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Bollywood wants to help tsunami-hit - but how
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
While some Bollywood celebrities have already reached out to victims of the tsunami disaster in India, others are still shell-shocked and wondering how they should help.
Says Raveena Tandon: "I can't believe so much human life has been destroyed in one sweep. It's just too much to digest. We all must come forward to do our best."
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai for one has made the first move by donating Rs.2.5 million. "It's the least one can do considering the immensity of the tragedy.
"I'd like me and my colleagues to do a lot more, including arrange charity premieres of my new film 'Kisna'," says Ghai
Bollywood's nightingale Lata Mangeshkar says: "This sort of calamity shakes our faith in every law of nature. Little children, women and entire families have perished. We must help...yes we must."
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's sister, film editor Bela Sehgal, was caught in Chennai with her family when the tsunami hit the city. She was a first-hand witness to human lives being destroyed in one swoop. She says she will get nightmares for the rest of her life.
Tamil superstar Madhavan has a strange tale to tell. "Just two nights before it happened, my wife dreamt that we were all being swept away by waves of water. I told her all about a tsunami, little knowing that it would hit us so soon.
"The enormity of the tragedy in Chennai is unbelievable. People who had gone out for walks on the beach haven't returned home. All of us need to put our hands and resources together and make sure we help in healing the wounds."
But what can Bollywood do? Many have no clue.
Says Shahid Kapur: "We were supposed to shoot for Boney Kapoor's 'Milenge Milenge' at an island off Thailand. The schedule got cancelled at the last minute because of the premiere for my film 'Dil Mange More' Thursday. Now I hear the hotel where we were supposed to stay is no more! This is a tragedy beyond words. We all need to do what we can. I just have to be told what's to be done."
Says Abhishek Bachchan, "We want to help in every way possible, monetarily or otherwise. If there's going to be a charity show, as I hear there might be, then of course I'm part of it."
There's all-round uncertainty in the film industry regarding the next move.
Says Rahul Bose, "At a time like this when a full-blown crisis stares in our face it would be more than heartless to turn away. It would be criminal. I can't afford to donate Rs.10 million, or whatever. But I'm going to help in every way possible."
The industry does have a heart. Many stars have cancelled their parties and their mandatory year-end trips to Goa to usher in the New Year.
Says "Uff Ka Jadoo Mohabbat Hai" star Sammir Dattani, "I was supposed to be in Goa. But I've cancelled the trip. It just doesn't seem right."