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Actor/Actress

The one constant, toxic element in all nationalist-nativist movements across the world is the obsession with racial purity. Inter-community marriages—harbingers of compassion and understanding—are anathema. The kerfuffle over ‘love jehad’ is just an example. The one Bollywood star who has been damned roundly by trolls—torchbearers of an ugly new India—is Urmila Matondkar, for her marriage to a Kashmiri man, Mohsin Akhter, in 2016. The staggeringly handsome Mohsin was termed, Urmila now reveals, ‘Pakistani’ (a newly-charged slur), then ‘terrorist’, while some deviants invaded Wikipedia and sprayed nuisance. All this, says Urmila—so content here in the arms of the man she loves—created unbearable strain. The party she recently joined, however, has had little qualm in encouraging nationalist hatred. Or is the alliance with the Congress bringing about a change in the stripes of the Shiv Sena?

Bollywood actress Adah Sharma dressed as Santa Claus poses for photographs during PETA India's Christmas Party for Rescued Chickens, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff spotted at Bandra in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Ananya Panday spotted at Bandra in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Sara Ali Khan during the shoot of their film 'Atrangi' at the historic Taj Mahal, in Agra.

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Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar arrives for the shooting of film 'Atrangi' at the historic Taj Mahal, in Agra.

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Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar poses for photographs with security personnel during shooting of film 'Atrangi' at the historic Taj Mahal, in Agra.

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Bollywood actress Sara Ali Khan during shooting of film 'Atrangi' at the historic Taj Mahal, in Agra.

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Actor Arjun Rampal arrives at the NCB office to appear before the agency in a drug related case, in Mumbai.

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If you thought you’d get away from our continuing series of bathing beauties displaying their skills in magnetic Maldives—where they’re drawn, by some inexplicable herd instinct, like moths to a flame—you are mistaken. This week, there’s Daisy Shah (Jai Ho, Race 3) to beguile you, before you ask that very pertinent question: does the reign of intoxicating, liquid blue extend beyond the waterline, to the domain of sand and crabs and lurking beachcombers? Or is that the sky, with its artsy watercolour clouds, playing tricks at us mortals? “Meet me where the sky touches the sea,” writes the nymph in the pink bikini. We’d have taken up the offer and asked her, but later….she’s only sleeping.

“This time last year,” as she captions it, the seas around Hawaii went into a frothy roil, beating those unflappable, volcanic black rocks with unforeseen force. The reason of their turmoil was none other than Neha Sharma, who shows that one doesn’t have to act like a contortionist to make heads spin and tides turn. A simple, seductive black bikini, dry hair loosely worn and a pose snapped out of her natural swing goes the longest distance, though her easy curves don’t harm the general effect. We asked Neha to lower her shades just once; she disarmed us with that smile.

It’s the signature gesture that generations of romancing Bollywood actors have fallen back on when running out of moves in songs—arms outstretched, head thrown back in delirious joy, about to fold in the grassy turf beneath, the azure sky above and the line of pines yonder. From Shammi Kapoor to Aamir and Shahrukh, no one has escaped its embrace. Raveena Tandon, in smashing shape still, apes that effortlessly in snowy Himachal. “Was doing a #Switzerlandkashahrukh…,” she posts cheekily. Sharply booted, zipped up and kitted in black, our heroes have to perfect their open-armed expansion many times over to win a girl like that.

Bollywood actor Mallika Sherawat spotted at Andheri in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor Khan spotted at Bandra in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor Khan spotted at Bandra in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Malaika Arora spotted at Bandra in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty poses for photographs in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Malaika Arora spotted at Bandra in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut with team of 'Tejas' during a meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

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Malayalam film actor and MP Suresh Gopi waves to the crowd during an election campaign for Kerala local body polls, in Kozhikode.

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Actress and politician Urmila Matondkar arrives for the 80th birthday celebration of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar, in Mumbai.

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Assamese actress Barsha Rani Bishaya speaks during the 'Gana Hunkar' protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), in Guwahati.

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It’s not just those confounding shades, Ranveer Singh’s selfie has more in common with those holidaymakers in Maldives—look harder, and you find a sedate sea in low tide. That, and the confidence with which he wears that pearl necklace—stolen, no doubt, from Deepika’s jewellery box—twisting a gender marker effortlessly out of shape, makes this a successful effort in our eyes. “Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen….” writes Ranveer. “Babu tu heera nahi moti hai,” puts in friend Arjun Kapoor. That’s what good buddies do: give you a fillip.

