While Bollywood fumes over its near-complete exclusion from the National Awards this year, it is a festive time for husband and wife Vishal and Rekha Bhardwaj who have won National Awards for Best Music Composer and Best Female Playback Singer, respectively for Ishqiya.
This is the first time that a husband and wife duo has won music awards for the same film. Ecstatic with joy Vishal Bhardwaj says, "It's a great moment for me. And my happiness is multiplied because my wife too has won a National Award. Feeling blessed with twins in our family."
The happiest moment for Rekha in the whole experience was when the Goddess of all melodious things Lata Mangeshkar rang her up. "She didn't have my new number. She got it from a young composer Mayuresh Pai and rang me up and said, 'Main Lata bol rahi hoon.' Can you imagine? The most famous voice of our country introducing herself. That's the kind of humility all us artistes should aim for."
Success has come suddenly to Rekha Bhardwaj, "A while ago they didn't know where and how to slot my voice in cinema. In the last 2-3 years I've found a niche. It's God's blessings. And my mother who struggled to give my voice a classical trainingâ€¦I wish she was here to see this National award. I'm especially happy that my husband and I won it for the same film."
Ishqiya apart from Dabangg is the other Hindi film to win a major National Award. Arbaaz Khan who until recently was known as Salman's brother is as surprised by the onslaught of success as Rekha Bhardwaj. Arbaaz could barely contain his excitement. "It's a proud moment for my entire family and the team of Dabangg. The National Award is extremely prestigious. I am over the moon."
But no one's happiness could match the exuberant Rishi Kapoor's. On hearing that Do Dooni Chaar has won the National award for Best Hindi Film, he was virtually dancing in New York. Said the super-talented Kapoor, "Here we are talking about a sequel to Do Dooni Chaar and now it has won the National Award. Wowwwwwwww!!! I am so happy to see such a small film make such a big noise all the way here in the US. Sequel ka haq banta hai."
In the South, the ailing Rajinikanth's son-in-law Dhanush won the National Award for Best Actor. Rajinikanth's daughter, Dhanush's wife, Aishwarya says, "The good news comes at a time when the family is in distress. I'm extremely proud of Dhanush. He has done my father proud too."
Such is the predominance of regional cinema in this year's National Awards that Hindi filmmaker Ananth Mahadevan has won 4 awards for his stunning Marathi film Mee Sindhutal Sapkal. Mahadevan was stunned. "I'm humbled and honoured that an emotional film about a woman who spreads goodwill has made such an impact."
Interestingly, the exiled movie moghul J. P. Dutta chaired the National Award jury this year. J.P. who has been going through a career-low is all set to bounce back this month with another war movie.
Says J.P., "It was a pleasure to see cinema from all over the country making such an impact. It's about time we stopped looking at Bollywood as the fulcrum of Indian cinema. There's so much quality work happening all over the country. This year's National Awards are proof of it."
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