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News bites: Screen legend Shashi Kapoor dies; ITV’s £100m India historical drama; Mayor meets Bollywood stars and Sachin; Bengali Boses/Basus related to Bachchan (yes, Big B!)

News bites: Screen legend Shashi Kapoor dies; ITV’s £100m India historical drama; Mayor meets Bollywood stars and Sachin; Bengali Boses/Basus related to Bachchan (yes, Big B!)

News bites today….

Indian heartthrob and Bollywood icon Shashi Kapoor passes away

Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Deewar’

HE WAS often referred to as one of India’s most handsome men and was a screen legend who carried all the lustre of a famous Bollywood name.
It is understood he passed away today at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. He had been suffering from kidney problems for some years and was on dialysis.
Starring in many films in the 1970s and 1980s, he also appeared in US and British productions as well. He featured in the 1983 ‘Heat and Dust’ a Merchant Ivory production.
Memorably, he appeared the 1975 classic ‘Deewar’ alongside Amitabh Bachchan; both were brothers in the film, with one following the life of crime (Bachchan) and the other a career in the police (Kapoor).
He started out as a child actor and was the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, and the brother of Raj (another giant of Indian cinema) and Shammi Kapoor.
Shashi Kapoor is reckoned to have been in more than 150 films as an actor. He also directed.
His funeral is set to take place tomorrow.
Shashi Kapoor was 79 and leaves behind three children Karan, Kunal and Sanjana.

The Far Pavilions to be made into a high-end £100m+ TV series

ITV IS ALL SET TO make a £113 million drama of the MM Kaye novel, ‘The Far Pavilions’.
It was announced today in Mumbai on the Mayor of London’s trade mission to India.
ITV says the drama will be split into 30 one-hour episodes and is being made by the producer of the West End show Michael E Ward. It was last staged in London in 2005 and featured actors Kabir Bedi (as Khan Sahib), Gayatri Iyer (Princess Anjuli) and Hadley Fraser (Ash) among others.
Ward has been based in Mumbai for much of the intervening period and said the drama will have both UK and Indian talent. Filming will be in India, while most of the post-production work will take place in the UK. He said it will be a “high-end television series authentically written and cast for a global audience”.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, welcomed the landmark TV series and said it would exploit the talents and expertise available in both countries.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “It represents the best of British and Indian talent and sends a clear message to the rest of the world that London is open to partnerships, to collaboration, to creativity and for business.”
Khan also said Mumbai has signed up to be part of his World Cities Culture Forum, which focuses on possible cultural collaborations. Mumbai is the first Indian city to be part of this.
The Far Pavilions is about a British officer of the Raj, who was brought up as a Hindu and falls in love with an Indian princess. It was also made into a three-part TV series in 1984, featuring Omar Sharif and Christopher Lee in leading parts. MM Kaye’s novel, ‘The Far Pavilions’ was published in 1978.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan meets Bollywood stars

Sadiq Khan with Sachin Tendulkar; with Shah Rukh Khan; and L-R – unknown; Katrina Kaif; Alia Bhatt; Sadiq Khan; Neeta Ambani; Karan Johar and Jacqueline Fernandez

A HANDFUL of India’s biggest film stars attended a reception thrown by one of the richest men in the world, Mumbai-based, Mukesh Ambani.
Among the stars the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan met were Bollywood icons Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Karan Johar (who expressed his admiration for Khan on Twitter) rising star Alia Bhatt, and Juhi Chawla, as well cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar.
Earlier, Khan paid a trip to Mumbai City FC, which is part owned by Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor.
For the first time, two Indian girls will join two boys after winning a competition to train with Championship side QPR, which has a tie-up with Mumbai City FC.
Tony Fernandes owner of QPR and Kapoor both attended finals of the ninth Mumbai Soccer Challenge and watched the inaugural Mayor of London Cup.
Khan continues with his trade mission to both India and Pakistan; and is travelling with his Indian-born deputy mayor for business, Rajesh Agrawal and a trade delegation.

The Amitabh Bachchan-Subhas Chadra Bose-Lal Bahadur Shastri and the recently discovered Bose/Basu connection…

IF YOUR name is Bose or Basu – you might well be related to India’s Bollywood legend, Amitabh Bachchan.
The popular contemporary Bengali names – Bose/Basu are really Anglicised versions of the same surname – ‘Boshu’ in phonetic English.
Boshu got changed to Basu or Bose when the English pitched up with their penchant for written records in Kolkata in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A group of genetic experts and social scientists have now discovered that that Boses or Basus are all possibly derived from a particular family – the Srivastavas who migrated from central India (now the state of Uttar Pradesh) to Bengal.
The same study also draws possible family links between then between Bachchan and Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s second prime minister and Indian freedom fighter, Subhas Chandra Bose.
Dr Sarmila Bose (grand niece of Subhas Chandra Bose), senior research associate in the department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, talking to members of the Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA), told both genetic and historical research had been done which showeed there is a possible strong lineage between the Srivastavas and the Boses and Basus of Bengal.
“It was in response to a myth about a group of people in Bengal who had migrated there (legend has it that five families from a Kayasatha caste followed five Brahmins into Bengal from the ancient Kannauj region of India) and we wanted to examine this story.”
The new study published only on Saturday (November 25) suggests that the migration was more recent than previously posited by eminent historian Narendra Bose and that the surname Bose or Basu is a much surer sign that you are descended from families who once inhabited central India hundreds of years ago, rather than thousands.

Dr Sarmila Bose at the Indian Journalists’ Association press conference on Friday (December 1)

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture