Want to LOOK like Shilpa Shetty

After investing in the IPL, Shilpa Shetty’s next business venture is the Iosis Medispa for which she has collaborated with Kiran Bawa. The actress with the best body in Bollywood tells us why she wanted to start a chain of spas, how she unwinds and what makes her spa different from the rest.

Why did you start a chain of spas?
Spa stands for ‘Salva Pour Aqua’ which means healing through aqua. The reason we wanted to start a medispa because our aim is Wellness India. Today, we lead such stressed, fast-paced lives that we have no time for ourselves. There is nothing to be apologetic about if you want to feel and look beautiful - it is your right. You need the right advice. There are so many girls out there who need help. They need the right approach to cure their ailments from within. They need to focus on health and fitness. Beyond the business aspect, I really think it is important to take care of yourself and unwind no matter who you are and what you do. This is one opportunity I have opened for people as this is the way I unwind after a long day’s shoot. Iosis is my catharsis.

Why did you decide to partner with Kiran Bawa and Iosis?

I couldn’t have asked for a better person to partner with. Kiran and I have known each other for 17 years as we are family friends. She comes from a hospitality background and is trained abroad. I just went to a Chembur salon for a beautician course. We share the same passions. We come from a sound financial background. We are not doing this for money, even though today success is measured by the money you make. I need someone to look into nitty-gritties and she is the perfect person to do that. We both are 50 percent partners in the venture.

What makes your spa different from the other spas?
What makes our spa different from the other spas is that it is a medispa. It is not just about slimming and getting a facial. If you have a problem, like a shoulder ache, we will give you a massage and some therapy to go with it to solve your ailment. It is a long term process. We have trained doctors, cosmetologists, dieticians, nutritionists, dermatologists, Reiki specialists and other rejuvenation therapists to guide you to wellbeing. There are acne, laser and pigmentation treatments. There is Yoga and Power Pilates and a hydro-therapy room, all under one roof. That is the way I have wanted it as a customer, because I don’t want to run around. We have done extensive R&D to make our spa different. I can’t talk enough; you need to see it for yourself. Also, our spa is aimed at the younger generation because they are impatient and want to see results fast. Even the older generation is more than welcome to experience our services.

Do you have any membership packages?
Here people can enroll for a yearly membership program. Most spas or salons don’t have such packages. And our spa is not only for the uber-rich class. The middle-class feels spa is a luxury indulgence. We want to break that misconception. A basic clean-up facial starts at Rs.300 while a gold-caviar facial costs Rs.3000. So there is quite a range to cater to the taste of our clientele.

Do you have a special Shilpa Shetty package?
We do. Kiran tells me she got a lot of people who said they wanted to look like me and wanted a hair blow-dry like mine. So my favourite caviar facial and body massage and all my tips have been combined in a package called Shilpa Shetty’s Signature Treatment. One thing is there, you won’t walk out looking like me but they can surely get a blow dry like mine. On a lucky day, you might see me there.

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Anil Kapoor to star in super-hit thriller 24!

Riding high on the success of Slumdog Millionaire’s stupendous run at the awards, Anil Kapoor is now all set to play a key role in the popular American TV show, 24 – if all goes according to plan.

Sources report that he was approached a few days after the Oscar awards night.

“The new season of 24 begins in May and Anil will be part of that season,” the source continues.

Anil’s camp, however, chose to play safe and a close friend of his told an Indian newspaper, “The modalities are being worked out. Anil is very kicked about this offer.”

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Kangana to play a top don's girlfriend

Kangana Ranaut is all set to reprise her role as a gangster’s moll in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai.

She is slated to star as the veteran actress Madhubala who was reportedly also Haji Mastan’s love interest.

Based on the life history of the underworld don of the 1960s, Haji Mastan, the film is being produced by Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Films and directed by Milan Luthria.

Strangely enough, Kangana was the third choice for the film. The filmmakers had initially considered Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra for the role.

Ajay Devgan is also on board and will portray Haji Mastan, while Emraan Hashmi will play the young Dawood.

