Neetu Chandra seems to have become a favourite with fashion designers nowadays. While ace designer Rocky S roped her in as the showstopper for his fashion show in Delhi this week, the very next day Neetu was again the showstopper for topline fashion designer Neeta Lulla’s fashion show in Chandigarh.
The actress has become a good choice for most designers, simply because she has lost a lot of weight and has been glowing with radiance in her latest lean avatar. Moreover, she takes to stage without needing rehearsals, as if like fish to water.
“Being a ramp showstopper gives me a different kind of high and confidence,” says Neetu. “Most of the time, I get piercing looks or raised eyebrows, followed by a lot of instant attention, love, affection and warmth from the audience. It feels as if I got a thousand jadu ki jhappis all together. It’s ecstatic and I love all of it.”
If you thought Neetu Chandra was talented, think again! The actress is almost giving talent a new meaning, by being a master of all she surveys.
As if being a Black Belt 2nd Dan; a basketball player; a kathak dancer; a harmonium, flute, as well as tanpura player, was not enough, the multi-faceted Bollywood actress from Bihar, has now gone a step ahead and is learning Tamil.
The story goes that a superhit director from the South approached Neetu two weeks ago to act in his film. Since he wasn’t comfortable talking in English or Hindi and his film was in Tamil, he wanted her to work on the language and become fluent in it. “That’s the time I instinctively decided to learn Tamil,” says Neetu. “I hired a tutor next day who now coaches me in the language for about two hours every day. He talks to me in Tamil and I write down the words in English and Hindi and then, reply in Tamil,” she says.
Ah, as we said earlier; some people can go to any extent to master everything they survey. Three cheers to Neetu Chandra and her determination.
Master chef Max Orlati, fashion designer Salim Asgarally, choreographer and columnist Nisha Harale, actor and model Adam Bedi, film producer Akash Thakkar, social activist Nitin Pore, artiste Bina Aziz, commercial artiste and writer Madhuri Iyer, waste management expert Stewart Klevan, PR specialist Dale Bhagwagar, and writer, filmmaker and social activist Vinta Nanda, have brought together their skills to form an NGO by the name of ‘The Village Project India’.
Even as the oil spill threatens to destroy the business of Mumbai’s fishermen community, the team of The Village Project India, along with Shiv Sena corporator Vilas Chavdi, have joined hands to educate and inform the Khar Danda Fishermen’s Urban Village about the need to save their environment.
The NGO will support the Khar Danda Fishermen’s Village Association in cleaning up one of the most beautiful sea fronts and jetties in the heart of the city of Mumbai. The NGO has also invited more like-minded people to come forward and be a part of an eclectic core committee, for this social cause.
“With a population roughly over 25,000 people, the Khar Danda village consists of the original inhabitants of Mumbai – the Kolis – who have watched a mindless metropolis grow around them without anyone having given a thought to what would become of one of the city’s most spectacular beaches – the Khar Danda beach,” said the project’s spokesperson Dale Bhagwagar, also a member of the NGO’s core team.
“With a problem of access to the beach because of narrow lanes leading to it, Mumbaikar’s never noticed that the precious property was being vandalized by plastic and other waste which has collected over the years to form a filth which only a massive operation can clear now. The Village Project, with the help of the inhabitants as well as the political outfits in the area, plans to take up this humongous task,” informed Bhagwagar.
Their plan is to have the dirt removed, which could take a minimum of three months of sustained effort, and then to provide the village with a system by which maintenance operations can be carried out regularly.
To make the program sustainable, The Village Project plans to support the inhabitants of the Khar Danda village through their own association, to commercialize large parts of the sea fronts, by organizing special contests, competitions, sea food festivals, sponsored fashion shows, music gigs, open-air programs for theater and other events of arts, as well as, help build some enterprise.
Chef Max Orlati and designer Salim Asgarally as well as the other members of the core group will bring their expertise to supervise training programs for the villagers to help them create an economy as well as income generating businesses in the area.
The Village Project also plans to tie up with other NGO’s to educate the children of the village, so they grow to be responsible towards their environment. The NGO is also in discussions with the Khar Danda Fishermen’s Village Association to run programs for women as well as the thousands of fishermen of the village.
The first initiative
Beginning with a pre-Independence Day programme, on August 13, 2010, ‘The Village Project India’ is holding a painting competition between fifty children who have shown a talent for art in the Municipal School Compound at the Khar Danda Fishermen’s Village.
The subject given to the children (who belong to different communities) is ‘Ganesha’. The colors are sponsored by Camlin and drinking water and snacks by Parle Agro Industries. Awards will be given to the top three paintings, with the competition judged by fashion designer Salim Asgarally, artiste Bina Aziz and actor and model Adam Bedi.
The event will be compered by choreographer and well known MC Nisha Harale Bedi. Trophies will be presented by Shiv Sena corporator Mr Vilas Chavdi, and head of the Khar Danda Fishermen’s Village Association, Mr Bhaichand.
The finest artistes will be selected for a two-day art workshop to be held by some of the best known artistes of Mumbai in the forthcoming vacation, also organized by The Village Project.
The best painting will also be used for a design on T-shirts which would be created by fashion designer Salim Asgarally for the organizers and workers of the Khar Danda Ganpati Mandal, who will be wearing them throughout the ten-day upcoming Ganesh festival, from the Ganesh sthapana (statue establishment) to the visarjan (immersion) at the village.
A month-and-a-half after her daughter Viveka Babajee’s demise, her mother Mrs Dayawanti Babajee, recently left for her abode in Mauritius, informed the family’s spokesperson Dale Bhagwagar.
“Mrs Babajee left with a heavy heart. The police investigations are still on and she will wait for the police to inform her about further developments in the case,” said Bhagwagar.
Meanwhile, the latest development in the case is a statement submitted by Jonaid Bin Tajuddin Mohammed, who hails from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“Jonaid, who considered Viveka his sister, had a few pointers to make about the case. Since these were pertaining to discussions which he had with Viveka regarding her ex-boyfriend Gautam Vora, and a couple of new facts relating to the case, the family requested him to file the details with Khar Police Station in Mumbai. His office has informed us by email that he has duly filed these details through his lawyer here,” informed Bhagwagar.
The spokesperson reiterated the family’s stance, saying, “the Babajee family requests Gautam Vora to immediately approach the Police and come out with all the truth about Viveka. Without further delay, they also want him to confess to the Police about what exactly happened in the last meeting on the fateful night before the incident, because it seems to them that there is much more than what meets the eye. The Babajee family wants Gautam Vora to come up with the truth and nothing but the truth, about the death of Viveka Babajee.”
Neetu Chandra hates to travel in rains because she thinks rains make her feel dull. The only thing she likes about the rain is to dance in it, when she’s on her house balcony.
Yes, whenever it pours, she’s out there on her 14th floor Lokhandwala apartment balcony, letting go of inhibitions and dancing like crazy. Luckily for Neetu, right in front of her building, is a land expanse of mangroves, spanning at least 5 kms, so no one can spot her carefree moves even with binoculars.
“All that greenery heightens the dancing pleasure,” the girl quips with a naughty smile. So now we know the secret behind her happiness in the otherwise dull cloudy whether.