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I punched and broke a piece of Madhavan sirs tooth while shooting Saala Khadoos: Ritika Singh

Ritika Singh - Kartik (2) (1)
Ritika Singh (Photo by: Kartik Thakur)

It’s often said that the life has a plan for everybody and no matter what you do, that plan will take its course! That plan turned professional kick boxer Ritika Singh in an actress. The national level boxer who represented India at the 2009 Asian Indoor Games played the lead in the Rajkumar Hirani produced, R Madhavan starrer 2016 movie Saala Khadoos, which had boxing as the central theme. Who knew that Ritikas boxing career would land her in a role in a Bollywood movie! In an interview with Nation Next, Ritika Singh speaks about her first released movie Saala Khadoos, the respect she has for ace filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, dynamic actor R Madhavan and her future plans.


You belong to a boxing background and fortunately your first film Saala Khadoos was about boxing. You worked with talented people like R Madhavan and Rajkumar Hirani just in your first film. Do you feel lucky?

Absolutely! It’s still unbelievable for me. I never wanted to be an actor and it happened by chance. Once, we were doing a look test for the film for the poster shoot. I was at Rajujis place in front of a mirror and a lady was straightening my hair as I have naturally curly hair. Rajuji, his wife and Madhavan sir were there and talking to each other and Rajujis son was taking my pictures for making a video. And I thought, Just two hours ago, I was at my place when my mother sent me to fetch milk and now I’m sitting here! Nobody can be luckier than me. From a fighter to an actor in Rajkumar Hiranis production, it was just destiny!

Did you feel burdened by the expectations as it was Rajkumar Hiranis production?

There’s was a lot of pressure considering the fact that I was playing the lead role in the film and Maddy sir was the co-actor. When we were shooting for the film, I was the only one with no experience of acting whatsoever. Maddy sir had an experience of 52 films, Nassar sir had an experience of over 500 films and Mumtaz Sorcar who played my sister in the film had an experience of 26 films. I’m person who loves to learn new things. I knew nothing and I kept learning.

You’re very candid in your demeanor. You blasted the Boxing Federation in the past and even went on the record to say that boxers generally do sexual favors for the coaches. Now, you’re in an industry which is perceived to be very diplomatically correct. Don’t you feel that being so outspoken can go against you in the film industry?

I did not say exactly that! The media turned it around. I said that exploitations and harassments happen everywhere but at certain places they are highlighted even more. Many people say that film industry bahut galat hain! When I got into it, people told my father, Kahaan bhej diya! Achchi fighter hain, bigad jayegi! It happens everywhere but people don’t talk about it. I spoke about politics and favours. If you’re the coach and I’m the student, the students keep enquiring if the coach wants water or other things. Students don’t realise that they are not servants; they are there to learn.

You were fantastic in Saala Khadoos. You played the role of a tomboyish girl in the movie. Howre you in real life?

I’m actually like a boy! My natural tomboyish trait helped me in the movie. The kind of clothes they gave me in the movie, the surroundings in the movie helped me to behave in that way even more. I used to sit in the fish market all day so I became that person who doesn’t care about how she looks. In the movie, I look like a female who I want to punch! I don’t look so bad even when I’m sleeping! But that character, my surroundings and my clothes just made me that and I never cared about anything and went for it.

You come from a boxing background and the basic premise of the film was boxing. Did it help you in any way?

It helped me a lot but in some cases it also went against me. During our fights, we fighters get beaten up a lot but we never reveal our pain because if you do, the referee might tell you to stop. As I fighter, I never show that I’m hurt or tired; I’m always ready. That’s the way I’ll show my confidence. Whereas in films, you as an actor have to show the emotions; you have to show that you’re tired. I had a head guard and a gum shield on during some scenes in the film, so I had only my eyes to express things and it was very difficult.

Boxers generally have a never say die attitude. Do you think that this never say die attitude and your outspoken behavior will help you and give you an edge to take your Bollywood dreams further?

I have had this attitude since I was a child. I have been doing martial arts since I was three years old. When I lose in a fight, I become a different person. I become lonely, switch my phone off and don’t talk to anybody. I just don’t like it. The worst part about my life is that I’m a kickboxing and a karate champion. All my fights have been exceptional. I have had 5 seconds round and in one kick I have knocked people out! These fights are not on the internet. The fights which I have lost unfortunately were broadcasted on the TV! I lost and got bashed up by people in those fights! I can’t cope up with that because I know I have the potential and people are watching the wrong side of me. It just irritates me. But yeah, I have that never say die attitude and I think it’ll help me and I’ll never give up.

Saala Khadoos was a movie about boxing. In the future there are possibilities that you will land up in more glamorous role of sorts

That’s what I want to do! I want to do and experience something different. I want to test myself and see what I can do.

