PeepingSpecial 2018 Half Yearly Newsmakers: Sridevi demise, Priyanka-Nick dating, SoNand wedding & more

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Keen observers of Bollywood gossip would recall some major news ‘bombs’ exploding in the showbiz space usually reserved for entertainment and candids from flamboyant soirees. Whether it was the political brouhaha surrounding Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s masterstroke Padmaavat that pushed the period drama’s release date to uncertainty, actors Irrfan and Sonali Bendre being diagnosed with the ‘Big C’ or Priyanka Chopra taking a dip in the Jonas jewel pool – B-town has had quite many headlines dedicated to its panjandrums in the first half of 2018.

Here are 20 such Newsmakers with an enduring effect:

JANUARY

Padmaavat controversy- Karni Sena  

Bhansali’s labour of love found itself in the eye of the storm after the Karni Sena, an organization of the Rajput community, urged a nationwide ban on the historical drama claiming ‘distortion of facts.’ SLB  also appeared before a Parliamentary committee and maintained that the row was just based on rumours, strongly rejecting charges that he had distorted "historical" facts about the possibly mythological Rajput queen, played by Deepika Padukone in the film. The row took a turn for the worse when threats were issued against Bhansali and Padukone.

With a clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification and Padmavati finally released as Padmaavat on January 25. Bidding goodbye to conjecture around, Bhansali and co. recorded great moolah, impressing the classes and masses, sending Sena home.

#MeToo campaign worldwide

Hollywood has been shaken by its shoulders since the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal. In response to allegations against the film tycoon, actress Alyssa Milano’s tweet reproduced the #MeToo campaign. The tweet read as, “Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem,” she said.

The hashtag saw millions of women coming forward and voicing their tumultuous encounters. Women from every corner of the world, including bigwigs like Lady Gaga, tweeted and shared stories of their abuse.

Moreover, despite its women-centric nature, the movement branched out to the inclusion of queer and male experiences too. Al of this strongly established the dire need of attention and introspection to the issue.

Deepika Padukone’s impending wedding with Ranveer 

Virat Kohli - Anushka Sharma are living their happily ever after and looks like Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone are all set to join the club! DeepVeer, as the couple is fondly called, took off to an exotic island to ring the actress’ birthday! But guess what, birdies of Bollywood chirped out a supposed exchange of rings between Singh and Padukone and if sources are to be believed a November wedding in on the cards too.

Of course, no official confirmations yet but sources in the know inform that Ranveer is not allotting his dates between November -December to anybody and Deepika hasn't signed any dotted line just yet. Hint much?

Taimur Ali Khan - Always a newsmaker

He gets it from his yummy mummy! Born into the royal lineage of the Pataudis, (Nawab) Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s son commands attention regardless of his presence. Agreed, the one-year-old is no worthy of making ‘news.’ But, you have absolutely no power with those chubby cheeks, rosy lips, curly hair and lovely light blue eyes! I mean, look at these photographs

Never perhaps, in the history of Bollywood, has a baby boy had so much of attention being thrown his way! But Taimur…Taimur is a delightful darling and every picture of the Kapoor scion sends social media into a tizzy until the next one surfaces!

‘The most gorgeous man on this side of the Earth.’

FEBURARY

Sridevi’s Demise 

How could she go suddenly? It’s strange to talk about her in the past tense because magic never dies, right? Born with a natural instinct for the camera, acting chops only sharpened over the years, Sridevi was truly the best thing that ever happened to the Indian cinema. Name one actor, who has spent more years facing the camera than…playing in their growing years or posing for Instagram uploads. We will end this piece right here! Sridevi began facing the camera at a tender age of 4.

300 films later, the actress attended a family wedding in Dubai and left for her heavenly journey soon after. Accidental drowning, the cause of her sudden demise. But, Sridevi lives on. Magic continues.

PadMan – Akshay's Sanitary Pads campaign 

Inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, Twinkle Khanna first found inspiration for her second book and eventually gave birth to PadMan. Starring her husband Akshay Kumar in the lead, the film injected fresh blood in the stream of spreading awareness through cinema. Besides, the in-your-face endorsements by celebrities holding sanitary napkins on social media sparked a movement of sorts. Shed your inhibitions and rid yourselves of all the taboo surrounding menstruation was the message nailed straight in every viewer's mind.

Money and message, both transpired well.

Sara Ali Khan's debut drama

After Sharmila Tagore, Saif Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan, the third generation of the Pataudis is all set to enter Bollywood. It was rumoured that Sara Ali Khan, Saif’s daughter with first wife Amrita Singh, would be launched by Karan Johar. However, her debut was announced with Abhishek Kapoor's Kedarnath opposite Sushant Singh Rajput. But owing to the differences between Abhishek and co-producer Prernaa Arora of KriArj Entertainment, the shooting was stalled leaving Sara’s debut in troubled waters.

