Abhi & Ash in great
February 22, 2007 - 03:51
Huzan Fraser and Beena
Menon of Tourism Ireland have made a unique offer to Amitabh Bachchan.
In fact, the proposal is for Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, but has
rightly been sent to the Big B for approval.
In a letter to Bachchan Sr.,
Tourism Ireland has made an offer for their [Abhi-Ash] honeymoon in Ireland.
The letter states: “We are really happy to learn about the forthcoming
wedding of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Although we understand
that the wedding dates are yet to be finalized, we would like to make an
offer for their honeymoon in Ireland.
“Ireland has been host to
some of the most celebrated weddings and honeymoons in the world. Tourism
Ireland would be happy to offer air tickets to Ireland with accommodation
at Ashford Castle. Some of the eminent personalities who have stayed at
Ashford Castle are George V of England, President and Mrs. Reagan, Brad
Pitt, Pierce Brosnan, Fred Astaire, Rod Stewart and Russell Crowe.
“Ashford is a 13th century
castle located half-an-hour away from Galway on the shores of Lough Corrib.
This was originally the home of the renowned Guinness family. We do hope
the couple will accept this offer.”
Five odds in Abhishek-Aishwarya
Abhishek is destined to
marry a gal elder than him. Remember Jr. Bachchan’s earlier engagement
with actress Karishma Kapoor, she was two year older to him; however they
haven’t tied the knot finally.
And now whom Abhishek is
going to marry, Aishwarya Rai, is also found three years older than him.
Abhishek’s born in 1976, February 5 and Aishwarya in 1973, November 1.
We hope the age factor will
not create any trouble in their conjugal relationship in future.
Guru (Hindi; 2007)
off my private life, please: Abhishek........
Rukh wants to work with Aishwarya again!........
“I’m certainly not getting
married on February 19,” Abhishek!
Those had thought that Abhishek-Aishwarya's
engagement has put the half-year-long speculations about their much-talked
about marriage to the rest, are suddenly waked up to a new bunch of rumours
about their marriage date. Some newspapers and TV channels had already
zeroed in on February 19. Bu neither Bachchans and nor Rais has confirmed
the date yet. Yesterday in a TV channel, Amitabh Bachchan said there would
be an announcement as soon as the wedding date was fixed. Friends of both
families say the saat pheras should take place within the year. And as
per Abhishek Bachchan is concerned, he clearly said in an interview that
he's not getting married on February 19.
"I'm certainly not getting
married on February 19. I wonder which media pundit decided on that date.
Absurd,” said a vexed-up Abhishek.
”A wedding date is sacrosanct…when
it's decided I'll let you know,” assured Jr. Bachchan.
Aishwarya Rai Prayers
Jaipur, Dec 28.2006. Bollywood's
glamour queen Aishwarya Rai Thursday visited the Hindu pilgrim town of
Pushkar and offered prayers at the famous Brahma temple. "Aishwarya Rai
came here in the morning and offered her prayers at the Lord Brahma temple,"
a temple priest told IANS on telephone.
Pushkar, 140 km from here,
has the only temple dedicated to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, which
was built in the 14th century. The town also has a lake that is considered
holy by the Hindus. Aishwarya's visit, however, charged up the serene atmosphere
of the pilgrim town. There was commotion as priests fought among themselves
to decide who would offer puja for the actress. The priests were not amused
when Aishwarya's security personnel tried to quieten them. Some of them
said the guards were drunk. The actress had offered prayers at the famous
Sankat Mochan temple of Varanasi in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh Nov 27 along
with superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek. Aishwarya reportedly
visited the shrine of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer Thursday, but
the dargah committee refused to confirm or deny the reports. The actress
has been spending time in Jaipur shooting for Ashutosh Gowrikar's mega
epic "Jodha-Akbar", starring her and Hrithik Roshan in the lead roles.
Some more on Aishwarya
Rai-Abhishek Bachchan 'wedding'
(27 December, 2006) Another
rumour has been added to the supposed wedding of Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek
Rumours are that Ash and
Abhishek are set to tie knot on February 19.
According to sources, Bachchans'
family astrologer has given the nod for ceremony soon after the release
of their new film Guru . According to him February 19 is the ideal time
for the couple to wed, as Ash's celestial planetary position will become
The wedding reception will
be held in Mumbai at the Santacruz Hyatt and the who’s who of Bollywood
will attend the event. Neeta Lulla and Anna Singh will design the wedding
dress for Ash and Abhishek respectively.
Sources claim that Ash and
Abhishek recently made an announcement at a friend’s party that they would
be tying the knot, however the media will not be allowed to get an inside
peak at one of the most happening events of Bollywood.