While there have been films in the past that have focused on Haji Mastan, like Deewar, this film will be the first to concentrate on the romantic angle between Haji Mastan and Madhubala.

Kangana had earlier played a gangster’s moll in Gangster. In that film too, Emraan Hashmi was one of her co-stars.

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Akshay Kumar film not finding distributors

Thanks to the credit crunch, Akshay Kumar starrer 8 X 10 Tasveer is not finding a buyer.

Producers Percept Picture Company are now having to release the film themselves.

In fact, due to the producers-distributors battle with exhibitors over revenue-sharing, the Producers’ Guild had decided not to release any new movies from April 3rd but have relaxed their stand as regards 8 x 10 Tasveer.

This concession has been made as the guild realised that the film has already been delayed and that, combined with the strike and upcoming IPL matches, could result in an unfair delay of the film that could spell doom for it at the box office.

Does this have something to do with the credit crunch or with the fact that Akki’s last flick tanked big time at the box office?

Another Percept film affected by the crunch is Madhur Bhandarkar’s Jail.

There were rumours that Madhur was all set to leave Percept for UTV but that is not the case. In fact, Madhur and his actors Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mugdha Godse and Manoj Bajpai have even agreed to take a pay cut as a result of the film’s budget being reduced.

Madhur said, “I am co-producing Jail with Percept Picture Company. Keeping in mind the recession, we mutually decided to cut the budget.”

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"I like being a Pinup boy" - John Abraham

John Abraham John Abraham says the best thing to happen to him in 2008 was his brother's marriage. And the most unusual happening in his life in 2009 could be his first stage performance, thanks to the success of his 'Desi Girl' number in Dostana.

"My brother's marriage in Romania was beautiful. Standing there at his wedding as his best man as he took the vows with his wife in a beautiful old church I felt so content. I was never happier. And I liked being the best man. Because I'm the best. People ask me where I'm going from here. And I tell them, I'm only going to get better."

2008 was a decisive year for John. He learnt to be funny. "For the first time I was really funny, far more so than my previous comedy Garam Masala. I'd say there was a 500 percent jump between Dostana and Garam Masala. I was completely clueless about comic timing in Garam Masala. I knew I needed to do let myself go to do comedy convincingly. In real life, I'm very funny. I needed to put some of that across on screen. Why do I have to be so serious on screen all the time? I decided to get seriously funny in Dostana."

John still remembers the moment when he discovered he could be funny. "I was doing a scene when everyone clapped. That was the first time I realized I was really funny on screen. Now when I go to events people start giggling the minute I enter. That's the best gift I've received in 2008. The gift to make people laugh. It's just so beautiful. The other day I was at my doctor's. The assistant kept looking at me and giggling so much that she had to leave the room. That really tickled me pink. I found that really cute."

There's no marriage yet with Bipasha. "And neither are we willing to speak that openly about our relationship," says John. "No more PDA…public display of affection. We've reached a stage in our relationship where we don't need to flaunt our relationship nor talk about it with others or with each other. We're gone beyond that."

And what about his other successful jodi with Abhishek Bachchan? John grins, "Our marriage depends on Ash and Bipasha. Jokes apart, Abhishek and I are not at all insecure about one another's camera presence. I'd love to team up with him again for Dostana Returns. Everyone feels our jodi shouldn't end. People haven't seen male bonding like ours in years." John is happy being Bollywood's no.1 Pinup boy. "I wasn't seen as cheesy. I like being a Pinup boy. God has given me the opportunity to be there. I should respect that. I owe my physique to my parents' wonderful genes."

John says the secret to his 'sexy' tag is his comfort level. "I'm myself wherever I go, whatever I wear. A lot of us have a benchmark for how well-toned we must be. I had a very high benchmark. I'm a leader, not a follower. Not that I am always seeing sunshine up my backside. But I'm very individualistic."

John Abraham John realizes being an example for the young is a huge social responsibility. "Karan Johar explained what he wanted from me in Dostana. He said I needed a beach body. I didn't need to look like a body builder. I think my physique is achievable. I follow a strict diet. I eat very carefully. But when I go out, I don't create a scene if the food is not cooked in olive oil. I do have normal food. And I binge on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays."

