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  • 10th TEGC winners announced

    The 10th anniversary of the Taiwan Excellence Gaming Cup brought forth talented female gamers at the same platform with their male counterparts. The Taiwan Excellence Gaming Cup (TEGC) 2023 recently announced the winners of its 10th-anniversary event at Ambience Mall in Gurgaon. Legacy Esports and Gods Reign won prizes for 'Counter Strike 2' and GodLike Esports and TWOB won for 'Call of Duty Mobile'. This year's event also saw a groundbreaking competition exclusively designed for India's top female gamers. The event featured a special match of CS 2 between two female gamer teams. The competition was dedicated to showcasing the remarkable talents of women in the world of esports, making a profound statement about inclusivity and diversity within the gaming community. The qualifiers of the cup took place from Sept 28 to Oct 22. This year's championship also received substantial support from leading Taiwanese brands, known for their excellence in gaming and lifestyle products. This includes brands like AIFA, Annie’s Way, AORUS, AROMASE, CyberPower, D-Link, dc Mask, Derma Angel, G. Skill, In Win, IPEVO, MSI, Predator, Republic of Gamers, Thermaltake, TOKUYO, Transcend, VICTOR, XPG, Zowie and Zyxel, among others. The prize distribution ceremony saw presence of noted influencers of the gaming industry, namely, Snax and Krutika. Several live performances and immersive experience in the form of exploration of the exciting worlds of gaming and innovation was also in the offing for the attendees. Onsite, visitors also experienced the meticulously crafted battle royale game 'Raider SIX' by Starlight Gaming, a Softstar Entertainment company from Taiwan. Attendees also got the chance to interact with the prominent names of the gaming world, and experience the various Taiwanese products on display. Over the past decade, TEGC has become a cornerstone in the Indian esports landscape, firmly establishing itself as a pioneering force in the nation's thriving esports arena. The annual event experiences a significant increase in participant numbers each year. In its inaugural edition, there were approximately 565 participants. However, the 10th edition, witnessed an impressive turnout with over 27,789 participants. Estela Chen, Executive Director, Economic Division, Taipei Economic & Culture Center – India, shared about TEGC’s journey in India. She said, "TEGC has been a transformative force in India's esports landscape. Over the past decade, we have witnessed a remarkable journey of growth, excellence, and inclusivity. We are proud to have played a pivotal role in shaping India's dynamic esports scene, fostering the talents of aspiring gamers and we look forward to a promising future, where TEGC continues to inspire, innovate, and elevate the world of gaming in India. Taiwan Excellence will keep introducing the Best Made in Taiwan to India to aid cooperation in all areas between the two nations." TEGC has been the launching pad for many of India's beloved esports champions, these talents have not only emerged from TEGC but have also made significant strides in a multitude of national and international esports tournaments.

  • Why Vicky Kaushal was nervous to play Sam Manekshaw

    Despite being in awe of Sam Manekshaw, actor Vicky Kaushal revealed he was too scared to play the veteran war hero. Read on to know who made him nervous... Actors often shy away from revealing that they are scared to play a role. But sometimes they pour out their heart to relax their nerves. One such incident happened with actor Vicky Kaushal when filmmaker Meghna Gulzar, on the sets of Raazi, casually shared a raw idea with the actor on making a film on former war hero, Sam Manekshaw. While Kaushal was all ears to the filmmaker’s plan, he wasn’t sure who she was talking about. So he secretly searched Manekshaw’s picture on the internet and was in awe of him. A very nervous Kaushal felt that he might not get the role because he was not that good looking. But years later when he was approached to play the lead in a film on Manekshaw’s life, he was over the moon. As part of the research, he spoke to the officials of the army and that's when his nervousness grew manifold. “I feel playing Manekshaw is the toughest role of my life, not because of the way he walked and talked, but for the man he was. The officials of the Army had great expectations from me. They told me that he was the best man they had, and that I had to do justice while playing him on screen,” he said. Since Manekshaw’s military life has spanned to four decades, Gulzar had too much in her hands to show. But she cornered her greed and settled to share his spirit rightly through the film. She researched extensively about reading about Manekshaw and meeting his family members. She also involved Kaushal into this process to help him get into the character’s shoes. “A lot of time was spent on observing the smallest things. I learnt the way Manekshaw walked and talked, the angle at which he bent and the way he sat. We also collected all the photos that we could find on the internet and observed the way he carried himself in different postures. We did this for three months before shooting the film. We also looked at the videos that were available on the internet to prepare me for this role,” he shared. When asked why Manekshaw’s story was relevant to tell, Gulzar said, “I think they don’t make men like him anymore. He is so inspiring and motivating. I feel he lived a life with righteousness and integrity. These qualities can never go out of time and style which is why his story is worth sharing.” Sam Bahadur gives a glimpse of the glorious life of the former field marshal and Chief of the Army, Sam Manekshaw. It also stars Fatima Sana Shaikh as former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Sanya Malhotra as Silloo, Sam's wife. The film is set to release on December 1.