In the meanwhile Ash will
accompany Abhishek and family for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Ash and Abhishek have starred
together in films like Dhai Akshar Prem Ke , Kuch Naa Kaho , recently-released
Umrao Jaan and Dhoom 2 .
Aishwarya Rai on JWT's
top 70 watch-list of 2007
(27 December, 2006)
MUMBAI: Global advertising
agency JWT has listed 'Seventy Things to Watch in 2007' and one of them
to feature on the list is Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai. The list comprised
70 "in" products, services and trends that will help to define 2007.
Rai along with Hrithik Roshan
took Bollywood by storm with the recently released Yash Raj Films' Dhoom:2.
The year also saw J.P Dutta's Umrao Jaan with Rai opposite Abhishek Bachchan.
Films of the actress that one can watch for in the coming year are Mani
Ratnam's Guru (opposite Abhishek Bachchan), Ashutosh Gowarikar's Jodha-Akbar
(opposite Hrithik Roshan) and Jagmohan Mundhra's Provoked: A True Story.
Also in the pipeline are
Ram Gopal Verma's Sarkar 2, which also stars Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek
Bachchan. The film is slated to release next year and will be presented
by Anil Ambani owned Adlabs Films.
On the Hollywood front, Rai's
film The Last Legion directed by Doug Lefler is also slated to release
next year. The film co-stars Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley.
"Trends are illustrated by
the products and services that exemplify them. By examining what resonates
with consumers, we can identify the larger patterns that will shape our
lives in the years to come," says JWT Worldwide executive vice president
and chief marketing officer Marian Salzman, who is also the co-author of
the new book Next Now - a travelogue into the near future.
"As globalization continues
to make our world seem smaller, localization will come to a head in 2007.
We'll put great emphasis on sourcing everything from food to textiles.
Decadent and excessive consumption will fall to the wayside as we stress
quality, minimal environmental impact and support of local producers,"
says JWT director of trendspotting Ann Mack.
11 Dec, 2006
Aishwarya Rai rides an
elephant for Jodha-Akbar
Now that her problems with
the customs department have ended , there are joyful tidings for Aishwarya
Rai. She's back in Jaipur shooting with Hrithik Roshan for Ashutosh Gowariker's
"It's going great!" Ash exults
from Jaipur as she prepares for the day's shoot . So has she done any horse
riding and sword-fighting as yet? "None of the above. But I rode an elephant
for a scene . And his name was Lakhi. After Dhoom 2 and its hi-tech ambience
and accessories , entering a world of elephants and Mughal grandeur is
a true culture shock. And a real challenge for both Hrithik and me after
Dhoom. But what's the life of an actor without challenges? I’m at a stage
in my career where I need to constantly re-invent myself."
About the elephant ride,
Ash explains with a giggle, “It wasn't exactly a unique experience. I've
ridden an elephant before for Gurinder Chaddha's Bride & Prejudice,
though very briefly. In Jodha-Akbar everything is far more elaborate. I
guess I must be the only actress of my generation to have taken two elephant
VARANASI: If the owners of a
prominent retail store here are to be believed, Bollywood star Aishwarya
Rai departed from the city not just with prasad of Kashi Vishwanath and
Sankat Mochan temples, but also with signature Banarasi saris worth Rs
denies receiving cash
11 Dec, 2006
MUMBAI: The lawyer for film
star Aishwarya Rai denied on Sunday that the former Miss World had received
about Rs 50 lakh in hawala money last year after the Enforcement Directorate
(ED) reopened an old investigation into the matter.
Kulkarni said that Rai "was
shocked and she said that it was unfortunate that she had been targetted
with such allegations though her accounts were totally clean". Sources
said that the ED's revival of the investigation into a 2005 case raises
The alleged transaction was
for an event which was to be held in Dubai sometime in 2003-04. The ED
found evidence of alleged hawala payments by a Dubai event manager to his
Indian agent, one Manun Thakur Talenting, when they raided the latter's
Andheri office in mid-2005.
A laptop owned by Manun allegedly
revealed the receipt of a few crores of rupees via the hawala route. Since
Manun could account for only Rs 7 lakh of the money received, the ED suspected
that actors—including Rai, Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Bipasha Basu and
Dino Morea—who were to participate in the event were paid by Manun.
The raid also revealed payments
to other persons, including some businessmen. Though the ED did investigate
those businessmen, it left the celebrity actors alone. Now the probe against
Rai has been revived, though ED sources remained tight-lipped throughout
Sunday. Sources said it was odd that the ED had waited all this while to
take up the probe against the actors. Rai's growing closeness to the Bachchan
family is being seen as a possible reason for the ED reviving a part of
the probe, a source said.
Sources said that the alleged
payments were meant for a show that did not eventually take place. Even
if the money was allegedly for the "booking amount" to be paid to the actors
before the show, it was unclear why the payments had come in 2004-05.
