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  • 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.

  • Monsoon munchies by Ranveer Brar

    Celebrity chef Ranveer Brar shared with us some of his favourite recipes that are perfect for the monsoon season. Here's how to cook them and other ingredients to make these treats: Crispy fried chicken Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1-29 minutes Servings: 4 Ingredients For brining 1 whole chicken with skin, cut into 8 pieces Salt to taste Buttermilk, as required 1 tsp hot sauce For refine flour coating 2 cups refine flour 2 tsp paprika powder 2 tsp garlic powder 2 tsp onion powder Salt to taste 2 tsp white pepper powder Marinated chicken pieces Egg wash 5 whole eggs 1 tsp paprika powder 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp white pepper powder Salt to taste Final coating 2 cups refined flour Salt to taste Oil for deep frying Process For brining In a mixing bowl, add whole pieces, buttermilk, salt and hot sauce. Mix well and keep for 4-6 hours in the refrigerator. For refined flour coating In a mixing bowl, add refined flour, paprika powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and white pepper. Mix well. Add chicken pieces and coat well. Shake off the excess flour. Remove them on a wire rack/cooling rack to avoid from sticking. Keep aside for further use. For egg wash In a mixing bowl, add eggs, paprika powder, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper powder and salt. Add coated chicken and mix well. Keep aside for further use. For final coating In a paper bag or a lid box, add chicken and shake well for the coating. Once done shake off the excess flour and keep on a wire rack. Heat oil for deep frying. Add chicken pieces and fry till half done. Drain them on a kitchen paper towel. Double fry them until golden brown and crisp. Drain on a kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve hot with choice of sauce. Note: Lactic acid in buttermilk and vinegar in hot sauce works as tenderiser for the chicken, which makes it juicy on the inside. Matar samosa chaat recipe Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook time: 30-35 minutes Servings: 2-4 Ingredients For filling 2-3 tbsp ghee 2 green chilli, chopped ½ inch ginger, chopped 2 cups green peas Salt to taste ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped Water ½ tsp sugar 1 tsp ghee ¼ inch ginger, chopped Few mint leaves, chopped 1 Green chilli, chopped ½ tbsp prepared chaat masala Oil for frying For tamarind chutney 1 litre water 1 cup tamarind, soaked 2 cups jaggery For tempering chutney 1 tbsp oil 2 cloves 1 tsp cumin seeds 2 dry red chillies 1 tsp degi red chilli powder A pinch of asafoetida For chaat masala 2 tbsp black peppercorns 1 tbsp coriander seed 1 tbsp fennel seed 1no black cardamom seeds ½ tbsp cumin seeds Salt to taste For dough 1 cup refined flour ½ tsp carom seeds, crushed Salt to taste 1 tbsp ghee Chilled water, as required Process for samosa filling Take a shallow pan, add ghee once it’s hot. Add green chillies, ginger, mint leaves and sauté it well. Add green peas, salt to taste and sauté it well. Cover it with the lid and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame. Once the green peas are cooked well, add a little water and mix it well. Once again, cover it with a lid and cook for a while. Open the lid, once the green peas are cooked well, mash the green peas, add sugar and sauté for a minute. Now, add ghee and sauté once again. Switch off the flame, add ginger, mint leaves, green chilli and mix well. Transfer the prepared filling into the plate or tray and keep in the refrigerator for a while. For tamarind chutney In a sauce pot, add water, tamarind, jaggery and cover it with a lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the chutney is cooked well, strain the mixture and keep aside for further use. For tempering chutney In a handi, add oil, once oil is hot, add cloves let it splutter well. Add cumin seeds, dry red chilli and let them splutter well. Pour the prepared chutney and mix properly. Add Degi red chilli powder, asafoetida and mix well. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Once the chutney gets thickened nicely. Transfer into the bowl and keep aside for further use. For chaat masala In a bowl, add black peppercorns, coriander seed, black cardamom seed, fennel seed, cumin seeds, salt to taste. Transfer into a pan and dry roast the spices on medium flame. Once it cools down, transfer it into a grinder and grind it coarsely. keep it aside for future use. For dough Add refined flour, carom seeds, salt to taste, ghee in a pot and mix well until it resembles bread crumb consistency. Now, add chilled water and knead a hard dough. Cover and keep aside for resting at least for 15-20 minutes. For assembling Take a medium portion of the dough, make a round peda, apply ghee and roll it thin in an oval shape. Now, cut in from the center and take one half of it and make a cone shape of it and add the prepared filling in it. Now apply water on the open ends of the cone and fold it towards you, keep it down and give it a gentle press so that it can stand, make all others in the similar way. Heat oil in a kadhai on medium heat and fry the samosas on low to medium heat, until it turns golden in colour from all the sides, remove on an absorbent paper. In a serving plate, place seasoned curd, prepared samosa, curd and prepared tamarind chutney, and serve hot. Vada pav Prep Time: 15-20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Servings: 4 Ingredients For vada 2 medium onions, sliced 1 tbsp oil 1 tsp black mustard seeds 7-8 curry leaves ¼ tsp asafoetida 2 green chillies, chopped ¼ tsp turmeric powder Salt to taste 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste 3-4 medium potatoes, boiled 1 tsp sugar 1 tbsp coriander, chopped Oil for deep frying For batter 1 ½ cup gram flour 1 tsp baking soda Water as required Salt to taste ¼ tsp turmeric powder Process Chop the onions, into thin slices. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Cook till fragrant. Add asafoetida (hing) and mix well. Add the sliced onions and green chillies, saute till onion turns translucent. Add turmeric powder and salt, mix well and add little water, mix well. Add ginger garlic paste and mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes. Mash the potatoes with your hands and add into the pan. Add water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add sugar and mix well till it combines and melts. Allow to cool down. Meanwhile, prepare the batter. Add gram flour, baking soda and water to a bowl and whisk well forming a thick lump free batter. Add salt and turmeric powder, whisk it in and set aside till in use. Add chopped coriander to the cooled down potato mixture. Make round balls of the prepared mixture and dip them into the prepared batter. Deep fry the vadas till golden and crisp. Drain on an absorbent paper. Serve them hot inside the pav along with some bukha chutney sprinkled on top and green chillies on side. Chili cheese toast Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Servings: 2 Ingredients 4-5 fresh green chillies – chopped ½ medium red bell pepper – chopped 2 cloves garlic – chopped 2 tbsp coriander leaves – chopped 1 heaped tbsp butter 1 cup processed cheese 4 slices of bread Process In a bowl add green chillies, red bell pepper, garlic, coriander leaves, butter, ed cheese and mix everything properly until the mixture is smooth. Now heat a pan and toast the bread from one side properly then remove them and apply the cheese mixture on the toasted side. Put the bread back in the pan on the non-toasted side then cover and let it cook on medium heat until the cheese has melted. Remove and cut in triangles and serve warm with tomato ketchup.

