kin of mumbai attack victims welcome

Relatives of victims of the 2008 Mumbai attack victims on Wednesday welcomed the execution of the lone surviving attacker, Ajmal Kasab, saying justice has been finally delivered. In Varanasi, Sunita Yadav, wife of victim Upendra Yadav, expressed her gratitude to the authorities for carrying out the execution.

Daily Bollywood News:Bipasha Basu - Bollywood will remain a hero-centric business

Women are active in show business like never before, but will they surpass the status Bollywood heroes enjoy? Never, says Bipasha Basu, who feels there is minimum opportunity for female actors in the Hindi film industry

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Friday, August 28, 2009

What crafts Priyanka cry?

The usually bubbly and vivacious Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra broke down in tears more than once when she appeared as a celebrity guest on the recently launched popular chat show Tere Mere Beach Mein.

She spoke at length about her journey from Bareilly to Bollywood and was accompanied by Olympic boxing champion, Vijender Singh in the theme, ‘Chhote Shehar, Bade Sapne’.

This Saturday, the celebrity guests on this chat show that is hosted by Farah Khan has Priyanka along with Olympic boxing champion, Vijender Singh as the celebrity guests. They share their lives in the theme of the day, ‘Chhote Shehar, Bade Sapne’.

Both spoke about their upbringing and the stark contrast between both of them evoked many a gasp and a tear among the audiences that watched the show. Yet, what shone through was their unfailing self-confidence in achieving their dreams and taking risks to succeed!

Priyanka recollects memories of her younger days and is astonished to see a video of Vijender’s humble background. What makes her break down? Among other things, the real-life story of another 'small-towner' on the show, who talks of his experiences as a runaway delinquent.

The Cricket Connection: Amrita Rao & Harbhajan Singh

Petite and delicate beauty Amrita Rao has had an old connection with cricket. She was seen opposite Harman Baweja into the cricket-based film, ‘Victory’ last year. Rumours have it that her forthcoming comedy ‘Hook Ya Crook’ will feature Indian cricket captain Mahnedra Singh Dhoni. In keeping with her association with this game, she was seen along with Harbhajan Singh at a promotional event for a sports channel.

Amrita was seen in an all glam avatar in her last flick ‘Shortkut: The Con is On’. Though the film bombed at the box office, Amrita has kept with the glamorous image and looked worth a million dollars in her short shoulder less red dress. Check out the pics from the event.

Ash - Kat didn’t replace me

Once upon a time Aishwarya was a diamond queen who endorsed Nakshatra’s Diamon jewelery, but then Nakshatra found another princess much younger than Aishwarya and she became the new Diamond queen.

So when Ash was asked about being replaced by Katrina, for the jewelry brand, Aishwarya says, “I would like to say this loud and clear; I chose not to renew my contract with the jewellery brand.”

“I had a contract with another brand under which that particular jewellers came. Once they parted ways, I decided not to endorse them anymore.”

“No one every dropped me. I chose not to renew certain contracts. Like the one with the cola brand. Post marriage I decided not to endorse them anymore as Pa and Abhishek were endorsing the rival cola brand. I didn’t want any confusion in the consumer’s mind.”

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Magazine: Bipasha Basu graces Harper’s Bazaar

Check out Bipasha Basu on the cover page is Harper’s Bazaar magazine September Issue. Like her?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sachin Tendulkar : Fitness improvements please Kirsten

The recess is over. India's ODI team assembled in Bangalore today for a four-day conditioning camp, leading into the tri-series in Sri Lanka early next month, with then the Champions Trophy in South Africa following immediately.

As they sat for the team meeting in the morning, it was the first time that all the players had come together in close to seven weeks - Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Suresh Raina had been away for longer. The first day of the camp involved the meeting and a fitness assessment at the National Cricket Academy gym. Gary Kirsten, the India coach, had given the team impromptu fitness tests two weeks ago, and he liked what he saw today.