The 19th century poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s epic verse Maghnadvad Kavya took as its protagonist Meghnad, Raavan’s son, painted him in human, humane light and gave him cogent motives for his actions. In much the same spirit, Saif Ali Khan spoke up about Adipurush, his new film based on the Ramayana, where his character takes after Raavan. The abduction of Sita, said our man, would be justified in the movie by what was first done to Surpanakha. Expect a realistic portrayal, he added. But this is India, 2020, and such free expression of artistic intent kicked up a row, bringing into its ambit, quite inevitably, the blessed lord who slew Lanka’s king. Chuck Saif out of the film, rose the cry on Twitter. Saif thought it best to placate the hideous bunch and apologised. But we lie in wait for Adipurush.

We were drip-feeding you with our bathing beauties in Maldives, in various attitudes of repose, as the light played on the water at different times of the day. We just can’t stop now and let you suffer a withdrawal symptom, so here’s this week’s girl: Hina Khan, who repaired thence with beau Rocky Jaiswal. There were those pictures of her, a blanket covering her bare back, arm extended to toast us with a glass of wine, but we chose this since it shows more of her expression. There she is, exchanging her blanket with a lighter cloth, in a pretty polka dot bikini and a perfectly ghastly pair of sunglasses, holding on to her hat against a strong wind. Some lives are better espied thus—by the waterfront.

BJP National President for OBC Morcha Dr. K. Laxman felicitates Telugu actor Vijayashanti after she joined BJP, at party office in Hyderabad.

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Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra spotted at Bandra in Mumbai.

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Actor and Gorakhpur MP Ravi Kishan with actors Amrapali Dubey and Dinesh Lal Yadav during an event, in Gorakhpur

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Couple and bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza pose for photographs, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty with her husband and businessman Raj Kundra pose for photographs, in Mumbai.

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Anushka Sharma as a model before she hit the big screen

Photograph by Narendra Bisht

The Bachchans in Mumbai, 1998

Photograph by Atul Loke

Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth gestures during a press conference to announce the launch of his political party in January 2021, in Chennai.

PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar

Tamil movie superstar Rajinikanth, center, gestures as he addresses a press conference outside his residence in Chennai. Rajinikanth said he plans to launch his own political party in southern India in January, ending years of speculation by millions of his fans on his political future.

AP Photo/R.Parthibhan

Bollywood actor Siddhant Chaturvedi spotted at Gateway of India, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone spotted at Gateway of India, in Mumbai.

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Comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiya outside Killa Court, in Mumbai. The couple was arrested for the alleged possession and use of marijuana.

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Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar at her first press conference after she formally joined the Shiv Sena in Mumbai.

Photo by Dinesh Parab/Outlook

Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar at her first press conference after she formally joined the Shiv Sena in Mumbai.

Photo by Dinesh Parab/Outlook

Actor-turned politician Urmila Matondkar joins Shiv Sena in presence of party President and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Rashmi Thackeray Rashmi Thackeray and others in Mumbai.

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Actor-turned politician Urmila Matondkar joins Shiv Sena in presence of party President and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Rashmi Thackeray Rashmi Thackeray and others in Mumbai.

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Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth meets senior functionaries of Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) to decide on his political plunge, in Chennai.

PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar

Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth gestures at his fans after meeting with the senior functionaries of Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) to decide on political plunge, in Chennai.

PTI Photo/R Senthil Kumar

When someone as charmingly effervescent as Rakul Preet Singh—her perfect set of teeth lighting up every frame—loses her shirt in spectacular fashion, you are apt to take note. A flimsy tendril of the Bollywood drug case that held the nation’s flighty attention led to Rakul Preet, and she was questioned by the narcotic police. The brilliant minds running our telly news took that as evidence of guilt.The girl hit back at the ‘fakery’ and went to court, effectively gagging the dyspeptic lot. Then, Rakul took herself away to…Maldives, naturally! The destination of everyone we turn to has enough islands to accommodate them all. Rakul chose a wide canvas, where the azure sky met the sea imperceptibly, the wide promenade all hers to sprawl on. With parents by her side, she lets one rip, as we know her, the tinkle ringing in our ears.

No kidding, we shall pitch for all the belles who have descended on seductive Maldives in recent days to congregate for a gorgeous group photo. But to close out this set with an ace, here is Sophie Choudry who, going by the speed with which these photos were uploaded on Instagram, must have run on to the beach right from the tarmac. The sun may have been struggling to rise at this juncture of early dawn, but Sophie is in place to bask in its opening rays—hand held up as a raming device in a classic pose of acute contentment, ankles buried in water and that surprising blue sash over her shoulders setting off her shockingly neon green bikini. She “woke up in paradise”, don’t disturb her peace.