The Customs department's
separate probe into the mystery parcel that contained 23,000 euros and
arrived from Rotterdam is also still on, despite the Customs giving Rai
a clean chit.
After offering prayers at
two prominent temples in this city on Monday, Aishwarya apparently sent
one of the persons hosting her and Bachchans to Jalans, a retail shop in
Kabira Complex in Durgakund locality, to fetch some choice Banarasi saris.
"As many as 11 saris of
different hues including Banarasi Jamawar, Banarasi Katan and Khaddi georgette,
worth Rs 50,000 were procured from our shop presumably for Aishwarya Rai,"said
Vishnu Jalan, the shop-owner, adding that the saris cost between Rs 3,500
and Rs 5,500
Ash prays to please Mars
Bachchan parivar at Almighty door
November 27, 2006. Aishwarya
Rai accompanied Bollywood’s first family to the fabled Kashi Vishwanath
temple this morning to try and wash an unhappy blemish off her horoscope
that might pose a threat to her future husband. Astrologer says kundalis
are "perfectly matched"Ultimately, everyone was left guessing, was it the
family's way of flaunting the new 'bahu', a chance appearance by Bollywood's
reigning diva with the industry's first family, Abhishek's idea of mixing
religion with pleasure or a publicity stunt for the promotion of 'Dhoom-2'?
Neither anyone from the Bachchan family, nor Aishwarya, not even the eminently
outspoken Amar Singh said a word to the media. But all signals emanating
from Varanasi point to a family blockbuster in the making. The celebrated
entourage left with the question they had arrived with, Is the Abhishek-Aishwarya
wedding finally on the cards? Right from the late night landing of the
celebrities in two private planes at the Varanasi airport on Sunday to
their departure on Monday afternoon, each entry and exit was shrouded in
A journalist, who followed
the family all along, that when Aishwarya, dressed in a simple salwar-kurta
and shawl, arrived at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple for the 'mangal arati'
at 2.45 am on Monday morning, "her face and body language reflected a gravity
unique of someone who had come with a strong resolution".
Abhishek, in a kurta-pyjama
with a shawl wrapped around his shoulders to keep the early morning cold
away, also looked "serious". Aishwarya remained quiet throughout the trip.
Most of the time she was seen close to Abhishek's sister Shweta.
"The Bachchans were here
to perform a 'puja'nothing special about it. They have been coming here
to offer prayers quite often," was all that Chandramouli Upadhyay, the
family's purohit and reader at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) would
say. Those in the know of things remember him as the one who performed
the rituals at the marriage of Shweta.
He said both Abhishek and
Aishwarya are 'manglik' (having the influence of Mars in their horoscopes),
and that the Bachchans had indeed asked him about a 'mangal dosh' in Aishwarya's
horoscope. To persistent questioning by reporters, Upadhyay said: "I have
told you what I knew… I have not been consulted regarding any wedding plans."
Varanasi-based astrologer and horoscope expert Pt. PC Upadhyay who has
studied horoscopes of both Aishwarya and Abhishek told DNA: "The
'kundlis' (of Abhishek and Aishwarya) are perfectly matched, both of them
have 'rajyoga'if they are indeed planning to get married. February 2007
would be the best time."
The Bachchans were at the
Kashi Vishwanath Temple from 3 to 4 am. Here they participated in the 'mangal
arati' after which they also performed the 'rudra-abhishek' which is supposed
to propitiate Lord Shiva to remove problems in any new work that a devotee
might be undertaking.
Between 5 and 6 am, they
were at the Sankat Mochan Temple consecrated to Lord Ganesh where the 'maha-mrityunjay
jaap', 'Ganesh stuti', 'Hanuman stuti', and 'Durga navaran' rituals were
MUMBAI: An onscreen kiss has
sent Bollywood’s hottest romance tumbling into rough weather. The year-long
Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai relationship recently hit turbulence when
the Bachchans were invited to Yashraj Studio for an exclusive preview of
Dhoom2 . Aishwarya too had flown down from Jaipur where she is shooting
for Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Akbar-Jodha with Hrithik.
Sources said Aishwarya's
liplock with Hrithik in the film didn't go down well with the Bachchans.
And the entire family of actors was not appreciative of Ash’s acting prowess
in the said scene. Until now Aishwarya, despite offers from Hollywood,
had steadfastly maintained a no-kissing policy.
A close family friend confirms
that though he was aware there were some passionate scenes between Hrithik
and Ash, Abhishek was "very, very upset" on seeing the finished product.
The full impact hit him only when he saw it on screen, says the friend,
and he made his objection clear to Aishwarya.
