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  • Playing Dhansu Yadav scared Pavan Malhotra

    The actor recently revealed that he was initially scared to play his reel character ‘Dhansu Yadav’ in Shiksha Mandal. From playing Milkha Singh’s coach to Dhansu Yadav, actor Pavan Raj Malhotra has come a long way. For someone who has worked for such a long time in the industry and with the biggest stars, one cannot imagine if there could be a character that made the actor nervous. But Malhotra revealed that it was the role of Dhansu Yadav in MX Player’s original series Shiksha Mandal that made him nervous. “The dialect of the character that I'm enacting was new to me. Even though I had assistance to perfect the diction, I was initially scared to play Dhansu Yadav due to the unique dialect,” he shared. In Shiksha Mandal, Malhotra plays a baddie who is the mastermind behind the scam. So what made him say yes? The actor revealed that it was the unique story that got him excited for the role. “The major motivation to do Shiksha Mandal is its gripping storyline which revolves around the basic framework of the education sector,” he said. Shiksha Mandal revolves around the much-debatable Vyapam scam that shook India a few years ago. The show features several new faces of the industry. Talking about his experience of working with fresh faces, Malhotra said, “It brought a sense of freshness and so much energy on the sets. There was so much to learn from these kids about their way of working and their perspective on life and work. While I hope I was able to contribute something to them with my experiences, I surely enjoyed my time with them during the shoot of the show.” Besides Malhotra, the series stars Gauahar Khan and Gulshan Devaiah in prominent roles. It revolves around corruption that took place at large institutions in the guise of education and the exploitation that students faced as a result of the same.

  • Music licensing goes digital

    Fairplay aims to create a ripple in the music licensing ecosystem by simplifying the licensing process and substantially reducing transaction time and effort. In India, acquiring a music license is painstaking. To enable easy licensing and music clearances, Fairplay has launched a music licensing service in India. It is a digital marketplace for all categories of owners of musical content – from artists, composers and songwriters, to record labels, publishers and distributors. The platform will not only enable easy licensing and music clearances, but also serve as a repository of content, carefully curated and catalogued by rights-holders in collaboration with the platform, to meet the needs of wide range of end users. It also hopes to enhance the value of music content by enabling creators to more effectively and efficiently monetise their music. “The aim is to have a plethora of musical offerings capable of catering to the myriad requirements of customers, from films to advertising to live events to streaming. Whether you’re looking for something specific or just casually window shopping for future projects – we’ll have you covered! At the heart of Fairplay is our desire to create an ecosystem that’s accessible, easy and equal to all,” shares Ravdeep Anand, Founder and CEO, Fairplay. The platform also aims to create a ripple in the music licensing ecosystem by simplifying the licensing process and substantially reducing transaction time and effort. The launch of the platform marks the commencement of closed-beta operations in preparation for the final roll-out in a few months. Priyanka Khimani, who has been involved with Fairplay as a legal and strategic advisor and investor, said, “Licensing of music copyright is arguably one of the most complex activities in music markets across the world. Fairplay brings together both sides and converts a complex, multi-layered process into an accessible and easy shopping experience.”

  • Dream Girl 2 takes dig at 'Boycott Bollywood'