  • The incident that shocked Pankaj Tripathi

    Sherdil is inspired by a real-life incident that took place at the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in 2017. The makers came to know about it through a newspaper report. Director Srijit Mukherji is in awe of actor Pankaj Tripathi. Even before directing the actor in Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga, he knew that no one could do justice to his film than Tripathi. “We were looking for an actor who could represent the face of a common man. Pankaj Tripathi seemed to be the perfect fit as he brings mitti ki khusbhu in every role, irrespective of the genre. Pankaj ji has done a range of films from Gurgaon to Ludo, Sree and Mirzapur, among others. He has shown how brilliant he is in every character. That’s why I chose him for this role,” says Mukherji. Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga is inspired by a real-life incident that took place at the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in 2017. The makers came to know about the incident through a newspaper report. The incident pertains to villagers (living near the reserve) who had abandoned their elderly relatives as tiger prey and demanded compensation from the government against the killings. In the film, Pankaj Tripathi plays a sarpanch (Ganga Ram) who volunteers to sacrifice himself as a prey so that families living in his village could get compensation from the government. When asked if he knew about the incident, Tripathi said, “When Srijit shared the story with me, I was shocked to hear it as I had not read it. I thought how could something like this happen." Though the film touches upon a serious issue, Mukherji was adamant not to categorise it as a sob story. He instead brought it as a social satire. “I discussed it with Pankaj ji and he also agreed that through satire, people would be able to understand the subject. Dark humour adds entertainment as well as engages audiences,” he said. Shot in the jungles of West Bengal, the story highlights the relationship between man and wild through Ganga Ram’s life. Tripathi shared that despite shooting in jungles, he had a great time. “I was not scared as I am attached to nature and wildlife. I love animals and plants and that’s why I agreed to do this movie. This love for the nature and its beauty has intensified after shooting Sherdil,” he shared. The actor also clarified that during the shoot, the star cast did not work with a real tiger. “That tiger was not real. No animals were harmed in the making of the film,” he concluded. Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga releases on June 24. It also stars Sayani Gupta and Neeraj Kabi.

