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  • Vipeksha Gupta's art from heart

    Vipeksha Gupta’s art isn’t about life’s beautiful experiences. Yet, it is relatable as she has showcased the darkest period of our lives (the second wave of the pandemic) and the learnings she experienced from it. They say tough times make tough people. The pandemic turned out to be exactly the same for the humanity. Many people lost their loved ones and suffered a wreak of emotional, mental and financial losses. But some people turned those times into an advantage and learnt how to grow out of them, despite the odds. Vipeksha Gupta was one of them who learnt how to turn her sufferings to her advantage. At a recent showcase, she gave a glimpse of the same. Vipeksha’s works explore the concept of flux and impermanence, and how darkness as well as suffering is crucial to the growth as an individual because mind cannot be circumvented. Just like others, she too experienced an array of emotions that she translated into the art. Explaining her works, she says, “I have used dark tones and sharp lines. The sharp lines depict the expression of victory. The art also includes etched lines and holes. They depict that a person should hold their ego, lust and harmful intentions without forgetting the incident that evolved you.” Vipeksha believes that suffering is crucial to humanity as it helps a person evolve. “It’s important to understand your suffering, turn it into an advantage and grow out of it. I feel that a person realises his/her true potential when a challenge is thrown at him/her. That’s how it worked for me during the pandemic,” she shares. She has used paper and added multiple layers of charcoal and graphite in her art. “It’s like a crease compressed on a timesheet of time,” she explains. Working with graphite and charcoal is not something new for this artist. In fact, she has worked with the same medium for over 11 years. But according to her, neither the medium signify sufferings nor the dark tones. “I have expressed how one can achieve liberation using the same medium. So, it’s not that these mediums signify suffering, it’s your own take how you want to use a medium,” she says. The artist refrains from having preconceived notions about art. She instead likes to work in unconscious planned way. “I call myself as a method artist. It’s an expanded feeling of emotions that I felt at a point of time, which gets evolved into a drawing or a three-dimensional piece of art. I usually prepare my compositions beforehand. But I let the images and patterns come to me organically,” she clarifies. Besides graphite and charcoal, Vipeksha is also fond of drawing with pencil on paper. “Drawings allow me to express myself. They also enable me to understand some of the most important aspects of human emotions – beauty, hope, compassion and subtleness,” she adds. Known for her monochromatic and meditative drawings, Vikesha studied art after graduating in history. She joined Triveni Kala Sangam, where she worked seven years. But later, she started working as an independent artist and that’s how she was discovered by Blueprint 12.

  • IMDb releases most popular Indian web series

    Here’s the list of ‘Most Popular Indian Web Series of 2022 (So Far)’ as per IMDb you cannot miss to watch! IMDb has released a list of the ‘Most Popular Indian Web Series of 2022 (So Far)’ based on the users’ IMDb rating of the show. The following 10 shows have received user rating of 7 or higher by the fans": 1. Apharan (Voot) Arunoday Singh-starrer Apharan came back with a second season on Voot Select. Rudra Srivastava, a senior inspector with Uttarakhand police is lured into kidnapping a young girl at her request. The plot begins as a simple plan to extort money in exchange for her release. When the chain of events go wrong and a series of lies unfold, he realises that he is now a part of a deadly conspiracy. The show has a rating of 8.4. 2. Campus Diaries (MX Player) Set in a college, the show seems to have struck a chord with the younger audience. The show has an IMDb rating of 9. The show is billed as a ‘coming-of-age drama’ that deals with hardships of college students as they make their way through love, friendships, life and college. Created by Prem Mistry and Abhishek Yadav, the show stars Harsh Beniwal, Ritvik Sahore, Saloni Gaur, Salonie Patel, Abhinav Sharma and Srishti Ganguli Rindani. 3. Rocket Boys (Sony LIV) Regarded as one of the more promising shows this year, Rocket Boys followed the journey of scientists Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai. The duo ushered the newly independent India into the world of scientific accomplishments. Starring Jim Sarbh and Ishvak Singh, the Sony LIV show has a rating of 8.9. 4. Panchayat 2 (Prime Video) The Jitendra Kumar-led series returned for a second season this year and surprised the audience. The show has a rating of 8.9. The show is set in a village in Uttar Pradesh where a UPSC aspirant ends up working at the Panchayat office. The show also stars Raghubir Yadav and Neena Gupta in pivotal roles. 5. The Great Indian Murder (Disney+ Hotstar) The Tigmanshu Dhulia show won viewers' applauds and has a 7.3 rating. Starring Pratik Gandhi and Richa Chadha, The Great Indian Murder was based on Vikas Swarup’s 2016 murder mystery ‘Six Suspects’. The show’s plot triggers after an industrialist is killed at a party and everyone who was there, and those who were not even present, turns into a suspect. 6. Human (Disney+ Hotstar) Starring Shefali Shah and Kirti Kulhari, the show was set in the world of medicine where human trials form the dark underbelly of the trade. The IMDb user rating of the show is at 8. 7. Escaype Live (Disney+ Hotstar) The Hotstar series was against a digital reality show that pushes its contestants, and makers to challenge their morality. Starring Jaaved Jaaferi, Siddharth, Plabita Borthakur, Shweta Tripathi, Ritvik Sahore, among others, the show has a rating of 7.8. 8. Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein (Netflix) This Netflix show was popular with the audience as soon as it came out. Starring Tahir Raj Bhasin, Shweta Tripathi and Anchal Singh, it has a rating of 7. The show’s plot follows a man who is forced to get married to a politician’s daughter so he can keep his family safe. 9. Mai (Netflix) The show marked Sakshi Tanwar's return to acting. Mai follows a woman who is trying to get to the bottom of her daughter’s murder. The show has a rating of 7.2. 10. The Fame Game (Netflix) The Fame Game released with a lot of promise as it starred Madhuri Dixit in the lead role. The show followed the story of a famous film actor who goes missing, and the investigation unravels the dark secrets of her life that have been hidden from the public eye. It also starred Sanjay Kapoor and had a rating of 7.

