Bollywood controversy

First ‘Simran’ and then ‘Manikarnika’: This is Kangana Ranaut’s good-bad week

In a legal notice, Ketan Mehta has accused the actress of hijacking his project ‘Rani of Jhansi – The Warrior Queen’.

Kangana Ranaut is fighting on two fronts at the moment. She is defending herself from having taken undue writing and story credits for her upcoming film Simran. Another movie starring the Queen and Tanu Weds Manu actress is the subject of a legal notice by Ketan Mehta. The filmmaker has claimed that Ranaut stole a project that he had planned to direct with her and started work on the idea with another producer.

The project in question was launched as Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, through a 20-foot tall poster and a dip in the Ganga in Varanasi earlier this month.

Manikarnika is being produced by Zee Studios and Kamal Jain and directed by Krish, who has previously made Gamyam, Gabbar and Kanche. Mehta told The Indian Express in an interview that Ranaut had agreed to star as the nineteenth-century queen a year-and-a-half ago. The film, titled Rani of Jhansi – The Warrior Queen, was meant to have an English version too.

Mehta said that he was shocked to read that Ranaut had announced the film with Jain, who was allegedly a prospective co-producer on the original Rani of Jhansi film. “We had shared several drafts of the script, all the visual material and references of the film and designs over a period of time with her,” Mehta said. “We had already tied up with an international co-producer and we’re looking out for an Indian co-producer.”

The development comes on the heels of the Simran controversy. Hansal Mehta’s upcoming movie is about a Gujarati housewife in America who becomes a criminal. The September 15 release is loosely based on a BBC profile of an Indian-American nurse named Sandeep Kaur, who became a bank robber to support herself.

Apurva Asrani, who has collaborated on the writing and editing of five of Hansal Mehta’s films, has accused Ranaut of eating into his contributions to Simran. Asrani is credited with the film’s story, screenplay and dialogue, while Ranaut has “additional story and dialogue credit”.

In an interview to the Mumbai Mirror tabloid, Asrani claimed, “I didn’t know that Hansal had promised Kangana part of the writing credit till I had finished the edit. By the time I got to know, the announcement had been made.” Asrani was dropped as the editor of Simran after the interview.

Kangana Ranaut and Hansal Mehta on the sets of Simran.
Kangana Ranaut and Hansal Mehta on the sets of Simran.

A Facebook post in which Asrani asked Hansal Mehta, who had chosen to stay silent all along, to “show some spine” finally evoked reactions from Simran’s producer Shailesh Singh, Ranaut and Mehta. Shailesh Singh said in a press release, “Apurva has a legal document in his possession signed by all parties — Kangana, Hansal, the producers and himself wherein he agrees to the credits given by us.” Singh claimed that a “printing error” was the reason for the order in which the credits appeared on the film poster. “If this is about him versus Kangana, I want to clarify that to please an actress; I’d have paid her more… Once the film hits screens, we will release the script online for the world to judge,” he said.

Ranaut told the Huffington Post that she hadn’t stolen anybody’s work, and didn’t want to be short-changed for her alleged contributions to Simran. “Nobody can take away from the fact that if Simran today is a story of a divorced woman, it’s entirely introduced by me,” she said in the interview. “If the film has feminist undercurrents, I included that... Even Apurva cannot take away from that, why should I be giving my precious time when I already have other commitments.”

Hansal Mehta too finally broke his silence and put out a series of tweets, declaring that “My spine is whatever it is, weak or strong.” The last word on the subject hasn’t been said yet.

Hansal Mehta's tweet.
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The quirks and perks of travelling with your hard to impress mom

We must admit that the jar of pickle always comes in handy.

A year ago, Priyanka, a 26-year-old banking professional, was packing her light-weight duffel bag for an upcoming international trip. Keen to explore the place, she wanted to travel light and fuss free. It was not meant to be. For Priyanka was travelling with her mother, and that meant carrying at least two extra suitcases packed with odds and ends for any eventuality just short of a nuclear war.

Bothered by the extra suitcases that she had to lug around full of snacks and back-up woollens, Priyanka grew frustrated with her mother. However, one day, while out for some sight-seeing Priyanka and her family were famished but there were no decent restaurants in sight. That’s when her mum’s ‘food bag’ came to the rescue. Full of juice boxes, biscuits and sandwiches, her mother had remembered to pack snacks from the hotel for their day out. Towards the end of the trip, Priyanka was grateful to her mother for all her arrangements, especially the extra bag she carried for Priyanka’s shopping.

Priyanka’s story isn’t an isolated one. We spoke to many people about their mother’s travel quirks and habits and weren’t surprised at some of the themes that were consistent across all the travel memoirs.

Indian mothers are always prepared

“My mom keeps the packed suitcases in the hallway one day before our flight date. She will carry multiple print-outs of the flight tickets because she doesn’t trust smartphone batteries. She also never forgets to carry a medical kit for all sorts of illnesses and allergies”, says Shruti, a 27-year-old professional. When asked if the medical kit was helpful during the trip, she answered “All the time”, in a tone that marvelled at her mother’s clairvoyance.

Some of the many things a mother packs in her travel bags. Source: Google Images
Some of the many things a mother packs in her travel bags. Source: Google Images

Indian mothers love to feel at home, and create the same experience for their family, wherever they are

“My mother has a very strange idea of the kind of food you get in foreign lands, so she always packs multiple packets of khakra and poha for our trips. She also has a habit of carrying her favourite teabags to last the entire trip”, relates Kanchan, a marketing professional who is a frequent international flier often accompanied by her mother. Kanchan’s mother, who is very choosy about her tea, was therefore delighted when she was served a hot cup of garam chai on her recent flight to Frankfurt. She is just like many Indian mothers who love to be reminded of home wherever they are and often strive to organise their hotel rooms to give them the coziness of a home.

Most importantly, Indian mothers are tough, especially when it comes to food

Take for instance, the case of Piyush, who recalls, “We went to this fine dining restaurant and my mother kept quizzing the waiter about the ingredients and the method of preparation of a dish. She believed that once she understood the technique, she would be able to make a better version of the dish just so she could pamper me!”

Indian mothers are extremely particular about food – from the way its cooked, to the way it smells and tastes. Foreign delicacies are only allowed to be consumed if they fulfil all the criteria set by Mom i.e. is it good enough for my children to consume?

An approval from an Indian mother is a testament to great quality and great taste. In recognition of the discerning nature of an Indian mum and as a part of their ‘More Indian Than You Think’ commitment, Lufthansa has tailored their in-flight experiences to surpass even her exacting standards. Greeted with a namaste and served by an Indian crew, the passengers feel right at home as they relish the authentic Indian meals and unwind with a cup of garam chai, the perfect accompaniment to go with a variety of Indian entertainment available in the flight. As Lufthansa’s in-flight offerings show, a big part of the brand is inherently Indian because of its relationship with the country spanning over decades.

To see how Lufthansa has internalised the Indian spirit and become the airline of choice for flyers looking for a great Indian experience, watch the video below.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.