Ever since we saw the terribly lanky Prabhu Deva in horribly bagy garb, twisting his limbs out of shape in the song Muqabala Muqabala, 25 long summers back, we knew he was in for orthopaedic trouble. That silent prophecy came true this summer, when he was laid low due to soreness of the legs and the back. Reason: inveterate and unrestrained dancing. But, fittingly, there was a twist. Ministering to him in Mumbai was Dr Himani (who stays in the delightfully named Sakinaka area). The rest is a script for a love story set during the lockdown: a quic dash to Chennai, two months of blissful rest and recuperation and a quiet wedding without song and dance. Moral: if you give yourself to an art, it rewards you in unexpected ways.

Wax statue of Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty at Mother's Wax Musuem, in Kolkata.

PTI Photo/Ashok Bhaumik

Bollywood actress Tamanna Bhatia spotted at Bandra in Mumbai.

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Katrina Kaif testing for covid before shot to procure safety.

Courtesy: Instagram

Comedian Bharti Singh's husband Haarsh Limbaachiyaa arrives at the NCB office for questioning after a raid at his residence by the agency in a drug related case, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty spotted at Juhu in Mumbai.

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Priyanka Chopra, now a US resident, has to give fans back home a periodic something to remember her by, to rekindle, as it were, the cooling embers of her once crackling stardom. We surveyed public opinion on the intermittent obtrusion of Nick Jonas—never one for varied expression—in frames belonging rightfully to Priyanka only, but Diwali is a different matter. A time of solemn affirmation of family ties and love finds the two with lit diyas in hand, half-closed eyes turned towards each other. His loose, sparsely embroidered jacket does try to establish a rapport with her flaming, floral-printed sari. Did Nick resist wearing a kurta? We’ll never know, but the highlight, surely, is Priyanka’s gorgeous kundan earrings.

Are Ranveer’s kurta and Deepika’s kameez cut from the same cloth? It might well have been, like much of their conjoined lives, always in lockstep with each other—in movies, commercials, photoshoots, even answering the summons of the Narcotics Control Bureau. That life—a very public celebration of harmony and understanding—has turned two. Calling her his ‘gudiya’, Ranveer declares that their “souls are eternally intertwined”, harking to a different era of love’s loud proclamation, something that many would term cloyingly ‘corny’. But lovers, so long as roses bloom in their garden, have always disregarded the demands of smart irony. They say it’s the loveless who have need for such imitation ornaments. What do you think?

Visual artist Paramesh Jolad (C), dressed like a labourer, takes part in an awareness programme requesting citizens to wear masks and take other precautions against COVID-19, in Bengaluru.

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Women put tika to a photograph of legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, on the occasion of Bhai Dooj festival, in Kolkata. Chatterjee died Sunday after an over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments.

PTI Photo/Ashok Bhaumik

Poulami Basu, the daughter of iconic Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee who died today after an over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments, during the announcement of her father's death in Kolkata.

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People attend the funeral rally of iconic Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who died today after an over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments, in Kolkata.

PTI Photo/Ashok Bhaumik

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee pays her last respects to iconic Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who died today after an over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments, during his funeral in Kolkata.

PTI Photo/Ashok Bhaumik

Bollywood actress Kritika Kamra arrives at Bunty Sachdeva's residence for the 'Diwali' party in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Ananya Panday arrives at Bunty Sachdeva's residence for the 'Diwali' party in Mumbai.

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrives to offer her condolences to Poulami Basu, the daughter of iconic Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee who died today after an over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments, in Kolkata.

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In this file photo, Bengali film and theater actor Soumitra Chatterjee waves after receiving the Dadasahab Phalke Award for the year 2011, as Vice President Hamid Ansari looks on, during the 59th National Film Award in New Delhi.

AP Photo/ Manish Swarup

In this file photo, Ray and Soumitra on the sets of Ashani Sanket

Photograph by Mona Chowdhuri

In this file photo, Soumitra Chatterjee rehearses at Sri Ram Centre, New Delhi

Photograph by Sanjay Rawat

In this file photo of Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee. Iconic Bengali actor Chatterjee died after over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments. He was 85.

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Soumitra Chatterjee and Madhabi Mukherjee the actor and actress of a famous bengali film 'Charulata' of Satyajit Roy,at Kolkata.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee. Iconic Bengali actor Chatterjee died after over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments. He was 85.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Legendary Actor Soumitra Chatterjee with his daughter Poulami at his residence in Kolkata.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee. Iconic Bengali actor Chatterjee died after over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments. He was 85.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee. Iconic Bengali actor Chatterjee died after over-a-month-long battle with multiple ailments. He was 85.

Photo by Sandipan Chatterjee/Outlook

Actor Arjun Rampal leaves from his residence at Bandra in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan spotted at Juhu, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal leaves his residence for shooting, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Malaika Arora arrives at Karan Johar's house for a pre-Diwali party, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan spotted at Bandra, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor with Varun Dhawan during a promotional event, in Mumbai.

