Q) Tell us about your background and your journey so far?
A) My name is Ahmad Al Marzooqi. I am the first Arab celebrity vlogger to promote Bollywood in the Middle East. This vlogging is my hobby. My journey so far hasn’t been easy, it was very challenging. Honestly speaking, I was being bullied every day from the age of seven till I was eighteen. I was an introvert and shy person, I couldn’t go outside to buy anything for myself, that’s how challenging my life was. I was protected by my family, especially by my mom. I had no friends because I had difficulty in speaking some words, I don’t know what kind of disease it was, but now everything has changed and I have become a completely different person.
Q) How did you get into this profession?
A) Well, I always wanted to know about Bollywood. In fact, people always came to me if they had any question about Bollywood or TV. I was literally always searching about Bollywood on the internet, so I knew that I can educate people by my knowledge on Bollywood, and that’s how I got into this profession.
Q) How did you come up with the concept of “Chai with Ahmad”?
A) ‘Chai with Ahmad’ is inspired by ‘Koffee with Karan’. Everyone loves the show, especially here in the Middle East because it is so fun to watch. So, in the Middle East in Dubai we love chai, we have at least one cup in a day, so whenever you are having chai with friends it means you are having a positive conversation. And that’s how my concept of having ‘Chai with Ahmad’ started, a chat show with celebrities which is full of freshness, positivity and no negative comments or negative talk.
Q) You have interacted with a wide variety of celebrities from Himansh Kohli to Tiger Shroff. What was the biggest takeaway from those interactions?
A) Yes, I have interacted with a lot of celebrities from Bollywood and Hollywood. My biggest takeaway from each of them is their attitude and their personality. For e.g. Himansh Kohli had recently broken off with his girlfriend, but he didn’t show that he went through a breakup, that is something that I learnt from him. He is a very fun-loving guy otherwise. Tiger Shroff was a true gentleman. Jacqueline Fernandez, she is a very big actress, and she was very energetic and I loved her energy. So I adopted their good qualities, and I think that’s why I am a very positive person.
Q) You are recognized as a universal brother by everyone in India? How does that make you feel?
A) I had no idea that I would become a big personality when I started my journey. I always felt that I will be a random person who will one day surrender his passion, but being recognizable in India, Brazil, Africa, some part of the US, it gives me immense joy. I always had a mission that I want to educate people about Bollywood, because language is a barrier in Arab people, they don’t understand Hindi, so I am the person who connects them and then translates it. It took me months to get the kind of appreciation I have received from celebrities, PRs, producers and directors, it’s overwhelming.
I really want to thank each and everyone who has been a part of my journey, who agreed to give me an interview, the PR agencies without whom I wouldn’t have reached here. It’s all about the collaboration between PR agencies, celebrities and people, they have all collaborated with me that’s why I am being recognizable.
Q) Have you been to India? What is your connection with India?
A) I have always wanted to visit India, and I can say that India is my second home after Dubai. I don’t know what connection I have but people say ‘pichle janam’ (rebirth) , so I think in my ‘pichle janam’ my nationality was Indian. I have no idea what connects me to Bollywood and India, but the people there are so kind and down to earth and they are very welcoming.
Q) What is your career goal?
A) My career goal is to educate Arab people worldwide about Bollywood, and now Hollywood too, as I have started doing that too. When I do Hollywood, I always ask those celebrities about Bollywood as well, like what they think of Bollywood and if they want to act in Bollywood movies. So my aim is to make Bollywood visible all over the world and I hope this happens.
Q) What got you so interested in Bollywood?
A) When I was six, my mom woke me up at 8 p.m. and it was usually my bed time, but it was a weekend and she said we are going for a movie. I didn’t know what she meant, but once we reached I saw a giant screen and the movie was ‘Khalnayak’. That was the first movie I saw, and I have been attached to it since then. I was very fond of Hindi cinema so now I can watch them without subtitles and I can easily tell people what is happening in the scene.
Q) Which are the five celebrities you love the most and why?
