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Not leaving country, proud to be Indian: Aamir Khan speaks up

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A day after Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan’s remarks over ‘intolerance’ in India sparked a raging controversy, the actor on Wednesday sought to clear the air over the issue saying that neither he nor his wife had any intention of leaving the country.

For all those people who called him ‘anti-national’, Aamir had a message in his statement issued today.

“I would like to say that I am proud to be an Indian, and I do not need anyone’s permission nor an endorsement for that,” he wrote.

ALSO READ: Five tweets that buttress Aamir Khan’s views over ‘intolerance’

He said anyone suggesting that he and his wife were contemplating leaving India had either not seen his interview or was deliberately trying to distort what he had said at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards.

“India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying.”

Here’s the full text of Aamir’s statement.

First let me state categorically that neither I, nor my wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving the country. We never did, and nor would we like to in the future. Anyone implying the opposite has either not seen my interview or is deliberately trying to distort what I have said. India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying.

Secondly, I stand by everything that I have said in my interview.

To all those people who are calling me anti-national, I would like to say that I am proud to be Indian, and I do not need anyone’s permission nor endorsement for that.

To all the people shouting obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point.

To all the people who have stood by me, thank you. We have to protect what this beautiful and unique country of ours really stands for. We have to protect its integrity, diversity, inclusiveness, its many languages, its culture, its history, its tolerance, it’s concept of anekantavada, it’s love, sensitivity and its emotional strength.

I would like to end my statement with a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, it’s a prayer really :

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free,
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments,
by narrow domestic walls,
Where words come out from the depth of truth,
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection,
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way,
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit,
Where the mind is led forward by thee,
Into ever-widening thought and action,
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.

Jai Hind.

Aamir Khan.”

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Interview with Zaira Wasim: Don’t know if I’ll become full-time actress in future

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Zaira
Full Interview with 'Zaira Wasim' actor of Bollywood film 'Secret Superstar'

Mumbai: All of 16, the star of “Secret Superstar” Zaira Wasim says she isn’t sure if she wants to become a full-time actress when she grows up.

After her “Dangal” act, Zaira has won praises galore for her role in her latest movie “Secret Superstar”, in which she is seen as an aspiring singer.

Zaira, who comes from Kashmir, says she did not grow up watching Hindi films much and had no desire to become an actress.

“I still do not know if I am going to become an actress in future as a serious full-timer, but every time when I act, I try to deliver my best… Both the films that I have done offer beautiful stories,” Zaira told IANS here.

Both “Dangal” and “Secret Superstar” have one more person in common — superstar Aamir Khan. But Zaira’s performance was not overshadowed in any way.

Recalling her audition for “Dangal”, she said: “I did not go there with any expectation, but with a curious mind to explore and know what is acting and how they audition. Rest was a process and I think I am one of the luckiest children who got the best opportunity. And then working with AK (Aamir Khan) twice… I am blessed.”

So how well does she handle her new celebrity status and recognition, especially when people walk up to her with selfie requests?

“Oh yes, I want to share this. So, we all know that my hair was cut for ‘Dangal’ and my look was different, right? One day, a fellow came to me with a mobile phone, saying, ‘Arrey bhaiya, aap woh Aamir Khan waale picture me thhe na? Ek photo le le?’ I mean because of my short hair, that guy calls me brother? I mean my first fan… and bhaiya?”

However, according to her, the feeling of recognition is always overwhelming.

“They look at me with so much love and affection and appreciate me for my work! What could be more overwhelming than this?”

Yet, the glamour and glitter of Bollywood and her newly-achieved celebrity status has not changed anything in Zaira as the youngster still finds her comfort in her room, lazing around on her bed and playing with her pet cats.

She says she’s an introvert who still finds it difficult to talk to the media for her films’ promotion.

“Nothing has changed in me, trust me… I can spend the whole day in a room with some good food, and play with my cats. I have three cats — one is black, one white and a brown kitten. I love them… I keep playing with them.”

Zaira has travelled across the country with her parents, but her heart lies in Srinagar. She grew up with a brother, and says she has always been the “good girl”

“Seriously, you can ask my mom, I was such a good, silent kid who was never curious to touch the fire to see what happens. No, I was not cranky or irritating who was crying every now and then… I remained a good girl as a baby.

“But yes, I think now I trouble her (mother) a little. I am a little clumsy and a little lazy, and my mother does not like that. I do not dress up, and I’m always tripping and falling over things… Little messy, you know,” she said, breaking into innocent laughter.(IANS)

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7 Bollywood Actresses Who Rejected Roles Opposite the Superstar Khans

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Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai turned down the offer to work with Aamir Khan. Wikimedia

The Khans of Bollywood Industry, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan are the three superstars of Hindi cinema with whom every actress dreams of working with. On the contrary, various Bollywood females denied sharing screen space with them. We bring to your notice the actresses who turned down the roles opposite these Khans.

Aishwarya Rai

Bollywood
Aishwarya Rai turned down the offer to work with Aamir Khan. Wikimedia.

Aishwarya was supposed to play the role of rich and sensitive Aarti Saigal in the movie,’Raja Hindustani’. She had turned down the offer because of less interest to make a career in films as she was busy with her studies and modeling assignments at that point of time. Starring the Perfectionist Aamir Khan as the leading character of a taxi driver and tourist guide, ‘Raja Hindustani’ became the Bollywood blockbuster film of 1996 in India.

