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NEWSMAKERS: 1-15 July 2002

Ms Samreen, a student of Hakim Ajmal Khan Girl’s Senior Secondary School, passed her secondary examination with distinction. She topped the list of successful candidates of the school. 70% students passed in first division with distinction marks. Samreen has been a very sincere, hardworking and focused student. Principal along with teachers paid compliments on her success.

Kudos to Ms Shahina! Ms Shahina, daughter of Liyaqatbhai, proud recipient of Talen Award for the year 2000-2001, passed her 10th examination from Maharana Mewar Convent School Udaipur with 98.2 per cent marks. She was awarded a medal, Maharana Fattehsinhji Medal and cash prize of Rs 751. Keep it up!

Eccentric and unpredictable are the ways of nawabs (Muslim aristocrats). Saif Ali Khan, popularly known as chhota nawab has taken off for London for a long vacation along with his better half Amrita and kids. But before he took off he assumed a bizarre look with a touch of wacky hair and beard. Saif was recently in Goa for shooting his latest film Nehle Pe Dehla. 

Llyod Webber’s Bombay Dreams has once again given wings to AR Rahman’s fame. Rahman’s score in Webber’s musical Bombay Dreams has been rendered in English by Bleak, a veteran of about 800 songs and composer of Born Free. Rahman is composer of 50 dramatic Bollywood film scores. Don Black says Rahman sits at piano and improvises a montange of bits and pieces, some mystical or pulsating, never one complete tune. It adds up to a highly original score. I don’t think West End has heard anything like it, Black said. 

The hero of the Shahbano case, a man of principle, is Arif Mohammad Khan who resigned as a member of the Bahujan Samaj Party after it shared power with the Bhartiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh. Mr Khan is in the news these days since he is quite often seen organizing meetings, seminars and demonstration against the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat. While responding to a question on Gujarat Mr Khan said whatever transpired in Gujarat has been a fatal blow to Constitution of India. What happened in Gujarat was not sampardayik hinsa (communal violence) but sarkari hinsa (state-sponsored violence). That Islam is an intolerant and gender-biased religion is an erroneous interpretation of Islam. Mr Khan said Islam emphasizes equality, compassion, righteous conduct and the rights of women. If a Muslim does something against the spirit of Islam, it is not the religion but the individual that should be blamed. As far as ‘triple-talaq’ is concerned, the original scheme as provided in the Holy Qur’an is so rational, so humane that it takes everything into consideration. So ‘reform’ is not the right word to be used in this context since the original scheme as envisaged in the Holy Qur’an is not being implemented to its fullest in the first place, he says. 

Speaking at a function organized in his honour, Allahabad’s first and only test and one-day cricketer Mohammad Kaif said there was no short cut in his success story. When one was sincere, and honest success would automatically come, he asserted. Sportspersons of Allahabad greeted him at Madan Mohan Malviya Sports Stadium. Dinesh Cheturvedi, the District Magistrate of Allahabad, praised Kaif for his amazing performance and urged the younger generation to draw inspiration form him. On this occasion, a memento was also presented to Md Kaif. 

Feroz Khan, theatre director, who at one time headed Prithvi Theatre as its art director, has once again given Delhi the longest running play, Tumhari Amrita, a super star cast of Farooq Sheikh and Shabana Azmi and of course the collection will go to the lighting genius Tapas Sen Feroz. Mr Sen has decided to felicitate one technician every year by staging a play in his honour. Tumhari Amrita is a play every socialite, theatre goer, artiste never minds watching again. Feroz Khan, believes in fulfilling his social duties. He stages plays for a noble cause from Orissa cyclone to Gujarat carnage to the plight of displaced Kashmiris. The capital always looks forward to Feroz Khan’s plays. 

Star actor Fardeen Khan in the lead role in Kuch Tum Kaho, Kuch Hum Kahen now ready for release is sure to appeal the youngsters with the suave urbanite in a character in India. What is special about the film is that it is a remake of "Kalisumudam Rao" a Telugu film which got national award in 1999. The film is expected to recreate the same magic in Bollywood as it did in the regional cinema. KTKKHK was scheduled to release in May 2002 but Fardeen’s arrest upset the entire shooting schedule. After the authorities cleared Fardeen, production got on wings in June 2002. Fardeen, predominantly with city-based audience would be flashed in the interiors. 

“God made me a singer and then sent me to this world. I could not have been any thing else but a singer", said Abdia Parvin on her recent visit to India to participate in a festival in honour on Amir Khusrau, a sufi saint. Parvin believes music can effect absolute communion between God and man. Besides sufi music she has a penchant for Rajasthani songs. Parvin has performed in many countries and she prefers live concerts to studio recordings. Art is the work of heart and in any case, everything is inspired by God. She said that one has to be a born singer or dancer. One cannot just learn to be a singer or dancer. 

Noted film director Muzaffar Ali has been associated with Sufi music and Sufism for close to forty years. Recently, Ali and his wife Meera organized ‘Jahan-e-Khusrau festival and it has become a rendezvous of eminent Sufi singers from all over the world. Ali is committed to revive sufi mystique. To Ali, Sufi music of submission and surrender that bonds human to God and transcends all religious barriers. He is of the opinion that there is nothing wrong if people practise Sufism as a fad or derive commercial benefits from it as long as they manage to spread the exalted message of love and peace. Ali is very optimistic about the future of Sufi music, especially after the 11 September strike against America, Sufism is providing an alternate way to attain mental peace. 

Javed Jaffery, fast talking honcho of the small screen, the icon of hip who raised smarter banter into an art farm, is himself turning into a successful TV talk show host. With his witty bouncers Javed is already the host of ESPN’s Super Selector. Apart from being jet setting anchor and show host Javed is busy doing two films, Kaizad Gustad’s Boom and iDream Production’s Jajantaran-Mamantaram where he plays a character akin to Gulliver. Children are going to love this film. Back in the nineties he became one of the small sceen’s megastar’s when be began hosting ‘Videcon Flashback’ on Channel V. Though Javed seems to have lost out getting stuck in a puerile show called Boogie Woogie but now with ESPN’s Super Selector it is his chance to stage a comeback.

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