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Comedian, and Chairman of the UP Film Vikas Parishad, Raju Srivastava sprays sanitizer on the hands of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister K P Maurya during the inauguration of his office at the new building of Information Department in Lucknow.

PTI Photo/Nand Kumar

Actress Kiara Advani poses for photographers during the Red Carpet premiere of film Laxmii, in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Vijay Verma

Actors Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani pose for photographers during the Red Carpet premiere of film Laxmii, in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Vijay Verma

Actors Akshay Kumar, Kiara Advani, Tusshar Kapoor and transgender rights activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi pose for photographers during the Red Carpet premiere of film Laxmii, in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Vijay Verma

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh spotted at Dadar in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actors Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan pose for photographs at Juhu in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Nupur Sanon spotted at Juhu in Mumbai.

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As one of Bollywood’s main influencers of youth, there’s no setting of Alia Bhatt’s warmth-exuding sun. For proof, go no further than her range of smiles now playing on primetime TV and soon, we hope, in theatres: coyly confidential, alluringly goofy, campily seductive,,,the girl with the fey charm has us eating outta her hand. A similar variety, duly noted by all, can be seen in her fashion sense. This Georges Hobeika checkered dress with a cape might have won someone else a place as an extra in a Marvel movie. Alia, looking expectantly askance, a subterranean smile about to bubble through, looks delectable. Scouts of European modelling agencies should fall at her feet.

It’s one thing for acknowledged experts to teach their craft to wide-eyed acolytes—Scorcese teaching film directing, say, or Sir Ian McKellen stage acting. It’s another thing to take up teaching to hone one’s skills. That early move by Rajkummar Rao—one of our finest young actors—showed commitment towards long-term planning and determination. As friends signed up for call centre work, Rajkummar trotted up to Gurgaon’s KV School to set up a play for them. He experienced a steep learning curve and the affection of students. Is he showing off some newly-acquired heft on his biceps in this T-shirt? Watch the magic of his intelligent machismo in the upcoming Chhalaang.

Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor spotted in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Padmini Kolhapure poses for a photograph during her birthday celebration, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Padmini Kolhapure (C) celebrates her birthday with her son Priyank Sharma (4L), niece Shraddha Kapoor (3R) and other family members, in Mumbai.

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In this file photo shows actor Sean Connery during a news conference in Hamburg, Germany. Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family.

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Bollywood actress Kajal Aggarwal during her pre-wedding function, in Mumbai.

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They wrote some of the best books, composed some of the best music, made some of the best movies—could it be that folks in the ’50s and ’60s designed the hottest bikinis too? Before you turn up your nose at this serious conjecture, you need to solve this puzzle: how come in the age of the slinkiest, skimpiest two-pieces, every once in a while we run into a vintage thing that outperforms all? Neha Sharma does heighten the effect with this half-submerged pose—look at how the water closes around her, perfectly framing her face—but the real heroine of the piece is that white oldie. Revisit those Marilyn photoshoots, or Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity. You’ll appreciate our point.

We were deflated, we confess, to stumble upon the news, months back, of Sanjay Dutt’s grave illness. How many more trials, we wondered, has destiny in store for this talented, sensitive, deeply-flawed man. Therefore, we rejoice in the news, shared by the grizzled, brawny, 61-year-old himself on the occasion of his sons’ birthday, that this wiliest of maladies—the Emperor, no less—has had to accept defeat. Thanks were given to doctors and nurses, to well-wishers and fans. Lined up for release are four films: KGF: Chapter 2, Bhuj: The Pride of India, Prithviraj and Torbaaz. Sanjay deserves to hit them for a four in the same, victorious sweep.

Actor-director Puneet Issar with his producer-son Siddharth Issar during the poster and music launch of the upcoming film 'Sanghaar- The Massacre', in New Delhi.

PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore

Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan spotted at Juhu, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Urvashi Rautela poses for photographs, in Mumbai.

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NCB personnel take TV actress Preetika Chauhan and another accused to a court for their alleged involvement in a drugs case, in Mumbai.

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Actress and Trinamool Congress MP Nusrat Jahan (2nd R) and her husband Nikhil Jain (L) take part in 'Maha Aastami' celebrations at a community Durga Puja pandal, in Kolkata.

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Actress and Trinamool Congress MP Nusrat Jahan (2nd R) along with other women as she takes part in 'Maha Aastami' celebrations at a community Durga Puja pandal, in Kolkata.

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The Black Eyed Peas arrive at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

Jim Rassol/Invision/AP

Jesus Navarro, Julio Ramirez Eguia and Bibi Marin of Reik arrive at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

Jim Rassol/Invision/AP