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Pankaj Tripathi: Films can’t alter reality but can steer conversation

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Actor Pankaj Tripathi says films cannot entirely alter reality but can steer a conversation that will subsequently change mindsets, systematically and over time.

In his latest release Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Pankaj plays a father who is also a feminist of sorts. The film, directed by Sharan Sharma, stars Janhvi Kapoor in the title role.

The actor always wanted to focus on a film like Gunjan Saxena – a tale of empowerment that aims to inspire young girls to strive harder to fulfil their dreams.

“There was this beautiful line in the film that said – Plane ladka udaaye ya ladki… dono ko pilot hi kehte hain’. In a beautiful simple line, the film and its story simply smashed years of set gender roles. Being a father to a daughter myself, the story shifted something within me. I want more fathers to be like Anuj Saxena (his character) and more daughters to be like Gunjan,” he said.

The father of a 14-year-old daughter, Pankaj says the film reminded him of several stories of his female colleagues, acquaintances, even people in his family.

“I drew a lot from my own experiences for this film and kept recounting every instance of sacrifice I have seen women make to fit into gender normative roles assigned by the patriarchal society. Yes, probably films can’t entirely alter reality but they can steer a conversation that will subsequently change mindsets, systematically and over a prolonged period of time,” he concluded.

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NCB summons Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet Singh in connection with drugs nexus probe

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The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) said that it has issued summons to Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh for questioning in a drug-related probe.

The NCB has summoned Deepika Padukone on 25 September while Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan have been summoned on 26 September.

Chats discussing drugs have surfaced between Karishma Prakash, Padukone’s manager, and an employee of Kwan talent management company and one “D”. The NCB has summoned Karishma Prakash, as well as Kwan talent management company CEO Dhruv Chitgopekar, for questioning.

The names have appeared in WhatsApp chats that have been retrieved from the phone of Jaya Saha, Sushant Singh Rajput’s talent agent, who is also being questioned by investigators.

Many others from the Bollywood industry including Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet Singh were named by actor Rhea Chakraborty, who is in jail for charges of buying drugs.

A senior NCB official reportedly told IANS, “Summons have been issued to Deepika, Sara, Shraddha and Rakul for questioning. Besides four Bollywood actors, the NCB has also summoned fashion designer Simone Khambatta.”

Fashion designer Simone Khambatta has appeared before NCB for questioning however, actress Rakul Preet Singh’s team has denied that she has received any summons for the same.

NCB has arrested Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty and 12 others in the drug angle in Sushant Singh Rajput’s case who was found hanging at his home June 14.

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SSR case: NCB summons Deepika Padukone’s manager Karishma

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Widening its probe into the drug’s connection in Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput death case, the NCB has summoned Karishma Prakash, the manager of actor Deepika Padukone, and Dhruv Chitgopekar, CEO of the Kwan talent management agency for questioning.

A top Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) official related to the probe said, “We have summoned Prakash, who works as a manager at Kwan and its CEO Dhruv”.

The official said that they have been summoned as some whatsApp chats showed they were allegedly involved in the drug case.

The development comes a day after the NCB officials said they will be issuing summons to Bollywood actors Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh and fashion designer Simone Kambhatta this week for questioning in connection with its probe.

Besides Prakash and Dhruv, the NCB has also summoned Sushant’s former manager Shruti Modi and talent manager Jaya Saha for more questioning.

The duo was questioned for over five hours on Monday by the NCB officials here.

The NCB has already arrested Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, Sushant’s house manager Samuel Miranda, personal staff Dipesh Sawant and over 15 others in the case so far.

Later in the day, the NCB will move the Special Court to seek a day’s custody for Showik and Sawant, to connect the dots with some new facts that have emerged in the case during the investigation.

The NCB has registered a case on the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after the alleged drug chats of Showik, Miranda and several others came to the fore.

Sushant was found hanging in his Bandra’s Mont Blanc apartment on June 14.

Besides the CBI and the ED, NCB is the third agency to probe into the death case of Sushant.

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Kriti Sanon dated Sushant Singh Rajput, claims Lizaa Malik

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Actress Lizaa Malik has claimed that late actor Sushant Singh Rajput and actress Kriti Sanon might have denied dating each other, but they were very much in a relationship and looked happy together.

Lizaa had a professional relationship with Sushant, and she says she saw him happy in his relationship with Kriti at a birthday party.

“The last time I met Sushant was some two and a half years back when he was with Kriti. It was during Kriti’s birthday celebrations in a Bandra club. He was always a very charming, full-of-life guy, who would walk into a party and get a smile on people’s face. We had a lot of common friends, like Mahesh Shetty,” Lizaa told IANS.

“He was a fun loving guy, who had his sense of humour in the right place, always joking and keeping the energy level up,” she added.

Asked why she felt that Sushant and Kriti seemed like a couple, Lizaa replied: “When it is a public gathering and a birthday party, the host is always busy. So, Kriti was busy attending guests as it was a big party. I saw Sushant all charged up, dancing, getting a drink at the bar and socialising. They looked pretty happy and they were trying to be good hosts. Even if you’re not going out loud, telling the world that ‘oh, we are dating’, one can see the spark.”

The actress continued: “If somebody was playing the host with the actual host, there has to be something. We all knew that they were seeing each other, as much as they kept denying it.”

Kriti and Sushant never confirmed or denied the news of their relationship. The two actors co-starred in the 2017 film “Raabta”.

Sushant was found dead in Mumbai on June 14 this year. He was 34. His death is being investigated by the CBI, NCB and the ED.

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