Meeting my daughter means a lot to me: Sanjay Dutt
A dispute between Pritish Nandy's daughter Rongita Nandy and Shah Rukh Khan's wife Gauri Khan and best friend Karan Johar at a special screening of "Shabd" in February this year, has precipitated what looks like a war of nerves between the two camps.
At the Pritish Nandy Communication's (PNC)"Shabd" screening Rongita had apparently asked Gauri and Karan to leave since the show wasn't meant for people from inside Bollywood.
Shah Rukh Khan understandably took umbrage over the incident.
The fall-out of the incident has been grave: apparently Shah Rukh Khan and all his friends (which means practically 75 percent of the film industry) have decided to boycott the Sansui awards organized by PNC.
What's the truth behind this boycott theory, and where do this year's awards, already postponed twice, stand?
A report suggests that Shah Rukh and Pritish Nandy have met and patched up their differences and that the mega-star, winning every award this year for his performances in "Veer-Zaara", "Main Hoon Na" and "Swades", has tacitly agreed to participate in the Sansui awards.
But a close friend of Shah Rukh completely rubbishes this report.
"There has been no patch up, there won't be either. Shah Rukh isn't one to take any insult, intentional or non-intentional, to his loved ones lying down. And when it comes to his wife Gauri he's absolutely paranoid.
"Shah Rukh was livid after what happened at the 'Shabd' screening. There's no way he will overlook the incident."
Regarding the matter Pritish Nandy is his usual calm and blunt self.
"As far as we at PNC are concerned the matter is over and done with. Yes, there was an incident involving Gauri Khan and Karan Johar at the 'Shabd' screening. We've apologized to them although there was absolutely no intention to hurt or offend.
"It's a matter of policy for us to not show our films to people within the film industry before release. We've learnt this the hard way. Some years ago we had made a film called 'Sur'. Someone from the industry saw the film and badmouthed it all over the place. As a result distributors walked out at the eleventh hour causing great inconvenience for the film.
"Ever since then we've decided to never to show our films to industry folks. Hence the incident during 'Shabd'."
"Shah Rukh and I met over lunch. But I'm not very sure if that would be a considered a reconciliatory rendezvous. As far as we at PNC are concerned we're putting up the Sansui show at London at the end of May - probably 26 May - and we'd love to have Shah Rukh at the show. The ball is entirely in his court."
In the meanwhile, PNC whose latest release is the critically acclaimed "Hazaaron Khawaishein Aisi" is getting ready to release its next film, an out-and-out comedy "Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina" featuring Fardeen Khan and Koena Mitra.
Why item girl Koena? Isn't she the poor man's Bipasha Basu. "I think Bipasha's had her innings. Audiences look for a certain virginal quality in their heroines. Bipasha is over-exposed, in every way.
"I think Koena has the potential to be the next hot thing."
With "Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena" PNC gives another new director a chance to have his say. "We introduced Sujoy Ghosh with 'Jhankar Beats'. Our 'Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jao' was directed by another debutant Kabir Sadanand.
"'Ek Khiladi ...'is directed by screen writer turned director Suparn Varma. It's a total masala film, wacky and witty....We're also launching a new film called 'Aayega' with Sunny Deol in the lead. It's again something totally unexpected from us. It'll be directed by Rohit Shetty (who directed 'Zameen')."