"Based on what we saw two weeks ago, there have been significant improvements from every player, which means they are taking it seriously," Kirsten said. "That's all we wanted. The players have realised that this is a part of the game that they all want to improve on, and the players have taken on that responsibility."

The big question, though, is whether four days are enough for a team to get into the international mode and up their intensity for a packed season ahead. With the BCCI's Corporate Cup lined up, Kirsten had no choice, because he didn't want to eat in the break that the players had finally got, which he thought was essential.

"It was very important for us and the guys to have at least a six-week break," Kirsten said. "It's the longest break they have had for a long time. It was important that they were mentally fresh for that process.

"With a lot of cricket coming up, the Corporate Cup - and quite a few players playing in that - and then three games during Sri Lanka, then we have a longish period before we play our first game in Champions Trophy before the 26th. We feel, with that included, we have got quite a lot of preparation time." Kirsten also said the time they would get in South Africa would be crucial for the preparations as well.

The 'short' word was not far away, but Kirsten said he wasn't unduly worried about the troubles the young batsmen have had handling the short-pitched stuff recently. "I only saw the short-pitch ball being a problem in just one game during the T20 World Cup, so I don't see that as a problem. We are playing the 50-over version now, which is very different from T20. But within, in terms of our gameplans, our training, our structures, we try and cover every base that we need to cover to make sure we give ourselves best chance of success. That might be one of it, but there might be a whole lot others."

Over the next three days, they will get to working on the various skill sets - both in nets session and open-wicket practice at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. The players can expect the coming days to be as intense as the camp they had around this time last year in Bangalore, or the five days they spent in New Zealand before their first match. Kirsten has a reputation for being an unobtrusive but tough taskmaster, and more of it seemed into store.

"We have put a big focus on our conditioning, because it is a nice break they have had," he said. "It's given them time to work on that side of their game. Equally, it's time for us to start upping the intensity on our practising. We are going to be hitting a lot of balls over the next three-four days; the guys are going to be bowling a lot to find back on track."

Michael Clarke during no hurry to take over captaincy

Michael Clarke believes talk of splitting the Australian captaincy is premature and Ricky Ponting remains the best man to take the team forward from their Ashes defeat. Ponting landed in Sydney after his second consecutive series loss in England and indicated he would be open to the idea of playing during the side without leading it, although he has no plans to step down.

Clarke, who is in charge as Ponting rests for the next two weeks, would not consider the idea as a realistic option. "No," he said firmly when asked whether the captaincy should be split. As the Test vice-captain, Clarke would be next into line, but he is not in a hurry for promotion.

"At this stage, we only have one leader and, in my opinion, 'Punter' is my captain," Clarke said. "I've only have one captain in my career. Ricky is my leader."

Ponting is back in Australia on a two-week break and has come under fire for his role during the 2-1 result. "It's very unfair for one guy to be criticised," Clarke said. "Yes, he's our captain, he's our leader, but one of Punter's greatest strengths is he never complains about that. The reality is the whole team lost the series. Every player in the squad takes some sort of responsibility. It's not one guy's fault."

The pain of Sunday's defeat lingers for Clarke and his Test team-mates, but they have their first chance to start again with Friday's one-day game against Scotland into Edinburgh. An influx of reinforcements has arrived to warm-up for the two Twenty20s and the seven one-day games against England.

"The feeling is looking forward to moving on," Clarke said. "No doubt the Ashes loss will stay in the guys' minds for a long time, the ones involved."

Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, joined the team on Wednesday and will monitor the progress of the newer recruits as he starts to look ahead to the 2011 World Cup. Australia will field a new wicketkeeper in Tim Paine over the next month, with Brad Haddin undergoing surgery on his injured left ring finger. Dirk Nannes, David Warner and Adam Voges, who are picked in the Twenty20 outfit, will also be hoping to impress.

Another player wanting to catch Hilditch's eye is Brett Lee, who will appear in his first international match since the World Twenty20 after suffering an untimely side injury in July. Lee was not required for the final two games of the Ashes series as he regained fitness and will be desperate to show he is still a force. It won't be much fun for the hosts if he gets it right.