  • A peep into GIA’s summit & opportunities for new investors

    Besides providing a platform to stakeholders of the golf industry to showcase their equipment and expand their network, the annual summit opens avenues for prospective business owners and youngsters. Keen to invest in the golf industry but don’t know where to start? The Golf Industry Association (GIA) kicked-off its 11th annual golf summit ‘GIA Golf and Turf Summit 2023’ today at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram. Besides offering a platform to the stakeholders of the golf industry, present across the length and breadth of the country, to come together, network and grow their businesses, it is a great opportunity for prospective business owners to learn about this industry. Experts from the related industries, such as golf equipment manufacturers along with fertilizer and machine manufacturers, will provide an overall understanding on the golf courses and their maintenance, opening avenues for prospective investors to get an understanding on them before investing. While talking about the summit, Ateet Gaur, Secretary General, GIA Board 2023, said, “The 11th edition of the summit is an industry-related educational programme that involves the golf courses and business vendors of the industry. It is a platform for someone who wants to get into the business of golf. So, whether it is acquiring an understanding about the grass or pulling up a club facility, this is the platform to be.” Unlike summits in other industries, which only focus on showcasing a range of products, GIA’s annual summit offers something for everyone. “People will learn about the kind of fertilizer they should use, whether it should be environment-friendly or not and its proportions, along with the machines that are ideal for maintaining the golf courses in discussions. Besides this, experts from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka in agronomy would practically display the working of the machinery, use of pesticides, etc. People will also be able to hold the golf equipment that vendors across India have in their offing,” he clarified. This summit is also suitable for youngsters. GIA will roll out the Greens programme to train the India agricultural students to upgrade themselves. Gaur feels that youngsters will be able to look at employment opportunities in the golf industry. “The programme would provide students an understanding on turf and grass, which is a highly technical field as it involves the management, maintenance and treatment of the turf. Speakers would talk about how clubs should be run, what pesticides should be used and what are the best green practices to follow,” he added. GIA Golf and Turf Summit 2023 has a two-day business section, a separate technical greenskeepers conference, an exhibition by companies related to the golf industry, a driving range demo day that includes equipment display and sale, and the annual GIA Awards. It is taking place on October 5 and 6 from 10 am onwards. Entry to the event is free. Several golf professionals, industry leaders, prominent bureaucrats from various concerned ministries, golf course owners, office bearers, traders and manufacturers of turf care equipment, golf carts, accessories and other allied items are expected to attend the summit.