A) Choosing five celebrities is very difficult, but I can name five who brought a change on my show and my career. The first one is Anil Charanjeett, he has been a part of movies like ‘Golmaal’ and ‘Simmba’. He was the first person I interviewed on my Instagram live. Himansh Kohli was the first celebrity I interviewed physically. Jacqueline Fernandez because she is an A-lister star who came on my show. Ian Somerhalder, he is a Hollywood celebrity and has been a part of ‘The Vampire Diaries’. He was the most well-known Hollywood celebrity because the amount of interaction which I had on my Instagram was incredible. Shivin Narang and Tejasswi Prakash, these two gave very high engagement on my profile and it really gave me the peak. Then, Shraddha Kapoor and Tiger Shroff, my profile has increased a lot since I interviewed them live.
Q) Which celebrity did you enjoy interviewing the most, and who was a little difficult to handle?
A) Well, I don’t want to pick a favourite, because everyone is different. I don’t have a favourite, but those top five people are the people who really brought my Instagram page into limelight. I could say I was a little nervous while interviewing Mr. Kanwaljit Singh, he is a legendary actor as he has been in the industry for a long time. Honestly, it was fun talking to him.
Somy Ali says her favourite Bollywood actors who’re excellent dancer are Madhuri Dixit Nene and Shah Rukh Khan
On World Dance Day today, actor-turned-humanitarian Somy Ali recalls her tryst with the art form during her stint in Bollywood. While she confesses to not being a good dancer, her favourities in the industry are Madhuri Dixit Nene and Shah Rukh Khan. According to Ali, they are among the best dancers in the Hindi film industry.
“Madhuri Dixit is the best. No one can come close to how perfect of a dancer she is. I can just continue to watch her perform for hours. And those expressions and smiles are to die for. Shah Rukh is pretty fantastic as well. I would say these two are my favourite dancers in Bollywood,” she says. Talking about her Bollywood days, Ali recalls how she would avoid doing it onscreen as she is not a good dancer. “I have received no professional training in dance and would almost never show up at any of my rehearsals. I have two left feet. It’s quite evident if you watch any of my songs. But I have to say that only one person could and did manage to make me dance and that was Saroj [Khan] ji. It was an honour to work with her,” adds Ali, who now runs an NGO No More Tears, a ‘nonprofit with a mission to assist and empower survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence.
Well, there is one wish that Ali hopes would fulfil someday. “The one person I would like to dance with is Madhuri because she is patient and nice enough to teach me a few steps. You never know her magic can make me a decent dancer,” she ends.
Chahat From Qurbaan Hua Latest Updates
Pratibha Ranta’s portrayal of good-hearted and honest Chahat Baig Dhyani in the ongoing fiction Qurbaan Hua has touched the right chords with the audience. The actor is grateful to the makers of the show Sonali Jaffar and Amir Jaffar to have trusted her with such a character.
“Chahat is always ready to sacrifice her happiness for others. She’s both strong and loving. I don’t think I’ve reached that stage in my life wherein I have sacrificed my happiness for someone the way she does. I’ve been playing this character for a year now and somewhere I feel connected to her. I’ve learnt so much, and I feel there are many more shades to this interesting character that we would get unravelled in the future,” she adds.
While she enjoys being Chahat on-screen, Ranta understands that as an actor one needs to learn the art of dissociation as well. “It’s not easy but you’ve to be that sort of an actor who can leave his/her character behind on set once the job gets done. Initially I was not taking my character home but when I started relating to it, I did falter. But now I’ve learnt. I hope that I keep getting such substantial roles given that the industry is churning interesting real and relatable content. The audience too wants to watch such stories. The TV industry is evolving is not just the way they are experimenting with narratives but also for presenting them so well,” she says. Happy with the “phenomenal response” around Chahat, the actor shares being worried initially as this is her first show and adding to that she is portraying an intense character. “So when I started getting so much love, I kind of felt motivated to do better every single time,” says Ranta, who feels the title of the show is perfect. “Whenever I think of Qurbaan Hua, it reminds me of love and sacrifice. I believe when you sacrifice something for your love, your love becomes stronger. The show is about how Chahat sacrificing her life first for her father, then for the love of her life, Neel, and then for her father-in-law and probably now incoming episodes she’ll do the same for her kids too,” she adds.