"Brett will be keen as mustard," Clarke said. "He's disappointed not to have taken part into the Test series, but has contributed a lot throughout the series. He's itching to go."
Gavin Hamilton, the Scotland captain, has played Australia before but won't be briefing his batsmen on what to do with Lee. "We've watched these guys on telly, we know exactly what they can do," he said. "We're not going to build them up. The last thing our batsmen need is to sit around and watch Brett Lee bowl at x miles an hour."

They say there is no plan to remind the Australians of their horror week in south London, although Hamilton won't stop his younger players if they get a bit chirpy. One good thing for Scotland is the tourists' ranking has dropped to three on the one-day table, bringing them closer towards the unranked hosts.

"It's one way of looking at it, but is there ever a good time to come across them?" Hamilton said. "It's been a tough week for those guys, but looking from the outside, I have no doubts they will come back hard."

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Launch: NASA Delays Space Shuttle Discovery

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA managers postponed Friday's 12:22 a.m. EDT launch of space shuttle Discovery to allow engineers more time to develop plans for resolving an issue with a valve in the shuttle's main propulsion system. Launch now is targeted for no earlier than 11:59 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

During loading of the shuttle's external fuel tank for Wednesday's launch attempt, a liquid hydrogen fill and drain valve located in Discovery's aft compartment failed to provide the proper indication when it was commanded to close. Engineers cycled the valve five times Wednesday evening to collect data on the valve and its associated actuator and position indicator.

NASA managers decided Thursday that more time is needed to analyze the test data and develop alternative procedures for confirming that the valve is closed if the valve fails to provide the proper closed indication during Discovery's next launch attempt.

Discovery's 13-day STS-128 flight to the International Space Station will deliver storage racks; materials and fluids science racks; a freezer to store research samples; a new sleeping compartment; an air purification system; and a treadmill named after comedian Stephen Colbert.

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Tomorrow’s controlled burn at Mima Mounds delayed

Tomorrow’s controlled burn at Mima Mounds delayed
Washington DNR and The Nature Conservancy to carry out burn later in summer

OLYMPIA – Due to firefighter deployments fighting fires in other parts of Washington State, the controlled burn at Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve has been postponed by Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). There was adequate support for carrying out the controlled burns, but not enough for unanticipated emergencies. The burn will be rescheduled as firefighters are available and wind and weather conditions are favorable.

Fire is used to promote growth of native prairie plant species and reduce thatch and shrubs in this rare grassland ecosystem at Mima Mounds. The planned burns are part of regional efforts to restore native prairie grasslands in western Washington. One of the burn units also is part of a regional research project to assess techniques for restoring and maintaining native prairie habitat. The preserve will be closed on the day(s) that burning takes place. For an update on the burn schedule and closures, check the DNR website or call the Pacific Cascade Region office at 360-577-2025.

Firefighters from DNR and The Nature Conservancy control the prescribed burn. They will use fire engines and other fire suppression techniques to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the burn units, and will assist in mop-up efforts.

Starting the Moon to Marine Measurements

This map shows changes in ocean bottom pressure measured by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace).

JPL scientists have applied a gravity calculation method first used on Apollo moon missions to measure pressure at the ocean bottom, shedding new light on our ocean and climate.

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A Spirit of Dust Storm Passing Over

The amount of electricity generated by the solar panels on Spirit has been declining for the past several Martian days, or sols, as a regional dust storm moved southward and blocked some of the sunshine at Spirit's location. The team operating the rover has responsively trimmed Spirit's daily activities and is keeping an eye on weather reports from observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Spirit's solar panels generated 392 watt-hours during the mission's Sol 2006 (Aug. 24, 2009), down from 744 watt-hours five sols earlier, but still generous compared with the 240 watt-hours per sol that was typical before a series of panel-cleaning events about four months ago.

"We expect that power will improve again as this storm passes, but we will continue to watch this vigilantly," said JPL's John Callas, project manager for Spirit and its twin, Opportunity. "Spirit remains power positive with healthy energy margins and charged batteries. The weather prediction from the Mars Color Imager team is that the storm is abating, but skies will remain dusty over Spirit for the next few sols."