  • 15th Hero Women's Indian Open to kick-off from Oct 19

    The event will witness golfers from Argentina, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Spain, South Africa, Slovenia, Scotland, Thailand and Wales, among others. The 15th edition of the Hero Women’s Indian Open, the flagship Ladies European Tour (LET) event in Asia, is set to take place from October 19 to 22 at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram. The event, this year, will witness 120 players from more than 25 countries. They will compete for a reward of $60,000, along with a high-end phone and a stunning watch. Diksha Dagar, the highest ranked Indian on the LET’s Race to Costa del Sol, from India will lead the Indian challenge. Dagar, who is extremely disciplined about her game, hopes to scale new heights at the upcoming event. While talking about her preparation and technique, she says, “I am planning to stay calm and composed. I will only focus on the game. I believe that success only comes if you shift your focus on practice rather than bothering about what people think about you or your performance. And, once I am in the competition, I try to enjoy the game. I do not get overthink about my performance and this helps me stay focussed.” Besides Dagar, Gaurika Bishnoi and Hitaashee Bakshi will also compete at the event from India. Bishnoi, who finished seventh last year, hopes to improve her performance this year. “It is surreal to play at my home turf. It won’t have been without Hero’s support. Last year, I came in really close and I am looking forward to closing it this time,” she shares. The 15th edition of the event will feature golfers from Argentina, Slovenia, Wales, Scotland and Germany. It will also feature six other winners from the current season. These include Thai Trichat Cheenglab (Big Green Egg Open in Netherlands), Denmark’s Smilia Tarning Soenderby (KPMG Women’s Irish Open), Spaniard Nuria Iturrioz (La Sella Open in Spain), Spaniard Carmen Alonso (Ladies Open by Pickala Rock Resort in Finland), Lisa Pettersson (Helsingborg Open in Sweden) and German Patricia Isabel Schmidt (Belgian Ladies Open). At least eight other winners from the 2022 schedule will also tee off. These include Lee Anne Pace of South Africa, Liz Young and Meghan MacLaren of England, Ana Pelaez Trivino, Manon de Roey of Belgium, Jana Melikova of Czech Republic, Anne Charlotte Mora of France and Johanna Gustavsson of Sweden. Till a few years ago, golf was a male-dominated game in India. Champika Sayal, Secretary General at Women's Golf Association of India, points out the change was possible after the facilities were improved in the clubs. “Till 2012, clubs in India lacked basic facilities such as women washrooms. When our players went out and played golf, it was very difficult for our young girls in the earlier days to play due to lack of washrooms. Girls were scared and parents were also not willing to send their children to these clubs. But it took some eight to nine years for these issues to get recognised and things have looked up since then,” she clarifies.

  • AR Rahman's daughter debut album an ode to this singer

    Khatija Rahman released her debut album 'Kuhu Kuhu' and paid a tribute to a legendary singer on the latter's birth anniversary. Khatija Rahman has released her debut album, Kuhu Kuhu, as a tribute to the late music luminary Lata Mangeshkar on her birth anniversary. The five-song album is an excellent showcase of Khatija’s mellifluous vocals, and includes renditions of Mangeshkar’s iconic songs such as Piya Tose Naina Laage Re, Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha, Kuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliya, Bekas Pe Karam and O Sajna. While making Kuhu Kuhu, the musician was guided by the intention to honour the talent, genius and art of all involved in creating these musical gems. Through this release, Khatija also tips her humble hat to the original, legendary composers and arrangers as well as the esteemed lyricists of these classic songs — SD Burman, Madan Mohan, Adi Narayana Rao, Naushad, Salil Chowdhury, Shailendra, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, Bharat Vyas and Shakeel Badayuni. Released with SaReGaMa, Kuhu Kuhu maintains the songs’ original essence. The all-acoustic album also features the remarkable Firdaus Orchestra, an initiative of Expo City Dubai, an all-female ensemble mentored by composer A.R. Rahman and supported by UAE Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and CEO, Expo City Dubai Authority. Talking about her debut, Khatija says, “I began learning music in my teenage years. I had always marvelled at Lata Mangeshkar ji’s artistry, but when my teacher introduced me to ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ and other songs was when I started to actually sing and record myself performing her songs. Since then, I’ve had a beautiful journey with Lata ji’s music and I’ve enjoyed my moments of exploring her catalogue. ‘Kuhu Kuhu’ is my tribute to Lata ji and a way of paying my respects to a musician who changed the world as we know it. Her positive message to me following my first single is what inspired this album.” The music video for Piya Tose is particularly special as it presents a visual emblem for global representation and collaboration. It features Khatija with the magnificent Firdaus Orchestra, comprising 54 women instrumentalists from 26 nationalities. The music video was filmed at the U.A.E. Pavilion, Expo City, Dubai. These visuals were important to Khatija who believes in the power of borderless creative synergies — not just behind the scenes but also on the screen and across stages. Together, Khatija presents Kuhu Kuhu as a tribute to one of the greatest female musicians of all time, Lata Mangeshkar. “Kuhu Kuhu has also been largely possible due to Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy who has always been supportive of women in the arts. We’ve kept the sound of the album pure, rich and live to capture the essence of the music from the retro years. I hope people find nostalgia, joy and comfort in ‘Kuhu Kuhu’. Music has no cultural, national or gender barriers, and your support means a lot to me,” she added. Surprisingly, Mangeshkar spoke with the young musician on a call and told her she liked the track when Khatija released her debut single 'Farishton' in 2020. With her debut album, Khatija exhibits her multi-faceted vocal range as well as consistent artistic exploration. Blazing a trail with her 2020 offering “Farishton”, Khatija put forth the message of peace, community and equality in the track as well as the Miyazaki-influenced magical world of the music video. Khatija has also collaborated with glorious Irish rockers U2 and Grammy Award-winning composer Ricky Kej for the songs of hope and healing — Ahimsa and Iltaja. Her film music ballads from Iravin Nizhal and Ponniyin Selvan-2 have moved listeners across the world. Ever since her playback debut at the age of 14 with 'Enthiran', Khatija has been charting a wondrous constellation as a new-age artist grounded in change and creativity. Up next, the musician is set to make her debut as a composer with Minmini. As she releases Kuhu Kuhu, the artist hopes people are transported back to their childhoods and are filled with joy and nostalgia as well as comfort through the tribute album.