  • How Maddy added realism to reel ‘Nambi’

    Actor R Madhavan refrained from using prosthetics while playing S. Nambi Narayanan. Read on to know how he got into the shoes of the former ISRO scientist and donned a director’s hat… Actor R Madhavan’s (Maddy), for upcoming film Rocketry – The Nambi Effect, has transformed himself as the former ISRO scientist S. Nambi Narayanan’s doppleganger. His transformation might look as a bed of roses, but the actor says getting into the scientist’s shoes wasn’t easy. Unlike other films, where actors use prosthetics to get wrinkled up, the Vikram Vedha-actor refrained from choosing this path. He realistically transformed himself as an 80-year-old man. From changing his jaw structure and even twisting one of his teeth in a different direction, the actor did it all. He explains, “I twisted my tooth to allow my jaw structure to change. A changed jaw structure can make a person look different and also impacts age.” The actor also gained weight, grew beard and coloured his mane grey, among other things, as part of this transformational journey. Maddy’s move to refrain from the use of prosthetics had nothing to do with the money involved in the making of the film. The actor, in fact, took upon himself to make people aware about the scientist’s real story. “Had I used prosthetics, people would have related its use with the storyline and assumed that the story is also fake. I don’t want that, at any time in the film, anyone should say that what we are showing is fake,” he said. Changing his physical features was just one of the aspects. Maddy also understood the nuances of rocket science. “I learnt how a real rocket engine looks and works. A real one looks like a diamond jewellery. It is so clean and polished but when it's switched on, it makes the loudest voice,” he said. Rocketry – The Nambi Effect showcases Nambi’s journey from being falsely accused of espionage and being proved not guilty by the Supreme Court and the impact it had on his life. Maddy has directed, produced and written the film. When asked if he found being directing a rocket science, the actor said, that he didn't face any difficulties while making the film. “When we were looking for the producer for the film, no one came forward as the film does not have any heroine and songs. That’s when I thought to produce and direct it. ,” he said. The actor heard about the scientist’s story in 2016. He thought that it was the role that could give him a break as a James Bond. “I heard about the story of a handsome ISRO scientist having an affair with a Maldivian woman. And that while they were together, the scientist shared the secrets related to rocketry with the woman. I also came to know that this did not went well with the scientist as he was arrested, and beaten. But was released as he was proved innocent. His story excited me and I thought that doing a film on his life would give me the break in the James Bond repertoire. However, when he first met Nambi in real life, he understood that there was more to his story than what the actor knew. He shared, “When I took the script to Nambi sir, he had an angry look in his eyes. He was looking for answers to his fateful experience of being shammed as a traitor who sold the country’s rocketry-related secrets. With tears in his eyes, he shared his story with me. That’s when I realised that there’s more to him than his good looks and that the script had to be reworked. This film focuses on his journey as a scientist, which we had initially not included.” Maddy then spent two and a half years on research. In this time, he visited the Princeton University and also the places where Nambi did experiments. He later used the data in recreating the scenes in the film. This took him time. But as the film was ready in 2020, the pandemic delayed its release. Maddy wanted to release the film in theatres instead of an OTT platform. Rocketry – The Nambi Effect is slated for release in theatres on July 1 in English, Tamil and Hindi. The film does is sans dubbing. It is shot in eight countries and shows a timeline of 50 years in Nambi’s life. The supporting cast includes Rajit Kapur, Ravi Raghavendra, Gulshan Grover, Karthik Kumar, Misha Ghoshal, Dinesh Prabhakar and Mohan Raman, among others.

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