    The film starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Ananya Panday and will release on June 29, 2023. In 2019, Dream Girl was a massive success at the box office and was one of the highest grossing blockbusters of that year. While social media has been abuzz and speculations have been rife about a second instalment, Balaji Motion Pictures finally put all the rumours to rest by announcing the film and its release date. The makers have dropped a teaser giving a sneak-peak into the second part of the Dream Girl Franchise, which is all set for a worldwide release on June 29th, 2023. Ayushmann Khurrana will reprise as Pooja and the effervescent Ananya Panday will play his lady love. Teh film will also see Annu Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Vijay Raaz, Manoj Joshi, Rajpal Yadav, Seema Pahwa, Manjot Singh and Abhishek Banerjee in supporting roles. Dream Girl 2 traces the journey of a small-town boy Karam (played by Ayushmann Khurrana) who is trying to live a serious life in Mathura and falls in love with Pari (played by Ananya Panday) but life is hell bent on not taking him seriously. In a turn of events Karam becomes Pooja which creates further chaos in his already chaotic life. Ayushmann Khurrana on being a part of Dream Girl 2 shared, "I am super stoked about Dream Girl 2! This is my second outing with Balaji Motion Pictures and I am thankful to Ektaa that she has carried this franchise forward and made it bigger. I have found a friend in Raaj and its exciting to team up with him again. Ananya Panday has been paired with me and I am looking forward to see the audience reaction to our chemistry.” On joining the second instalment of the successful franchise, Ananya Panday said, "I am excited to be a part of Dream Girl 2 and working with the dream team of Ayushmann Khurrana, one of the finest actors of Bollywood and the true boss lady Ektaa Kapoor herself. I’m so grateful to be working with the most talented ensemble and of course the captain of our ship, the super Raaj sir. This one is going to be a treat for all those who loved Dream Girl. Can’t wait for the audiences to see it." Directed by Raaj Shaandilya and produced by Ektaa R Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor under the banner of Balaji Motion Pictures, the film will be a whacky, comic caper that will definitely entertain the audiences, leaving them in splits. Ektaa on the announcement of Dream Girl 2 shared that the film will be a laugh riot. "Audiences can expect double the fun, double the pun and a doubled dose of comedy in Dream Girl 2,” she added.

  • IPL team Gujarat Titans set for FDCIxLFW debut

    IPL team Gujarat Titans will launch its streetwear collection at the upcoming Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) in October. We have seen cricketers walking the ramp but have you ever heard a team launching its streetwear collection at a fashion week? IPL team Gujarat Titans is set to launch one such collection at the upcoming FDCI x LFW to be held in October. The collection is designed by designer Kanika Goyal under her own fashion label. It is aimed at bringing fans closer to the Gujarat Titans. The launch will take place in two segments. The first will be as the Autumn-Winter collection at the FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week scheduled between 12-16 October 2022, and then, it will be launched as the Spring-Summer collection scheduled for a later stage. Such a collaboration is the first between FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week and an IPL team. Before this feat, Gujarat Titans were crowned as champions of the Tata IPL 2022.

  • Ways to get best flight tickets

    Traveling by air can become a struggle for some if things don't go as per the plan. These travel hacks can help you get the best seats whether you are traveling for a vacation or a business trip: Know your priorities Knowing what you want offers comfort to your travel. For instance, if you prefer leg space, its best to go for aisle seats as there is a legroom for passengers. But if you want a noise-free zone, avoid the galley areas. This is where the staff prepares meals, toilets are located and the bulkhead seats are placed. Enjoy perks of early check-in They say: an early bird catches the worm. This stands true for passengers traveling by air. With millions of passengers boarding planes daily, the chances of getting a seat as per your expectation reduces if you check-in late. So, the earlier you check in, the higher your chances are of grabbing the seat of your choice. Be polite You don't have to be a smooth talker to get a better seat. Sometimes humility can do the magic. So be polite and humble at the check-in counter. Do enquire about a better seat at the time of check-in. People usually get their seats updated to business class at the time of check-in leaving some seats in premium economy. Trick the system If you are traveling as a couple, this trick can help you get an extra space. While booking in a three-seat row, opt for a window and an aisle seat and leave the middle seat empty. Surveys prove that middle seats are the least popular on a plane. This would give you an empty seat and more space to stretch your body.

