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Rajnish Sharma is an India-based journalist who has worked for leading Indian dailies like The Times of India and Hindustan Times. A familiar name with the overseas NRI and PIO readers, he has been writing columns and articles for a host of magazines and portals in the US, Hong Kong, Mauritius and Australia. Over the years, he has covered virtually every aspect of journalism with his wide ranging interests ranging from culture & cuisine to finance & technology and from politics & Indian diaspora to environment & Bollywood. He can be contacted at  click here. Read about Flickering Flame book by Rajinish Sharma Click here

I would like to work with Tigmanshu sir"- Prateik
After Prateik walked out of Tigmanshu Dhulia's Milan Talkies, there were rumors of the two not getting along. But brushing all the rumors aside, ace director Tigmanshu Dhulia and the talented Prateik have expressed their desire to work together whenever they have a good project in hand. Tigmanshu like to play Play Poker when not acting.

Tigmanshu, who has given back to back, hit films like Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster and Paan Singh Tomar with non conventional stars like Jimmy Sheirgill, Randeep Hooda and Irrfan Khan in the lead clearly does not require a bankable star to deliver a hit, all he requires is talent.

Prateik, who has proven his acting mettle with films like Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, Dhobi Ghat, Dum Maaro Dum and Aarakshan expressed his desire to work with the director. He says, "I really like the films that Tigmanshu sir makes, we couldn't work on Milan Talkies due to some unfortunate circumstances because the film was earlier to be produced by some production house but now some other production house is making it. Things just didn't workout in between of all this but I would like to get directed by him whenever things work out for us."

Tigmanshu adds, "I have seen Prateik's work and I think he is very talented, he has a hint of his mother's acting prowess in him. Unfortunately, Milan Talkies didn't work for us due to some unavoidable reasons but I would like to cast a talented young lad like him in future."

Saif all set to play Bhopali detective
Saif Ali Khan is moving on. After playing a spy in the just released Agent Vinod, he has now made up his mind to do some more crime thrillers. The next on the anvil is a film where he would be enacting the role of a detective. This isn't all as this time around the milieu would be totally 'desi', what with Saif getting into the garb of a Bhopali detective.

"Saif enjoyed thoroughly working on Agent Vinod. However after working in a film that was set on such a humungous scale, was spread across continents, took two years out of his life and was allocated a multi crore budget on it, Saif now wants the set up to be comparatively lighter. He was bowled over by the basic idea of playing a Bhopali detective and immediately consented to be a part of it", says a close associate of the actor.

In fact the talks have moved beyond the preliminary stage and the film has been confirmed to go on floors. The makers are getting other logistics in place and in quick time, the film's title; director and the leading lady would be announced as well.

"In fact this is yet another film that Saif has green lighted recently after picking up rights for the French comic book, which is again an action thriller based in a business world", the source adds, "He seems to have caught fancy of such genre. Since these films are moving beyond the conventional setting of a quintessential 'hero-heroine' world, Saif too feels that at his age it only makes sense to rewrite the direction his career his taking. With Race 2 as another thriller he is already doing, it is obvious that the likes of Love Aaj Kal would be far and few now."

As for Bhopal, there are a couple of reasons that have fascinated Saif to have set the film in this part of the country. Though it is a known fact that he had spent quite some time in Bhopal while shooting for Prakash Jha's Aarakshan, not many are aware that his paternal grandmother was Sajida Sultan, the Begum of Bhopal. Now by setting another film entirely in Bhopal, it is akin to a homecoming for Saif.

Confirms Saif, "After spending good time in Bhopal, I thought that it would be good to bring in hardcore Indian sensibilities for the audience. Moreover to set a crime thriller in this city would be a different experience altogether." Not to mention, a little more comfortable and less strenuous as well, especially after travelling continents for Agent Vinod.

Salman to do item number in Son Of Sardar
Salman Khan has agreed to do an item number in good friend Ajay Devgn's forthcoming film Son Of Sardar and that too for free. For a peppy track in the film, Ajay and his team zeroed down on Salman as they felt he was the most suitable man for the song.

As Ajay offered Salman to do the song, he immediately agreed to do the song and that too free of cost. The song will be shot in a studio Mumbai, where a special set will be built for the song.

Salman and Ajay's friendship goes back a long way, they have acted together in films like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and London Dreams. Last year Ajay had even done a cameo in Salman's film Ready.

Son Of Sardar is Ajay's home production being directed by Ashwini Dheer. It also stars Sanjay Dutt, Juhi Chawla and Sonakshi Sinha.

Nana Patekar turns villain after 5 years
5 Years after his one-off award-winning stint as a corrupt kidnapper Bihari politician in Prakash Jha's Apaharan, Nana Patekar is back in black.

The diabolic politician in Apaharan was more for his friend and favourite collaborator Prakash Jha who had to coax Nana to get back into the evil zone which at one time Nana had dominated with such resonant impact in Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parinda and Shashilal Nair's Angaar.

Thereafter, Nana focused on playing the lead in films Krantiveer and Tirangaa...In fact his next two releases It's My Life and Ab Tak Chappan 2 would feature Nana in the main lead.

Breaking his no-villainy rule, Nana plays an out-and-out negative character in Priyadarshan's Malaamal Weekly 2. Apparently, Nana agreed to break his anti-negativity rule as he had never tried the unconventional recipe of villainy in a comedy.

Says director Priyadarshan, "It's a challenge for Nana Patekar, and one that he is most capable of shouldering. Everywhere around his character there's laughter. Nana has to remain a humourless villain."

Villain on screen, guardian angel off it. These are the two roles that Nana Patekar is effortlessly essaying at this moment in Wai, shooting for Priyadarshan's new comedy about a loser (Shreyas Talpade) who pretends proximity to a sinister stranger in the village (Nana Patekar) to win some badly-needed respect in the village. The 'stranger' turns out to be notorious charge-sheeter.

On location in Wai, Nana has become everyone's local guardian. He insists on cooking for the entire unit every day.

Says Priyadarshan gleefully, "Nana plays a complete anti-social element. He is gone into the character with such enthusiasm; he's the most committed actor I've worked with since Mohanlal. Everyone warned me Nana was difficult to work with. But he turned out to be the easiest actor I've worked with. He looks after all of us. I didn't know he was such a fantastic cook. I'd love to cast him in a chef's role in my next comedy."

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