Chitralekha Gujarati issue dated 02nd February 2015
Watch “Editor’s Audio Note” on YouTube -
Akshay: BABY’s Day Out
The ultimate Khiladi of Bollywood loves taking risks in his career. He was audaciously bold enough to do roles of a rogue in five films, besides doing an array of action, romantic and comedy films. This shows that he hates being stereotyped into a specific image. In a career spanning quarter of a century, Akshay’s filmography runs into a whopping 130 films in different genres, from action-packed Khiladi to his latest BABY, a thriller that depicts fight against international terrorism. Known by a variety of sobriquets like Khiladi to Mr Reliable, Akshay Kumar gets candid while conversing with Ketan Mistry of Chitralekha. And the result of their engrossing interaction is the cover story in the latest issue of Chitralekha.
How Akshay got into Bollywood also makes for an interesting read. When he introduced himself as Rajiv Bhatia, which was his original name, the casting director gave him a role of a martial arts trainer in a film featuring Kumar Gaurav. After the shot, Akshay borrowed the screen name of Kumar Gaurav in that film (aaj), and bids goodbye to his original name-Rajiv Bhatia. And a star named Akshay Kumar was born. The rest is a Bollywood filmography everybody is familiar with. Besides acting, he has also made forays in film production where apart from Hindi, he is also busy producing Punjabi, Marathi films.
Obviously, the crux of the conversation with the Khiladi revolves around his latest film BABY, the story of which has been woven around the Republic Day. Interestingly, BABY has been made by Niraj Pandey who is known for two of his masterpieces-A Wednesday and Special 26. The film has been shot in Delhi, Nepal, Abu Dhabi, Istambul and so on.
Akshay makes a surprising revelation in the beginning of his interview that his first ever picture as an actor was published in Jee-the erstwhile film glossy of Chitralekha Group. Born in 1967, the 47-year old action star never ever dreamt of becoming an actor. Like other youths of his age, he too had thought of doing business to earn money. But nothing seemed to work for him. He felt he was failing
and then someone suggested he take up modeling. Having no clue what it was all about, he plunged into it. While doing modeling he got Pramod Chakraborty’s Deedar but his first film to have got released was Raj Sippy’s Saugandh, which did a modest business. And then came Abbas-Mastan’s Khiladi and the Khiladi brand was made.
Coming back to BABY, Akshay says this film reveals how to cope with and combat terrorism. There is hardly any country that is free from its menace, so it is a hot topic, very contemporary and the super star feels Neeraj Pandey has told the story in a very captivating fashion. This style of narrative sets BABY apart from other films dealing with terrorism. Twists and turns are Neeraj’s forte and he has ensured that this film is replete with them. Akshay feels that there is a very inspiring message that has been seamlessly woven in the story in a way so as not to look preachy and didactic. The Khiladi also claims that the story and the stunts shot in the film are closer to reality. And some of the incidents Neeraj mentioned in his screenplay have proved prophetic today, asserts the actor.
Akshay then vents out his resentment against a few pen-pushers who have been masquerading as film critics. Clarifying at the outset that he would take in his stride healthy criticism coming from knowledgeable film writers, what irks him is some greenhorn scribbling away something which is sought to be passed off as critique. This is what leaves him fuming and livid. Also, he admits that quite a few critics create and work for actors’ camps. This is just uncool.
The rest of the story deals with Akshay’s military discipline in his work regimen, how he insists on spending time with his family and how he has decided to do something good for at least one individual every day. In the boxed interview, Neeraj Pandey conveys his conviction that terrorism is a subject that should be freely debated and not swept under the carpet.
Most importantly, Akshay shares some invaluable tips on how to be fit and remain so. His mantra is to avoid eating anything after sunset.
A very fresh, invigorating interview, just like the actor himself. Always smiling with a twinkle in his eyes.
Hum Do Hamare…?
This story touches upon the raging controversy recently triggered by some ‘usual suspects’ in the BJP who feel that if Hindus do not want to be outnumbered by other communities they need to produce more children. Earlier having more children was a norm, but in the 21st century is it advisable? Are women physically and mentally prepared for it? Chitralekha team (Devanshu Desai, Ketan Trivedy, Faysal Bakili & Jwalant Chhaya) asks a few prominent women in different spheres to know their views.
While Janki Vasant, Founder Samvedana, says the suggestion amounts to insulting women, Ami Trivedy, a well-known theater personality feels that in present times, having two children is an ideal situation. Dr Ranjana Harish, a feminist writer angrily asking if a wo6man is a child-producing machine and the educationist Dr Rupa Shah opines that the focus should be on raising the children and not on their numbers, implying that rather than producing more children, a small number should be imparted a quality upbringing.
Getting to know women’s views on what is essentially a woman’s problem makes a huge sense.
A Tradition Worth Savouring
The article focuses on the old traditions still prevalent among the rabaris-the pastoral community of Gujarat. They are very adaptive and do change what needs to be changed. But they know the value of traditions and take care to retain them in all their splendor and glory.
In this story, Sunil Mankad describes the colourful marriage tradition of Rabaris, which reflects the rich side of this colourful community.
Apart from the above, the issue carries a story (Jwalant Chhaya) on the royal wedding at Rajkot and report (Sunil Mevada) on the grand finale of the 9th Chitralekha Natya Spardha-2015 which has now evolved into a brand of its own.
Besides, the issue also carries Political & Humour columns, Palak, Cardiogram, Priyadarshini, new chapter of novelette, Health Helpline, Jalsaghar and Mukhwas
Young people may know the rules, but the elderly people know, besides rules, exceptions as well..!!