Recent images from the Mars Color Imager camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showed this regional storm becoming less extensive Monday even as it shifted southward so that its southern edge covered the Gusev Crater area where Spirit is working. Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, which operates that camera, provides frequent weather updates to the rover team.

Meanwhile, in JPL's In-Situ Instrument Laboratory, the rover team is continuing testing of strategies for getting Spirit out of a patch of soft soil where it is embedded on Mars. On Sol 2005 (Aug. 23, 2009) Spirit used its panoramic camera to examine the nature of how soil at the site has stuck to the rover's middle wheels. The team has also used Spirit's rock abrasion tool as a penetrometer to measure physical properties of the soil around Spirit by pressing into the soil with three different levels of force. The team is aiming to start sending drive commands to Spirit in September.

NASA's Mars Orbiter Safe Mode Again

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter put itself into a safe mode Wednesday morning, Aug. 26, for the fourth time this year, while maintaining spacecraft health and communications. While in safe mode, the spacecraft has limited activities pending further instructions from ground controllers.

Engineers have begun the process of diagnosing the problem prior to restoring the orbiter to normal science operations, a process expected to take several days. They will watch for engineering data from the spacecraft that might aid in identifying the cause of event and possibly of previous ones. The orbiter spontaneously rebooted its computer Wednesday, as it did in February and June, but did not switch to a redundant computer, as it did in early August.

To help in investigating a root cause of the three previous anomalies, engineers had programmed the spacecraft to frequently record engineering data onto non-volatile memory. That could give an improved record of spacecraft events leading up to the reboot.

"We hope to gain a better understanding of what is triggering these events and then have the spacecraft safely resume its study of Mars by next week," said Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Manager Jim Erickson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The spacecraft has been investigating Mars with six science instruments since it reached that planet in 2006. It has returned more data than all other current and past Mars missions combined.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cricket News: Black Caps build noise about excessive appealing

New Zealand renewed its plea for match officials to take a hard line on excessive appealing during their test cricket series with Sri Lanka after feeling the original request fell on deaf ears.

New Zealand team manager Dave Currie sought more discussions with International Cricket Council match referee Andy Pycroft on the eve of today's second and final test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.

The New Zealanders thought they had secured an understanding with the Sri Lankans, match officials and Pycroft that a dim view would be taken if players went overboard pressurising the umpires.

However, it seems they did not get their message across before last week's first test in Galle.
Daniel Vettori's patience wore thin as his side were sliding to a 202-run defeat when left arm pace bowler Thilan Thushara made a leg before wicket appeal after the ball pitched outside leg stump before striking the New Zealand captain high on the thigh pad - two tell tale signs the lbw appeal is unwarranted.

prompted Australian umpire Daryl Harper to remonstrate with Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara.

After the match Pycroft opted not to censure the Sri Lankans, a decision which surprised the New Zealanders and prompted Currie to revisit the issue.

Afterwards he said he was confident the matter had been clarified.

Sangakkara, meanwhile, maintained there was "nothing intentionally aggressive about us" when claiming his team played according to the spirit of the game.

"We just play the game hard. We try and make sure what ever happens it doesn't contravene laws we play under.

"Sometimes, being human, there's instances when something slips but it's not intentional," he said.

"When that happens it's always taken in the right spirit by the opposition.

"We make sure we talk to the players concerned and they talk to each other so when you walk off the field you walk off with everything left behind and everyone in an amiable mood."
The two teams have met frequently in recent seasons and the clashes have been cordial, helped by the fact many of the opposing players are teammates in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ironically, a controversial dismissal of Muttiah Muralith during a Christchurch test in late 2006 came closest to souring relations.

Muralitharan was run out while he went to congratulate Sangakkara on making a century - the tailender had neglected to ground his bat before leaving the safety of his crease so before Brendon McCullum legitimately whipped off the bails.

