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‘Birthday plans were just a publicity stunt’

Anupam Kher lashes out at Kuch Log’s producer for inviting media to Lucknow without informing him.
By Priyanka Jain | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2011 03:33 PM IST

I have never tried to gain publicity around my birthday in the last 26 years and I will not do it now,” says an angry Anupam Kher, who was in for a rude shock on Wednesday, when he discovered that the producer of his film, Kuch Log, had invited the media to Lucknow to celebrate his special day, without informing him. “I came to know about it only yesterday and I have turned down the request.”

However, producer Syed Asif Jha claims that Kher was informed of the plan: “Anupamji is aware of the celebrations. Since his birthday fell in between the shooting schedule, we decided to throw a party in Lucknow for local dignitaries, crew members and the media,” says Jha, adding that the actor had even suggested a date convenient to him for the same, as he was not going to be in Lucknow on March 7, his birthday. “He suggested that we have the party on March 6 as he had prior commitments. Maybe when he said yes to the plan, he did not know the media was also part of it.”

But Kher remains oblivious to any such conversation. "Even if I didn’t have other plans, I wouldn’t have gone ahead with this celebration. I will never be party to this kind of publicity stunt. I prefer quiet birthdays," defends Kher, who will celebrate the day with his parents and wife Kirron Kher, before which he will be present at the European International Film Festival in Mumbai as a chief guest.

When Jha was informed of Kher’s take on the situation, he immediately retracted his statement. Even though his team invited the media specifically for Kher’s birthday via email, he continued to claim otherwise, saying, “I had called the press for a party to Lucknow, but it not for Anupamji’s birthday. It was a general party.”

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