Last weekend, Ek Thi Daayan actors Emraan Hashmi and Huma Qureshi visited the Maha Kumbh mela with the film’s producer, Ekta Kapoor. Now they’re back with some great memories and lots of pictures.
Ask Emraan Hashmi about his experience and he speaks of sticking to vegetarian food and enjoying staying in a tent. "I had heard so much about the Maha Kumbh mela, but I’d never been there, so it was a great experience. I’ve been lucky to visit it in Allahabad, where it happens only once in 12 years. The aura and the vibe there was so energetic. We stayed in tents for two nights, which was great fun," says the Bollywood actor.
The trio first went to Lucknow, and then headed to Allahabad, where Ekta performed a puja as well as a yagna. Although Emraan went up till the confluence, he didn’t take a dip in the Ganges. "I was on camera duty as Ekta and everyone else was taking a dip. I was clicking pictures from the banks of the river," he smiles. "Anyway, I had gone there to experience the event and witness the grand congregation. Taking a dip in the Ganges wasn’t part of the plan in any case."
Emraan also denies that the trio promoted the film at the mela. "We didn’t actually, although the press that came to see us thought that we were doing so. The film is three months away from release," he clarifies, adding, "Even three months before the release of The Dirty Picture (2011), Ekta and I had visited Ajmer Sharif. These are trips that we make without any promotional agenda."
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Recently, Ekta Kapoor announced that she was taking the cast and crew of her next production, Ek Thi Daayan, to Allahabad to attend the Maha Kumbh Mela. Now, we hear that of the lead cast comprising Konkona Sen Sharma, Emraan Hashmi, Kalki Koechlin and Huma Qureshi, Emraan and Huma may not partake in one of the most famous rituals at the event — the holy dip.
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Despite Divisional Commissioner of Allahabad, Devesh Chaturvedi, saying that Bollywood should not promote films at Maha Kumbh Mela, filmmaker Ekta Kapoor along with the cast of Ek Thi Daayan is set to perform a yagna there. "I am spiritual and an Indian. So no one can stop me or my people from visiting the Kumbh. How can anyone be stopped from what is the largest religious event in the world," she says. HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, founder of Ganga Action Parivar and president of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, has invited Ekta and her team for the grand yagna February 9 at the Maha Kumbh.
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Bollywood stars have been asked to refrain from visiting the ongoing Maha Kumbh here for promotion of their upcoming films by the administration, which has advised them to schedule private visits, if any, on days other than the main bathing festivals.
"Since we do not want any stampede-like situation at the congregation, we are going to write to various filmmakers who may be planning to visit the congregation along with their cast and crew members," Divisional Commissioner of Allahabad Devesh Chaturvedi told PTI.
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To derive positive energy from the Mahakumbh, the world's largest and most spectacular religious event, and pray for the success of Vishal Bhardwaj and Ekta Kapoor's forthcoming Ek Thi Daayan, Kapoor is taking the film's lead actors, Emraan Hashmi and Huma Qureshi to Allahabad. They are expected to take a holy dip or 'shahi snan' at the 'sangam' point on the incredibly auspicious Mauni Amavasya on February 10. Touted as the busiest day in the Maha Kumbh, more than 10 crore people are expected, which hasn't deterred the celebrity trio and the Balaji team.