  • Sanjay Bhattacharya explores geometric abstraction

    Artist Sanjay Bhattacharya sees geometric shapes like no else. Even though they don’t speak, he feels that they express emotions. His ongoing show tells a tale about his thoughts and the emotions that geometric shapes express. A triangle, circle, square and rhombus may appear as mere shapes to us but for artist Sanjay Bhattacharya, there’s more to them. He believes that geometric shapes express emotions and he has the ability to decode their language. His ongoing show titled ‘Talking Geometry’ gives a glimpse of both these elements. Bhattacharya’s works are made in geometric abstraction. It allowed him to play around with geometric patterns to create different forms on the canvas. “Whenever we draw something, we cover a positive space and the negative space just lies there. This negative space allows us to see patterns as curves, double triangle, small dots and triple triangle, among others,” he explains. Since these are abstract pieces, the artworks and forms emerged out of these patterns cannot be planned. The artist simply worked with his thoughts and ideas, and allowed his creativity to flow. “When I started on an artwork, different types of patterns appeared. I mean I had one focal point but rest of the geometrical patterns just happened during the process,” he shares. For instance, in one of the works, the centre triangle was the only thing that was drawn initially. But as he was in the process of creating the artwork, new ideas emerged and the rest of the shapes automatically happened. Similarly, he transformed a realistic painting but allowed elements to flow differently on the canvas. “The original painting carries hills, a tree and mustard flowers. Initially, I planned to make the trees into straight lines, but as I was replicating it onto the canvas, an idea poped up and I decided to represent the tree into textured triangles. Similarly, instead of giving mustard flowers their natural shape, I used graphical lines,” he clarifies. The artist has prominently used black in all works. When asked if it was intentional, Bhattacharya says, “Black is used to hold the composition. If I will remove black from these paintings, you won’t see any impact. It is not only adding depth to the canvases but also weight of the shape, i.e., how heavy a shape is.” This is not the first time that the artist has used geometrical patterns in a show. But it’s the first for him to give them the spotlight. “I have used circles and triangles in two of my other series, namely, ‘Tribute to the Masters’ and ‘Krishna’, in 2006 and 2012, respectively. But they were only as supportive elements. In 2006, my works featured Dali and Rembrandt and in 2012, Krishna dominated the canvas. But this time, I thought of highlighting geometric shapes only,” he clarifies. Talking Geometry is taking place at the Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre till September 27. Payal Kapoor, Founder, Arushi Arts organised the show, and Maneka Gandhi and Aman Nath inaugurated it.

  • Tahir Raj Bhasin goes retro

    The actor will soon be sporting several vintage items and yesteryear's looks for a new project. Tahir Raj Bhasin will soon be seen in Milan Luthria's OTT directorial debut ‘Sultan Of Delhi' on Disney+ Hotstar. The actor, who has been a part of several series this year, will share the screen space with Anjum Sharma, Vinay Pathak, Nishant Dahiya, Anupriya Goenka, Mouni Roy, Harleen Sethi and Mehreen Pirzada. The series, set to release on October 13, is anticipated to reimagine the charm of old India and create a visual spectacle on-screen. Bhasin will essay the role of a young, handsome and passionate 'Arjun Bhatia', who is a quintessential hero from the 60s era. Sharing details about his new role, Bhasin says that he took inspiration from the yesteryear actors. "For inspiration James Dean and Robert Redford were major international influences. Closer to home Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmender ji were iconic benchmarks of style from the 60’s and 70’s. The role allowed me to sport many vintage items like classic watches, shoes and more, something I really enjoyed,” he explained. Apparently, the makers took upon themselves to get the actors the right look. “One of the most exciting things about working with Milan Luthria is seeing how much detail he puts into planning, the style and the looks. I remember we spent weeks just getting the hair style right for Arjun Bhatia. Celebrity hair stylist Hakim Aalim was called in and after a few trials and hair cuts we hit upon a perfect look. The costume designers Jia and Malika did endless rounds of costume trials to get jeans with the right vintage cut and the right vintage jackets," he added. Arjun’s outfits across the series carry basic solid colours, such as black, white and shades of brown which allowed Bhasin to blend in perfectly with the retro era of the 60s.