  • Gauahar Khan learns new skill for next project

    The Chokra Jawan-actress will be soon seen as a no-nonsense quick-witted and intuitive cop. Gauahar Khan doesn't like horsing around while working. That's why she is looks so natural portraying her reel characters. For her upcoming role of a no-nonsense quick-witted and intuitive cop in MX Player's upcoming series 'Shiksha Mandal...India's Biggest Educational Scam', the actress once again proved her mettle when she took horse riding lessons. Surprisingly, she learnt the art of riding in one day. Talking about her newly-acquired skill, Khan said, "When the role demands something, you have to give it your all to make it look authentic; there’s no other way. So, I learnt how to ride a horse. We didn’t have much time, so I did it in one day. It takes around six months to be a confident rider, but I had to learn the basics in a day." According to reports, Gauahar has performed quite a few stunts on her own in the show. She credits the show's action director for his patience in teaching her the skills. "All credit goes to our action director, Salaam Sir, and his team who patiently trained me. It was pretty intense, actually, but empowering at the same time. I got a sense of achievement while playing Anuradha. The show has our blood, sweat, and tears; we’ve put in a lot of work! Our director, Afzal Sir, believed in me and believed that I am capable of doing anything. It is his belief that I didn’t want to let down," she added. Directed by Syed Ahmad Afzal, the series also features Gulshan Devaiah and Pavan Raj Malhotra in pivotal roles. The show is themed around corruption, fraud, cheating and criminal conspiracies that affect vulnerable students in India.

  • Bhajju Shyam: The Gond wizard

    Padma Shri Bhajju Shyam in his latest works experimented with stencil and spray colours on canvas. In a conversation, the renowned Gond artist talks about his recent work, the inspiration behind it and his learnings from St+Art India Foundation… Bhajju Shyam has been a Gond artist all his life. He always worked with acrylic colours and ink on canvas and paper. But for his show ‘Untitled’, the Padma Shri chose stencils and spray colours on canvas. The works feature a medley of birds and animals carrying his signature Gond style. Shyam took inspiration from the birds and animals that he saw in his village. He redefined them by adding a pop of colours. Though the colours and patterns look beautiful, the artist points out that working with stencils and spray colours wasn’t a cakewalk. “In Gond art, detailing is extremely intricate. Spray colours drip and run to other areas. They also bleed to areas where a colour are not required,” he shares. In order to protect colour-related bleeds, he made the designs first on paper and then loaded them on to a computer. He then used stencils to cut the designs and finally coloured them using spray paint. Shyam had worked with stencils and spray colours years ago but only on walls. He recalls that he used this medium for a project with St+Art India Foundation in 2019. “The project was to refurbish the walls of Lodhi Colony and paint mural art on them,” he explains. Though the project ended, his enthusiasm to explore stencils and spray colours on canvas remained. Ideas and inspiration Shyam is a second-generation artist. He belongs to the Gond-Pardhaan community of Madhya Pradesh. As a child, he heard several stories from his family members that inspired him to paint. He shares, “A lot of ideas come from my village. In the bygone eras, Pradhans sang stories of Gond gods and goddesses. They also narrated how earth and sun came to being and how living beings (humans, plants, animals and birds) were born. I have heard them. I take inspiration from the stories my ancestors narrated and the songs they sang.” Shyam also credits his travel experiences that help him discover new ideas. He has written several books on Gond art that are available in different languages. He is also the illustrator and author of the famous London Jungle Book published in five languages for children. He often gets invited to different countries for book narration. He uses these opportunities to meet new people and learn from them. “I have travelled to 22 countries. When I travel internationally, I meet local artists and observe their techniques. It helps me expands my horizon to think differently. I try to replicate the techniques I see during my journey in my signature style. When I get invited for book narration, I meet people and get plenty of ideas,” he shares. Other international projects Though Shyam has used stencils and spray colours on canvas for the first time, he has previously used these mediums for a wall mural. In March 2020, he worked for the Singapore Tourism Board. The project was to paint one of the walls of a seven-storey hotel in Singapore. Shyam joined hands with Sam Lo, a Singapore artist, to create the mural art. However, things did not go as per the plan. The pandemic had hit India. Due to this, Shyam could not physically travel to Singapore. “The art featured deer, trees and birds. My job was to make trees and decide their placement on the wall. Lo was responsible for making deer and birds. But due to the pandemic-led restrictions in India, I could not travel to Singapore. I instead shared my designs in Gond art with Lo and she assembled them on the hotel’s wall,” he says.