  • “Director/writers’ conviction decides BO success”

    Has Bollywood cracked its mantra of success with films set in small towns or is it a mere coincidence that such films have become a box-office success? Rohit Raj Goyal, director and writer of Titu Ambani sheds light in a tête-à-tête. Bollywood has travelled from villages to foreign locations and has settled its eyes on small towns. From the era of daakus, ablaa mothers, common man's fight against evil leaders, love stories and films pandering to NRIs, filmmakers have diverted their focus to small towns and their issues. Though films based on small towns have always been made in Bollywood, it is the story that has made today's films a talking point. It all started from Dum Laga Ke Haisha that propogated the idea of 'beauty lies in the eyes of a beholder'. Later, Motichoor Chaknachoor, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan and Jan Hit Mein Jaari tried the same mantra. The latest entrant to this list is Titu Ambani that is receiving praise at the box-office (BO), despite not having a stellar cast. So are films made on small towns an instant mantra to success? Rohit Raj Goyal, director and writer of Titu Ambani disagrees. He says that it won’t be right to acknowledge a film’s success based on the location featured in it. “During the 70s, 80s and 90s, films were made keeping the middle class people and their problems in mind. It was later in 2000s, directors pandered to NRI audiences and exotic locations. Just like we need a change after eating daal chawal for a long time, films also need change. If films made on small towns and people’s problems are becoming successful, it is due to the conviction of the director(s) and writers. Like other genres, this trend is also temporary. Soon audiences will expect fresh ideas from the filmmakers,” he shares. Titu Ambani revolves around a daughter, who refuses to tie a knot, with a fear that her parents would be left alone and financially weak. The story connects chords with several Indian women who live with the same fear after marriage. Rohit took inspiration from some of the instances that his female friends shared with him. Understanding the issue’s relevance and connect, he thought of making the film on it. “I know a lot of girls who refused to settle down with the concern that who will take care of their parents and fulfil the latter’s expenses after marriage. One of my friends also shared a similar plight about her 40-something cousin. This is what motivated me to write this film,” he said. Titu Ambani stars Deepika Singh (from the popular serial ‘Diya and Baati Hum’), Tushar Pandey (Chhichhore fame), Raghuvir Yadav, Samta Sagar and Sapna Sand.

