A bit of THIS and A bit THAT....Kuch Khatha, Kuch Meetha, Thoda Naram, Thoda Garam!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Job Description: WHISTLER!!

I read this very interesting article in 'The Telegraph' by Vishnupriya Sengupta about Nagesh Surve who has charmed Bollywood with his whistling for three decades!

Subhanallah,” that is how Lalit of the Jatin-Lalit duo — the music composers of Fanaa — describes this ace whistler. Not without reason. Whistling sets the mood of the song, Subhanallah in Fanaa. It runs as a parallel theme throughout the film, conveying much more than an amalgam of lyrics and musical instruments.

Meet Nagesh Surve, 57, who has been Hindi filmdom’s chief whistler for more than 30 years. So melodious is his whistling that it is often mistaken for the flute. Last year, when the late Pt Bismillah Khan heard him whistling snatches of raga Yaman Kalyan, he assumed that Surve was playing it on the flute. Kishore Kumar’s compliment too rings in his ears: “You whistle just as I sing — effortlessly and flawlessly.”

Music composers of Bollywood don’t hesitate to shower accolades on him. From Pyarelal — of the Laxmikant Pyarelal team — to Pritam , who has used his whistling prowess in the much-awaited Dhoom II, everybody agrees that “he is not just the best but the only whistler in the film industry who has a tremendous sense of mike balancing”.

From Julie to Karz, Hero to Tezaab, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to Koi Mil Gaya, Satya to Lage Raho Munnabhai, not to forget the bird calls in Paheli and Krrish, Surve has whistled his way unfailingly through tinsel world. His career as the ace whistler in 1400 Bollywood flicks spans three decades, and yet his face expresses nothing but humility.

His modest recording studio, which doubles as his residence, is tucked in one of the flats in a housing estate in Goregaon East. The room — with its perforated walls, two huge sound boxes, spools and microphones — exudes an old world charm in keeping with the avuncular image of the man himself.

“The other day my doctor was telling me casually that the Subhanallah ring tone is just incomparable. ‘Kya whistling ki hai,’ he had exclaimed. He didn’t know that I was the one who had whistled the tune. I didn’t tell him, or else he would have hiked his fee,” chuckles the unassuming Surve, interspersing his words with some impromptu whistling.

Most people in the locality know him as music director Rishiraj, who has done the background score for several Hindi and Marathi films. In fact, last year he won a state award for his score in the Marathi film, Mi Tujhi Tujhich Re. “In the Seventies, there was another person in the film industry by the name Nagesh. So I decided to rechristen myself,” he explains.

Surve has a firm grounding in both eastern and western classical music — he is both a sitarist and a violinist. He spent his childhood in Dadar in a neighbourhood which was more of a musical conglomerate comprising the likes of Laxmikant Pyarelal, Vasant Desai and Jaikishan. “I was friends with Pyarelal. We went to the same Bombay municipality school. It was from his father, Ramprasad Sharma, that I learnt to play the violin. Of all the musical instruments, I think playing the violin is the toughest,” he says.

The exposure to both eastern and western classical music helped hone his skill as a musician while his visits to a nearby recording studio where he would attend sessions for hours on end drew him gradually into the vortex of Hindi film music.

Initially, he played the sitar and then the violin in the orchestra. Whistling happened by chance. “Kishore Sharma, who was then assistant music director to Usha Khanna, heard me whistling once and said that he had never heard such melodious notes before. He said that they would use my whistling in the film Pyasi.” Later, Lakshmikant Pyarelal gave him a break in Subhash Ghai’s Hero.

That marked the turning point of Surve’s career. Whistling took centrestage though the whistler himself preferred to remain in the wings. “Anyone can whistle,” says Lalit. “But Surve whistles by just looking at the notations. He knows how to improvise, and his sense of cadence and technique is excellent.” Pritam, Dhoom II’s music director, agrees. The whistling in Dhoom II is restricted to a song which virtually has no musical instruments. “It has the sound of objects of daily use like, say, the trash can. So whistling is an integral part of that number.”

Surve has set himself another goal now. He plans to cut an album of ragas. “Many companies have asked me to whistle tunes of old Hindi film numbers. But that doesn’t excite me. What I would like to do is cut an album comprising Indian ragas.” His face glows as he puckers his lips and gives a quick demonstration of how he would whistle an alap or a jhala.