  • When technology meets origami

    Technology has been used in art several times. But have you seen any artwork that blends origami with kinetics? Meet Jaipur-based artist Aditi Anuj who has amalgamated the two techniques in her artworks that are a part of the Delhi Contemporary Art Week (DCAW) 2022. Artist Aditi Anuj was always fascinated with water. While living in Mumbai next to a sea, she spent ample time looking at water and noticing how it changed during the day and between seasons. Despite moving to Jaipur, her love for water never evaporated. It is this love that led her to create artworks around water. The artist’s introduction to origami happened while she was studying textile designing. Though she learnt this art form as an explorative module, she liked it. At the ongoing DCAW, she has used origami in both her artworks titled ‘An Ocean in a Drop’ and ‘Voyage-into the expanse’. An Ocean in a Drop This artwork is her take on temporariness in life. The artist took inspiration from Rumi’s quote: You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop. The interactive art combines origami to show the flow/movement of water with kinetics. The artwork (shown as the video above) carries individual squares. Each of them represent dots. Kinetics allow the movement of paper. The continuity (opening and closing of paper) reflects the flow. Continuity is maintained through a power-driven motor that is added to every piece. The motor allows the squares to rotate and create waves. She explains, “This artwork demonstrates the temporariness in life and how things come and go and nothing remains permanent. The only thing that is permanent in the world is change. I have tried to show individual squares as drops and when these drops come together, they become an ocean. The continuity and drops form waves.” The artwork has been made to allow different views from both sides. For instance, if viewed from the left side, it allows viewers to see lines that represents the surface of an ocean. But if viewed from the extreme right side, one can see the depth of the ocean. Voyage-into the expanse This artwork also includes origami. The artist has created a replica of a waterfall, giving it a three-dimensional look. The work is made with folded water-coloured hand-painted papers (aka modules) that represent drops of water. The modules are fitted into each other to give the shape of a waterfall. The modules represent drops of water that are combined together to make a larger body, i.e., a waterfall. The artwork explores the theme of ‘power of collaboration’. The artist was inspired by how humans collaborate with each another. “Just like humans come together and collaborate to explore new things and to touch new heights. Similarly, this work is also a journey of a drop into a waterfall and to become a river,” shares Anuj. The artwork also carries waves in the waterfall. Anuj created the look by adding folds and bends in the paper. She then joined the modules together that made it look like waves. Though origami does not involve cutting or stapling of the pieces, the artist had to rely on this method. “The artwork was originally made in Jaipur. But keeping its scale in mind, I had to stick the paper pieces together to make it easy to assemble it in Delhi for DCAW 2022,” she explains. Aditi’s works are on display till September 9 at the Bikaner House, New Delhi.

  • Rahul Roy announces 'Pyaar Ho Gaya'

    Produced by Rahul Roy Production in association with Mascot Pictures, the film comes as a new-edge love story. Rahul Roy announced its first-ever film 'Pyaar Ho Gaya'. Produced by Rahul Roy Production in association with Mascot Pictures, the film is slated as a new-edge love story. The actor announced his maiden film as a producer in the presence of the two lead actresses in the film Aliya Hamidi and Saneha Namanandi. Actor Zaan Khan will play the lead role. Ziaullah Khan, who has previously worked with Raghuvir Yadav, Sitaram Panchal, Tritha Mumbadkar in 'Pakaau’ and Narendra Jha, Urmila Mahanta, Annapurna, Sanjay Verma in 'Viraam' that also won the Best Film award at the Istanbul Film Festival will direct the film. Talking about his new venture, Khan said, “I am very eager for the shooting to kick off and collaborate with Rahul Roy for this project. I was over the moon to hear that he wanted to produce the movie instead. It just goes to show how much he adored the script! It's exciting to be working with Mr Roy and getting this vision incorporated into the movie. The cast is very talented and I am sure the film will capture that very beautifully. I will make sure of that. I wish that the audience will bless us and support us as they always had.” Written by Rishi Azaad, the film will be also feature Ritu Shivpuri, Zarina Wahab, Mustaq Khan and Govind Namdev in supporting roles.

