Hot off the press is the fact that Shibani Kashyap, the gifted crooner who’s done everything from mesmerising Indian cinemagoers to hunting for bathroom talent on TV, is hopping time zones — westward. First, it was singing for Pakistani music director Farukkh Abid, then it was churning out electric performances in Kuwait. And now, wonder of wonders, she’s been handed a singing job for an upcoming Hollywood production, a political thriller called Blood Money.To be shot in different countries including India, the movie may have a Hindi version too. And what’s Kashyap’s response? “Well, it feels nice to work in different countries, know the culture and musical tastes of people across borders and I’m really excited about this new Hollywood venture,” she says. Great going, Kashyap! After all, west is best.
Playing with fire
Its the busiest of the countrys cremation grounds, where nearly 150 corpses reunite with the elements every day. And now, its all on film. For several months, Delhi-based film-maker Rajesh Jala braved infernal heat and severe health hazards at the Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi, filming the lives of seven children who worked inhuman hours at the pyres, withering away even as they survived on death. The result — Children of the Pyre — was completed in July this year and has already begun to find global recognition. After premiering at the Montreal World Film Festival in August, it has now been selected for screening at the Pusan film fest in Korea. For the kids of Varanasi, this has been some journey.
Goodbye, Sanu; hello, Sanu. The father may have vanished from the musical scene, but the son is making his presence felt. Young Jaan Sanu is taking over from his dad, Kumar Sanu, and has marked his playback debut with a song in the film My Friend Ganesha 2 — which hit the halls on Friday. He doesnt need his fathers name to succeed in the industry. He is extremely talented and he will go places, predicts the director of the film, Rajiv S. Ruia. Ruia admits that he didnt expect much from Jaan when the films music director, Sameer Phaterpekar, introduced the young artist to him. And he promptly changed his mind after listening to him. He has sung one song, but I am sure it will be noticed by everybody, says Ruia. Guess how old Jaan is? All of 13.
Staging your show
Time was when Bollywood heroes and heroines would strum the wrong end of a guitar on the screen to show just how cool they were. Now director-actor Farhan Akhtar plays the role of a rocker in a new film — but first takes lessons from singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan before he essays the role. The film Rock On, directed by Abhishek Kapoor, is about four friends — and their rock band Magik. Akhtar, a Beatles fan, says he has been fond of rock music from the age of 12. The film, which will be released next week, stars Akhtar as the lead singer of the group, whose other members are Arjun Rampal, Luke Kenny and Purab Kohli. Play on, boys — and pull all the right strings.
If you have been wondering where television actress Surveen Chawla is, heres some news. Chawla —and this is for those who still think a soap is a bathing aid — was in the TV series Kajjal. And now, we are told, she is about to hit the big screen. She has a glam doll role opposite Ranvir Shorey in Percept Picture Companys Carry on Pandu. And wait, Chawla has other news for you too. Taking a cue from top actors, she has signed a three-film deal with Percept. But her tinsel journey starts with Carry on Pandu, which is about a man (Shorey) who has a PhD but cant find a job, and ends up changing the system by becoming a havaldar. And what does Chawla do? She teaches yoga in a bid to support her man through his trials and tribulations. Good for her. Now she can go back to TV — and take over from Swami Ramdev.