  • IshQ Bector composes, sings for Ms. Marvel

    Disco Gully has featured in Marvel Studios web series ‘Ms. Marvel’, the first-ever female superhero movie. Indo-Canadian sensation IshQ Bector, who is known for hits like Aye Hip-Hopper with Sunidhi Chauhan, has added a marvel to his name. The singer’s track Disco Gully, penned by Sonny Ravan, has released in Marvel Studios web series Ms. Marvel. The show stars several Pakistani actors, namely, Nimra Bucha, Fawad Khan and Mehwish Hayat. Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar will also be seen in a cameo. Talking about his new milestone, IshQ Bector says, "I feel really grateful to have been given this incredible opportunity to showcase my creativity on an American Marvel Series. It is comparable to a dream coming true because that is precisely what it is.” The series revolves around a Pakistani-American teenage superhero. “I'm happy to see that desi stories are being told and that brown people are getting the spotlight they rightfully deserve. I'm very eager for the audience to hear the music, and I know they will show a lot of love just like they have shown my songs in the past," he added. Disco Gully is a collaboration between IshQ and singers Apeksha Dandekar and Shree D. It is written by Sonny Ravan. This is not the first time that the rapper’s songs have been featured in films. IshQ also wrote and composed Har Gham Mein Khushi Hai for ‘Gully Boy’.

  • For the love of hoardings

    Baroda-based artist Kaushik Saha took inspiration from hoardings and paid a tribute to those who make them. Kaushik Saha likes collecting stainless steel and brass nails, re-used rubber tubes of old bicycle tires and discarded tin sheets. He isn’t a scrap worker but an artist who uses these materials to create abstract art. His latest work us inspired by hoardings that display advertisements on the streets. But the Baroda-based artist does not celebrate the featured content. His work is inspired by the people who earn their livelihood by doing the behind-the-scenes jobs, such as carpenters, welders, painters and other staff. “I am not celebrating advertisements that are displayed on hoardings but the efforts of those people who work tirelessly to make hoardings. These people generally live below the social and economic pyramid. They are often ignored despite the fact that they put their best foot forward in creating such spaces,” he explains. His latest artwork, titled ‘Black horizon’, is a take on industrialisation. He feels that hoardings only feature expensive items. “We rarely see a poor person featured in hoardings. Only those products/services that have a higher price get displayed,” he says. So, the artist has celebrated the lives of the unsung heroes that work behind the scenes (to make hoardings). That is why, he materials chose only those materials as the core ingredients that establish a relationship with the people featured in the art. For instance, the artist has used nails to represent the migrated people. “We saw the workforce migrate from cities to villages during the pandemic. If you’ll look closely (he says while pointing at the art), from a bird’s eye, these nails look like the heads of the migrated people,” he explains. He has also used tubes of old bicycle tires as the base. “By this, I am referring to those communities who commute via cycles. They are generally the ones, who fall under the bracket of economically weaker sections, whose annual incomes are below INR 10,000,” he adds. Similarly, the metal part in the art has been taken as is from the hoardings after they were discarded. But why call the work ‘Black horizon’? According to the artist, the title carries a deeper and darker meaning. “Horizon is a place where sky and earth appears to meet. But due to increasing number of hoardings, people are unable to see the sky and the nature when the sun bows down. I feel that a day would come when people will only see darkness instead of the sky, as hoardings are increasing in cities. That’s why I called the work ‘Black horizon’,” he shares.

  • Ramlila gets high-tech

    The Luv Kush Ramlila Committee has made special arrangements to enthral audiences. Besides having iconic actor Asrani in the cast, the committee is set to use state-of-the-art technology on the stage. The Luv Kush Ramlila Committee is set to bring Ramlila on stage from September 26 to October 6 on a massive three-story 180 by 60 stage with several iconic celebrities. The show, held in the historical Red Fort grounds, will feature actor Asrani as Narad Muni. TV actors Sonu Dagar and Nirbhay Wadhwa will also play the role of Lord Ram and Hanuman, respectively. The show this year will be staged on a three-storey stage. Arjun Kumar, President of Leela, said that a model of the grand Ram temple being built in Ayodhya will also be a part of the stage. “The model will be made 30 feet above the three-storey stage by eminent artists of the country. From the third floor of the stage, we will move the deities in the sky and shower them with flowers,” he said. The committee will also install a huge 180 by 14 LED screen behind the stage. A devotional satsang of International Saint Trilochan Das of Sachkhand Nanak Dham will also take place on September 23. The Delhi Police also plans to build four towers to secure the ground where the show will be staged. Nearly 500 volunteers will also be deployed from 6 pm to 12 pm. Further, drones and 150cc TV cameras will be installed in the ground to capture the images to ensure safety. This will be the first time, Ram and Ravana will be shown in the field via giant cranes. The action sequences will be performed under the supervision of a famous Bollywood action director. In one of the scenes, Lord Hanuman will be seen crossing the sea from the sky and entering Lanka to bring Sanjeevani Booti. The scenes featuring Lakshman clinching on to his shoulders will be shown on the sky road by using the latest technology.

