Salman Khan’s Veer is in trouble yet again. An FIR has been lodged against the crew in Bikaner for cutting down tress, transporting and utilising them for shooting the film. It has been alleged that the film crew did so without appropriate permissions from the concerned authorities. What’s more, these trees belong to the Khejri species which is the state tree of Rajasthan.

The Bishnoi tribe which worships this particular species of tree is furious with the film crew. In an FIR lodged in Gajner Police Station in Bikaner, some people of this tribe have requested strict action against the members of the unit who ordered the cutting down of tress.

The chief conservator officer of Bikaner, S.S. Choudhary told NDTV, “The Bishnoi community wants action to be taken against some of the members of the film unit because they have indulged in illegal action of transporting Khejri tress for shooting purpose. Once they came to know that Khejri trees were cut down and transported for various purposes for the film, they rushed to the police station and lodged an FIR. They want immediate action against the film crew. Fortunately for the film crew, it’s a compoundable offence. So they will have to pay some penalty if charges are proven against them.”

The Gajner Police station in Bikaner confirmed the FIR and said, “Yes, there is an FIR lodged under section 41 and 42 of the Rajasthan Forest Act under which transporting Khejri tree is an offence.”

On the other hand Vijay Galani, producer of the film, denied having any such information. He said, “At the moment I am near Jodhpur and I am shooting for my film Veer. In my knowledge, neither have we cut down any tress illegally nor is there any FIR lodged anywhere in the state. People are saying all these things without any basis. Till now, we haven’t received any communication from any police station about the FIR or any complain against the film crew.”

Galani might not have been informed about the FIR till now but it s not the first time that Veer has got into trouble. Just a few days ago, it was mired in controversy when the Rajasthan High Court stayed the shooting in Amber Fort because of an accident which injured around 15 people. Later, the court allowed the shooting on the condition that the producer will pay a compensation  of Rs 20 lakhs to the state government for the damage to the historic structure and compensation to the onlookers injured.



Be it films of the bygone eras, or the hip and trendy NRI movies that rule Bollywood today. The one common strain so far has been repeated images of places of worship, especially  hindu temples.

Sooni Tarporiwala’s Little Zizou is on its way to becoming the first film that has an entire sequence inside the Parsi Fire Temple. Since shooting inside the temple is not allowed, Tarporivala had to recreate it on a set.

Tarporivala said, “Though we have extensively shot in baugs (colonies), in and around Mumbai, we didn’t get permission to shoot in the fire temple. Shooting inside the temple is not allowed. So we had to create a set that was representative of fire temple. Luckily, both the people in the shot, Boman Irani and Zenobia Pressvala, were Parsi and they could perform the puja. So the entire ceremony and prayers were authentic.”

It may not be the original, but this may be the closest non-Parsis can get to the Fire Temple.


Actress turned director, Nandita Das on this new aspect of filmmaking, on the Gujarat riots, on stories and of course, on Firaaq.

“The journey of making Firaaq has been a cathartic experience that has pushed my boundaries, in more ways than one. Most films about riots are full of violence that they set out to critique. Instead, I wanted to explore the fierce and delicate emotions of fear, anxiety, prejudice and ambivalence in human relationships during such times. I have chosen an ensemble structure because there were so many stories that I had heard, seen and read, that needed to be told. When thousands have suffered, the suffering of only one cannot be glorified.

“I have enjoyed every phase of filmmaking, with all its challenges, big and small. And I am grateful to all those who had their faith in me and the story I so wanted to tell. While it is a collaborative process, it is also a lonely one. I have never had to make so many decisions, multi task at all times and be responsible for so many different things. In directing, I felt my many strands of interests came together and got subconsciously intertwined. With almost 13 years of acting experience in more than 30 films, I expected the transition to not be a difficult one, I was wrong. Making a film entailed much more than what I could have ever imagined. From an actor to a director, is like taking a quantum leap.