Going to the gym is a must. "It is a part of my daily routine. I work really hard at the gym. I understand my body very well. I know what to do with it to make it respond. I follow a strict gym regimen and a diet. But I believe I'm not just a body."

Regarding the risk of his followers taking short cuts to get John Abraham's body, the stars says, "The use of unnatural substances is just not done to get a body. It leads to hair loss, high blood pressure, mood swings, loss of libido and enlarged glands. Stay away from short cuts."

As a brand ambassador, John has his hands full. "I've a whole array of brands that have stayed with me through thick and thin. I love my association with them and they believe in me regardless of my success quotient. I believe an actor has to be exclusive in his acting assignments, events attended and endorsements."

One thing John still won't do is perform on stage. "I've a strong resistance to stage performances. Forget about dancing at weddings birthdays and functions, I don't even want to go on stage. But now that I've such great songs to perform to it might change. If I could dance the way I did in 'Desi Girl' I think I'm ready for the stage."

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Karan Johar joins hands with UTV

Surprising many within the industry, director Karan Johar has decided to go ahead with the distribution of his next two movies with UTV Motion Pictures. This deal will give Ronnie Screwvala and his company exclusive worldwide distribution rights for Karan's next two productions.

WHY this has surprised many is because till date Karan has either distributed films himself or gone with Yash Raj Films for the distribution of his films. But this deal with UTV gives the latter theatrical, home video, overseas and satellite distribution rights.

And while the two films - Wake Up Sid and Rensil D’silva’s untitled film – have been handed to UTV for release, interestingly Karan’s own directorial venture My Name is Khan still remains with Johar and Dharma Productions.

Speaking about the deal, Karan says that the deal is a natural choice for him. His (Ronnie Screwvala) passion and sensibility towards understanding a cinema is exceptional and I’m looking forward to working with UTV Motion Pictures,” says Karan, “I’ve known and been in touch with Ronnie for a long time now and I am glad that finally we are getting a chance to work together.”

Wake Up Sid is directed by Ayaan Mukerji and stars Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. Rensil D’silva’s film stars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi.

UTV on the other hand is in desperate need of a hit film. While their small budget independent films under their Spotboy Entertainment banner have done reasonably well, barring Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion – which they co-produced – UTV has found it tough to make money at the box office. And therefore it makes business sense for Ronnie to sign up with someone like Karan Johar who is known to rake in the big bucks internationally as well.

“Karan has a brilliant slate of films to his credit. He brings a tremendous entertainment quotient to his films coupled with immense understanding of the pulse of the audience. His films are the most awaited amongst audiences across the country. We are thrilled to start what we hope is the beginning of a long relationship with Dharma Productions,” said UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala on the deal.

Industry insiders are also saying that things are not very good between Yash Raj Films and Shah Rukh Khan. And it is this crack in the infamous SRK-YRF friendship along with rising budgets of Karan’s films that has resulted in Karan walking in the other direction.
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What's happening in tinseltown

Sonam Kapoor graces yet another cover, Karan Johar’s new partnership with UTV and Adnan Sami bonds with his family.

White Beauty
Sonam Kapoor looks like a goddess on the latest cover of ELLE. Her gown swirls like a flower as her hair blows in the wind. Beautiful!

Family Time
Adnan Sami’s son Azaan came down from Lahore to meet his ailing grandfather in Mumbai. Adnan is seen here with his son and parents.

New Partnership
Dharma Productions’ films will now be distributed by UTV. Karan Johar, flaunting his trademark smirk is seen here with Ronnie Screwvala.

No Glamour Here
The music launch of Sikandar by Sudhir Mishra was a quiet affair as the star cast was not present.

Musical Collaboration
World renowned pianist Lang Lang who is also the brand ambassador for Audi is in India to collaborate with music maestro Zubin Mehta at a charity concert.

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Amrita’s Mexican honeymoon plans cancelled

Newlyweds Amrita and Shakeel Ladhak were to head to Mexico for their honeymoon on March 14.

But an all out war between the powerful Mexican drug cartels and the government has put paid to those plans.