  • Netflix to release ‘Indian Predator’ in July

    Netflix upcoming show ‘Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi' is based on true events. Netflix has announced that its latest upcoming crime docu-series ‘Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi’ will release on July 20. The show, which is based on true events, will narrate the story a serial killer from the national capital who murdered people, scattered their body parts around the city and left a note for the police, challenging them to find the accused. Directed by Ayesha Sood and produced by VICE India, this frightening series will also feature interviews of those experts who were involved in investigation. Dropping the news, Netflix in an Instagram post said, “Nothing can prepare you for a crime so evil and a story so haunting that it still plagues an entire city. The hair-raising true crime story of Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi, comes out 20 July, only on Netflix.” The docu-series explains the sequence of events that led up to the arrest of this brutal murderer.

  • Randeep Hooda's heartfelt ode to Dalbir Kaur

    The actor paid his tribute to Sarabjit Singh's sister after he heard about her demise. Randeep and Dalbir Kaur grew closer to each while shooting 'Sarabjit'. Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda paid an emotional tribute to Sarabjit Singh's sister, Dalbir Kaur, after she left for heavenly abode. Expressing his disbelief to the news of her death, the actor wrote, "Not in the wildest dream could one imagine that Dalbir Kaur ji would leave us so soon. A fighter, child like, sharp and devoted to all that she touched." "She fought a system, a country, it’s people and her own to try save her beloved brother Sarbjit. I was so fortunate to have her love and blessings and never to be missed Rakhi in this life time. Ironically, the last time we met was when I was shooting in thr fields of Punjabi where we had created an Indo-Pak border. It was a chilly and foggy late November night but she didn’t care about all that. She was happy we were on the same side of the border. ‘Khush reh, jug jug jeeye’, she often ended most conversations with. I do feel truly blessed indeed. There wasn’t enough time Dalbir ji. I love you, I miss you and I shall always cherish your love and blessings. Om Shanti,” he mentioned in the note. Randeep grew closer to Dalbir after he started shooting Sarabjit, that was on the life of Dalbir's late brother. The film showcased a sister's undying spirit to get justice for her brother against the alleged allegations of spying and terrorism made by a Pakistani court. In the film, Randeep played Sarabjit, while Aishwarya Rai Bachchan played Dalbir's role.

  • Alia Bhatt announces pregnancy

    The actor announced the news on Instagram "Our baby.... coming soon" and shared a picture from the hospital. Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor are expecting their first child together. The Gangubai Kathiawadi-actress broke the internet as she announced the news of her pregnancy in an Instagram post. She captioned it as "Our baby.... coming soon" and also shared a picture of an ultrasound session at a hospital with her husband. Alia's mother Soni Razdan also congratulated the couple and called it the "Best news ever". Ranbir's sister Riddhima Kapoor Sahni also confirmed the news on Instagram. She posted, "My babies are having a baby...". Alia and Ranbir tied the knot in Mumbai in an intimate ceremony in April this year. They dated each other for over four years. fThough parenthood would keep them busy, the couple is also looking forward to the release of their upcoming film 'Brahmastra: Part One Shiva'. This is the first time they will share the screen space.

  • First look poster of ‘Ek Villain Returns’ out

    The first look poster features the signature creepy mask in front of the faces of the lead actors. The film will release on July 29. The much-awaited first look poster of Ek Villain Returns has released today. The poster looks gripping and carries the signature creepy mask and a tagline ‘Heroes Don’t Exist’. The film includes an ensemble cast – Arjun Kapoor, John Abraham, Disha Patani and Tara Sutaria. However, it is unclear which actor will play the role of villain in the film. Ek Villain Returns is an action thriller that is slated to release worldwide on July 29. It is the second part of the Ek Villain series. The first part ‘Ek Villain’ released eight years ago with Siddharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh and Shraddha Kapoor as the lead. Directed by Mohit Suri, the film will be jointly produced by Balaji Telefilms and T-Series.