In the meantime, daddy Saif pulled some strings and Sara landed KJo and Rohit  Shetty’s upcoming, Simmba, starring Ranveer Singh. But Kedarnath had steered clear, bouncing back on track. Again, enter Papa Pataudi. The Chef star sorted out the date issues, and Sara will soon start shooting with Ranveer

MARCH

Irrfan diagnosed with a rare disease 

Irrfan is a rarity in his own self. Barring a few, Irrfan enjoys the privilege of being the only one who gets penned in each critic’s good books every Friday. We are used to Irrfan sweeping us off our feet but he literally he shifted the earth beneath our feet when he went public with his diagnosis of a ‘rare disease.’ Tongues wagged, “rumour mills and sources” suggested the powerhouse was taken down by brain tumour. In yet another startling revelation, Irrfan clarified he has NeuroEndocrine Tumor and also established that not everything NEURO is about the brain.

The Blackmail star is currently undergoing treatment in the United Kingdom. He is also gearing up for the release of his next, Karwaan.

You got the wrong man, Mr. C! Just saying.

APRIL

Mira Rajput pregnant with the second child 

The news of Shahid Kapoor-Mira Rajput’s second pregnancy was sniffed out and confirmed by the style watchers, given a sudden change in the star wife’s wardrobe. The couple took an innovative route to announce Mira's pregnancy with an Instagram picture of their first-born daughter Misha lying beside a drawing of balloons with 'Big Sister' written along with it.

Shahid and Mira tied the knot in New Delhi on July 7, 2015. They welcomed their first baby in August 2016. Last year, Mira had hinted at having a second baby, but none saw it coming this soon!

Prerna Arora: KriRaj honcho going bankrupt

After the blockbuster success of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Prerna Arora, the KriArj Entertainment honcho was the newest producer on the block. She followed it up with Pari. Four films - Parmanu, Batti Gul Meter Chalu, Kedarnath and Fanney Khan were announced with Prernaa as their co-producer. But the success was short-lived. Financial issues and an alleged bankruptcy led to T-Series taking Fanney Khan and Batti Gul Meter Chalu under its wings, while John Abraham fought for and won the complete custody of his 'baby’ Parmanu. Ronnie Screwvala rescued and got Abhishek Kapoor's Kedarnath on track

The production house has taken a sabbatical, and plans to resume back in action soon!

Salman Khan's Jail Stint Jodhpur 

A Jodhpur court ruled against Salman Khan, acquitted Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre in the two-decade-old Blackbuck Poaching Case. But, Bhai ko andar karna mushkil he nahi, namumkin hai. Khan pleaded not guilty, and his bail plea was heard. Oh, did you judges in Rajasthan were transferred? Routine procedure. A leaf turned over. After spending two nights in the Jodhpur Central Jail, Khan bounced back to his colloquial wave from the balcony of Galaxy Apartments.

MAY

Sonam Kapoor - Anand Ahuja wedding

Veteran actor Anil Kapoor's house buzzed with celebrities and festivities as his daughter and actress Sonam Kapoor' wedding revelry commenced at his sprawling Juhu bungalow earlier in May. Confirmations of the D-day only come as a mere formality, for photographs and video snippets from sangeet rehearsals were already splashed on social media by celebs who thronged the mansion.

Bringing red back in fashion, Sonam married the love of her life Anand Ahuja in a beautiful Anuradha Vakil couture; at her aunt's place in Bandra, with a slew of close family and friends of the couple in attendance.

Neha Dhupia-Angad Bedi secret wedding amid rumours of her pregnancy

Bollywood was still recovering from the ravishing wedding festivities of Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja when Neha Dhupia decided to take over with her surprise wedding with ‘best friend’ Angad Bedi. The actress and former beauty queen had a hush-hush wedding with Bedi, son of ex Indian cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi in New Delhi.

The newly-wed couple got married in an Anand Karaj ceremony attended by close family and friends in a Gurudwara in south Delhi. They made the announcement via social media. The highly confidential development gave rise to speculations that Neha was pregnant with Angad’s baby, and thus, the wedding. But her father brushed aside all these rumours while Neha continues to sport loose-fitting dresses and ‘pregnancy’ clothing.

Alia Bhatt's Raazi success and relationship with Ranbir Kapoor!

All of 25, Alia Bhatt leads THE life. We are besotted by her cinematic experiences, and just when we thought the young volcano was done with and had little fire left, enter Raazi. Navigating under Meghna Gulzar’s direction, Alia has effortlessly and with much conviction played an Indian spy that it almost makes you want to Google morse codes and the mission that went down in history. And if that weren’t reason enough for you to envy the Bhatt scion, she is dating the handsome heartthrob of Bollywood, Ranbir Kapoor. We see green now?

