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People of the year

The Bachchans

They can be treated as one. From a wedding to a funeral, the Bachchans were the most-seen family through the year. While the AbAsh wedding in April was the most written-about Bollywood event of the year, Teji Bachchan’s recent death brought the whole of B-town to Prateeksha. If AB Senior came out with full-page advertisements lauding his son’s performance in Guru, AB Junior was mistaken for his dad in commercials. At the box office, Amitabh struggled (Eklavya, Nishabd, RGV Ki Aag), and beta Abhishek and bahu Aishwarya rustled up some chemistry only in the Mani Ratnam film Guru. But these did nothing to their visibility.

Shah Rukh Khan

Never one to bow down to the Bachchan blitz, Shah Rukh continued to ride high on his box office popularity throughout 2007. But not before SRK turned AB’s KBC into his very own, making the STAR Plus quiz show more popular than the preceding season. Then on the big screen, he first became the celluloid crusader with Chak De! India pitching for hockey anywhere he would be heard. And then in his annual Diwali bid, this time also playing producer, with Om Shanti Om, he let his newly-acquired six pack do all the talking. No wonder the film is on its way to becoming one of the biggest Bollywood hits of all time.

John Abraham

He made some wrong moves this year, some even Bipasha didn’t approve of. But that didn’t stop John from creating dhoom all over again. Salaam-e-Ishq may have turned a cropper, but the John-Vidya chemistry was definitely the high point. Then came one of the biggest disappointments of the year in Anurag Kashyap’s No Smoking, where John’s perfectly sculpted body might have found new admirers, but it turned out to be dud with a capital D at the box office. Then again the hunk bounced back dribbling his way into more hearts with Goal. But he was consistent as eye candy.

Mandira Bedi

You can’t keep her away for too long. Whether as a TV anchor or a film actress or a live show host, there’s a little bit of Mandy in everybody’s life. Having gone a long way in making cricket part of a woman’s world, Mandira was quick to switch to ESPN STAR once her contract with SET Max got over. When she was not helping others like her get a Dream Job on the channel, Mandira played a delightful cameo in Sanjay Gupta’s Dus Kahaniyaan. And now, we are awaiting Meerabai Not Out, where Mandy plays crazy fan to our Test captain Anil Kumble. The lenses never tire of her.

Brad Pitt

He is not getting younger and he has far greater competition than Shah Rukh Khan in his part of the world. Yet, somehow Brad managed to stay in the limelight even though his filmography did not. Of course, he did return as Rusty Ryan in Ocean’s Thirteen, but it was off screen that Brad Pitt made more noise. And it was not just about Angelina Jolie — and speeding off in auto-rickshaws. Brad also helped out the victims of Hurricane Katrina. When someone as good-looking as Brad starts thinking, who could stop the flashbulbs going off?

Prosenjit

Like every year, Tollywood’s numero uno Prosenjit has been in the news this year too. For all the right reasons. With most of his 2007 releases having struck gold at the box office, Bumbada also did the rounds of the film festivals, including an appearance with director Rituparno Ghosh at the IIFAs. Without a single controversy to his name this year, Prosenjit has managed to stay in the news with incredible regularity.

Rituparna Sengupta

She loves talking about herself. And it shows. Whether it is her Tollywood releases, her recent foray into Bollywood, her dress sense or meeting the Time Warner CEO, Rituparna doesn’t cease to be in the news.

Sania Mirza

A consistent headline grabber for many years now, Sania Mirza remained the same in 2007. Maybe the reasons were not always flattering. A knee problem that kept her out of action for months, her clothes and her journey up and down the WTA charts kept Sania in the news. The poster girl of Indian tennis hogged the headlines even when she pulled out of the Sunfeast Open and chose to watch the matches only from the sidelines.

Malaika Arora Khan

The Chhaiyan chhaiyan girl is sexy and smart. And we love her — in 2007 too. Period. With a petite frame and hips that don’t lie, she made the shutterbugs work overtime when she was in Calcutta a few months back. And t2 lapped up her views on botox and bringing up her kid. Besides, like John, Malaika has been a constant reference point on fashion, beauty, and yes, as an item number.

Bickram Ghosh and Jaya Seal Ghosh

The husband and wife duo easily scores as the most-featured local couple. They were everywhere this year — food festivals, salon launches, parties.... There were some concerts too, where Bickram slapped away his cheeks happily as Jaya looked on. Come 2008, t2 would like Jaya to do much more than just look on. The actress, who showed much promise with Uttara, will hopefully resurface.

...And t2’s most interesting celeb bites

John Abraham (June 19)

Asked if his “other obvious passion is bikes…”: “...these days thanks to the rain I haven’t gone out much on her. Like a good Parsi, during the rainy season I disconnect the battery and take out all the spare parts. These are laid out on the bed and I sleep on the floor!”

On the denim line of clothing he has launched: “To understand John Abraham, you have to wear his clothes.”

Abhishek Bachchan (June 22)

Asked if Aishwarya Rai Bachchan liked Jhoom Barabar Jhoom: “Yes, she loves the movie (pause)….Thankfully!”

Anurag Basu on dropping Jiah Khan from Tumsa Nahin Dekha (March 27)

“Actually, she lacked discipline. It was quite clear that she was being pushed into acting. She was barely 16-17 then, still in school. She was a nice, sweet girl who was not sure if she wanted to act. Actually it was her mother who was pushing her into it. But if you are not interested yourself, the work suffers.”

Preity Zinta on marriage (March 21)

“I got married last year in January, then again in May, then in December and then January this year again…. The media keep getting me married.”

Amitabh Bachchan (March 21)

Asked to rate himself as an actor: “I am very mediocre. I would give myself 4 or 5 out of 10.”

Kareena Kapoor (March 13)

“I will most definitely marry Shahid. I’m not the kind to jump from one relationship to another. For me, love is for keeps.”

Madhuri Dixit (November 23)

Asked if she missed working in Bollywood as much as the audience missed seeing her: “No (laughs out loud). I had a wonderful time seeing my kids grow up. Seeing them speak their first words… take their first steps… they try my patience at times… I cannot tell you how I treasure these years. Films will come, films will go. Stardom will be there, stardom will not be there. Your fans will be there, your fans will not be there, but my legacy is going to be my sons.”

Yash Tonk, while promoting the afternoon slot on a television channel (December 26)

“Afternoon slots on Indian television are the safest. There is not much competition to tackle.”

Rupert Everett on being gay (December 17)

“It’s just as well I’m gay. If I was straight, I’d be a hopeless mad movie star… That’s what I’d be like -— married to every single girl that I’d worked with, on wife number 10 by now, always being sued for divorce because I’d been caught with two chicks somewhere… I would be a monster, actually. I’d have to be competitive on a lad level with all those male movie stars. I’d probably be an alcoholic, too. Mind you, I’d have made a lot more money — 20 times more money, probably.”

Smriti Iraani (November 16)

Asked if she had any plans of reappearing in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi: “Miss (Ektaa) Kapoor and I have not spoken for five months.”

Jatinn Kochhar, fashion designer (June 12)

“…I can’t see myself retailing from Calcutta. I’ve been watching people and not one will fit into my clothes.”

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