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Celebs give tough time to cricketers!

Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai are giving a tough fight to Indian cricketers in Pak newspapers even as cricket fever is rising with the first Indo-Pakistan Test in Lahore.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2006 19:38 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai are giving a tough fight to Indian cricketers in Pakistani newspapers and magazines even as cricket fever is rising with the first India-Pakistan Test in Lahore.

Indian television serials seem to be as popular, or perhaps more, with the masses here, with almost every Pakistani fully aware of what is happening in Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and the like.

Although there is apparently restriction on Indian news channels being aired publicly, hotels that have their own dish antennae regularly show the serials to their guests.

Pakistan's love and craze for Bollywood and Indian tele-serials continue even as the Indian team is here on a 45-day tour to play three Tests and five one-day internationals.

English and Urdu newspapers here are everyday splashed with photographs and write-ups on Indian cine actors, with Aishwarya's photographs often featuring on front pages!

And the film pages of the newspapers, both English and Urdu, are virtually fully loaded with write-ups on the latest in Bollywood, including behind-the-scenes gossip.

The Post, a relatively new newspaper, had the other day a smiling Aishwarya on its ear panel, next to the masthead, with a detailed news item on its 'Showbiz' page saying that she might work with director Raj Kumar Santoshi in two films.

Dawn, a conservative but most respected English daily in Pakistan, published an almost full-page article on Amitabh's recent illness.

"It appears as though India came to a standstill when the news spread that their demigod was admitted to the hospital with an intestinal problem," said the article. Two large photographs of the Allahabad-born legendary actor, one of his youth and the other of the day he was discharged from a Mumbai hospital, accompanied the piece.

Reviews of latest Indian films are also published in papers every week.
In its latest review section, The News, a publication of the Jang Group of Newspapers, had critical appreciation of Hazaron Khwahishein Aisi, and also reported on the recent marriage of Aamir Khan with Kiran Rao.

News from the Indian fashion world, especially the recent split in the annual Lakme Fashion Week, was widely reported in papers in Lahore.

The Pakistani fashion world also recently split between Karachi, the more 'fashionable' city of the country, and Lahore, a close second.

It is not only Bollywood and fashion that is jostling for space in Pakistani newspapers. It was a bit surprising to see in The Post a seven-column photograph of the winners of Pond's Googly Woogly Queens 2006 contest, held in New Delhi.

In the photograph, each of the three winners were accompanied by Miss India 2005 Amrita Thapar, Miss India World 2005 Sindhura Gadde and Miss India Earth 2005 Niharika Singh.

First Published: Jan 16, 2006 19:38 IST