It came into light that Juhi Chawla also dejected the offer due to personal issues with Aamir Khan. It was also reported later that Pooja Bhatt was almost ready to work on the film, but on Aamir Khan’s request to director Dharmesh Darshan the decision was changed.

Juhi Chawla

Bollywood
Juhi Chawla. Wikimedia

Juhi Chawla and many other leading Bollywood actresses of the 90s also did not accept the role of Nisha opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the blockbuster film ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ (1997). The desired role was offered to Manisha Koirala and then to Juhi Chawla, Raveena Tandon, Shilpa Shetty, Urmila Matondkar and Kajol before Karisma Kapoor gave her approval.

Twinkle Khanna

Bollywood
Twinkle Khanna denied to bag the role of Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Wikimedia.

Karan Johar wanted his best friend, Twinkle Khanna to work on his dream Bollywood  directorial debut for the role of Tina. But Twinkle turned down the offer for unknown reasons.

In fact, after getting unfavorable response from his best friend, Karan reached these actresses: Raveena Tandon, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Tabu, Urmila Matondkar and Karisma Kapoor for the same role, but to no avail. Finally, Rani Mukherjee was bagged in for the role of Tina changing her fortune forever.

Shilpa Shetty

Bollywood
Shilpa Shetty denied the role opposite the khans

Shilpa Shetty made her acting debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the booming crime thriller ‘Baazigar’ in 1993. She was the first choice of the director duo Abbas-Mustan to play the leading female in the movie ‘Baadshah’ (1999). She kept delaying the film and lastly dejected to work on it.

Kareena Kapoor

Bollywood
Kareena Kapoor turned down the offer to work with Shahrukh Khan. Wikimedia.

Karan Johar desired to produce ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ with Kareena Kapoor under his production banner Dharma Productions. He had directed her in ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ (2001). When Karan approached Kareena for the film, she quoted an incremented fee as her remuneration equivalent to Shahrukh Khan’s. Karan refused to fulfill her demand and instead signed Preity Zinta. Both Karan and Kareena had a major fight after this incident.

Priyanka Chopra

Bollywood
priyanka chopra made it to the hollywood even after rejecting to work with khans. Pixabay.

Psychological thriller ‘Ghajini’ (2008) is a film which no Bollywoood film enthusiast can forget. The film showcased the 6 packs as history and introduced Indian youth to 8 packs abs. The makers wanted to bag in Priyanka Chopra in the Hindi remake, but she refused to sign the film as she was not very convinced of her role in it. Aamir was impressed by Asin’s performance in the Tamil version and on his request the actress was chose to work on the the Hindi version also.

Kajol

Bollywood
Kajol rejected tork with the Khans. Wikimedia.

Believe it or not, it’s true that this Bollywood film ‘3 Idiots’ saw rejection by the very charming and talented Kajol. The actress was the initial choice of filmmakers to play the protaganist female in the film. But unfortunately, she turned down the offer. The role then went to Kareena Kapoor who herself approached Rajkumar Hirani for the character of Pia. She undoubtedly managed to show out her performance amidst the presence of actors like Aamir Khan, R. Madhvan and Sharman Joshi.

-Prepared By Bhavana Rathi. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Diwali 2017: From Amitabh Bachchan to Aamir Khan, A-listed B-town Celebs attended Shabana Azmi’s grand Diwali Party

Shabana Azmi's Diwali bash was a grand celebration as all the big shots of Bollywood came to attend the party.

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Shabana Azmi's Diwali party
Shabana Azmi hosted grand Diwali party. Wikimedia commons
  • Actresses like Vidya Balan, Tisca Chopra, Sonali Bendre, Richa Chaddha were also present in the party.
  • Check out how these Bollywood celebrities were dressed for the Diwali party.

B-town Celebs like Sridevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Hritikh Roshan and Aamir Khan were present In the Diwali party

This year many famous celebrities like Ramesh Turani, Ekta Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Shilpa Shetty and Shabana Azmi has thrown lavish Diwali Parties. Beautiful faces dressed in Indian attires at these Bollywood Diwali parties made the festival of lights much brighter than ever before.

Talking about recent and Grand Diwali party, hosted by Shabana Azmi and Jawed Akhtar was one of the huge Diwali celebrations of Bollywood. Popular celebrity couples like Amitabh Bachchan- Jaya Bachchan, Aamir Khan – Kiran Rao, Vidya Balan -Kunal Kapoor, Sridevi-Boney Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor- Neetu Singh and Shilpa Shetty- Raj Kundra attended the bash. Also, famous celebs like Hrithik Roshan, Karan Johar, Manish Malhotra, Tisca Chopra, Sonali Bendre, Konkana Sen Sharma, Richa Chaddha and much more were present at the Diwali party.

Also Read: Diwali 2017: Shilpa Shetty hosts Pre- Diwali Party, Invited Salman Khan and B-towners

The list would have been longer but the same day Sanjay Dutt also hosted Diwali party due to which stars got divided into two parties. Look at some of the awesome pictures of B-Town Celebs attending Shabana Azmi’s Diwali Bash –

-prepared by Pragya Mittal of NewsGram | Twitter @PragyaMittal05