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Akbar Khan celebrates Taj Mahal's success

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A scene from Taj Mahal
Director Akbar Khan's magnum opus, 'Taj Mahal – An Eternal Love story", following two National Awards for Best Costume and Art Direction, is now creating history again. This time as the first and the only film to get a world premiere, more than a year post its Indian release. Director Akbar Khan will present the Director's Cut of 'Taj Mahal", a revised, shortened version of the film at the 2007 Dubai International Film Festival, to be held at Dubai from December 9 – 16, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, PM and Ruler of Dubai and under the Honorary Chairman of His Highness Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of The Emirates Group.

At the same time, a year after its release, the Indonesian government has expressed a desire to release the magnum opus there. To mark the happy occasion, Khan held a party at his Sona Villa Bungalow, Juhu on Dec 7, 8.30pm onwards. The party was to honour the visit of the Indonesian dignitary Mr Chairul Tangung, Chairman, Para Group, Indonesia.

Explains Khan, "The Para Group is a diversified conglomerate of Indonesia, and are global players in various fields. They own the country's biggest bank, The Maga Bank. In aspects of natural resources, they are into mining and also insurance owning TV productions."

It is tipped that the premiere of Khan's film in Indonesia will be attended by the Vice President of the country. There is also a joint venture proposed tie-up with the Para Group.

Akbar Khan's party was attended by Chairul Tanjung with wife Anita, Tito Dos Santos Baptista, Consul General of Indonesia in India with his wife, Kabir Bedi, Pooja Batra, brother Sanjay Khan and wife Zarine, Pooja Batra,Tejaswini Kolhapure with husband Pankaj Saraswat, Padmini Kolhapure, Bunty Grewal, Shawar Ali, Zulfi Syed, Dipannita Sharma, Anjala Zaveri, Shaina Nath, Yukta Mookhey, Bhagyashree with husband Himalaya, models Rashmi, Tanvi and a host of others.

Black seemed to be the colour of the day at the party-- Anjala Zaveri, Zarine Khan, Pooja Batra, Simone Arora all wore black. Akbar Khan's wife Mariam nursing a hurt leg preferred simple Indian attire and despite her injury played the perfect host with Akbar Khan. There was fun and frolic as everyone danced and sang through the night. Bhagyashree and Himalaya came in late and Bhagyashree seemed to have lost a few years of her age – she was as pretty as ever. Bunty Grewal, Shawar Ali and Zulfi Syed were flanked by women all night. Not that they were complaining. Kabir Bedi was like old wine in new bottle- as charming. He had enthusiastic guests clicking pictures with him.

Our PM Manmohan Singh had termed Taj Mahal as "a brilliant effort portraying one of the salient periods of our history through the medium of cinema," adding that "it showcases our composite culture and rich heritage and is both educative and entertaining." While Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Chairman, Planning Commission of India, recommended it "strongly". Mukesh Ambani had that the book on Taj Mahal titled Taj Mahal – Making of a Motion Picture "is just as wonderful as a movie…" a testimonial to Khan's stature "as a great entertainer."

Taj Mahal is also the first film to have had an exclusive screening hosted by the Ambassador of Turkey, Hasan Gogus for over 60 ambassadors. Gogus avers that Akbar Khan's magnum opus "brought out the splendour of an era bygone, both in terms of compassion and technical excellence… a rich tribute to the historic monument which speaks of the proud passions of an Emperor's love wrought in living stones."

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