That denotes a long journey for whistling which hasn’t quite been able to rid itself of its derogatory association with eve teasing. “That is why it’s not taken seriously,” Surve laments. True, there have been singers in the West — like Roger Whittaker and John Lennon — who have been known to whistle and sing with equal dexterity. Back home, the late R.D. Burman made it an indispensable component of filmi music.

Whistling as a source of melody, will always have to come from within. It can never be reproduced digitally as the keyboard — which dominates today’s world of music — can never capture the subtle nuances of the sound of whistling.

But Surve is hopeful about the future of his craft. So he has trained his younger daughter Rupali who has whistled alongside him in films like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Dhoom II. And with Eves like Rupali taking to whistling, maybe they will succeed in teasing out the derogatory connotation of whistling and help it gain due recognition.

Friday, September 15, 2006

An enlightened corps of techies is ditching hi-profile jobs to return to school, testing their logic, rigour and yen for quality at the grassroots

I wish we had more people like this. I came across this article in Outlook India by Anjali Puri. Its a must read!

The Class 5 student knew that the difference between the earth's equatorial circumference and its polar circumference was 72 km. It was, after all, the answer to a popular exam question, and she had simply memorised it. But she had no idea what 'equatorial' or 'polar' meant—or even plain 'circumference'.

But IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus and former Tata IBM employee Sridhar Rajagopalan and his two colleagues knew what the gaps in her learning meant—a business opportunity and the chance to make an impact in their new career area: education. In five years, their company Educational Initiatives has administered asset, a set of diagnostic tests they have developed to probe how far schoolchildren are learning concepts rather than just parroting them, to over 1,00,000 students. Business from private schools makes their start-up profitable, but 40 per cent of their work is now done with rural government schools, at a subsidised rate.

It was also five years ago that Aditya Natraj, an MBA from the prestigious French management school, INSEAD, and a chartered accountant with seven years' corporate experience, offered his services to education NGO Pratham, which focuses on improving learning outcomes in government schools. Recruited to run Pratham's operations in Gujarat, he manages a team of 300 full-time staff and 3,000 volunteers that provides learning support to about 30,000 government schoolchildren in the state.

Meanwhile, Dehradun boy Himanshu Joshi achieved his dream, making it to IIM-Ahmedabad after three years in manufacturing on a factory shop floor. After his MBA, he rejoined his employer, Glaxo SmithKline, in a new role, with a new package. But six months ago, the 29-year-old quit finessing strategies to sell Horlicks Lite, and took a 30 per cent salary cut to join iDiscoveri, a Delhi-based educational services company started by former corporate professionals. His new baby: the launch of an innovative teacher training programme, which, he declares with infectious confidence, "will be a model of excellence for the country".

And in Chennai, Balaji Sampath, an IIT graduate with a doctorate in electrical engineering from the US, who runs AID India, an NGO that carries out science teaching and primary school programmes in 350 government schools in Tamil Nadu, finds other engineers are keen to join his project. Starting out as volunteers, hardware engineer Chandra Anil, 32; software engineer Smita Kalyani, 25; and Ravi Shankar, 31, an ex-IITian with a doctorate in computer and electronic engineering and who once worked for IBM in the US, now work with him full-time.

The point of these examples is that a significant number of 'techies' and 'corporate types', many with blue-chip names on their CVs, are going down this road—not at retirement age, but during their most productive professional years. For most, there are financial costs involved—from the risks inherent in a new venture to taking a salary cut. Even if large NGOs like Pratham pay their top staff Rs 60,000 per month, it is still a fraction of what their corporate counterparts earn. Smaller NGOs, like AID India, pay far less.

It's not an entirely new phenomenon; education has always had drawing power for "outsiders"—in the '70s, there were the physicists, engineers and others who came together under the banner of education NGO Eklavya. Madhav Chavan, one of Pratham's founders, was a chemistry professor until the mid-'80s. IIT and MIT-trained engineer Lalit Pande also turned to education in the mid-'80s.

But remarkable though these actions were, it was also a different time.Engineering and management colleges were not 'brands', parents weren't blowing up their savings on coaching classes, MBAs weren't being wooed with seven-figure starting salaries, and people who worked in the social sector were not dismissed as "jholawalas". Today, it's perhaps even more at odds with an increasingly right-wing public culture for bright, ambitious, young people to want to spend their working lives on giving 200 million shortchanged Indian schoolchildren a better educational deal.