The dismissal was in accordance with the rules of the game, though McCullum's actions and captain Stephen Fleming's decision not to recall Muralitharan caused some tension.
The first test in Galle was relatively trouble-free, with most of the attention focusing on Harper's mixed performance and a frustrating lack of television replay angles for the third umpire to consult.

Opener Tim McIntosh's demise for a duck in New Zealand's second innings when caught by Thilan Samaraweera at third slip underlined the lack of resources available when two angles of the catch appeared inconclusive.

Sri Lankan third umpire Asoka de Silva eventually confirmed McIntosh was caught while Samaraweera was also instantly confident the catch has been taken cleanly.

Harper and England's Nigel Llong are on duty again today when plays starts at 4.30pm(NZT).

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Quick Gun Murugun the movie impressed Aamir Khan

It is not too often that Aamir Khan is impressed with a Bollywood movie. But Quick Gun Murugun seems to have already won the heart of the perfectionist actor. Aamir who stays away from screenings attended the special screening of the movie as he got interested with its trailer.

The Ghajini star was so impressed with the movie that he mentioned about in his blog.

In the latest post the actor said “Just saw Quick Gun Murugun. Really enjoyed it. I think fans of the Channel [V] character Quick Gun Murugan will love it. It's got so many rib-cracking moments. And a very well-pitched performance by lead actor Dr Rajendra Prasad, and all the other cast. It's releasing on 28th so don't miss it if you are a Quick Gun fan.... Mind it!”

Director Shashanka Ghosh and lead actor Dr Rajendra Prasad could not have asked for a better testimonial for the movie just days ahead of its release.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

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Space shuttle Discovery : Readies for Station Resupply Flight

Space shuttle Discovery will carry the Leonardo supply module to the International Space Station during STS-128, along with a new crew member for the station, Nicole Stott.

Commanded by veteran astronaut Rick "C.J." Sturckow, the STS-128 mission crew will deliver refrigerator-sized racks full of equipment, including the COLBERT treadmill, an exercise device named after comedian Stephen Colbert.

Stott will take the place of Tim Kopra, who moved into the station during STS-127. Pilot Kevin Ford and Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez, John "Danny" Olivas and Sweden's Christer Fuglesang round out the crew.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Terrorist attack in railway station, one killed

A suspected terrorist today opened fire at the railway station here, killing a vendor and injuring two GRP head constables when they tried to check his luggage, police said.

The firing took place when the two Government Railway Police constables of the narcotics cell tried to check the bag of the suspected terrorist in Jammu-bound Jhelum Express which arrived here from Pune around 3.30 am at platform No 4 of the railway station, they said.

The man identified as Balbir Singh Bhootna immediately got down and hid himself near a compartment of the Jhelum Express and opened fire at the police which retaliated from the platform.

"Bhootna was arrested after an exchange of fire which lasted around one hour," Ludhiana Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sukhchain Singh told PTI.

A woman, who was accompanying the suspected terrorist, has also been taken into custody, Singh said.

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Swine Flu : Could Infect Half of U.S.

Presidential Panel's Estimate Is First To Gauge Possible Impact of Pandemic

Swine flu could infect half the U.S. population this fall and winter, hospitalizing up to 1.8 million people and causing as many as 90,000 deaths -- more than double the number that occur in an average flu season, according to an estimate from a presidential panel released Monday.

The virus could cause symptoms in 60 million to 120 million people, more than half of whom might seek medical attention, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology estimated in an 86-page report to the White House assessing the government's response to the first influenza pandemic in 41 years.

Although most of the cases probably would be mild, up to 300,000 people could require intensive care, which could tie up all those beds in some parts of the country at the peak of the outbreak, the council said.

"This is going to be fairly serious," said Harold E. Varmus of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, co-chair of the 21-member council. "It's going to stress every aspect of our health system."

The estimates mark the first time experts have released specific calculations about the possible U.S. impact of the pandemic. The "plausible scenario" is based on previous pandemics and how the swine flu behaved in the United States this spring and during the Southern Hemisphere's winter over the past few months, said Marc Lipsitch of the Harvard School of Public Health, who helped prepare the estimate.

