubelight, then they have been firmly laid to rest. Just as 2017 ended, Tiger Zinda Hai raced away to become the biggest hit of the year.
Before it, Golmaal Again had made a little over Rs200 crore in the box office. Tiger Zinda Hai overtook that number within a week of its release. It should probably beat the Rs300 crore mark too considering the trajectory of the business it is making. Salman will take few lessons from this. First, that he is infallible when he doesn’t experiment. Tubelight was that rare exception where he tried to display his acting abilities and with miserable results. Both the critics and his audience panned him.
With Tiger Zinda Hai the audience returned to him in droves. Even the critics, while not in fulsome praise, kind of agreed that there was entertainment value. The second lesson for Salman is that he doesn’t really need to do much to succeed but he has to try hard to fail. So he should continue doing what he did with Tiger Zinda Hai, which is to stay in that narrow spectrum where the movie doesn’t have much of a plot but a lot of spectacle. On top of that collaboration with a big production house like Yashraj Studios, who produced the movie, ensures that it is marketed to a degree where it becomes fail-proof. And also, franchises are the safest bet in the market today and with the Tiger series well and truly underway Salman can keep returning to it to make hay and a lot of money over the years. Another person who will be heaving a big sigh of relief is Katrina Kaif. She has had a terrible couple of years both personally and professionally with a failed relationship and back-to-back big flops. Tiger Zinda Hai puts her back in the reckoning again. She is still far away from vying for the top spot where Deepika Padukone is firmly ensconced but this hit has pulled her back from being an actress whose presence was being associated with flops. If she is wise, then she should be convincing Salman to have her in another movie with him. Nothing succeeds like success and if their on-screen combination has worked wonders then the thing to do is to keep it going.
Priyanka Chopra lectures on women issues
One of the country’s biggest and oldest publishing houses, Penguin, hosts an annual lecture and this time when they announced who was going to give it, there were sounds of disapprobation. The said person’s name was Priyanka Chopra and the problem with that was she has not written a book or anything substantial that qualified her for talking at a publishing house’s lecture.
But since such events are celebrity driven, most people thought it was par for the course. But that was not all. Priyanka landed in something of a controversy even during the lecture itself. One of the things she spoke about was how women should be courageous in chasing their dreams and the importance of that in surmounting barriers created by society for them.
This was all very good but then something ironic happened. Soon after the lecture when she was taking questions from the audience, there was one that sought her opinion on the agitation against the movie Padmavati. Instead of giving a frank opinion, Priyanka ducked the question saying that this was something for politicians to answer and there was nothing she could do as an actor. In effect, she was displaying an absence of courage soon after advising women at large to be courageous. Maybe the next lecture that she should be giving is on practising what one preaches.
Twinkle Khanna celebrates birthday
In the years before his marriage, Akshay Kumar had quite a reputation of being in relationships that fizzled. There was a long line of actresses, from Raveena Tandon to Shilpa Shetty, with whom it had not worked out. But with Twinkle Khanna, with whom he finally tied the knot, it had been a different story.
Their marriage has been very solid. An instance of it was evident recently when Twinkle celebrated her birthday. The couple was in South Africa on holiday and Akshay had been posting images of their journey on Twitter. On the day of her birthday, he put a photo of them both in the car along with these words: ‘Forever making every ride full of adventure and amusement, my favourite companion...for life! Happy birthday, Tina’. Meanwhile, the other thing that one can find on his Twitter feed is his soon to be releasing movie, Pad Man. It is about a social activist who found a way to make cheap pads for women that would assist rural and poor women. Twinkle, having been impressed with the story, is said to have had a part in Akshay deciding to take on the movie. All in all, the connection of the husband and wife seems to be going strong.
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