Interestingly, the Bhatt Jr. had always had hots for the Kapoor scion. During her appearance on Karan Johar’s show Koffee With Karan, she had candidly expressed of having a crush on RK! Look where she is at today, having the envy of all those millions of fangirls out there! Lady luck surely sided Alia, didn’t she?

John Abraham-Parmanu Jinxed release date

With four big releases in its kitty, KriArj Entertainment soon escalated to the list of notable production houses in Bollywood. But non-payment of dues and differences led to a tension between John Abraham and Prernaa Arora of KriArj. What followed was a legal battle for the complete authority of film  Parmanu, and Abraham walked away with a ruling in his favour.

The film exceeded expectations at the box office and turned out to be one of the highest grossers of the year.

JUNE

SALMAN KHAN'S RACE TO FILMS...EHH!

Come June, Salman Khan offers Race 3 on Eid. Absolute worse, critics pronounced. But despite the verdict, the multi-starrer fared well, like all Bhaijaan’s films do. No surprises there.

Priyanka Chopra is back to Bollywood with BF Nick Jonas!

All we want to say after hearing of Priyanka Chopra’s Bollywood comeback is (The Sky Is Pink) – WE MISSED YOU PEECEE! The return comes only after Priyanka made sure everybody in the West had very well memorized Chopra as an acting and fashion luminary, thanks to Quantico and Baywatch. It’s homecoming for Piggy Chops, and we wouldn’t have it any damn other way!

Besides her impeccable on-screen skills, Priyanka is frequently sending the internet into a meltdown with her relationship with American singer-songwriter Nick Jonas. What started as a Met Gala appearance together has very well culminated into a full-fledged dating! Besides cozying up on dinner dates, the couple has even met each other’s families and supposedly exchanged promise rings too. Been long we saw our desi girl flaunt her man in public, and the sight these days is a tonic for our tired eyes!

Go, Nickyanka!

Update: PeeCee left Salman Khan's BHARAT fuelling rumours of her engagement with Nick. However, it tuned out that Piggy Chops is all set to shoot alongside Chris Pratt in Cowboy Ninja Viking.

Ranbir Kapoor in and as SANJU, ralia going public!

Water tastes like sherbet – Ranbir Kapoor is in love, again! Be it his relationships with Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif or a New York rendezvous with Pakistani beauty Mahira Khan, our eternal lover boy is always grabbing attention for his romantic affairs. Only this time it was with a much-younger Alia Bhatt. Love blossomed on the sets of Brahmastra, and Alia was taken by her forever boy ‘crush’ Ranbir.

Looks like ladylove brought a great deal of luck too! After a series of box office damps, Ranbir dazzled and outperformed himself in Sanjay Dutt’s biopic Sanju. The film proved to his career’s biggest number-spinner and also bagged him a spot in the list of bankable actors.

Love doing wonders!

Sanjay Dutt on His biopic

Sanjay Dutt is a story. The story of a man, born in the prestigious legacy of thespians Sunil Dutt and Nargis, who perhaps couldn't bear the burden of the big bright expectations. But his life story was based on headlines, until came a disclaimer from Rajkumar Hirani - Sanju. Moviegoers suggest the biopic was another publicity stunt meant to whitewash the actor's image who walked as a free man out of jail in 2016.

But if you believe Dutt, Hirani, and others, the human drama offered realism in the world of surrealism, Sanjay Dutt UNCENSORED. Except the director left too many episodes at the edit table.

JULY

Sonali Bendre diagnosed with cancer 

A simpleton at heart, shyness in her eyes and a smile to beat all your blues – Sonali Bendre knew how to make our heart flutter as she stepped on the silver screen each time, leaving it a little brighter than the last. The star of Diljale, Sarfarosh, Major Saab, Duplicate and others made an entry to her social media album – a picture with husband Goldie Behl and the caption said she has been detected with high-grade cancer that has metastasized. After Irrfan, the disease had reared its ugly face in Sonali’s life too. Not knowing how to react, cancer graduates, friends, and fan family sent the actress all her love.

Sonali is currently undergoing treatment in New York while we pray for her speedy recovery.

Hum Saath Saath Hain!

Janhvi Kapoor Bollywood debut with Dhadak

This is the closest a debut can get to a tragedy. And guess history repeated itself. Arjun Kapoor lost his mother Mona Kapoor two months before his debut with Ishaqzaade in 2012. Six years later, when his half-sister Janhvi Kapoor prepares for her big splash, her mother, the iconic Sridevi won’t be by her side to give her daughter the loudest cheer and the biggest applause for her first film, Dhadak.

While the proud protective mother expressed her concerns only in the soft tones, she sure would be happy seeing Janhvi shine in the industry she dedicated her life too! A star is reborn.

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