  • DCAW: Understanding ‘Legal Alien’

    ‘Legal Alien’ is the only group show that is a part of the Delhi Contemporary Art Week. It features works of some of the stalwarts in the contemporary art. Here’s a peak into some of the works and the story behind the show's unique title. The fifth edition of Delhi Contemporary Art Week (DCAW) has kicked off in Delhi from September 1 to 7. It is being held at the Old Building of Bikaner House. This year’s showcase features a group exhibition ‘Legal Alien’ being curated by Meera Menezes. The exhibition explores the notion of alienation and looks at the possible factors that could lead to it. While some artists explore the theme of migration, whether across country borders or from rural to urban areas, that can generate this feeling, others ponder on what it means to be a citizen of a country and still feel like an alien. The show’s title has been taken from the song ‘Englishmen in New York’ sung by the British singer, Sting. Talking about it, Menezes says, “The song featured a sentence: ‘I am an alien, I am a Legal Alien’. Sting moved from England to New York and felt extremely lonely in the new city. Through the song, he has shared his plight.” Though she connected the dots with Sting’s song, Menezes later realised that alienation comes in different forms. She read about the migratory crisis in Syria, the border tension between the US and Mexico and pandemic-led isolation and alienation. “Syrians were moving to Europe to settle. There was border tension between the US and Mexico. Shortly after that, the pandemic happened. This led people to migrate to their home towns. Many people suffered sadness and loneliness. I felt that since the artists highlighted the notion of alienation and the factors that could lead to the same in their works, it was fair to title the show ‘Legal Alien’,” she added. These artists created the works during the pandemic. They have touched upon the topics of isolation, migration, desolation and citizenship identity in the form of paintings, photographs as well as sculptures. For instance, Sudipta Das has highlighted refugee problems in her works. She has used the paper making/doll making technique called Dakche technique to show people living in refugee camps. The construction of a temporary shelter is depicted through the use of hand-made Hanji paper depict. Arunkumar HG’s artworks talk about migration through the lives of agricultural workers. He has shown how agricultural workers leave their land in villages for a better livelihood in cities. The works are introspective and leave viewers to speculate whether the workers who move to cities in search of work feel accepted or integrated into a city or do they also witness alienation in a new city. Meghana Gavireddygari has explored the theme of dispossession through ‘Law of land’. The work shows how possession of a paper cannot guarantee right on a property. Sanket Viramgami has interrogated boundaries and the strife that accompanies their demarcation. He has attempted to show what a city looks to an outsider. Sangita Maity has shown desolation through a set of four paintings. Her work talks about how people are forced to leave their land due to exploitation of resources. It also focuses on migration of people from Odisha. Unlike other artists who use colours to paint, Sangita took soil from Odisha as the medium to connect the idea with viewers. Udaipur-based American artist Waswo X Waswo has collaborated with an Indian miniaturist R Vijay to depict loneliness. The work depicts how a person feels isolated and lonely despite being surrounded by life. The show also features a series of photographs by different artists. Atul Bhalla’s photographic series talks about alienation that people face in their own country. His works highlight power hierarchies in South Africa. “He has tried to point out that despite having large black communities in the country, whites are holding the land due to lack of land reforms. The white chair in the artwork illustrates power,” explains Menezes. Another photographer Bharat Sikka has shown what it means to be a citizen of a country and still feel like an alien. He has captured the essence through a set of three photographs of a lone Kashmiri youth. The photographer, who went to Kashmir in 2013, realised how alienated Kashmiri youths felt at that time despite living in India and how lack of opportunities in the state made them sad. Sonia Mehra Chawla in her photographic work highlight how climate change can create refugees. She has shown alienation and migration due to climate change in her work titled ‘Blue Shores of Silence’. The show features 28 artists that have been chosen from seven participating galleries: Blueprint 12, Exhibit 320, Gallery Espace, Latitude 28, Nature Morte, Shrine Empire and Vadehra Art Gallery.

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