So, why are they doing it? This is social commitment defined by a strong dash of individualism. "A sense of adventure, and a desire for recognition, the need to be something more than a small fish in a corporate pond," says Rukmini Banerji of Pratham, herself a PhD in economics. "These are also people wanting to make an impact, to use their skills to improve what they see around them."

They are also, often, people who have nursed ambitions to work "in development" while reflexively sitting for exams, and then measuring out their lives in software projects or corporate targets, to meet the expectations of middle-class families. Or professionals chafing at the rigid structures of corporate life. In six months, says Joshi, he has been coining slogans, sticking posters on walls, liasing with government, meeting teachers and principals, interacting with cutting-edge educators—a range of activities that did not come his way before. "You have a freedom to experiment—and a chance to learn by failing."

Says Gurumurthy Kasinathan, 38, who worked for consultancy giant A.F. Ferguson and software company i-Flex Solutions before moving to the Azim Premji Foundation (APF), which has deputed him to help the Karnataka education department revamp its programmes, "A staff of two lakh, 32 districts, 202 blocks, 2,200 villages, 45,000 schools. No corporate job can give you this size, this scale, this complexity and these multiple levels of expectations."

But why education? "With anything else, you're tackling symptoms, not the disease. With education, you're tackling the root of the problem," says Rajagopalan. "There are fewer conflicts of interests, compared to other areas, vested interests are marginal," points out Pratham's Chavan. "You can see change happening on the ground," says Sampath.

"I don't want to stand on a high horse and say, I'm doing something for my country," says Natraj. "You can do that by working in telecom. I'm here because creating high-quality education systems on a large scale is a challenge that excites me."

Two trends in the last decade have also made education attractive to "crossovers": One, a gradual shift of focus from increasing enrolment in schools, to tackling appallingly low levels of learning, one of the causes of extremely high dropout rates. That gives NGOs or ventures like Educational Initiatives greater opportunities to contribute, and makes government more receptive to their contributions (though the relationship can also be fraught with contradictions).

As Sampath points out, "Enrolment in schools in Tamil Nadu is 98 per cent, but the government can't deliver on quality. Fifty per cent of the children can't read. A Class 12 student from a private school who takes IIT coaching knows more maths and science than an MSc from a government school background."

The second trend is more funding for NGOs working in education, thanks to CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds, diaspora money and government grants; and the rise of big education NGOs, among them Pratham, the Naandi Foundation and APF, with multi-crore budgets, and a capacity to work on a scale that excites challenge-seekers.Some, like Naandi CEO Manoj Kumar, are more than keen to attract corporate professionals. "Why are some of the best minds in the country selling soaps and shampoos?" he asks. Good question.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Waris Ahluwalia - Ten Questions

I came across Waris' interview in Outlook India. People who have seen "Inside Man" and "The Life Aquatic" will know him. During the day he is a very famous Jewellery Designer operating under the label "House of Waris".

How did you become an internationally acclaimed high-end jewellery designer?
I live between Rome, Jaipur and NY (throw in some Paris too)—so it’s easy to be internationally anything. Other than that, it’s simple. Once chance and fate had played its cards, I took time to search out the best craftsmen, both in India and Italy, and then put it in the best stores in the world. From there the work takes care of itself. It’s a very pure approach to luxury.

Why the emphasis on religious and cultural symbols in your pieces?
No emphasis—these are just visuals in my life and I feel they are universal symbols. You can say I’m sharing a bit of India with the world. And not everyone sees religion in them.

How did you decide to become an actor?

I didn’t choose acting. The universe did.

And how did you land a part in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic?
It may seem a little boring, but—Wes asked me one day and I said yes.

How did you get to work on Spike Lee’s Inside Man?
Spike had seen Life Aquatic. He got my number from Willem Dafoe and called me up.

You play a bank clerk racially abused by the police. Do Sikhs in NY deal with this often?
Sikhs have to deal with it everywhere. I’ve fond memories of my encounters with Roman police.

Do you think your refusal to cut your hair mean you will be typecast in Hollywood?
I haven’t been yet. Stay tuned—we’ll see.

How was it working with Hollywood biggies?
It was an honour.

Will we see more of you in Hollywood?
I start another movie by the year-end.

