Friday, December 18, 2009

Khiladi Kumar runs in minus 8 degrees

Gurmukh Singh, Indo-Asian News Service
Toronto, December 18, 2009

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar announced that he would make a cross-cultural film on Canada with ice hockey as the theme even as he ran in bone-chilling temperature for the Winter Olympic torch relay. .

"I love ice hockey, and I am in the processing making this film. I will start work on it next year,'' the Singh is Kinng hero said here while participating the torch relay race for the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver.

But he could not complete the 300-metre torch run as protesters opposing the staging of the Olympics blocked the race.

Since ice hockey is very popular among all Canadians, Akshay said he wants to show how this game has bridged cultural differences between different people.

Hinting that he might also make a Punjabi film, he said,"I am Punjabi and I love the language. I have just done a small role in a Punjabi film, and I won't rule out any film in the future.''

Akshay, who owns a house and has permanent residence status here, said Canada is "like a second home to me. I love Canada. Though the weather here is cold, people are very warm.''

He said his connection with Canada has deepened over the years since he came here first in 1995.

"Seven-eight of my films have been shot in Toronto and Vancouver, and six of them have done very well. So I have special connections with this country,'' he said.

He also recalled the help extended by Canadians when his father was brought to Toronto for medical treatment some time ago.

Thanking Canada for inviting him to run with the Olympic torch, he said, "It is a dream come true.

"I am honoured and privileged to have been selected as an official torchbearer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch relay. I would like to thank Canadians for this honour and recognition,'' he said.

He said he was also happy about Toronto hosting the 'Bollywood Oscars' in 2012. "I am very happy that the event is coming to Toronto. It will be a great honour for Canada.''

However, he was not very happy about his films his year, saying that "this year three to four films (of mine) didn't do that well.''

Later in the evening he ran with the Olympic torch on the famous Yonge Street in the heart of Toronto in bone-chilling winter. Even the minus eight-degree temperature failed to deter people as thousands lined up both sides of the street to have a glimpse of the star.

However, Akshay could not finish his 300-metre run as protesters blocked the street to highlight the treatment of Native Indians by the Canadian government.

Hundreds of policemen intervened to remove the agitators who kept shouting slogans against the holding of the Olympics on lands taken away from the original natives of Canada.

Akshay was one of the international torch-bearers selected by the Olympic organizing committee.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I hope I don't drop the Olympic torch Akshay Kuamr

I hope I don't drop the Olympic torch: Akshay  
By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Dec 16 (IANS) Akshay Kumar, who will participate in the Olympic Torch Relay Thursday in Toronto, keeps telling himself not to drop the torch.

"I just keep telling myself one thing over and over again, 'No matter what happens, Akshay, don't drop that torch. Naak kat jayegi.' It'd be so embarrassing. I'd never be allowed to come back to Canada," Akshay told IANS before leaving for Toronto. 

Akshay was busy shooting for Priyadarshan's "Khatta Meetha" and had to take permission from him to attend the gala event. 

"I had to ask my director for a few days off from his tight schedule of 'Khatta Meetha'. He kindly agreed. Now I'm very very excited to be part of something as prestigious as the Olympics. I just feel the whole experience will be truly inspiring. I think this is one of the biggest happenings in my life," he said.

Akshay worked round the clock to beat the deadline for his departure. 

"Only when I go home in the night do I allow myself the luxury of feeling tired. On 17th I run with the torch. Then I return to Canada again to see some of the Olympics sports. I wouldn't miss it for the world."

But the actor has one regret before he left that his son Aarav couldn't accompany him. 

"It was just for a day. And I somehow managed to squeeze it into my schedule. For Aarav, it'd be too tiring. If I was going for at least five-six days, I'd have taken my wife (Twinkle Khanna) and son."

The torch for the 2010 Winter Olympics will be in Toronto from Dec 17 to 19. The 2010 Winter Games shall be held at Vancouver Feb 12-28


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