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Indrani Chakraborty aka Mishti

By Shama Bhagat

Mishti, Subhash Ghai’s latest find, has revealed that the filmmaker asked her to be his assistant till she was handed down the big responsibility of playing the title role of his next film.

According to Mishti, Subhash Ghai told her to attend his office wearing “a pair of spectacles”. Then one day, out of the blue, Ghai revealed that this will be her look for the film Kaanchi.

“Subhashji insisted that I wear spectacles and join his office as an assistant. He asked me to tell everyone (those visiting his office) that I was his assistant. Then one day I learnt that those specs are a part of my character’s look (in the film). After the big announcement was made, he asked me to dress up like Kaanchi everyday so that I get used to the look. The look has now become a part of my personality too,” Mishti reveals.

Indrani in Kaanchi

Indrani in Kaanchi

Strangely enough, it was through Subhash Ghai’s assistant that Indrani Chakraborty (that’s her real name) got her big Bollywood break. Indrani’s portfolio landed up on Subhash Ghai’s desk because of his Bengali assistant, Arindom Ray. Ray was the one who first to recommend Indrani to Ghai after he saw her in a Bengali film called Porichoy. That she was called ‘Mishti’ at home, also made things easier for Ghai, who never had to hunt for a screen name that began with ‘M’.

Mishti reveals that she has now signed a three-film deal with Ghai’s production house, Mukta Ats. Now, that a long innings in Bollywood is a certainty, Mishti admits that she is not your typical filmi girl who likes to party.

“I used to get very good grades in school and if I hadn’t become an actor, I would have probably been a teacher. I am quite different from the filmi Bollywood crowd. I am a bit of a loner. In Kolkata, my personal life was restricted to a few friends, my family and a pet dog. I am not a party freak at all. I know I am quite different from the rest but I am me and I am okay with it,” she ends.

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Who advised Chitrangada Singh?

When it came to her marriage or her strained relationship with her husband, Chitrangada Singh had a very categorical reply: “All reports are false”.


Chitrangada Singh

Even after a petition of divorce was moved at a Gurgaon family court, official responses from her office were always the same.

Now, that her divorce papers have landed up in the public domain, I hope that Chitrangada Singh has realised that she had made a mess of her media strategies for the last three years.

It was foolish to aggressively deny reports in the press when you have actually petitioned the court.

It turns out that the media reports never died down because there were truth in it.

Who advised her to deal with the press in such a manner? The ‘friend’ who advised her, is definitely, isn’t her friend.

I feel let down today because I had taken initiative in the past to scuttle ‘rumours’ as I completely believed in what she said.

Today, I am disappointed.

The story started way back in 2011.


Chitrangada with Jyoti Randhawa during happier times

My colleague — who was covering the Fashion Week  in Mumbai — came back in office with a “huge gossip”.

She told me that an acclaimed fashion designer had volunteered the information that Chitrangada Singh is preparing herself to file for divorce from her golfer-husband.

I didn’t believe her words because it sounded like the designer is trying to back-stab the actor. As a senior, I felt that we should not fan these rumours.

I immediately spoke to Chitrangada and as expected, she categorially denied the rumours. In order to preempt others from putting that gossip out, I wrote an article the next day.

For the next three years, I completely believed in Chitrangada as she went on denying those ‘reports’ at regular intervals, right from 2011 to 2013.

The rumours and the regular denials kept circulating for another three years. The last time I spoke to her about the topic was when she was promoting a film (with Arjun Rampal).

I remember that my senior colleague had met her for an interview where she insisted that she is going through a trying time managing her career in Mumbai and her family in Delhi. She also insisted that she is being singled out by the Mumbai press because she is a married woman. Her words were convincing and there were no reasons not to believe her.

But then a reporter spotted her at a family court in Gurgaon, Delhi with a few police bodyguards. Even before the article got picked up online, came the denial. This time a leading news agency quoted Chitrangada and said that she was there to settle a property dispute.

How can somebody go to the family court to settle a property dispute?

I support the point-of-view that personal affairs of film stars should not be the subject of media reports. I also agree that a forever-hungry filmi press constantly poked her for the truth and she must have been fed up.

But coming on record to deny a court petition? That was naive and foolish.

I am sure Chitrangada consulted somebody before doing all that.

Whoever advised her to deal with the press by lying about the divorce petition, made a terrible mistake.

It was a terrible tip.

In my opinion, she should have maintained a dignified silence about the whole issue.

By Madhu Raj

Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor in '2 states'

Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor in ’2 states’

Putting all their ‘strategy management skills’ into a project named ‘Marriage’, two MBA students, from diametrically opposite cultures, work towards bringing their family’s ‘organizational behavior on the same platform’.

Sounds interesting? Well that’s what Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor’s film 2 States is all about.

The film is more than just a love story and has two distinct cultural backdrops — a Punjabi family (Arjun Kapoor’s) and a Tamil Brahmin family (Alia Bhatt’s).

The film deals with the coupling of two families from two opposite cultures in a typical upper middle class society.

2 States  not going to overload you with melodrama or tragedy but there are some moments of anguish which are definitely significant and in some cases,  relatable as well.

There are some obvious flaws as well but I don’t put the blame squarely on the filmmaker.

The first flaw is that the film is predictable. It’s an adaptation of a novel by the same name (by Chetan Bhagat) and the filmmaker hasn’t tinkered with the sub-plots that he has retained in the film. Those, who have read the book, will be able to predict everything that’s going to happen in this film. I feel that there could have been some changes made to the sub-plots at least or some crucial characters could have been made more complex ones. Don’t we all love complex characters? In short, the script writers could have worked a little hard instead of just transcribing a few sub-plots of the book  into a film script.

The strained relationship of Krish (Arjun Kapoor) and his father disturbed me the dialogues between them hits you hard. While picking and choosing the sub-plots, the scriptwriters obviously decided to single out the instances of Krish wooing Ananya’s (Alia Bhatt) father. So much emphasis is given to this sub-plot that it is not funny anymore. Both the sides of this sub-plot should have been explored instead of those exaggerated scenes of Krish and Ananya’s father.


Ronit Roy as Arjun Kapoor’s father in ’2 States’

Ronit Roy should have got more screen space. Amrita Singh (who played Ronit Roy’s wife) made me laugh and sympathise with her character at the same time. She’s a complacent mom with a hidden story. Revathy was a cute aunty, like the moms of those friends who always treat us with good food whenever we land up. Shiv Kumar was pleasing. Achint Kaur did a fine job as Amrita’s sister. In short, it was a great effort by the supporting cast.

Certain sequences were a bit confusing but I decided not to focus on them, given a great effort by Abhishek Varma. He is not different like the many others groomed under the Dharma banner. But Abhishek Verma is not bad either. He has done a decent job with the great story that he had to begin with. Karan Johar should be proud as he is with most other directors who are working with his banner.

Arjun-Kapoor-kissing-Alia-BhattThe intimate scenes between Arjun and Alia create ripples on screen! They are very comfortable with each other’s body and that makes their on-screen chemistry enviable. After seeing the film, I can imagine the MBA folks around the country praying for a girlfriend like Alia Bhatt. But yes, Arjun surely seems ‘deprived’ in the film till Alia arrives to lend him a helping hand.

Arjun’s guy-next-door, grounded performance complemented the vulnerability and spunk of the ambitious Ananya (Alia Bhatt). The songs were peppy and inserted at the right places.

The film is a little stretched but you won’t get bored.

I am recommending this film to everybody who like a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race story and those with strained or restrained relationships with their fathers.

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