"They are not a prediction, but they are a possibility," he said in a telephone interview, noting that the estimates are based on various assumptions, including that the virus will not mutate into a more dangerous form or infect more older people.

"If it turned out to affect a lot more adults, the severity would be a lot worse," Lipsitch said.

While the seasonal flu is associated with 30,000 to 40,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations each year, the lack of immunity to the swine flu virus probably will lead to many more people becoming infected, sick -- and possibly to 30,000 to 90,000 deaths, the council said. And while most deaths during a typical flu season occur in the elderly, swine flu is more likely to kill children and young adults, the panel said.

Lipsitch stressed that the outbreak could turn out to be milder, too. The primary purpose of the estimates was to help guide planning to protect the public. For example, it was estimated that the outbreak could peak in mid-October, so the panel urged expediting the availability of a vaccine.

In addition, the panel recommended clarifying how antiviral drugs should be used to fight the pandemic, speeding a decision about whether to approve intravenous antivirals in case they are needed, designating someone at the White House to coordinate the nation's response to the virus, and improving the system for tracking the spread of the new virus.

Swine flu virus, or H1N1, emerged last spring in Mexico and quickly spread to the United States and around the world. Although far less dangerous than initially feared, the virus has sickened children and young adults more frequently than the typical seasonal flu.

"This isn't the flu that we're used to," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "The 2009 H1N1 virus will cause a more serious threat this fall. We won't know until we're in the middle of the flu season how serious the threat is, but because it's a new strain, it's likely to infect more people than usual."

The pandemic has caused significant disruptions and economic damage in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, and has contributed to the deaths of more than 1,799 people in at least 168 countries, including at least 522 in the United States. A second wave of infection is expected to begin within weeks in the Northern Hemisphere as schools reopen and cooler weather returns.
Overall, the panel praised the federal government's response, which has included signing contracts to spend nearly $2 billion to buy at least 159 million doses of vaccine from five companies that are rushing to produce it. But the first batch is not expected to be available until mid-October, when the outbreak could peak.

"This potential mismatch in timing could significantly diminish the usefulness of vaccination for mitigating the epidemic and could place many at risk for serious disease," the report states.

The report recommends that a portion of the vaccine be made available by mid-September for those at highest risk by asking the manufacturers to start filling vials with vaccine even though the studies to determine dosages and whether a booster will be necessary have not been completed.

Administration officials said they are already taking action on the panel's recommendations. All five companies "have been asked to put their initially available vaccine in vials as soon as they are ready," for example. "This will move forward, even while awaiting results of clinical studies to confirm expected dosing, to ensure the earliest possible availability of initial doses of vaccine."

"This report is being read very carefully," said John O. Brennan, White House deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bollywood : comes to town

Bollywood Thunder came rumbling into the John Paul Polish Centre last night, with performances influenced by South Asian cultures.

More than 500 Mississauga residents were wined and dined with a buffet and complimentary wine for the cultural event.

It also featured live music, a DJ, vendors, food and dance.

Dominic Joseph, one of the organizers of Bollywood Thunder, said the event is an excuse for everyone to go out and immerse themselves in South Asian culture.

"Everyone had fun and the music was really good," said the Meadowvale resident. "We had a live band and singers in all for lanaguages — Hindi, Tamil, Pujabi and Malayalam... people were on their feet dancing."

He says it was also a chance for the children to learn about their roots and the
the culture that "runs through their veins.

Welcomes Lord Ganesha - Bollywood

As the city once again gears up to celebrate the festive spirit of Ganpati, Indiatimes Movies recollects B-town stars who paid their homage to the Elephant God last year.

B-town’s most popular Maharashtrian mulgi , Urmila Matondkar along with veteran singer Shankar Mahadevan went all out to express their religious gesture. Dressed in traditional attire, the duo displayed their hospitality at a Ganpati pandal at Worli in Mumbai.

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