Any plans to star in a smaller film?
If an interesting one comes along.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Auto-Rickshaw in England??!!

I read this article by AMIT ROY in The Telegraph

Tuk tuk, look what Brighton’s riding - Britain discovers autos

The tuk tuk, India’s motorised rickshaw, began service in Brighton today and was “hailed as the next new big thing”.

It has been introduced by 26-year-old enthusiast and businessman Dominic Ponniah, who confessed he was hooked when he first rode on a tuk tuk as a back packing student in Delhi in 1999.

Ponniah has chosen to spell tuk tuk as tuc tuc but there is no doubting the vehicle’s Indian origins.

He has bought 12 machines from the factory in Pune.

“Each cost me £2,000, then I had to spend another £500 on shipping, and spend a further £2,500 on modifying them here — they almost had to be rebuilt from scratch — and finally £1,000 for rebranding and painting so each tuk tuk ended up costing me £6,000,” he said.

But the result was gratifying as the tuk tuk was today the centre of attention in the warm July sunshine. A fleet of colourfully painted tuk tuks made their way from Brighton Marina, along the sea front in Brighton and Hove and on to Brighton station, a journey of 6 miles. The fare will be a flat £2.50 (£1.50 for children).

Each tuk tuk will be able to take three people and operate more like a bus along the predetermined route than like a taxi.

A total of 30 drivers, both young men and women, have been taken on and dressed in bespoke waistcoats made by a well-known local tailor, Gresham Blake.

Ponniah, part of whose family is of Sri Lankan origin, said: “Next May we will introduce the service with 40 tuk tuks in London, and then in Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and other cities in the UK and in Europe.”

There were some hitches before the day of the tuk tuk arrived. “It has taken me over two years to get the tuk tuks and permission (from the traffic commissioners in Brighton).”

The vehicles, which are run on CNG (compressed natural gas), are said to be environmentally cleaner as there is “almost no emission”.

The tuk tuks are seen as a possible solution to urban congestion as they are able to weave through traffic. They will be capable of 35 mph but it is unlikely they will be driven as recklessly as they are in Delhi or Mumbai.

The British tuk tuks have roll bars, side-impact protection and seatbelts and have had to meet the requirements of UK vehicle safety chiefs.

The service will provide tourists, shoppers and visitors with a safe, economical and environment-friendly means of getting around the city.

The company also says that the tuk tuks will be individually wrapped with one of 12 distinctive designs.

Ponniah said: “We want to encourage everyone to go green. The new tuk tuk service supports local government transport and sustainability strategies to make Brighton & Hove a vibrant and healthy, people-friendly city in which to travel. We’re convinced that the service will provide a fun-factor to getting around the city.”

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chairman of Brighton & Hove City Council’s environment committee, said: “This is a real coup for Brighton & Hove. Tuk tuks will undoubtedly attract many tourists as well as complimenting our existing public transport. The price is realistic and they have great environmental credentials which I welcome.”

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A few moments with Gulzar....

'Lyrics Today Aren't Poetry, Just Bad Prose' SAIBAL CHATTERJEE interviews Gulzar in Outlook India

It was India's very first sound film, Alam Ara, that established the song-n-dance convention in our cinema.

"We're so stuck with the hero-heroine kind of cinema that it's impossible for us to get out of the mindset."

Seventy-five years on, how would you assess the state of film lyrics?
It would be unfair to judge film songs in isolation. Lyrics can be only as good as the film, the script and the music they're written for. If the quality of the film and its music is poor, the lyrics too are bound to deteriorate.... The lyrics should not only reflect the spirit of a film, but also capture the essence of the time and place it's set in. If some of today's songs seem laboured, it's because of a huge disconnect between lyric writing and poetry. Words are rustled up to fit pre-composed tunes. The beat is important, not the words.

When exactly did this decline begin?

The slide started when dance became gymnastics and songs turned into a meaningless stringing together of words. Today's lyrics aren't poetry. They aren't even prose. They are bad prose. The attempts at rhyming are painfully laboured. In the past, a Hindi film lyricist had 70-75 words to play around with. Today he has no more than 30 or 35. Their vocabulary is very limited. Today's cinema has no gentle dissolves, no flashbacks. It's cut-to-cut. Images and sounds are thrown at you one after the other. In song sequences, the movements usually have no connection with the words. Words are just an excuse to hang a tune on.