  • Get, set, (Pokemon) GO in Hindi

    To engage and enhance the experience of Indian audiences, TPC and Niantic have renamed the game's characters in Hindi. There is a surprise for online gamers in India. The Pokémon Company (TPC) and Niantic, who are behind the popular augmented reality-based game ‘Pokémon GO’, have launched the Pokémon GO app in Hindi. To engage and enhance the experience of Indian audiences, the makers have renamed several of its characters. Revealing the details about them, Omar Tellez, VP for Emerging Markets, Niantic, said, “We have renamed nearly 800 characters. They have been chosen carefully, keeping their meanings in the local language (Hindi) in mind.” India becomes the 10th country in the world that has got localised content in the game. Pokémon GO was first launched in India in 2016. And, since then the company has worked very hard to cater to the needs to its Indian audiences. When asked why it took the makers so long to go desi, Tellez, clarified that they were resolving technical and operational issues. “We needed time to get the right game board and a team in India. Translating a game is not just about entering the words in Google Translate and pressing a button. TPC also ensured that the names of the monsters also mean something in Hindi and that was time consuming,” he shared. India has contributed tremendously to Pokemon Go in terms of the downloads. Keeping the needs of Indian audiences in mind, TPC and Niantic also hinted to introduce the app in other vernacular languages. “We have significantly expanded our game board. Hindi is the first of many languages that we aspired to bring in India. We are here to support every single community in India,” he added. Pokemon Go was launched in India in 2016. Since its launch, nearly 5,00,000 Pokestops have been added across India to grab eyeballs. The makers also introduced trading card games, TV series, merchandise, films and toys, among other things, after realising the game’s popularity among the masses. Starting with 151 creatures, Pokémon has continued to capture the imagination of children and adults alike and currently boasts over 1,000 creatures.

  • When villain dons chef's hat

    The actor donned a chef's hat on his birthday where he made a unique cake. Veteran actor Ranjeet celebrated his birthday recently. On this occasion, he took to Instagram to give his fans a glimpse of his birthday celebrations. The actor in the video was seen with a one-of-a-kind cake. Unlike others who prefer a cream or a fondue-based cake, Ranjeet was seen with a halwa cake that he made himself and decorated it with dry fruits. "Ayeeee... Cake nahi, Halwa; Merey birthday ka Jalwa..", the caption read. Ranjeet was a popular villain in the 80s and 90s. He has given several exceptional negative performances in Bollywood and is still remember for them. He is also extremely active on social media and enjoys posting pictures and videos of himself to keep his fans entertained.

  • Rithvik Dhanjani on 'Lost and Found In Singapore'

    This is the first time that the actor will be a part of an interactive film. Actor Rithvik Dhanjani, who has been a popular face in the television industry, has taken a giant leap. He will soon be seen in his first interactive film titled ‘Lost and Found in Singapore’. He will share the screen space with actress Apoorva Arora. Talking about the interactive concept, Dhanjani said, “This is an interactive film and that's the beauty of it. It is not a usual phenomenon in romantic comedy films that you get to choose what the character will do and not do. It is exciting for the audience to choose where Dhruv or Sitara will go and see what happens. It's an immersive experience. You will surely want to see both sides of the story.” He added, “It's very tricky for the writer Kanishka Singh Deo and director Harsh Dedhia to approach such a film, as they have to engage the audiences in both the stories. The team has done a fantastic job. You will get engrossed in both stories; I can bet on that. You may choose any of the stories, but you will want to go back and know what is happening on the other side. The audience embarks on a journey with us, and I think that's the beauty of the craft that our director shares.” The film will air on MX Player.

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