Says Amrita’s friend, “Amu and Shakeel had planned a 15-day honeymoon.

They were to leave on March 14, go to New York and head to Mexico from there.

However, due to escalating drug violence in the last week, their plans stand cancelled.

Amrita has been to most European cities, so she wanted to either go to Mexico or Hawaii, places she's never been to before.”

The plans have now been adjusted so that the two will head for Hawaii from New York.

The original plans had included staying at a traditional Mexican ranch, horse riding, trekking and enjoying spicy Mexican cuisine.

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Sanjay Dutt ready to leave Mumbai!

Sanjay Dutt is taking politics very seriously.

He is temporarily planning to move from Mumbai to Lucknow.

He clearly knows that politics is a full time occupation and a house in Lucknow would make it easier for him to campaign for the elections.

He has, in fact, narrowed down on two properties in the centre of the city with full modern facilities. He’s now waiting for Manyata to agree.

Apparently, she wants to move into some purani haveli instead of a big house.

We know by now that lady Dutt’s decision will be final!

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No questions about Rani please, says Pamela Chopra

Pamela Chopra was recently invited to Hyderabad for a seminar. The organisers wanted her to interact with the panel. She agreed to do so but on one condition.

She told the panel clearly that they could not ask her a single question about Rani Mukherji, or even mention her name!

Is this the Chopra family’s way of saying Rani is out of their lives? We have to wait and see..

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Farhan grills Abhishek

Abhishek Bachchan will be on the hot seat on Oye! It’s Friday! The chat with Farhan Akhtar will feature stories about growing up, the stars they know, their families and, of course, some sizzling gossip.

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Salman Khan turns down a Sooraj Barjatya film

Salman Khan and Sooraj Barjatya together have created the now famous character of Prem in films like Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.

Sooraj’s last hit film Vivaah starred Shahid Kapur.
But this time round he approached Salman with the script for his next film – a sweet family drama in typical Rajshri style.

Salman sat through the story session, but felt that the lead of the film had to be someone younger and that he was not meant for the role.

However, Sooraj told him that he wanted Salman to do one of the support roles.

A source says, “Salman was not impressed with the role offered to him and said no straight off.

He also told Sooraj that come what may in his career, he would never do silly character roles. He feels that if he did so, he would be betraying his fans as they still want him to do the main leads.”

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Bebo moves into cricket!

She has been wanting to enter the IPL for long time, especially since Preity Zinta’s so much involved.

Now after Shilpa Shetty plunged into cricket taking over last year’s winning team, Kareena does not want to be left behind.

She wanted to buy a team last year itself, but beau Saif did not want to invest, preferring to put his money into production projects.

But now Kareena’s moving forward.

She has been arranging meetings with businessmen to buy a team of her choice. And this time she is not depending on Saif.

She is planning to invest her own money to buy the team and become an active member.

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Shahid uses the ‘F’ word

His role in Kaminey requires Shahid to say ‘f’ instead of ‘s’.

So Shahid took lessons to lisp and stammer from leading ENT surgeon Dr Prabodh Karnik, so that he could play the character convincingly.

Vishal Bhardwaj, director of Kaminey, wanted to leave no stone unturned to present reality.

So he took Shahid to Dr Karnik.

Shahid plays a double role in the film - Charlie lisps and Guddu stammers.

Vishal confirmed the news about meeting Dr Karnik and said that it was a good learning experience that would bring the film closer to reality.

Shahid said that after meeting Dr Karnik, he got a better understanding of speech impairments and this would definitely help him keep his character real.

Meanwhile, Shahid Kapur's Yamaha MT 01 bike was the focus of all attention at Yash Raj Studios.

The fan brigade consisted of Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan and Abhishek Bachchan. "An excited Abhishek Bachchan even called John to have a dekko at the bike.

John was shooting a promo for New York in the same building and rushed down to see it," said a witness.

John has always been a bike freak.

"John loved the mean machine and kept staring at it. The bike had become a hot topic of discussion among the boys.

The guys took turns to feel and sit on the bike.

John also rode it!”

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