Is that a reason why our film songs are predominantly about a single emotion—romantic love? Elements like anger, cynicism and social satire are virtually absent...
Well, most of our films are love stories. We don't tell stories about older people. Our stories are usually about boys and girls falling in love. If I tell somebody I'm doing a film with A.K. Hangal and Dr Shreeram Lagoo, the first question I'd be asked is: "Hero aur heroine kaun hai?" We are so stuck with this kind of cinema, it seems impossible for us to get out of this mindset.

So, is the situation unlikely to change ever?

Some contemporary filmmakers are bucking the trend. Nagesh Kukunoor's Iqbal does not have a heroine. Rang de Basanti isn't a typical boy-meets-girl story either. The songs in these films, especially in the latter, reflect this departure quite distinctly.

How would you describe the love songs you've penned over the years?
I've often tried to inject Sufism into purportedly romantic songs. Take Chhaiyyan Chhaiyyan as an example. It has the influence of Bulle Shah and Baba Farid, the great Sufi poet-singers of Punjab. In Saathiya, too, I wrote Mera yaar mila de saiyyan, which isn't a typical romantic number though it's essentially a love song. My songs aren't exactly romantic; they are often pastoral vignettes of life in Punjab, redolent with nostalgia and a sense of loss. I'm talking about songs like Chappa Chappa charkha chale and Chhod aaye hum, woh galiyaan from Maachis.

With someone like A.R. Rahman, I can work on the words and imagery strictly in relation to scenes and visuals.

In that sense your romantic songs are probably closer in spirit to the outpourings of the great Romantics of English poetry like John Keats and P.B. Shelley...

I'm not sure of that, but yes, it is important for our film lyrics to keep evolving. The imagery of Krishna serenading Radha, trying to wake her up, teasing her as she sits on a branch or trying to break her earthen pot as she heads for the well, used to work once. It can't work anymore, yet our lyrics are stuck in that imagery drawn from our folklore and mythology. Life has changed, the images in our songs haven't.

Your own lyrics have always had a degree of playfulness about them. Would you agree were I to say it has only increased in recent times?

You don't have to wear heavy glasses to write film lyrics. Beeti na beetayi raina in Parichay was a classical bandish that conveyed the pain of separation. It worked wonderfully well in the '70s. Today's Hindi cinema has no room for such songs. If we think old classical poetry will still work, we'd be deluding ourselves. Do we still wear the kurtas or pants we wore in the '60s? To survive, you have to move with the times. You have to think of images relevant to the contemporary environment. In Satya, I wrote sara din sadkon pe khaali rickshey sa peechhe peechhe chalta hai to refer to a lover pursuing her beloved. I couldn't have used the traditional Radha-Krishna imagery here. It would've been completely out of place.

Does your being a director help?

It certainly does. When I write lyrics, I know what will work. In Satya, only Goli maar bheje mein bheja shor karta hai would have been apt. I could not have written Dil-e-naadaan tujhe hua kya hai. Similarly, when I wrote Chhadi re chhadi kaise gale mein padi in Mausam, I knew nothing else would work.

Film songs made pre-Independence often exuded a strong nationalistic fervour, but that changed once India attained freedom and cinema became a medium of sheer entertainment. Would you agree?

Yes, indeed. Songs like Door hato ae duniyawaalon Hindustan hamara hai or the use of Vande Mataram in numerous lyrics was the norm in pre-Independence Hindi cinema. Bhajans sung by fakirs were also popular. These songs commented upon life; the wandering minstrel was like a sutradhar or chorus throwing light on the drama. That has been a tradition. I used a blind man in Kitaab to sing a similar song. In Aap Ki Kasam, Rajesh Khanna, in the garb of an old man, sings Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo mukaam, woh phir nahin aate. This convention springs from India's age-old katha tradition that rests on a solo narration of the Ramayana or Mahabharat. In post-Independence films, songs that reflected disillusionment were also common. The songs of Dharti Ke Lal, which brought together the talents of Ali Sardar Jafri, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas and Ravi Shankar, did that.

Who, to your mind, are the greatest Hindi film lyricists of all time?