Heaping praises on the producer duo and the team at Full House Media, Ranta says that this being her first show, she was worried how things would turn out but thankfully she got the best team. “Sonali ma’am and Amir sir make you feel like their own. Ma’am really treats me like her daughter. Because my family stays in Shimla, she takes care of me in my mother’s absence,” she adds. The best thing about the entertainment industry, according to Ranta, “It’s filled with amazingly talented people. There is so much to learn here. I love how an actor can live so many different lives… After a hard day at work, when I unwind, I always smile thinking that I’ve made some good friends here.”
Worried about the pandemic taking a bad shape, Ranta adds, “We’re trying to do as much work we can to keep up with our show while following all safety measures. In these bleak times we want to provide people some relief and I hope we are able to continue shooting as we also need to make sure people are employed.”
Rashami Desai unleashes the diva within-Latest Photos
Rashami Desai knows how to carry herself with élan. She is a beauty with brains and knows how to charm her fans. In her latest photoshoot, the actor unleashes the diva within and looks every bit appealing. There’s an inherent innocence on her face that sets her apart.
“I wanted something different and new this time and I guess the photographer understood what I wanted and has somehow captured the side of me that you don’t get to see often. I anyway loved the camera and I feel when the love is honest it shows. The photos have come out well and I have been getting a lot of compliments… When you get to hear good things it only makes you happy and motivates you to do better,” she says.
Desai’s look in the photo screams of hotness in every sense of the term. Her soft curls, simplistic makeup and expressive face do all the magic. Whether in black, white or metallic shades, the actor aces all the looks. Everything goes on to say about her sartorial elegance.
“I am particular about what I wear and the kind of makeup I wear. It also depends on the mood and occasion. My wardrobe has a lot of whites and blacks as I feel these two colours can never go out of fashion. When it comes to makeup, I like highlighting my eyes. When your lips don’t do the talking, the eyes take over,” adds the actor, who will be making her web debut with Tandoor along Tanuj Virwani. She plays the female lead in the forthcoming web series. The web series is produced by Chitra Vakil Sharma, Nivedita Basu and Chandni Soni. Well, Rashami your pictures are sizzling and your fans are awaiting your web debut.
Rhea Sharma on “Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke”
Rajan Shahi is popularly known as the “king of relationships” of the small screen. And Rhea Sharma, who plays the female protagonist in his show “Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke”, couldn’t agree more.
The beautiful actress essays Mishti in the popular show, while Shaheer Sheikh is seen as Abir. Their on-screen couple is popularly called MishBir and is one of the most famous pairs of the small screen.
She said that she was very excited to get the role and added, “Rajan sir is famous for creating great pairs on-screen, which people always remember. And the chemistry also comes out really well in his shows. After hearing the storyline, I was very sure that the show is going to be amazing. I felt connected to it as an audience too.”
“And I never thought that MishBir will become so famous. I am not so active on social media, but I keep hearing that people call us the ‘best jodi’ and every other week we are trending on Twitter. I think the chemistry has really worked. Shaheer is a superb actor, and I feel that if you are working with a good actor then it shows in the performance too. I think I am blessed to work with Rajan sir and such a great cast,” she added.
The show recently went on-air after a long gap of three months. And her character is seen going through an emotional turmoil now. Talking about the new twist, she said, “Mishti was leading a very simple life before an incident happened. There was a guy who was trying to molest her, and in self-defence she ended up hitting his head with a rock. So, she is in this guilt and gets panic attacks, and she’s going through PTSD. And it’s a very sensitive topic that she cannot even share it with her family.”
She further added, “Abir is trying to protect her as much as he can and is her only support in this difficult time. This is something new for me as an actor and will see Mishti in a new light. Though it’s a little challenging to portray this side of Mishti, it’s fun too. The feedback from the viewers is very overwhelming. So, we are glad that it’s working.”
The new twist also saw the Rajvansh family welcome Varun Soni, essayed by Ruslaan Mumtaz. The actress had earlier worked with him for an episode of “Laal Ishq” and mentioned that knowing each other made it easier for them to work together.
“There’s a comfort working with him because we already know each other. Ruslaan is a very sweet guy, so whenever he is on set, it’s a lot more fun. And he has adjusted quite well with the whole team. The chemistry also comes out because there is no hesitation. And he is good friends with Shaheer too. So the set environment is very chilled out,” she concluded.
“Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke” airs Monday to Saturday at 9 p.m. on Star Plus. It is produced under Shahi’s banner Director’s Kut Productions.
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