“During my many travels  and interactions around the world, I have sensed a collective desire to understand the complex and violent world inhabit and a palpable need for peace. I hope Firaaq reflects this spirit and touches the hearts and minds of those who watch it. What compelled me to make this film is best captures in the words of Brecht, “Will there be singing in the dark times? Yes, there will be singing, of the dark times.”

I don t remember exactly when the seed of this film was sown. It had to do with waking up to newspapers filled with stories of violence. It had to do with conversations about identity and the notion of the ‘other’ that would soon turn into arguments, polarizing people instantly. It had to do with meeting  many victims of violence and even some who perpetrated it. But, most of all it had to do with those who remained willfully silent. The sadness, the anger, the helplessness kept growing and a deep desire to share all those stories with a larger group of people began to take roots. In some ways it became a personal catharsis. I didn t start out looking for a story that I could direct, instead the stories compelled me to become a director.


In the film Aa Dekhen Zara, bipasha basu  might be having sizzling appearances in a discotheque with Neil Nitin Mukesh. But that’s reel  life.

In real life Bipasha doesn’t go to late night discos and dancing parties. Do you know why? This is one of the sacrifices that this sexy siren has made for her beau John Abraham.

Talking about her real life experience of attending discos, Bips says, “I used to go to late night parties and clubs earlier but now I don’t have time for all that. In fact John didn’t like it. He used to accompany me every time I went to such parties. Not just that he even used to keep a watch on me while I was on the dance floor. In fact when you are on the floor, there are lots of people who just try to come close to dance  with even if you don’t want. Quite often they misbehave. It’s a place where people drink and dance. So there are possibilities of such things which may annoy you.”

“If somebody came closer to me, John used to immediately come down on the floor and become a kind of protective wall for me. He used to be shielding me every time anything of this kind happened. I enjoyed my parties for a while but later on I realised that John didn’t like it. So I stopped doing that. Since than it has been a long time that I went for any dance party,” added Bipasha.

Due to her hectic shooting schedules, even if she wants to attend a club, she can’t do it because she doesn’t have time for it.


Adding fuel to rumours of an affair with Amrita Rao, actor Harman Baweja played the perfect escort to his Victory co-star at a promotional event at a jewellery shop.

“Where’s Amrita? I need to escort her; otherwise she will get crammed with people,” Harman told officials at the event.

The actors were at a jewellery showroom and fans were eagerly waiting for them outside the shop to get autographs. It was then that Harman caught hold of Amrita’s hand and led her away from the crowd.

This news comes close on the heels of a number of suggestions that all is not well between Priyanka Chopra and Harman Baweja as he may be a little too close for comfort with Amrita.

This may be cause for worry for Priyanka because Amrita has had a track record of being blamed for the break-ups of her co-stars, Shahid Kapoor and Kareena being the last ones she was accused of coming in between.


One of the sexiest men in the world, John Abraham  has surprised many with his choice for the sexiest Indian woman. In an interview to the men’s magazine GQ, John called the suave Priyanka Gandhi  Vadra, “the sexiest woman in India by eons and light years”.

Well, guess the most surprised person must be none other than John’s drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend Bipasha herself!

As if the shocker wasn’t enough, the hot and charming actor gushed unabashedly, “I love her to death!”. John seems to be really impressed with the sophisticated Mrs. Gandhi Vadra and feels that she is “going to be the real power centre in the future”.

We don’t know about the future, hope this doesn’t complicate John’s present when certain Ms Basu hears about it!

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India’s movie-mad millions are still waiting to see  Slumdog Millionaire, but this Mumbai-based fairy tale is already the toast of Bollywood.

On Sunday, Slumdog Millionaire with its cast of Bollywood actors and its story set on the streets of Mumbai went home with four Golden Globe awards, and became the movie to beat at the Academy Awards. The film will be released in India on Jan 23.

Vijay Singh, chief executive officer of Fox STAR Studios India, which is distributing the movie, is certainly hoping for a blockbuster. Singh said a version dubbed in Hindi is also being released.