Over the week, instead of
celebrating the release of yet another film featuring them together, Aishwarya
and Abhishek have been confronting uncomfortable questions that the kiss
has thrown up in their relationship. Sources said her skimpy costumes too
have not gone down well with the first family of Bollywood. "They are wondering
where was the need for Aishwarya to change her demure image at this stage
and agree to a full-blown kiss on film," said the friend.
While Ash is maintaining
a studied silence on the controversy, she reportedly attended the birthday
party of the children of Abhishek’s sister, Shveta Nanda at her residence
in Delhi, and was said to have behaved as if nothing was amiss. When asked
about the kissing scene, Ash’s co-star and Abhishek’s childhood buddy Hrithik
simply laughed it off and refused to comment. Obviously, Abhishek fails
to find the humour in it.
What cash? asks Aish
16 Nov, 2006. MUMBAI: Come
Monday, the New Customs House at Ballard Estate is likely to be visited
by a high-profile visitor. Actor Aishwarya Rai's father Krishna Raj Rai,
who met customs commissioner A K Prasad on Wednesday, assured him that
his daughter would report to the office after completing her shooting for
Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Akbar Jodha'. The unit is at present in Jaipur.
Aishwarya has been asked
to go to the Customs office to record her statement in connection with
that arrived from Rotterdam
The parcel, addressed to
the filmstar, which came to the foreign post office, contained 23,000 euros,
a DVD player, two Nokia mobile phones, a pair of binoculars and a Ralph
Lauren Polo Sport shirt. The sender, a certain Avineshwar, had not declared
the cash, which, customs officers say, amounts to smuggling. Avineshwar
is believed to be an event manager who had organised a show featuring the
actress in Amsterdam last year.
Rai Sr reportedly told the
commissioner that his daughter will cooperate in the investigation and
would appear before the officials on Monday or Tuesday. Sources said Rai
was with the commissioner for about 15 minutes.
Aishwarya continues to maintain
that she does not know Avineshwar and has denied all knowledge of any parcel
being sent to her. She has also insisted that she had received no summons
or communication from the customs department. The two letters sent to her
by the department were sent to her Khar address. The actress now lives
in Bandra, and the letters from customs may not have been delivered to
Avineshwar's complete address
is known to the department but they have not yet established contact with
him. Sources said the directorate of revenue intelligence might be asked
to ascertain the details from Rotterdam.
Customs officials, on their
part, declined to reveal anything about him, while commissioner Prasad
was not willing to disclose what Aishwarya's father had told him about
the parcel or the sender. Customs is now trying to establish whether there
is a professional or personal contact between the actress and Avineshwar.
Film industry sources said
the whole episode smacks of a crude prank played on the actress by an enemy.
"It is difficult to believe that a genuine well-wisher would send her money
in a manner that would land her in trouble with the law," they said.
Who is the most beautiful
woman in the world? Half a century ago, Hollywood would have presented
her to us. Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman or perhaps Elizabeth Taylor.
But today? Correspondent
Bob Simon reports the woman who currently holds the title, at least according
to thousands of Web sites, Internet polls and even Julia Roberts, is someone
you've probably never heard of.
Her name is Aishwarya Rai,
and she is an actress living and working in Bombay, India. The reigning
queen of Indian cinema, and also a classically trained dancer, Rai has
starred in 24 films over the last seven years.
That may seem like a lot
of movies, but Bollywood, India’s film capital, is famous for churning
out more movies a year than Hollywood. Three new films are produced and
distributed worldwide every day, attracting a global audience of 5 billion
people. That’s twice the reach of Hollywood.
The reason Bollywood films
have such universal appeal is because they’re squeaky-clean. There are
no sex scenes, not even kissing. Every time you think someone’s going to
do it, they'll burst into song instead.
"I'd assume that's really
a reflection of our society," Rai says, when asked to explain the films'
modesty. "Of course people kiss and of course people have a very healthy
love life. This is the land of the Kama Sutra. But nevertheless, in our
society you don't really see people around the street corner kissing or
being extremely, overtly, physically demonstrative publicly. They do it
privately but not publicly."
Unlike some of her Hollywood
counterparts, Rai's very much like the women she portrays: wholesome, dutiful
and deeply religious. So much so, she insisted we visit her favorite temple
for this interview. It’s more than 200 years old and every week more than
100,000 people come from all over India to make offerings and pray to Lord
Ganesh, the half-elephant/half-man Hindu god of happiness.
At the temple, Rai started
attracting more worshippers than Lord Ganesh.
She says being treated as
sort of a goddess in this way, "makes me feel guilty. I'll be very honest.
When there's a distraction at the place of worship I kinda get a bit guilty.
And I kind of say, 'Lord, forgive me. This isn't intended.'"
Despite the attention, Rai
says she doesn’t think much about the way she looks.
"I am really OK with the
way I look, It's fine," she says. "All this is transient. I mean, it's
really, you know, it changes with time, and that's the external."