Shailendra was the best. He knew the medium and he knew poetry. He would write Mera joota hai Japani to go with the image of a tramp but would invest the song with many layers of meaning. He could turn a film song into a piece of literature. Sahir Ludhianvi was another great. For him words always came before the tune. Who else but he could write Pedon ki shaakhon pe khili khili chandni?

And among contemporary lyricists...

There are quite a few, but how much difference they'll make will depend on how long they can last. Remember Yogesh, the poet who wrote Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye, saanjh ki dulhan badan churaye, chupke se aaye in Anand, and other lovely lyrics for Salil Chowdhury? He vanished all too soon.Prasoon Joshi uses language very skilfully. His lyrics for Rang de Basanti are a classic case of songs matching the film and its characters perfectly. Another lyricist I'd like to hear more of is Nida Fazli. He is a wonderful poet.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down

Came across this quote so thought of posting it here.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Takla Hatela ya Lamba Khamba?

Read this very interesting article re: how the underworld has rechristened Bollywood. In an attempt to confuse anti-piracy cells in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Dubai, Malaysia and Bangkok, 'bhais' have come up with new nicknames for actors and actresses, based largely on recent roles or makeovers.

Here's the list decoded/unearthed by the Police

The Men

- Chyawanprash: Amitabh Bachchan (after the brand he endorses)
- Takla Hatela: Salman Khan (recently went bald)
- Jhakaas Mamu: Anil Kapoor (his favourite word is jhakaas)
- Chhe Ungli ka Kamaal: Hrithik Roshan
- Chikna Kaana: Saif Ali Khan
- Neta ka abhineta or Political hero: Riteish Deshmukh
- Jawani ka Viagra: Aamir Khan (looks young for his age)
- Junior Daadhi: Abhishek Bachchan (thanks to his ever-present stubble)
- Booddha Hakla: Shah Rukh Khan (K…k…k…Kiran?)
- Kavla hakla: Shahid Kapur (the aspiring SRK)
- Satkela AK-47 or Munnabhai: Sunjay Dutt
- Kala Ghoda: Ajay Devgan
- Dhai Kilo ka Hero: Sunny Deol (‘dhai kilo’ dialogue in Damini)
- Charsi Punter: Fardeen Khan
- Bawa Model: John Abraham (he’s half Parsi)
- Chumma Jumma: Emraan Hashmi (Mr Lucky Lips)
- Pakaau hero: Akshaye Khanna
- Garam Masala: Akshay Kumar (his latest comedy)
- Anna: Suniel Shetty
- Circuit House: Arshad Warsi
- Paaji ka bachhda: Bobby Deol
- Hatela Nana: Nana Patekar

The Women

- Black Beauty: Bipasha Basu
- Kajrawali: Aishwarya Rai
- Chhipkali: Urmila Matondkar
- Item bomb: Mallika Sherawat
- Boodhi Ghodi Lal Lagam: Rekha (never say die)
- Carrom Board: Priyanka Chopra (eh?)
- MMS item: Kareena Kapoor
- Shaani Batli: Rani Mukerji
- Dimple: Preity Zinta
- Lamba Khamba: Shilpa Shetty
- Khallaas Baby: Isha Koppikar
- Mota rola: Manisha Koirala
- Universe ka Pataka: Sushmita Sen

Gangster M.D

I knew Munnbhai M.B.B.S was being remade as a Hollywood movie; its been in the news for a while now, but this is fresh news - Chris Tucker has officially been signed now. Is this the start of a new trend? Are we going to see more stars (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) act in remakes of Devdas and other mushy love stories, have songs and dances, blind mothers/sisters and corrupt politicians & villians in white suits!!

Read the news here -

Chris Tucker ("Rush Hour") is set to star in a Hollywood remake of Bollywood hit "Munnabhai MBBS" says The Associated Press.

The remake's director, Mira Nair ("Vanity Fair", "Monsoon Wedding"), told the Mumbai Mirror about Tucker's casting and said filming would begin on the retitled "Gangster M.D." after Tucker finishes making "Rush Hour 3."

Munnabhai MBBS tells the story of a mafia leader who pretends to be a doctor whenever his parents visit him from their village. But when his cover is blown, he decides to better himself by trying to become a doctor -- which he hopes will also prove himself to the woman he loves and her father, a hospital superintendent.

Nair said she may cast some actors from the Bollywood original, and is on the lookout for an Indian woman to star opposite Tucker.

Or from the main link here at 'Dark Horizons'