So, no boxing henceforth?

It’s my dream to bring light to the sport. Deepika Padukone is not playing badminton any more but if she does in one of the tournaments today, the whole of the world will watch the match that day! The sport can be glorified this way and can to brought to people’s attention. Some day, if I’m offered a big fight, I’ll take the fight because I want people to see it and encourage the sports scenario.

 Who’s your favourite boxer?

My favourite fighter is Rhonda Rousey because she has a killer instinct and a never say die attitude. I don’t want to be a fighter like her because as a fighter shes really arrogant and I can’t be that. I want to be the person she is. I want to have her confidence and do whatever I believe in.

 Were there any nervous moments while filming Saala Khadoos

As a person I’m very sweet, respectful and calm. I don’t have an anger and Saala Khadoos made me realise that if I get that anger and aggression in me, there’s no fight that I’ll lose in the world! On the first day of the shoot I had to shout, get angry and throw punches on Madhavan sir. I was very nervous. Madhavan sir calmed me down and told me to punch him and make the shot real. I got really pumped up and the moment Sudha maam said action, I punched and broke a piece of his tooth!

(This interview was taken just after the release of Saala Khadoos in January 2016)

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Marathi Cinema

Chandrashekhar Bawankule unveils poster, releases trailer of Nagpur film ‘Aamhi Butterfly’




Nation Next Newsroom | Photographer : Nitin Mankar | Nagpur

Former Maharashtra Minister and current MLC Chandrashekhar Bawankule unveiled the poster and released the trailer and songs of the upcoming Marathi film – Aamhi Butterfly – at an event held at Deshpande Hall in Nagpur. The film, which has been shot in Nagpur and other parts of Vidarbha, has been directed by Aniiket Limje and produced by Rajesh Rangari and Shrinivas Shiras.

Many child actors who have worked in the movie are from Vidarbha. During the trailer launch, MLA Tekchand Sawakar, actor Girish Pardesi and other actors from the movie, were present. Aamhi Butterfly is going to be released in August 2022.

Above are some of the pictures from the event!

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Ram Kamal Mukherjee named ‘Best Director’ for his short film ‘Ek Duaa’ at IWMBuzz Digital Awards




Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Ram Kamal Mukherjee (R) whikle receiving the ‘Best Director’ trophy at IWMBuzz Digital Awards ceremony in Mumbai

Filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee won the ‘Best Director’ award for his short film ‘Ek Duaa’ at the recently held IWMBuzz Digital Awards ceremony at Taj Lands End in Mumbai. The film is produced by Esha Deol Takhtani and Assorted Motion Pictures. Apart from winning the award, it was a special occasion for Mukherjee as two other films he directed also got recognized.

Esha won the ‘Best Actress’ award in the popular categories for her critically acclaimed performance in ‘Ek Duaa.’ After accepting the award, Esha said: “This film is extremely special for me, because I turned producer with this film and I would like to give entire credit to captain of the ship Ram Kamal Mukherjee for bringing such a wonderful subject to me.”

Avinash Dwivedi won the ‘Most Promising Debut’ award for his acclaimed performance in ‘Rickshawala,’ a film directed by Mukherjee. Avinash, who was accompanied by his wife and actor Sambhavna Seth, said: “This is beyond my expectation that today I am getting this recognition as an actor amidst all Bollywood celebrities for my role in Ram Kamal sir’s film Rickshawala. To get honoured for a regional cinema amidst such Bollywood biggie reinforced my faith in good content.”

Gurmeet Choudhary won the ‘Most Popular Actor’ award for his performance in Mukherjee’s film ‘Shubho Bijoya.’ Choudhary said: “Ram Kamal is an amazing story teller. When he narrated this story to me and Debina, we knew that this film will click instantly. I am honoured to receive this award, though the competition was really tough. I thank my fans and jury members who voted for me.”

Other winners at the award ceremony included Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani, Rakul Preet, Raveena Tandon, Huma Qureshi, Dino Morea, Sikander Kher, Sonu Sood, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga, Manish Paul and other popular names from the Hindi film industry.

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JUST MARRIED! Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt tie the knot | Check pictures




Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai

The much awaited Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt wedding fans had been eagerly waiting for finally got solemnised today afternoon in the presence of close friends and family members at Ranbir’s residence ‘Vastu’ in Mumbai. Check out some pictures of the same…

Alia took to her social media to write, “Today, surrounded by our family and friends, at home … in our favourite spot – the balcony we’ve spent the last 5 years of our relationship – we got married.

With so much already behind us, we can’t wait to build more memories together … memories that are full of love, laughter, comfortable silences, movie nights, silly fights, wine delights and Chinese bites.
Thank you for all the love and light during this very momentous time in our lives. It has made this moment all the more special.
Ranbir and Alia ✨♥️”

Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt

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